FOXBOROUGH — Chants of “three-peat, three-peat” erupted under the Gillette Stadium concourse. The sight for the Mashpee football team on Saturday night was familiar, but the elation was as sweet as ever.
To no one’s surprise, junior running back Devaun Ford had himself an evening and carried the load as the Falcons (12-0) took home their third consecutive Super Bowl with a 22-16 win over Blackstone Valley Tech in the Division 7 state final.
“The greatest feeling I have right now is relief,” said Mashpee coach Matt Triveri. “We have a lot of guys and weapons. This is kind of the pinnacle of our program right now.
“I don’t know where football is going from here, in terms of the number of kids we have playing. But it is almost like you are a caretaker and are given a great card, and just don’t wreck it as a coaching staff. I think we did that. It’s relief. That is the only feeling I have right now.
After a turnover on downs on their first possession to begin the second half, Mashpee and Ford wouldn’t be denied on the second. On a run straight up the middle, Ford broke one tackle and took it outside where no one touched him again for a 54-yard score to put the Falcons ahead, 22-8.
Blackstone Valley (11-2) didn’t go down without a fight. In the fourth quarter, senior quarterback Reece Hendriks, on fourth and goal from the 9, found junior tight end Jordyn Amero wide open in the back of the end zone to make the score 22-16 with 7:47 left.
But the night belonged to Ford and the Falcons. The 6-foot, 180-pound back ended the game with 177 yards on 24 rushes and two total touchdowns.
Blackstone had one final shot after recovering a fumble deep in its territory with 2:16 remaining, but Mashpee sophomore Kendall Rose intercepted a pass over the middle and soon the Falcons were lining up in victory formation.
“Each year the seasons move on, but we still have the core group,” said Ford. “It is still unbelievable. It is like we have never won before and it is like the first one all over again.”
Mashpee struck first late in the first quarter on its opening drive on the back of Ford. He carried the load for 60 yards, but it was senior quarterback Jake Johnston who sneaked into the end zone on fourth and goal from the 1. A 2-point conversion pass by Ford put the Falcons up, 8-0.
The Falcons looked to go up by two scores following a Ford interception, but the Beavers forced a key turnover inside their own 20.
Blackstone Valley then drove 82 yards to punch it in on a Hendriks 3-yard run and 2-point pass.
The Beavers went into the half trailing, 16-8, after Johnston and Ford connected on a 9-yard touchdown. Ford had 65 yards on seven rushes through the first two quarters, and Johnston went 6 for 6 for 100 yards.