Not every story has a happy ending.
’s varsity football team ended their season on Saturday with a crushing 21-7 loss against Boston College High School as they played in their first-ever Division I Eastern Massachusetts Super Bowl at Gillette Stadium.
The loss marks the fourth time in MIAA playoff history that the Rockets have lost a postseason affair; however, it was a valiant effort.
“We said we wanted to do this four years ago, three years ago, so we did it, we got here, and we gave them a good game,” said Needham senior running back Mike Vespa. “That’s all you can ask for.”
“I thought we played with them, I thought we played tough with them,” said Needham head coach Dave Duffy. “They’re a great football team, they deserve to be Division I Super Bowl champs, but as tough and as hard as we played, I thought we could have played a little bit better.”
After recovering an onside kick to start the game, Needham’s offense capped off a five-play drive with a five-yard strike from sophomore Ryan Charter (13-of-26, 139 yards, 1TD, and 4 INTs) to Vespa.
Boston College responded on the ensuing possession as senior Deonate Ramey-Doe (24 carries, 200 yards, 3 TDs) registered his first of two scores prior to halftime and the offensive line provided the necessary running lanes.
“It was huge. It was huge,” said Ramey-Doe, when asked to describe the play of his offensive line. “I've just got to trust my lineman, run has hard as I can, and it’ll be that.”
“He’s earned himself as a top, great running back over the last six games,” said Boston College High School head coach Jonathan Bartlett. “It was his time to shine [on Saturday]. He did a great job.”
In the second half, Ramey-Doe continued his dominance, capping off a 13-play, 75-yard drive in the third quarter, which secured the win for the Eagles as well as the team’s second Super Bowl in three years.
“This team now, we’re a lot quicker, a lot smarter than the ’08 team,” Ramey-Doe said. “The ’08 team had size, but we’re a lot quicker and a lot smarter.”
Despite tallying one score on the opening drive, Needham’s offense struggled all game, as Charter’s passes sailed past various receivers and also ended up in the palms of four different BC High defenders.
“Our defense played great tonight,” Bartlett said. “That opening drive they had, they scored, and we shut them down after that, so our defense played outstanding.”
Before exiting the stadium, Duffy told reporters that despite the outcome, he was pleased with the Rockets' performance.
“I’m really proud,” Duffy said.