For the first time in about three years, the Marblehead High School football team (4-1) had to respond after a loss. After Peabody stopped their winning streak at 23 games last week, the home team got back into the win column with a 28-7 win over Masconomet at Piper Field Friday night.
Quarterback Miles O’Neill ran one in for a touchdown and threw for two more to Connor Cronin to ignite the offense.
Senior Eddie Johns scored the winning points with 8:05 left in the third quarter, scampering in from 13 yards out. Following the game, Johns thinks his team responded well after last week’s shocker against the Tanners.
“We have so many options on this team, so many good players, we’re tough to stop if everyone’s going well,” Johns said.
Masconomet coach Gavin Monagle said that Marblehead has a lot of big play guys on offense, but they’re also very good on the defensive side of that ball.
And Johns concurred with that assessment, saying, “Our defense is great. We have so many athletic guys. Our secondary is strong, our linebackers are great and the line is great.”
Captain Sam Annese knew his team would rebound after last week’s less-than-excellent effort against Peabody.
“After the loss last week, we knew how important this game was going to be,” Annese said. “I think it was good for the team that we lost by such a drastic margin. It reminded a lot of returning players that we are not the same team as last year.”
Annese continued, “We had a very good week of practice coming into Friday with a lot of high energy and attentiveness. The coaches drew up a phenomenal game plan, and we were prepared for whatever Masco had to throw at us.”
But Annese acknowledged the challenge that lies just around the corner.
“We’re glad to get back in the win column, but we need to turn our focus toward Beverly as that will be a very important match-up to determine our standings from here on out,” he said.
Captain Zander Danforth added that the Peabody game shook everybody up, and got them to refocus to prepare for the Chieftains.
“I feel that last week was a good wake-up call, letting us know that we aren’t last year’s team,” Danforth said. “We had a great week of practice leading up to the game. We are onto Beverly (Oct. 14 at Piper, 6:30 p.m.), and hope to keep this momentum going.”
Captain Christian Pacheco tipped a Masco punt early on, and O’Neill took it in for the game’s first points seven plays later.
“Masco is a great team. The win tonight was huge and much needed after last week’s loss against Peabody,” Pacheco said. “Our defense and offense look good, but not great. We still have a lot to improve on, but overall, it was a great win.”
Kicker Greg Motornoy was 4-for-4 on extra points, and defenders Shame Keough, Danforth and Cronin picked off Masconomet quarterback Matt Richardson.
Richardson scored from the one in the second quarter, followed by Cooper Easley’s extra point boot to account for Masco’s points.