Updated: Apr 13
Wanted to look this week at one of the best games from Division 3 this weekend, where our second-ranked Mass. team from that division, Western New England, knocked off Endicott, who we had as our top-ranked squad, 42-31.
With the victory, WNE improves to 7-0 overall and 5-1 in the Commonwealth Coast Conference.
We reached out to Golden Bears coach Jason Lebeau to talk about the win.
(On beating an Endicott team that came in undefeated in league play)
"Obviously, every game is important, but this one has been circled for a while. We were really disappointed in our performance in last year's game against them. It was extra motivation for us.
"Obviously, they've gotten a lot of praise, rightfully so for their performances this year against their game against (nationally-ranked) Wesley (a 20-17 loss). We knew we had to be at our best to be able to beat them. We were extra motivated for that. Our week of preparation was great. Guys were on every second to get ready for that game. . . . They knew what it meant."
(On turning around a result from last year where the Gulls won)
"We were were leading at the half against them last year. Felt like they put together a really good first half. I don't remember the exact score from the top of my head (41-38), but they came all the way back and were able to beat us to basically their last drive of the game.
"They scored a touchdown with basically under a minute less in the game to win. We felt like we had the game, and we lost the game, and weren't able to finish it. It definitely left a sour taste in our mouth."
(Arlington native Alec Coleman played well at quarterback, completing 18-of-32 passes for 237 yards and two touchdowns. Jamyre Soberanis of Dorchester and Newton South HS rushed for 140 yards and two touchdowns on 20 attempts in a solid performance from both two local players)
"Both have been very good, obviously. A little bit different leading up to the year. Alec is a little bit different. He's the reigning offensive player of the year in our conference. He's pretty much played as expected. He's the leader of our team. He's our one captain. Everybody looks at him. An unbelievable leader, and unbelievable character guy that really leads our football team.
"Then, Jamyre (Soberanis) hasn't played a lot of football here, but has never been the focal point of our offense really until this season. He's really taken off. Our other senior running back (Peter Hoff) got a little banged up, which gave him so more opportunities. He's really taken it and run with it.
"(Soberanis has) been unbelievable. Probably been our most valuable player on offense at this point. He's just done an awesome job carrying the football and been a physical presence carrying the ball as well. I know you've got to worry about him.
"We've got to win at least one or two of the next games to officially win the conference. We'll take it one game at a time, but I think we're capable of a lot. This is the first time we've really played our best football in all three phases. I think if we play like that, we can play with a lot of football teams.
"So we're going to look at finishing the game off right and winning the conference and taking it by there. But I definitely think we're capable of a lot regionally and hopefully nationally if we are able to make it back into the playoffs."
Holy Cross moves into first place in the Patriot League with a 24-17 win at Lehigh.
And he's bringing in a great recruiting class, as well. According to HeroSports.com, the Crusaders have the top-ranked recruiting class in the league, which includes Bishop Fenwick's Joe Rivers and Springfield Central's Dante Bolden.
Things continue to look up in Worcester.
Eagles flying home
Now with a 58-27 win over Syracuse, Boston College heads into this week's Welles Crowther game against Florida State with a 5-4 record.
The Seminoles are reeling from a coaching change, and BC could gain bowl eligibility this week.
It's a welcome turn of events after a Clemson loss that left the Eagles feeling a bit devastated overall. . . .
UMass lost in blowout fashion to Liberty, but the Minutemen still can get better by testing themselves against the likes of Army, Northwestern, and BYU.
Milton Academy clinched the ISL-6 with a win over a good BB&N team, and while we proclaimed a few weeks ago Catholic Memorial was the clear-cut best team in the state, the Mustangs could certainly compete with anyone around here.
It can be a divisive topic, and we (as in I, Adam Kurkjian, who went to Milton Academy , class of '95, never played a down in college and sometimes tries a little too hard to hide my biases), can sometimes stir the flames on it too much, but that's not to take away from the accomplishments of the players and coaches themselves.
Coach Kevin MacDonald, who took over in 1996 and went unbeaten in his first year with a win over Thayer in the NEPSAC bowl, put together another strong team.
The Mustangs dedicated their season to the late Paul Healey, a former offensive line coach who played under MacDonald at Archbishop Williams. A fiery coach who was hard on the kids but loved them even harder, Healey acted as the team's inspiration.
Now go win the Nobles game ;). (No offense to Nobles, of course. You know, objectivity and whatnot).
One of the trickier Division 5 West first round games is West Springfield against Northampton.
West Springfield dominated the first matchup, 51-23, but Northampton has a recent big win over Minnechaug. That 35-34 victory over one of the best teams in Western Mass. a couple weeks ago shows that there is enough there to think an upset could be possible.