, Salem, MA


November 26, 2012

Unselfish Pierce highly productive for Panthers

Kenny Pierce is blessed with breakaway speed, excellent vision, and a knack for finding the end zone.

In the eyes of Beverly High football offensive coordinator Roger Day, those three skills fall a bit short on Pierce’s list of attributes.

“The first thing that comes to my head is how unselfish a player he is. He’s really kind of saved my butt for three years,” Day said. “He’s been a huge part of our offense for three years, but whether he’s getting the ball or blocking, or if he’s getting it three times or 15 times he’s the same kid. He’s such a team player.”

Beverly, which plays in the Division 2A playoffs tomorrow night on the road (7:45 p.m.) against Burlington, has an offense built on balance. Everyone eats at the Panthers’ offensive table, and while Pierce could certainly get fat on statistics if he had the chance, he prefers to do his job and enjoy the wins that follow.

Pierce’s overall statistics — 780 yards rushing, 12 touchdowns — aren’t mind-bending, at least not on the surface.

What Pierce is very good at is making the most of his opportunities. His yardage and touchdowns came on only 60 carries, which means he is averaging 13 yards per carry and scoring touchdowns 20 percent of the time, or once every five touches. If you factor in his three receptions and one receiving touchdown, that percentage actually climbs slightly.

“I don’t think of that stuff at all really,” Pierce, a senior captain, said. “I really just follow my blockers; they’re the ones that get it done. I have to give a lot of credit to the line and to Brendan (Flaherty), Dom (Abate), and Isaiah (White).”

As good as Pierce is running with the football, he is just one part of what is arguably the most dangerous Beverly backfield in program history.

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