It’s back to normal for the DHigh School football team, as they recovered from their sub-par effort against Scituate and pummeled visiting North Quincy High School, 40-7, on Friday afternoon in Duxbury.
The win advanced the Dragons record to 7-0 and was their 20th straight win, keeping them atop the Keenan Division in the Patriot League with a 2-0 record.
It was expected to be an easy win for Coach Dave Maimaron’s team, but it didn’t start out that way, as the Dragons fumbled the opening kickoff and left the Red Raiders (1-5) just 35 yards from TD territory.
Behind the running of senior fullback Walter Hannon, the cousin of Duxbury placekicker Tucker Hannon, and senior tailback Marquis Chase, the Red Raiders gradually moved down the field and scored on 10 plays with Chase taking it in from two yards out for a 7-0 lead after Joe Brown kicked the extra point.
It’s not nice to put the Dragons behind the eight-ball early, as they make anyone pay who even dares to think about doing it.
Senior James Burke (2 receptions/76 yds.) started the comeback by returning the kickoff 69 yards down to the North Qunicy 31-yard line, where it took sophomore Khai Perry just two plays to go 31 yards for a TD that tied the game at 7-7 after Hannon’s PAT.
The Dragon defense decided to get serious, holding the visitors to a yard gain and forcing a punt that travelled only to the North Qunicy 48.
Runs by junior Jon Hurvitz (2/24 yards) and senior QB Matt O’Keefe (7) moved the ball down to the 17 where O’Keefe dropped back and found Burke wide open for the go-ahead score and a 13-7 lead with 1:18 to go in the quarter.
After forcing another North Qunicy punt, O’Keefe took over and directed the Dragons 57 yards in three plays down to the 21, before an ill-advised pass to the end zone was picked off to kill the fast-moving drive.
With the Dragon defense turning the ball over once again and giving it to O’Keefe and the offense at the North Qunicy 40, it took just one play for the senior QB to look down field and find Burke once again for a 60-yard TD strike that gave Duxbury a 20-7 lead with 3:46 left in the half.
On the ensuing kickoff, Hannon placed it perfectly down in the corner where the Dragons recovered the mishandled kick and took over on the nine-yard line. A three-yard run by Hurvitz (5 carries/75 yds.) and a six-yard keeper by O’Keefe gave the Dragons a commanding 27-7 lead with just three minutes until the break.
The Red Raiders mounted a last-minute drive down to the Duxbury 36-yard line, but sophomore Marcus Urann (11 tackles) and junior Henry Narlee sacked QB Andrew Minton to end the half.
Senior captain Reilly Naton continued his thievery, as he picked off another pass on the third play of the third quarter at the North Qunicy 35, allowing Maimaron to go to his bench and insert sophomore Sean McCarthy at QB for the rest of the afternoon.
McCarthy continues to improve, and he looked very comfortable at the helm, hitting senior Don Webber for 13 yards and a pair of completions to junior Joe Guilfoile that got the ball down to the one. McCarthy then took it into the end zone for his first varsity score, with Hannon’s extra point making it 33-7.
The Red Raider offense continued its futility and a punt put the ball at midfield where McCarthy found Naton for 19 yards and a first down. On the next play Hurvitz broke through the defensive line end wiggled his way down the left sideline for the final score of the game.
North Qunicy would threaten once again, but huge sacks by Brody Zisko for a seven-yard loss, and an 11-yard sack by senior Mike Kozmiski and Urann put a cap on the evening.
“It wasn’t the way we wanted to start the game with the fumble,” said Maimaron. “Then they started pounding the ball in, but we were ready to start the game. After that we bore down. It was great to see everyone play in the second half and I thought Sean McCarthy did a great job.”
Next up for the Dragons is a date with Silver Lake that will take place Friday night at 7 p.m. in Kingston.