“That would have given them a lot of momentum going into halftime,” explained Worth. “They are a team that likes to play when they’re up. They had the ball for a long time on that drive and we couldn’t get them off the field.”
Ross Murphy (169 yards and 2 TDs on 23 carries) busted loose in the second half as the Bulldogs made a concerted effort to run to the left side behind Campbell, Jack Crawley and Charlie Self — often going unbalanced to do so. Tight end Matt Almon also did a nice job setting the edge.
“I think physically, we took over in the second half. We made a conscious decision to run left and test them on that side,” noted Worth. “We won the game at the line of scrimmage.”
After five straight runs to the left to open the third quarter, LaFavour took a bootleg to the right into the red zone before Murphy scored from 13 yards out on a sweep. Murphy added the final score of the game in the fourth quarter on a nice cutback run he took 29 yards to the house. The senior also had a pair of two-point conversion runs.
Dan Bailey had the other two-point conversion run and added an 8-yard touchdown on a counter.
“We play just 13 guys, so it’s a matter of attrition,” said Mintueman (4-2) head coach Brian Tildsley. “Their style of offense is bound to wear you down. It was the story of the game.”
The story of the season for North Shore Tech/Essex Aggie has been one of exceeding expectations. With a young, talented group, Worth expected the Bulldogs to be solid, but the level of poise they’ve shown six games in has been a welcome surprise.
“This team’s overachieved,” said Worth. “I thought we’d be a good, young team — but I didn’t realize we could compete with veteran teams.”