The road to the Super Bowl is much longer and has more obstacles than ever before.
After a few upsets last week, just three area teams remain as we turn the page to the MIAA football North sectional semifinals this weekend. Here’s what you can look for tonight:
DIVISION 3 NORTHEAST SEMIFINAL
MASCONOMET (5-3) at MARBLEHEAD (7-1)
How they got here: The Magicians won a share of the Northeastern Conference North title and by power rating were seeded No. 2 in the Div. 3 Northeast bracket. They pulled away from No. 7 Wilmington, 34-7, in the second half of last week’s quarterfinal at Piper Field.
The Chieftains made it as a wild card after finishing third in the Cape Ann League Large. They were seeded No. 6 and went to third-seeded Danvers last weekend and earned a purposeful 30-0 victory.
Statistical leaders: Marblehead is led by Brooks Tyrrell, who has an area-high 190 carries for 1,255 yards rushing and 16 TDs. Matt Millett has completed 91-of-143 passes for 1,314 yards and 15 TDs, with an efficiency rating of 116.7 (on the NFL scale). His top targets are Brian Daly (26 catches, 557 yards, area-best 12 TDs), Jeremy Gillis (28-357-2 TDs) and Will Millett (18-227-1 TD).
The Chieftains’ leading rusher is Gavin Monagle, who has carried 24 times for 151 yards and a score. He was pressed into the lead tailback role with Mike Tivinis and Mackenzie Cashin both injured. Troy Bunker has thrown for 672 yards and seven scores and is the only player on the North Shore to have scored a TD, a two-point conversion, an extra point and a field goal this season. Corey Tines (15 catches, 378 yards, 6 TDs) is a threat to score every time he touches the ball.
The Skinny: Masconomet played like one of the preseason favorites in Div. 3 Northeast last weekend with a dominant defensive effort. The Chieftains have a number of defensive linemen that attack the line of scrimmage and rotate them to keep fresh bodies driving their legs on every play.