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Latin Academy dances past East Boston in season opener

Posted by Justin Rice  September 6, 2013 07:54 PM

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Latin Academy senior quarterback Kyle Dance had both a rushing and passing touchdown while leading his team to a 22-0 victory against East Boston Friday night. (Billy Owens / For the Boston Globe)

After a 37-yard fourth-quarter touchdown pass in Latin Academy's season-opening victory against East Boston Friday night, Latin Academy senior quarterback Kyle Dance only needs 23 more to match his league-leading total from last season.

But any talk of last season’s greatness couldn’t have been more scarce after the 22-0 victory at White Stadium.

“I just try to get good momentum going on offense and focus on the game that’s being played,” said Dance, who passed for 103 yards on the day. “Today the defense played really well, too, so that definitely gave our team some momentum.”

Dance was happy to have back one of his best targets from last year year, DeVaughn Riley, who caught four touchdowns before going down with a season-ending knee injury in the second game of the season last year.

Any doubts about Riley's health were squashed when he caught the 37-yard strike from Dance in the fourth quarter Friday.

“It wasn’t the best throw,” Dance said, “but DeVaughn being a good wide receiver made a play and came back inside to get the ball.”

Dance also showed off his legs against the Jets, logging 107 yards rushing.

Following a scoreless first quarter, Latin Academy started to shake off the cobwebs on both sides of the ball. After Niko Hernandez intercepted East Boston senior quarterback Vincent Lepore with 8:30 left in the half, the Dragons scored their first touchdown of the 2013 season when senior running back Chenedu Ighokue darted 27 yards into the end zone.

With that touchdown, 46 total yards on the ground. and a pair of 2-point conversions, Ighokue garnered praise from his quarterback for stimulating the offense.

“It was beautiful to have the run game going,” Dance said of the 160 yards the team collected on the ground. “Everyone knows the run game opens up the pass game and that’s what Chenedu was able to do today.”

Four minutes after Ighokue’s touchdown scamper, Dance also found room to run through a shaky Jets defense. He took off up the middle for his own 24-yard touchdown run before Ighokue’s successful 2-point conversion run put Latin Academy up, 14-0.

“I was just trying to make a play, I went inside, I saw the hole outside and I just cut it outside,” Dance said.

Latin Academy coach Rocco Zizza wasn't concerned with the slow start because he knew his players would eventually find their rhythm.

“Today was a great win,” Zizza said. “East Boston is always a quality team, [East Boston] Coach [John Parziale] does a great job over there. Fundamentals were solid for us today and we played some real physical and aggressive football.”

Zizza believes this was Latin Academy’s first victory against East Boston in program history, and Parziale gave credit to a tough Dragon team.

“We lost, they deserved to beat us,” Parziale said. ‘Our depth hurt us today. We didn’t have the depth on the offensive line.”

Globe Correspondent Justin A. Rice contributed to this report.

Ryan M. Butler covers Boston Public School athletics. He can be reached at butler.globe@gmail.com. Follow him on Twitter @butler_globe or @BPSspts.

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Several reporters, editors and correspondents contribute updates, news and features to the BPS Sports Blog:
  • 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 jrice.globe@gmail.com. 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 butler.globe@gmail.com. Follow him on his Twitter @butler_globe.
Also expect updates from Boston.com High School sports editor Zuri Berry and the Globe staff.