Silver Lake football team learns as they grow older
The preliminary fights are over. It’s time for the main event as football teams in the Keenan Division of the Patriot League begin the hunt for the league championship this week.
Plymouth North, Hingham, Silver Lake and Whitman-Hanson all start their league schedules this week. Marshfield (non-championship action on Saturday afternoon at LaSalle Academy in Providence, Rhode Island) and Duxbury (week off) are the exceptions. These two teams play at Duxbury High on Thanksgiving morning as the top contenders for the local football game of the year.
Three weeks of non-league games have given a glimpse of what things will look like this season. Plymouth North is off to a perfect 3-0 start to the season. Marshfield, Hingham and Duxbury are all 2-1. Silver Lake picked up a win Friday night to move up to 1-2 and Whitman-Hanson is trying to put things back in place after a 0-3 start to the season.
Here’s a quick look at how far each team in the Keenan Division has come to get to this point on the schedule.
The Blue Eagles are off to a perfect 3-0 start to the season, but they haven’t made it easy for themselves. In wins over Falmouth (18-14) and Dennis-Yarmouth (12-10), they lost early and had to come back in the second half to win both games.
Friday night at Pembroke High, the trend continued as Plymouth North allowed two early touchdowns and was down 14-0 just a minute into the second quarter. Senior quarterback Dallas Murphy made sure they weren’t around for long, bringing the Blue Eagles back to life with 169 passing yards and 97 rushing yards in the game. He added two touchdown passes, including one to Wes Hillman, to put his team up against the Titans.
“It was a team victory,” said head coach Chris Whidden of the win over the Titans. “He wasn’t a defensive star, he wasn’t an offensive star. That was, defense would make a play, offense would rebound, defense would leave a touchdown, offense would rebound, offense would be halt, defense would make a save. It was a team effort. “
Plymouth North is home Thursday at 7 p.m. for its Homecoming game against Silver Lake.
Speaking of Silver Lake, they are improving a bit every week and the progression is starting to show on the pitch. After a 35-0 loss to Plymouth South in the first week of the season, they grew by leaps and bounds in just seven days, but fell to Rockland, 14-6.
Last Friday at home against Norwood, they survived a staggering delay and were awarded a 20-7 against the Mustangs. Thursday’s game at undefeated Plymouth North will be a good test for a football team that is still finding its feet.
Hingham hits the road at 7 p.m. on Friday for Whitman-Hanson. The Harbormens must use this week to iron out some of the issues that arose in Friday’s 23-10 loss to Weymouth High.
Hingham started the year fairly well with wins over Braintree (24-7) and then Arlington 20-14.
Under new head coach Zachary Botelho, the Panthers have been slow to come out of the gate this season. They started off with a 33-20 loss to Hanover and the offense has dried up over the past two weeks, leading to losses to Foxborough (38-0) and then Rockland High by a score of 23-7. They are hoping to change some things on Friday night when they host Hingham in a 7pm contest.
The Dragons are happy to focus on football again this season after the controversy that cost them their former head coach as well as a handful of canceled games during the Fall II season. Behind new head coach Matt Landolfi and junior quarterback Matt Festa, the Dragons want to prove that they are still one of the best football teams in the region.
The first results are in and things are going well for Duxbury. They started off with a big 42-0 win over Bridgewater-Raynham and then played one of the best games of the season so far when they took Scituate by a point, 27-26.
Duxbury ended the non-league schedule on Friday with a loss to Franklin, 27-14. With this week off, they will have even more time to prepare for the league opener on Friday October 8 at home against Plymouth North.
Your hand will twitch trying to keep up with all the fast attack stats the Rams love to use, but the metallic attitude pedal has paid off because the Rams are at their best in the fourth quarter.
Marshfield has intentionally stacked his non-league schedule with the toughest teams possible, playing on the theory that iron will always sharpen iron. It worked, as starting quarterback Owen Masterson efficiently distributed the ball to Jack Marini, Pat Yesinko and Jason O’Keefe, among others, in a last-second loss to St. John’s Prep, followed by a one point victory over Methuen High.
Marshfield’s defense strengthened on Friday night, ending BC High’s powerful offense in a 35-0 win in front of a huge home crowd.
“I can’t say enough about what this defense did tonight,” said head coach Chris Arouca after the win. “We played big attacks in the first couple of weeks, but I think as a group they were disappointed with the way they had played so far. We had a great week of pre-game training and they were really focused on getting ready to play tonight. They were wonderful.
Marshfield wraps up his non-championship challenge on Saturday afternoon against LaSalle Academy, one of the best football teams in all of Rhode Island. The Rams begin the league season on Saturday, October 9, when they travel to Hingham High for the Harbormens’ comeback contest.
(Content from the Patriot Ledger was used in this story).