SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

Sports

August 24, 2010

Bill of Goods

Hamor took reins at a crucial time in Panther football history — and delivered

(Continued)

"Nobody expected that kind of (blowout) against Swampscott — but nobody expected that kind of game against Marblehead, either," said Hamor. "The thing I remember about the (Marblehead) game is that, for some reason, we were trying to throw the ball and it wasn't working. So we get to the second half and we're still trailing, 7-0, and I'm going, 'What am I doing with this passing game?' We had gotten away from our bread-and-butter running attack.

"Time was becoming a factor against us. We finally put together a good drive and Peters scored the touchdown. We still needed two points for the win and I wanted Trefry to get the ball. Winston was a heck of a player, all heart, and I felt he'd get it into the end zone no matter what. He took a step to the outside and made it to the corner (for the two-point conversion). But that was a close call. It would've been a shame if we'd lost that game because everyone was already looking ahead to the Swampscott game the following week."

Beverly was riding high heading into the 1988 Super Bowl, coming off a tough 14-6 win over Salem on Thanksgiving, but the Panthers met their match in Dracut. The Panthers were thrilled to be playing on the same turf as the New England Patriots and got off to a promising start when Jason Shairs intercepted a pass and ran it back for a touchdown, but Dracut pretty much controlled it the rest of the way and walked off with a 23-6 win.

"I wanted it so badly for the kids because it was a wonderful group to coach," Hamor said of the Super Bowl squad. "Dracut wasn't just a good team, it was a great team. They were bigger and stronger and I think they would've beaten anyone in the state that day, no matter what division.

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