Dartmouth High kicks off Covid-era football with win over New Bedford
For the first time since 2019, the Dartmouth High football team is back to playing under the Friday night lights at Memorial Stadium.
On March 12, the Indians kicked off the socially-distanced Fall II season with a 20-14 win over New Bedford High.
While the atmosphere of the stadium is different with only a limited number of spectators allowed inside, Head Coach Rick White said his team did a good job establishing the tone of the Covid-era season.
“Our kids just kept grinding,” he said. “We weren’t overpowering, but we did enough to keep [New Bedford] honest.”
Dartmouth opened up the scoring with a 16-yard rushing touchdown from Junior Ethan Marques.
The Whalers would briefly take the lead after blocking a punt, but the Indians immediately responded with a long catch to Junior receiver Baron Dutra to regain control of the scoreboard.
From there, Dartmouth added to its lead after a two-yard rush from Marques late in the third quarter.
The biggest tone setter of the night, White said, was his team’s defense. He noted that while there were some bends, his defenders “really tightened” where it mattered most: the red zone.
“I think sometimes we have the advantage in the red zone because we’re not playing with as much space,” the coach said. “[New Bedford’s] a tough team with space.”
“This [game] gives us a good boost on the season,” Marques said. “It’s an upward direction from here.”
The team’s leading scorer added that although the MIAA’s new rules haven’t had too much of an impact on the fundamentals of the game, trying to rush with a mask on is still an adjustment.
“You sometimes suck it in and choke,” he said. “It definitely tires you out quicker — but we still come out here and play normal football.”
Overall, White said he thought “there was a lot to build off of” as the Indians prepare to take on Brockton High on March 19.
“We’re just thankful to be out here — it was a great environment,” he said.