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Tanners look to build on last year’s strong finish

 By Greg Phipps

The Peabody High School football team has to be entering the 2018 campaign feeling good about its prospects. Last season, the Tanners turned around a poor first half of the season (when they went 1-4) to close out with a 5-1 record over their final six games and finish 6-5.

The one loss over that second-half stretch was an overtime defeat at Lynn Classical, when the Tanners couldn’t hold on to a late lead. Peabody excelled on both offense and defense, averaging nearly 30 points per game and allowing less than 10 points.

That’s a formula head coach Mark Bettencourt and his team would like to keep alive as this year commences. Peabody looks to get off to a winning start (something it hasn’t been able to do in recent years) as the campaign opens against Somerville this Friday night (scheduled 7 p.m. kickoff) at Peabody Veterans Memorial Stadium. Last year, the Tanners lost their opener at Somerville, 24-7, and dropped their next two games to begin 0-3.

Winning the season opener is something Peabody hasn’t done since 2011, and the Tanners have gotten off to 1-3 starts the past three seasons. That’s a trend they hope to reverse this fall.

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