In an age of aerial fireworks, Boston Latin went to the old-school running game to the tune of four touchdowns and 250 yards en route to a 44-15 victory over Boston English Thursday at Harvard Stadium.
Latin won its 15th straight in the oldest continuous high school football rivalry in the country — now 126 games strong.
“We didn’t think it was necessary to throw the ball today,” said Latin coach John McDonough. “We felt we could control the line of scrimmage with our depth.”
The Wolfpack took the opening kickoff and marched 65 yards in just six plays. The highlight came courtesy of senior Jhalen Bien-Aime, who took a handoff straight to the house from 26 yards.
Bien-Aime (112 yards on 10 carries), who dislocated a finger Wednesday in practice, kept things rolling on the Wolfpack’s second possession, scoring from 13 yards for a 14-0 first-quarter lead.
“He did what he always does for us, he gets those hard yards for us and the easy ones,” said McDonough.
Latin only ran two plays on offense in the second quarter, but both for touchdowns. The backbreaker was a 59-yard run by senior Mike Surdek, who recovered an English fumble on the previous play.
“Obviously, that was a big change,” said Surdek. “I saw the hole opposite of where it was designed, so I cut back and all I saw was green.”
Trailing, 30-0, at the half, English refused to quit and took control of the third quarter, running a 13-play, nine-minute drive that was kept alive by quarterback Dhe’Jour Releford. He capped the series with a 1-yard dive. English hadn’t attempted an extra point all season, but senior Daquawnn Gunter nailed the PAT.
“Thank God there was a second half,” said English coach Chris Boswell. “We just wanted to finish the game and try to win the half.”
Latin answered with a touchdown run by Mike Cronin from 13 yards early in the fourth quarter.
Releford, who surpassed 100 yards rushing, took the Bulldogs (3-7) back down the field and got them into the end zone again, this time through the air. Facing third and goal from the 11, Releford escaped pressure and found Gunter, who caught a deflected pass for the score.
“[Releford] is absolutely a playmaker,” said Boswell. “He has such poise and confidence, he can get popped and he comes back looking the same.”
Cronin finished the scoring for Latin (2-9), taking the ensuing kickoff 62 yards for a TD.
“We’re on a two-game win streak,” said McDonough. “It turned out the way we hoped.”