Duxbury’s players didn’t openly talk about last year’s crushing Division 4 Super Bowl loss to Scituate at all this week, but it was absolutely on their minds as they took the field in search of revenge.
Dragons quarterback Matt Festa said that 14-13 December loss at Gillette Stadium was his last thought as he went to bed Thursday night and his first thought when he woke up Friday morning. Festa and the Dragons made the most of the opportunity, doubling up the Sailors in a decisive 44-22 triumph on the road.
“It’s been a long, long, long wait,” said Festa, a senior. “It’s probably one of the better feelings in sports, to beat a team that you lost to in such a big game.”
Festa finished 18 for 32 passing for 365 yards and four touchdown passes, and he even reeled in an 11-yard feed from senior Chris Walsh on a double reverse. The No. 6 Dragons (2-0) left no doubt against the 18th-ranked Sailors (0-2), building a 23-10 halftime lead and cruising from there.
Duxbury scored 30 points in a 19-minute span from late in the first to early in the third. Scituate hung around for a while, but the Dragons ultimately had too much firepower thanks to Festa’s cannon.
“He put in so much work this offseason,” Walsh said. “You can tell. You see it on the field. I didn’t think he could get much better than last year, but he did, and it’s scary.”
Scituate took a 7-0 lead one minute into the game on a 55-yard TD run from senior captain Colin Morley. Duxbury answered with a 20-yard strike from Festa to Colin Quinlan. The teams traded field goals, then Festa hit junior Zach Falls for a 77-yard TD reception to make it 17-10.
Falls (5 receptions, 118 yards, 1 TD) created separation, made two defenders miss, and zig-zagged down the sideline. The 6-foot-4 receiver, who specializes in basketball and lacrosse, didn’t look like a football newbie playing in his second career game.
“We recruited him over the winter,” Duxbury coach Matt Landolfi said. “I asked him to play football maybe 17 times, and the 18th time he said yes. We know he’s raw, but we’re going to keep working with him.”
Festa hit Walsh (7 catches, 128 yards, 2 TDs) for a 33-yard score, Alex Barlow added a 1-yard TD run, then Walsh found Festa for an 11-yard score. Walsh said the Dragons were unsuccessful on that play in their first nine attempts in practice, yet it worked in the game.
Lawson Foley and Joey Burke scored late for the Sailors, but by that point, the game was well out of reach.
“Their offense was tough to stop,” Scituate coach Herb Devine said. “You can’t get in a punching match with them. You have to be able to slow them down, grind the clock. We tried to do that early on, then they took over the game.”
Andover 41, Acton-Boxborough 15 — Senior quarterback Scott Brown showed off his versatility for the Golden Warriors (1-0) in the nonleague win, rushing for 100 yards and passing for 197 yards and three touchdowns. Senior Michael Capachietti hauled in five receptions for 105 yards and a touchdown. Brian McSweeney led Andover’s defensive attack with 12 tackles — his second consecutive game with double-digit tackles.
Attleboro 27, Bishop Feehan 7 — Anthony Salviati feasted defensively in the nonleague win for the Bombardiers (2-0). Salviate registered seven tackles, returned a fumble 30 yards for a touchdown, and added a 20-yard pick-six in the fourth quarter.
Bedford 34, Newburyport 15 — Quarterback Eric Miles ran for 265 yards and four touchdowns, headlined by a 92-yard scamper in the second quarter as the Buccaneers (1-1) rolled in the nonleague game. Miles also chipped in a 22-yard touchdown pass to Ricardo LaBoy in the fourth.
Billerica 32, Westford 14 — JT Green played a part in all five touchdowns for Billerica (2-0). Green ran in for 4-yard, 6-yard and 16-yard scores, threw a 49-yard touchdown to Scott Einarson, and capped off the night with a 12-yard touchdown to Gus O’Gara.
Boston Latin 14, O’Bryant 6 — Douglas George finished with 113 passing yards, including a 22-yard touchdown to Augie Groh, and rushed for 102 yards in the win for the Wolfpack (2-0).
