Super Bowl-bound Eagles top Tigers

Barrington will play St. Raphaels for Division II title

By Josh Bickford
Posted 5/4/21

A howling wind and tough Tolman defense was not enough to keep the Barrington High School football team from advancing to the Division II State Championship.

The Eagles defeated the Tigers 31-6 in …

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Super Bowl-bound Eagles top Tigers

Barrington will play St. Raphaels for Division II title

Posted

A howling wind and tough Tolman defense was not enough to keep the Barrington High School football team from advancing to the Division II State Championship.

The Eagles defeated the Tigers 31-6 in the semifinals on Friday night, in front a crowd of hometown fans at Victory Field. Led by quarterback Brigham Dunphy, Barrington opened an 18-0 lead at halftime and was up 31-0 in the fourth quarter, before Tolman managed to find the end zone. 

The win propels the Eagles into the Division II Super Bowl against undefeated St. Raphael’s Academy — the game will be played this Sunday, May 9 at Cranston Stadium at 7 p.m.

Barrington High School Coach Sandy Gorham said he was very happy with his team’s effort against Tolman. He said Barrington has held been able to get some key playing time for its backups over the last three weeks, as the Eagles’ starters have built commanding leads.

“The last three games, the starters have been out for the fourth quarter,” Coach Gorham said. 

Coach Gorham knows his team will face its toughest test of the season on Sunday night when they kick off against St. Raphaels. The Saints are undefeated and knocked off Westerly by two scores in the other Division II semifinal game. 

“They’ve got great special teams,” Coach Gorham said. “They scored twice on special teams (against Westerly). They’re very explosive… the right side of their line is big. They’re creative. Their coach does a nice job. Without question this will be our toughest challenge. That’s why they’re in the Super Bowl.”

Eagles top Tigers

Barrington’s defense played well from the start against Tolman. Coach Gorham praised the play of seniors Will Sanchez and Tommy Rocha. 

“Will plays a position we call the whip. We use him to rush the passer, drop back in certain formations, covering a receiver downfield. He’s very versatile. 

Tommy is a rock at defensive end. He’s worked his butt off in the weight room. He’s a tough kid,” Coach Gorham said. 

The coach also mentioned senior linebacker Jack Kelty. 

“Jack Kelty, he’s a first year starter as a senior. He’s a sure, quick tackler. Diagnoses the plays. He’s very smart,” Coach Gorham said. 

“We’ve had great communication this year. Between secondary, linebackers… we’re very lucky. This is a veteran senior team. They’ve been great.”

Meanwhile, BHS quarterback Brigham Dunphy led the offense. Tolman had stacked all 11 players within five yards of the line of scrimmage, selling out against the Eagles’ running attack. But it was just a matter of time before Dunphy found the end zone. After taking over possession deep in Tolman territory, Barrington called for a quick slant pass. But Dunphy turned a bobbled ball into a four-yard touchdown run, sprinting into the end zone on the broken play. The Eagles missed the extra point, but scored two more times in the first half and built an 18-0 lead. 

“Brigham has exceeded my expectations at quarterback,” Coach Gorham said. “I marvel at his quickness. Broken pass protection and he’ll break it for a long run.”

Coach Gorham said Mark Bernardo has also had a spectacular season running the ball. 

“They’ve done great,” he added. 

Coach Gorham said his son, Luke, also scored on a short touchdown run, and Matt Daft hauled in a touchdown pass from Dunphy. 

Coach Gorham said he has had the luxury of having 19 different starters in the 22 offensive and defensive positions. That has helped keep the Eagles’ legs fresh throughout games.

“They (Tolman) got tired at the end and we didn’t,” he said. 

Coach Gorham said he has reminded his team how special this Sunday’s game will be — a chance to go out as Super Bowl champions.

“I’m thrilled. For me, personally, it’ll be my last football game coaching my son,” he said. 

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