They knew the first half of their schedule would get the attention of pollsters, but it’s the second half of the schedule that will determine Duxbury’s chances for a Super Bowl title.
That journey took another giant leap on Friday night in Kingston when the Dragons took care of Silver Lake, 34-7. The victory raised Duxbury’s record to 8-0 (3-0 Patriot League) overall, with a big game against Hingham on the horizon a week from Friday night (6 p.m.) in Hingham.
The Keenan Division schedule has proven to be the perfect venue for Coach Dave Maimaron’s No. 2 rated Dragons, as it has allowed the Duxbury coach to rest his starters in the second half and give valuable playing experience to his second stringers and sophomore QB Sean McCarthy.
It didn’t take long for Duxbury to show it would be a long night for the Lakers, as senior QB Matt O’Keefe (16 for 25/210 yds./3 TDs) engineered a 13-play, 65-yard drive on the opening series with a mixture of running and passing plays that culminated in a 13-yard TD pass to a diving Don Webber (5 rec./65 yds./2 TDs) in the corner of the end zone for a 7-0 lead after Tucker Hannon booted through the extra point.
The Lakers went nowhere in three downs and were forced to punt with the Dragons taking over on their own 18-yard line with 4:45 left in the quarter.
A seven-yard run by junior Jon Hurvitz (6 carries/40 yds./2 TDs) and a 25-yard completion to Joe Guilfoile (4 rec./48 yds.) put the ball at midfield. Tack on a 15-yard penalty and Duxbury was quickly at the Laker 35. Another completion to Guilfoile for 14 yards and a pair of Hurvitz runs for 12 yards had the Dragons knocking on the door. O’Keefe took the snap and rolled to his right, stopping to freeze the defense, then looking back to a wide-open Hurvitz, who waltzed into the end zone for a 14 -0 lead on Hannon’s PAT.
A short onside kick gave Silver Lake the ball at their own 39-yard line and the Lakers suddenly had life in their step. A 35-yard completion from QB Patrick Flynn to Nick Gormley put the hosts deep into Duxbury territory, but the Dragons defense stood tall, limiting the Lakers to just a few yards and taking over on a Seamus Connelly (6 tackles) fumble recovery on the 11-yard line.
The Dragons could not take advantage of the turnover, punting the ball out to midfield. On Silver Lake’s first play, Connelly sacked Finn for a nine-yard loss, but it didn’t deter the Lakers, as they marched 57 yards in 11 plays and were a yard away from getting back in the game.
Two huge stops by the Dragons’ defense forced a third down attempt that was snapped over Finn’s head and back to the nine-yard line. A penalty brought the ball up to the four, but senior James Burke (4 tackles) was in perfect position to pick off Finn’s pass in the end zone to crush The Lakers’ chance for a comeback.
Nursing a slim 14-0 halftime lead, the Dragons decoded to get serious. A Jay McDermott sack for a six-yard loss forced a Laker punt to start the second half, and the Dragons took over at midfield.
A nine-yard strike to Webber, a 10-yard run by sophomore Khai Perry (7 carries/54 yds./1 TD), and a 10-yard completion to Andrew Buron (3 rec./31 yds.) had the Duxbury offense rolling, eventually leading to a 14-yard TD pass to Webber in the corner of the end zone for a 20-0 lead with 4:10 left in the third quarter.
The Lakers could do nothing with their next possession and punted to Perry at his own 30-yard line. The sophomore running back took off down the left sideline and eluded several tacklers before being brought down from behind at the 20-yard line for a 50-yard return.
Maimaron rewarded Perry for his efforts, as it took his sophomore tailback just three carries to take it into the end zone for a 28-0 lead.
McCarthy (2 for 2 /15 yds./TD) took over for O’Keefe starting the fourth quarter and directed the Dragons on a five-play, 49-yard scoring drive that ended with a beautifully executed screen pass to Hurvitz for a 10-yard TD and a 34-0 lead with 7:40 to go in the game.
The Lakers would finally get on the board with 32 seconds remaining on a five-yard TD pass from Finn to brother Daniel Finn that ended a 12-play, 70-yard drive.
“We executed well on our first two drives, but then they made some big plays on third downs and we couldn’t get the ball back,” said Maimaron. “I was a little disappointed in our two-minute drill at the end of the half, but we played all right. We have Hanover (non-league) next week, but then we have Hingham and they seem to be getting better every week. It will be a showdown, so our job this week will be to get better and be ready for Hingham.”