In the second half, the victors picked up right where they left off, turning to their two-headed monster in the backfield to chew up yards and clock. Dumont added two more scores in the final 22 minutes and the Hornets came away with a 38-25 win.
“We did a really nice job running the ball and controlling the clock,” Athanas said. “Chris and Nate ran tough and the line did a great job blocking the whole game. It was a nice team effort.”
The Hornets defense also had a strong showing as Athanas was quick to praise the play of Doug Rodier, Mike Davis, Will Davis, John Bruce and Riehl on that side of the ball. Aside from the Royals long touchdown pass and a score on a short field after a fumble, there wasn’t much room to work with against the Manchester Essex defense, which has been a huge strength for the team this season.
Athanas was also quick to praise his nine seniors, who were instrumental in the team’s success this season, which included a second-place finish in the Cape Ann League Small, no easy task for a school the size of Manchester Essex, and a run to the Division 5 North semifinals.
“I’ll tell you, this was a great bunch of kids,” Athanas said. “I didn’t really expect this from this group of guys. We graduated a lot of good players from last year’s team and we had a bit of a slow start out of the gates. But the kids came to practice every day, put in the hard work and got better with every game. That’s the sign of a good team, one that improves as the season goes along.”