Randolph Stinging In The Rain

The Randolph Herald

1 October, 2008

After witnessing West Roxbury tailback Giovanni Smith shred his defense in the first quarter, Randolph head coach Joe Cotton decided to give his opponents a dose of their own medicine.

The Blue Devils utilized their “big offense” and won the battle in the trenches, en route to a 24-22 win at soggy Randolph High School Sunday afternoon.

“We made changes to our defensive personnel and we shut them down,” Cotton said. “They didn’t throw well in the wet conditions and we controlled the ball and the clock.”

With the win, Randolph improved to 2-1 for the first time in two years, when the team started 3-1.

Randolph dealt the first blow of the game as junior Christian Lopez connected with senior Binyam Adhanom on a 35-yard corner route for a 6-0 advantage in the first quarter.

Smith struck back for Westie as he took a toss and scampered 40 yards for a score. West Roxbury was successful with a two-point conversion pass to take an 8-6 lead. Smith again broke free on a possession late in the first as he took a handoff from 45 yards out for his second TD of the day. Another successful conversion staked Westie to a 16-6 lead.

That’s when Cotton and the coaching staff went back to the drawing board.

“We went to what we call the big offense,” the first-year head coach said. “We wanted to go toe-to-toe with them. They were having difficulties covering our passing routes. We wanted to tire them out and overpower them.”

The revision in offensive strategy yielded 18 unanswered points for Randolph and a 24-16 advantage. In the second quarter, Loi Huynh culminated a 60-yard drive with a 5-yard burst just minutes before the half.

The Randolph defense put up a strong effort to open the second half, forcing a punt and setting up the offense with outstanding field position after a 15-yard punt return by Jason Toussaint. Several plays later, Kyle Spearin found pay dirt from a yard away, as Randolph pulled ahead for good.

The resurgence of the Blue Devils’ offense preceded a downpour that left fans cowering for cover and forced nearly impossible field conditions for ball carriers. With the lead, Mother Nature ultimately turned out to lend an assist to Randolph as it limited the offensive attack for Westie.

“It [the rain] didn’t affect us in the first half,” Cotton said. “We moved the ball on the ground well and it helped us in the second half.”

Smith added a late touchdown in the fourth but a strong defensive front headlined by Marvin Auguste, who made a key stop late in the game, and junior Ajanni Murrell (sack), cemented the victory.

Lopez was the primary ball carrier on the ground, filling in for injured senior running back Ricky Igbani, who was out with a neck injury. TE Chris Jackson served as his primary target through the air hauling in a pair of pivotal grabs to keep drives alive. The Randolph offense churned up more than 200 yards on the ground.

Randolph 24
West Roxbury 22
Score by quarter
R 6-12-6-0 – 24
W 16-0-0-6 – 22

~ by ajanni on February 24, 2009.

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