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    Friday, June 09, 2017 00:00

Tanners football notches first win


The Peabody Tanners may have found their identity after shutting out Revere, 21-0, last Thursday on the road. Head coach Mark Bettencourt is hopeful that his team’s first win of 2017 can supply some momentum entering the second half of the season.

The Tanner defense has been pretty strong through the first four games, having given up just one late touchdown in a 7-0 loss to Danvers and 21 first-half points to a high-powered Marblehead attack. No surprise the defense was up to the task again last Thursday. It was the performance of the Peabody offense, which compiled more points against Revere (21) than it had in the opening three games (14), that was the major plus.

“This was a good win on a short week, and we need to carry it over to our next game if we hope to make the playoffs,” Bettencourt told the press after the victory. The 1-3 Tanners host Masconomet Regional in a nonconference contest this Friday at 7 p.m.

In the win over Revere, the Tanners took a 7-0 lead into halftime and began the second half with a crucial TD drive. Running back Eric DeMayo blasted through the Revere defense for a 60-yard burst, setting up a short scoring run by Elijah White that led to a 14-0 lead. DeMayo collected a six-yard score of his own in the first half after Nolan Murphy recovered a fumble on the opening kickoff.

“That was huge – to get the turnover. That gave us momentum,” said Bettencourt.

The final points came after the Tanners partially blocked a Revere punt in the fourth quarter. RB Noah Freedman ended up scoring on a six-yard run. Kicker Austin Leggett made good on all three PAT attempts. Leggett had a 31-yard field goal attempt blocked after quarterback Jonell Espinal connected for four completions – three to White – to put Peabody in scoring position late in the first half.

“[Running backs] Freedman, DeMayo and Jake Souza all ran hard. We mixed [quarterbacks] Colby Therrien and Jonell Espinal, sometimes changing on the same series,” said Bettencourt in explaining the offensive game plan. “Our two-headed quarterback situation is working and we’ll ride the guy who is throwing the ball better.”

After challenging his offensive line during halftime of the Marblehead game a week earlier, Bettencourt credited the o-line with its “best game” of the season so far after last Thursday’s triumph.

On defense, Cam Powers and White both had interceptions. The Tanner defense has allowed 28 points in the last three games. The offense has totaled 35 points for the year, with 21 of those coming in last week’s win.

By Greg Phipps

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