HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL: This first-year senior is turning heads with GNB Voc-Tech – SouthCoastToday.com

NEW BEDFORD — Rylan Rose hadn’t played football since Pop Warner, but the GNB Voc-Tech senior decided to come out for the team his senior year.
The first-year player is having quite an impact for the surging Bears, who have won three straight after Friday’s 42-0 victory over Bourne in a South Coast Conference crossover game.
After rushing for more than 100 yards three weeks ago in a win over Fairhaven, Rose scored the winning touchdown last week against Dighton-Rehoboth and set the tone Friday night with the Bears’ opening TD against the Canalmen.
“He came into camp and I didn’t know much about him. I knew who he was, but that was it,” said GNB Voc-Tech head coach Justin Cruz. “He looked good. We scrimmaged West Bridgewater and I was like, ‘Oh we’ve got something here’ and then he ended up getting hurt in the Dartmouth Jamboree.”
A determined Rose didn’t get down on himself. He continued to work hard like he did all last year when he wasn’t eligible to compete because he was fully remote.
“I signed up last year, but I wasn’t eligible to play so during junior season I started working out and everything. I got my body built,” he said, noting that he trained with Dartmouth’s JJ Esterlin. “When I worked out, I worked on my whole body. I really wanted to play. I just focused.
“I came into the program not knowing a single play and the first week they already had me learning 20 plays so I just studied them. I stayed up three hours a night studying the plays.”
Every time Rose touches the football, he has the potential to break one, giving GNB Voc-Tech another offensive threat out of the backfield. 
“I’ve been telling him all along, ‘You’re a special player and everyone is going to know about you as the season goes on. Just stick with it and keep working hard,’” Cruz said. “That’s where he’s at right now. People are starting to know about him.”
Rose is not only fast, he’s also strong and hard to bring down.
“I’ve always had strong legs,” Rose said. “It makes it hard for the defender to tackle me and I’ve always been fast. It just came naturally.”
Cruz added, “He’s an explosive back. He reminds me a lot of Jaydn Barros who we had a couple of years ago, but he’s got a little more size than Jaydn does.”
Rose also sets the bar high for himself.  
“He handles business,” Cruz said. “He takes everything very seriously and he almost holds it personally if he doesn’t play to his own expectation. That accountability is getting spread to everybody which is nice for us.”
Rose is thrilled he’s been able to help the Bears win three straight, but even he didn’t expect this in his first year.
“When I got home it hit me, I scored the game-winning touchdown,” he said of the D-R game. “It’s going way better than I predicted because I thought I’d be sitting on the bench. 
“It feels amazing to be honest. It makes me smile and it makes me happy to know that last junior season, we went 0-4 and for me to come around and flip that, it feels amazing.”
Bourne fumbled on the game’s opening kickoff and GNB Voc-Tech recovered. Rose made the Canalmen pay just a few minutes later when he took the pitch from senior quarterback Cam Lynch and scored on a seven-yard run to put the Bears ahead 7-0.
“He brings a lot of energy and hard running. It’s what we need,” Lynch said of Rose.
After a quick three-and-out for Bourne, GNB Voc-Tech went up 14-0 on an eight-yard touchdown run by senior running back Elijah Raymond with 3:49 left in the first quarter. 
“We’re executing a lot better like we wanted to in the beginning,” Cruz said. “We’ve improved each week execution wise.”
The Bears increased their lead to 21-0 just before the end of the quarter when Lynch broke free for a 38-yard scoring scamper. He added a 20-yard touchdown pass to senior Azia Ba midway through the second quarter to put Voc-Tech out front 28-0 at halftime.
“The big key piece is Cam and he’s playing great,” Cruz said. “He’s getting to the point that it’s becoming a business day for him. He wants to come out and he knows what he’s capable of and he holds everybody around him to the same expectation. We have a lot of good senior leadership. I think that helps.”
The Bears sat almost all of their starters in the second half, but still got into the end zone twice — on a 33-yard run by sophomore Tyler Tavares and a 36-yard run by junior Joe Brightman.
“We’ve always preached doing the right things and now it’s coming to fruition a little bit,” Cruz said. “I’m just proud of our seniors. It feels good to be on the other side of one of these. It feels good right now, but we know we’ve got a serious three weeks ahead of us that are going to define who we are.”
Over the next three weeks, the Bears will face Old Rochester, Apponequet and Somerset Berkley.
WHAT IT MEANS: With the win, Voc-Tech improves to 4-1. The Bears visit Old Rochester next Friday. … The loss drops Bourne to 1-4. 
SOUTHCOASTVARSITY PLAYER OF THE GAME: On his 18th birthday, Lynch ran for a touchdown and threw for another. 
LYNCH: “I think we’re playing our best football right now. We’re playing confidently. The biggest thing is we’re experienced. It feels good, but we’ve got to do what we’ve got to do next week. It’s good to beat them, but we have to get it done the rest of the year.”
BUILDING SCHOOL SPIRIT: “Throughout the school we’re trying to show people we wanted to be loved,” Cruz said. “This week we gave all of our jerseys to the kids and they had to find a teacher or a faculty member, staff or anybody in the building that they appreciated. Today we had a bunch of staff wearing our guys’ jerseys and some had multiple jerseys of kids that really appreciate them. I’ve had a lot of people come up and talk about how awesome that was and that’s what I’m trying to teach these kids is it’s a lot better to be loved than hate on you. I think we’re heading in the right direction with that.” 
BOURNE STATS: The Canalmen were held to just 90 yards of total offense with all of them coming on the ground. Bourne had five first downs in the game. 
VOC-TECH STATS: The Bears racked up 392 yards of total offense with 337 coming on the ground. Voc-Tech had 11 first downs. 
NOTES: Senior Avery Sylvia had a 57-yard kickoff return to open the third quarter. … Ba recovered a fumble in the second quarter. … Senior Connor McManus made all six extra points. 
BOURNE;0;0;0;0 — 0
GNB VOC-TECH;21;7;14;0 — 42
First Quarter
VT: Rylan Rose 7 run (Connor McManus kick), 8:22
VT: Elijah Raymond 8 run (Connor McManus kick), 3:49
VT: Cam Lynch 38 run (Connor McManus kick), :16
Second Quarter
VT: Aziz Ba 20 pass from Cam Lynch (Connor McManus kick), 5:00 
Third Quarter
VT: Tyler Tavares 33 run (Connor McManus kick), 11:24
VT: Joe Brightman 36 run (Connor McManus kick), 3:29 
Fourth Quarter
Individual Statistics
Rushing — B: Logan Cook 6-16, Craig Hill 9-29, Ty Healey 11-39, Aiden Sansoucie 1-(-3), Brian Murphy 2-9; VT: 
Passing — B: None; VT: 
Receiving — B: None; VT: Rylan Rose 4-21-1, Avery Sylvia 1-13, Cam Lynch 3-71-1, Joe Brightman 4-54-1, Elijah Raymond 4-28-1, Tyler Tavares 4-59-1, Jhaden Reis 4-52, Odelio Benique 1-12, Nasir Goncalves 2-27.