MARSHFIELD — One of the constant scorers for the undefeated Duxbury Excessive soccer group was on the green this time final yr.
Now he is heading to Gillette Stadium for a state championship subsequent week with a Patriot League Keenan Division trophy in hand.
“It is actually particular,” stated Duxbury senior kicker Nathan Elliott. “We had a very good golf group as properly (and) I needed to sacrifice making a run to states with them (to be able to play soccer this yr). I am grateful to do it right here.”
Blackberries:Comply with all of the South Shore highschool Thanksgiving scores and highlights proper right here
Elliott kicked necessary fourth-quarter subject targets on back-to-back drives as Duxbury beat Marshfield, 26-7, within the thirty seventh annual Thanksgiving Day sport. The primary subject purpose was a 25-yarder, the second a 29-yarder that gave the Dragons (11-0) a three-score lead over the Rams (7-4).
How Elliott grew to become a kicker on the most effective soccer groups on the South Shore is much from typical.
“Our kicker was a senior final yr, so we wanted a brand new kicker. I’ve a soccer background my complete life. So I put the work on this summer season, fall, and gave them a kicker,” stated Elliott.
“Elliott did three years on the golf group and by no means performed soccer,” stated Duxbury quarterback Matt Festa, who fought by means of an sickness to play on this sport. “I really noticed him kicking this summer season and I advised him he needed to stop.”
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With a state championship sport awaiting subsequent week, this vacation rivalry might not have been ranked the best on Duxbury’s precedence record, however the Dragons nonetheless needed the win.
“I am simply blissful these children confirmed up at present and gave it the whole lot they have, figuring out they’ve one other sport subsequent week,” stated Duxbury coach Matt Landolfi. “And to place that apart and give attention to at present took a number of resilience from the children. Simply blissful for them.”
The highest-seeded Dragons will face No. 2 Grafton within the Div. 4 Tremendous Bowl at Gillette Stadium on Friday, Dec. 2 at 8 pm
For now, a league championship trophy — Duxbury has gained 14 straight Keenan crowns — will do exactly tremendous.
“It means lots to the entire group,” stated Festa. “We have now an extended streak profitable the league championship so we do not need to give it up.”
Festa threw for 164 yards and two touchdowns towards Marshfield. He is as much as 34 TD passes for the season to go together with his 12 dashing scores.
Festa wasn’t at 100% however shrugged off the sickness, saying, “It is a flu not a damaged leg so I can nonetheless play.”
“He is a tremendous chief,” Landolfi raved. “He was sick at house with the flu, however there was no means he wasn’t taking part in. He is simply the chief of the group, he is bought that edge, and the children observe him.”
Festa’s first landing throw got here within the second quarter on a 26-yard display move to junior Adam Barr for a 13-0 lead. Junior Alex Barlow had put the Dragons up 6-0 with a 2-yard TD run up the center.
Duxbury’s third and final landing got here proper out of the half on a methodical 87-yard drive. Festa capped that march with a 23-yard scoring move to senior Parker Villarin to make it 20-7.
Defensively the Dragons have been no slouches, both, as senior captain Brendan Bonner, a defensive again, had a pair of interceptions.
“He’s an absolute soccer participant,” Landolfi stated. “That is his fourth choose in two weeks in big video games. Would not shock me. Nice child and we’ll miss him subsequent yr.”
Bonner stated it is his skill to remain disciplined and affected person within the secondary that is led to success.
“The primary one, he was scrambling round I used to be like, ‘Do I rush (the quarterback) or do I keep?’” stated Bonner. “I stayed and I stayed and (I) was in a position to bounce in entrance of the move and choose that off.
“The second I simply dropped again, adopted the sport plan, and the ball discovered me,” Bonner continued.
The one Rams’ rating got here within the second quarter when senior quarterback Anthony Molander hit Jack Marini with an 8-yard TD move to chop Duxbury’s result in 13-7.
As for the remainder of the Dragons’ protection, it was their skill to use stress on the pocket that created alternatives.
“Everybody’s been stepping up this yr,” Festa stated. “Henry Bicknell made some huge performs, and the entire offensive line performed superior. Colin Quinlan performed a giant function at present. Considered one of our seniors did not play at present, so (Quinlan) stepped in and did an incredible job.”
As for Marshfield, Thanksgiving Day concluded their rollercoaster of a season. After beginning the 0-2 season, the Rams have been used to going through powerful competitors with their backs towards the wall.
“I advised these guys final evening and at present it is in regards to the journey,” stated Marshfield coach Chris Arouca. “Take into consideration the place we began to the place we ended, we bought lots higher because the yr went on. They stored progressing and did not stop. We had a fairly good yr contemplating all of the issues we handled to start with of the yr.”
As for Duxbury, their season continues for one final sport. Though Elliot solely has spent one yr with the soccer group, he is making it depend.
“The coach and the teammates have been superior,” stated Elliot. “They’re like household to me. I’ve actually loved it.”