Monthly Archives: October 2017

Newburyport uses Pentucket turnovers to gain 21-13 victory

Senior Myles Maloof (9) followed some excellent blocking to get two Newburyport TDs

Thomas Murphy (10) intercepts a pass intended for Jake Etter

(Newburyport MA) You can’t always get away with things in a football game.

And that was certainly the case for Pentucket on Friday night as they were done in by three turnovers.

The costly result of the three miscues was a 21-13 loss to Newburyport in a Cape Ann League matchup and an extension of a losing streak that has now reached four.

The Sachems (1-5) led 13-7 entering the fourth quarter but the Clippers (3-2) tied things one minute into the final frame.

The visitors followed with a forgettable possession that included a holding penalty (Liam Murray), a sack (Connor Smith), and an interception by junior Thomas Murphy.

Set up on the Pentucket 36 with 7 ½ minutes to go, Newburyport ran senior Myles Maloof right on one play and left on the next.  On the first play, Myles was untouched thirty-six yards into the end zone.  On the second play, Myles was untouched for the two-point conversion.  NBPT led 21-13.

Untouched runs always direct your attention to terrific blocking and there was plenty of that for Newburyport with the outcome in the balance.

Nathan McGrail (2) had eight catches and two Sachem scores

The Sachems had 7:29 left to catch up.  They ended up with two possessions. During this game’s hectic ending, quarterback Gus Flaherty had first-down passes to wide receiver Nathan McGrail in both possessions.  Nathan’s catches brought Pentucket to the Clippers 32-yard-line where both drives ended.

In the first of those Pentucket possessions, a sack by NHS senior Eben Mulvey was the killer.  The next possession?  A game-deciding interception by Myles Maloof that turned out to be the last play of the contest.

Truly an exciting game at a terrific stadium with fine weather to boot for a mid-October night game.

Nathan McGrail encounters Connor Smith

I referenced the costly mistakes of Pentucket.  There were others they made that weren’t costly but could have been.  The Sachems had fumbles in the first and second quarters that were recovered (Gus Flahery, Brian Wilbur).  Later, a low snap by center Jack Mitchell on an extra point attempt threw off the timing of Daniels Lathum and his kick went wide right.

The missed EP didn’t hurt because the Clippers missed on their EP attempt after their second touchdown.

The Sachems had serious trouble, especially in the second half, stopping Myles Maloof.  Clever ball-handling by QB Owen Bradbury was a factor.  (I found myself visually chasing the wrong runner on several occasions.)  I have included pictures to show the kind of blocking Myles had in front of him.

Ethan Dore left the game early with a leg injury

A leg injury sent two-way Sachems starter Ethan Dore to the sidelines on Newburyport’s second possession of the game.

Give credit to the Sachems because despite all these handicaps they gave the Clippers plenty of trouble.

Pentucket was able to run the ball (Brandon Wilbur) and pass it during the first half.  The second half?  The Clippers took away the run.  That left the Sachems one dimensional and easier to defend.  The Clippers single coverage gave way to zone coverage in the end game and interceptions resulted.

Nathan McGrail (8 catches/132 yards) and Jake Etter (7 catches/68 yards) were favorite targets of QB Gus Flaherty.

Nathan McGrail got behind the Newburyport secondary twice for touchdowns

Nathan torched the NBPT secondary twice for scores.  Both times the Clippers deep defenders appeared to underestimate the arm strength of Gus Flaherty (17-for-24 217 yards) and were beaten deep.  Later when Newburyport’s zone coverage was in place, there was no getting beaten deep.  Extra defenders downfield in the pass-receiving areas led to the two crucial late-game interceptions.

Connor Smith excelled on offense and defense for the home team.  With good height and instincts, he provided constant problems for Pentucket.

Just wondering: If coaches can manage defenses without having a player come to the sidelines and report back in, why can’t they do it on offense?  I think of that when a team needs to move quickly because they are trailing, but instead the trailing team waits while the seconds run off for the quarterback to go to the sidelines and then back to the huddle.

Brandon Wilbur (21) tries to excape Noah Van Schalkwyk (20)

How to drive your coach crazy.  Late in the game, Newburyport had the lead and the ball.  Pentucket was burning it timeouts hoping for another series of downs.  Newburyport quarterback Owen Bradbury looked to be running an option but at the last second decided to pass into the flat.  The ball was dropped and the clock STOPPED with 59 seconds left instead of running and running until a 4th down punt was attempted quite a few seconds later.

Pentucket had won four of the last five meeting with Newburyport.

Both teams were defeated badly by Masco.  Lynnfield also took down Newburyport by a big score (32-0).  Pentucket has the Pioneers ahead on their schedule.

The lights and the setting at the stadium were excellent.

Wide receiver Nathan McGrail showed the ability to jump over defenders.

(All of the pictures above and below will enlarge considerably if you click on them.)

