Belmont Football Ends Frustration Running By Cambridge, 28-21

Photo: Tyler Reynolds on his game-winning TD run vs. Cambridge.

Seven weeks of frustration for Belmont High Football came to an end on a last minute 40-yard touchdown dash by senior running back Tyler Reynolds gave the Marauders a 28-21 victory over host Cambridge Rindge and Latin School on Friday night, Oct. 27.

Reynold’s sprint – sprung by a critical block from senior wide receiver Luke Hopkins – up the gut of the Falcon’s defense with 59 seconds remaining came after Cambridge tied the score at 21 with 4 minutes remaining, negating a Belmont 21-7 halftime lead. 

“Even when [Cambridge] tied it back up in the fourth quarter, my O line kept blocking for me. Then we scored, it was the best feeling in the world,” Reynolds told the Belmontonian after the game.

“Even after all the adversity we’ve faced to go 0 and 7 in our first seven games to come out and win this game on the road just shows a lot about what we do here and all the heart this team has,” said Reynolds. 

“I’m so proud of these guys. They never quit, not in our previous games and not here when they tied it up late in the fourth [quarter],” said Belmont Head Coach Yann Kumin, whose team piled up 408 yards in total offense, most of that on the ground.

Belmont (1-7) is on the road again Friday as they take on Burlington (1-7) which won its first game of the season Friday, 21-20, over Revere. 

Held at Russell Field in the Alewife neighborhood, Belmont’s game plan changed from a pass-oriented system to pounding the ball at the Falcons’ after both Reynolds and junior back Killian O’Connell took “huge chunks of yards” on the initial offensive series, Kumin said.

“We were really anticipating to be that heavy in the run. But we came out, and it was clicking. So we said ‘forget the plan’ and keep feeding them the ball,” said Kumin.

Reynold’s scored the game’s first in the first quarter before Cambridge lit up the scoreboard with a 50-yard over the top reception by Cyrus Singh from QB Jovan Harding

In the second half, Belmont relied on junior back Killian O’Connell who scored a pair of TDs, from 19 yards and from 6 yards with 40 seconds remaining in the half to increase Belmont’s lead to 14 points.

Belmont was on the march again until midway through the third quarter when they fumbled the ball. Cambridge would capitalize through the air as Lucona grabbed his second TD pass from 11 yards out to cut the Marauder lead to 21-14 with 2:46 left in the third quarter. 

After a Belmont punt, Cambridge was on the move when sophomore outside linebacker Justin Rocha recovered a fumble on the Cambridge 28 with 6 minutes left in the game. But an attempted field goal from 30 yards out by senior kicker Aidan Cadogan hit the right upright with 5:41 remaining. And it was that man Lucona who grabbed a simple sideline pass and scampered 63 yards before scoring on the next play on an 11-yard catch to tie the game at 21 with 4:31 left.

Taking over at the 10 yard line, Belmont converted a third and five (on a 15 yard pass from senior QB George Fitzgerald to senior wide receiver Jake Pollard) and a fourth and four on a Reynolds’ 11 yard carry one play before the senior co-captain took the ball to the house for the winning score. 

After Loss in League Opener, Belmont Football Readies for Reading Thursday

Photo: The Belmont defensive line.

Belmont High School Football Head Coach Yann Kumin will be looking for the offensive line to spring the running game as the Marauders play host to the Reading High Rockets on Thursday, Sept. 28 at 6 p.m.

The game was pushed up a day from the traditional Friday Night start due to the Jewish High Holiday of Yom Kippur that begins Friday at sunset.

Kumin is looking to build a balanced attack as Belmont seeks its first victory of the season after going 0-3, losing it’s Middlesex League opener last week to an improving Woburn team, 27-14.

“We were excited to run the ball and they got a little blitz happy on us and we could not take advantage of that until later in the game,” said Kumin. 

“I thought we threw the ball decently but we have to balance our offense,” he said after the Woburn game.

“Going into the Reading game, we have to be able to consistently run the ball for positive yardage” in what Kumin described as “the dirty areas” in the middle of the field. 

As with the previous two games against Milton and Framingham, Belmont’s defense was able to play competitively against strong offenses. But the Marauders’ offense in each of the three games could not find its rhythm until the final half. By then, it was attempting to climb out of a very deep hole. 

