Kyle Amico (#28) runs for tough yardage
By Steev Riccardo; Patriot staff photos
FISKDALE – With a playoff showdown and rematch with Doherty High School looming, the Shepherd Hill Rams overcame a 20-6 half time deficit and scored 30 unanswered points to defeat the Tantasqua Warriors 36-20 in a battle of the two regional schools on Thanksgiving morning.
The Warriors came out of the box strong and scored a pair of touchdowns to take a quick 13-0 lead behind the strong arm of quarterback Randy Harrington.
Sophomore Drew Jean-Guillaume got the Rams on the board with a 5-yard run, before the Warriors added another score and took a commanding 20-6 to the locker room.
The Rams then put together an incredible half of football, not only outscoring the Warriors, but also holding their high-powered offense scoreless in the process.
Drew Ravenelle (1-yard run) and Tyler Simmons (2-yard run) each scored third quarter touchdowns, with junior Jake Gelb adding a 5- yard run and Ravenelle putting the icing on the cake with a 57-yard run to close out the impressive comeback victory.
“Down 20-6 at halftime, our players could have very easily been down and disappointed. However, they knew we were close and listened carefully to the coaches' half time adjustments in all three phases,” said assistant coach Ryan Dugan. “This led to probably the most complete half of football we played all season. To outscore a team of Tantasqua's caliber 30-0 in a half is a tribute to the determination, focus and gutsiness of our players."
Drew Jean-Guillaume just misses a Drew Ravenelle pass
Dugan credited his battle tested seniors for leading the charge and one of those seniors, Ravenelle, and possibly the team’s most valuable player this season, played his best football when it counted.
With the game tied at 20, Ravenelle completed a 26-yard pass to Drew Jean-Guillaume on 4th and 9 deep in Warrior territory, which ultimately led to Gelb’s score that put the Rams ahead for good.
"These are the plays that Drew has been making his whole career and these are the plays we expected him to make today,” said Dugan. “Drew is the unquestioned leader of this team and when it wasn't looking good at halftime he never panicked or got upset. He remained cool and calm and allowed the players to rally around him."
Ravenelle, who finished with 92 yards rushing and the two touchdowns, was given the Tony Vegnone award afterwards as the games Offensive MVP.
Dugan also singled out the play of sophomore Cam MacDonald, who got his first varsity start at linebacker due to injury.
“Cam stepped up big today. He got his first varsity start for an injured lineman and played very well. He is a very focused, determined kid and the performance we got out of him was far from unexpected.”
Senior Kyle Amico also had a huge game for the Rams with 90-yards rushing while adding a pair of two-point conversions. Dugan said Amico is one of the most game football players that he has ever been around. “He has been a very steady performer in the secondary for three years, but filled in a vital role at running back today.”
Chris Dutting, who has been a solid contributor all season, also had a great game for the Rams defensively with 12 tackles, an interception, and a sack. He also had a catch for a two-point conversion.
The Rams are now one win away (Doherty) from playing in the Division 2 super bowl at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough.
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