By Jean DePlacido
---- — MARBLEHEAD — Any time a team puts 41 points on the board, it would indicate a pretty good performance.
Marblehead got its offense in gear and won for the second time in as many tries, toppling Lynn Classical 41-24 at Piper Field last night.
But coach Jim Rudloff wasn’t pleased with his team’s second half play. “The scoreboard doesn’t indicate how close this game was,” said Rudloff. “In the first half we stopped ourselves time after time because of penalties or lining up wrong. We were too busy celebrating our touchdowns and didn’t concentrate on what we needed to do on the next play.
“Then in the second half, we let Classical take over the game,” he continued. “They were physically aggressive and we were tackling too high. We’ve got to change some things we do in practice. Kudos to Classical; they went with that double tight double wing. We didn’t expect that up and down the field.”
The Magicians had a 28-8 halftime lead, but there were several other opportunities they failed to cash in on. Quarterback Matt Millett threw for 105 yards and three touchdowns while rushing for another. He also had two interceptions.
“Matt threw some great passes, but he also made some bad decisions,” said Rudloff. “He’s a smart kid and he’ll correct what he needs to.”
Junior Brooks Tyrrell dominated the running game for Marblehead with 193 yards on 23 carries. He came up with long runs to bail his team out and kept drives alive all night.
“Brooks was great,” said Rudloff. “Sometimes he tries to do a little too much; that’s why he fumbled. He plays hard all the time; we’ve got to keep him healthy.”
It was all Marblehead in the first half; after turning the ball over in downs inside the red zone, the Magicians converted on their next four possessions. A partially blocked punt led to the second touchdown, a 34-yard bomb to Brian Daly. Millett then tried the same play and found Daly for a 59-yard TD strike the next time the Magicians had the ball to make it 22-0.
But any thoughts of a blowout were quickly dashed when Classical got on the board before the half ended and came out fired up after intermission. While the Rams had difficulty moving the ball early, they were able to break tackles for long gains later.
What had been a very comfortable 20-point cushion quickly closed to a 10-point game, 34-24, with 8:21 remaining after Classical got its second score of the second half after Adam Lovett picked off a Millett pass.
“We were spiraling out of control at that point and getting fooled on things we never should have been fooled on,” said Rudloff. “Classical let the game get away in the first half, but we did the same thing later and let them come back.”
At that point, the Marblehead defense bore down to keep Classical off the board the rest of the way. Tyrrell’s 10-yard touchdown run in the late going sealed the win.
“My line did a great job opening up the holes to let me chip away, then we went to the air,” said Tyrrell. “We run, run, run, and then pass.
“I know our coaches aren’t too happy with the way we played tonight, and we’re not happy with it either. There were too many mistakes, but being 2-0 feels great.”