Dartmouth shuts out Bishop Stang in roaring season opener
In a vast departure from last year’s nail-biter rivalry game, Dartmouth High School shut down and shut out Bishop Stang High School Sept. 8, piling on touchdowns into the fourth quarter for a 40-0 finish.
“It’s always fun to not have to play your starters in the fourth quarter,” said junior and quarterback Jackson Hart. “It’s a great momentum starter and hopefully we can build on it and just get better and better.”
The game kicked off both Dartmouth and Bishop Stang’s seasons, setting different tones for their followup performances against Greater New Bedford Regional Technical High School and Old Rochester Regional High School, respectively.
Despite the one-sided final score, Bishop Stang kept the first half relatively close, ending the second quarter down 7-0 after a rushing touchdown from Hart.
Dartmouth Coach Rick White said the minor lead had players a little down at halftime.
“We had long faces at halftime and I’m like, we’re winning the game,” White said. “We’re up 7-0, we’re pitching a shutout and we’re getting the ball in the second half. There’s a lot of emotions, a lot of energy … and sometimes it takes the second half to get our second wind.”
That second wind blew in during the third quarter, when Dartmouth rapidly put up four touchdowns in under nine minutes, including runs from juniors Markus Andrews and Ray Gramlich, a pass into the endzone to Jalen Adams and a fumble return by Michael Hauck.
To fans, parents and students, the win provides confidence about the season ahead.
“They have a lot of speed this year and some juniors who played last year so the experience is helping them already,” said Kevin Houlihan, whose daughter cheers for the team. “It’s great for their confidence, it’ll really help them moving forward.
“I think there’s very few complaints,” said fan Jason Hamilton in the fourth quarter. “Kinda hard to argue with 33 to nothing.”
“Dartmouth looks really good, Stang looks usually bad,” said Cody Fernandes, whose daughter cheers for the team. “It’s always good to start Fridays off like this.”
For Bishop Stang, the reaction was less enthusiastic.
“The atmosphere is great but the performance from Stang left a lot to be desired,” said parent Tim Ikkela. “Too many mistakes, turnovers and penalties on offense, too many plays let up on defense. Shame they couldn’t have kept it closer considering it was only 7-0 at halftime.”
Friday also brought the first performance by Dartmouth High School’s award-winning marching band, which performed a piece of their new show about the street art of Banksy .
“I thought it was amazing, even without their uniform and their shoes, they really impressed,” said fan Melissa Houlihan. “It’s always exciting to see.”
Dartmouth spends the next two games on the road, battling Voc Tech Sept. 15 and Old Rochester Sept. 22. Bishop Stang does the opposite: they’ll play their first home game Sept. 15 against Old Rochester, followed by a home game against Cardinal Spellman from Brockton Sept. 22.