DEDHAM — St. Sebastian’s coach Dan Burke wasn’t afraid to hand the ball over to his underclassmen.
And they answered when their numbers were called.
With first downs coming at a premium for both St. Sebastian’s and Nobles during a Week 2 battle between ISL unbeatens, it was the Arrows’ underclassmen running back tandem of Justin Bourque and George Kelly paved the way for a road win.
Bourque, a sophomore, and Kelly, a freshman, each rushed for touchdowns and St. Sebastian’s defense was nearly perfect in a 14-6 victory over host Nobles on Saturday afternoon.
“I’m really proud of our guys that we were able to stick together and, even when we weren’t playing our best game and were a little bit rattled, we came out with a win,” Burke said. “To win in this league is a hard thing to do and we were able to do enough to get the W.”
St. Sebastian’s (2-0) found the end zone on its first possession when Bourque (9 carries, 49 yards, TD) lowered his shoulder and flattened one defender before breaking multiple other tackles en route to a 15-yard run. Sophomore Cooper Bolton made the first of his two extra points to give the Arrows a 7-0 lead with 6:17 left in the opening quarter.
After Bourque displayed his strength, Kelly (7 carries, 29 yards, TD) showcased his speed with 2:28 left in the second quarter when he raced for a 7-yard touchdown run off tackle that helped St. Sebastian’s take a 14-6 lead into halftime.
“George is great,” Bourque said. “He pushes me every day and I’m right there pushing him.”
Added Kelly, “[Bourque is] a great power runner and I’m a great speed runner, so it’s great.”
St. Sebastian’s only blemish on defense came early in the second quarter when Nobles junior quarterback Devin Hunt threw a 35-yard touchdown to classmate Henry Tweedy, who was left uncovered down the sideline. The Arrows maintained a 7-6 edge after Tweedy missed the extra point.
“We felt like we gave them the one score with a mistake on our part,” Burke said.
Nobles coach Rob Murray said being held to six points was “a little discouraging.”
“I think we have to find a little more of a balance heading into next week,” said Murray, whose team fell to 1-1. “I thought we moved the ball well at times and we also stalled at times, but that’s what happens when you play a good football team.”