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November 8, 2013

Football Focus: Previewing Masconomet/Marblehead and Bishop Fenwick/Austin Prep playoff matchups

(Continued)

Masco’s defense has not allowed a point against an NEC opponent this season (shutting out Div. 3 Northeast semifinalist Gloucester, 27-0 and Danvers, 30-0). Over the last three years, they’re 14-2 against NEC teams and allow 12 points per game in those contests.

Offensively, you wonder if injuries at running back catch up to Masconomet tonight. Austin Cashin and Monagle were excellent in the playoff win over Danvers, but Marblehead now had a week to prepare for their speed. Bunker ran the ball well, too, but he’ll have to be more accurate in the passing game to keep drives alive against Marblehead.

The Magicians appear to have righted their ship after struggling late in a win over Gloucester and losing to Beverly last month. Those were both physical fronts, something Masco possesses, so Marblehead has a prime opportunity to prove they learned from those games tonight.

On offense, Marblehead is dynamic. They can run it with both Tyrrell and Matt Millett and can throw in a variety of ways. Daly has done a fair amount of damage running deep patterns, but Millett has completed a high percentage of his passes (64%) and can move the chains with short, quick hitters. It’ll be very challenging for Masco’s defense to contain all three, so they may look to rush the passer as they did in the second half against Danvers.

The winner gets the winner of tomorrow Gloucester/Tewksbury semifinal next week. Marblehead would travel to Tewksbury but host Gloucester, while Masco travels either way.

DIVISION 5 NORTH SEMIFINAL

Austin Prep (6-2) at Bishop Fenwick (8-0)

How they got here: The Cougars were the top-seeded wild card in Division 5, having lost only to Fenwick and Division 5 South semifinalist Cardinal Spellman. Austin Prep laid a 36-0 beating on Whittier Tech in the quarterfinals last week.

The Crusaders are still unbeaten into November for the first time in a decade and punched the top spot in Div. 5 North by winning the Catholic Central League title. They beat St. Mary’s, 33-12, last week in the quarters.

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