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Tetu runs wild as Brady football wins opener, 53-35

  • Bishop Brady's Matt Tetu dives toward the pylon in the Green Giants' 53-35 season-opening victory over Raymond. Tetu finished with five touchdowns.

    Bishop Brady's Matt Tetu dives toward the pylon in the Green Giants' 53-35 season-opening victory over Raymond. Tetu finished with five touchdowns.

  • Matt Tetu drags a Raymond defender behind him to lead Bishop Brady to a 53-35 season-opening victory. Tetu scored five touchdowns for the Green Giants, four of them rushing.

    Matt Tetu drags a Raymond defender behind him to lead Bishop Brady to a 53-35 season-opening victory. Tetu scored five touchdowns for the Green Giants, four of them rushing.

  • Bishop Brady's Matt Tetu dives toward the pylon in the Green Giants' 53-35 season-opening victory over Raymond. Tetu finished with five touchdowns.
  • Matt Tetu drags a Raymond defender behind him to lead Bishop Brady to a 53-35 season-opening victory. Tetu scored five touchdowns for the Green Giants, four of them rushing.

CONCORD – For three quarters, it was an even matchup. The Bishop Brady football team’s ground game ran unhindered for most of the night, and Raymond kept pace stride for stride with an aerial attack that had the Green Giants defense flummoxed and frustrated.

But Brady kept running. And running. And running. Strength and power won out, and the Green Giants, led by four rushing touchdowns and five total from Matt Tetu, started their first season in Division III in style with a 53-35 victory over the Rams at Memorial Field.

“We had been pretty good at winning our home opener. Unfortunately, the last couple of years, we haven’t done that, and it’s made the season a little bit tougher,” said Coach Greg Roberts, whose team dropped its first game last year and ended up missing the playoffs by one game. “It’s one thing to come back next week on a new team and playing better, it’s a little tougher when you’ve got things to fix after Week 1. Starting with a win, always good.”

It wasn’t easy – not early on, at least. Raymond proved it meant business after an 0-9 season in Division VI, taking the lead on the first play when Andrew Downey brought back the opening kick for a score and using an effective downfield passing game to counteract Brady’s advantage in the trenches, battling to within 31-29 when quarterback Garrett Norris threw his third touchdown pass with 1:56 to go in the third quarter.

But Raymond couldn’t get over that final hurdle and re-take the lead, largely due to a Brady ground game that shredded the Rams defense on almost every opportunity with the football. Giants running backs ran 56 times for 485 yards, with the majority of the production coming from running back Tetu, who had 28 carries for 263 yards and four touchdowns.

“Coming into the season. … we were going to design an offense that showcased him,” Roberts said. “He was going to be the guy.”

Tetu had touchdown runs of 12 and 10 yards entering the fourth, but took over to seal the game for the Green Giants. His 20-yard run with 11:05 to play capped off a 54-yard drive and made it 31-21, and after a Raymond punt, he finished a 69-yard drive with a 28-yard run that made it 46-29 with 8:41 left.

While he was the main weapon, Brady had other players to turn to on the ground, including fullback Dalton Morris, who ran 16 times for 116 yards and two scores, including a game-sealing 14-yard touchdown for the final points of the game with 1:10 left, and Moses Murenzi, who gained 65 yards on eight rushes.

“This offense is capable of putting a lot of points up,” said Tetu, who added a fifth touchdown on an 85-yard kickoff return. “We’ve got plays to beat any defense, we believe.”

The Green Giants needed those plays, as the Rams were just as efficient moving the ball through the air. Norris began the game 9-of-13 for 182 yards and three touchdowns, throwing mostly to Downey (six catches, 148 yards), who had touchdown receptions of 50 and 29 yards in the second quarter before adding a third score in the fourth to make it 46-35.

With Raymond falling behind in the fourth, Norris had to throw into tighter coverage schemes, reflected in his finishing 13 of 31 for 261 yards. He did throw for four touchdowns, with Dylan Greenwood (three catches, 70 yards) catching the other in the third to make it 31-29 and set the stage for Tetu.

“(We’ve) been working (in preseason), but you haven’t really had that test,” Roberts said. “Now we’ve had a little bit of a test, and I think we can go back and fine-tune some things. We had some big holes, that means the line was doing their job. But every week, we’ve got to keep working to make sure those things keep happening.”

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