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News

Late Danvers TD sinks Tanners

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As is characteristic of the Peabody High School football team under head coach Mark Bettencourt, the Tanners rebounded from a disappointing defeat a week earlier and played the always-tough Danvers Falcons to a virtual standstill last Friday night in the Northeastern Conference (NEC) opener for both squads at Peabody’s Veterans Memorial Stadium. In the end, however, it was Danvers which emerged on the winning end, 7-0, when running back Matt McCarthy broke through the Peabody defense and raced 50 yards for the game’s lone touchdown and subsequent PAT kick with just 2:36 left to play.

The Tanners made it interesting on their ensuing possession and came close to scoring when, on two occasions, Peabody receivers got behind the Falcons’ defense. Both times quarterback Jonell Espinal’s passes were broken up at the last second. His final last-gasp attempt on fourth down was picked off, and the visitors ran out the remaining 19 seconds.

Defense ruled the roost in this one, as Peabody, which dropped to 0-2, struggled for the second week in a row to get much going offensively. The Tanners, who have been held scoreless over the last seven quarters, managed just 115 total yards on offense.

The same held true for the Falcons, as the Tanner defense stymied them for nearly four full quarters before McCarthy’s late heroics bailed them out. The 2-0 Falcons, who blanked Winthrop, 31-0, the week before, mustered just 125 total yards (60 on the ground), with 50 of those coming via McCarthy’s scoring run.

Coming off the previous week’s 24-7 upset loss at Somerville, Bettencourt had his team ready to compete. “We made some adjustments and it paid dividends. The defense deserves to win this game. We need to find ways to win games when our defense plays that well,” he said after the loss. “Penalties killed us tonight and the offense needs to get better. You’re not going to win many times when you score one touchdown in eight quarters.”

Misconduct penalties on both sides stifled potential scoring chances, One example for Peabody took place in the second quarter when Ramon Franco intercepted a pass in Danvers territory. But an unsportsmanlike infraction brought the ball back to the Peabody 40, and the Tanners failed to take advantage.

Peabody did have one strong drive in the second quarter when it put together a 14-play march that took over nine minutes. The Tanners reached the Danvers 10-yard line before being stopped on downs.

“We need to build on this game. We have a young lineup out there, so we’re going to make some mistakes,” said Bettencourt. “As far as the penalty calls, we just live with it. The calls were made. We don’t make excuses.”

Defensively, the Tanners were led by front-liners Cam Powers, who harassed Danvers QB Justin Mullaney throughout, Eric DeMayo and Dariel Canela. Marcus Barker had a third-quarter interception. On offense, DeMayo gained 51 yards on 13 carries while Cole Cuzzi caught four passes and QB Colby Therrien completed 4 of 5 passes.

When asked about using two quarterbacks (Therrien and Espinal) so far this season, Bettencourt said, “The two-headed quarterback situation can pay dividends. We’ve just got to find a way to make it work to our advantage.”

It doesn’t get any easier for the Tanners this week, as they host powerhouse Marblehead (2-0) in an NEC battle on Saturday evening at Veterans Memorial Stadium (scheduled 6 p.m. kickoff).

By Greg Phipps


 

Tanner boys’ soccer team beats Swampscott in home opener

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The Peabody Tanners may have been kicking themselves for owning just a one-goal lead after a first half in which they dominated territorially last Wednesday in their home opener against Northeastern Conference foe Swampscott. The inability to cash in on numerous quality first-period scoring chances nearly came back to bite Peabody, as the visitors stepped up and played much better in the second half. Still, three second-half goals helped the Tanners pull out a 4-2 victory.

Mike Tansey’s score off an assist from Josh Atemkeng late in the first half gave Peabody a 1-0 lead, but head coach Stan McKeen was not pleased with his team’s inability to finish. “It wasn’t a well-played game. We had multiple opportunities but couldn’t put the ball in the net,” he said afterwards. “We only had eight [official] shots on goal, but we had a lot more chances than that. We just couldn’t finish in front of the net. It was very frustrating.”

The Tanners, who lost their season opener two days earlier at Medford, were missing the services of key offensive player Kevin Aroke, and Noah Surman hit the ground hard after being knocked down on a rush. He had to leave the game late in the first half.

