Saturday, November 4, 2017

Duxbury Downs Rival Hingham in D3 South Semis

By Tom Joyce (@TomJoyceSports)

Duxbury, Mass. - Friday night served as redemption for the Duxbury High football team.

In their past two games headed into Friday, their offense had not produced at the level they were accustomed to, scoring just 23 points. That all changed in their bout with the No. 3 Hingham Harbormen in the MIAA Division 3 South Semifinal, as the Dragons came up with a 38-13 win at home.

“The kids did a phenomenal job prepping for this one,” Duxbury head coach Dave Maimaron said. “We worked hard at practice all week and it paid off tonight.”

The Dragons started out the game with a 36-yard run from running back Joe Gooley to put them in favorable field position. On the fourth play of their drive, Gooley punched in a touchdown from three yards out. This and Ben Carver’s extra point gave the Dragons a 7-0 lead less than two minutes into the game.

On their first drive, the Harbormen had some success driving the ball downfield, but they were unable to convert on 4th-and-7 on the Dragons’ 13-yard line, resulting in a turnover on downs.

The Dragons and Harbormen traded punts which gave the Dragons strong field position. They were able to capitalize on it and with 2:24 left in the first quarter, Dragons quarterback John Roberts connected with wide receiver James Miele on a 21-yard touchdown pass. A successful extra point kick gave Duxbury a 14-0 lead.

Late in the first half, the Dragons punted and downed the ball at the Harbormen’s 1-yard line. They then forced the Harbormen to punt around the 30-yard line and got the ball around midfield. The Dragons were able to keep moving the ball downfield and Roberts threw Gooley a 9-yard touchdown pass with about a minute remaining in the first half. The PAT was good, and the Dragons led 21-0 going into halftime.

The Harbormen showed life on the first drive of the second half. They received and were able to move the ball well out of their no-huddle Wing-T offense. Ryan Cahoon ran in a touchdown from 17 yards out with 8:45 left in the third quarter. Matt Lahiff then kicked the extra point, making it a 21-7 game.

On the Harbormen’s next drive, the Dragons were able to get a stop. James Miele had a pass deflection to bring up fourth down, forcing a punt. The Dragons took advantage of this.

The Dragons were able to go up three scores with three minutes left in the third quarter on a 2-yard touchdown run from Gooley. Carver’s extra point gave the Dragons a 28-7 lead.

Gooley finished the game with a team-high 93 rushing yards despite normally just being a star defensive player.

“He’s just a really special player,” Maimaron said of Gooley. “We knew we’d need him (on offense) in a game like this and it worked out well for us.”

Early in the fourth quarter, the Dragons were able to add to their score total thanks to Carver. The Harbormen had a tough defensive stand in the red zone, causing their opponent to settle for a 29-yard field goal with 8:18 remaining in the game to go up 31-7. The Harbormen reacted quickly to this score.

Cole Finney took the kickoff following Duxbury’s score to the end zone for a 55-yard touchdown. This cut Duxbury’s lead to 31-13.

Roberts capped off the Dragons’ scoring efforts with QB sneak from a yard out with about four minutes remaining in the game. Shortly thereafter, Miele, who played strong pass defense all day, picked off Hingham to seal the win.

Duxbury moves on to face top-seeded North Attleboro in the Div. 3 South sectional finals next week.

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