The No. 5 ranked Duxbury Dragons (12-0) took another step closer to their third Super Bowl title, and second in the last three years, with a 19-7 win over Dennis-Yarmouth on Tuesday night in Weymouth. The victory pits the Patriot League champs against Concord-Carlisle for the Division 2A title in a game that will be held at Gillette Stadium in Foxboro, tentatively set for 1:30 p.m. on Saturday afternoon.

The Dragons came into the game with some knowledge of the Dolphins because of a professional relationship between Coach Dave Maimaron and D-Y Coach Paul Funk, formed during their coaching days in Everett. But the friendship ended when the Dragons kicked off, with both teams displaying the jitters in the early going.

D-Y’s talented QB Matthew Montalto had the Duxbury defense on its guard all night long, as he was a threat on every snap, whether he took off and ran or passed to 6’2” Damion Johnson. But the Duxbury defense forced a three-and-out on the opening series and struggled themselves in their first possession, as hanging onto the new balls became a problem for both teams.

After forcing another D-Y punt, the Dragons had great field position at the D-Y 35 yard line. But a bad snap pushed the Dragons back to the 41 where QB Kane Haffey, after fumbling the snap, found junior Andrew Buron down the left sideline with a pass to his back shoulder. Buron hauled it in, as his defender fell to the ground, and he waltzed into the end zone for a 6-0 lead with 4:36 left in the quarter.

The Dragon defense forced another three and out once again and earned great field position to start its drive at the 45-yard line. Showing a running game that featured Haffey and junior Henry Buonagurio, the Dragons ran the ball down to the D-Y 24-yard line before Haffey rolled to his left and found Reilly Naton down the left sideline. Like everyone else, Naton bobbled the ball before regaining control and being taken down at the one-yard line. Buonagurio continued to chug away, ramming in for the score with 8:32 to go in the half with the Dragons leading 12-0.

The Dolphins could do little after Montalto ran for 13 yards on first down, and they almost dug themselves a huge hole when a fourth down snap sailed over the punter’s head before he recovered it and was taken down at the 27-yard line.
The Dragons would move the ball down to the 10-yard line, only to be hit with a 15-yard penalty that killed the drive with 3:36 to go in the half.

D-Y took over at the 20 and Montalto had a chance to show his stuff, as he engineered a 17-play drive all the way down to the Duxbury one-yard line with one second left in the half. But Max Randall, Reilly Naton, and Adam Martin made the defensive play of the year, as the trio stuffed Montalto at the one inch line as he tried to go over the right side into the end zone.

The Dragons had a chance to put a nail in the Dolphins’ coffin on their opening drive of the second half. But a pass on a fake punt from the D-Y 37 fell short and D-Y went back on offense with 7:58 to go in the third quarter.

Montalto went to work, directing a penalty-filled drive that included a face mask against the Dragons and another crucial mistake on a pass interference call that took the ball down to the 11-yard line. Two plays later, Joe Furness burrowed his way through the Duxbury defense from five yards out, and the Dolphins were back in the game trailing 12-7 with three minutes left in the third quarter.

Taking time off the clock was the game plan, and the Dragons moved the ball from their own 26 to the 46 with Buonagurio doing most of the leg work. On a third and two play, however, Buonagurio coughed up the football and D-Y’s Dylan Hodson recovered it at midfield with 9:55 left in the game.

Three straight running plays by Montalto had the ball at the Duxbury 35, where the drive stalled after a fourth down pass attempt to an open Justin Clark hit the turf with less than eight minutes to go.

Duxbury took over and gained nine yards on three plays, forcing Maimaron into a Belichickian decision on fourth down from his own 46-yard line. He called Buonagurio’s number, and the junior running back took a pitch around the left side for a first down, taking more time off the clock.

A penalty killed a chance for more ball control, and the punting unit came on the field. Brendan Connolly punted the ball all the way down to the D-Y 21.

The Duxbury defense was intent on keeping Montalto under wraps and it showed on first down, as Denis Maguire and Don Webber came bursting through the line to sack the D-Y QB back at the 17. An incomplete pass and a procedure penalty made it third down from the 12-yard line. This time it was Randall who broke through for a 7-yard sack at the five and the Dolphins were now faced with fourth and 26. Maguire came tearing around the end as Montalto dropped back to pass and apparently nailed the QB for a safety, only to have the officials say he had forward progress at the one-foot line.

That was fine with Duxbury, as Haffey fumbled his way to an insurance score from a yard out and less than 1:30 to go in the game.

Naton would snuff out any comeback bid with an interception of a D-Y pass headed for Johnson with 50 seconds left in the game.

“We set three goals at the beginning of the season: win our first game, win our league, and win at Gillette. We have one more goal to meet. It’s pretty good when you can set goals like that. We knew we had a talented team and I didn’t think we would be 12-0 at this point, but we have one more goal to accomplish. We’ve been there before and we know what it takes. There are no bad teams in this and D-Y was a great team. We’re going to play a great team on Saturday too, so we’ll have our work cut out for us,” said Maimaron.