DANVERS — During a five-week road trip in which they won just one game, the Danvers High football team often played well for quarters and halves, but not entire games.
Returning to Dr. Deering Stadium was the perfect opportunity for the Falcons to put together 44 solid minutes, and they did so in resounding fashion with a thorough 35-7 win over Swampscott.
Running backs Alex Valles (162 yards) and Alex Grant (109 yards) each went over the century mark on the ground and scored two touchdowns a piece as the Falcons (4-4) amassed 378 rushing yards.
“All year we’ve been preaching playing physical football all the way through and we did that for 44 straight minutes tonight,” said Danvers coach Sean Rogers. “That’s so important in divisional play because its pedal to the metal all the time.”
Danvers snapped Swampscott’s three game winning streak, dropping the Big Blue to 4-4. The win also snapped a seven game skid against Swamspcott and was Danvers’ largest in the series since 1982.
For the Falcons’ 18 seniors, who were honored before the game in a Senior Night presentation, getting such a satisfying win over a program like Swampscott could be a benchmark victory.
“This class has been through a lot. They’re trying to build us back up and they fully bought into winter and summer conditioning,” said Rogers. “We’re not there yet, but we’re trying and where we are is a reflection on the seniors.”
Seniors like Joe Manson and Connor Morrison opened huge holes on the offensive line all night. Speedy backs like Valles and Jon Thomas found lane outside, and when the Big Blue took those away, Grant was ready to hit them up the middle.
“We got exactly what we deserved, which was a pounding,” said Swampscott coach Steve Dembowski. “It was complete domination from top to bottom. We thought we had a good plan and we didn’t. Danvers outcoached us and outplayed us.”