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November 15, 2013

Moving the Chains: Marblehead faces tough test in Tewksbury

(Continued)

Since the start of 2008, Marblehead is tied with Beverly and Gloucester for the most total wins by an NEC team with 39. The Magicians have won in a variety of ways: with a mobile QB like Hayes Richardson, with a workhorse running back like Will Quigley and now it seems they have both in halfback Brooks Tyrrell and QB Matt Millett.

The Magicians have always had great linebackers under Rudloff, as Evan Comeau gave way to Matt Evans and now the bruising tacklers that are Ben Anderson and Liam Gillis.

How can they win this weekend? They’ll need to be careful on both sides of the football, by forcing turnovers and not giving it away on their side. Jeremy Gillis has been a ball-hawk this year with a half-dozen interceptions, and Spencer Craig and Dylan Cressy both came up with huge turnovers last week in the playoff win over Masco.

On offense, Marblehead will give Tewksbury a variety of concerns. Last week, Masco took away Millet’s ability to run by collapsing the pocket in a hurry. The Chieftains were also great in coverage, allowing no receptions for lead pass catcher Brian Daly.

Marblehead still found a way to produce, thanks to Tyrrell, who carried 29 times for 260 yards and three touchdowns. That’s what makes the Magician offense so difficult to contain: If the defense takes away one aspect, another can step up and do damage. So, if the run-stuffers from Tewksbury bottle up Tyrrell, Marblehead’s advanced passing game could compensate, or the option with the shifty Millett could come into play.

“They’re good, they beat these guys (Gloucester) and they’ve beaten a lot of good teams. They have a really good running back, quarterback’s very good too, they have 3 or 4 receivers that can beat you and a line that’s like the line we just saw, pretty talented big guys that are going to outsize our guys up front and can move,” Tewksbury coach Brian Alyward said after the playoff win over the Fishermen.

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