NATICK — The boldest decision Bridgewater-Raynham coach Dan Buron made in his Trojans’ Division 2 South semifinal win over Natick on Friday night wasn’t actually intended to be a decision at all.
Already up, 21-7, with less than a minute to go in the first half after a 71-yard touchdown scamper by Devante Greaves (27 carries, 198 yards, 3 TD), the Trojans went for what looked like a surprise onside kick that went off a Natick player’s leg and was fallen on by a B-R player. A few plays later the Trojans scored again for a three-touchdown halftime lead, points that turned out to be important as they fought off a second-half RedHawks rally to prevail, 42-21, and punch their ticket to a second straight sectional final.
“That was huge, because we were playing great but I think we get complacent — it’s happened all year,” Buron said of that final minute of the first half. “Luckily, [Greaves] breaks that, and then . . . it was not an onside kick, we just hit the kid and things went our way. But thank God, because that was the difference in score for a while.”
The Trojans (8-1) dominated time of possession to start the contest, taking a 14-0 lead and holding the RedHawks (7-1) to just 13 yards on their first three drives, before Natick managed to get itself off the canvas. Christian D’Antonio found Max Ferrucci deep down the left seam heading for the post for a 40-yard strike, setting up Malik Williams’s 3-yard scoring plunge two plays later and cutting B-R’s lead in half with 1:08 to go in the first half.
But B-R struck a vicious counterpunch. The first play of the Trojans’ ensuing drive went to paydirt, Greaves shooting up the right side for a 71-yard score with 47 seconds to go. The Trojans then recovered the onside kick, and five plays later made it 28-7 on a 25-yard tip-toe catch by Jeff Ciccio at the back pylon with just 10 seconds before the break.
Down, 35-7, in the third, Natick got two quick scores, first a 35-yard strike from D’Antonio to Ferrucci then a 6-yard D’Antonio keeper in which the senior initially appeared to have been stopped on forward progress, only to break free into the end zone.
But after falling on an onside kick at their own 35 to start the fourth quarter, the Trojans strung together a monster 13-play, 65-yard, eight-minute drive to seal the win, capped with a 1-yard Bryce Shaw plunge with 2:55 to go.