SAUGUS (0-10) at PEABODY (6-4)
All-time series: Peabody leads, 47-28 (46-28 on Thanksgiving)
Peabody Points For/Points Against: 295 PF, 228 PA
Saugus Points For/Points Against.: 45 PF 263 PA
Peabody’s top players: Shea Lynch, Jr., QB (2,151 yards, 27 TDs); Eli Batista, Soph., WR/S (603 yards, 9 TD, 5 INT); Danny Barrett, Jr., WR (597 yards, 9 TDs); Jovante Dailey, Sr., WR/CB (444 yards, 4 TD); Michael Perez, Sr., LB (66 tackles, 9 1/2 for loss, 3 INT); Peter Gardikas, Sr., OL/DL.
Saugus’ top players: Sean O’Rourke, QB; Drew Gardiner, WR; Mark MacEachern, RB; Ryan Mabee, WR.
Peabody’s keys to victory: Taking care of the football. In each of their four losses, the Tanners have handled the pigskin like a hot potato and lost fumbles that led to points for the opposing team. In the six wins, they’ve limited their own turnovers and picked off passes to get to plus-2 in turnover differential for the season. With a powerful offense that should become the 4th in program history to reach 300 points, the Tanners rely on a setting passing attack led by QB Shea Lynch and receivers Eli Batista, Danny Barrett, Colin Ridley and Jovante Dailey. If they don’t give away possessions, it’s tough for most teams to keep up.
Saugus’s keys to victory: The Sachems need to stop the run; teams that have made the Tanners one dimensional have fared the best against them so far this season. Shortening the game with long possessions and clock control could also turn the tide in the Sachems’ favor. It may sound cliché, but to pull off one of the biggest upsets in the 77-year history of this series, Saugus will need to play mistake-free football. They’ll need to be especially crisp on the road — Saugus has won at Coley Lee Field just twice since 1989.
Potential Unsung Heroes: Jordan Tompkins and Raf Casiano, Peabody’s two seniors captains on defense. They’re both excellent tacklers, with Tompkins collecting 27 stops from his linebacker spot and Casiano 23 at defensive end. Both multi-year starters for the Tanners, they have a knack for forcing turnovers and could do so in their last games wearing Blue-and-White.
Peabody seniors: Raf Casiano, DE; Jordan Tompkins, RB/LB; Will Plourde, TE/DL; Michael Perez, RB/LB; Derek Patturelli, RB/LB; Daviel Canela, RB; Joey Raymond, WR; James Bettencourt, RB/DB; Zachary Brooks, WR; Dylan Pereira, WR; Odin Machado, RB/LB; Chris Mirabello, OL/DL; Logan Titus, OL/DL; Michael Ward, OL/DL; Dylan Seaver, OL/DL; Joseph Cimino, OL/DL; Brendan Smith, OL/DL; Peter Gardikas, OL/DL; Jovante Dailey, WR/CB.
PROJECTED STARTING LINEUP
22; Eli Batista;So.;S