The Duxbury Dragons continue to show why pundits have made them one of the top picks in Massachusetts high school football by dominating Plymouth North on Friday night with a 35-21 win over the Eagles at Plymouth South’s field.
While the score may look close, the game never was, as the Dragons played without key starters Max Randall and Rob Kosharek, yet barely missed a beat in scoring on their first possession while cruising to their second straight win.
The Duxbury defense that has looked like the ’85 Chicago Bears didn’t waste any time showing its talents, as senior captain Reilly Naton picked off a Jamie Dougherty pass on the fourth play of the game and returned the ball to the Duxbury 49-yard line.
Six plays later senior QB Matt O’Keefe found classmate Andrew Buron in the left corner of the end zone, as he leapt over his defender to haul in a 24-yard TD reception that gave the Dragons a 7-0 (Tucker Hannon PAT) lead with 6:52 left in the first quarter.
Plymouth would need a perfect game to beat the Dragons, so fumbling on their first play from scrimmage following the kickoff didn’t help its cause.
Starting its second drive on the PN 29-yard line, junior tailback Jon Hurvitz darted 17 yards on his first carry and followed that with a six-yard burst that took the ball down to the six-yard line. An O’Keefe keeper for two yards put the ball at the one on first down where Hurvitz took it in for the score. Hannon’s PAT was good and Duxbury was ahead 14-0 with 4:02 on the clock.
It was obvious that trying to go through the Duxbury defense was nearly impossible, so Plymouth North coach Dwayne Follette tried to go over the top on his next series that only lead to a sack of Dougherty and another punt out to the Dragons’ 40-yard line.
“Randall has been making our defensive calls for the last three years, so that responsibility fell on the shoulders of Marshall McCarthy tonight and I thought he did a pretty good job,“ said Maimaron.
While both teams exchanged punts at the turn of the quarter, it took Duxbury just over two minutes to score from the PN 38.
A 26-yard pass from O’Keefe to Buron got the penalty-marred drive started, and it ended five plays later when senior receiver Don Webber hauled in a 14-yard TD strike for a 21-0 (Hannon PAT) lead with 7:18 left in the half.
The Eagles always seem to give the Dragons a battle, and they didn’t quit this time, as they took the kickoff on their own 36-yard line and moved the ball across midfield, aided by a 15-yard catch by Corey Boudreau and a pass interference penalty, ending in a 19-yard TD toss from Dougherty to tight end Pat Danner.
Duxbury seemed to take offense to the fact that the Eagles put points on the board. Starting at his own 20, O’Keefe hit Webber for 10 yards, handed off to Khai Perry for an 11-yard burst, and ended the three-play drive with a 59-yard slant to Webber on the right side to make it 28-7 (Hannon PAT) at halftime.
After halftime, the Dragons took the kickoff at their own 37-yard line and put the game out of reach midway through the third quarter with a nine-play, 63-yard drive capped by a Hurvitz seven-yard run and aided by a pair of Webber receptions for 32 yards.
Another four and out followed for the Eagles and they punted to the Duxbury 40-yard line.
With 3:41 left in the third quarter the Duxbury starters had done their job and Coach Dave Maimaron cleared his bench and inserted sophomore Sean McCarthy at QB. It was a good time to insert his underclassmen, who gained some valuable experience and added some depth to the roster as it gets prepared for upcoming games with a New Bedford and Xaverian.
The Eagles would delight their crowd by scoring a pair of meaningless TDs in the final seven minutes to end their night’s work in a 35-21 loss.
Next up for the Dragons is a date with New Bedford HS that is scheduled to take place on Friday night at 7 p.m. at DHS.
“After we beat them last year they made some changes and they went on to have a pretty good year,” said Maimaron. “I think you’ll see a different team this year.”