Bridgewater-Raynham High football shuts down Brockton on Thanksgiving


BRIDGEWATER — Caleb Tripp didn’t envision himself in this position last month.

Lou Pacheco didn’t either. A line mostly consisting of seniors approached to the Bridgewater-Raynham High football team’s third-year coach for a send-off hug as the team’s final huddle of the season broke after Thursday’s Thanksgiving matchup against Brockton. Tripp, Pacheco’s junior standout and de facto quarterback, was the last one.

Tripp, formerly a fullback, took the QB1 vacancy after senior starter Declan Byrne suffered a season-ending knee injury on Senior Night last month. On Thanksgiving, Tripp rushed 22 times for an unofficial tally of 132 yards and two touchdowns as the Trojans defeated Brockton, 22-7, to snap a two-game losing streak in the series since Pacheco took the reins at B-R three years ago.

The Trojans (4-7), after starting 1-7, finish the season winners of three in a row.

“As everyone knows, we’re literally down eight senior starters with injuries that have been just awful,” Pacheco said. “I told the guys, you see high school teams forfeit their last couple games when they get so far down. We’ve got our quarterback willing to learn a whole new offense.”

“At the beginning of the season, I expected to play fullback the whole time. Obviously, things happen and things change,” Tripp said. “We made do with what we had.”

After B-R ended the third quarter with an 8-7 edge, Tripp broke the defensive slugfest open with a 43-yard TD run to the outside at the 9:21 mark of the fourth. Tripp said the team integrated designed runs for him into the scheme during Week 2, but hadn’t touched the plays until he became the starter.

B-R, which scored over 20 once through the first eight games of an arduous schedule of Div. 1-2 tournament contenders, scored 22-plus in each of its final three games.

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“It takes a whole offseason and usually a half-season just to get the (process) down so you’re not fumbling the ball all over the place. (Tripp) literally picked it up in two weeks,” Pacheco said. “He was out here early, stayed late. You can’t even imagine how hard it is to do the stuff he’s doing out there.”

Not to be understated, the Trojans’ defense held Brockton without an offensive touchdown in the win. Brockton junior lineman Jailen Jackson returned an interception for a TD midway through the second quarter for the Boxers’ only tally.

Junior linebacker Chuck Swenson came up with an interception and a half sack in the final stretch of the first half (at which Brockton led 7-0) while sophomore lineman CJ Lopes, senior defensive end Amin Abbassi and senior defensive back Kauan Bento also had notable performances to lead the shutdown effort.

The unit forced five Brockton punts in the win as the Boxers (unofficially) amassed 181 yards of total offense, led by Pittsburgh-bound senior Cam Monteiro (two catches, 48 yards).

“If you shut out Brockton – I don’t care what anybody says, and again, I know they had a couple guys with commits so they didn’t get a ton of playing time – but you’ve done something,” Pacheco said. “The speed on that team, the players they have, I can’t say enough (about the defense).”

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B-R pulled away in the second half as Jayson Kelleher had the far side of the field to himself on a reverse and the junior wide receiver cruised in for a 64-yard TD to put the Trojans in front, 22-7, with 2:52 to play.

Kelleher recovered an onside kick to start the second half and set up B-R’s first scoring drive of the game — 8 plays, 34 yards that ended with a 2-yard TD run from Tripp at the 7:48 mark of the third.

“The atmosphere was surreal,” Tripp said. “I’ve never experienced anything like this, even at Fenway (where last year’s game, a 31-20 Brockton win, was held). “Playing in front of your home crowd, friends and family — it’s a great feeling.”


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