RHAM Suffers Tough Loss to Bacon Academy on Thanksgiving

COLCHESTER-RHAM lost its annual Thanksgiving Day football matchup with Bacon Academy earlier today, experiencing an ugly 48-14 loss.

The Sachems (1-9) did not score until the fourth quarter. The Sachems first touchdown came with 9:55 remaining in the game when junior running back Tommy Doyle found a hole along the right sideline and outraced a couple of defenders for a 31-yard score. Just over two minutes later, freshman David Casper returned a kickoff 85 yards for a touchdown to make the score 48-14. He was able to escape tackles by making a few nice cuts and took advantage of RHAMs efficient blocking.

Unfortunately for the Sachems, by the time they first scored Bacon (8-2) was already leading 41-0. The Bobcats wasted no time getting on the board, scoring 1:29 seconds into the game on a 7-yard run by star Peter Kazibwe. His touchdown was set up by a 34-yard pass from quarterback Sean Kelly to Daniel Narlock. After RHAMs first drive stalled near midfield, Bacon continued to move the ball very efficiently on its next drive. Kelly displayed his versatility, making big plays with both his league and arm while escaping the Sachems pass rushers multiple times. The drive ended with another touchdown run by Kazibwe with 46 seconds remaining in the first quarter.

The Bobcats scored two more TDs in the second to take a 27-0 lead into halftime. The first one came on their opening drive of the quarter when Kelly rocketed a 7-yard pass to an o

pen Paul Chasse with 7:23 remaining. His catch was set up by Kazibwe’s 60-yard run down the left sideline, during which he again escaped multiple tackles. With just under six minutes remaining, RHAM began a drive at its own 21-yard line. It started promisingly, with the team moving the ball well on the ground behind Doyle and others. After advancing to the Bacon 30 at the 2:47 mark, however, junior quarterback Jack Tillinghast lofted a pass over open receivers into the hands of Chasse, who ran the ball down to the RHAM 17. A few plays later, Kelly threw a 30-yard touchdown to a leaping Tyler Bolden.

The Sachems received a gift with 1:52 left in the half when Dylan Depersia recovered the Bobcats dropped punt at their 20. They failed to capitalize, as Tillinghast made a poor throw on fourth down that was intercepted.

In the third, Bacon again scored two touchdowns while RHAM struggled to move the ball. After its first drive ended at roughly the 40, the Bobcats took over and relied on a heavy dose of Kazibwe and Kelly to break tackles and run the ball down to the goal-line, where Kazibwe ran the ball in from with 5:34 remaining. The Sachems could not respond, going four and out on their next possession. Bacon immediately struck when it took over, as Kelly fired a TD to Narlock on first down at the 3:34 mark to give his team a 41-0 lead.

“Our defense didn’t tackle worth a darn,” RHAM head coach Tom Hammon said. “You have to tackle to win. Sean Kelly is a great quarterback-good athlete and smart-and he’s hard to contain.”

Hammon admitted after the game that he should have run more to take pressure off of Tillinghast and his receivers.

“I could have and should have ran the ball all day and I didn’t, so put that on me,” he said. “Our quarterback threw four interceptions, and we didn’t execute plays the way they were designed and took losses. We didn’t have trouble running the football.”

After Doyle put the Sachems on the board with his run, Bacon scored its final touchdown when Kelly hit Sicard for a 24-yard score with 7:53 to go. The game ended on a down note when Tillinghast threw an interception on the team’s final play.

Doyle credited his blockers for opening holes on his touchdown run. He gave the Bobcats credit for making big plays on both ends.

With the win, Bacon qualified for the Class M playoffs as the number six seed. It will play at Ledyard in the quarterfinals this upcoming week.

While the 2015 season was very disappointing for the Sachems, both Hammon and Doyle can take away positives from it and see bright days ahead.

“We didn’t have a big roster and were using a lot of younger and less-experienced players this season,” Hammon said. “I’m not sure about next season, but I’m certain in two years that RHAM will be a very good team.”

“This season will just help us become better and more motivated next year,” Doyle said. “The younger guys all improved a lot this year.”

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