- Written by Mike Halloran
- Published: 30 November 2009
The Dragons walked away with a 17-7 win over Marshfield last Thursday in the traditional Thanksgiving Day confrontation, hoping that their victory sent a clear message to the Rams prior to Tuesdayâ€™s Division IIA playoff game. While neither coach felt any great desire to show what they had in their offensive arsenals, the Dragons did show that running on the Rams was difficult, but moving it through the air was the way to go.
QB Kane Haffey opened the game with a 13-yard completion to Matt Hallisey, and three plays later hit he the junior for 26 yards, moving the ball all the way down to the Marshfield 20.
Haffey stuck with the air game after a pair of incomplete passes and found senior captain Matt Savard in the right corner of the end zone where he jumped up and over Ramsâ€™ DB Matthew DiGrigoli to haul in a 15-yard TD pass. Junior Ben Startzell kicked the extra point and the hosts were ahead 7-0 with 7:10 left in the quarter.
Marshfield started with good field position on its first drive and moved down to the Duxbury 31 before a Henry Buonagurio sack caused a fumble and change in possession with the Dragons taking over on their own 42.
A sack of Haffey caused the drive to stall, forcing Startzell to come in and unload a 55-yard punt down to the Ram eight-yard line. Three plays later the Rams turned the ball over again, as senior Danny Buonagurio recovered a fumble at the Marshfield 23.
Sophomore QB Matt Oâ€™Keefe came on to direct the Duxbury offense and quickly hit Savard for a seven-yard gain. A pair of Bobby Murphy carries took the ball down to the nine-yard line, setting up a Hallisey TD catch on a slant over the middle. Startzellâ€™s PAT made it 14-0 with 8:18 to go in the half.
The Rams would make their biggest offensive push on their next drive, starting at their own 44-yard line and going for it on fourth down to keep the drive alive. A 14-yard run by DiGrigoli, an 11-yard pass from QB Stephan Sousa to Sean Griffith, and a nine-yard carry by senior Robert McNeil took the ball down to the nine.
On fourth and one, sophomore linebacker Max Randall came up big to stop the Rams by inches, turning the ball over to the Dragons with 2:33 showing on the clock.
The Marshfield defense did a good job of containing Murphy on the first two downs, forcing Haffey to go to the air. The junior dropped back and spotted senior tight end C.J. Cote running down the middle of the field where he leaped to snag the pass over his shoulder for a 25-yard gain and a first down at the 35 as the half came to a close.
Neither team could get much going in the third quarter, so the Dragons maintained their cushion entering the fourth.
Taking over on their own 20 with 8:47 to go, Duxbury began to march, opening the drive with an 18-yard pass to Hallisey and extending it with a 33-yard bomb to Savard down the right sideline.
An eight-yard completion to Henry Buonagurio, a 12-yard strike to Savard, and a 10-yard holding penalty put the ball on the eight-yard line where Haffey dropped back and fired over the middle, only to be picked off by junior Jonathan Fraser, who went 95 yards untouched and into the end zone. Sean Griffith kicked the PAT and the Rams were suddenly back in the game.
A failed onside kick gave the Dragons great field position at midfield, where on third down Haffey hit Hallisey down the left sideline for a spectacular 34-yard reception down to the Ram 13.
After Duxbury failed to get a first down, Coach Dave Maimaron called for Startzell to attempt a 27-yard field goal. Despite the x-rated taunts from the Ram defense and the snap-saving grab by junior holder Dan Fiset, the junior kicker split the uprights to put the game away.
â€œWe would have liked to get the shutout today,â€ said Maimaron. â€œThe defense played terrific. Other then some returns and a couple of third down plays they played spectacular.â€
The Dragons will now get ready to take on the Rams on Tuesday night in the first round of the MIAA Division IIA playoffs.
â€œIt looks like we stayed healthy and that was the most important thing, so hopefully they did too and weâ€™ll have a good match-up on Tuesday,â€ said Maimaron.