Old Colony football wins conference title, prepares for playoffs

Oct 31, 2023

ROCHESTER — The Old Colony Regional Vocational Technical High School football team defeated South Shore Vocational Technical High School 12-0 on Friday, Oct. 27, to clinch the Mayflower Athletic Conference Small Division title.

The Cougars finish their regular season schedule with a record of 7-1, and will now compete in the MIAA state tournament.

Old Colony will host Narragansett Regional in the first round of the Div. 8 tournament on Friday, Nov. 3 at 7 p.m.

Old Colony’s offense this season has been explosive, averaging 32.1 points per game. Their defense — impenetrable, allowing just 10.5 points per game.

While both sides of the ball have been strong, Old Colony Head Coach Brandon Mendez says winning starts on the defensive side.

“Defense is where we pride ourselves on winning the game, we are more proud to keep points off the scoreboard than we are putting them on,” said Mendez. “Everyone on our defense plays extremely hard, we try to get as many helmets around the ball as possible.”

On the other side, Old Colony features a heavy rushing attack that gets many of the team’s best athletes involved. Senior Stu Burnham and Junior Nathan Marden lead the way, each having gained over 650 yards on the ground in 2023 thus far. Both also have a knack for finding the endzone — running for eight touchdowns each in the regular season.

According to Mendez, dividing the load on offense between many different ball carriers has value in more ways than one.

“It makes us tougher to prepare for, our opponents can’t gameplan on stopping one guy,” said Mendez. “It also keeps our players fresher as the season goes on because we aren’t giving 25-30 carries a game to one player.”

Shawn Markham and Max Finney are two more pieces of the Cougars’ deep backfield. Markham has run for 430 yards and six rushing touchdowns, Finney has added 536 rushing yards and four rushing touchdowns.

Mendez has seen the team mature as the season has developed.

“Guys have had to step up and take on new roles on the field, as well as leadership roles. I’m most proud of that,” said Mendez.

Old Colony’s lone loss of the season came at the hands of Blue Hills in September.

Entering the playoffs, the Cougars have not given up a single point in their last two games. However, Mendez thinks his team has a challenge on their hands with Narragansett Regional.

“They have excellent skill players and big guys up front. It’s going to be a test, and we want that,” said Mendez.

Kickoff is set for Friday, Nov. 3, at Old Colony. The loser’s season will be over while the winning team moves one step closer to a state championship.