Opening Friday night’s game with four consecutive passes for 82 yards and a TD, the Dragons methodically wore down Plymouth North and walked away with a 28-7 non-league win for their third straight victory.
With third-year QB Sean Cross at the controls, Duxbury displayed a varied attack that was aided by the return of senior receiver Ian Whitney, who caught two TD passes including a 15-yarder on the first drive of the game.
It took Duxbury less than two minutes to march down the field after the opening kick-off, as Cross hit Dibona (21 yds.) Matt Savard (31 yds.), Hakeem Leckey (15 yds.), and Whitney to make it 7-0 after Ben Startzell’s PAT split the uprights.
“They [PN] were taking the run away from us and had everyone up in the box,” said Maimaron. “We had the guys out there that can catch the ball for us, so we used them.”
The Eagles countered with senior Joe Flynn behind center, and the hard-throwing baseball sensation had his team at midfield in no time, but the drive stalled when Dibona sacked Flynn for a 10-yard loss that eventually forced a punt.
Plymouth North got wise to Cross on the second series, sacking the senior QB for 22 yards in losses and forcing a punt that put the Eagles in great field position at the Duxbury 43-yard line.
Faced with a third down and 11 yards to go, Flynn dropped back and couldn’t believe his eyes, as running back Jamie Woods slipped down the left sideline all alone and hauled in the pass that led to a 7-7 tie with 2:28 left in the quarter.
Senior linebacker Chris Norling got the Dragons off on the right foot to start the second quarter, stepping in front of a Flynn pass at the Duxbury 40-yard line for an interception
The passing game was now loosening up the PN defense, as Dibona and Cross moved the ball 24 yards into Eagle territory for a first down at the 36. An eight-yard slant to Savard put the ball at the 28, setting up the go-ahead score.
A direct snap to Dibona had the Eagles in pursuit, but the senior calmly held his ground and looked back to his left where he found a wide-open Cross swinging out of the backfield and down the sideline after hauling in Dibona’ pass for the TD.
Holding a 14-7 lead, the Duxbury defense took over, as senior Quinn Cully sacked Flynn for a nine-yard loss that killed their drive and forced a punt down to the 15-yard line.
With 2:45 to go in the half, Cross marched the Dragons right down the field with junior Bobby Murphy collecting three passes for 43 yards and the ball on the 15. Cross went for the end zone with just over 10 seconds showing on the clock, but he was intercepted as the clock expired.
Neither team could do anything to get on the scoreboard in the third quarter, but the Eagles did go into a no-huddle offense that did move the ball before petering out on a fourth down pass attempt.
Starting on its own 42-yard line with 10:57 left in the game, Duxbury called Dibona’s number on first down that resulted in a 24-yard gain. A one-yard loss by Dibona, a five-yard gain by Murphy, and an incomplete pass on third down had the Dragons at the PN 30 on fourth down.
In obvious fourth down territory, Cross took the snap and rifled an out pass on the left side to Whitney, who cut back to the middle and broke a pair of tackles while racing into the end zone. Startzell’s PAT put the Dragons ahead 21-7 with 8:45 left in the game.
The Eagles took just six plays to move the ball down to the Duxbury 31-yard line, but a 10-yard sack by senior linebacker Kyle Gavoni and a tipped pass by Cully ended the drive with 6:12 showing on the clock.
After a Murphy run and a penalty put the ball at the PN 48, Cross sold the perfect fake on a hand-off to Dibona and rolled to his right, lofting a pass downfield to a totally uncovered Cully who waltzed into the end zone for the final score of the game.
“We’ll take what anyone wants to give us,” said Maimaron. “Cross is a capable QB and we’ve got capable receivers, so if want to go cover the pass we’ll run Shane, and if they want to jam everyone in the box we’ll throw.”
The Dragons now have a week off before returning to action next Friday night when they entertain Hanover at 7 p.m.