by Sean Walsh
In less than two minutes, Barnstable showed it still has the potential to put up the numbers.
On just the second snap of the game, Junior quarterback Griffin Burke took off up the middle for a 63-yard touchdown to set the tone Friday night versus the visiting Taunton Tigers, en route to a 41-29 thrashing. On Taunton’s ensuing possession, it fumbled on its second snap of the game, Barnstable’s Jack Kennedy recovered the ball on the Taunton six-yard line and then Burke hit junior wideout Eric Holzman on a corner fade route to make it 13-0. Exactly 1:59 had elapsed in the 1st quarter.
While it was the coldest and least attended game of the season for the Red & White, the program’s victory was its second straight as it heads into a 12-day layoff before the vaunted Barnstable-Falmouth Thanksgiving Day Rivalry. Falmouth is 4-6 on the season. This Thanksgiving Day game will be prefaced by the 70th Annual Thanksgiving Day Football Parade and Pep Rally (Wednesday, Nov. 26, 1:00 pm) in Hyannis with Turkey Day kickoff at 10:00 am sharp at W. Leo Shields Memorial Field.
Burke went 13-20 in the air for 183 yards and two touchdown passes (one interception) and rushed for 92 yards on 10 carries. Junior running back Ryan Dauphinais carried the ball 14 times for 74 yards on the ground and one touchdown while senior running back DeMichael Johnson tallied just four carries for 86 yards and a pair of touchdowns. Senior wide receiver Bo Delaney did not score on the night but had four catches for 87 yards while Holzman had three receptions for 51 yards and a touchdown. Junior wide receiver Nathan Balthazard had three catches for 22 yards and a touchdown. Senior placekicker Akeem McPherson went 5-6 on the night for PATs.
Barnstable rode the momentum of Burke’s opening score straight into the second quarter as Johnson took his first of just four carries on the night 32 yards into the end zone, untouched. At the 9:53 mark of the 2nd quarter, Barnstable was rolling with a 20-0 lead. That momentum eroded slightly as the first half wound down when Taunton quarterback Ryan Leonard hit Ryan Sherafonte on a 25-yard touchdown pass that made it 20-7 (with the PAT kick).
But with just one second remaining on the clock for the first half, Barnstable rebuffed Taunton’s minimal surge when Dauphinais bolted into the end zone from the two-yard line to make it 27-7 at halftime.
Taunton scored on its first possession to open the second half when it switched running backs and power back Terrence Gibson loped 70 yards on the Tigers’ first offensive play to cut the score to 27-14.
A Burke interception in the red zone on Barnstable’s ensuing possession, though, was quickly forgotten when defensive lineman John Harrington scooped up a Taunton fumble at midfield. Burke took advantage of the turnover and orchestrated an 8-play drive to paydirt when he hit Balthazard from 10 yards out. Following McPherson’s PAT kick, the host Red Raiders led 34-14.
Game Notes: Burke’s 13-20/183-yard performance puts him at 90-192 on the season with 1,378 yards passing. He’s thrown for 14 touchdowns and 6 interceptions. His 1,378 yards passing places him fifth on the Red Raider all-time passing yards list for a single season for quarterbacks.