Dartmouth Wins 2nd Straight Div. III Title, Captains To Join Fun Morning Show
The Dartmouth High School Indians won their second straight Massachusetts Division III Super Bowl title this afternoon, as the knocked off the previously unbeaten Red Raiders of Melrose High School 26-21 at Gillette Stadium, Sunday.
The game was a rematch of last year's D III title bout in which the Indians took a 14-7 win. A bit more scoring was needed this year as the two teams, once again, battled it out until the final moments of the game.
Dartmouth jumped out on top early with a quick opening drive that was capped by a 34-yard dash to the end zone by the team's senior running back Chris Martin. From there, things seemed to stall a bit for Dartmouth, as their next two drives ended in tough turnover-on-downs inside the Melrose 10-yard line. Dartmouth's second drive looked to be capped by another Martin touchdown, but the refs ruled the ball was just short of the goal line and the team ended up turning the ball over at the one. On their third drive, they once again failed to score inside the 10 on first, second and third down. Contrary to their previous series, they tried to take the points by kicking a field goal but a botched snap and unsuccessful scramble/conversion attempt led to their second straight scoreless drive.
To compound their problems, the Dartmouth defense which played so well in the early going of the game was unable to hold the high-powered Melrose attack out of the end zone, as the Red Raiders went up by a point on a touchdown of their own with under a minute remaining on the clock.
To start the second half, Melrose came out with some trickery as they moved their starting quarterback out as a wide receiver and put their starting running back at the quarterback position. The swap didn't seem to trip up the Indians on the first series of the third quarter, but after a strong defensive stand by the Melrose defense it was the running back hitting the QB for an 87-yard TD pass to bust the game open.
Down 14-6 with just under five minutes on the clock, things looked bleak for the Dartmouth offense, who had seemed to struggle to get things going since their opening drive. When the Indians needed a big play to help keep their hopes at a title going, however, they drew up a play for their senior captain Martin. Struggling to get the ball moving down he field, Dartmouth quarterback Cole Jacobsen flipped a pass to Martin waiting in the flat and the shifty back charged down the field for 63 yards, putting the Indians into prime scoring position.
A few Plays later it was Jacobsen finding senior receiver Jack Sullivan in the front of the end zone for a touch down to bring Dartmouth within two points.
Following a botched two-point conversion attempt, the Indians kicked the ball back to the Red Raiders. On the return, senior linebacker Matt Foley the Melrose returner to fumble the ball, then the key special teamer scooped up the loose ball. Dartmouth was back in business, down just two with the ball at the Red Raiders' 15-yard line and time running down in the third.
A handful of plays and a quarter change later, it was the tailback martin celebrating his second score of the day as the Indians jumped back out on top.
A successful two point conversion gave Dartmouth a six point lead with almost the whole fourth quarter left to go. A few minutes later, Martin was back in the familiar confines of the end zone for his third score of the day and 28th score of the season.
With little time remaining in the game the Red Raiders put together a long drive to score and cut the Dartmouth lead to 26-21 with just over two minutes on the clock.
From there, Dartmouth senior captain Matt Craig successfully recovered an onside kick attempt and the Indians pounded the ball in an attempt to run the clock out.
With just over a minute remaining and facing a third and three, needing a first down to ice it, the Indians once again turned to Martin. The senior captain took the ball on a sweep, read the blocks in front of him and dodged his way forward for a first down, essentially running out the clock.
A feel kneel downs later and the Indians were once again the kings of Massachusetts Division III football.
Now to top it all off, the three senior captains for the Indians, Martin, Craig and Sean Smialek, will be joining the Fun Morning Show this Monday at 6:30 to talk about their back-to-back titles. Be sure to tune in and see what the two-time champs have to say.
To check out all of the game's stats, click here.
To watch some of the game's highlights,click here.