SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

Sports

October 13, 2012

Beverly answers bell, tops Masconomet

TOPSFIELD — Trailing for the first time the entire season, the Beverly High football team found itself in a bit of a jam early in the third quarter last night.

It didn’t stay there long. Three plays, to be precise.

That’s when senior Brendan Flaherty broke free for a 47-yard touchdown run, spinning and breaking his way out of multiple tackles en route to paydirt. The dramatic score helped energize the Panthers, who went on to score two more touchdowns and remain unbeaten with a 30-14 triumph over host Masconomet at Bunker Stadium.

“Flaherty’s a horse, better than advertised. What’d he break, seven tackles on that one touchdown?” asked veteran Masconomet head coach Jim Pugh. “He was breaking tackles all night. He’s a true game changer.”

Flaherty ran for a career high 234 yards on 22 carries last night and a pair of touchdowns, including a 7-yard scoring jaunt in the first quarter. The senior captain also caught three passes for 38 yards and had a potential third touchdown run called back, from 61 yards out, on a Beverly holding penalty (one of 9 penalties, good for 90 yards, the visitors took on the evening).

“(The Chieftains) were very physical. So we had to get right back and be physical, too,” said Flaherty, whose team improved to 6-0 and has outscored its six foes by an aggregate score of 266-42.

Fellow running back Isiah White also had a big night. The junior transfer from St. John’s Prep saw his number called with much more frequency in the second half after senior captain Kenny Pierce had his bell rung at the end of the first half (he didn’t see any action over the final 22 minutes). White lugged the leather 13 times for 101 yards — all but seven of those coming in the second half — and punched in a critical 11-yard touchdown run three plays into the fourth quarter to give the Panthers a 24-14 lead.

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