, Salem, MA


October 4, 2013

Moving The Chains: Salem ready for its first home game tomorrow -- in Beverly


There will be some diferences, naturally. Salem will not only wear its red jerseys, but also stand on the Beverly sidelines. That means their fans will sit in the home (i.e., non-sun) stands, and the some of the Witches’ assistant coaches will watch the game from the press box as opposed to the top row of visitor’s stands.

A walk-through of the construction going on at Bertram earlier this week was definitely encouraging for Connolly; it’s supposed to re-open for use on Nov. 1, meaning Salem will definitely be able to hosts its annual Thanksgiving Day game with Beverly. “It’s going to be so beautiful when it’s done,” said Connolly.

Until then, however, the Witches will either have to hit the road for scheduled home games — like next Friday night, when they’ll have to travel to Revere — or, in tomorrow’s case, bask in the chance to play a home game at an opponent’s venue.

At 0-3 and having surrendered 125 points so far, Salem is in desperate need of a victory. They’re hoping it comes tomorrow against Winthrop, a 2-1 team that doesn’t ever seem to change its basic formula: not a deep roster, but one full of hard-nosed players with speed, skill and the will to do whatever it takes to win football games. Allowing the Vikings’ running backs to cut back or run downhill is a formula for trouble, and quarterback Dylan Driscoll (son of head coach Sean Driscoll) is smart and tough, both running the ball on designed plays and throwing the football with accuracy.

Defensively, it’s about making third down stops and forcing their opponents to punt. On offense the Witches need to sustain drives and eat time off the clock while getting into the red zone and putting up points. They only ran 21 plays last Friday night in a loss at Lynn Classical while the hosts held the ball for more than 30 minutes.

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