Newburyport Clippers Football '07

Fri, Nov 02, 2007 07:00 PM @ Newburyport
Team Q1 Q2 Q3 Q4 Final
Ipswich 0 7 0 14 21
Newburyport 14 13 13 7 47
Newburyport's Justin Burl breaks a tackle at the Newburyport–Ipswich football game Friday night at Newburyport. » Jim Vaiknoras, Staff PhotographerMore photos

Gaudiano passes Stehlin as winningest coach in Newburyport football history

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Friday, November, 02 By Dan Guttenplan
Sports editor

NEWBURYPORT | Newburyport football coach Ed Gaudiano has never counted wins, but he may have been thinking about a few that got away last night at 8:50 p.m.

At that exact time, the Clippers coach stood in a short-sleeve shirt on a 40-degree night | dripping from a Gatorade shower he'd just received from his captains while standing on the sidelines. The celebration was a result of Gaudiano's passing Jim Stehlin to become the winningest coach in program history.

If the historic win came two or three weeks earlier, Gaudiano would've received the Gatorade shower on a 70-degree night.

But man who has coached the hometown team for 21 seasons wasn't complaining after Win No. 127 | a 47-21 victory over Ipswich at World War Memorial Stadium.

"I've said all along, this has been a distraction more than anything else," Gaudiano said. "I'm happy to move forward. It'll be nice to get the focus back on the players because we still have some work to do this season."

The win gives Gaudiano a career record of 127-89 compared to Stehlin's mark of 126-64-3. Stehlin's teams won three Super Bowls and eight Cape Ann League titles; Gaudiano's have won two Super Bowls and five CAL titles.

But last night's victory confirmed that this current Newburyport (6-3) squad may be on the brink of a sixth CAL title under Gaudiano. The Clippers scored the first 27 points in a game that was never in question.

Newburyport's dominance was best portrayed by its ability to break the big play.

The Clippers had six plays of 48 yards or more. r On the opening drive, Clippers quarterback Joe Clancy (3 for 4 passing for 106 yards) connected on a 58-yard touchdown pass to Ashlyn Calcagni.

r On Newburyport's final drive on the first quarter, Kyle LeBlanc (2 carries, 59 yards) gave the Clippers a 14-0 lead on a 48-yard touchdown run.

r In the second quarter, Justin Burl (11 carries, 80 yards) broke a 50-yard touchdown run.

r In the third quarter, Sam Melanson (3 carries, 78 yards) sprinted 69 yards before getting tackled at the Ipswich 7. Burl made it 34-7 with a 6-yard touchdown run.

r On Ipswich's next drive, Clippers freshman Andrew Sokol returned a punt 60 yards for a touchdown.

r In the fourth quarter, Dave Freeman (3 carries, 74 yards) gave his team a 47-15 advantage on a 72-yard touchdown scamper.

"We didn't plan the big plays," Gaudiano said. "We wanted to control the ball. But our guys were turning running plays that were designed to go for first downs into touchdowns."

Newburyport controls its own destiny in its pursuit of a CAL Small title. If the Clippers win at Lynnfield on Friday (7 p.m.) and beat Amesbury on Thanksgiving, they will host a playoff game against the winner of the Commonwealth Conference Large on Nov. 27.

"I'm not taking anything for granted," Gaudiano said. "Lynnfield's always tough because of how they play | no huddle and throwing the ball all over the field. And then Amesbury's a very fast team, so they always play us tough."

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