SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

Sports

October 1, 2012

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

(Continued)

When Danvers did possess the football, they had trouble moving it. The numbers show they finished with 243 yards of offense, but those totals are skewered by their two touchdown plays: a 60-yard run by speedy sophomore John Thomas off a double-reverse, and a 48-yard touchdown pass from junior Ryan Chasse to wideout Jake Cawlina, coming on a fly pattern in which the senior captain out-leaped his man at the Saugus 15-yard line and walked into the end zone untouched.

Aside from those two plays, Danvers managed just 135 yards on 34 plays. The Blue-and-White’s bread-and-butter plays — jet sweep, power, traps — sputtered on Saturday afternoon.

“The effort was there; it’s that we had a lot of breakdowns in assignments,” said Rogers. “They had our guys’ heads spinning at times with their option, and guys were trying to do other guys’ jobs instead of just focusing on their own.”

No, the sky isn’t falling. The Falcons haven’t morphed from a team that went 2-0 and scored 84 points in its first two contests into one that has suddenly forgotten how to run, pass and tackle.

For those looking for a quick history lesson, the 2004 Danvers High club lost its fourth game of that season to drop to 2-2 — and didn’t lose another regular season game the rest of the way, winning the school’s first Northeastern Conference title in 63 years in the process. So all is not lost.

But there are holes that need to be patched up. A return to properly running the team’s 6-7 base plays is a good start, said Rogers, something they’ll hammer home in practice this week.

Before hitting the road this Saturday against a Lynnfield (1-2) team that’s had two weeks to prepare for them, the Falcons need to rediscover the elixir that got them off to such a flying start this season.

Whether or not they’re able to depends on their execution.

Plain and simple.

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Phil Stacey is the sports editor of The Salem News. Contact him at pstacey@salemnews.com, 978-338-2650 and on Twitter @PhilStacey_SN.

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