, Salem, MA


September 9, 2013

Season opening loss will actually help Beverly in the long run


The talent is evident, but will take some time to ferment. Not long — in a condensed 7-game regular season before the playoffs, there simply isn’t time for that — but some time nonetheless.

Madden is a perfect example. Stepping up to the varsity stage for the first time after a stellar season on Beverly’s unbeaten freshman team of a year ago, he wound up with 16 carries for 97 yards rushing and two touchdowns, all team highs. He showed power, stamina and the ability to break tackles while reading the defense in front of him. As he adjusts to the speed, physicality and attention to detail needed to succeed at this level, he’ll become even more valuable to his team.

Both of Madden’s scores came in the second half: a 1-yard toss to the left side and a 2-yard burst off an inside handoff in the fourth quarter, getting Beverly to within two points.

White, the team’s top option out of the backfield, also had a fine day with 83 yards on 14 carries. He also caught two passes for another 83 yards, including a 64-yard halfback option pass for a touchdown from backup quarterback Bryan Flaherty.

With White, Madden, senior Joey Kozlowski, junior Bruno Caetano, Peter Malumba and Christian Miller (who was injured and didn’t play Saturday) all as options to run the football, Beverly will be in fine shape.

Defense is where the Panthers will be strongest, and you can see why; the linebacking corps is elite; the front three of Duguid, Berry and senior Jared Paris got their second wind against a bigger Haverhill team Saturday and showed what type of pressure they’re capable of putting on; and the rebuild secondary, with seniors Jack Morency, Nick Donovan and Kozlowski in addition to junior Mike McKenna, appears to be athletic and fleet of foot.

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