DUXBURY — As Duxbury prepared for the Division 4 Super Bowl against Scituate, it was natural to wonder whether the Dragons would play their starters on Thanksgiving against Marshfield.
To those inside the program, however, it wasn’t much of a dilemma at all because of the specifics of the situation.
“Having a league championship on the line, there was no doubt in our minds after last Saturday that we wanted to play in this game,” senior captain Delby Lemieux said.
The host Dragons earned a 38-28 victory over the Rams, capturing their 13th straight Patriot League Keenan Division crown. Junior quarterback Matt Festa finished 22 for 33 for 361 yards, four touchdowns and no interceptions, along with 7 carries for 60 yards and a score. Senior Matt Ciesielski racked up 10 catches for 194 yards and two scores, Brady Madigan added 5 receptions for 88 yards and two TDs, and Cam Barberia chipped in 60 yards on the ground.
Duxbury (10-1) built a 7-0 lead through one quarter on a 24-yard TD pass from Festa to Madigan, then extended it to 17-7 at the half thanks to a 3-yard feed to Ciesielski and 27-yard field goal from Dennen Sullivan. Marshfield QB Owen Masterson (11 of 19, 144 yards, four TDs, interception) hit Kyle Scholz for a 2-yard score.
Festa launched one to Ciesielski on the first play of the second half for a 64-yard strike to make it 24-7, but the Rams (9-3) responded with a 24-yard strike to Jason O’Keefe and 50-yard bomb to Pat Yesinko.
This Duxbury team has consistently played its best football late in the game, and Thursday was the latest example. Festa found Madigan for an 8-yard score, and after Masterson hit O’Keefe from 13 yards out to keep the Rams afloat, Festa added a 4-yard scamper with 4:29 left to put it out of reach.
After knocking off Foxborough last Saturday, the Dragons had only four days to prepare for a talented Marshfield team. Despite the quick turnaround, and a late surge, they managed to keep momentum on their side heading into the Dec. 6 game at Gillette.
“We’ve been dreaming about this since we were kids, watching Bobby Maimaron and Ryan Reagan do it,” Ciesielski said. “It’s our turn now.”
Trevor Hass can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.