Cambridge 13, Medford 12 — Quarterback Kevin Leal found Jordel Sanchez for a touchdown strike with 1:47 to play, lifting the Falcons (1-1) to a nonleague win. Leal threw TD passes of 6 and 34 yards in the second half, connecting with Libaan Aden in the third quarter to put the Falcons on the board.
Cathedral 35, Roxbury Prep 0 — Treyvon Fields fired five TD passes - four to Russell Glover - to lead the Panthers in a convincing season-opening win. Luca Matos grabbed two interceptions to preserve the shutout.
Chelmsford 48, Lexington 0 — Junior quarterback Kyle Wilder dazzled through the air and on the ground, totaling four touchdowns to propel the Lions (1-1) to a nonleague win. Wilder completed 7 of 9 passes for 113 yards and a pair of TDs, connecting with senior Manny Marshall on scoring tosses of 59 and 10 yards. Junior Kai Everett amassed 118 yards on seven carries and scored on runs of 6 and 29 yards. Sophomore Thomas Brown recorded three sacks and six tackles for loss to lead the defense.
Concord-Carlisle 35, Lincoln-Sudbury 20 — Sophomore Will Hoover returned a kickoff for a touchdown and caught two touchdowns from senior QB Holden Miller to lead the Patriots (1-1) in the DCL Thorpe game.
Dennis-Yarmouth 28, English High 16 — Senior Alex Sheffield-White (22 carries, 246 yards) rattled off three second-half TDs for the visiting Dolphins (1-1) in the nonleague win. D-Y (1-1) was held scoreless in the first half, but erupted for 28 points in the second capped off by a 40-yard touchdown pass from sophomore quarterback Jayden Barber to junior Jake Bohlin.
Everett 42, Somerville 0 — Senior QB Kamari Ellerbe had touchdown passes of 48, 44, and 3 yards for No. 16 Everett (1-1) in the Greater Boston League.
Franklin 37, Brockton 6 — After kicking off with a statement win vs. Wachusett, the 11th-ranked Panthers made another against visiting Brockton. The Boxers marched to the Franklin 17 on its first possession, but Cole Sidwell picked off a pass to halt the 14-play march. Two minutes into the second quarter, Jase Lyons scored from the 3, the trigger for a 27-point quarter.
“Everybody said all week Brockton’s back, and they said it for a reason,” said Franklin coach Eian Bain. “That’s a really good football team…I’m impressed with the way we prepared. Tonight we dug our heels in and stepped up in the right moments.”
A 39-yard touchdown catch-and-run for Grayson Hunter after a Brockton punt and blocked PAT made it 13-0. Bobby Padula picked off a pass five plays later, setting up the offense at the Brockton 45. Three plays later Lyons hit Luke Davis from 28 yards out.
Greater Lowell 10, Wilmington 7 — Jayson Fresca stepped forward for the visiting Gryphons (1-0) in a last-second win. The junior snared a 2-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Brendan Arsenault in the first quarter and then booted a winning 33-yard field goal with 42 seconds remaining in the nonleague matchup.
Hanover 42, Plymouth North 6 — Quarterback Ben Scalzi tossed four touchdowns and running back Nick Freel added 70 yards and two rushing TDs for the Hawks (1-1) in the Patriot League win. Dave Quinlan notched two receiving touchdowns and an interception in the game.
Hull 27, Cardinal Spellman 6 — Senior Johnny Gianibas ran for two touchdowns and 146 yards on 16 carries, had one reception for 12 yards, an interception, and six tackles for the Pirates (2-0) in an explosive first half. Senior Austin Bongo had 47 yards on three carries and one TD.
Latin Academy 30, KIPP Academy 14 — Quarterback Bailey Belony tossed a 45-yard touchdown to Henry Melkonian in the first quarter and Orlando Jusino punched in a 2-yard fourth-quarter score for the Dragons (2-0), who scored 22 unanswered in the second half of the nonleague win.
Lowell Catholic 37, Ipswich 6 — Seniors Riley Nichols and Nick Sawyer combined to score all six touchdowns and rack up 300 yards rushing for the visiting Crusaders (2-0) in the nonleague win. Nichols rushed for three touchdowns in the first quarter, including a 60-yarder, and then connected with Sawyer — who also scored two rushing touchdowns — later in the third quarter on a 23-yard touchdown.
