Rochester resident Gia Doonan represents the U.S. in the Olympics

“The Rochester Fire Department would like to congratulate our own Rochester Olympian Gia Doonan and the USA Woman’s 8 Rowing Team on their incredible accomplishment.

Thank you for proudly representing our country! #rochesterproud.”-Rochester Fire Department.

Olympic Committee photo.

Massachusetts House Approves Sports Betting

The House overwhelmingly approved a bill to legalize sports betting in Massachusetts on Thursday evening, but even before the vote, the question of whether to allow wagers on college sports emerged as a major sticking point between the House and Senate.

The House voted 156-3 to pass its sports betting bill (H 3977), something a bipartisan parade of representatives said was long overdue. Reps. Mike Connolly, Russell Holmes and Erika Uyterhoeven cast the three dissenting votes. Some said they hoped the House’s lopsided vote would send a message to the Senate, which has been less enthusiastic about sports betting, that the people of Massachusetts want to bet legally.

“I represent a district which borders New Hampshire. In Haverhill, you can literally walk across the border into New Hampshire and place a bet. I know that my constituents who partake in sports wagering would rather place these bets in their homes and in their own state and would rather have any revenue collected going towards benefiting their home state of Massachusetts,” said Rep. Andy Vargas of Haverhill.

For Rep. Dan Cahill of Lynn, Thursday’s vote was about something even simpler.

“Most important, it’s just fun. People are allowed to have fun,” he said. “And sports betting is fun.”

But even before the House took its vote Thursday to put some pressure on the Senate to act, House Speaker Ronald Mariano drew a line in the sand on Bloomberg Baystate Radio and declared that leaving collegiate betting out of any bill “probably would be” a dealbreaker.

“That’s a great point, but I tend to think it probably would be,” he said, adding that negotiations have not begun. “I find myself having a tough time trying to justify going through all of this to not include probably the main driver of betting in the commonwealth.”

Massachusetts has been considering whether to expand gambling here since the U.S. Supreme Court in May 2018 ruled that the nearly nationwide prohibition on sports wagering was unconstitutional and gave states the ability to legalize the activity.

“Some may say that this is bringing sports betting to Massachusetts. The fact is that our Massachusetts residents are already betting on sports. They’re either taking that short drive up to New Hampshire or to Rhode Island, where it’s legal, or they’re also going on their phones and using offshore applications, those sportsbooks, to bet or they’re also going to a bookie,” Rep. Jerald Parisella, who chairs the Committee on Economic Development, said while outlining the bill for the House on Thursday. “But what this does do is it brings it out of the shadows and into the light, and makes it legal in Massachusetts.”

Thirty states, including neighboring Rhode Island, Connecticut, New Hampshire and New York, have authorized gamblers to place legal bets on sports in some fashion. Meanwhile, illicit gambling continues to attract bettors in Massachusetts as well.

“We’re surrounded,” Parisella said.

The House bill would put sports betting under the purview of the Gaming Commission, require that all bettors be at least 21 years old and physically present in Massachusetts, and implement numerous consumer safeguards to protect against problem gambling similar to those put in place for casinos when Massachusetts expanded gaming in 2011.

MGM Springfield, Encore Boston Harbor, Plainridge Park Casino, the state’s two simulcasting facilities and racetracks that host live horse racing (right now the only one is at Plainridge Park) would be granted licenses to take in-person wagers as long as they meet rules and requirements of the Gaming Commission. They would be allowed to have between one and three mobile sports betting platforms, depending on the facility. Mobile-only operators could also seek licenses and every license would carry a $5 million fee.

“We estimate if all those licenses go out, the commonwealth could get $70 to $80 million just in licensing fees,” Parisella said Thursday.

A sportsbook’s revenue from in-person bets would be taxed at 12.5 percent and revenue from mobile wagers at 15 percent. Parisella said the higher tax on mobile operators recognizes the added costs that brick-and-mortar facilities would have and aims to drive customers to businesses that employ people in Massachusetts.

“I believe a conservative estimate is that we’ll raise about $60 million annually from the taxes on the sports betting,” Parisella said, citing a number higher than most previous estimates for sports betting in Massachusetts. “And as it gets matured, we believe that those numbers could rise.”

If college betting is not allowed, Mariano said, the revenue estimate would drop to between $25 million and $35 million annually.

“We are hopeful that the legislature will move quickly to establish a regulated market that will create jobs, protect consumers, and support the many Massachusetts businesses that are losing customers to neighboring states right now,” DraftKings Vice President of Government Affairs Griffin Finan said. “The time to act is now. We look forward to continuing to work with both branches to get a final bill over the goal line.”

An additional 1 percent tax would be levied on wagers placed on sporting events held in Massachusetts to be distributed proportionately between the facilities that hosted the events to be used for “sports wagering security and integrity.”

