LYNN —Twice during the first series last night at Manning Field, Lynn Classical defenders put good, loud hits on Peabody High ballcarriers.
The Rams were letting the Tanners know they were in for a long night.
Host Classical was physically superior on both sides of the ball and handed Peabody a 40-0 loss by opening big holes for their own running game and blowing up those the Tanners tried to open.
Brad Scuzzarella led the Rams (2-2) with 100 yards and three TDs as Classical racked up 270 rushing yards. The Tanners (1-3) were held to 66 net yards on the ground.
“They were better than we thought,” said Peabody head coach Mark Bettencourt, whose team suffered its biggest loss of the young 2013 season. Peabody hadn’t trailed by three scores in any game this year after trailing by that much in every game a year ago.
“I use analogies I’m familiar with. I can remember a lot of state tournament baseball games (where) I’ve lost to teams we might have underestimated. That analogy made sense to a lot of our guys. Classical was better than us today — and we’ll live to fight another day.”
Peabody trailed by just two scores late in the second quarter when they turned it over on downs in Classical territory. An untimely offsides penalty with 49 seconds left in the half gave the Rams a first down just over midfield, and they finished the drive with Scuzzarella scoring from three yards out with 14 seconds left in the half.
“If we were going to make a stand, we had to go into the half down 14-7,” said Bettencourt. “Being down 22-0, I wouldn’t say the wheels came off ... but our confidence took a major hit.”
The Rams then rattled off three touchdowns early in the third quarter, with one of those made easy by a bad punt snap that gave them the ball at the Peabody 5-yard line.