Nathan McGrail

QB Owen Bradbury pitches to Myles Maloof

Brandon Wilbur (21) looks for running room

Jake Etter (left) interferes with Owen Bradbury

Leaping catch by Nathan McGrail in front of Noah Van Schalkwyk

Nathan McGrail (2) finishes his 2nd TD

Donte Harmon (15) tries the right side

Myles Maloof (9) finds the end zone

Action at midfield

Gus Flaherty (7) was 17-for-24 with two touchdown passes

Myles Maloof behind excellent blocking

Myles Maloof (9) outruns Jake Etter for six

Myles Maloof (9) heads for the end zone

Myles Maloof (9) ends the game with an interception

 

 

 

 

 

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Ipswich pulls away from Amesbury 42-21 with strong second half

Pat Gillis (three touchdowns) finds space and blocking (Tommy Herron 82 and William Ginolfi 65)

Amesbury’s Zack Levarity (2) gets the signal that he has scored at touchdown.

(Amesbury MA) Giving up 30+ points per game won’t win many of them and that logic held true for Amesbury Friday night as they fell, 42-21, to Ipswich at Landry Stadium.

Amesbury (0-5) was in a tie with the Tigers (3-2) in the second period, 14-all, but stayed quiet thereafter offensively until a last-minute tally versus the Ipswich reserves.

Two rushes into the game Ipswich was on the board with sophomore Justin Moran in the Amesbury end zone.  It looked to me as if the same play was used to get Justin to the Amesbury 25 and later in for the score.

Justin Moran (5) off to an early Ipswich touchdown.

The ease of the Ipswich touchdown had me thinking early on that the Amesbury defense was going to be severely tested……….and they were.

I wondered if the Indians could generate enough offense to hang around in a high-scoring matchup.

It turned out that Amesbury could put up points.  The home team answered the first two Tigers’ touchdowns with ones of their own.  Junior Patrick Birmingham figured in both of them.  His 17-yard run in the first quarter put Amesbury on the Ipswich five where Zach Levarity scored from.  In the second quarter, Patrick found daylight on the right and QB Blake Bennett tossed him a 13-yard catch-and-run tally.

Patrick Birmingham hauls in a TD pass from Blake Bennett.

So Amesbury wasn’t going away.  It was a matter of which team would be unable to answer first.

Ipswich responded to the tie score in the 2nd quarter with the second of Pat Gillis’ three TDs.  I am not sure if Pat was even touched on any of his touchdowns.  Good blocking and good deception within the Tigers offensive schemes created some serious openings in the Amesbury defense.

Amesbury didn’t get the score back in the first half but they received the kickoff in the 2nd half.

Something transformed the Ipswich defense in the second half.  The Indians tried a variety of plays in that second half but seemed to be confronted with multiple tacklers much of the time and held to short gains.

Pat Gillis (44) finds a huge opening to score

The Tigers gained two-TD separation in the third quarter.  A pass from QB Ben Yanakakis to senior Alex Bruhm had Ipswich cooking at the Amesbury five.  Pat Gillis finished in the end zone several plays later.

You’re trailing by fourteen points late in the third quarter so you dust off the passing attack.  Amesbury went that route with absolutely disastrous results.

Two straight Amesbury series ended up in touchdowns……..for Ipswich.  Interceptions.

Trying to get credit straight in sports is an interest of mine.  Christian Fabbri and Alex Bruhm ran back interceptions for touchdowns for Ipswich.  I took enough pictures so that I could see contributors to those pick-six plays.  Pete Spinale was bringing AHS quarterback Blake Bennett down as he tossed the first interception.  On the second one, Ben Yanakakis was in Blake’s face, certainly affecting Blake’s view downfield.

Christian Fabbri has an interception and blocking to get him into the Amesbury end zone.

Alex Bruhm takes an interception to the Amesbury end zone with Jacob Hamel chasing.

Needless to say, that revived IHS defense put fourteen straight points up for the visitors and put this game well out of reach.

Captain Connor Whitley among those honored pregame at Landry

Nice crowd at Landry Stadium as the senior athletes and cheerleaders were recognized.

Nice weather too.  I’ll take low 60’s, without a breeze, anytime at night in early October.

On one play in the second half, Ipswich had only ten players on defense and still held the Indians to a small gain.

I was completely fooled by Amesbury when they went for the first of two their extra points.  Why?  They had no holder just #90 (Ruairi Cleary) back there.  I assumed a timeout was coming but instead the ball was snapped to Ruairi and he dropkicked it for the extra point. Didn’t Doug Flutie do that once for the Patriots?

Ruairi Cleary drop kicks.

When the attempt for the second Ruairi extra-point attempt occurred I was camera ready and got a shot of the sophomore doing it.

Plenty of helpful information from the public address announcer.

Ipswich had lost its other two road games to Newburyport and Triton.

The Tigers have defeated Amesbury four straight times.

(All of the pictures above and below will enlarge considerably if you click on them.)

Amesbury gang tackles Pat Gillis

Ben Yanakakis stopped by Amesbury at the goal line.

Ben Yanakakis pressures Amesbury QB Blake Bennett and an interception resulted.

Matt Warren (50) recovers a fumble

Logan Burrill gang tackled by the Tigers

Izzy Morrissey hit hard by Zack Levarity

Pat Gillis breaks free

Pat Gillis races alone into the end zone

Caleb Comeau kicked five extra points.

Pete Spinale pressures Amesbury QB Blake Bennett and it leads to an interception.

Ipswich quarterback Ben Yanakakis

 

 

 

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