Six years after he moved to the United States from Haiti, and two years after he discovered the sport, Mark Senacharles has made an impact on the TechBoston football team.
Now the starting quarterback, Senacharles completed four passes for 72 yards and a touchdown to lead TechBoston past visiting East Boston, 29-8, on Friday afternoon.
“When I first came to the USA I saw [my cousin] watching football and I was like, ‘Oh that’s a new sport,’ ” Senacharles said. “I really liked it so I decided to join the team.”
The quarterback’s arm strength was apparent to TechBoston coach Raul Brown, who had Senacharles develop on junior varsity last season.
“I still don’t know who taught him how to throw a football,” Brown said in an e-mail. “He does it so effortlessly.”
It took Senacharles time to find his form Friday. TechBoston (3-2) gained just 50 yards in the first half against East Boston (2-3) and was lucky to enter halftime scoreless. It was running back Ajay Cooper who got things going for the Bears in the second half. Cooper took the first play of the half for a 50-yard touchdown rush, giving TechBoston a 6-0 lead.
Cooper exploded for 110 second-half yards and a pair of touchdown rushes, finishing with 160 yards on just 11 carries.
“He’s like Jekyll and Hyde, two different people,” assistant coach Jason Seapker said about his running back. “One second he’s just kind of tiptoeing and in the second half you saw him burst.”
The Bears’ next drive was a bit longer, but ended in the same place. After leading the offense down the field, Senacharles capped an eight-play drive with an 8-yard touchdown rush. Cooper’s extra point rush gave Tech Boston a 14-0 lead.
The Bears found the end zone on their first four drives of the second half. A 2-yard throw from Senacharles to Jaron Harrison gave Tech Boston a 22-0 fourth-quarter lead.
On their next drive Cooper again found the end zone on the first play. He took an inside handoff 41 yards to give the Bears a 29-0 lead.
East Boston answered immediately as Brandon Ortega burst through the middle of the line for a 75-yard touchdown rush, the Jets’ only points of the game.
“The defense played well, tackled well,” Seapker said. “A few times we didn’t get lined up quick enough and we gave up some plays, but overall I think we did pretty well . . . but we still need to do it for four quarters. This time of the year, if you don’t do it for four quarters then we won’t win.”Brandan Blom can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.