GLOUCESTER — When it was all over, many of the Gloucester High football players made their way to the middle of the field and shook hands with Beverly head coach Dan Bauer, wishing him and his team good luck the rest of the season.
While Bauer certainly appreciated the show of sportsmanship from the Fishermen, he most certainly wishes they didn’t have to do so at all.
Playing their first football home game in 120 years of football, Gloucester made sure they came out victorious as the hosts dominated the line of scrimmage and were stout defensively the entire night, pinning a 28-13 loss on the Panthers in a Division 3 Northeast quarterfinal playoff game at the new Newell Stadium.
Jordan Pallazola ran for a game-high 137 yards (115 of those in the second half) and scored three touchdowns, giving him 18 for the season, to lead Gloucester (6-2). Jon Good added another 118 yards and a score at fullback as the hosts broke open a tie game with 21 points in the fourth quarter.
Aside from some big runs from senior captain Isaiah White (121 yards and a TD on 15 carries), the Beverly offense was stagnant much of the night. A large part of that was due to Gloucester’s front seven, which put constant pressure on the Panthers’ O-line and shot the gaps to make tackles at or near the line of scrimmage for much of the evening.
As they had in their previous loss to Gloucester (18-14) last month, mistakes crippled the Panthers last night. This time it wasn’t fumbles, but penalties: the visitors committed seven infractions for 55 yards, including three defensive offsides calls and two that were 15-yard personal fouls.
“Mistakes got us again; that’s the story of this game,” said Bauer, whose defending Super Bowl champions fell to 4-4 on the season. “We shouldn’t have even been in the position we were, but those mistakes really hurt us. That, and Gloucester was so physical up front and played very, very hard. It wasn’t in the cards for us.”