FOXBORO — It was mid-July, the Raiders were pumping iron, preparing for their season, when I ran into Central Catholic running backs coach Nelson Ovalles.
“Watch out for us,” Ovalles said. “We’re the team to beat.”
I sloughed it off as foolish optimism. “Where’s the flash? Where’s the big-play guy? Where’s the highlight-maker?”
Right there, Ovalles pointed proudly into the weight room at a muscular, 207-pound sculpture of a young man, D’Andre Drummond-Mayrie.
I chuckled and gave Ovalles a slightly positive, “We’ll see,” and chuckled as I thought under my breath, “That kid plays safety, and he’s not Troy Polamalu good.”
Yesterday, Ovalles found me early, right after Drummond-Mayrie put on a Gillette Stadium show, rolling up 119 yards and three touchdowns on just 12 carries as Central dominated Xaverian for the Division 1 Super Bowl championship, 34-17.
“How’s that for flash!” he laughed, and it wasn’t under his breath either.
The UNH-bound “safety” skipped past, ran away for an exclamation point and steamrolled a Hawk or two in a dozen of the most dynamic dashes in Raider history.
“My cousin (Kevin Fritschey) played here in 2007 and ever since then, I have wanted to see what it’s like,” said Drummond-Mayrie, who had only 503 yards and nine TDs on the ground during the season as he shared carries with Markus Edmunds and Mike Balsamo.
“This is my last game ever (for Central), and it being here, I wasn’t about to hold anything back.”
Currently, the only scholarship player on the Raider roster, Drummond-Mayrie dominated the season in quiet ways. Xaverian found out yesterday what plenty of past Central foes learned the hard way as he slammed into the fray from his safety spot with reckless abandoned and snuffed out the Hawks’ option-run game.