IPSWICH — The Greg Brotherton Era officially began last night in Ipswich as the Tigers and their new head football coach hosted North Reading.
Senior halfback Charlie McCarthy put a halt to any early celebrations by the hosts, however, as the Hornets’ top rusher scored three first-half touchdowns and threw for another in the second half as the visitors won, 33-7.
The Tigers managed just two first downs the entire night, rushing for 9 yards total while McCarthy himself churned out 191 first half yards including touchdown runs of 5, 12 and 25 yards.
“(McCarthy) was making great reads on the off-tackle. When we were there, he would bounce it outside and our backers got cut off,” said Brotherton. “Their offensive line is outstanding. We couldn’t keep them off our backers.”
Ipswich hit the big play on the first snap of the second quarter when signal caller Ryan Blomster found a streaking Nate Glaster for a 78-yard touchdown strike. Glaster burned past his guy in man-coverage and as the Hornets’ safety drifted to the opposite side of the field, Blomster hit him in stride and Glaster did the rest.
Outside of the score, Blomster completed one other pass and finished 2-for-15 through the air. Outside of the big play, Ipswich managed just 20 total yards of offense.
“We had some drive killers. We dropped some balls, made bad reads and missed some open receivers,” noted Brotherton. “The first play, they set the tone blitzing six guys; that snapped our heads back a little bit and we never recovered. You have to be able to execute your base offense and we didn’t do that tonight.”
McCarthy tossed a third quarter touchdown pass on a direct snap where he faked a sweep, dropped back and found Ryan Sanborn for a 19-yard touchdown to make it 27-7 North Reading. Blake Tamlyn-Hayden tacked on a 1-yard touchdown in the fourth quarter.
But the story of the night was the North Reading defense. Sanborn, who had a few bone-rattling tackles on passes to the flat, led the way. The Hornets came out fired up from the opening snap and got consistent pressure on Blomster and really stymied the Tigers’ young offensive line.
“Honestly, all the trash talking (Ipswich) did during the week, our kids took it to heart and it made the game more personal,” said North Reading coach Jeff Wall. “They have a young offensive line and we were able to confuse them a little. It was a combination of good schemes and the kids playing with heart.”
The bright side for Ipswich is that it did have open men when Blomster dropped back to pass. Now, it’s just a matter of giving him more time and opening up some holes for running backs Derek Chamberlain (1 yard on three carries) and Curtis Levasseur (a team-high 15 yards rushing).