Rep. Ken Gordon explained last year that venues like Gillette Stadium or TD Garden will need the money to beef up their security “because they’ve got to protect against communication from someone who may be there to have a conversation that we don’t want to occur.”

The House bill would allow wagers on the outcome of college sports contests, but not on the performances of individual college athletes.

Whether or not to allow bets on college athletics has been a recurring theme in the three years that lawmakers have spent considering sports betting, and it is shaping up as the most significant difference between the House bill and Sen. Eric Lesser’s sports betting bill (S 269). That legislation is before the Senate Ways and Means Committee and is expected to be the Senate’s vehicle if or when it takes up the issue.

“If we are going to get a bill done, we both have to move,” Mariano said on Bloomberg when asked about the different feelings towards collegiate betting in the House and Senate.

Through a Rep. Paul McMurtry amendment, the House on Thursday added a provision to its sports betting bill that would allow the Gaming Commission to grant licenses to let some veterans’ organizations operate up to five slot machines. That is also likely to be a point of divergence with the Senate.

Ahead of the House debate Thursday, Lesser said he thinks his more reluctant branch is “ready to do this — if it’s done the right way.”

“I think we’re ready. Look, it’s been three years since the Supreme Court allowed states to move forward on sports betting. Since then you went from two states — New Jersey and Nevada — that had sports betting markets to 30. And again, almost all of our neighbors in almost all the states in the Northeast now have it,” Lesser, the Senate chair of the Economic Development Committee, said Thursday morning on NESN. “So it’s time. It’s time for Massachusetts to do this.”

The House and Senate are expected to take a summer break soon and it’s unclear when the Senate plans to take up a sports betting bill. Like the House, the Senate largely takes its workload one week at a time.

Though he said he thought the end of 2021 is a realistic expectation for sports betting to launch in Massachusetts, Lesser said “the Senate will, may or may not take something up in the near future.”

The House approved sports betting legalization last summer as part of an economic development bill, but the Senate turned down multiple opportunities to do the same. Lesser told the regional sports network that senators will likely key in on problem gaming and consumer protections if or when they debate the issue this session.

“It is, at the end of the day, a gambling product, and we do need to remember that. We have a lot of senators that are concerned about that and want to make sure that people who might have an addiction, people who might fall prey to bad activity, are protected,” he said. “So we’re going to make sure that any bill … has a lot of consumer protections in place and really sets a high standard for the quality of play.”

Sen. Cynthia Creem, the majority leader, is among those in the Senate who opposed casino gambling and have said they are not enthusiastic about sports betting. Creem said last session that she would be inclined to oppose its legalization and Sen. Jamie Eldridge, another casino gambling opponent, said he will work to prevent the state’s casinos from being allowed to take bets on sporting events.

Senate President Karen Spilka was among the opponents of a push to legalize casino gambling in 2010 before leading the successful effort in 2011 to get a redrafted casino bill passed and signed into law.

“There will be a lot of discussion,” she said in March, referring to sports betting. “I know a lot of members have had various ideas and thoughts about it, whether to do it or not do it, or how to do it. So there will be a lot of debate and discussion about it.”

Gov. Charlie Baker, who would be asked to sign any sports betting bill the Legislature passes, filed his own bill (H 70) to legalize the activity and has repeatedly written $35 million in sports betting revenue into his annual budget proposals.

The Gaming Commission, which would write the specific regulations for sports betting and oversee the activity under nearly every proposal on Beacon Hill, has remained neutral in the sports betting debate, but Executive Director Karen Wells has said the agency is doing what it can now to prepare for the possibility that it gets a new responsibility.

“We recognize that there is a significant interest in getting this going. I hear these representatives and senators talking about the finances and the money to the commonwealth, so we recognize there’s a public interest in us getting going as soon as we can,” she said last month during a hearing on the topic.

New Bedford Parks, Recreation & Beaches Announces Their Summer Programs

If you’re looking for some fun activities to get your kids involved in, NB Parks, Recreation & Beaches has all sorts of things happening this summer. And its not just for the kids, there are great things to do for adults as well. Some programs do have deadlines that are fast approaching so don’t wait to sign up! All the clinics and activities can be found on their website www.NBPRB.com

The Youth United program is enrolling NOW!
July 6th is the deadline:

Interested in learning Karate?
The Kenpo Karate class is every Monday at the Andrea McCoy Rec center! You can join the first Monday of every month. Drop-ins welcome.

Starting July 7th the popular Sunrise Yoga (and Pilates!) returns to Fort Taber. Classes are only $12 per sessions. Try it and see if you like it, drop-ins welcome!

