Photo: Belmont High senior WR Chris Cogliano on his way to the first of two TDs in the Marauders’ 43-24 opening win vs. Cambridge R&L
Where the offensive and defensive lines put their stamp on the game, Belmont High’s football laid down a marker for the season with a solid victory over Cambridge Rindge and Latin, 43-24, in the 2022 opener held under the Friday night lights, Sept. 9, at Harris Field.
“This year, it’s ‘No excuses, just results,” said Belmont’s second-year Head Coach Brian McCray, whose team comes out of the gates at 1-0.
“We practice hard every day and we’ll take that into the games. There are no starters, just guys playing football and we are going to play as many guys as we possibly can.”
Junior QB Jayden Arno showed greater confidence running the offense with a full pre-season under his belt, revealing a nice touch on mid-level passes and the ability to scamper when needed.
“I worked so hard this offseason, and it showed today,” said Arno after the win. “I came out here with no pressure on me because I know I had a good team, and I trusted everyone.”
The night was highlighted by the play of the offensive/defensive lines anchored by senior Asa Rosenmeier. A member of USA Rugby’s U18 national team, Rosenmeier’s size (listed at 6’4″ and 315 pounds) and quickness made him a menace on D and a presence in the running game and in pass protection. Joined by juniors Max Cornelius, Nate Moss and Harry Carlson and sophomore center Dan Martin, the Marauders’ demonstrated they will be a handful for most Middlesex League teams.
Along with showing a growing maturity running the team, Arno has the benefit of a string of offensive weapons at his disposal. In the backfield are returning starters junior Adrien Gurung and senior Jake Cornelius while the receiving corp is loaded with tall talent made up of seniors Ben William (6’2″) and Chris Cogliano (6’3″) and junior Brian Logan (6’5″).
Belmont’s first offensive series started on the ground with four straight running plays before Arno connected with William and junior Austin Lassiter to place the Marauders into the red zone before Gurung punched it in from 2 yards out for the opening TD mid-way through the first quarter. The score also brought Belmont’s first penalty of the season, an unsportsman-like call on Rosenmeier for a “Gronk”-like spiking of the ball as if the six points needed punctuation.
After the Falcon’s first drive effectively ended when Max Cornelius sacked the Cambridge QB, Belmont next score came on the first play when Gurung broke three tackles as he sprinted 84 yards for the Marauders’ second TD in the quarter. While known for his work on the lines, Rosenmeier got to show his running skills, lining up in the backfield (likely scaring a few facing him across the line) and scoring on the two-point conversion. Not that carrying the ball into the end zone is foreign to him, as Rosenmeier scored Belmont’s first try in the MIAA rugby championship game.
Cambridge came back with a great score of their, a 40-yard pitch and stretch, to cut the lead to 14-6. Belmont returned the favor when after a heavy dose of Jake Cornelius, Arno found Cogliano downfield and with a timely block from William took the ball 45 yards to the end zone to reup the lead to 22-6 after Lassiter passed to junior Bryce Hubbard. While Cambridge came close to cutting the lead in the final seconds of the half, the Marauders made a stance, halting the Falcons’ progress at the 2 on four plays.
After both teams spent much of the third grinding up the middle of the field, Arno called his own number to up the score to 29-6 before finding Cogliano again early in the fourth quarter for a strike down the right sideline to effectively end the game at 35-12. Cambridge scored twice as Belmont began pulling starters, allowing junior QB Isais Arce-Villon to march down the team downfield (with some outstanding passes) before handing off to junior Jayden Rodriquez to end the drive with a TD.
Next for Belmont will be a Thursday game, Sept. 15, at Harris Field against Wakefield, a Warriors team that laid it on the Marauders last season by a 41-7 tally.
“Wakefield is a big game for us because we honestly because we haven’t beat them in six years. So we want this game,” said McCray.