By Jeff Riesling
Dover-Sherborn High School's Varsity Football team commenced their 2023 season on Friday night with a challenging road defeat against non-conference rival, Ashland High School Clockers, by a score of 28-19. The Clockers employed an unconventional run-blocking scheme, relying on multiple pulling linemen and misdirection, which initially posed difficulties for DS in the first quarter, allowing Ashland to establish a commanding 19-0 lead. Despite adapting their defense later in the game, the Raiders couldn't recover from the early damage.
In the second quarter, on the Raiders' first drive, QB Garrett Webb heated up and led the offense down the field with three successful pass plays. He connected with Brian Olson over the middle and then found Chris Kiesling on the left sideline, advancing the ball to midfield. On the following play, Webb launched a long pass to Olson down the right sideline, who sprinted into the endzone. A successful PAT by kicker John Oleyer narrowed the score to 19-7. However, the Clockers responded with another score, increasing their lead to 26-7 with less than 2 minutes left in the half. DS countered with a quick strike of their own. Starting at their own 35, Webb connected with Kiesling on the right sideline for a 40-yard gain to the Clockers' 25. On the next play, Webb found Olson on the left side, allowing DS to end the half trailing 26-13.
In the second half, DS received the kickoff and embarked on a 15-play drive culminating in Webb's third touchdown pass to Olson, reducing Ashland's lead to one score (26-19). The two teams played evenly for most of the second half, but DS couldn't find the endzone. The Clockers added a late rushing touchdown, resulting in a final score of 34-19 in their favor.
DS's next game is at home against the Hudson Hawks on Thursday, September 14. Last year, Dover Sherborn defeated Hudson 20-7 in the second round of the MIAA Division 5 playoffs.