Tag Archives: Jack Hadden

Swampscott stuns Newburyport 6-5

Swampscott celebrates the upset
Jack Russo scored the game winner

(Newburyport) He was going down as he let the shot go and it went in.

Not only did it go in, but Jack Russo’s goal was the game winner for Swampscott.

The Big Blue stunned Newburyport, 6-5, on Thursday afternoon.

It was the Division Three opener for both squads.

Swampscott moves on to face Pentucket on Saturday.  The Panthers had a 13-4 win over Big Blue on April 2nd.

The ways things turned out didn’t surprise either coach.

“We’re battled tested with Danvers, Beverly, Marblehead, and Masco so we knew we were capable of doing it,” said Swampscott coach Geoff Beckett afterwards.

Harrison Kinne carries

“In the tournament at the end of the year, anyone can beat anybody,” said Newburyport coach Josh Wedge post-game.

The result was surely a surprise to those doing the MIAA power rankings in Division Three since (12-7) Newburyport was the #8 seed and (10-8) Swampscott was the #25 seed.

Newburyport took a one-goal lead three straight times and Swampscott followed by doing the same thing.

The team behind always caught up until Jack Russo gave Big Blue a 6-5 lead with 5:15 left in the final quarter.  The Clippers weren’t able to get the equalizer in the several opportunities they had.

“Our defense was amazing,” said Swampscott goalie Aidan Breault.  “We gave up only one goal in the second half.”

Aidan Breault (9)

Aidan made some key saves but added, “I couldn’t have done it without the defense in front of me.”

The Clippers ability to score goals took a hit in the first quarter when senior Jonny Groth was injured and never returned.

“When Jonny, our best middie went down that was tough,” said Coach Wedge.  “He was our senior leader all year on offense.”

Big Blue took the lead for good on Jack Russo’s goal in the fourth quarter.

“I was trying to push top-side,” recalled Jack regarding his game winner.  “I saw the goalie slide, so I gave a nice little swim move and honestly prayed and it went in.  I was falling and I tried to use my momentum to put it in the net.”

“Swampscott is a very athletic team,” said Coach Wedge, “and I knew that they would give us problems if we didn’t execute.”

Cole Mellett with the ball

“To win we had to put forty-eight minutes together,” said Coach Beckett.  “We probably played about forty-five minutes but luckily it was enough.”

Senior Ryan McHugh opened the scoring for Newburyport but Cole Hamernick answered for Swampscott in the first quarter.

Coach Wedge called a timeout with fifty-six seconds left in the first quarter and his team came out and scored (Ryan Philbin) ten seconds later.

The back-and-forth continued in the second quarter.  Big Blue’s Jason Codispoti tied the game at 2-2 before Owen Kurez put the Clippers ahead again. 

Jack Russo went over the top of a defender to tie the game at 3-3 with seven minutes left until halftime.

Jack Hadden

Harrison Kinne poured in from the left and Big Blue had its first lead of the game, 4-3, with 5:52 left in the 2nd quarter.

Newburyport’s Jack Hadden made a long run to tie things (4-4) at the half.

I expected the higher seed to string goals together and gain some separation in the second half.

It didn’t happen.

“Our stick skills were a little sloppy,” said Coach Wedge.  “We had opportunities that we just dropped.”

Swampscott wasn’t playing very well either.

“We let them hang around in the third quarter with a lot of turnovers,” said Coach Beckett.

Goals by Cole Hamernick (Swampscott) and Ryan McHugh (Newburyport) kept things even when the third quarter ended.

Ryan McHugh had 2 goals for Newburyport

Only one goal was scored during the twelve-minute final quarter, and it was by Jack Russo.

“Their goalie (Ryan Portalla) was playing good all day,” said Jack, “so I finally got one by him.  Newburyport is a well-coached, great team.  #1 (Jack Hadden) is a heckuva player.”

Jack Russo saw plenty of Jack Hadden as the two of them tangled numerous times in Swampscott’s offensive end.

Christian Urbano and Harrison Kinne each had two assists for Swampscott.

Aidan Breault not only had a big game in net, but he also wasn’t hesitant to carry the ball into the other end.

“I got bored down there sometimes,” he laughed, “so I’ve got to run it up and make a play and try to set up the offense.”

Plenty of good weather this afternoon.

Newburyport   2   2   1   0   =   5

  Swampscott   1   3   1   1   =   6

Ball on the turf

Newburyport defenders in pursuit

Jack Russo and Jack Hadden get entangled

Jason Codispoti scored twice for Swampscott

Player in the air

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Cole Mellett perfect as Newburyport defeats North Reading 12-5

Cole Mellett on the attack after winning a faceoff
Jon Groth (3 goals) and Joseph Collins

(Newburyport) He was perfect.

