With win over Danvers, football Magicians capture Dunn Division title

The Marblehead High School football team got right back at it after its bye week, knocking off the host Danvers Falcons Friday night, 27-7. The Magicians were up by four touchdowns before the home team finally got one into the end zone.

With the win, Marblehead clinches the Northeastern Conference Dunn Division championship with a 4-0 record. The team is 7-1 overall, with its only loss to non-league Peabody.

It’s now onto the playoffs to begin their defense of their 2021 Super Bowl championship for the Magicians. The final power rankings will be announced on Monday, but Coach Jim Rudloff’s team knows it will start the postseason at home. As of Oct. 28, the Magicians were ranked eighth overall in Division 3.

Following the game in Danvers, three of the Marblehead captains agreed it was good to be back on the field after the bye week.

“It was nice to get a win and secure that home game in the playoffs,” said captain Nick Whittaker. “The defense played a real good game throughout, while the offense could have been better at times, even though we were able to put up 27 points. But nonetheless, we are definitely heading in the right direction with the playoffs coming up, and I think the guys are ready.”

Junior captain Christian Pacheco, shown here during an earlier game against North Andover, had more to celebrate after Marblehead punched its ticket to the playoffs with a resounding win over Danvers. PHOTO BY EYAL OREN / WEDNESDAYSINMHD.COM

Junior captain Christian Pacheco added, “It was an awesome win, and I’m glad we punched a ticket to a home playoff game. Danvers had a great defensive line, and they gave us trouble with the run. But we had an amazing passing game. I can’t wait for the playoffs.”

Zander Danforth said, “Leading up to the game, we had a great week of practice; everyone was locked in and focused in order to get ready for the playoffs.”

Ryan Commoss ignited the offense by grabbing a 34-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Miles O’Neill in the second quarter. Greg Motorny’s first of three extra-point kicks in this game then made it 7-0.

‘Everyone was locked in and focused’ for the Danvers game, said Zander Danforth, shown here making a carry against Beverly earlier this season. PHOTO BY EYAL OREN/WEDNESDAYSINMHD.COM

It was the O’Neill-Commoss connection again that accounted for Marblehead’s second touchdown. This scoring strike went for 16 yards, before captain Connor Cronin ran 60 yards to secure the team’s third touchdown of the game in the third quarter. A short time later, O’Neill hooked up with Eddie Johns to complete the team’s offensive output against the Falcons.

O’Neill also helped himself out with his feet, running for 49 yards to keep drives alive. He threw for another 217 yards during the rout.

Cronin scampered for 65 yards on the ground. Johns ended up with 26, and Bernardo Bannis picked up 7 more rushing yards for the team.

Through the air, O’Neill threw for over 200 yards, with Cronin his leading receiver with 65 of those yards. Commoss had 48 to go along with his two touchdowns. Shane Keough was credited with 39. Bannis caught one for 32. Danforth and Johns had 11 receiving yards each, and Chris DeWitt snagged one pass for 10 yards.

Scot Cooper
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