By Brendan Kurie
New Bedford became the latest victim of the Jason Hall Stompede.
Durfee’s superstar running back set a new career-high with five touchdowns, rushing for 271 yards on just 15 carries as the Hilltoppers pulled away in the third quarter en route to a 48-7 victory in what is traditionally a Thanksgiving Day showdown between the rival schools.
That rivalry was evident late when a block in the back penalty on a punt return led to a confrontation between players and coaches on the field. In the end, the officials called off the rest of the game.
STAR OF THE GAME
Hall, who has been unstoppable all season for the Hilltoppers. In just five games he has totaled 1,035 yards and 16 touchdowns, including 13 touchdowns in his last three games, all wins for Durfee.
THE BIGGEST PLAY
The Whalers were still in the game at halftime, trailing 21-7, but a fumble on the opening kickoff of the second half led to Hall’s second TD of the game and propelled the Hilltoppers to score three more times in the second half.
THE GAME PLAY
Hall wasted no time getting started with a 37-yard run in the opening minute.
New Bedford quarterback Ryan Dosenberg answered with a 16-yard touchdown pass to Colin Rego, who caught both of Dosenberg’s scoring strikes this season. Ian DaCosta kicked the extra point.
From there, it was all Hilltoppers. Jaden Lewis caught a 14-yard touchdown pass from Isaiyah Thomas with 4:51 left in the second quarter to give Durfee the lead for good. Hall scored the next four touchdowns on runs of 48, 28, 28, and 60 yards. Najeir Monteiro scored the final touchdown in the waning seconds of the third quarter.
Durfee improves to 3-2, while New Bedford falls to 0-4.
The Whalers season is complete, while Durfee is looking to pick up a game next week.
Dosenberg finished 10-of-17 passing for 87 yards and a touchdown, while Jayden Frazier ran the ball 11 times for 63 yards.
It was the final game for New Bedford seniors Abel Alves-Araujo, Michael Fernandes, Darius Harrison, Flordan Bazile, Josh Cecilio, Davon Soares, Dwayne Veal, Aaron Cherry, Derin Rocha, Billois Sousa, and Bill Sousa. The Sousa brothers will play at East Coast Prep next school year.
A LOOK BACK
This wasn’t the 2020-21 season the Whalers had been hoping for, but after graduating a two straight talented senior classes in 2019 and 2020, the bell came tolling for New Bedford this season. The good news is the first practice for the next season is just about four months away, and this young Whalers team can take lessons learned during a season that saw it start off competitive in losses to Dartmouth and Bridgewater-Raynham but then unraveled in losses to Brockton and Durfee.
The offense should have the makings of an improved group with Dosenberg, Frazier, Rego and Ranen Goodine back at key positions. There should be several returnees at linebacker as well, including Miguel Rodriguez and Isaiah Silva.