“You can’t do any better than that,” said Newburyport coach Josh Wedge afterwards.

The NHS coach was referring to Cole Mellett and the twenty-one faceoffs he took.

“I don’t think I’ve seen anyone go perfect on faceoffs,” added Coach Wedge.  “He won 21-of-21!”

Cole’s perfect game was a key piece in the Clippers’ 12-5 win over North Reading on Wednesday afternoon.

The win keeps Newburyport undefeated (5-0) in the Cape Ann League.

Ball on the turf

The Hornets (4-5) opened the second half with goals from Dan Oliveira and Ryan Long to cut the Clippers lead to, 6-4.

But the Clippers responded with three unanswered goals (Ryan Philbin, Jon Groth, Cam Tinkham) in a three-minute stretch to close out the third period.

“We kept it close for as long as we could,” said North Reading coach Charles Campobasso post-game.

Hornet in the air

“We struggled with faceoffs and ground balls,” he added.  “If we can’t get possession there, we’re really in trouble and are limited getting down the other end of the field.”

Newburyport jumped ahead, 4-1, after a quarter and led, 6-2, at halftime.

“It was a 6-2 game that felt like it should have been 10-2,” said Coach Wedge.  “We could have shot better in the first half.”

Eli Sirota and Ryan Long (2 goals)

In the second half the Clippers did shoot better after the two early Hornets’ goals. 

Jon Groth and Cam Tinkham led Newburyport’s scorers with three goals each.  Zach McHugh and Ryan Philbin each had two while Ryan McHugh and Owen Kruez had one each.

Ryan Long scored twice for North Reading.  Teddy Suny, Dan Oliveira, and Sam Morelli had solo goals.

Ball in the air

North Reading has now lost four of their last five games.

“Josh (Wedge) does a good job of getting his guys prepared,” said Coach Campobasso.  “We knew going in that we would have our work cut out for us.  Our struggles with faceoffs and ground balls against a good team were a recipe for a tough day.”

North Reading will get another chance against Newburyport in a couple of weeks.

The Clippers were 14-1 last year and aren’t shying away from tough opponents this year with Cape Elizabeth, Portsmouth, and Concord-Carlisle on their schedule.
“Playing those teams will help our power rankings,” said junior Jack Hadden.  “They are all reigning state champions.”

Angus Webster

Jack Hadden: “Cole (Mellett) is unbelievable.  It’s his first year doing faceoffs.  He works so hard.  Lacrosse is all about the faceoffs.  If you can’t win faceoffs, you can’t win.”

Cole Mellett: “I guess it was my lucky day out there.  It’s my first year doing it.  My friend Colin McCoy took them last year and was very good at it.  He taught me over the summer, and I just picked it up.  It gave us a lot of possessions.”

There was a taste of winter in the air.  No snow but temperatures close to fifty with a strong wind.  It is still April.

Newburyport     6   6   =   12

North Reading   2   3   =     5

(The pictures will enlarge.)

Jack Hadden
Shot at North Reading goalie Andrew Peppe
Devin Tran
Cole Mellett was 21-for-21 on faceoffs

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Lynn English defeats Newburyport 28-7 to win fifth straight

Nolan Mulcahy (53) brings down Newburyport quarterback Finn Sullivan
Niko Silverio (50) and Brady Ford (73)

(Newburyport MA) The Lynn English Bulldogs (5-6) are on a roll.

Yes, they have six losses but the last one was on October 1st.

LE has now won five straight adding Newburyport to the list, 28-7, at Stehlin Stadium Thursday night.

It was the last home game for the Clippers (4-6).

Newburyport visits Amesbury on Thanksgiving Day.

The Clippers put three straight wins together early in the season but have struggled with five losses in their last six games.

In tonight’s game, Newburyport trailed only, 14-7, early in the fourth quarter after a Finn Sullivan 15-yard scramble and extra-point kick.

Bulldogs quarterback Jesse Maggs

But the Bulldogs responded with points on each of their next two possessions to seal the win.

One of the keys to the Bulldogs’ win was their ability to contain quarterback Finn Sullivan.  Finn’s running has been crucial to the NHS offense all season.  Lynn English shut that part down except for the 15-yard touchdown scramble early in the final quarter.

Meanwhile, LE showed the ability to run and pass.

Midway through the opening quarter, Newburyport junior Aidan Blunt deflected a pass in the end zone to keep freshman Edwin Castro from putting Lynn English on the scoreboard.

