Dracut Middies Football '16

Methuen defense puts on a clinic

METHUEN — It was even better than a case of mission accomplished.
By defeating Dracut 14-0 for its third straight win to end the season, Methuen did more than just reach its mid-season goal of a winning season (6-5).
“Shutting them out today, that was our goal,” said senior linebacker Trevor Abdallah. “It’s not easy to do, and we weren’t counting on it, but this feels great.”
Maligned at the start of the season, particularly the secondary, Methuen’s defense was stout on Thanksgiving, allowing just 113 total yards, none of them through the air. Talented Dracut quarterback Mike Levasseur didn’t completed a pass all day and had little success running the ball after the first quarter.
Methuen won five of its last six games to close the season.
Among those shutting down the Middies (6-5) were Abdallah and his twin brother Travis, junior Travis Manick, Eddie Guzman, Joey Hutnick, and linemen Christian Page and Bryce Smith.
Dracut only managed one serious threat and it came midway through the fourth quarter. With a second-and-goal from the 1-yard-line, the Middies were stuffed three straight times, first by Smith, next by Ian Gonzalez and Trevor Abdallah, and finally by Paige and Hutnick.
“One of our offseason goals this year was to improve our defense and I feel we did that,” said Methuen coach Tom Ryan. “I think we’ve become a pretty good defense.
“A lot of kids played well today but I can’t say enough about Bryce Smith. He does a lot for us in there and has really become an elite player.”
Smith is certainly happy with the improvement of the defense, which allowed one or no touchdowns in three of the Rangers’ final six games.
“We communicated better and came together like a band of brothers,” said Smith. “This is just a great feeling.”
Jordan Perdomo was involved in all of Methuen’s points.
The Rangers got on the board first late in the first half when Perdomo completed a 62-yard drive with a 7-yard TD pass to junior David Kelly. He kicked the extra point with an assist from Kelly, who made a nice hold on an errant snap.
On that scoring drive, junior Peter Kwakye accounted for 58 yards. That would be the last action of the season for Kwakye, who broke his collarbone on the drive and was unable to play in the second half.
But, freshman Matt Martino filled in admirably for Kwakye in the backfield and the defense took care of the rest.
The Rangers added an insurance touchdown on the second play of the fourth quarter on a 1-yard Perdomo sneak. It was set up two plays earlier by a 39-yard pass from Perdomo to a wide-open tight end Sawyer Bilich.
“They were tough but we pretty much executed the plays we wanted, especially that tight end pass,” said Perdomo.
The versatile signal-caller was 6 of 10 passing for 95 yards, rushed for 55 yards, including 47 in the second half, and nearly nailed a 41-yard field goal, falling just short when the attempt hit the cross bar.
Perdomo, Kwakye, Kelly and Bilich are among those who will return on offense next year along with such defensive stalwarts as Manick and Smith. With that in mind, Ryan is relishing the future.
“We feel the program is going in the right direction and the culture has improved,” said Ryan. “We’re excited about next year.”
Perhaps next year the Rangers can tie up the Thanksgiving series with Dracut. The Middies now lead it 26-25-3.
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Football, 11/24/16 » 0 Comments & 0.0 Stars