- Written by Mike Halloran
- Published: 15 September 2009
They didnâ€™t wheel any wooden horse behind the Duxbury defense. They just went toe-to-toe and ran at will on their opening drive, moving the ball 90 yards in 14 plays and overcoming a 15-yard penalty in the process.
Such was the opening salvo facing the Dragons, as they dropped their season opener to Bridgewater-Raynham, 28-7, on the new turf field at Raymond Chandler Field on Friday night.
Winners of 13 straight games in 2008, including a 15-0 win over the Trojans in Bridgewater, Duxburyâ€™s mounting injuries and inexperience took its toll on the home team when they ran out of weapons in trying to battle back from a 14-0 deficit.
â€œThey are a very good team and have a lot of returning players and we donâ€™t,â€ said Duxbury Coach Dave Maimaron. â€œI think their experience and our inexperience showed tonight.â€
B-R senior running back Isaiah Johnson took his team out of a hole immediately, shredding the Duxbury defense for 30 yards on the second play of the game and establishing himself as the teamâ€™s workhorse.
From then on Johnson carried seven more times during the drive and finished it off with a 6-yard run around the right side for a 7-0 lead after Mike Chicoineâ€™s PAT.
Duxburyâ€™s starting QB Matt Oâ€™Keefe had a rude greeting in his first varsity start, getting sacked for an 8-yard loss on first down and going three downs and out.
Taking over on their own 49 after a Ben Startzell punt, the Trojans needed just five plays to make it 14-0, as Chicoine rumbled 18 yards for a TD and kicked the PAT.
Having gotten his feet wet on his first series, Oâ€™Keefe settled down and felt more comfortable in the pocket after a 14-yard run by sophomore Henry Buonagurio. Passes to senior captains Matt Savard and Pat McWilliams moved the ball all the way down to the 24.
On the next play Oâ€™Keefe took off out of the pocket and was nailed at the 15-yard line where he coughed up the ball to end the drive.
The Duxbury defense held the fort, getting the ball back on their own 38 with 2:02 remaining in the half, but failed to move the ball down field far enough when the drive stalled and ended on a 42-yard field goal attempt by Startzell that went wide right.
Duxburyâ€™s problems looked like they would continue in the second half when it fumbled the opening kickoff and started its drive at the 9-yard line.
Three passes to senior tight end CJ Cote and three runs by Buonagurio suddenly had the ball at midfield, as Dux- bury found a magic formula for moving the chains. Five more carries by Buonagurio and a couple of completions by Oâ€™Keefe moved the ball to the four-yard line, where the sophomore signal-caller left the pocket and ran to the right corner for a TD. Startzellâ€™s PAT was good and the Dragons were back in the game.
â€œHenry did a great job for us in the preseason and he did it once again tonight.â€
A fired up Duxbury defense stopped the Trojans on their next series, only to have B-Râ€™s punt pin the Dragons back on their own four-yard line.
Duxbury could do little in three downs and punted the ball right back, putting the visitors at the Duxbury 49 with 8:22 left in the game. On the first play QB Mike Connolly faked a handoff and cut off his right guard, scampering 49 yards for a TD and putting an end to the Dragonsâ€™ comeback hopes.
â€œWe dug in there for awhile, then we turned the ball over too much,â€ said the Duxbury coach.
Trailing 21-7 and needing an immediate score, Oâ€™Keefe dropped back on second down and fired to his right where Neil Harrington was waiting in the wings to pick off the errant pass and head into the end zone to cap the evening for the visitors.
â€œWe lost our best defensive player early in JB Marston (knee) and then we lost Pat McWilliams (two-way starter). We ended up playing six or seven sophomores out there on defense.â€
The Dragons will get their chance to get back on the winning track on Thursday night when they travel to Plymouth North to take on the Eagles at 7 p.m.