Photo: An exhausted Ben Jones at the end of a record-breaking effort vs. Medford.
Under the Friday Night Lights of Harris Field, Belmont High’s Senior Running Back Ben Jones scorched Medford as the running back ran for five touchdowns – four for more than 50 yards – as he piled up 334 yards in the Marauders’ biggest home opener victory in recent memory, 34-6, over the Mustangs Sept. 16 before a large crowd of residents and students.
Ben’s performance tops older brother Max’s game against Salem in 2014 in which the Belmont back ran for 261 yards and five TDs.
“Ben had a great day off tackle,” said Belmont’s third-year Head Coach Yann Kumin. “He got to the holes and off he goes.”
Jones’ 334 yards is an unofficial Marauders’ rushing record, breaking Makhi Johnson’s 280 yards set against Somerville last year.
“To be honest, it wasn’t that hard to do because I wasn’t touched on most of those runs,” said Jones, crediting his offense line for creating “huge holes” in the Mustang defense.
“All I needed to do was go straight. I was a track runner,” said Jones.
After a disappointing 21-6 loss against Stoneham last week, this past Friday was the chance for the Marauders to prove it was capable of moving the ball against a Medford team coming off an emotional win over rival Revere, 30-28. It didn’t take long after the National Anthem for the Marauders to dominate on both sides of the ball.
The Marauders bottled up Medford’s senior QB Ben Antoine who ran for 248-yards and three touchdowns against Revere, forcing the Mustangs to punt after running five plays.
On its second offensive play, Belmont QB Cal Christofori (4-7, 54 yards) handed off to Jones who made a quick move through a gap on the left side of the line and ran 59 yards for the first of five trips into the end zone at the 6:12 mark.
After a Mustang three and out – facilitated by junior OLB Adam Deese forcing a seven-yard loss on first down – Belmont took over at their 46. The next time the ball was downed was again in the end zone after Jones took the ball 54 yards to the house at 2:14 in the first quarter, giving Belmont a 14-0 lead.
In the second quarter, Medford found themselves with a fourth down and 16 for the first down on Belmont’s 29. But Antoine showed poise facing the Belmont rushers to toss a TD to sophomore WR Nathan Brand to cut the lead to 14-6.
“If that’s how they’re going to beat us, it’s going to be a good night for us,” Head Coach “Q,” told his team.
The touchdown would be the last time Medford threatened as Belmont’s line and linebackers – led by Ryan Noone, Dennis Crowley, and Dylan Ferdinand
Just before the half, Christofori marched the team down the field with a minute remaining on the clock. With 26 remaining, Jones took the rock and scampered 23 yards for his third TD on of the half, giving Belmont a 21-6 lead.
In the third quarter, Jones struck again, going 56 yards for his fourth of the night. The senior who is a state track finalist in the 200 meters sprint, took off for 83 yards in the fourth, stumbling over the goal line with cramps as she equaled his brother’s five TDs in a game.
“That was the best offensive and defensive schemes” the team had for a game in his three years at the helm, said Kumin, praising his coaching staff in preparing the varsity for the game.
“We are going to enjoy this for one night, then watch film and prepare for Arlington,” said Kumin.