SWAMPSCOTT — While he only completed four passes in Saturday afternoon’s Northeastern Conference South tilt at rival Swampscott, Lynn English quarterback Matt Severance made them count.
The Bulldogs consistently gouged the Big Blue defense out of a double-tight formation. As soon as he spied Swampscott defenders stack the box, Severance quickly struck from the air. He made surgical throws for a pair of touchdowns and a 33-yard gain to set up another score, leading the Bulldogs to a 36-7 victory in a battle of unbeatens at Blocksidge Field.
With the win, Lynn English (5-0 overall, 2-0 conference) surged to first place in the NEC South.
“[Swampscott] is a high-powered offense, but defensively we set the tone,” said Lynn English coach Chris Carroll. “There was a lot of game planning, and you can have the best plan in the world, but at the end of the day you need the kids to execute it and they did. We finally put together four quarters of good football.”
After going three and out on their initial drive, the Bulldogs kept it on the ground during a nine-play, 80-yard scoring drive late in the first quarter. It was capped by a 6-yard touchdown run by junior Ishmile Bangura, who also ran in the 2-point conversion to give English an early 8-0 lead.
English drove deep into Swampscott territory on its next drive, and faced a third and 10 after two unsuccessful runs. But Severance found 6-foot-2-inch senior wide receiver Juan Avelino, who made a diving 19-yard TD grab in the corner of the end zone, giving English a 15-0 lead late in the second quarter.
“Swampscott’s a real disciplined team and you don’t get many big opportunities against them, so when you do, you have to capitalize,” Severance said.
Swampscott (4-1, 2-1) came into the contest averaging more than 40 points per game, but couldn’t finish drives against a disciplined Bulldogs defense led by Severance at safety.
Running backs Ski Gaston and Bangura plowed the way for English to drive into Big Blue territory, setting up Severance’s 35-yard TD strike to Prince Brown, giving the Bulldogs a 23-0 halftime lead.
“We were fortunate to get a big play right before the half,” said Carroll. “Knowing [the Big Blue] were getting the ball after the half, it really set us up for something good.”