After Jonathan Alves gave the Tanners a 2-0 lead six minutes into the second stanza, Swampscott scored to make it a one-goal deficit. Alves tallied again off an assist from Trevor Lodi with 15:44 left to give Peabody a seemingly comfortable 3-1 advantage. To their credit, the visitors kept battling and pulled within 3-2 in the final two minutes. Atemkeng sealed the win when he headed the ball in off a corner kick by Andrew Prousalis in the final minute.

“We got two goals off corner kicks and that was good,” said McKeen, who cited the efforts of substitutes Fabio and Jacob Martins. “Our bench did a good job. We moved the ball well, but we don’t spread as wide as we should to create more space [on offense].”

Peabody goalie Troy Cappos was largely untested in the first half but made a couple of stellar saves in the second period. Overall, he stopped seven shots during the game.

Last Friday the Tanners played to a hard-fought 1-1 tie against Revere at home. Entering this week’s play, Peabody stood at 1-1-1. Against Revere, Cappos stepped up big, making 11 saves. Alves had the team’s lone score off an assist from Giovani Lumaj. Aroke was back in the lineup and had a strong game at the midfield position.

By Greg Phipps


 

PHS volleyball team off to 3-2 start

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Despite losing two close matches against two of the better teams in the area, Peabody head volleyball coach Lisa Keene is optimistic about the season. “We have two losses right now, but it was nice to get those types of competitive games in the beginning of the season,” said Keene after a comfortable 3-0 win over Saugus last Friday at the PHS Gym. “It gives us a feel for where we are as a team and where we need to go from here. It was a learning experience for the kids and me.”

Both defeats have been hard-fought 3-2 losses against Northeastern Conference rival Danvers and North Reading. Entering this week the Tanners had grabbed wins over Salem, Swampscott and Saugus.

In last Friday’s 25-4, 25-14 and 25-9 sweep over the Sachems, Bianca Chouinard scored five aces, and captain Serena Laro drilled five kills and had two blocks to lead the way.

By Greg Phipps


   

Girls’ soccer team plays to 0-0 tie

The Peabody girls’ soccer team battled to its second tie of the early season, as the Tanners ended their contest on Tuesday in a 0-0 deadlock against Marblehead in Northeastern Conference action. The tie brought Peabody to 1-0-2 as the team got strong performances defensively from Catherine Manning, Aja Alimonte, Jordyn Collins and Colleen Crotty. Head coach Dennis Desroches also credited senior Emily Nelson, who went over the 100-career-points mark last week, Amber Kiricoples and Bridget O’Connell. Jordan Muse played her first varsity game in goal and made seven saves.

 

 

Girls’ soccer team earns two shutout victories

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Coming off a 2-0 win over Essex Tech last Friday, the Bishop Fenwick girls’ soccer team repeated the feat against Cardinal Spellman at home on Monday. After a scoreless first half, the Crusaders tallied twice during the second 40 minutes. Marissa Orlando scored a goal and added an assist while Madison Csogi notched the other tally. Sam Tache and Jenna Durkin were credited with strong games on defense.

Boys’ soccer team grabs tie against Cardinal Spellman

Having earned a 1-0 win over Georgetown last Friday, the Bishop Fenwick boys’ soccer squad came out of Monday’s game at Cardinal Spellman with a 2-2 tie. Brian Harrington and Anthony Capo scored for the Crusaders, and John Mahoney assisted on both scores. Capo was also credited with a strong defensive outing.

Solid effort falls short for BF football team

Down 14-0 after one half, the Bishop Fenwick Crusaders kept battling and made a game of it before falling short to Dedham by a 20-12 count last Friday night at Donaldson Stadium. The loss dropped the Crusaders to 0-2 on the early season, but head coach David Woods was encouraged by the effort and grit his young team showed.

“We played with heart, much better than our opening game [a shutout loss at Hamilton-Wenham]. There was certainly no lack of effort,” Woods told the press after the contest. “I saw a lot of positives. If we stick together and believe in ourselves the wins will come.”

A 25-yard TD pass from quarterback Derek DelVecchio to Stefano Fabiano brought Fenwick to within eight points midway through the third quarter. It was the first score of the season for the Crusaders. Dedham scored on a muffed punt by BF later in the third to make it 20-6. DelVecchio and Fabiano hooked up again for a TD in the final seconds to account for the end result.

The Crusaders travel for a game at Pentucket Regional on Saturday afternoon.

By Greg Phipps


   

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