Senior running back Tyler Reynolds scored both touchdowns last week, the first a 77 yard gallop up the gut of the defense with seconds to play in the third quarter and the second a five-yard plunge with 49 seconds to play. 

Reading (2-1) is coming off its first loss of the season, a 41-21 drubbing by Lexington. For the Marauders, it will be up to keeping the ball for as much time as possible with a mix of runs and passes for the hosts to stay in the game.

“We’re excited to be meeting Reading again after last year’s game when we kept it close for most of the game there,” said Kumin.

Sports: Belmont Football Edged In Home Opener, 20-14, by Framingham

Photo: Belmont’s fullback Adam Deese leads running back Tyler Reynolds late in Friday’s game vs. Framingham.

Last Friday night’s home opener for Belmont High football squad had all the appearance of the last second, nail-biting victory for the Marauders. 

With 11 seconds remaining in the fourth quarter in a 20-14 game, Belmont had driven nearly 90 yards in five minutes to the Framingham High School Flyers 6 yard line and faced a fourth down and one yard to go. 

But senior quarterback George Fitzgerald’s pass skimmed just over the fingertips of his receiver for an incompletion, allowing Framingham to secure its first 2-0 record in more than a decade while Marauders left the field at 0-2, having dropped last week’s season opener, 28-7, against a tough Milton High School team.

“First and foremost, that was a great football game. It was fun to coach in and fun for everyone to watch,” said Belmont’s fourth year Head Coach Yann Kumin.

“We’re not satisfied being on the short end of a close game … with an opportunity to score. We just need not shot ourselves in the foot. We turned the ball over twice in the first half, and one led to a score.” 

Friday night’s game, which began 45 minutes late due to traffic that delayed Framingham arrival to Harris Field, saw Belmont’s defense spring to action with four takeaways including three interceptions of Framingham’s sophomore QB Jack Beverly. Leading the D-backs was senior Joe Viale who came up with a monster game including a pair of picks and a half dozen times breaking up certain completions.

It was Framingham’s ability to strike on special teams that proved the difference in the game as the Flyers were able to gain vital yards on kickoffs and punt returns. The game started with Flyers’ Christian Alicea returned the opening kick to Belmont’s 8-yard line. 

After Belmont’s defense held and took over the ball at the 18, Fitzgerald was sacked on third down and apparently fumbled the ball despite appearing being down in contact with the turf. Flyer junior Chidi Nna recovered the loose ball for a TD after less than three minutes into the game. 

Belmont’s second drive ended on a fumble at midfield but the Marauders to over on Vitale’s first interception. Late in the first quarter, Belmont’s senior Inside Linebacker Caleb Henman picked off Beverly with 1:15 to go. That turnover led to Fitzgerald finding senior wide receiver Jake Pollock who ran 12 yards into the end zone with 10 seconds left to give Belmont the first quarter lead, 7-6.

Framingham regained the lead in the second quarter when it took over the ball deep in Belmont’s territory. The Flyers then employed an offense more associated with rugby than football; placing all 11 offensive players within a five-yard “box,” handing off the ball to the back who would follow the scrum. With its size advantage up front, Framingham pushed its senior running back Isaac Blackman into the end zone. Missing its second two-point conversion, the Flyers led 12-7.

After Belmont’s offense failed to move the ball, the Flyers took over after another good punt return. After Viate knocked down a pair of passes thrown his way, the third time was the charm as Beverly hit junior Jon Lanzo in the corner of the end zone on a fourth-down and ten from the 18 yard line with 13 seconds left in the half. This time the two-point conversion was successful for a 20-7 visitor’s advantage at halftime.

“If we clean up those mistakes in the first half, we would have been in a better position in the second half,” said Kumin.

Belmont’s defense would stiffen and shut out the Flyers in the second half as the Marauders’ offense took the quarter to begin moving with confidence against a strong Framingham defense.

With senior fullback Adam Deese making much in each run against a defense targeting him, Fitzgerald started winging it out and found his senior receiving corp including senior Will Ellet for 12 yards and Pollard who fought off a pair of Framingham backs for a 30-yard touchdown reception midway through the fourth period.

