Dorchester played its first game at its new home field Friday night, but it was Latin Academy that danced off the Roberts Field turf victorious.
Behind a balanced offensive attack and a swarming defense, the Dragons spoiled Dorchester’s home opener, 24-10. Spearheaded by dynamic senior quarterback Kyle Dance’s three touchdowns (2 passing, one rushing), Latin Academy improved to 3-0.
“It feels good [getting the win], especially the way they beat us last year, which kept us from going to the Super Bowl,” said Dance, Latin Academy's three-year starter under center. ‘”They were a good team, we came out hard, they came out physical, but I think in the end we did a good job."
Even though Dorchester scored the first ever points on Robert’s field, Latin Academy took the lead in the second quarter and never relinquished it.
The first two points were provided by Dorchester middle linebacker Leon Sealy, who sacked Dance in the end zone on third down with just over six minutes to play in the first.
“It means a lot, a lot of people didn’t get a chance to play out here ... but it means something to me,” Sealy said of scoring the program's first-ever points on their home field. “Coach sent me on the blitz through the A gap and I just got to the quarterback. That’s about it.''
With 3:45 to play in the first half, Dorchester spit up their first of four fumbles in the game on a pitch inside the 5-yard line. The ball bounced into the end zone before being pounced on by Latin Academy senior defensive lineman Johnson Kellen for the team’s first points of the game. The Dragons, who started the game with an errant snap and an ugly safety, never looked back offensively once their defense gave them a kick start.
“We have talented kids, and when our quarterback has enough time, good things happen for us,” said Latin Academy coach Rocco Zizza, who has watched Dance flourish in both the run game and the passing game this season. “The thing is, so long as the line can give him some time, we have guys who can catch the ball. And the better we run the ball, the easier it is for us to pass the ball.”
Dance, who finished the game with 64 rushing yards and 81 passing yards to go along with his three touchdowns, echoed his coaches winning strategy.
“Me being able to run the ball helps keep the defense off balance, so it works out good to our advantage,” he said.
Dorchester showcased six different rushers out the backfield, but had much less success than they are used to. Senior Hakim Harris, who scored the Bear’s only touchdown on a 66-yard rush, finished with a team-high 79 yards on 9 carries.
And although it was Dorchester’s homecoming party, coach Zizza felt his team did what they could to open the field with dignity.
“We played as hard as we can and that’s the ultimate form of respect for both Dorchester High and coach Moran,” he said.
About Boston Public Schools Sports BlogMore »
- Justin A. Rice -- A metro Detroit native, Rice is a Michigan State University (Go Spartans!) and Northeastern University graduate. Rice lives in the South End with his dog and wife, who unfortunately attended the University of Michigan ... his wife, that is. He curates the BPS Sports Blog and is always looking to write about city athletes with great stories. Have an idea? He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @GlobeJustinRice or @BPSspts.
- Ryan Butler -- A Rhode Island native and avid Boston sports fan, Butler played basketball, baseball and football throughout his time in Barrington Public Schools. Now currently in his middler year at Northeastern University, he joins Boston.com as a correspondent for the site's BPS coverage. Have a story idea? Contact him at email@example.com. Follow him on his Twitter @butler_globe.