Great Scott! Football Earns First Win
Brookline freshman Nick Scott runs for 228 yards in 33-16 victory over Dedham.
Prior to Saturday afternoon, Brookline football had yet to put a complete game together, but had shown potential and improvement at various points during its 0-7 start. The efforts of the young Warriors were finally rewarded yesterday when they notched their first win of the season by dominating Dedham on both sides of the ball, 33-16.
After the Marauders drove down the field for a 21-yard field goal with 2:42 left in the first quarter, the Warriors' opening drive stalled on a fourth down pass play. This would prove to be Brookline's only pass attempt as it dictated the game's tempo with a heavy emphasis on the run. A combination of the wild cat formation, improved run blocking, and a healthy dose of freshman running back Nick Scott (228 yards and two touchdowns) propelled the Warrior offense.
Scott is a freshman who had played only two quarters of freshman football before yesterday's game due to a concussion, but Brookline head coach Kevin Mahoney didn't seem surprised his performance.
"Nick is a special talent, but more than anything else, today showed the character that he has," Mahoney said. "He has excelled in the classroom and is a football junkie."
Scott got the Brookline offense started when he scampered down the right sideline to help set up a one-yard touchdown run by Gavan D'Amore with 4:51 left in the second quarter. Dedham responded to the Brookline score with a 13-play drive and a Mikyle Hill two-yard run put the Marauders on top, 10-6, just 12 seconds before halftime.
Heading into the second half down 10-6, Mahoney was looking for someone to step up and lead the team. Stephen O'Neal answered the call and put the Warriors up 12-10. In the wild cat formation, he broke through the middle for a 65-yard touchdown run with 11:35 in the third.
"Stephen showed he was a leader and set the tone for the second half when he busted that 65-yarder," Mahoney said. "He wouldn't let us lose."
The Brookline defense forced a Dedham three-and-out on its next possession, and D'Amore widened the Warrior lead to 19-10 with his second touchdown of the day with 5:50 left in the third, this time from eight yards out.
The Marauders last gasp to get back into the game occurred with 8:23 left in the fourth when quarterback Dan O'Connor evaded a sack and connected with Brendan Gassler for a four-yard touchdown. Brookline went back to the wildcat during its next possession, and Scott rushed for gains of 28, five and three yards, before he shot up the middle for a three-yard touchdown run with 4:51 remaining.
Following the momentum that the Brookline offense had built, the defense rose to the occasion late as well. After a Jaquelle Jones sack and a key Leon Scott tip to prevent a touchdown in the end zone, Scott Cordner's interception with 3:56 left helped seal the win for the Warriors.
Nick Scott capped off his day with an 88-yard touchdown run with 3:21 left to give Brookline a 33-16 lead.
"This was huge for this program," Mahoney said. "This is a young team that will be around for two to three years and for them to experience a win is extremely important."
Dedham head coach Keith Comeau said that his team ran into the same types of issues that it has during a seven-game losing streak since beating Braintree 12-8 in its opener, namely defending against the run.
"We missed a lot of assignments and a lot of tackles today," Comeau said. "Teams have been having a lot of success with the run against us, and they had a bunch of plays where they cut back and had big gains."
Brookline will face Milton at home Saturday at 2 p.m.