Be sure to follow New Bedford Parks, Recreation & Beaches on Facebook for updates and new programs! Remember you can register online at: www.NBPRB.com

City of New Bedford announces completion of Keith Middle School athletic field

“Keith Middle School’s new athletic field is officially completed, thanks to the work of school district and City staff, and students are already getting use out of it this school year.

After the addition of this new field, Keith Middle School now has a sizeable athletic field for its students.”

New Bedford’s Bonzie Colson II named MVP of Europe’s Basketball Champions League

By Brendan Kurie
New Bedford Guide Contributor

New Bedford’s Bonzie Colson II has been named MVP of Europe’s Basketball Champions League.

Colson, who is playing professionally for SIG Strasbourg in France, led the BCL in scoring at 18.2 points per game and was one of two players, along with Raymar Morgan, to average at least 18 points and six rebounds. His 218 total points are the third-most in SIG Strasbourg history.

Colson, 25, is the youngest MVP in BCL history. Earlier this season he was named to the Team of the Month in January and to the All-BCL Playoff Team.

Colson, who appeared on The New Bedford Show with AJ Tavares in March live on New Bedford Guide, previously played for Darussafaka Tekfen in Turkey during the 2019-20 season after a year spent in the NBA’s G-League that featured a late call-up to the Milwaukee Bucks.

Colson will be presented his MVP award during the second Final 8 semifinal, which will see SIG Strasbourg face BCL reigning champion Hereda San Pablo Burgos for a spot in the BCL Finals. Colson has helped SIG Strasbourg improve from a 4-10 record last year to reach the semifinals this season.

Colson attended Carney Academy, Keith Middle School and Global Charter before heading to St. Andrew’s School in Rhode Island and starring at Notre Dame. He played eight games in the NBA during the 2018-19 season, recording a pair of double-doubles.

Mistakes unravel GNB Voc-Tech in loss to Fairhaven

By Brendan Kurie
Contributing Writer

It says something that the GNB Voc-Tech football team did just about everything possible to sabotage itself — turning the ball over five times, failing to score on four trips inside the 12 and committing eight penalties — but still had the ball with 11 yards between them and a fourth-quarter tie during a 14-0 loss to Fairhaven on Friday night at McCoy Field in New Bedford.

The Bears had a total of nine possessions and only had to punt once. But quarterback Cam Lynch threw three interceptions, including a pair in the fourth quarter, and the Bears put the ball on the ground three times, losing two fumbles.

“We’re going to take a lot of time watching some film,” said Voc-Tech head coach Justin Cruz after his team’s third-straight loss to open the season. “We’ll do some self-evaluation — coaches and players both.”

Much of the offensive progress the Bears showed last week in a 17-14 loss to Old Rochester was absent this week, although the ground game had its best showing of the season, with Heiser Cacho running for a season-high 49 yards and Lynch adding 42 on the ground.

But Fairhaven’s defense, which has pitched three-straight shutouts (Case, Wareham, Voc-Tech) was the real star. Jason Motta, Dominic Ramous and Cadence Chase each picked off a pass, while Ryan Hartman and Peter Joseph Jr recovered fumbles.

“They’ve got a bunch of great athletes out there,” Cruz said. “They play that safety-net coverage and it becomes hard to throw the ball and they have guys coming inside-out and flying and making plays.”

In the end, more devastating than the five turnovers were the four times the Bears got within 11 yards of pay dirt, only to come up empty each time.

“It’s the same thing that happened last week,” Cruz said. “We were right there and it comes down to a matter of stepping the right way on a play and all 11 guys need to do the right thing and that’s not what happened.”

Joseph, who split time at quarterback with Cam Gordon, only completed two passes, but both were good for six points. He threw a 6-yard strike to Alex DeAlmeida in the second quarter and a wild 19-yard completion to Motta that clinched the victory with 2:15 left in the fourth quarter. Joseph finished 2-for-3 for 35 yards and two scores, adding nine carries for 27 yards on the ground.

With 7:16 left in the game, Fairhaven got the ball on the 50-yard line after a long interception return by Ramous. After nine straight runs and one penalty, the Blue Devils faced 3rd-and-12 from the 19.

Joseph dropped back and quickly lofted a ball into the end zone for Reece Antunes, who had a GNB Voc-Tech defender draped on his back. The ball bounced off Antunes and two Bears defenders each got a hand on it before Motta snatched it out of the air and got both feet in bounds for the victory-sealing touchdown.

Things started off well for the Bears when Joe Brightman recovered a Fairhaven fumble and ran it back 32 yards to the 3 on the second play of the game.

But after a penalty, a negative-yardage run, a 7-yard scamper by Cacho and a fumbled snap out of the wildcat formation, Voc-Tech faced 4th-and-goal from the 7. A scramble by Lynch only picked up four yards and the Bears turned it over on downs for the first of three times in the game.

