|Dennis-Yarmouth quarterback Matt Montalto had a hand in all five touchdowns, accounting for three via the air. (Jonathan Wiggs/Globe Staff)|
Dennis-Yarmouth reaches next level
LYNN - Eleven years ago, the Dennis-Yarmouth football team was a junior varsity program, with coach Paul Funk leading games on Tuesday afternoons, not under the bright lights of Friday nights.
But after last night’s convincing 35-0 victory over Wakefield in the Division 2A Super Bowl, the Dolphins are champions, capping a 13-0 season.
“It’s very emotional for a lot of us,’’ said Funk, who has been the coach all 11 years. “It’s all hard work and it paid off right now.’’
The Dolphins have been led all season by senior quarterback Matt Montalto, and yesterday he accounted for all five touchdowns, three through the air and two on the ground.
“Five touchdowns is great, but I definitely didn’t do it alone,’’ Montalto said.
D-Y set the tone on its opening possession. After converting a fourth down at its 44, Montalto found Rufus Hamilton for a 42-yard strike that set up the first touchdown, an 8-yard pass to Dylan Hodsdon 3:38 into the game.
Wakefield answered with a 15-play drive to the D-Y 1. But on fourth and goal, the Warriors could not convert as Dan Cardillo was stopped short of the goal line.
“That was a huge turning point,’’ Funk said. “Momentum is key in high school football and that was a huge momentum swing.’’
The Dolphins took that momentum and ran with it, as Hamilton took an end around 42 yards to flip the field position. D-Y looked as though it would stall on fourth and 15 from the Wakefield 20, but Montalto found Hodsdon over the middle for a 20-yard scoring strike and a 13-0 lead.
“That’s been our mentality all year,’’ said Montalto of his team’s fourth-down conversions. “We feel we can get any yardage we need. Nobody is stopping us.’’
D-Y got the ball back with 2:53 left in the half at its 10 and needed only three plays and 23 seconds to go 90 yards for the score. Hodsdon (6 carries, 85 yards, 3 receptions, 28 yards) turned in a 59-yard run, and two plays later Montalto found Damion Johnson (5 receptions, 109 yards) streaking down the right side for a 19-yard scoring pass, and the 2-point conversion gave D-Y a 21-0 lead.
“He’s been great all year, each big game he steps up on both sides,’’ Funk said.
Wakefield marched down the field as quarterback Jamie Bourque connected three times with Matt McKenna for 50 yards, but on second and goal from the 9, Johnson killed the drive with an interception.
“We just made too many mistakes,’’ Wakefield coach Mike Boyages said. “We had the ball inside the 10 three times and didn’t get anything. Against a great team like that, it will kill you.’’
Wakefield’s final gasp came in the opening drive of the second half, but the Dolphins defense turned up the pressure and stopped the Warriors inside the 10.
“Our defense doesn’t get enough credit,’’ said Funk, whose defense earned its fifth shutout of the season.
Montalto added two more touchdowns in the second half, both on short runs that were set up by passing plays to Johnson.
“My dream was to win the game, but it was great to put up a performance like that,’’ Montalto said. “Dreams come true, I guess.’’