It’s been a long time since an opponent put points on the board against the Marblehead High School Football Magicians. You have to go back to Sept. 13 in the opener against North Andover to get that answer, and the stingy Marblehead defense gave up just one score.
Saturday morning’s 43-0 win over Saugus followed a shutout of Gloucester at home on Sept. 20. The Sachems came close to scoring before the end of the first half, but Marblehead’s Ryan Freiberger swiped away a pass in the end zone to maintain his team’s 22-0 advantage going into halftime.
Marblehead, now 3-0, got the one and only score they needed early on in the second quarter, when Sean McCarthy recovered a fumble and sophomore quarterback Joshua Robertson didn’t waste any time hitting Freiberger on a 69-yard scoring strike with just 21 seconds gone in the period. A.J. Russo then took the extra point snap, before popping up and zipping a pass to Devin Romain to account for the two-point conversion.
Romain said that the coaches put in a great game plan every week, and the team just has to go out, play hard and execute that plan.
"Our plan every game is to get the ball on offense and score right away, that’s our plan," the senior co-captain said. "It’s important to us to dictate the tempo and get our momentum going, whether it’s the first hit or the first score."
Marblehead got great field position after a short Sachem punt that rolled to a stop on the Saugus 41. Four plays later, Tim Cronin scored the first of his three touchdowns in the game. Eli Feingold followed up the one-yard scoring play by nailing the first of his five extra points right through the middle of the uprights.
After shutting down the home team again, the Magicians took over on their own 47, and once again it was Cronin who took it home from the one. The big play that got the ball deep into Saugus territory was a 42-yard pass by Robertson to McCarthy.
Marblehead got the ball to start the second half, and it was business as usual. The drive took just seven plays to bump the lead to 29-0. Robertson threw his first touchdown pass of the game to Will Twadell that covered 30 yards to complete this latest example of the team’s efficiency.
The Magicians weren’t done scoring in the third quarter. Cronin picked up his third score from nine yards out, capping off a six-play drive.
Marblehead then got the ball at the Saugus 39 with 7:42 remaining in the quarter, and it took them just over two minutes to make the score 36-0.
Eli Feingold took a handoff from Liam McIlroy, before barreling his way into the end zone from four yards out to close out the offense in the fourth quarter.
Coach Jim Rudloff told his team afterwards to enjoy the win now, because the team has a huge week of practice coming up to get ready for Beverly on Friday night, Oct. 4, at Piper Field.
The Panthers have always thought of the Magicians as one of their huge rivals, and they will come to town with a 2-1 record, and some hostility, after losing to visiting Swampscott Saturday afternoon, 27-20.
"It was important for us to score first against Saugus, because it was close early on, but the kids made some adjustments, and we picked up the win," Rudloff said. "I think on defense we eliminated some mistakes we made, and the defense played very aggressively to force turnovers that our offense turned into points. It took our kids a little while to get going, but when they did they really played great.
"We have a huge test coming up against Beverly. I’m sure they’ve circled that game on their calendar," Rudloff added. "I think Revere, Beverly and Danvers are going to be very tough games. They’re all very physical teams, and they have a lot of size. Peabody’s going to be a challenge, as well. They also have a lot of size on that team."