After a Fairhaven punt, Voc-Tech got the ball back with only a 38-yard field in front of it. A 13-yard pass from Lynch to Cacho and an 11-yard Cacho run got the Bears down to Fairhaven’s 12-yard line. But once again Fairhaven’s defense stood strong with its back against the wall, stopping three straight runs before forcing an incomplete pass on 4th and 6 from the 8.

The Voc-Tech defense then forced a second-straight punt, but Motta’s interception gave the Blue Devils the ball early in the second quarter on the Bears’ 38-yard line. After a 27-yard run by Antunes, Joseph hit DeAlmeida for a touchdown with 5:46 left in the second quarter.
The Bears looked ready to answer with their longest drive of the day, but after 14 plays and 61 yards, they found themselves struggling in the red zone once again.

After reaching 1st and goal on the 6 after a 14-yard Lynch carry with 10.6 seconds left in the half, back-to-back incomplete passes were followed by a 5-yard run as time expired.
It only got worse from there for the Bears. They fumbled away the opening kickoff of the second half. After Cyle Bulgar recovered a fumble for Voc-Tech, the Bears soon lost their second fumble of the opening five minutes of the third quarter.

Both teams traded punts until Ramous’ interception with 7:16 to play set up Fairhaven’s final 50-yard, 11-play scoring drive. Chase’s interception with 1:53 left closed out any hope of a Voc-Tech comeback.

GNB Voc-Tech is now 0-3, while Fairhaven improves to 3-0.

The Bears face Somerset Berkley (1-2), which is coming off a 14-6 loss to Dighton-Rehoboth, at 6:30 p.m. on April 16. The Bears will face the Falcons in their regular season finale on April 23. Fairhaven plays at Bourne (1-2) at 6:30 p.m. on April 16 before taking on Seekonk in a game that could decide the SCC Small champion on April 23.

Cruz: “Coach (Derek) Almeida has those guys rolling. Good for him. They have some athletes who came back and it seems like their system is working for them. This is what I was nervous about all day.”

Voc-Tech beat Fairhaven 57-0 in 2019, riding high after a pregame speech from Jordan Todman. … Brightman, Bulgar and Jeremiah Vasconcelos all had sacks for the Bears. … Voc-Tech actually out-gained the Blue Devils in total offense, 193-190. The Bears had 98 rushing yards and 95 passing yards, while 165 of Fairhaven’s yards came on the ground. … The individual yardage leader was Voc-Tech junior wide receiver Avery Sylvia, who caught two balls for 56 yards. His 46-yard catch on a halfback pass from Cacho in the fourth quarter was the longest play of the day for Voc-Tech. … No individual rusher or passer for either team reached the 50-yard threshold.

Total Offense: GNB Voc-Tech 193, Fairhaven 190
Total Rushing: GNB Voc-Tech 98, Fairhaven 165

GNB Voc-Tech
Passing: Cam Lynch 5-17-49-0-3, Heiser Cacho 1-1-46
Rushing: Heiser Cacho 14-49, Cam Lynch 12-42, Joe Brightman 2-7
Receiving: Avery Sylvia 2-56, Heiser Cacho 4-39

Passing: Peter Joseph Jr. 2-3-25-2, Cam Gordon 0-1
Rushing: Cam Gordon 10-43, Cadence Chase 5-35, Peter Joseph Jr 9-27, Reece Antunes 1-27, Dominic Ramous 6-20, Alex DeAlmeida 5-13
Receiving: Jason Motta 1-19-1, Alex DeAlmeida 1-6-1

Scoring Plays
Second Quarter

F: Peter Joseph Jr 6-yard pass to Alex DeAlmeida (Cadence Chase kick good), 5:46
Fourth Quarter
F: Peter Joseph Jr 19-yard pass to Jason Motta (Cadence Chase kick good), 2:15

GNB Voc-Tech passing attack emerges in narrow loss to Old Rochester

By Brendan Kurie
Contributing Writer

Watch out, the GNB Voc-Tech passing attack is starting to come together.

After a rough debut against a dominant Apponequet defense, the Bears’ new-look offense started to take shape on Friday afternoon during a 17-14 loss to Old Rochester at Jeffrey E. Riley Stadium.

Junior quarterback Cam Lynch — who completed just a quarter of his pass attempts for 66 yards in Week 1 — threw for 185 yards and two touchdowns on 15-of-28 passing, connecting with both his top receivers, Kyle Langlois and Heiser Cacho, on long touchdown throws.
“The coaches came up with some plays and we executed them well,” Lynch said. “I like it. It’s a good offense. It’s pretty easy to read.”

Langlois, who was held without a catch in the jBears’ opener, was able to find open space constantly, even forcing ORR to replace its cornerback on his side. Langlois finished with seven grabs for 120 yards and a touchdown.

