BARNSTABLE – Don’t tell Falmouth its Thanksgiving Day rivalry doesn’t mean anything.
Kyle Connolly ran for 303 yards on a whopping 35 carries as the Clippers (8-2) toppled Barnstable, 36-14.
The junior quarterback rushed for 259 yards with three touchdowns last year on Thanksgiving. This time, he had three touchdowns and two two-point conversions to lead Falmouth to its fourth straight victory in a series that dates to 1895.
“Barnstable last year … I was able to run on them pretty well, and (this game) they did the exact same thing. But we were all expecting something different because the past two weeks we struggled on different defenses,” Connolly said. “But since they gave that to us, we were able to do a lot more.”
Falmouth’s no-huddle option attack exploded for three touchdowns in the first quarter alone.
Jacob Murphy scored on runs of 25 and 4 yards in the first two series to give Falmouth a 14-0 lead with 4:35 left in the first quarter.
Barnstable (6-5) marched into the red zone on the next possession, but a fumble on the 15-yard line gave Falmouth the ball back with nothing to show on the scoreboard for the Red Raiders.
Connolly took the ball on the next play 85 yards to give Falmouth a 20-0 lead with 1:43 left in the first quarter. At halftime, Falmouth held a 275-20 advantage in rushing yards, dominating the line of scrimmage.
“That’s an offense that you have to get off track. If they are plus-yards on first and second down, they are tough to stop,” Barnstable first-year coach Ross Jatkola said. “(Connolly) is a heck of a player, and (Murphy) did a heck of a job. Up front they are tough. We were going down to score in the first quarter, and we put it on the ground. It’s a one-score game there.”
Barnstable never quit as they came out of the break with a 10-play drive to get on the board despite the 18-degree weather. Matt Petercuskie found Joseph Molina on a curl route, and Molina’s fancy footwork gave the Red Raiders a touchdown and some hope.
But the Clippers responded with a 16-play drive that chewed up 10:25 of the clock. Connolly punched in his second rushing touchdown after bouncing off left tackle to put things in hand 28-7 with 8:07 left.
“Reading social media and papers … Thanksgiving isn’t important anymore. Tell that to these kids and these schools. We treated this as the biggest game of the year,” said Falmouth coach Derek Almeida, whose seniors did not lose a Thanksgiving game. “With our option game, pitching the ball can be a little bit tough, so we ran a little more call dive and call pull for (Connolly). But really all the credit should go to our offensive line.”