SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

Sports

November 26, 2013

Thanksgiving Football: Beverly (6-4) at Salem (2-8)

Where: at Bertram Field, Salem Peabody (10 a.m.)

All-time series: Beverly leads, 56-51-7

Keys to victory for Beverly: When Beverly has controlled the line of scrimmage this fall, they’ve won — often handily. Isaiah White (1,619 rushing yards, 20 TDs) has been a beast out of the Beverly backfield in such situations, while sophmore understudies Matt Madden (579 yards, 6 TDs) and Peter Mulumba (593 yards, 3 TDs) are no slouches, either. Defensively, the Panther starters have allowed just five touchdowns in their last five victories, and they’ll be looking to get into the Salem backfield early and often.

Key to victory for Salem: The home team must do two major things to pull off the upset: gain momentum early by scoring points, and keeping the Beverly offense off the field for long stretches of play. The Witches also need to find some offensive consistency and keep the chains moving, but can’t rely solely on a ground attack; they’ve got to keep Beverly from stacking the box to stop Aaron Palmer, Genrri Rosario & Co. by successfully mixing in passes in the flat and bubble screens.

Intangibles: White needs just 30 yards to become Beverly’s all-time single season rushing leader, so look for the Orange-and-Black to get him the pigskin early in an attempt to get the record out of the way early. This will be the Witches’ third game on their new turf field, but they’re still looking for their first victory on it.

Did You Know?: Since the 100th Beverly/Salem game in 1998 the Panthers have dominated the series, winning 10 of the last 15 meetings. They also haven’t lost in Salem this century; their last setback at Bertram came in 1999.

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