Photo: Belmont running back Ben Jones.
Belmont High School’s head football coach Yann Kumin was disconsolate crossing the Arlington High School football field after his team suffered a 42-14 drubbing by the host SpyPonders on Friday night, Sept. 25.
“We lost to them by the same score last year, and I know we can be competitive with this team,” said Kumin, whose squad drops to 1-2.
“We couldn’t do the little things, and we did not take advantage of our opportunities,” Kumin told the Belmontonian after a night of frustration that the program has not progressed as the coaching staff had hoped.
Coming off an emotional victory the previous Friday – a final-minute win over Medford – and a solid week of practice, Belmont came to Arlington seeking to replicate the run/pass offense that proved to be a recipe for success for the Marauders.
But from the start, Belmont could not find a rhythm on either side of the ball. Last week’s star performer, senior running back Mekhai Johnson, was never the explosive factor as he was against Medford when he gained more than 200 yards rushing.
On its second possession, the Marauders fumbled the ball deep in its end as the SpyPonder pounced the miscue and soon found itself in the end zone for a 7-0 at 1:31 in the first quarter. Belmont’s next sequence of plays told the glum tale of the night’s proceedings; the kickoff return went for negative yards as Belmont started from its 5-yard line. The Marauders’ offense stalled on three plays, and the subsequent punt traveled only 20 yards. Arlington capitalized by going 24 yards in six minutes to score its second TD. A third SpyPonder touchdown quickly pegged Belmont with a 21-0 deficit with less than two minutes remaining in the half.
With time running out in the half, Belmont turned to junior QB Cal Christofori who engineered an impressive 10 play, 80 yard drive with passes to junior receiver Trey Butler and seniors Justin Wagner and Joe Shaughnessy before dumping the ball to Johnson in the flat who scampered 21-yards in for the touchdown with 38.8 seconds remaining to cut the lead to
But on the subsequent kickoff, Arlington sophomore Alijah Woods took the ball 80 yards down the left sideline for a momentum killing touchdown, to up the halftime lead to 21, 28-7.
With Arlington threatening early in the third quarter, the Marauder defense recovered a fumble as Arlington running back Patrick Conroy attempted to stretch the ball into the end zone. But two plays later, Christofori’s pass was intercepted by defensive back Abel Negussie, who ran it into the end zone for a “pick 6” touchdown and an insurmountable 35-7 lead.
Johnson would score on a one-yard TD to give him five touchdowns in the past two games.
The Marauders will be back home on Friday, Oct. 2 when they greet 1-2 Woburn High School at Harris Field.