SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

Sports

December 1, 2012

JOURNEY FINISHED

Beverly achieves perfection, captures Super Bowl championship

FOXBOROUGH —

The Beverly High football team didn't take the time to enjoy the run while it was in the midst of it. 

The Panthers now have a lifetime to treasure their accomplishments.

Beverly completed a perfect season (13-0) and achieved its ultimate goal by capturing the Division 2A Super Bowl championship with a 28-21 win over Natick at Gillette Stadium Saturday night.

The Panthers believed they could be the best team on the field each week, but had a feeling of disbelief after putting the Redhawks away.

"This group really went above and beyond. It's hard to put into words right now," Beverly coach Dan Bauer said. "We didn't think (about our record) week to week, but we kind of thought a little bit about it this week. 'Wow, we're 12-0, but we have this big game to worry about so we'll deal with that later.' Now we're dealing with it and it's just hard to believe."

Powered by a senior class that seemed completely determined to be the best squad in program history, the Panthers were always focused and prepared.

"Our motto all season was just 'finish', and we did," senior captain and defensive back Dom Abate said. "It feels awesome for this senior class to finish like this."

Beverly stuck with its bread-and-butter Saturday: a solid bend-but-don't-break defense and a relentless running attack on offense.

All 347 of Beverly's offensive yards came via the ground game, with senior captain Brendan Flaherty totaling 175 yards and two touchdowns on 30 carries. Junior Isaiah White added 87 yards on 11 carries while captain Kenny Pierce produced 71 yards on seven carries.

"This means the world to us. We've been working hard since the summer and this was our ultimate goal," said Pierce, who scored a pair of first-half touchdowns. "We had weekly goals, which is great and everything, but this was our long-term goal and we worked toward it. It feels great to get the win."

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