, Salem, MA


October 1, 2012

Phil Stacey column: Effort is there for Falcons, but execution still lacking

SAUGUS — It’s time to get the Danvers Express back on track.

And in order for that the happen, a return to the basics is needed.

For the second straight weekend the Falcons were derailed at the point of attack, chewed up on the ground and left staring at the short end of the scoreboard. This time, it was a 24-14 setback to a much improved Saugus team at overcast Stackpole Field.

“A frustrating day,” was how head coach Sean Rogers began his postgame remarks, and his sentiment couldn’t have been more apropos.

Using its triple option attack with precision and discipline, Saugus slashed up the Falcons to the tune of 358 rushing yards while averaging seven yards a carry. Senior Ismael Minaya was a bull in rushing for 167 yards and a score on 18 carries, while the elusive C.J. Randolph picked his spots wisely while running out of the quarterback spot and gained 125 yards on 23 carries.

The Sachems’ offensive line got off their blocks quickly and got low enough to win the leverage battle most of the afternoon, further frustrating the Falcons. Slow feet on both sides of the DHS line hurt, too, against a Sachems (3-1) squad that moved the ball up and down the field while taking valuable time off the clock.

A microcosm of Saugus’ effort on this day came from senior captain Tom Trainor. As the leader of his team’s offensive line, Rogers called him “an animal” as the 5-foot-11, 225-pounder opened huge holes for his backs to plow through all four quarters. When it came time to switch over to defense, Trainor tore it up at linebacker.

“We executed exactly the way we hoped to do,” admitted Saugus head coach Mike Broderick. “Our system is predicated on discipline and guys knowing their assignments, and the will to grind it out and get it done. We did that very well (Saturday).”

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