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|Dragons crush Rams in playoff prep|
|Friday, 28 November 2008 15:14|
You would think with a 10-0 record and a Super Bowl playoff berth under his belt, senior tight end Quinn Cully would have nerves of steel.
â€œIn the pre-game Coach Maimaron came up to us in the huddle and said the first play was going to be twins-right, tight end screen left. Right away I started to get butterflies about it,â€ said Cully. â€œI tripped at the line, and then got up and caught the ball, and then I got a great block by Mike Gilbody downfield to get me going.â€
Not only did Gilbodyâ€™s block get Cully going for a 70-yard TD on the opening play off the game, it also got the Dragons off on the right foot, as #6 ranked Duxbury demolished the #9 ranked Rams, 28-0, at James G. Anderson Field on Thanksgiving Day morning in Marshfield.
It was a game in which the outcome would have no effect on post-season play; but it would result in bragging rights on the South Shore for the victor.
Having lost two straight Turkey Day games, Duxbury was out to end that streak, and to establish the 2008 team as the best in the schoolâ€™s history. While a Super Bowl trophy may earn them that lofty status, the road wonâ€™t be easy, as they opened last night against undefeated (11-0) Apponequet Regional High School at Durfee High School in Fall River.
Itâ€™s been nearly impossible for teams to defense the Duxbury offense, and when they do by loading up the box against Shane DiBona, Coach Dave Maimaron calls on QB Sean Cross to air it out.
That was the case on Thursday, as DiBona was held to 44 rushing yards in the first half, while Cross fired away in the first 20 minutes going 7 for 10 for 183 yards, throwing strikes of 45 yards to Hakeem Lecky and 27 yards to Pat McWilliams.
After Duxbury stuffed the Marshfield offense on its first series, the Rams did likewise to the visitors, forcing a fourth down in which Maimaron made a questionable call to go for it at his own 42-yard line.
The Ram defense rose to the occasion, as a Cross pass to DiBona in the left flat was almost picked off.
A somewhat predictable Marshfield offense moved the ball 20 yards behind the running of QB Stephen Sousa, but Bob McNeil was stuffed on a fourth down attempt that gave Duxbury the ball at the 24-yard line with seven seconds left in the quarter.
â€œOur defense really shut down their running game,â€ said Maimaron. â€œOur coaching staff did a great job preparing a game plan for them and our kids did a great job carrying it out.â€
After a DiBona carry for eight yards, Cross dropped back on second down and found Lecky down the right sideline, connecting with the speedy senior all the way down to the Marshfield 23.
Three plays later, Cross found DiBona for a 10-yard TD pass with 8:23 left in the half. Ben Startzellâ€™s PAT was blocked and the Dragons were in front 13-0.
A great tackle by Chris Norling stopped Marshfield on its next drive, but Duxbury turned it over on first down when Sousa picked off an under-thrown Cross pass intended for Cully.
The Duxbury defense continued to thwart every Marshfield drive, as senior linebackers Tyler Genereux and Kyle Gavoni were immense in holding the Rams to one first down in the first half, while heading to the locker room with a 13-0 lead.
â€œTyler has improved every week. Last year he played cornerback in this game and didnâ€™t have his greatest game, but today was a 100 percent improvement,â€ said Maimaron. â€œHe did a tremendous job today and he has done that each week as he gets better and better. That was a big hole we had to fill at the beginning of the year and he has been doing awesome. Heâ€™s the QB of our defense. Not only is he playing well, but heâ€™s making all the adjustments.â€
The Dragons continued to move the ball at will on their first drive of the second half, but a pair of sacks on Cross forced a 42-yard field goal attempt on fourth down that went wide left.
While the Rams had little to show in terms of comeback power, it was made a mute point with 1:30 to go in the third quarter when Genereux and Steve Ripley rushed in on Sousa and knocked the ball loose, allowing Norling to pick up the fumble and run it in from 15 yards out. Startzellâ€™s PAT gave the Dragons a 21-0 lead.
Duxburyâ€™s defensive dominance continued, as Marshfield earned just its second first down of the game with 6:22 remaining. However, the euphoria of showing a hint of offense was quickly extinguished when Genereux registered another sack to kill the drive.
The senior linebacker was having a field day with Sousa, as he combined with Gavoni once again, sacking him right before the Ramsâ€™ QB was picked off by Ian Whitney, who took the ball down to the five-yard line before being knocked out of bounds.
Two plays later Ripley launched himself into the end zone, with Startzell providing the final point of the game in Duxburyâ€™s 11th straight win.
â€œOur defensive and offensive lines played great all day long,â€ said Maimaron. â€œMarshfield is a good team, and to shut them out on their own field is a tough job.â€