“Kyle, he’s my main target, probably,” Lynch said. “It opens up the field more and gives the defensive more to think about.”

“Kyle is a ballplayer,” said Bears head coach Justin Cruz. “Last week lit a fire under his butt. The biggest thing we told him was to drown out all the noise. Don’t listen to what the other team is saying. Focus on what you’re doing and he came out and did that this week.”
Improved offensive line play gave Lynch more time to go through his progressions. He connected with Cacho six times for 60 yards, a touchdown and a two-point conversation.

“The offensive line, I appreciate them,” Lynch said. “They’re my hogs.”

“It was a big point of emphasis was blitz periods and giving Cam some time to throw a little bit,” Cruz said. “Also, his ability to work the pocket a little better helped us. Last week we were turning into pressure. It was a better week for us, for sure.”

Take your pick between Lynch, who also ran for a team-high 43 yards, and Langlois.

Once again, there’s two to choose from. With two minutes left and Old Rochester up 14-6, senior quarterback Ryon Thomas kicked a 27-yard field goal to make it a two score game. That would prove to be the difference when Lynch hit Cacho on a 40-yard touchdown heave on the game’s final play, then converted the two-point attempt by once again finding Cacho in the end zone.

But even before Thomas’ kick, the Bears had a chance to potentially tie the game. A 26-yard catch from Lynch brought the Bears down to ORR’s 8-yard line late in the third quarter. After a one-yard run by Lynch, the Bears faced 3rd-and-goal from the 7. After back-to-back illegal procedure and delay of game penalties, a 5-yard run by Lynch and an incomplete pass made it 4th-and-goal from the 12. Lynch tried to find Langlois in the end zone, and pass interference was called when the receiver tried to come back to the ball.

But a new rule meant Voc-Tech didn’t receive a first down, and instead had to replay fourth down from the 3-yard line. ORR’s Jared Achorn met Joe Brightman at the line of scrimmage for the stuff.

“That killed me,” Lynch said. “I’m going to be sleeping on that tonight, for sure.”

Old Rochester opened the game with a long, steady drive. The Bulldogs chewed up nearly seven minutes with a 15-play, 70-yard possession capped by a 6-yard touchdown run by Thomas.
The middle two quarters turned into a turnover fest, starting with Cacho tipping an interception to Avery Sylvia, who ran it back 24 yards. Two plays later, the Bulldogs’ Jayven Pina Francis came up with a pick of his own.

With 2:08 to play in the half, Lynch found Langlois for a 37-yard gain, then followed up with a 23-yard pass play to make it 7-6, a score that stood until the third quarter.
But that doesn’t mean there wasn’t more excitement in the second quarter. Sylvia came up with his second interception of the day to end Old Rochester’s next possession, kicking off a string of turnovers.

ORR’s Stephen Old picked off Lynch three plays later, and two plays after that Voc-Tech’s Ed Fragata recovered a fumbled snap. Amazingly, there were five turnovers in the second quarter, but none led to points.

ORR took its first possession of the second half 66 yards on nine plays, six of them Arne runs. He finished it off with a 25-yard tackle-breaking touchdown run that put him over the century mark on the ground and gave the Bears a 14-6 advantage with five minutes left in the third.

Voc-Tech’s next possession was the one described above, when it reached the Bulldogs’ 7 but was unable to score. After a pair of punts, ORR got the ball back with 6:43 to play and was able to wind 4:43 off the clock with an 11-play drive that ended with Thomas’ game-winning field goal.

Voc-Tech’s final possession went 67 yards on seven plays, ending with Cacho in the end zone and the clock reading all zeros.

Old Rochester is now 1-1, while GNB Voc-Tech is now 0-2.

GNB Voc-Tech plays Fairhaven (2-0) at New Bedford High’s McCoy Field at 6:30 p.m. on April 9. Old Rochester plays at Dighton-Rehoboth (2-0) on the same night.

Cruz: “It’s just nice to be out here and be competitive. We’re getting better each week and that’s showing. What we’re doing in practice is working. The players are buying into it. I think if we prepare again next week, we can play better every week.”

ORR finished with 17 first downs to seven for Voc-Tech, even though the Bears had four more yards of offense in the game. … In addition to his fumble recovery, Fragata also had a sack. … Voc-Tech didn’t allow ORR to complete a pass after the first possession. … In addition to the five turnovers, there were also five fumbles recovered by their own team.

