DANVERS — During the offseason, the Marblehead High football team changed its strength and conditioning program, taking more of a physical approach to their workouts in the hopes it would pay off once the actual season began.
If one game can be considered a sample size, then this experiment has been 1,000 percent positive.
Marblehead came into Deering Stadium and dominated from the opening whistle last night, owning the line of scrimmage and racking up 475 yards of offense in hammering host Danvers, 44-0, in the season opener for both.
Using a faster style of play that saw them get to the line and run their plays quickly, the Magicians scored on six of their first seven drives and took a knee to run out the clock on their eighth. They completed a rare trifecta by having players go over 100 yards in rushing (Brooks Tyrrell, with 147 yards and 2 TDs on 23 carries); passing (quarterback Matt Millett, who completed 8 of 10 attempts for 144 yards and two scores) and receiving (tight end Jeremy Gillis, who caught four passes for 112 yards and hit paydirt once).
Perhaps the night’s most telling stat for Marblehead was that in its 50 offensive plays that were run, none one of those went for negative yardage.
“Traditionally in my five years here, we’ve always had rough goings in our season opener,” said head coach Jim Rudloff. Clearly, that wasn’t the case last night.
“What we did (offensively) wasn’t so much hurry up as it is we’re playing and practicing differently. We’re trying to do everything faster. The kids love it; we’re practicing faster and getting more done, and it translated onto the field (last night).”
Going for more of a strength program, using such methods as Olympic lifts in an attempt to be bigger and stronger as a team, was evident. The Magician linemen — tackles Dan Marino and Liam Gillis, guards Christian Rudloff and 310-pound junior behemoth Derek Dumais, and center Trevor Gelineau, along with Jeremy Gillis at tight end — wore down the Falcon trenchmen with their conditioning and physicality.