Framingham began the next possession near midfield and drove the ball to Belmont’s 34-yard line when Viale snagged his second INT to give the Marauders the ball with 5:45 to play and 83 yards from pay dirt.

Fitzgerald found Pollard for 10 yards on a third down and Deese gained 15 yards on three plays before senior running back Tyler Reynolds took a pitch 15 yards to the Flyers’ 40 with 3:08 to play.

With Belmont facing a fourth and six from the 35, Fitzgerald got a Flyers lineman to move for a five-yard offsides penalty resulting in Deese plowing one yard for the first down.

A Fitzgerald scamper around the right edge gave Belmont a first and ten from the 16 with 43 seconds remaining. But a completed pass t0 Ellet and runs by Reynolds left Belmont looking at fourth down with 11 seconds remaining.  The rest is history.

“I am so proud of my team. This team can make some noise in the league,” said Kumin. “This is a team that battles back when things aren’t going exactly the way it was supposed to go. They were driven in what they did and executed in big moments. I’m fired up for next Friday.”

Belmont’s next game is Friday, Sept. 22 at Haris Field against Woburn to begin the Middlesex League part of the schedule.

Thanksgiving Day Football: The Hype [VIDEO]

Photo:Waiting for the game.

It is less than a week before the annual Thanksgiving Day Football game between Belmont and Watertown high schools next Thursday, Nov. 24 at 10 a.m. at Belmont’s Harris Field. Nearing its centennial – the game was first played in 1920 – the yearly clash of neighboring students has had many great moments, with the last few years archived on video.

To celebrate the event, Belmont resident and recent Belmont High graduate (2015) Lucas Tragos has created another of his outstanding sports video to relive some of Belmont Football’s memorable moments versus Watertown in their historic rivalry.

Sports: Belmont’s Comeback Victory Over Winchester Brings Playoffs Closer

Photo: Belmont senior Dylan Ferdinand intercepts Winchester pass that led to Belmont winning TD. 

Senior Running Back Ben Jones’ third touchdown with 19 seconds remaining proved the margin of victory as Belmont High School scored 21 second half points to defeat visiting Winchester High (2-4) Sachems, 28-21, under the Friday night lights, Oct. 14, and send the Marauders (3-3) closer to the MIAA playoffs.

“Ben Jones was a horse, Cal [Christofori] was a horse, Jake Pollack was a horse, the defense came up with a huge, huge interception that gave us the chance to drive the field. A real team effort,” said Belmont Head Coach Yann Kumin after the game.

When asked about a possible playoff appearance, which Belmont has not been a part since 2009, senior co-captain Kevin Martin said this group of players has begun to dispell the past reputation of Belmont football as not being good enough to be invited to the postseason.

“‘Why not us’ has been our mantra this season. Right now it looks like we’re in but why not beat Lexington [Belmont’s opponent next Saturday] and bring a home game to Harris,” said Martin on Senior Night. 

Jones ran for 190 yards on 28 carries along with 26 receiving yards. Fellow senior QB Christofori threw for 108 yards – many of those yards to junior WR Pollack – and had a running touchdown as the team gained 356 total yards. 

Winchester’s QB Liam Fitzpatrick led the offense for the Sachems with a throwing and running touchdowns. With Belmont keying on his running, the Marauders were exposed by Fitzpatrick’s arm who went 13 of 23 for 248 yards, completing several long passes to his favorite receiver Henry McDonough.

“Fitzpatrick is such a good running quarterback that is what we were concerned with, and it did come back to bite us because he went over the top of our linebackers,” said Kumin.

After a scoreless first quarter – which included a dropped TD by Winchester on its first drive – The Sachems took a 7-0 lead after a sustained drive, including converting on a fourth and one, ending with a screen pass to McDonough who scored at 8:29.

After Belmont could not garner a first down on the next possession, Winchester used trickery with running back Pat Costello taking the hike then handing to Fitzgerald who found McDonough for a 40-yard pass to the Belmont 8. Two plays later, Fitzgerald waltzed into the end zone to put the Sachems up 14-0 with just under six minutes.

Belmont responded with a seven play, 62-yard drive ending with Jones taking it in for his first TD of the night at the two minutes remaining. But the drive nearly came to a premature end when Jones fumbled the ball just after picking up the first down on the 20. Yet senior OLB/WR Dylan Ferdinand outraced Winchester’s linebackers to recover the bouncing ball at the 6-yard line. 