Total Offense: GNB Voc-Tech 263, Old Rochester 259
Rushing yards: GNB Voc-Tech 78, Old Rochester 227

GNB Voc-Tech
Passing: Cam Lynch 15-28-185-2-2
Rushing: Cam Lynch 11-43, Heiser Cacho 4-27, Joe Brightman 5-13, Avery Silvia 1-(-5)
Receiving: Kyle Langlois 7-120-1, Heiser Cacho 6-60-1, Avery Silvia 2-5

Old Rochester
Passing: Ryon Thomas 3-11-32-0-2
Rushing: Stephen Arne 23-134-1, Ryon Thomas 11-48-1, Hayden Rinta 7-36, Zach Profit 4-5, Walter Rosher 1-4

Scoring Plays

First Quarter
ORR: Ryon Thomas 6-yard run (Ryon Thomas kick) 5:19
Second Quarter
GNB: Cam Lynch 23-yard pass to Kyle Langlois (kick failed) 2:08
Third Quarter
ORR: Stephen Arne 25-yard run (Ryon Thomas kick) 5:00
Fourth Quarter
ORR: Ryon Thomas 27-yard FG
GNB: Cam Lynch 40-yard pass to Heiser Cacho (Lynch pass to Cacho) 0:00

GNB Voc-Tech football stumbles out of the gates in loss to Apponequet

By Brendan Kurie
Contributing Writer

That certainly wasn’t how the GNB Voc-Tech football team imagined its season starting.

Riding the optimism of a 2019 playoff appearance, there were high hopes that the Bears would prove they belong in the upper echelon of the South Coast Conference when they hosted Apponequet in both teams’ season openers on Friday afternoon at Jeffrey E. Riley Stadium. But then the Lakers ground game got going and piled up 391 rushing yards in a 45-7 victory.

“We have a lot to work on,” head coach Justin Cruz said. “This was our first game in more than a year. You can’t take anything away from the fact that I think (Apponequet) is one of the strongest teams in our conference with those horses back there.”

The thoroughbred of Apponequet’s stable is senior Kevin Hughes, who piled up 299 rushing yards and three touchdowns on 22 carries. Also finding the end zone were Lakers running backs Cole Dixon (67 yards, two scores) and Chace Gorman (28 yards, one TD).

“For us, it was poor tackling,” Cruz said. “We talked about that a bunch as a team. Not to take away from (Hughes), he’s a great back, but there were a lot of times where we would meet the guy at the line and he’d break a couple tackles.”

The Bears’ struggles weren’t limited to the run defense, however. The offense gained just 117 total yards, and 56 of those came on a single pass from Cam Lynch to Avery Sylvia late in the second quarter.

Voc-Tech had 11 possessions in the game. Seven ended in three-and-outs. Two possessions lasted just three plays before a Lakers interception. In all, the Bears had two first downs and 51 rushing yards.

Part of the problem was how well the Lakers were able to contain talented senior Heiser Cacho, who did get free for an 87-yard kickoff return touchdown in the second quarter. But Cacho ran for a mere two yards on seven carries, adding two catches for 10 yards.

“We have to find ways to get him the ball and block the guys up front so he has a little time to do what he needs to do,” Cruz said. “We need to get him out in space, but we need to block the guys up front.”

Lynch ended up leading the team in rushing with 42 yards on nine carries.

Hughes, easily. He nearly ran for 300 yards. He found the end zone three times. He even recovered a fumble, recorded a sack and caught a 12-yard pass.

Late in the second quarter, with Voc-Tech trailing 21-7, Lynch connected on back-to-back passes to Cacho and Sylvia for a combined 64 yards, setting the Bears up with 1st-and-10 on Apponequet’s 12-yard line. A touchdown would have sent Voc-Tech into the locker room trailing by just one score. But instead, the Bears surrendered two sacks and threw an incomplete pass before fumbling the ball away on 4th and 35. The Lakers would score the game’s next 24 points.

Cole Dixon got the scoring going for the Lakers, running 20 yards untouched before bowling over a would-be tackler on a 26-yard scoring jaunt midway through the first quarter.
The Lakers extended their lead to 14-0 on a 13-yard Hughes touchdown early in the second quarter, then got a 7-yard TD run through a wide-open gap opened by the offensive line, making it 21-0 with a little over four minutes left in the second quarter.

That’s when Cacho got loose for an 87-yard kickoff return that he blazed through the middle of the field and then down the left sideline. Jason Ayala kicked the extra point.

Apponequet started pulling away in the third quarter with an 11-yard touchdown by Gorman and a 14-yard touchdown from Hughes. In the fourth quarter, Logan Tsika, who also hit six extra-points, drilled a 43-yard field goal with room to spare, then Hughes wrapped things up with a 75-yard scoring jaunt with a little over four minutes remaining.

Apponequet is now 1-0. GNB Voc-Tech is 0-1.

The Voc-Tech defense did force Apponequet to punt four times, but with both teams trading short possessions, that meant the Lakers got the ball 11 times. … The Bears got a sack from Ed Fragata. … Apponequet interceptions came from Mike Henricksen and Gorman. … Kobe DeSousa forced a fumble, Caleb Procaccini blocked a punt and recorded a sack and Timothy Clerc added two sacks for the Lakers. … The Lakers had a 55-yard touchdown pass to Henricksen called back for an illegal hit, but still ended up scoring on the possession.

