West Bridgewater closes in on Small title
WEST BRIDGEWATER — West Bridgewater brought its A-game yesterday, beating Nantucket, 18-2, for the second time this season in a matchup of Mayflower League Small Division rivals.
The win keeps West Bridgewater (5-0 Mayflower, 6-1 overall) in first place in the league. The Wildcats can clinch the Small Division title with a win over Old Colony Saturday.
West Bridgewater coach Bill Panos sympathized with the visiting Whalers, who spend close to three hours combined on the road and in a boat getting to their away games. But Panos was happy with the win.
“Whenever you travel an hour and a half on the bus, an hour on the boat, it makes it difficult,’’ he said. “When they come up here, they’re off a 3-hour travel with 20 minutes to get dressed so you kind of expect them to start slow.’’
Panos, whose team traveled to the island for the squad’s first game Sept. 24, said he learned that running the ball was the way to go against the Whalers (4-2 Mayflower, 5-3 overall).
“Our offense, for the most part is just making 4 yards, 5 yards to control the ball and to march down the field,’’ Panos said. “Most of our success against [Nantucket] the last time was in the second half with that kind of offense, just driving the ball and tackle to tackle.’’
D.J. Jamieson, a 6-foot, 190-pound senior back, was a major factor in West Bridgewater’s effective run game. He helped the Wildcats to a 6-0 halftime lead and continued to roll in the second half. He totaled 101 all-purpose yards.
The Wildcats controlled the ball for 30 of the game’s 40 minutes but only managed to score in the second and third quarters. Jamieson punched in the first touchdown from the 2-yard line with five minutes left in the half. A trick play on the conversion failed and West Bridgewater led 6-0.
Jamieson scored again on the first drive of the third quarter. He hit the line hard and dragged defenders along on a 7-yard scoring run. A repeat of the conversion play failed again and West Bridgewater led 12-0.
Nantucket took five minutes off the clock on its next possession but couldn’t get past the West Bridgewater 44. After the Whalers punt on fourth-and-nine, Michael Toczko went to work.
The junior running back ran three times, including a 78-yard run up the left sideline and a pair of 2-yard punches, the last of which ended in the end zone. The conversion pass failed and West Bridgewater was ahead, 18-0.