But just as important, the Belmont defense finally stopped Winchester’s offense after it quickly reached the Belmont 35 yard line.  

The Marauders kept the momentum rolling into the second half as Jones nearly singlehandedly to0k the offense down the field allowing Christofori to sneak the ball into the end zone to knot up the game at 14 at the 7-minute mark. 

Winchester’s Fitzpatrick took to the air to retake the lead highlighted by a 38-yard pass to receiver Max Ebner to the Belmont 8. His two-yard TD gave the Sachem’s its final lead of the game with 3:45 left in the mark. 

But in this rock em’ sock em’-styled game, Belmont got down the field quickly with a Christofori 10 yard scamper followed by a 19-yard pass to Pollack to bring the ball to the Winchester 25. A quick hitting 14 yard rush by Belmont’s big junior fullback Adam Deese rumbled the ball to the 1-yard line where Jones finished the drive with a one-yard plunge and a 21-21 tie.

With its air attack successful for most of the night, Winchester’s Fitzgerald winged it to McDonough at midfield. But attempted to repeat the pass down the middle of the field, Ferdinand intercept the pass on Belmont’s 16-yard line at 7:47 remaining in the biggest play of the game.

“My coaches always tell me to turn and look when I’m out in coverage. And I actually listened to them this time. Good things happen when you listen to the coach,” said Ferdinand. 

Belmont would then keep the ball for the following 7:28 on a grinding, time-consuming drive that included a fourth down Jones run (he would carry the ball 10 times) and a Jones run off the right side of the offense to the one-yard line with less than 30 seconds left. When Jones walked into the end zone one play later, he was so exhausted he didn’t celebrate the 28-21 lead and had to be helped back to the sideline.

“We just have faith in our offense that it can execute when we need them to. So it was a no-brainer for us to go for it on fourth down because we want to get the win the right way,” said Kumin. 

When Jones walked into the end zone one play later, he was so exhausted he didn’t celebrate the 28-21 lead and had to be helped back to the sideline. 

After the game, with a crowd of students and residents outside the White Field House cheering and making noise, players were excited about the near future with the playoffs on the horizon. 

“Anything can happen in the playoffs in high school football. If we are the eight seed and we are playing the one seed, you could say, ‘Why even play the game?’ But we are going to play whoever we get because you never know. We hope to have a good run,” said Martin.  

“This team plays with heart. It’s not a one-player team; it’s everybody together. That’s what Coach Q has been telling us from day one, that it’s family,” said Ferdinand.

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Football: Belmont Stands Up To Reading In Friday Night Battle


There was no “moral” victory Friday night in Reading, said Belmont Head Coach Yann Kumin after Marauders’ hard-fought, defeat at the hands of last year’s Super Bowl finalist, 47-21,

“We played a hard-fought game, and we’re excited about it. But we live in the real world, and there are no moral victories, we believe in victories, and this was a loss. We stood tall tonight, and that was great,” said Kumin.

The game under the lights was a sea change from the games played between the two rivals in the past decade.

In the first two years of Kumin’s tenure, Reading outscored Belmont 98-0. With a minute to go in the half on Friday, Oct. 7, Belmont trailed the hometown Rockets, 24-21, each team scoring three touchdowns. A late Reading score gave the home team a 32-21 half-time lead.

“We got a great football team and to have a 10 point game at the half against this team at their home, it proves that we are not going back to the days when we lost the first half by 42 points,” said Kumin.

This match-up between the long-time Super Bowl contender against the new team was not going to follow the normal script when on Belmont’s first play from scrimmage as senior RB Ben Jones found a gap in the defense and scooted 70 yards for a Belmont touchdown and a shock 7-0. 

But Reading would take the lead on two plays – its long run of 67 yards by Corey DiLoreto and a 75-yard punt return from Jack Geiger – going up 16-7 after only three minutes. 

But it was Belmont that showed it could not only halt Reading’s offense but on its next possession, use a combination of runs – using junior fullback Adam Deese on quick handoffs – and passes to march down the field where senior quarterback Cal Christofori found junior wide receiver Jake Pollock for a 17-yard touchdown with 20 seconds in the quarter, cutting the lead to 16-14. 