Total offense: Apponequet 414, GNB Voc-Tech 117
Total rushing: Apponequet 391, GNB Voc-Tech 51

GNB Voc-Tech
Passing: Cam Sylvia 3-12-66-0-2
Rushing: Cam Sylvia 9-42, Heiser Cacho 7-2, Joey Brightman 4-5, Avery Sylvia 2-2, Kyle Langlois 1-0
Receiving: Avery Sylvia 1-55, Heiser Cacho 2-10

Passing: John Mahan III 2-8-23-0-0
Rushing: Kevin Hughes 22-299-3, Cole Dixon 9-67-2, Chace Gorman 5-28-1, Stephen Navega 1-5, Vincent Oliveri 1-4, Adam Medas 1-(-5)
Receiving: Kevin Hughes 1-12, Mike Henricksen 1-11

New Bedford football can’t sustain fast start in loss to Bridgewater-Raynham

By Brendan Kurie

For about six minutes, the New Bedford High offense looked nearly unstoppable. Unfortunately, for the next 38 minutes, it was Bridgewater-Raynham’s running game that couldn’t be slowed.

The Whalers gained 122 yards on their first nine plays, but finished with just 210 yards of offense in a 29-7 loss on a sun-splashed Saturday afternoon at McCoy Field. With the loss, New Bedford falls to 0-2 (0-2 Southeast Conference), while B-R improves to 3-0 (2-0 SEC).

“I thought we competed,” New Bedford High coach Mark DeBrito said. “I thought we were right in there. I knew they run a great system. Dan (Buron) does an unbelievable job and that team is a great team.”

While the offense struggled to move the ball in the second half, the defense spent the entire game chasing around B-R’s senior running back Anthony Morrison, who finished with 312 yards and three touchdowns on 25 carries. He even added a 51-yard kickoff return to open the second half.

“He’s unbelievable,” DeBrito said. “What a great back. He’s probably one of the best backs I’ve seen since I’ve been coaching. He’s just a steady kid, he gets downhill, he plants and goes. He’s a strong kid.”

“He’s probably exceeded my expectations,” echoed B-R coach Dan Buron. “He’s got some good vision and makes good cuts. He’s strong, too. If there’s no hole, he’ll get a couple extra. He’s an explosive kid. He’s a good player.”

New Bedford drove down to the 24-yard line on its opening drive, aided by a 32-yard run from junior Jayden Frazier, but B-R quarterback and defensive back Nolan DeAndrade picked off Ryan Dosenberg in the end zone. Two plays later, Morrison broke off a 58-yard touchdown.

After Morrison scored less than four minutes into the game, the Whalers answered immediately with an 80-yard touchdown connection from Dosenberg to sophomore Colin Rego on 3rd-and-18. Ian DaCosta’s extra point tied the game at 7-7.

The score would remain knotted for the next 16 minutes before Morrison capped a 10-play, 63-yard drive with a 1-yard plunge with 24 seconds left in the first half.

“I think getting that touchdown before the half was huge,” Buron said.

A 50-yard run by Morrison midway through the third quarter set up a 4-yard touchdown run off right tackle from James Holland and Hunter Darrer’s successful two-point conversion run made it 22-7 with 4:04 left in the third.

Trojans junior Ryan Breheny came down with an interception on a deep ball three plays later, setting up an eight-play, 68-yard drive that included seven Morrison runs and ended with the senior’s third touchdown of the day from 24-yards out.

“I say it every week: My offensive line has been doing really, really well,” Morrison said. “They make my job easy by opening big holes for me to run. They did an excellent job today, for sure.”

The Whalers’ first-year quarterback showed progress in his second career start. He completed 6-of-12 passes for 128 yards, a touchdown and two interceptions. He added 19 yards on four rushes.

“During the week I can see (his progress),” DeBrito said. “He’s making great reads. His technique is sound. In the game, there’s some things he reverts to. I can’t say old habits because he wasn’t a quarterback, he was a receiver, so this is his first time playing quarterback. There’s some game situations where he loses his technique a little bit. But he made a couple of great throws.”

Bridgewater-Raynham is setting up a showdown with Brockton for first place in the Southeast Conference. Both schools are 2-0 in league play, while Durfee and Dartmouth are 1-2 and New Bedford is 0-2.

Isaiah Silva had a fumble recovery in the first quarter. Miguel Rodriguez came up with a sack for a 12-yard loss in the second quarter and Bill Sousa had a sack for an eight-yard loss in the third quarter.

