It was one of the few times that the two South Shore schools have met on the gridiron, so the Dragon players knew little about their new Patriot League opponent.
If they thought it was going to be a walk in the park, they learned early, as the Presidents intercepted Sean Cross on the second play of the game after a holding penalty had set the Dragons back 10 yards.
Quincy came into the game at 2-2 with a pair of one-point losses, but knew that a game of smash-mouth football wouldnâ€™t be enough to slow down Duxbury.
A double reverse at midfield on Quincyâ€™s first play from scrimmage netted seven yards, but the drive would end quickly when senior linebacker Tyler Genereux crushed running back Max Devoe for a five-yard loss on third down.
A swarming and speedy Quincy defense seemed to have all the answers for slowing down running back Shane Dibona and Cross, and got the ball right back after a Duxbury drive that lasted just 68 seconds.
It took the Presidents three downs to cough it up, when Stefon Davis fumbled near midfield, allowing senior linebacker Steve Ripley to recover the ball on his teamâ€™s 46-yard line.
Neither team could generate any consistent offense over the next nine minutes, until the Dragons started to get in synch, starting at their own 45-yard line with 8:26 left in the half.
A 20-yard pass to Dibona, a nine-yard toss to Savard, and a 15-yard run by Dibona took the ball quickly down to the 11-yard line. A quick hitter to senior Kyle Gavoni and another Dibona run put the ball at the three. But on third and two, a Cross pass intended for Ripley went incomplete and brought on Ben Startzell for a 20-yard field goal that produced a 3-0 lead.
Coach Dave Maimaron decided to use some trickery of his own, but his onsides kick didnâ€™t fool the Presidents, who took over at midfield.
On first down senior Quinn Cully and junior C.J. Cote stormed across the line and sacked Lance Peterson for a 10-yard loss. It didnâ€™t deter the Quincy QB, who hit captain Sean Gray with consecutive passes for 29 yards on the next two plays before going to the well once too often when Savard picked off a deflected pass to kill the drive at the Duxbury 17-yard line.
With 3:22 to go in the half, Duxbury began its best drive of the afternoon, as Cross went to the air to move the Dragons.
â€œWe just tried to take what they were giving us,â€ said Maimaron. â€œWe can throw or run. It doesnâ€™t make any difference.â€
Passes to Hakeem Lecky (15 and 12 yds.), Dibona (6 yds.), and Pat McWilliams (14 yds.) helped move the ball to the Quincy 30-yard line before the Dragons went to Dibona to chew up the remaining yardage.
On third and 10, the senior captain took a pitch around the left side and wove his way down the sideline before being knocked out of bounds at the eight-yard line.
It was a grind from here on in, as the Quincy defense held the Duxbury star to six yards on three carries that forced a fourth-down from the two-yard line.
Cross dropped back to pass and found Ian Whitney over the middle in the back of the end zone where the senior receiver leapt high and came down with one foot in for the TD.
A fake PAT found Cully all alone on the right side of the end zone for the 2-pt. conversion and an 11-0 lead with four seconds remaining in the half.
Unfortunately for the Dragons, junior Rob Kates suffered a serious shoulder injury on the ensuing kick-off and could be lost for the season.
The second half started with the Dragons in control, as the Duxbury defense forced a punt after four plays and started a drive at their own 31.
Despite a pair of penalties, one of which nullified a Bobby Murphy 32-yard TD run, Duxbury moved the ball effortlessly all the way down to the Presidentâ€™s 20-yard line.
On second and six Cross tried to dump a pass in the flat, but Quincyâ€™s Tim Lewis read it perfectly and picked it off, taking it all the way back to the Duxbury 39 where the Presidents wasted little time in giving it back on a Lecky interception and return to the 34.
Seven plays into the drive Cross lofted a strike down the right sideline to Cully, who out-ran his defender into the end zone for a 46-yard TD pass. Startzellâ€™s PAT made it 18-0 for the final points of the game with 9:45 to go.
â€œWe tried to tell our kids that they were a very physical team and that they run to the ball on defense,â€ said Maimaron. â€œThey are a good team and we were a little bit flat. Iâ€™m not sure if it was because it was a Saturday afternoon game or not. It wasnâ€™t a very good performance.â€