TOPSFIELD — It’s the oldest cliche in the world of sports, one that probably predates dirt or grass.
But when you hold your opponent to just two first downs and 35 yards of total offense in a title-clinching contest, the oft-used phrase ‘defense wins championships’ is more than apropos.
Dominating in every facet of the game, Masconomet clinched the Northeastern Conference/Cape Ann League Tier 1 football crown in resounding fashion last night, pasting Revere, 42-0.
“I don’t think we get enough credit for our hitting (defensively),” said Masco captain Chris Schleer. “We want to make it so teams don’t want to run the ball on us.”
From the second play of last night’s game, when captain Dylan Mann drilled Revere ballcarrier Tom Portrait with a monster hit in front of the visitor’s bench and forced a fumble that teammate Corey Tines recovered, Masconomet (8-2) set the tone defensively. They never allowed the Patriots’ offense to get untracked and, conversely, scored on each of their first six possessions.
“That hit by Dylan on the first play ... boy, could we have asked for anything better?” asked head coach Jim Pugh. “He’s a kid who loves blocking and tackling. He’s so unselfish, a great leader.”
In winning the program’s sixth league title in the last 10 years (all under Pugh), Masconomet led 28-0 after two quarters, got an inspired halftime speech from Mann urging the team to keep its collective feet on the gas pedal, and did just that to finish a perfect 4-0 in league play.
“This feeling is incredible; we’ve wanted it all season,” said Mann, who had a game-high 70 yards rushing while scoring on runs of 1 and 4 yards in the first half. “We were freshmen the last time Masco won a (league) title, so to do it again our senior year is a great feeling.”