Total Offense: Bridgewater-Raynham 341, New Bedford 210
Rushing yards: Bridgewater-Raynham 341, New Bedford 82

New Bedford
Passing: Ryan Dosenberg 6-12-128-1-2
Rushing: Jayden Frazier 9-42, Josh Cecilio 3-21, Ryan Dosenberg 4-19
Receiving: Colin Rego 2-81-1, Darius Harrison 3-37, Ranen Goodine 1-10

Passing: Nolan DeAndrade 0-2
Rushing: Anthony Morrison 25-312-3, Michael Buron 1-12, Michael Rubbo 3-9, Jacob Spear 2-4, James Holland 1-4-1

Scoring Plays

First Quarter
B-R: Anthony Morrison 58-yard run (Owen Green kick) 7:32
NB: Ryan Dosenberg 80-yard pass to Colin Rego (Ian DaCosta kick) 5:16
Second Quarter
B-R: Anthony Morrison 1-yard run (Owen Green kick) 0:24
Third Quarter
B-R: James Holland 4-yard run (Hunter Darrer run) 4:04
Fourth Quarter
B-R: Anthony Morrison 24-yard run (Owen Green kick) 8:19

Greater New Bedford Voc-Tech Vs. Apponequet Football Preview

By Brendan Kurie

There’s something brewing at GNB Voc-Tech, and it’s not in the culinary arts program.
It’s out on the turf at Jeffrey E. Riley Stadium, where third-year coach Justin Cruz has generated enough excitement to get more than 100 prospective players out for a wonky Fall 2 season.

With that excitement has also come Ws.

After losing his first four games as a head coach in 2018, Cruz has led the Bears to an 11-8 record over their last 19 games, including a playoff appearance. Voc-Tech won four of its final six games in 2019 for a 6-5 final mark.

“We’re just kind of building and I think the program is in the right direction,” Cruz said. “We have guys competing all over the field.”

Here’s everything you need to know as the Bears open their 2020-21 season.

When is the game?
4:15 p.m. on Friday

Where is it?
Jeffrey E. Riley Stadium

Can I go?
Not unless you’re invited by a home or visiting player. Spectators are strictly limited.

Who are they playing?
Apponequet, which went 7-4 last season and had a chance at winning a share of the South Coast Conference Blue (large schools) crown.

So who is back for the Bears?
The first name to note is senior running back and linebacker/safety Heiser Cacho. A dynamic 5-foot-8, 165-pound athlete who can turn short yardage into big gains in the blink of an eye, Cacho combined for 675 rushing and receiving yards last year, while making 68 tackles and six sacks on defense.

Who else?
Three of last year’s starting five offensive linemen return, led by senior captain Ed Fragata. He is joined by juniors Aiden Silva, Max Lague, Jack Lima and Nolan Michaud.

Alright, who are the new faces?
He’s not that new, but junior Cam Lynch will take over as the full-time quarterback. Spending the last two years behind Ethan Almeida, Lynch started four games as an injury replacement as a freshman in 2018, then played mostly wide receiver last season. In his first start as a freshman, he threw for 167 yards and four scores. In his final start, a Directors Cup win over Diman, he threw two more touchdowns.

With the graduation of top receivers Sheldon Clark and Colin Wildrick, he’ll often be eyeing slot receiver Kyle Langlois and senior Lucas DaCosta, as well as Cacho, who is expected to be heavily involved in the passing game in addition to running the ball.

What about the defense?
Cacho is a leader on both sides of the ball, and Fargata also anchors the defensive line, but a key will be senior Jonah Rivera’s return to the linebacking corp. Rivera missed the 2019 season after tearing his ACL, but has looked good in preseason.

What happened last year against Apponequet?
The Lakers won 21-13 thanks to 176 rushing yards from senior Kevin Hughes, with rushing touchdowns from Cole Dixon and Chace Gorman, all of whom are back. Lynch played some quarterback, finishing 5-of-13 for 41 yards.

How good are the Lakers?
As good their offensive line can get, but maybe even better with the amount of talent in their backfield. Apponequet may feature the best running back room in the conference, led by Hughes, who churned up almost 1,400 yards last year, scoring 15 touchdowns and averaging more than eight yards per carry. He’ll be joined by Dixon and Gorman, a former quarterback.
Quarterback Jack Mahan, a junior, returns, and so does his favorite target, tight end Mike Henricksen. That leaves the offensive line, which returns just one starter, Louis LeBate.
Defensively, the team features seven returning starters, including the linebacking corp of Hughes, Dixon and Henricksen.

What does the rest of GNB Voc-Tech’s schedule look like?
Hosting Old Rochester at 4 p.m. on April 2
Vs. Fairhaven at New Bedford High at 6:30 p.m. on April 9
At Somerset Berkley at 6:30 p.m. on April 16
Hosting Dighton-Rehoboth at 6:30 p.m. April 23

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