1B) Brendan Flaherty, Beverly: Flaherty is the area’s leading scorer with 100 points and became Beverly’s all-time leading scorer earlier this season. He is one of the area’s most diverse players, with touchdowns rushing, receiving, on returns and on defense. The senior also had a passing TD, and his versatility enables the gadget plays that Beverly offensive guru Roger Day loves.
Flaherty has 790 rushing yards, but has carried the ball just 84 times. Beverly has so many options on offense (Kenny Pierce, Isiah White, Dom Abate, etc.) and has had its junior varsity on the field in so many second half blowouts that Flaherty hasn’t had as many touches as some of the other local featured backs.
Of his 16 TDs, nine are rushing, three are receiving, two are on interceptions and two are on punt returns. Flaherty impacts all three phases of the game. On defense, his ability to play a run-support role against rush-heavy opponents like Gloucester and shift into pass coverage against teams like Swampscott and potentially Marblehead is unique.
Flaherty is the best player on the area’s most dominant team. While not leading the race at this juncture, he is firmly entrenched on the ballot.
1C) Alex Moore, St. John’s Prep: The senior is good for a first down every time he carries the ball, averaging 10.28 yards per carry with 679 yards on 66 runs. He’s second in the area with 10 rushing TDs, and fourth in overall scoring with 14 TDs and 78 points.
His carries are somewhat limited because of Thomas, but he’s still fourth in the area in rushing with 679 yards. Moore has surpassed 100 yards rushing four times and is also St. John’s leading receiver with 213 yards and three scores.
Moore has an even bigger impact on defense. He’s a shutdown defensive back and he’s very solid in run support. In terms of complete football players, few can compare with the Boxford native.