By Jeff Kiesling
The Dover-Sherborn varsity football team pulled off an incredible come from behind win during the closing seconds on Saturday afternoon against the Bellingham Blackhawks. Emilio Cabey caught a touchdown pass to put the Raiders ahead with 20 seconds left in the game after they had trailed, 12-3, with under four minutes left in the contest. The win was DS’ first against conference rival Bellingham since 2019 and improved their record to 5-0.
DS began the scoring in the second quarter with a field goal by Ronan Richards to take a 3-0 lead. The two squads traded possessions without scoring until midway through the second quarter, when Bellingham scored on a 70-yard pass play that ended the Raiders’ streak of fifteen consecutive quarters holding its opponents scoreless. Brian Olson broke through on the right side and blocked the extra point attempt, giving the visitors a 6 - 3 lead at the half.
DS began the second half with the football, but they fumbled it away near midfield and the Blackhawks responded by quickly driving down the field and scoring on their second touchdown pass of the afternoon. Olson once again maneuvered to block the PAT and Bellingham’s lead was 12-3 with just under two minutes to go in the third quarter.
The Raiders moved the ball deep into Blackhawk territory to begin the fourth, but an interception killed the drive. The teams traded punts and then interceptions. Bellingham picked the ball near the Raiders 35-yard line, but Henry Dummer got the Raiders on track when he took the ball back with an interception two plays later with just over four minutes remaining in the contest.
Operating from midfield, quarterback Garrett Webb connected with Cabey on the left sideline, who eluded tacklers and carried the ball down to the Bellingham 10-yard line. Michael Polk carried the ball around the right side and into the end-zone and Richards nailed the PAT, making the score 12-10 in the visitors’ favor with just over three minutes remaining. The Raiders’ attempted onside kick failed, and the visitors once again took over near midfield. Facing fourth and one, Bellingham took a gamble and lost when they attempted to rush for the first down, only to have DS knock the ball loose and recover it near midfield. Improbably, with time running out, the Raiders found themselves in position to steal the win.
The Raiders quickly took advantage as Webb tossed up a jump-ball on the left sideline that Cabey went up and grabbed at the thirty-yard line. A ten-yard toss from Webb to Olson on the next play moved the ball to the visitors’ twenty-yard line with time running out. With the game on the line, Cabey, who lined up wide-left, gained separation from his defender in the left corner of the end-zone. Webb uncorked a strike to Cabey’s outside shoulder for a touchdown, giving the Raiders the lead with 20 seconds left in the contest. Polk took a handoff and rumbled through the left side to tack on two points, putting the Raiders ahead for good, 18 - 12.
The Blackhawks had the final possession and were able to move the ball across midfield on three plays, but they came up short when the DS secondary knocked away a final desperation heave as time expired. As the game-clock hit zero, the Raiders bench rushed onto the field as the home crowd erupted with joy. Meanwhile, the visitors looked on in disbelief as their all-but-certain upset had slipped away, the team having squandered a two-score lead in the closing minutes.
Dover-Sherborn looks to remain unbeaten when they return to action at home on Friday, October 14, for a 6:30 p.m. kick-off against Medway High School.
This story was generously contributed by a member of the Dover-Sherborn community. Hometown Weekly welcomes the submission of varsity sports photos and game stories to email@example.com.