SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

Sports Special

September 6, 2012

Marblehead eyes NEC/CAL Tier 2 title defense

Marblehead football coach Jim Rudloff has no regrets about putting the ball in Will Quigley’s hands 193 times last year. Nor should he.

Quigley, the Magicians big-play running back last year as a senior, produced 1,459 yards of offense and numerous defensive plays as Marblehead captured the Northeastern Conference/Cape Ann League Tier 2 title and advanced to the postseason.

The one downfall with all that Quigley action is that Rudloff now finds himself with a somewhat inexperienced crew on offense this year. But he’s not complaining.

“I think anyone would have been foolish in the position I was in not to have given Will the ball,” Rudloff said. “I still feel he was the most talented athlete in our league last year. That was the kid I wanted to give the ball to.

“I was really fortunate to have that as a coach, but I also feel very fortunate to have more options. This year there is obviously not a go-to guy.”

The one offensive area Rudloff can feel really comfortable with is quarterback. Senior captain Ian Maag is back for his second year under center, and he’ll be featured more prominently this season.

Maag is a threat to run or throw. Even with Quigley dominating the touches, Maag carried the ball for 476 yards and three scores last year. He also threw for 563 yards and five touchdowns.

“He really did get better as each game went on last year,” Rudloff said. “I think it’s hard with someone like Will in the backfield; you’re supposed to be giving him the ball, and we really didn’t let Ian throw it much. We really didn’t develop him as a passer. Now, we’re building our offense around being balanced, and we’ll give him the opportunity to do more things and open things up for him.”

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