|Duxbury quarterback Bobby Maimaron speaks with the media after the Dragons' big win.|
LOWELL, Mass. – The Beverly Panthers shocked the Massachusetts football community last weekend by scoring 19 unanswered points in a comeback win over Billerica, finding some good fortune along the way, but no amount of luck was going to get them past the Division 2 South champions.
Duxbury (11-0) jumped all over Beverly (8-3) at Lowell’s Cawley Stadium, scoring 27 points over the first eleven-and-a-half minutes of the game, and the Dragons never looked back on their way to a 41-14 victory.
“We knew coming in that [The Panthers] run the ball very well, so we knew we couldn’t fall behind early,” explained Duxbury head coach Dave Maimaron. “We figured it would be a lot easier to get out in front and play against that team with a lead, so thankfully we were able to do that.”
While Dragons quarterback Bobby Maimaron threw an interception on his third pass attempt of the game, he bounced back quickly, hitting junior wide receiver James Miele (3 receptions, 68 yards, 2 TDs) for a 33-yard touchdown on a sprint to his right.
The next time Duxbury got the ball, Maimaron hooked up with another one of his favorite targets, as senior standout Ryan Reagan burned the Beverly defense on a double move, and went streaking down the sideline on a 77-yard catch and run to make it 14-0 late in the first quarter.
“[The Panthers] were playing straight man on us and we got them on a couple of double moves,” Maimaron confirmed. “They were trying to make it real tough to run and if you play man against us on the outside, our guys are good enough to beat you. Our receivers ran some great routes and Bobby [Maimaron] put the ball where it needed to be.”
Duxbury’s offense has been one of the most prolific units in the state all season, but it was the defense that kept the Dragons in great position to seal this Eastern Mass Final early.
Led by a stout defensive line, a quality senior captain at linebacker in Nick Gearin, and a talented secondary, the Dragons defense stopped Beverly on fourth down, forced a three-and-out, and then defensive back Mike Barry came up with a 65-yard interception return for a touchdown to make it 27-0 early in the second quarter.
“Michael Barry had a monster game at corner for us,” effused Maimaron. “Our linebackers Joe Gooley and Nick Gearin were phenomenal, and the defensive line played great. All three levels did well and it was a great team effort on defense.”
Bobby Maimaron (10-of-16, 231 passing yards, 3 TDs, INT; 8 carries, 66 yards, 2 TDs) would hit Miele for another score right before the half and supplied the final touchdown for Duxbury on a 6-yard rush midway through the third quarter.
The Dragons' star quarterback, who continued to add to his MIAA record for career touchdown passes (118) in this blowout win, also played an integral role as a defensive back and came up with an interception in his own end zone to deny Beverly in the first half.
Afterwards, Maimaron praised his defensive teammates in the front seven for making it easier for the secondary.
“It really makes it easy for the defensive backs, because we can really focus on our jobs,” Bobby said about a unit that held the Panthers to 15 rushing yards on 15 carries in the first half.
“On a couple of playoff games earlier this year the secondary was biting on some play action and getting beat deep, so we just said to ourselves that the front seven is going to do their job, and we can just read the receivers and do our jobs. That’s what happened today.”
Now the Dragons will prepare to face Central Mass Champion Shrewsbury in the Division 2 Super Bowl, to be played at Gillette Stadium on Saturday, December 3.
Duxbury won back-to-back Super Bowl titles in 2010 and 2011, but this is the first trip to Foxboro for a star-studded group of players, who have their sights set on the ultimate prize.
“All week we were talking about how there is 44 minutes left to Gillette,” said Bobby. “We’re going to celebrate this win for a little bit, but we have to get ready for the next one. The coaching staff has been [to Gillette] a few times, but no one on the team has, so we’re going to soak it up and enjoy the experience.”