FOXBOROUGH — Super Bowl games at Gillette Stadium this weekend are being played with 10-minute quarters — instead of the normal 11-minute quarters — placing more importance on game-changing plays and turnovers.
Dighton-Rehoboth senior Matt Moura, the son of second-year coach Dave Moura, appeared to have one of those key plays in the second quarter of a 31-0 loss to Nashoba Regional in the Division 4 state title game Friday night.
Nashoba’s first touchdown was set up by a 60-yard pass from Sam Bolinsky to fellow senior Brendan Lee on a counter screen early in the second quarter.
When the 6-foot-2-inch Moura saw the same play developing on Nashoba’s next drive, he jumped in front of Lee and seemed to cradle an interception into his chest, but the officials ruled it incomplete.
On the next play, Bolinsky found Troy Barksdale for a 40-yard reception on third and 17, then threw a strike to Will Danby for a 17-yard touchdown and a 14-0 lead, giving Nashoba (12-1) the momentum heading into halftime.
“They ran that same screen play a couple plays ago, so I was ready for it,” said Moura. “I just couldn’t squeeze. I wish I did. I tried to sell it . . . I just wish I did. I love playing with these guys and I’m going to miss it.”
Dave Moura has led an incredible turnaround since taking over as head coach after a 14-year run as an assistant. His Falcons finished 4-7 in 2017, but they rattled off seven straight wins this year to earn the D4 South title.
“The kids are the ones that did this,” Dave Moura said. “They’re the reason we’re here.”
His son has often worked behind the scenes as a tight end in a run-heavy scheme, but made his mark on the grand stage of Gillette Stadium with two catches for 40 yards in the first half.
Moura also shared a sack with teammate Jake Enos and pressured Bolinsky on third and goal to force an incompletion and limit Nashoba to a field goal.
“I’m very proud of [Matt],” Dave Moura added.
“He gets it done in the classroom and on the field. As a dad, I think I had the best seat in the house tonight. I’ve been coaching him since he was in Little League and it was great to share this moment with him and coach his last game [at Gillette].”
Nate Weitzer can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.