(Groveland) “It was absolutely our best game of the year,” said Pentucket coach Kevin Murray afterwards.
Pentucket defeated Newburyport, 3-0, on Tuesday afternoon at Groveland Pines.
Chase Dwight pitched a 3-hitter. Max Ligols had a 2-run homer and the Pentucket defense was error-free.
“You have to tip your cap to them (Pentucket),” said Newburyport coach Mark Rowe. “They got the big hits when they needed to, and Chase (Dwight) pitched a great game. He threw strikes and if you do that in this league good things are going to happen.”
The biggest hit was by Pentucket’s Max Ligols. The UMF commit had two strikes on him in the fourth inning before clearing the leftfield fence.
“I was down on the count,” recalled Max. “He threw me a first-pitch curve and then came back with it. I just stayed behind and let loose on it. It was the first homer I’ve ever hit. I didn’t even have one in Little League! It sure felt good.”
Max’s homer brought home teammate James Davis who had a long-count single leading off in that fourth inning.
“No one was an easy out today,” said Coach Murray. “We didn’t have any first-pitch outs and we battled back from 0-2 counts.”
Pentucket collected an unearned run in the previous inning. Trevor Kamuda reached on an infield error, stole second and took third on a fielder’s choice. Chase Dwight’s two-out double brought Trevor home.
Newburyport’s best chance to get run(s) was in the fourth inning. The Clippers loaded the bases with one out. A walk (Lucas Stallard), a double (Owen Tahnk) and an intentional walk (Jack Fehlner) put Newburyport in a good spot. But Pentucket escaped as Chase caught Brady Ford looking and handled Tyler Cowles’ grounder to end the threat.
Pentucket answered with the Max Ligol homer in the bottom half of the fourth and had a 3-0 lead.
Chase retired nine of the last ten batters he faced to earn the win for Pentucket.
“My fastball was my best pitch today,” said Chase afterwards. “I had good location.”
“Our energy was high throughout the game,” he added. “We hit when we needed to. Whenever Newburyport did hit, my teammates were there making the plays.”
Chase told me that he will be attending Mass Maritime Academy in the fall. “I may go out for baseball,” he said. “You have to try out for the team, so we’ll see what happens there.”
The Clippers (8-3) came into today’s game averaging 6.9 runs per game. “We hit a lot of balls hard today but right at people,” said Coach Rowe.
Pentucket (5-4) finished with six hits. Max and Chase had two each. Ethan Hunt and James Davis had the other two hits.
The Clippers had hits from Owen Tahnk, Jack Fehlner, and Connor Stick.
Alex Robertson was solid for Pentucket at first base handling nine chances that included several low throws. “Alex had some nice picks,” said Trevor Kamuda post-game.
Prior to this afternoon’s game, Pentucket had won three straight, before losing to Lynnfield last game.
The Clippers entered today’s game having won seven straight. Last loss was on April 11th to Amesbury, until this afternoon.
The weather was comfortably warm at the start and then became much cooler later.
(Byfield MA) Clutch free throws by CJ Condon and Cole Vuylsteke in the final minute enabled Pentucket to get by Triton, 60-59, on Friday night.
“It was a crazy, crazy game,” said Pentucket coach Ed Hickey afterwards. “It was a tale of two halves.”
The Sachems (3-6) were cooking from long range in the first half draining eight three’s. One by Chase Dwight drew smiles from the surprised Pentucket fans and put the visitors ahead, 32-13. The halftime margin was 36-21.
In the second half, Triton came to life.
“We really tightened up defensively,” recalled Triton coach Ted Schruender.
The Pentucket lead was lessened to nine points by the end of the third quarter (52-43) and then things got very interesting in the final quarter.
The Sachems couldn’t score a point for first five minutes and Triton rallied offensively to even things at 52-52. Sophomore John Prendergast collected the tying basket off a deflected shot.
