By Jeff Kiesling
The Dover-Sherborn varsity football team returned home on Friday night for a non-conference matchup with the Sharon High School Eagles. Both squads came into the game with 2-0 records following impressive wins against non-conference opponents to begin their respective seasons. The Raiders relied on their aggressive defense and two rushing touchdowns by Michael Polk to improve to 3-0 and maintain sole possession of first place in the Tri-Valley League (small).
Neither squad was able to score in the opening period as the defenses dominated. DS took the opening kickoff deep in their own territory, but was forced to punt. The visitors worked their way down the field to the Raiders’ 25-yard line, before electing to go for it on 4th and 5. Mekhi Robinson, however, dropped the Eagles’ runner in the backfield for a loss, dashing Sharon’s hopes of a score.
After the teams traded possessions, the first quarter ended when Robinson and Dylan Rogers combined for a timely quarterback sack.
The tone of the game changed early in the 2nd quarter when Brian Olson broke through the middle of the line and blocked a Sharon punt attempt, allowing Robinson to smother the ball at the visitor’s 37-yard line. The Raiders offense then snapped to life with a 7-yard run by Polk, followed by a pass from Garrett Webb to Emilio Cabey, who hurdled a would-be tackler and carried the ball to the Eagles’ 15-yard line. A quick pass to Henry Moore allowed the Raiders to convert on 4th and 5, setting them up near the goal line.
On the next snap, the Raiders offensive line (LT Matt Darin, LG Alex Banerjee, C Will Dummer, RG Tim Sampson and RT Dylan Rogers) knocked the Eagles defensive line off the ball, which allowed Polk to push into the end-zone for a rushing touchdown to break the deadlock. Webb’s quick toss to Cabey tacked on two points, making the score Dover-Sherborn 8, Sharon 0.
The two teams went back and forth for the remainder of the half, but neither team was able to add to the score. The home team went into the locker room at the break clinging to a one-score advantage.
The Eagles received the second-half kickoff and looked to get on the board quickly when the return man broke free down the right sideline, but the DS kicker, Ronan Richards, ran the play down from behind to deny the visitors a score. The Raiders defense once again rose to the occasion and stuffed the Eagles, who attempted to convert on 4th and short, returning the ball to the Raiders deep in their own territory.
The punting units were called upon repeatedly as the two squads traded possessions for the rest of the third quarter. However, the defenses remained stout while the offenses were stagnant, and the score was still 8-0 at the end of three.
That changed early in the 4th quarter when DS took over on downs at the Eagles’ 35 - yard line. Polk took a handoff and beat the Sharon defenders to the corner, racing down the left sideline for a 25-yard romp to the 10-yard line. On the next play Polk took a pitch and scampered through traffic on the right side for his second rushing TD of the game. Webb tacked on two points with a dart to Olson, making the score 16-0, which would be the final count. The teams continued to trade blows in the final quarter without either team being able to find the end-zone or uprights.
The Raiders look to stay unbeaten when they travel to Dedham High School this Friday night (September 30) at 6:30 p.m. for their first league game of the season.