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Bermudez leads East Boston past Brighton



Bermudez leads East Boston past Brighton

In recent years, it seems like East Boston and Brighton have consistently found themselves in a classic battle, at least when it comes to the gridiron.

But on Friday night, the Jets made a statement to the rest of the Boston City League, and ironically, they did so using the ground game. Senior running back Randy Bermudez finished with 15 carries, racking up 137 yards to go with a touchdown, as East Boston took home a convincing 40-16 victory over its rival from the west side of town.

Early on, however, it appeared as though the game was truly going to be a nail-biter. East Boston (1-0) opened things by staging a long drive, one which lasted 5:48. Joshua DeLacruz got the scoring started for the Jets, as he took a handoff on a counter play, then shed multiple tackles on his way to a 28-yard touchdown scamper. Taelor Thompson proceeded to convert a two-point rush, and East Boston took an 8-0 lead.

Brighton would respond on its ensuing possession, as Sahmir Morales connected with Jathan Greene for a 4-yard touchdown pass. Greene would also go on to convert the two-point try, as the Bengals evened the score at 8-all with 2:25 left in the stanza.

With 30 seconds remaining in the first half, Jaye Kincade fought his way into the end zone for a 13-yard touchdown rush, before Thompson hit Alex Valencia for a two-point conversion to provide East Boston a 16-8 lead at the break.

Once the third quarter got started, the Jets lined up for a kickoff. Senior Alvaro Pineda then bounced a squib kick upfield. However, the ball took a wild hop past a couple of Brighton returners, then rolled harmlessly toward the sideline, where it was scooped up by a pile of East Boston special teamers at the Bengals’ 26. Just like that, the momentum completely swung in the Jets’ favor.

“We do that all the time,” East Boston coach John Parziale said. “We’ve been squib kicking for a hundred years. We don’t kick it deep, ever. So, we got lucky tonight and got one of them.”

East Boston took advantage of the freak play, as Thompson led his team deep into the red zone, then closed the drive with a 3-yard quarterback keeper for a touchdown. He would add a two-point rush, giving the Jets a 24-8 lead.

As Brighton searched for a response, the Bengals mishandled a snap, only to watch the ball be swallowed by a swarm of Jets defenders. The turnover proved costly, as Bermudez broke off his longest rush of the night — a 50-yard sprint, which set the Jets up at the Brighton 1.

“I was really excited,” Bermudez said. “I saw a big gap. Knew I had to break it down, and keep on going. Just do my best to try to score a touchdown.”

Bermudez would go on to punch in a 1-yard touchdown run on his next carry with 7:45 left in the third. Kincade would notch a two-point rush to make it a 32-8 contest, and the Jets would coast to the finish from there.

In total, the Jets combined for 306 yards rushing, with Kincade (79 yards) and DeLacruz (55 yards, touchdown) adding to Bermudez’s heroics. Daniel Pedronio registered a 3-yard touchdown as well for East Boston.

Senior Damian Blacknall added a 9-yard touchdown in the effort for Brighton.

“I think the offensive line did well with opening holes for the backs,” Parziale said. “We had a couple of turnovers that went our way, so we had the ball a couple of times, which was really good for us. Brighton’s a good team, they’re well-coached, and they can score at any moment. They’re fast, but we got the breaks tonight early on, and sort of kept piling on.”

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