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With Josh Robertson in command, Marblehead looks to pass ultimate test vs. North Attleborough

Quarterback Josh Robertson is a three-year starter for Marblehead, which is looking to extend its 19-game winning streak with the program's first state title.Winslow Townson for The Boston Globe

Few high schoolers know what it means to be an impact player better than Josh Robertson.

A three-year starter at quarterback at Marblehead — the first in the 13-year tenure of coach Jim Rudloff — Robertson understands that running the Magicians offense doesn’t mean always making the big play, it’s about making the right play.

No magic, just efficiency.

“He runs our offense,” Rudloff said. “I would feel confident going down the field having him call plays.”

Robertson is just one of several weapons the Magicians (11-0) have on offense, a unit that has racked up more than 4,000 yards and rolled to a Northeastern Conference title and a spot in Thursday’s Division 3 Super Bowl against North Attleborough at Gillette Stadium (3 p.m.)


Surrounded by playmakers such as Connor Cronin (61 catches, 1,355 all-purpose yards, 14 touchdowns), James Doody (29 catches, 616 yards, 7 TDs), and George Percy (585 rushing yards, 9 touchdowns), the senior has sometimes been quick in postgame interviews to point out that his job looks easy at times. He just has to get his guys the ball.

Connor Cronin is a big part of the Marblehead offense.Erin Clark/Globe Staff

“I think we have a lot of impact players all over the field,” Robertson said. “And to me it’s about what you can add to the game and to the team that no one else can. It’s a play-by-play mind-set. You have to make the right play for that specific play and the right play for everyone.”

But make no mistake, the 6-foot, 175-pound Robertson can do just about anything with the ball in his hands.

In his final season, Robertson has set program career marks for passing yards (5,091) and passing touchdowns (59). In 11 games this year, while completing 71 percent of his passes, he has thrown for 2,287 yards and 28 touchdowns, and rushed for 378 yards and 9 touchdowns.


“I got the chance [as a sophomore] to show what I could do,” Robertson said. “I got the playbook down around the middle of that year and since then it’s been about practicing to add things that will complement that knowledge. It’s just getting reps — not week-to-week, but month-to-month, year-to-year.”

Marblehead's George Percy, center, has 585 rushing yards this season.Josh Reynolds for The Boston Globe

Perhaps most impressive of his passing numbers is that Robertson has found eight different receivers for scores this season, never forcing the ball to his main targets. He’s turned the ball over just six times.

“He doesn’t think about offense as a tool for his success,” Rudloff said. “He doesn’t think in terms of ‘this guy is open,’ or ‘that guy is open because I can get it to him and make a big play.’ He thinks of what exactly the design of the play is and what the other team is doing on defense and how he can help us.”

And in a pinch, there are few more apt to rising to the moment. On Thanksgiving Day he led the Magicians down the field to set up Eli Feingold’s field goal for a 31-28 win after fellow unbeaten Swampscott had tied the game with under a minute. That’s too much time for Robertson to make something happen.

It was Robertson’s third win over Swampscott as a starter in the rivalry and his 19th consecutive win since the Headers topped the Big Blue in 2019 to kick off what is now the state’s longest winning streak.


But the state title has eluded the Magicians — who made Super Bowl appearances in 2009 and 2016 but lost both times. Robertson and Co. can turn that fortune around.

“Coach Rudloff has been to two of these and lost,” Robertson said. “We really want to win one for him and the coaching staff and the town. That’s who we’re playing for.”