The pre-game scuttlebutt was that the game wouldnâ€™t be much of a battle, and apparently everyone knew what they were talking about.
Scoring on their first offensive play of the night, the Dragons scored at will the rest of the evening, as they manhandled Middleboro 55-21, to run their record to 9-0. A win next week against Hingham will send the Dragons to the MIAA Div. II A playoffs against the winner of the Atlantic Coast Conference.
Although Middleboro had a reputation for being able to put points on the board, keeping their opponents off of it has been their problem.
Coach Dave Maimaron knew he would have a chance to get all his players in the game and he did just that, as junior QB Matt Oâ€™Keefe replaced Kane Haffey on the second offensive series after Haffey connected with Don Webber for a 33-yard TD pass.
Oâ€™Keefeâ€™s effort wasnâ€™t as dramatic, as he hit Webber for 16 yards and handed off to Henry Buonagurio, who took it in from five yards out for Duxburyâ€™s second score to give the Dragons a 14-0 lead after Tucker Hannonâ€™s PAT.
Middleboro QB Brian Wiksten gave a brief glimpse of how the Sachems would move the ball, as he hit Jeff Ranahan twice for 11 yards out to the 41.
However, Wiksten showed his hand once too often, and junior defensive back Reilly Naton stepped in front of a throw to the left side and rambled his way down the right sideline before being tripped up two yards short of the end zone.
The fact that Naton didnâ€™t make it into the end zone mattered little to Coach Dave Maimaron, as he was far more upset by the sight of sophomore linebacker Marshall McCarthy writhing in pain behind the play. The teamâ€™s top middle linebacker may be lost for the season with a knee injury.
Two plays later Haffey would take it into the end zone for a 21-0 lead with 4:04 left in the quarter.
After Middleboro took the subsequent kick-off out to the 22-yard line, Wiksten connected with Sean Newcomb on first down for three yards out to the 25.
The Dragons had worked all week long on defending the Sachemâ€™s spread offense, and Naton had done his homework. Wiksten dropped back again and looked left, firing an out pattern that Naton read perfectly, as he stepped in front of the receiver and took it in from the 35-yard line for a 28-0 lead with 2:45 remaining in the first quarter.
â€œIt just came to me and the kid overthrew it a little bit,â€ said Naton. â€œWe were in our zone and after being stopped at the two-yard line the first time, I was determined to get into the end zone.â€
Middleboro tried to come back, as Wiksten engineered an 11-play drive down to the Duxbury 23, only to be sacked twice by senior Chris Sullivan, stalling the drive at the 34 with 7:59 left in the half.
It was now Oâ€™Keefeâ€™s turn to run the offense, and he didnâ€™t need to touch the ball, as Buonagurio took a direct snap and went 22 yards up the middle of the field on the third play of the drive to make it 35-0.
It was hard to imagine the Sachems would continue to fight, but they found the defense a little easier to navigate when Maimaron put in his second unit.
On the first play of the drive Wiksten found sophomore Andrew Card on a post pattern for 75 yards and a TD to make it 35-7.
Haffey was back at the helm with 6:36 left in the half and moved his team from its own 34 down to the Middleboro 27. He hit Webber down the right sideline, who broke a tackle at the 20 and carried it into the end zone to put Duxbury ahead 42-7.
For all the abuse they were taking, the Sachems didnâ€™t quit, as Wiksten went to work from his own 22 with less than three minutes to go in the half. Passes to Newcomb (73 yds.) and Josh Teri (5) brought the ball all the way down to the Duxbury one, where Wiksten fired a slant to Dan Nelson to make it 42-14 at the half.
Middleboro recovered a fumbled Duxbury punt at the 15-yard line to start the second half, and the Sachems wasted little time taking advantage, as Teri ran it in for six to make it 49-21 after the Middleboro PAT.
Haffey went into the game six seconds later and showed how dangerous he can be at QB, going 53 yards on the second play from scrimmage to make it 49-21 with 6:32 showing on the clock.
Sophomore John Geary would take over the QB duties on Duxburyâ€™s next possession, and juniors Greg Williams and Brendon Gillis would stop Middleboro drives with interceptions.
Sophomore Patrick Buell would end the Dragonsâ€™ scoring for the night on a 27-yard burst up the middle with 6:30 left in the game.