MARBLEHEAD — The chill in the air, the thud of the shoulder pads and the tightness of the football game made the atmosphere at Piper Field feel like the playoffs.
The performance of Marblehead junior running Brooks Tyrrell might as well have made history.
Tyrrell ran for 260 yards and three scores, records in the Magicians’ brief gridiron playoff lore, to lead the hosts to a hard-fought 19-7 win over Masconomet in a Division 3 Northeast semifinal.
The key sequence came as Marblehead (8-1, playing the winner of today’s Tewksbury/Gloucester tilt in the D3Northeast final next weekend) faced 4th-and-2 at the Masco 45 with 4:00 to play and the score favoring the hosts, 13-7.
Coach Jim Rudloff’s defense had been outstanding to that point, stuffing Masco on both third and fourth and a chainlink at the Magaician 15-yard line earlier. He could’ve punted and put the game in their hands, but he wanted to win it outright.
“That was a pivotal moment for us as we move forward in the playoffs. Getting it would validate everything we’ve done and how far we’ve come as opposed to being safe and sneaking in the back door,” said Rudloff. “Spencer Craig told the guys this is what we worked out all summer for, this one play.”
Tyrrell, in the shotgun next to QB Matt Millett, took the handoff and saw a hole to his right. He raced through it in the blink of an eye, and a few gallops and 45-yards later he was in the end zone putting the game away and subsequently putting the Magicians in the sectional final.
“That’s Brooks. He had the option to cut back and we run outside so much that eventually teams will over compensate. He knows when to do it,” said Rudloff, whose tailback enjoyed his eighth 100-yard game of the season and second 200-yard effort.