Today, the North Shore Tech/Essex Aggie football team will see just how much its grown over the course of the 2013 season.
After falling to Blue Hills 16-7 in week two in September, the Bulldogs (7-3) will have another shot at taking down the Warriors (7-4) — this time in the Small School Vocational Bowl championship at Braintree High School today at 4:30.
“This has been one of best years I’ve ever had coaching. I didn’t expect this,” NST/EA head coach Paul Worth said of the season his Bulldogs have enjoyed with just six seniors on the team. “I can’t speak highly enough of how the kids have taken to coaching and how much better they’ve gotten. It’s been a joy to be with this team.”
The two teams met in just the second game of the season when a handful of the NST/EA youngsters were just getting their bearings. Now, with a full 10-games under their belt including a playoff game on the road in a hostile environment at Madison Park in Roxbury, the Bulldogs are a far more savvy team.
“At that time of the year we were young. We opened against Tri County and got away with a lot of mistakes,” said Worth. “We were better against Blue Hills but we didn’t know how to finish yet and I think we learned that over the season.”
The Bulldogs actually held the statistical edge in yards when the two teams first met back in September. North Shore Tech/Essex Aggie, however, stalled on a few critical drives while Blue Hills managed to punch in the extra touchdown.
Worth’s group doesn’t throw much at all and relies on the running game to get first down after first down. That means penalties are that much more costly. Against the Warriors, the Bulldogs had a procedurepenalty on third and two that stalled a 17-play, third quarter drive.