By Gianna Addario
---- — MIDDLETON — The past two weeks were somber ones for the North Shore Tech football team, which scored just seven points in its previous eight quarters.
It wasn’t what head coach Paul Worth expected from his team, but the pair of losses didn’t get the Bulldogs down. Instead, it got them fired up come Saturday afternoon.
The Bulldogs came out ready to play against visiting Chelsea and left Barry Field with a satisfying 40-15 victory.
“It all stems from playing two quality opponents the (previous) two weeks,” explained Worth, whose team now sits at 2-2. “Blue Hills was very similar to us (two weeks ago), but we made some key mistakes because we’re young. Then last week against Bishop Fenwick we really grew up; to lose 41-0 last week and then come out and play as well as we did (Saturday) says a lot about our character. We didn’t come out and feel sorry for ourselves.”
Getting senior running back Ross Murphy back in the lineup also helped. The steady combination of Murphy and fellow running back Dan Bailey produced over 300 rushing yards, including four of the hosts’ five touchdowns.
Murphy (158 yards rushing) took it to the house on three different scoring drives, including the opening sequence. Bailey found the end zone twice, once from a yard out and the second on an 80-yard kickoff return in the second quarter and helped his team to a 24-15 lead at halftime.
“Murphy is a horse and he showed it,” noted Worth. “We gave him the ball quite a bit, but Bailey really opened it up for him on the counters. Danny ran really well; he finally understands how to run that counter and once he gets that going, it opens things up for Murph inside.”
Worth also said his team understood what Chelsea was going to do and the Bulldogs’ line, while young, grew up a lot during the contest and made things happen.
The Bulldogs’ defense did its part, holding Chelsea to just 108 yards rushing. The Red Devils were shut out in the second half and had to play without its feature tailback, Jose Martinez, which made things “a little easier” according to Worth.
“Overall we made some great defensive changes at halftime,” Worth added. “We were able to shut them out in the second half. They had us confused with that spread set that they came out with, and we just had to adjust to that.”
Bulldogs quarterback Ian LaFavour was able to spread the ball around with eight handoffs to Michael Nuernberg (52 yards) and ran for 10 yards on two carries himself.
North Shore Tech had only one fumble in the game, which Chelsea capitalized on and scored on the following drive.
Senior captain Yordany Sanchez didn’t play after getting injured in last week’s Bishop Fenwick matchup, but could be a go this Saturady night (7 p.m.) against Lynn Tech.