The Marauders continued the momentum it had in the first by closing down the Rockets on the first drive and with runs by Jones and a 10-yard catch to sophomore Jared Edwards the Marauder offense took the ball to the Reading 40. But the drive ended when a Christofori pass went off the hands of the receiver and was picked off by senior Nick DiNapoli who returned the ball deep into Marauder territory with the Rockets scoring a short time after to retain a 24-14 lead.

But the drive ended when a Christofori pass went off the hands of the receiver and was picked off by senior Nick DiNapoli who returned the ball deep into Marauder territory with the Rockets scoring a short time after to retain a 24-14 lead.

But the setback was pushed aside as a long run by Jones, a pass interference call against Reading and a 33-yard pass from Christofori to senior wideout Dylan Ferdinand put the ball on the Rockets three-yard line. Jones then swept around the right end to bring Belmont to within three points, 24-21 with 80 seconds left in half. But it took the Rockets only 45 seconds to score its fourth touchdown in the half on a 35-yard pass from senior QB Corey DiLoreto to DiNapoli.

After the half, the Belmont offense could not find the momentum it had earlier in the game and two long Reading drives, mostly runs based on the quarterback option, allowed the Rockets to score two additional touchdowns to secure a victory in front of a small home crowd. 

“But I am proud of our guys. They fought to the last whistle. They played a great football game, and we are excited to take on Winchester at Harris,” said Kumin.

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Sports: Mistakes Rain on Belmont Football In Loss to Winless Woburn

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.

Football: Belmont Drains SpyPonders, 17-14, on Final Play Field Goal

Photo: It’s good as Aidan Cadogan (#3) is congratulated after hitting the winning points vs. Arlington.

After the final whistle blew, a person on the sidelines said, “Belmont doesn’t win games like this.”

It does now.

A 31-yard field goal by junior kicker Aidan Cadogan splitting the uprights on the final play of the game gave the Belmont High Marauders a thrilling 17-14 victory over Arlington High in a Middlesex League football matchup before a large, boisterous crowd at Belmont’s Harris Field under the Friday night lights, Sept. 23.

“I’m just so proud of our guys. They live what we preach; ‘Big Play, Next Play’, ‘Livin’ in the Reap.’ All credit is due to them. I just call the play, and they go out and execute it,” said Belmont third year head coach Yann Kumin.

“It’s a new era,” said Ben Jones, the team’s workhorse who smashed 200 rushing yards for the game.

“Coach Q started it, my brother [Max Jones] started it, everyone started it who was before us. We couldn’t have done this without them. This is a new Belmont,” he said.

Belmont is currently 2-1 and 1-1 in the Middlesex League with a two-game winning streak.

On the final drive of the game as the Marauders’ was driving down the field in the closing three minutes, kicker Cadogan said he was thinking “just get it in field goal position and the team did and I’m just excited to hit the field goal.”

As he was preparing for the kick, Arlington called a timeout in an attempt to “freeze” the junior. “Normally I don’t really get iced, that’s just me. When they tried it, I said, ‘I’m going to hit this!'”

For the second consecutive week, the night’s star was senior back Jones who carried the ball 40 times for 242 yards and running in both of Belmont’s touchdowns.

“I was able to do this is because of the [offensive] line. They’ve given me holes, given me places to run,” Jones the Belmontonian outside the White Field House after the game.

“We just kept pounding it down their throats and they couldn’t stop us,” Jones said, who has scored seven touchdowns and gained 576 yards in the past two games.

“It’s just keeping up with the Jones’. That’s all we’re trying to do,” said Kumin.

The game did not start out as planned as Arlington’s junior running back Alijah Woods took the ball on the game’s third play 54 yards down the sideline to Belmont’s 6.

But on the next four plays, Belmont’s defense stood firm – led by Adam Deese, Dennis Crowley and Ryan Noone – halting the SpyPonders on Belmont’s two-yard line.

For most of the night, the preferred option was only given Jones the ball and let him pick up four, five or six yards a carry. Mixing up the plays, QB Cal Christofori hit receiver Dylan Ferdinand down the middle for 32 yard to the Arlington 33. But as Belmont was preparing to score, they lost a fumble at the 8. But two plays later, they recovered an Arlington miscue leading to Jones scoring with 12 seconds remaining in the first quarter. 

