Dracut Middies Football '09

Dracut douses Methuen playoff hopes

Dracut: Dracut's Jared Gauthier gets picked up by Methuen's defensive line during Dracuts 28-14 Thanksgiving Day win over Methuen. Roger Darrigrand The Eagle Tribune8 Photos

DRACUT — Dracut High clearly learned from the mistakes of Turkey Day 2008. Defensive from the first snap a year ago, the Middies rocketed out of the starting blocks yesterday, attacking early and controlling the Merrimack Valley Conference Small winner-take-all clash with Methuen from start to finish, 28-14, before 4,000 fans at Beaudry Field. “Dracut’s very good, no question,” said Ranger coach Pat Graham after his team was denied the MVC Small title and the accompanying playoff berth. “We made some mistakes and had trouble moving the ball early. I don’t know what our first downs were in the first half (4). It wasn’t very good. With an offensive team like Dracut, you have to move the ball on offense.” Jared Gauthier made an amazingly athletic catch-and-return of a 6-yard Methuen punt. His 28-yard return put Dracut on the board first, 7-0. “Not our best punt, and we had a coverage breakdown,” said Graham. “It was kind of a freak thing.” Only some tough red zone defense, turning Dracut away twice, kept the Rangers within striking distance. The decisive drive came at the end of a second quarter. Buoyed by a personal foul call that set up a first-and-goal, Dracut, which is ranked No. 8 in EMass, went up 14-0 with just 25 seconds left in the half on a Matt Silva scramble. Defensively, Methuen, which is ranked 13th in EMass, showed plenty of grit. Outsized in the trenches, Rangers Pat O’Leary (5-11, 200), Mike Lussier (6-1, 200), Jason Doyle (6-1, 205) and Ryan DiZoglio (6-0, 240) disrupted things in the backfield. Meanwhile, John McCarthy and Matt Delmonte slowed down the Dracut short passing game. Dracut had averaged 39.5 points during its six-game winning streak heading into yesterday.  “Defensively, I thought we were pretty good,” said Graham, whose club allowed 327 yards. “It’s a bunch of tough, scrappy kids, and they battled.” Offensively, though, it took nearly the entire first half for the Rangers to spot a weakness. Cal Carroll’s third-down dash for seven yards was Methuen’s first down, and that came with 6:28 left in the second quarter. A later Carroll improvisation for 20 yards moved the Rangers into Dracut territory for the first time but that came as time expired. Dracut game-breaker Rakeem Shepherd, clearly recovered from an early-season ankle problem, landed the knockout shot, darting 72 yards around right end in the final seconds of the third, making it 20-0. The Rangers owned the yardage battle in the second half, outgaining Dracut 165-149, but twice Methuen turned it over in Dracut territory. “I made mistakes on offense and it took us a while to get going,” said Carroll, who nearly led Methuen to its first playoff berth since 1992. “I couldn’t have asked for any more from our defense. They just played the best they’ve played all year against the best team we’ve seen. We held our own on defense, but we just never got comfortable on offense.” The junior Carroll was a horse, lugging the football 30 times for 121 yards and a TD. He also hit on 11 of 24 passes for 115 yards with one TD and three interceptions. McCarthy, who had a 66-yard kickoff return, and Nick Wright, who bobbed and weaved for 22 yards on a punt return, provided special teams sparks in their final Ranger games. All was not well for Dracut, which is slated to play Middlesex League champ Reading in the EMass semifinals on Tuesday. Quarterback Matt Silva left the game with what looked to be a shoulder injury, the result of a bone-jarring hit from McCarthy.

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Football, 11/25/09 » 0 Comments & 0.0 Stars

Hillies can't hang with Dracut

DRACUT — Playing with only three down lineman and six defensive backs for the entire game, Haverhill was hoping to shut down the explosive passing offense of Dracut and more specifically quarterback Matt Silva. And although a quick first score put the Hillies up 8-0, Dracut then stepped on the gas and poured on touchdown after touchdown in a 48-21 win over Haverhill.

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Football, 11/13/09 » 0 Comments & 0.0 Stars

Second half surge gets Dracut past Lawrence

LAWRENCE — The effort and attitude was there. Lawrence just couldn’t back it up with points.

The Lancers stood toe-to-toe with defending Division 2 champion Dracut last night. But as the smoke from a factory fire in the area cleared Veterans Memorial Stadium in the second half, so did the obstacles blocking the Middies in an eventual 21-7 victory.

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Football, 11/06/09 » 0 Comments & 0.0 Stars

Andover shows life, but falls to powerhouse Dracut

DRACUT — After falling behind by 19 points midway through the second quarter, Andover cut the deficit to three late in the third quarter.

But that was as close as Andover would get, as Dracut poured on the points from there on in a 47-22 romp last night.

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Football, 11/01/09 » 0 Comments & 0.0 Stars

Central Catholic shocks powerhouse Dracut

LAWRENCE — With 4:03 left on the clock and Central Catholic trailing by three to powerhouse Dracut, a message circulated through the Raiders’ offense.

“We said, ‘Lets shock the world’,” remembered co-captain Zack Lattrell.

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Football, 09/26/09 » 0 Comments & 0.0 Stars