Eamer navigates BB&N to win
Buckingham Browne & Nichols turned a lemon into lemonade yesterday at Belmont Hill in a battle between two Independent School League powerhouses.
The Knights lost a fumble on the fourth play from scrimmage, but instead of cowering back in their shells, they responded with a dominant performance on both sides of the ball en route to an impressive 21-0 victory over Belmont Hill.
“We knew we were up against it playing a very good football team,” said BB&N coach Mike Willey after his team improved to 1-1. “We talk a lot about reacting, and something bad happened (fumbling the ball), but it is more important how you react after something goes wrong.
And the character of our guys after it happened was why we were successful.”
Following the early turnover, Belmont Hill (1-1) quickly drove inside the Knights 10-yard line, when BB&N jarred the ball loose and recovered the fumble.
Answering the giveaway with a takeaway swung the momentum completely to BB&N in the second quarter. Then, facing a fourth-and-7 from its own 40, BB&N executed a perfect fake punt to pick up the first down, setting the stage for a 14-play, 60yard drive that ended with quarterback Ryan Eamer scoring on a 1-yard sneak. Eamer finished by completing 10-of-14 passes for 140 yards with a touchdown. He also ran for 80 yards with another score.
“We have confidence in our guys to make a play, and they did a good job today,” said Willey said, whose Knights converted three fourth-down plays for first downs.
Belmont Hill responded by advancing the ball to midfield, but the BB&N defense (three forced fumbles, six sacks) held tight and forced a punt. Belmont Hill had one more chance to score before halftime, but Patrick Walsh’s 38-yard field goal attempt in the final seconds went wide right, and BB&N took a 6-0 lead into the break.
After the BB&N defense forced another fumble, the Knights duo of Devin Marrocco (31 carries, 103 yards) and Zack Cyr followed a stout offensive line and pushed BB&N deep into Belmont Hill territory. On fourth-and-goal from the 3, Eamer connected with Jay Symonds (six catches, 47 yards) to double the advantage with 6:36 left in the third quarter. Eamer passed TJ Maley for the two-point conversion and a 14-0 lead.
From there the BB&N defense took over. The Knights harassed Belmont Hill quarterback Mike Piazza (9-of-16, 75 yards) and limited Duke University-commit Jake Bobo to just four catches.
The Knights took a 21-0 fourth-quarter lead on a 2-yard run by Cyr before their defense forced a third fumble to secure the win.
“Belmont Hill is a great program, but we did a great job getting it done and scheming it up defensively,” Willey said.