Despite having the ball for most of the second quarter, Belmont could not convert. But Arlington did in spectacular fashion. After punting with 30 seconds left in the half, Arlington’s junior Jaden Dottin took a slant pass from sophomore QB Adam Bowler and simply outran the Belmont defensive back to score with 20 seconds left in the half to tie up the game at 7.

If Arlington was hoping its fast strike would shift the momentum, it simply wasn’t coming this time in Belmont. Getting the ball to start the second half, QB Cal Christofori handed the ball off to Jones who would pick up five to seven yards with each carry, ending when Jones went to his favorite right side and popped into the end zone to give Belmont a 14-7 lead.

“Arlington’s a tough team, but I think we are a little bit tougher. We have been preaching that all season. We want to be the hardest hitting team by far and they felt it and that’s why we went took the lead,” said Jones.

But Belmont enjoyed the lead for a mere 20 seconds when senior John Nascimento ran the kickoff – which was pushed back due to a knocking the kickoff out-of-bounds – down the right sideline 70 yards for the equalizing TD.

The remainder of the game until the final drive was each defense took charge. Belmont’s Tyler Reynolds knocked away a 40 yard pass from Bowler to Dottin that would have given Arlington the ball deep in Marauders territory with three minutes remaining. 

The last drive, with only 2:17 left in the game, saw a trio of big plays: a pitch to Jones who rounded the left side for 28 yards to the Arlington 37, a quarterback sneak by Christofori on fourth down to the SpyPonder’s 23 with 23 seconds left and dump pass from a scrambling Christofori to junior fullback Adam Deese who hugged the slideline going out on the 8 with only five ticks on the scoreboard.

“Adam just popped out of his protection and gave [Christofori] an outlet and that abled us to get down inside the 10 [yard line]. We got the best kicker in the Middlesex [League], and he proved that for us tonight,” said Kumin

After Cadogan hit the ball through the uprights – the kick would have been good from 40 plus yards – all that needed to be confirmed with the end of the game which came after half a minute of discussion from the refs. The whistle blew and the celebration commenced.  

“Ask me when it becomes real. It’s not real!” said an ecstatic Kumin, who high-stepped across the field after the traditional handshake a-la Michael Flatley.

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Football: Jones Records Record Breaking Run in Home Opening Win [VIDEO]

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.

Sports: Upset-Minded Belmont Football Falls to Final Minute Watertown FG, 24-22

Photo: Belmont RB Ben Jones runs through a wide opening in the line to score late in the fourth quarter against Watertown.

In what will be remembered as an epic Thanksgiving Day clash, Belmont’s bid for a memorable upset of arch rivals and host Watertown was derailed by the foot of sophomore Conor Kennelly as the Raiders’ kicker hit a field goal from 35 yards out with 56 seconds remaining to give Watertown a 24-22 victory over the Mauraders on Thursday, Nov. 26 at Victory Field.

“We played a great football game, all aspects of it. Our coaches did a tremendous job, planning it up for them. I was really proud of the effort we put forth in this game,” said Belmont Head Coach Yann Kuman, who fought off his emotions to reach out to his players.

“I hope that we sent a message to people in general that Belmont football is on the rise and Belmont football is here to stay. Get ready for us because we’re going to lick our wounds and in a month we will be back in the weight room getting ready for 2016,” said Kuman.

Calling his team’s performance Thursday, “the season’s most complete game from both sides of ball,” Kuman said the players and coaches stayed with the plans mapped out in the past two weeks in preparation for Watertown’s rushing attack and strong defensive line

“We stuck with [our plan] even though we had some execution problems in the first quarter of defense, we didn’t abandon what we practiced and prepared for,” Kuman said. 

But for the fourth time in time this season, Belmont could not find a way to score or hold the lead at the end of the game.

“We have to be like the experience teams and know how to close out a game,” said Kuman.

One of Belmont’s season-long bugaboos raised its head once again as Watertown quickly marched down the field – aided by four offsides penalties against the Marauders – towards a go-ahead score. But Belmont’s interior defensive line spearheaded by senior Justin Aroyan and stopped Watertown’s running game inside the 5-yard line.

