Two years ago, the Panthers won a Super Bowl on the Gillette turf, with Abate, Flaherty, and Pierce in the starting lineup as sophomores.
“I think (our experience) helps a little bit, but it still comes down to who executes,” Abate said. “Having our class that was there before, we know the routine and what to expect. We’re not going to be caught up in the hype and the surroundings. We’ll be ready to play.”
Aside from all their skill and athleticism, one of Beverly’s biggest strengths this season has been its ability to focus on the next opponent.
“We played some good teams and each game, each week built on other weeks. The seniors have been playing together for so long they wanted to have a winning season, win the conference, beat Salem, and then get to the postseason,” Bauer said. “Expectations are higher, but these seniors were in Foxboro as sophomores and they’ve had the chance to experience this whole week. I hope that helps because this venue is huge and can take you back when you realize how big the stage is that you’re on. I think that will be a plus for us, for sure.”
Beverly (12-0) vs. Natick (11-2) starting lineups BEVERLY Offense 55 Kevin Kenndy LT Sr. 57 Marc Babcock LG Sr. 58 Brian Perry C Sr. 50 Zack Duguid RG Jr. 78 Mike Dooling RT Sr. 12 Brendan McGee TE Sr. 3 Ryan Shipp WR Sr. 5 Dom Abate WB Sr. 10 Dave Rollins QB Sr. 33 Brendan Flaherty FB Sr. 28 Kenny Pierce RB Sr. Defense 78 Mike Dooling DE Sr. 58 Brian Perry NG Sr. 50 Zack Duguid DE Jr. 8 Luke McDonald LB Sr. 22 Isaiah White LB Jr. 53 Sean Winston LB Jr. 15 Sam Mulumba LB Jr. 3 Ryan Shipp CB Sr. 28 Kenny Pierce CB Sr. 5 Dom Abate SS Sr. 33 Brendan Flaherty FS Sr. NATICK Offense 66 Jesse Kattany RT Sr. 76 Lee Griesma RG Jr. 62 Kyle Dembrowski C So. 56 Robby Beausoleil LG Sr. 58 David Reynolds LT Sr. 10 Troy Flutie QB Jr. 44 Jack Lowell RB Sr. 1 Brian Dunlap WR So. 3 Alex Hilger WR Jr. 18 Andrew Boynton WR Jr. 5 Justin Robinson WR Jr. Defense 44 Jack Lowell NT Sr. 70 Matt Palmer DT Jr. 56 Robby Beausoleil DT Sr. 85 Ross Brayman DE Sr. 13 Trenton Wright DE So. 34 Zach Hilger LB Sr. 21 Mike Dunlap LB Sr. 33 Gus Black LB Jr. 16 Jack Turner CB Sr. 39 Larion Johnson CB Sr. 11 Mike Abbruzzese S Jr.