By Patrick Flaherty, BPSsports Correspondent
TAUNTON — Reaching the Super Bowl for the first time since 1993, the Latin Academy Dragons hoped to silence their critics and take home the Division 5 crown. But Taylor Hughes and the Nantucket Whalers had other ideas, as they blew out Latin Academy 35-7 yesterday at Taunton High School.
Nantucket came into Saturday averaging over 30 points per game during the regular season, and that high scoring offensive production continued against the Dragons. Whalers quarterback Taylor Hughes had a huge day on the ground (18 rushes, 126 yards), through the air (5-5, 155 yards passing) and on defense (11 Tackles) to pace Nantucket.
Nantucket set the tone on the opening possession of the game, putting together a 62 yard scoring drive that took just 61 seconds, capped off by a 49 yard touchdown run by Hughes.
After being shut down on their first possession, Latin Academy thought they had tied the game at 7 when Earnest Kellough picked up a fumble on Nantucket’s punt return and ran in for a touchdown. However, the Dragons were called for a block in the back on the play and the Whalers got the ball back. Nantucket then scored a few minutes later on a halfback pass from Zachary Moran to Andrew Benson, making it 14-0.
Latin Academy began to put a drive together in the second quarter and had the ball inside the 20 yard line. But the Whalers defense hung tough when it counted, stuffing the Dragons on 4th down. Hughes then connected with Zachary Moran for a 71 yard completion to give Nantucket another opportunity before the half. Fullback Codie Perry (14 carries, 56 yards) then bulldozed into the end zone for the Whalers 3rd score of the half.
The Dragons were finally able to put some points on the board in the 3rd quarter when junior running back Earnest Kellough ran off tackle into the end zone, but it was too little too late as Nantucket went on to win, 35-7.
This is the first Super Bowl title in 13 years for the Nantucket Whalers.
Pat Flaherty is the producer and play-by-play announcer for Mayor Menino’s Game of the Week, which airs on Sundays at noon and Tuesdays at 7:30 p.m, on Boston City TV (Ch. 24). The games also airs on BNN Channel 9 on Mondays at 9:30 p.m.