With 1:20 remaining, John was again in the right place at the right time. This time he turned an offensive rebound into a score and the home team led, 57-54.
CJ Condon (23 points) broke in to score a layup but Ethan Tate responded with two free throws. Triton still had a 3-point lead (59-56) with fifty seconds left.
Pentucket won the game on their next two possessions. They did it with four straight free throws (CJ Condon and Cole Vuylsteke). The Vikings (3-5) had a rebounding foul and a turnover in their last two possessions.
“I missed free throws in the first half,” said CJ Condon post-game. “It felt good to knock them down in the second half.”
The tensest moment belonged to Cole who had not scored a point the entire game. Now, with eighteen seconds left he was at the line, shooting one-and-one, with his team trailing by a point. Cole nailed both shots.
“Cole stepped up and hit some huge free throws for us,” said Coach Hickey.
“We had a great comeback,” said Triton senior Quintin McHale (26 points). “We just couldn’t finish it out.”
“We were down by fifteen at one point and came back and got the lead,” recalled Dylan Wilkinson (20 points) afterwards. “You’ve got to finish it off.”
“I can’t say enough about Dylan Wilkinson and Quintin McHale,” said Pentucket coach Ed Hickey. “They were both amazing.”
A crucial defensive play was turned in by Pentucket’s Chase Dwight in the closing seconds. Quintin got in close to the basket looking to get off a shot or get fouled but Chase was able to force the ball out of bounds instead of fouling Quintin.
Nick Daly (15 points) drew special coverage in the first half. He had five three’s, but foul trouble kept him on the sidelines for many minutes.
“I had a bad game last week and I was ready to play tonight,” said Nick afterwards.
The Sachems ended a four-game losing streak. “This was a much-needed win for us,” said Coach Hickey. “I’m not sure we’ve had our full lineup this year. Tonight, we hung in there and I’m very proud of our guys.”
Last year the same two teams faced off at Byfield and Pentucket came away with a 47-46 win.
“Last year we were winning and let one get away,” recalled Coach Schruender. “This year we made a really nice comeback.”
Both squads had active support in the stands. “I love playing in this environment,” said CJ Condon.
(Lynn MA) North Reading has been averaging nearly forty points per game.
When they only had six points at halftime versus Pentucket tonight at Manning Field, you had to suspect that a scoring storm was coming.
And it did.
The Hornets (10-1) big second half gave them a, 31-14, win over Pentucket. It also gave North Reading (#1 seed) a berth in the Division 5 Super Bowl against Swampscott (#2 seed) at Gillette Stadium in December.
“I’m so happy to get a chance to play at Gillette,” said NR quarterback Alex Carucci afterwards.
Alex ran for one score and passed for another.
The Hornets had scored four times this season on their very first play from scrimmage.
Didn’t happen tonight. However, the first time North Reading had the ball in the second half came on a punt return.
Ryan McCullough went seventy-eight yards with that return to give the Hornets the lead for good.
“I was just trying to take it to the house,” recalled Ryan. “I thank my punt-return teammates. There was a wall there.”
Pentucket (#4 seed) was still in this one early in the fourth quarter (17-14) after Chase Dwight’s second short-yardage touchdown.
The Sachems (8-3) were able to get the ball back with a chance to pull ahead.
Credit the NR defense. They forced another punt.
Ryan McCullough was again on the punt receiving end and again had good blocking.
“I nearly had a second touchdown but #11 (Paul Parachojuk) caught me,” said Ryan.
Ryan’s 42-yard return set up the Hornets at the Pentucket five.
From there, quarterback Alex Carucci rolled left looking to pass. Nothing there, so he crossed the field to the right side and connected with Matt Guidebeck for the score.
“It was a broken play,” said Alex. “I just tried to make something happen. Fortunately, my receivers got open for me.”
“I was in the slot on the right,” recalled Matt Guidebeck. “It was a scramble and we had worked all this week on what to do. I moved around until a found a spot to stay.”
