ALLSTON _ When Chris Dumont woke up Friday morning, he honestly had no idea how things would turn out Friday night at Harvard Stadium in the Division 5 North Quarterfinal game against Brighton High School.
There were no premonitions he would have such a wild romp through the Bengals defense, no sense he would score five touchdowns while running for 246 yards.
He just didn't see it coming.
Well, Brighton never saw him coming, but saw plenty of him going into the end zone in the Hornets 42-28 victory that sends the Hornets into the second round of the playoffs against the winner of the Northeast-Lowell Catholic game.
"He ran like crazy today and he's been doing it all year," Manchester-Essex coach Mike Athanas said of Dumont. "The line blocked up great for him and he did a great job."
The Brighton defense that lined up across from the Hornets offense offered good size and significant surge. But time and time again, the Manchester-Essex offensive line found a way to use the Bengals size against them.
Over and over, the Hornets ran Dumont on a counter _ usually to the left _ with the result that the senior co-captain spent more time in the Brighton defensive backfield than the Bengals' safeties.
"The offensive line really blocked for me and really made it easy," Dumont said.
The Hornets (5-3) controlled the line of scrimmage throughout the game, moving the ball repeatedly into the deeper reaches of the Bengal territory. The only times they didn't score usually was the result of self-inflicted wounds.
Still things looked a little dire when they surrendered two touchdowns in the last 50 seconds of the first half to fall behind 22-14.
"We were a little bummed at the half, but we refocusd and came out and played a really strong second half _ especially defensively," Dumont said.
Did they ever.
They held Brighton scoreless until the Bengals scored with 10 seconds left in the game to account for the final score.
"I thought we controlled the game throughout and just gave up a couple of big plays," Athanas. "I was really happy with how hard our kids played."
Dumont ran for 126 yards in the first half and 120 in the scond half. Everytime the Honets need a yard or 10, he got the ball. And more often than not he delivered.
"We had a really good week of practice and I thought we were really focused coming into the game," Dumont said. "The defense really set the tone in the second half."
He was standing on the field at Harvard Stadium, the bright lights casting shadows all about him. He was holding the game ball, as well he deserved.
The TV interview was over and so was the chat with the newspaper guys. He turned to join his teammates at midfield and they greeted him with a shout. It was that kind of night.
And so the Hornets move on, having already taken out one undefeated team in the Brighton Bengals.
Athanas was asked afterward if he had a preference for his next opponent and true to all coaches he aid no, that they'll play whomever shows up.
No surprise there. Just as there was no surprise that when Dumont touched the ball Friday night at Harvard Stadium, good things invariably happened.
Sean Horgan may be contacted at 978-283-7000 x3464, or email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter at @SeanGDT