First LE touchdown celebrated

Lynn English would not be denied. They started a drive at their own thirty-eight, late in the first quarter, that paid off at 9:02 in the second quarter.

Mixing passing, running, and a fumble recovery (Edwin Castro) the Bulldogs reached the Newburyport 18.

QB Jesse Maggs then found Edwin Castro yards behind his nearest defender for an 18-yard score.  Clipper Angus Webster broke up the 2-point conversion attempt, but LE had a, 6-0, lead.

The Bulldogs put another threatening drive together in the second quarter aided by a major penalty on the Clippers.  However, QB Jesse Maggs fumbled and Angus Webster recovered at the Newburyport 17 with less than two minutes left.

The rest of the second quarter the Clippers showed an excellent passing attack.  There was protection and the sidelines routes were nicely executed.  But the clock was the problem.

Newburyport reached the LE 22 with time for one last play.  The Bulldogs’ defense responded as sophomore Mitchell Purter brought the pressure and sacked QB Finn Sullivan to end the half.

Wes Chandler (89 yards)

Lynn English padded their lead in the third quarter.  The key to LE’s second scoring drive was catches by senior Shea Palmer. Shea’s second catch was a leaper along the right sidelines that reached the Newburyport 14.

Senior Wes Chandler (89 yards) broke left, cut back and scored untouched.  Wes also ran in the two-point conversion.  LE now led, 14-0, with four minutes remaining in the 3rd quarter.

The Clippers needed a big break to get back in the game and the Lynn English coaching staff supplied it.

Located deep in their own territory (28-yard-line) on fourth down, the Bulldogs decided to go for it.  (I’m thinking the two-touchdown lead and significant confidence in their running game may have been the motivation.)  Anyhow, QG Jesse Maggs tried and failed to get the one yard needed, setting Newburyport up at the LE 28.

QB Finn Sullivan (155 yards passing) passed to sophomore Sean Miles to get NHS to the L15 and scrambled in from there.

Finn Sullivan off on his 15-yard touchdown run
Finn Sullivan dives into the end zone

The Clippers were now only behind, 14-7, with most of the final quarter ahead of them.  Could they tighten up the defense and get closer?

Unfortunately, for the home team, the defense couldn’t get it done.

Ernie Panias runs away from the Clippers defense to score his 2nd touchdown of the half

The Bulldogs had size on their line and had already picked up quality yards running or passing. 

Sophomore Ernie Panias started the third scoring drive with a 20-yard run and then the QB Jesse Maggs to Wes Chandler connection clicked twice to reach the Newburyport 2.

Ernie Panias covered the last two yards at 9:43. Wes Chandler rushed for the 2-point conversion.  LE was now in front, 22-7.

Jack Hadden

The Clippers took a 4th down gamble on their next possession, and like the Bulldogs, came up empty.  Sophomore Kane Brennan was stopped in his tracks by the Bulldogs defense to set them up at the Newburyport 42.

Lynn English capitalized on the good field position two minutes later.  Ernie Panias went in off the right side standing up.  The two-point conversion (Lionel Rivera) was stopped.  LE was in command, 28-7, with 6:40 left.

Credit the Clippers.  The game was essentially over but that didn’t stop them from putting a solid drive together.  A key play was a catch by junior Jack Hadden getting Newburyport to the one-yard-line.

However, a pass interference call against the Clippers in the end zone frustrated the golden scoring chance.

Lynn English    0  6  8  14 – 28

Newburyport  0  0  0    7  –  7

I noted a tremendous difference in the atmosphere at the stadium from Wednesday night (boys soccer tourney game) and Thursday night (football game).  Weekday, non-tournament games can reduce the crowd to close friends and family.

Finn Sullivan passed for 155 yards

The weather was cool but not cold.

Lynn English is in the Northeastern Conference and Division Three.

Newburyport is in the Cape Ann League and Division Five.

Bulldogs’ quarterback Jesse Maggs reminded me of Pentucket’s Chase Dwight.  Both are big, strong, and faster than you suspect.

(I wasn’t intending to write this game up.  I planned to cover it with a few pictures, which I did on my Twitter account (McClellandPeter).  When I realized that there was no local coverage (at all) I decided to put this story together.  I didn’t talk to coaches and players afterwards.  Those interactions are important, and it would have helped me to have had them.)

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

Ball on the ground
Ernie Panias (7) and Jeff Thurston (9)
Robert Merenda (67), Nolan Mulcahy (53), Finn Sullivan (10)
Ernie Panias (7) has blockers in front
Logan Jones (3), Josh McDonald (4), Jack Hadden (6), and Ernie Panias (7) battle in the end zone

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