“The guys did a lot of work this week, and the coaches put in a lot of hours on the grease board and we came up with a good package,” said Kuman.

“We had faith in the guys in doing the job, and they did it,” he said., 

On his first passing attempt, Watertown junior QB Deon Smith threw the ball into the arms of junior Marauder defensive back Kevin Martin in the end zone at 4:43 in the first quarter.

After gaining a first down, Belmont’s drive stalled and on the subsequent punt attempt, the ball sailed over punter Aidan Cadogan’s head. When all was said and done, Watertown had the ball on the Marauders’ 19 when on their first play, Watertown’s Smith juked down the right side 19 yards for the opening touchdown with 56 seconds left in the first quarter.

After the kickoff, Belmont kept the ball for nearly eight minutes, mixing short runs by senior Mehki Johnson – which Watertown successfully bottled up for most of the game – and junior Ben Jones and passing by junior QB Cal Christofori to senior WR Justin Wagner (including a six-yard pickup on fourth down and four yards at the 18 yard line) culminating in Christofori finding senior WR Joe Shaughnessy on a seven-yard slant for the game-tying touchdown at 4:07 to the half.

Watertown quickly went downfield – helped by a Smith 30-yard run – finishing with senior running back Kyle Foley scoring on a 7-yard run with 41 seconds left.

But that was enough time for Christofori to complete three passes and for Johnson to break a 30 yard gain that allowed Cadogan to hit a line-drive field goal with three seconds remaining to cut the halftime lead to 14-10.

Watertown caught a break when the third quarter pooch kickoff eluded Belmont’s return team, and the Raiders recovered the ball on the Belmont 22. A few plays later, the score was 21-10 as Foley ran the ball in from 2 yards out early in the third.

But Belmont would not fold, coming out with a masterpiece of a drive,a 19 play, 11-minute possession (including a 15-yard roughing the passing personal foul on the Raiders) in which Belmont, behind the ever-improving offensive line – sophomores Dennis Crowley and Ryan Noone along with seniors Chris Piccione, Lowell Haska and Aroyan – and the bruising blocking from sophomore fullback Adam Deese saw Jones and Johnson eat up yards while Christofori connected with his favorite target Wagner.

The Marauders took the ball 81 yards where Johnson busted through for his 22nd touchdown of the season to shrink the lead to 21-16 with 9-minutes remaining. While it appeared Johnson had scored on the two-point conversion, the referees said the Belmont runner’s knee had first hit the ground.

A good kickoff return by Watertown was negated by a 15-yard personal foul penalty, and Belmont’s defense stuffed the Raiders on three consecutive plays. On fourth down, Wagner used his basketball reach to block the Watertown punt, and Belmont recovered the ball on the Raiders 10-yard line. Two plays later, Jones scored on a 4-yard run with 6:05 remaining in the fourth quarter, giving Belmont a 22-21 lead after missing the two-point conversion.

Watertown had the ball on the Belmont 45 and nearly lost the ball on a fumble and a near interception. On fourth down and 4 yards at the 38, Smith’s pass was a poor one, and Belmont took over on downs with 3:56 to play and up by a point.

A Christofori sprint pass to Wagner and Deese run gave Belmont a first and ten at its 48-yard line with 2:56 remaining. It appeared Belmont had sealed the upset when Johnson sprinted to the Raiders 20-yard line with 2:39 left, but the Marauders were penalized for holding. Belmont punted with 1:39 left giving the Raiders the ball on its 19.

Some hard running by Smith and a timely pass to senior Tyler Poulin coupled with two near interceptions by Belmont where Watertown receivers had to play “defense” gave Kennelly the opportunity to play the hero of the day.

Watertown now leads the yearly contest 46-43-5.

Players and coaches were resolute in defeat, showing their disappointment but also congratulating each other for the season they completed.

“The big statement of this game would have been winning it. But we’re proud of what we accomplished. This was a program with one win in two seasons, and now we’ve won seven in two [years] and competitive in all but two games this season,” Kuman said.

“The only emotion I have right now is pride. I’m proud how the kids played this year, how the coaches led the players. We’re proud where we are and really proud of what we did,” he said.