Crook, Barnstable get cooking in a hurry
HYANNIS - There is no doubt Barnstable is in it to win it this year.
Questions have haunted the Red Raiders since former coach Doug Crook’s exit in 2010, but the squad squelched any unease under new coach Chris Whidden, trouncing visiting Durfee, 65-0, in last night’s opener.
“I was pleased to see them not just satisfied with a good start,’’ Whidden said.
“We proved that we can be a multidimensional offense and not just rely on the pass.’’
Captain D.J. Crook, son of the former coach and Barnstable’s four-year starting quarterback, anchored the offense. Crook was 19 for 28 passing, good for 250 yards and two touchdowns. He also ran for a score, finishing with 360 total yards. He was pulled with two minutes remaining in the third quarter.
“For the four years I’ve played, this is the strongest team I’ve been with,’’ Crook said. “We’re just more dedicated and we’re ready to go. I’m ready to chase it this year. I’m giving it all I’ve got and I’m glad that the team behind me is giving it all they’ve got.’’
It was a red-and-white spectacle from the opening drive. Durfee won the coin toss and chose to defer, although Barnstable scored the game’s first touchdown, with 8:47 left in the first. Senior captain Theo France scored from 7 yards, capping an eight-play drive.
France scored twice more, including a 41-yard run up the middle seven minutes later. Sophomore Tom Mullen added PATs and Barnstable led, 14-0.
It looked like there might be a change in momentum when Jordan Dunmore retrieved a France fumble at the Hilltoppers’ 8, but the Durfee lineman was forced back into his end zone for a safety 3 1/2 minutes into the second quarter.
Barnstable used six plays to score on the ensuing drive. Crook connected with junior Nick Peabody from 17 yards and Mullen added another of his nine PATs to make it 23-0.
Durfee fumbled 20 seconds later and Barnstable’s Matt Lambert retrieved it at the Hilltoppers’ 22 with 5:18 left in the half. Crook found Tedaro France for a 22-yard touchdown reception 10 seconds later.
Barnstable added one more score before the half when Crook carried it in from the 2 with 18 seconds on the clock, and the Red Raiders led, 37-0.
The rout continued in the third quarter when Andrew Ellis scored from the 1 and France added his third touchdown, scoring from the Durfee 2.
Backup quarterback Kristian Lucashensky took the reins in the final minutes of the third, and added a pair of touchdowns in the fourth.
The first came from 3 yards and the second came on a picturesque run up the right sideline from the 35.