“Alex (Carucci) is a smart player,” said NR coach Ed Blum. “When he’s had to scramble, he’s been able to make some plays.”
Matt Guidebeck’s touchdown reception and his kicking conversion put North Reading ahead, 24-14, with five minutes left in the game.
Craig Rubino’s interception ended Pentucket’s next possession and North Reading was home free.
Two second-half interceptions (Ryan McGuire & Craig Rubino) and Ryan McCullough’s two punt returns were keys to the win.
“A couple of big plays really swung it in the second half,” said Pentucket coach Dan Leary. “North Reading makes you play all three phases of the game and defend the field.”
Not to be lost among all the “highlight” plays was the rushing of sophomore Will Batten (26 carries – 158 yards).
“Will put up some big numbers in the weight room last year,” said Coach Blum. “He’s been huge for us in this run.”
Will scored his 20th touchdown in the fourth quarter.
North Reading scored first. Pentucket got a heavy dose of Will Batten right down to their two-yard line. A fake to Will by QB Alex Carucci allowed Alex to score unnoticed.
“Will is a great player and they were keying on him,” said Alex afterwards. “I think they had eleven guys on him and no one on me.”
Pentucket answered with a touchdown greatly aided by a pass interference call. Chase Dwight, who spent most of the game either passing or running, plunged across from a yard away. Henry Hartford’s kick put Pentucket in front, 7-6.
The Sachems held that lead at halftime, but things changed in the second half.
“I told the team at halftime that they had to believe in everything they had done,” said Coach Blum. “We knew that we would face some adversity.”
Coach Leary: “I was proud of our effort.”
Ryan McCullough: “It is an amazing feeling to finally get this done. #4 (Chase Dwight) is a big, strong runner with a huge arm.”
Alex Carucci: “We were a little bit sloppy tonight. I know that we can play a lot better.”
Coach Blum: “Ryan (McCullough) trusted the blockers and made some good cuts on those punt returns.”
Pentucket lost to North Reading eight weeks ago (September 24th), 20-0.
Both North Reading and Pentucket lost to Amesbury this season.
Che Condon had four catches for 111 yards.
Matt Guidebeck kicked a 26-yard field goal in the third quarter.
The Hornets have now won five straight.
North Reading 0 6 11 14 – 31
Pentucket 0 7 0 7 – 14
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(Haverhill MA) His running style isn’t complicated.
“I see space and I hit it,” explained Pentucket quarterback Chase Dwight.
Chase scored three short-yardage touchdowns and that was enough for the Sachems (4-1) to defeat Newburyport, 21-7, on Saturday afternoon.
Chase ended up with a career day that included 148 yards rushing and 152 yards passing (10-for-17).
Both teams produced TDs on their opening possessions and the score was tied at, 7-7, at halftime.
Anyone’s game going into the second half.
After matching turnovers to start the second half, Pentucket dominated on both sides of the ball.
The next two possessions Newburyport punted while the Sachems scored each time.
The defensive key for Pentucket was limiting Clippers QB Finn Sullivan. The talented senior came into today’s game with seven touchdown passes, and five rushing touchdowns.
Finn finished with fifty-five yards passing (seven-for-seventeen) and seventy-six yards rushing on sixteen carries. Little of the yardage came in the second half.
“Defensively, we were able to keep their quarterback under wraps,” said Pentucket coach Steve Hayden afterwards.
“He ran all over us last year,” added Coach Hayden recalling last year’s 40-6 loss to the Clippers.
“After their first score today, we kept our gaps controlled a little bit better,” said Coach Hayden.
On offense, Pentucket overcame bad starting field position in the second half twice (their eight and their ten) and turned in two time-consuming scoring drives.
“The key to our offense is 4 (Chase Dwight) and his composure,” said Coach Hayden.
In the go-ahead score, Chase rushed for three first downs and passed to Adam Payne for another to set it up.
