BEVERLY — The name of the evening was “Light up Hurd Stadium 3.” But by the time the night was through, the Beverly High football team lit up both the scoreboard and the record book.
The host Panthers handled Peabody, 49-0, in the third night game ever at Hurd Stadium. Senior captain Brendan Flaherty scored twice— off a 20-yard run and 46-yard punt return — to become the program’s all-time leader in touchdowns.
The scores were the 46th and 47th of Flaherty’s three-year varsity career, moving him past Beverly’s all-time leading rusher, Pat Bailey, who scored 45 career TDs before graduating in the spring of 2007.
“I looked up to Pat when I was little and have so much respect for him,” said Flaherty. “This means a lot to me; it really says a lot about the great tradition of Beverly football.”
The Panthers (5-0 for the first time since 1993) celebrated captain Kenny Pierce’s birthday by sending him 21 yards untouched to paydirt to start the scoring in the first.
After the first of captain Dom Abate’s two interceptions, Flaherty took a counter up the middle for a 20-yard score to make it 14-0 and officially set the TD record.
Flaherty scored 21 TDs as a sophomore, 14 as a junior and has 12 so far this year. The versatile Flaherty has 29 rushing TDs, 12 receiving and six on defense or returns in his career.
The 6-foot-1, 180-pounder also had five career two-point conversions for 292 career points — also a new BHS record, ahead of Bailey’s 272.
“Brendan is a special player and Pat Bailey was a special player,” said Beverly head coach Dan Bauer, who also coached Bailey. “Brendan has worked as hard as anybody; its not a situation where he just shows up and it happens. He’s put in a ton of time and effort.”