By Dan Harrison
---- — LYNN — North Shore Tech/Essex Aggie running back Dan Bailey put it best after Saturday night’s 30-0 Bulldog win over Lynn Tech when he assessed the play of his offensive line.
“We didn’t do anything special,” Bailey said of he and the other Bulldog backs. “If it were one of them (the linemen) running, they could have done the same thing. The holes were so big you could drive a truck through them.”
Even with a banged up Ross Murphy, NST/EA rushed for 287 yards and four touchdowns as the Bulldogs chewed up clock and churned out yards to move to 3-2 on the season. Murphy (115 yards and three touchdowns) punched in a 1-yard touchdown run in the first quarter and the visitors had the ball for just under 16 minutes in the first half.
“Coach (Paul) Worth did a good job maintaining the ball and running down the clock,” said Lynn Tech (2-2) coach James Runner. “It was old school football and old school football won tonight.”
Murphy suffered a thigh contusion in the second quarter but gutted it out in the second half, adding touchdown runs of 5 and 7 yards in the third quarter. The Tigers were crashing hard on the backside so Worth scrapped the counter in the second half and ran heavy to the front side.
Quarterback Ian LaFavour (76 yards on 10 carries) took a quarterback keeper 10 yards for the game’s final score in the fourth quarter. Michael Nuernberg rushed for 59 yards and Bailey added 30 yards while the Bulldogs converted three of four two-point conversions.
“In the second half, we dominated the line of scrimmage,” noted Worth. “We made one adjustment and were able to move the ball like usual. Murphy was great, but when you watch the film you’ll see the offensive line.”
The Tigers meanwhile never found any rhythm offensively as Bailey made a pair of tackles in the backfield in the first half and added a second half interception. The Bulldog middle linebacker continues to bring his instincts and toughness to a defense that held the hosts to just 59 yards rushing.
“Dan Bailey is immense. He’s a throwback,” said Worth.
LaFavour grabbed a pair of interceptions as the secondary thrived against a tough group of Lynn Tech receivers. The Tigers completed just two passes for 15 yards.
Murphy, who watched the defensive unit from the sideline, summed up the unit’s play after the game.
“Coming in here, they (Lynn Tech) thought with moving down a division, they would run all over us,” explained Murphy. “We came in and showed them how we play.”
The Bulldogs also made a big special teams play in the second half when the Tigers muffed a punt and Paul Lazzaro was quick to pounce on the loose ball. Four plays later, LaFavour found the end zone to seal the game.