SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

Sports

November 29, 2012

Beverly football notebook: Offseason training has paid off handsomely for Panthers this fall

(Continued)

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The Panthers have outscored their foes by a whopping 109 to 21 in the first quarter of games, a testmanent to their getting off to a fast start in virtually every contest. Only once were they held scoreless in the opening frame, a 0-0 stalemate against Marblehead in Week 10.

But that’s not even their best quarter in terms of point differential; they’ve outscored their opponents by 101 points (114 to 13) in third quarters — where a majority of football games are won or lost — this fall.

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Tuesday was the second time this season than Flaherty and White have both rushed for 100 or more yards. (Flaherty had 251, White 109). In the Panthers’ October win at Masconomet, Flaherty had 234 yards on 22 carries while White picked up 101 on 13 totes.

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The most points Beverly has scored in one quarter was the 28 it put up against Peabody en route to a 49-0 triumph. Those 49 points are the most they’ve put up consecutively (ie without an opponent scoring), followed by the 35 they hung on Danvers in a 35-13 win.

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One of my favorite plays Tuesday night came during Pierce’s 28-yard touchdown run. It was sprung by two terrific plays: a crackback block by McDonald coming out of the backfield and cutting a Burlington linebacker down at the legs, and McGee’s sealing off the cornerback, which allowed Pierce to cut back inside and sail into the end zone. That was teammwork at its finest.

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It’s probably not a coincidence that teams have scored more points against Beverly in the fourth quarter of games (46) than any other; virtually all of those came against the Panthers’ second and third-team defensive units, long after the outcome had been decided.

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Four juniors will start for the Panthers on Saturday afternoon: right guard/defensive end Zack Duguid and linebackers Sean Winston, Mulumba and White.

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