Photo: The Belmont High defense in pursuit.
Belmont gifted Woburn its first victory of the year with a big bow on top.
On a wet, misty night, the Marauders left a season’s worth of mistakes and miscues on the field, allowing the hometown Tanners to walk off the field with the win, 10-7, under the lights, Friday, Sept. 30.
From penalties to dropped passes, unfortunate plays, and missed opportunities, Belmont lets a good chance to carry away a victory fall flat when it could not gain two yards on three plays with a minute remaining in the game, the same scenario against the same team one year ago.
After the game, Belmont Head Coach Yann Kumin lamented the team’s inconsistent play over the 44 minutes.
“We played a great football game at times and a very poor football game at times. And in order to beat a Woburn at 0-3, we have to play a good football game all the time. And we did not do that tonight, period.”
But it was the miscues – something Belmont been avoiding this season – which did in the Marauders.
“We had at least 70 yards in penalties if not more. I’m afraid to look. We turned the ball over on downs; we fumbled the ball on a great drive where we had some good things going, then had great opportunities to move the ball down the field and win it at the end of the game we weren’t able to do it,” said Kumin
“And that is on me. It’s not on my [coaches], not on my players; it’s not on anyone but me,” said Kumin.
The first quarter saw Belmont at its best, with the defense halting Woburn twice inside (the first on downs, the second on a fumble recovery) the Marauders’ 20 yard line after Belmont fumbled consecutive punt returns in the first five minutes.
And it didn’t take long for Belmont to strike when on the offense’s second play senior QB Cal Christofori threw a strike to wide receiver Jared Edwards catching the sophomore in stride for a 67 yard TD at the 6 minute mark.
But the misty rain effected both offenses as the defenses of both teams took control. While Belmont’s defense was stellar all night, they allowed Woburn one-to-many long runs, including Tyler Hayden’s 48-yard touchdown midway through the second quarter.
Belmont was also caught by a fake punt late in the second quarter that gave Woburn the ball on the Belmont 32. But the defense, behind Ryan Noone, Dennis Crowley and Adam Deese, forced the Tanners to turn the ball over on downs.
The Marauders came out throwing at the start of the second which Christofori hitting Dylan Ferdinand for 27 yards to Woburn’s 15 but a fumble by the usually reliable Ben Jones end the drive.
Woburn began its second half going into a no-huddle, running effectively over the right side of the line.
When Belmont got the ball back at the 30 yard line, the Marauders steadly moved the ball … backwards on two penalities and an ineffective pass, to the 13. And only the quick thinking of kicker Aidan Cadogan who calmly recovered a high snap and sent the ball to the 40, prevented a truely disastereous outcome.
With momentum on its side, Woburn moved the ball to the Belmont 8, but once again the defense held behind the big rush by Deese, forcing Woburn’s Brazilian transfer student Victor Scobel to hit the 23 yard field goal with nine second remaining in the third quarter.
Once again, Belmont’s offense got close – taking the ball from the Belmont 41 to Woburn’s 30 – but a dropped pass with daylight to the goal line, a penalty and another incomplete pass gave Woburn the ball back with 6 minutes remaining. Belmont nearly stopped the Tanners on three downs but a questionable pass interference call against the Marauders allowed Woburns to run more than two minutes off the clock.
With the defense giving the offense the ball back with 1:42 remaining, Belmont started in fine form, with a Jones four yard run and then a 15 yard personal foul put the ball on Belmont’s 47. After an eight yard run, the Marauders faced a second and 2 from the 46 with 61 second left in the game. But Belmont could not pick up six feet on three plays and a win was washed away.
“It’s going to hurt right now but [the players] live in the moment, they live in the reap,” said Kumin.
“The moment not isn’t great and live in it for a second because they are competitive guys and we are competitive coaches. And while we live in this moment and it will hurt, tomorrow we will break down video of the game and get ready for Reading, so it’s not getting any easier for us,” he said.
“I hope this is a wake-up call. We are a really good football team but in order to be great, we have to continue to not kicking ourselves in the butt and chopping our foot off. And that’s on me,” said Kumin.