In the backbreaker (for Newburyport) third score, Chase converted three 3rd downs while still on the Pentucket side of midfield. Passes to Will Sutton and CJ Condon kept the sixteen-play drive going.
The beauty of the third score for Pentucket was that it cleared 10 ½ minutes off the 4th quarter clock while giving them a two-touchdown advantage.
The Clippers were left with a little over a minute of game-time and a fourteen-point deficit.
“They took the wind out of our sails in the second half,” said NHS coach Ben Smolski afterwards.
“They established a good ground game by winning in the trenches,” Coach Smolski added.
“Their defense gets after it,” said Coach Smolski. “They get eleven guys to the football. They always have that relentless effort.”
Pentucket started with the ball in the first half and put points on the scoreboard. Chase passed for first downs to Che Condon and Adam Payne before plowing in from a yard away.
Henry Hartford added the extra point as Pentucket led, 7-0, at 6:57 of the first quarter.
The Clippers responded with their own touchdown. Finn Sullivan was key in the seventy-yard drive.
Finn opened space for himself with well-executed fake handoffs. His speed and elusiveness created big gains for the Clippers.
Finn passed to Grant Mosesian for the final nine yards.
“Finn went for the initial read and didn’t see it there and popped it into Grant,” said Coach Smolski of the scoring play.
Finn added the extra point with Chris Salvatore holding.
It was Finn’s eighth touchdown pass of the season and Grant’s second touchdown catch.
The Clippers started three other first-half possessions in very good field position: Newburyport 49, Pentucket 46, Newburyport 42. The upgraded Sachems defense, however, did a better job of containing Finn Sullivan and so punts ended each opportunity.
In both of Chase Dwight’s second-half touchdown, the Sachems were close to the goal-line. There was no mystery as to who would carry the ball. The mystery was, in which direction will he run.
Chase carried a defender into the end zone on the second touchdown (six yards). On the third score (two yards), he went left and into the end zone still standing.
“Chase (Dwight) is just a hard-nosed kid,” said Coach Smolski. “He is mentally and physically tough. He’s hard to bring down.”
Chase is a baseball pitcher so I knew that he could throw a ball. On most of his throws, he was on the move.
What caught my attention about Chase was his speed. I also noticed that he wasn’t shy about lowering his head on potential tacklers.
Chase Dwight: “There was a lot of excitement going into this week. Newburyport is a good team, so we had some nerves, but we played to our potential. We kept pounding today. We kept confidence in ourselves.”
The Sachems were winless last year. I asked Coach Hayden what the difference has been this season: “Our seniors have stepped forward.”
Pentucket’s blocking was very good today. “The guys up front did a good job,” said Coach Hayden, “that includes; John Smith, Remo Pezzi, Bryce Winter, Ethan Drummond, and Chris Tineo.”
Chase is also a very talented baseball pitcher. “He has several options for next year,” added Coach Hayden.
Chase’s three TDs today give him six for the season.
A key missing piece for Newburyport is Luke Stallard. Luke had four TD receptions and may well have been Newburyport’s best defender.
“Luke is out for the season with a broken collar bone,” said Coach Smolski.
Newburyport (3-2) had won three straight.
Two years ago, Pentucket defeated Newburyport, 35-7.
I was impressed with Haverhill’s Trinity Stadium. There are plenty of seats and there is room behind the team areas.
It was senior day for Pentucket, and twenty-one students/cheerleaders were honored.
AD Dan Thornton has PA announcer skills!
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Pentucket sophomore Chase Dwight pitched four shutout innings and drilled a 3-run homer.
Chase’s shot over the fence in left center in the 4th inning off Ipswich relief pitcher Jake Reily scored Joe Lynch and Andrew Melone.
It was only a scrimmage so overreacting in any direction is folly.
However, it seems quite certain that Chase Dwight will play a prominent role for the Sachems in the Cape Ann League regular season which starts later this week.
