BROCKTON — Bridgewater-Raynham’s Brandon Gallagher was a spectator for a majority of his senior season.
The running back fractured his ankle on his second carry during a season-opening loss to St. John’s Prep and was sidelined until the playoffs.
To say Gallagher made up for lost time during a come-from-behind 15-14 victory over Brockton on Thanksgiving would be an understatement.
Gallagher powered the Trojans’ ball-control offense by rushing for 127 yards and two touchdowns on 26 carries.
“It was tough,” Gallagher said of his down time. “It’s definitely something I wouldn’t want to go through again. The coaches and everyone were great. They let me rehab so I could get back on the field.
“That played a huge part in my being able to get back on the field. I missed all of the games until the first week of the playoffs.”
Since the Trojans (7-4) spotted Brockton a 14-0 halftime lead and because it was the last time he would wear a B-R uniform, the victory meant more to Gallagher.
“It’s unbelievable,” Gallagher said. “We had a great year. If you look at the schedule and see the teams that we lost to, like losing twice to Xaverian, who’s basically unbeatable, it was tough.
“We bounced back. This game meant a lot to us. This was our Super Bowl.”
“It was senior day and Mr. Gallagher and I go way back,” Bridgewater-Raynham coach Dan Buron said. “I was going to ride him in his last game and he responded.
“All the seniors responded.”
Another senior who “responded” was quarterback Matt Clement, who was 10 of 15 for 96 yards. He rushed for 38 yards on seven carries.
“Matt Clement did a great job of running the offense in the second half,” Buron said. “A lot of that was his calls at the line of scrimmage.
“I also thought he made some great decisions scrambling.”
Because of Clement’s decisions, Gallagher’s running, and superb blocking, the Trojans controlled the ball for nearly the entire second half.
That was underscored by what proved to be their game-winning drive.
B-R trailed, 14-7, with 5:16 left in the third quarter when it gained possession on its 47.
The Trojans capped the 14-play drive that took 9:07 off the clock with Gallagher diving into the end zone from the 3-yard line.
“We felt [Brockton is] so explosive that our whole game plan was to control the ball today.” Buron said. “We were able to do that in the second half.”
Buron then opted for a 2-point conversion with Jensen Vallarelli scoring on a run.
“We call it a swinging gate,” Buron said. “The center has the option of snapping it to the guy behind the wall. You have to give Connor O’Leary credit. That was a great snap. The kids blocked and [Vallarelli] walked in.”
B-R ignited its comeback on the first possession of the second half with Gallagher finishing a 75-yard drive with a 39-yard run.
Brockton (7-4) was held to two big plays: an 82-yard punt return by Darien Keith midway through the first quarter and an 80-yard run by Jon Derolus late in the period.
B-R’s solid defense was exemplified by its second-half performance. The Trojans held Brockton to just 2 yards of total offense.
“The defense was tremendous,” Buron said. “Brockton has a lot of good athletes. This was a great win not only for the seniors but also for the program.”