BY THE NUMBERS
25.8 -- Percentage of offensive yardage returning to North Shore Tech in senior running back Ross Murphy. Despite falling just short of the 1,000 yard mark, Murphy is the third most productive back returning in The Salem News coverage area this fall. Murphy and the Bulldogs open their season tomorrow against Tri-County Tech.
GAMES TO WATCH
Triton (0-0) at Swampscott (0-0), tomorrow, 12 p.m.: Swampscott head coach Steve Dembowski said this preseason that one of his team’s biggest strengths this year is depth. That’s something that could serve them well this year in a crowded Division 4 North field. Triton was only 1-10 last year, but the Vikings (also a Div. 4 North team) are expected to be much improved. It’s important to start fast with the new playoff format, and that’s exactly what the Big Blue will be trying to do tomorrow.
Haverhill (0-0) at Beverly (0-0), tomorrow, 1 p.m.: Many players -- Brendan Flaherty, Kenny Pierce, Dom Abate, et al. -- are gone from last year’s Division 2A Super Bowl team, but the Panthers are still expected to be a player in Division 3 Northeast. Beverly takes a step up in competition, battling a Haverhill team coming off an 8-3 campaign a year ago.
Bridgewater-Raynham (0-0) at St. John’s Prep (0-0), tomorrow, 1:30 p.m.: Running back Jon Thomas and St. John’s Prep begin the defense of their Division 1 Super Bowl title against a traditionally strong Division 1 program. Thomas ran for over 1,800 yards last year and every opposing defense will be geared up to slow him down. The question is, how will St. John’s counteract that?
TWITTER AND PODCAST
Don’t forget to check out our Twitter account (www.twitter.com/salemnewssports) for updated scores and highlights during all of this weekend’s football games. Also, check out our weekly high school football podcasts by logging on to www.salemnews.com and clicking on the podcast link under sports.
*Note: Statistics reflect only players from The Salem News Coverage area. This week's numbers are 2012 statistics of returning underclassmen.
TOP RETURNING RUSHERS