The Monday afternoon event was played at Groveland Pines.
The prevailing winds there made every ball in the air toward right field an adventure for the fielders. Several drives that way either sliced away, or dropped in front, of fielders.
That same wind turned things from cool to cold for those of us spectators. I lasted four innings.
As is the habit with a scrimmage, there were no numbered uniforms worn or rosters available. I took pictures but won’t be putting names to most of them.
I do plan to post the unnamed ones on Instagram (mcclellandmiscellanea) asking for IDs. Once I get the names, I will add that picture to my online blog (McClelland Miscellanea) coverage of the scrimmage.
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(Newburyport MA) Talk about filling the stat sheet!
Senior Trevor Ward rolled up numbers as the Clippers rolled over Pentucket, 35-6, on Friday night at Stehlin Stadium.
Trevor had a three-touchdown evening combined with two interceptions and a fumble recovery.
Quarterback Finn Sullivan had his best game for Newburyport. The junior threw three touchdown passes and ran for another one.
“They were better than us tonight,” said Pentucket coach Steve Hayden afterwards. “They were clearly more physical.”
The Sachems (0-3) lost two fumbles and had an interception in the first half and fell behind, 21-0. There was no coming back against Newburyport (3-2) on Senior Night.
“Their quarterback was outstanding, and their defense was tough,” explained Coach Hayden.
Newburyport had one turnover but never punted.
Pentucket struggled to stop Finn Sullivan running the quarterback option. Most of his successful QB options followed good fakes to either Trevor Ward or Jacob Buontempo.
“Shoutout to the line,” said Finn. “They made great holes. I couldn’t have done anything without them.”
No question the openings were there but it was the damage that Trevor and Finn did once they broke into the secondary that was noticeable. Both had great speed.
“That was the fastest I’ve ever seen him (Finn) run,” laughed Trevor post-game.
Trevor claimed that Finn was “throwing the ball on a dot,” while Finn claimed that “Trevor made me look good.”
It was that kind of night with plenty of happiness on the Newburyport side.
It was certainly a boost the Clippers needed after last week’s 33-6 loss to Ipswich.
“We had a tough loss last week, but we had a good week of practice this week,” said Finn. “Our goal is to win out.”
On the first touchdown, Trevor started left and then broke clear as he cut back into the middle.
On the second touchdown, Finn faked a handoff to Trevor and went clear up the middle.
Senior Andrew Goodwin kicked the extra point after both scores. Not surprising was that holder Trevor Ward righted a low snap to make the second kick possible.
Newburyport’s offensive line gave Finn plenty of protection. In the second quarter, that lengthy protection gave Finn time to go deep to junior Lucas Stallard for a 24-yard score.
Lucas was able to get behind defenders Ethan Ruszkowski and Joe Lynch.
Newburyport added a fourth TD in the third quarter. It looked like a harmless pass into the flat to Trevor, but his speed and shiftiness allowed him to score from nine yards out.
Pentucket used a trick play to get deep into Newburyport territory in the 3rd quarter. Andrew Melone started one way but handed off to Adam Payne going the other way. The Clippers got caught chasing and Pentucket reached the Red Zone.
However, that promising drive ended with a Trevor Ward interception at the goal line.
“Trevor is great in man coverage,” said Newburyport coach Ben Smolski.
Trevor closed out the Newburyport scoring in the final quarter with a 15-yard touchdown catch.
“On that last touchdown, I figured that Trevor was there somewhere, and he was,” explained Finn Sullivan.
Pentucket’s Chase Dwight was able to get a four-yard, clock-running touchdown in the final two minutes to put the visitors on the board.
Beautiful weather. I was one of those back in the fall saying that football won’t work well in March and April because of the weather. Okay, I was wrong!
Coach Smolski: “I am happy with the way we played tonight.”
Trevor Ward: “We’re lucky to even be able to play. I’m enjoying it.”
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