In their 114th meeting, No. 7 Beverly defeated rival Salem, 28-14, to remain among a handful of teams on the undefeated bus.
The Panthers clinched the CAL/NEC Division 2 title last week against Marblehead, but they weren’t looking past this traditional matchup against Salem. As the Panthers have done all season, they used their talented backfield to lead the way on Thursday at Hurd Stadium in Beverly.
“We are fortunate that we have a couple of good backs,” said coach Dan Bauer. “It allows us to do some things and definitely gives us more options like running and throwing the ball.”
Kenny Pierce (5 carries, 120 yards) scored the first two touchdowns of the game, breaking a 61-yard run in the second quarter.
Brendan Flaherty contributed with a 27-yard score, his 20th touchdown of the season. Leading, 21-0, in the fourth quarter, the Panthers executed a halfback pass as Flaherty connected with Dom Abate for a 28-yard touchdown.
Salem’s Ben Sattiewhite caught a pair of touchdowns from Christian Dunston in the fourth.
Beverly will play No. 8 Burlington in the playoffs on Tuesday night.
For now, the Panthers are just enjoying their undefeated season.
“It definitely gives us a spark, but I think being in the playoffs is motivation enough,” said Bauer. “Going into the playoffs coming off a Thanksgiving Day win is a good feeling.”
Dennis-Yarmouth 28, Nauset 7 — Sophomore Michael Dunn led the Dolphins (6-4) with three TDs (one receiving) and 170 yards rushing on nine carries.
CAL/NEC (Division 2)
Swampscott 25, Marblehead 16 — Brian Santry threw two TDs and rushed for two more, leading the Big Blue (5-6) past Marblehead (8-3).
Gloucester 28, Danvers 19 — John Curcuru and Santo Parisi scored two TDs each to lead the Fishermen.
Burlington 35, Lexington 10 — Senior running back Marcus Odiah, the school’s all-time leading rusher, ran for four touchdowns and 168 yards to lead the Red Devils. Odiah eclipsed the 1,700-yard mark with his performance.
Melrose 28, Wakefield 15 — Dean Anderson rushed for 161 yards and three TDs on 19 carries for the Red Raiders (8-3) .
Watertown 28, Belmont 7 — Joey Farrar and Logan Riley each scored a pair of TDs to lead the Red Raiders.
Norwood 41, Dedham 6 — Jason Matovu and Marvin Besley each rushed for two scores as the Mustangs cruised past the Marauders.