BARNSTABLE – Sometimes you just run into a buzzsaw. That’s what happened to the Nauset High School football team last weekend.
The Warriors finally met Cape and Islands League rival Barnstable on Friday night after the two Atlantic Division foes were originally scheduled to meet in Week 1 of the Fall II season, a game that was canceled because both programs were in COVID-19 protocols.
While Friday’s contest was Nauset’s third game of the season, it was the season opener for Barnstable, which was playing as the “Red Hawks” for the first time in program history after the school recently retired its Red Raiders mascot. The Red Hawks remained sideline in COVID-19 protocol during Weeks 1-3, so they were eager to return to the field for their first game since Thanksgiving 2019.
Barnstable left no doubt about who the better team was Friday night, as it cruised to a 42-0 victory over Nauset after scoring 28 points during the second quarter to take a 28-0 advantage into halftime.
“I think our kids played hard the first quarter,” Nauset coach Bruce Strunk said, “but when you play a team that’s that much bigger than you and I don’t think they had many kids going both ways, it wears you out. We had nine guys go both ways. My hat goes off to them, though, I’m happy for them that they were able to get out on the field.”
Barnstable coach Ross Jatkola said the wait to play a game was “an absolute nightmare at times.”
“This senior group is going to have a special place in my heart forever because every time I had to deliver bad news, they were just on to the next day,” Jatkola said. “We just wanted to fly around and have fun. We always talk about mental toughness and being tough, and they did that throughout the whole ride.”
Leading the way for the Red Hawks was junior running back Eugene Jordan, who ran for 104 yards and three touchdowns on 17 carries. Another junior, Gibson Guimond, made his debut at quarterback for Barnstable and showed off his legs in the process. The signal-caller finished with 101 rushing yards on 12 carries and added a five-yard touchdown run of his own. Senior Marvin Domino also returned a punt 60 yards for a score and classmate Colin Marczely ran for a nine-yard touchdown for Barnstable.
One major advantage Barnstable had was its roster size. Jatkola said all of his players played on one side of the ball, meaning his offensive players were able to rest when the defense was on the field and vice versa — a contrast to what Nauset faced with many players remaining on the field for offense, defense and even special teams in some instances.
“They were able to fly around and have fun and celebrate with the defense when the defense was off, and celebrate with the offense when the offense was off,” the Red Hawks coach said. “Just play with tremendous effort and have fun and enjoy the game of football.”
Nauset (0-3) will look for its first win when it hosts Falmouth (2-1) at noon Saturday. The Warriors dropped a 20-7 decision against the Clippers in Week 2 when the division rivals met in Falmouth, so Strunk said his players are excited to get another opportunity to face them.
“We played them the week we came out of quarantine and our kids slept-walked through that entire game,” he said. “It was a really tough experience — they said they had never felt that way before. So, this will give the kids another shot against a Falmouth team that has done a great job. Both of our last games — against Falmouth and Dennis-Yarmouth [April 23] — should be great games.”
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