FOXBOROUGH — Back at Gillette Stadium for a second straight season, Blackstone Valley Tech was not about to let another title slip through its grasp.
The Beavers were not only playing with the weight of last year’s defeat to Mashpee, they were playing in the memory of former assistant coach Derek Yancik, who succumbed in the offseason to pancreatic cancer at age 48.
Blackstone Valley honored its late assistant coach with an impressive tribute, completing an 11-win season with an 18-0 triumph over St. Mary’s of Lynn for the MIAA Division 7 title Saturday afternoon, the program’s first since 2012.
“This isn’t something new, this isn’t something that just started on a playoff run. [The players] have been like this all year long,” said Blackstone Valley coach Jim Archibald. “It’s been such a pleasure to be around them. They play the game the right way. This is a culmination of the last two years.”
The Beavers (11-1) dominated the Spartans (8-5) at the line of scrimmage, limiting St. Mary’s to 48 yards rushing while churning out 219 themselves.
Quarterback Scott Mackay produced 96 yards rushing and a pair of 1-yard touchdown runs, and tailback J.D. Antaya added 69 rushing yards and a 2-yard score, which opened the scoring with 4:04 left in the first quarter — in addition to an interception in the final minute of the first half.
Senior cocaptain Ethan Blake, a 5-foot-8-inch, 270-pound nose tackle/right guard who was dominant all afternoon, spoke fondly of Yancik and his contributions to the Blackstone Valley program.
“This was a big thing for us this year, to win it for him,” Blake said. “That’s the reason we won, for him.”
St. Mary’s, which came in averaging 27.9 points per game, was 0 for 9 on third-down conversions and picked up just six first downs. The Spartans, who were shut out, 60-0, by Bishop Fenwick on Thanksgiving morning while resting a few starters, went three-and-out on each of their first three possessions.
The Beavers kept St. Mary’s star Jalen Echevarria in check, limiting the 5-8, 140-pound senior to 7 yards on 10 carries. In his first varsity season, the two-time Globe All-Scholastic basketball standout had rushed for 1,194 yards and 16 touchdowns.
“Stuff that wasn’t happening to us all year was happening,” said St. Mary’s first-year coach Sean Driscoll.
“Jalen is a hell of a player; he’s tough. These guys knew it and they really keyed on him a lot. Just the way they were keying their defense, I think they were coaching against that.”
PIVOTAL PLAY: With Blackstone Valley ahead, 6-0, JD Antaya broke free for a 47-yard gain, setting up Scott Mackay’s 1-yard TD.
Blackstone Valley 18, St. Mary’s 0
at Gillette Stadium, Foxborough
St. Mary’s (8-5)
Blackstone Valley (11-1)
BV — JD Antaya 2 run (kick blocked)
BV — Scott Mackay 1 run (pass failed)
BV — Scott Mackay 1 run (rush failed)
RUSHING — BV, Scott Mackay 16-96, JD Antaya 7-69, Jared Loiselle 8-38, Aidan Fitzgerald 6-18; SM, George Freeman 5-26, Derek O'Leary 2-11, Jalen Echevarria 10-7, Connor Donahue 2-4
PASSING — BV, Scott Mackay 4-8--66, Conner Christensen 0-1--0; SM, Derek O'Leary 4-11-1-27
RECEIVING — BV, Jared Loiselle 1-26, Aidan Fitzgerald 1-21, JD Antaya 1-15, Jordyn Amero 1-2; SM, Eni Falayi 2-16, Jalen Echevarria 2-11
More photos from the Division 7 Super Bowl:Jake Levin can be reached at email@example.com.