Methuen Rangers Football '14

Fri, Oct 10, 2014 07:00 PM @ Methuen
Team Q1 Q2 Q3 Q4 Final
Tewksbury 27 0 7 0 34
Methuen 0 0 0 6 6

Methuen stymied again

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Friday, October, 10 By Jeff Hamrick

METHUEN — Hoping to rebound from the most humbling of losses, Methuen instead once again found itself in an insurmountable hole. The kind of deficit a struggling team must avoid against a defending Division 3 state champion.

Tewksbury, ranked fifth in Eastern Mass, took advantage of the stunned Rangers, scoring on each of its first four possessions last night en route to a 34-6 Merrimack Valley Small victory. It was the Methuen coach Tom Ryan's second straight loss to the program he spent the previous 12 years as an assistant.

"We're always looking forward to a nice home game — especially against Tewksbury because coach Ryan coming from there," Methuen quarterback Mike Baglieri said. "That always gives us the extra hype. Beating a top-five team really would have meant a lot to us."

The first quarter appeared more of the same for Methuen, which was held to a mere 30 total yards in a 31-point shutout loss to Haverhill six days earlier. The Rangers were stymied offensively yet again, gaining minus-8 yards on nine first-half rushes while completing only six of their 22 pass attempts.

"The first quarter was a field-position nightmare," Ryan said.

In the meantime Tewksbury (4-1 overall, 3-0 conference) found the end zone with ease, needing only 14 plays from scrimmage to open a 27-0 lead before the scoreboard moved onto the second quarter.

Methuen had one drive of 15 plays for 30 yards, but 20 of them came via penalty. An interception by Mike Phelger set up another possession at the Tewksbury 19, but despite picking up a first down, negative plays resulted in a loss of downs at the 17.

"We had a good week of practice," Ryan said. "In fact, Wednesday was one of our better practice days we had all year. The senior leadership is great that way. There have been a lot of positive things.

"But when the lights are turned on, there are a lot of execution things we mess up. I have to prepare the kids to overcome those things."

The Rangers (1-5, 1-3) averted a second consecutive shutout when John Abraham made an acrobatic leaping catch while falling backward in the corner of the end zone on an 11-yard pass from Kendrick Denose.

"At this stage of the game, we have to prepare for the future," Ryan said.

Game Statistics:

First Quarter

T — James Sullivan 3 run (Mitchell Miskell kick) 7:18

T — Sullivan 21 run (kick blocked) 3:54

T — Tom Casey 1 run (Miskell kick) 2:20

T —  James Hirtell 15 run (Miskell kick) 0:51

Third Quarter

T — Adam Gajjaoui 13 pass from Brett Morris (Miskell kick) 5:19

Fourth Quarter

M — John Abraham 11 pass from Kendrick Denose (pass failed) 6:50


RUSHING: T (28-200) — Hirtle 5-93, Sullivan 8-55, Tom Casey 6-24, Tom Carey 2-15, Ryan Morris 2-8, Tyler Ward 1-4, Brian Nazaire 2-3, Steve Hamel 2-(-2); M (26-44) — Jake Amodio 11-69, Christian Paige 1-1, Nick Comerford 1-(-1), Kendrick Denose 5-(-2), Mike Baglieri 8-(-23)

PASSING: T — B.Morris 5-7-98, 1 interception; M (10-29-77, 3 interceptions) — Baglieri 7-17-43, 2; Kendrick Denose 3-12-34, 1

RECEIVING: T — Gajjaoui 3-46, Hirtle 1-41, Sullivan 1-11; M — Mike Tulley 4-19, Abraham 2-14, Baglieri 1-16, Kendrick Denose 1-11, Comberford 1-10, Kevin Denose 1-7

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