Melrose 46, Malden 26 — Senior Oto Albanese scored three touchdowns on a 76-yard kick return, a 47-yard reception, and a 42-yard pick-six to lead the visiting Red Raiders (1-1) in all three facets of their non-league win.
Senior quarterback Josh Madden threw for a pair of touchdowns and ran for a pair of scores while Nick Chiulli added one on the ground and led the Red Raiders in rushing with 78 yards on 20 carries.
For the Golden Tornadoes (1-1), the offense couldn’t keep up with Melrose, as Mak Blaise — who scored five touchdowns a week ago — found the end zone once while quarterback Aiden Brett completed 16 of 33 for 172 yards and 3 TDs.
Methuen 38, Marshfield 28 — Shane Eason scored on touchdown runs of 4, 10 and 38 yards in the nonleague win for the Rangers (2-0). Eason also caught a 10-yard touchdown from his brother, Drew.
Middleborough 42, New Bedford 12 — Senior quarterback Jacob Briggs only needed the second quarter, but he made his mark with two passing touchdowns and a 22-yard rushing touchdown that extended Middleborough’s lead to 28-0.
Senior Nate Tullish added three scores, two rushes and a reception, and sophomore Bolu Sotonwa broke off for a 70-yard touchdown run to end the night to cap off a non-league win for Middleborough (2-0).
Milton 47, Framingham 6 — Owen McHugh tossed four touchdown passes in the second quarter to open up a blowout lead for the Wildcats (2-0) in the Bay State matchup. Jack Finnegan (two touchdowns) and Patrick Miller (one touchdown) anchored Milton’s rushing attack.
Nauset 21, East Bridgewater 14 — Evan Archer snared an interception in the end zone with under a minute left to clinch the nonleague win for the host Warriors (1-1) in Eastham, with first-year coach Jesse Peno earning his first career victory. Logan Daniels Julien scored on rushes of 10 and 3 yards.
North Reading 44, Greater Lawrence 17 — Senior Alex Carucci had three touchdowns -- two passing and one rushing -- to lead the Hornets (2-0) in the nonleague game.
Old Colony 32, Cape Cod Tech 0 — Chris Egan (6 carries, 54 yards, touchdown) and Michael Willwerth (3 carries, 61 yards, touchdown) combined to carry the Cougars (2-0) to a Mayflower Athletic Conference victory. Matt McGuiggan forced a fumble and returned it 35 yards for the game’s opening score and recorded an interception. Shawn Markham rumbled for a 60-yard punt-return touchdown and corralled an interception.
Quincy 27, Oliver Ames 22 — In a back-and-forth contest that came down the final two minutes, senior receiver Jacey Ham caught a 7-yard pass from senior quarterback Andrew Novak to put the Presidents (2-0) up by five with 1:10 left on the clock.
Novak finished with two passing touchdowns and a 2-yard rushing touchdown, while Ham grabbed a 30-yard touchdown in the first quarter. The Tigers (1-1) threatened as senior Chad Silva rushed for two touchdowns and Nick Ferrini returned an interception 85 yards but a last-minute Quincy interception sealed the deal.
Rockland 35, Silver Lake 9 — Junior QB Jordan DePina rushed for scores of 70 and 22 yards, senior RB Jacob Coulstring added a pair of rushing TDs to lead the Bulldogs (1-1).
Sandwich 27, Carver 14 — Senior Brady Carroll led the Blue Knights (1-1) with a 6-yard passing TD and rushing TDs of 18, 2 and 80 yards, the last coming with less than a minute remaining.
Shawsheen 27, Triton 20 — With 1:57 remaining in the fourth quarter, sophomore QB Sid Tildsley tossed a 64-yard touchdown pass to junior Ryan Copson for the winning score. Tildsley had a 2-yard rushing TD, and a 55-yard passing TD to Mavrick Bourdeau in the third quarter to lead the Rams (2-0). Triton senior QB Max Ciaramitaro connected with Ethan Tate on passing touchdowns of 7, 38, and 45 yards in the fourth quarter, but the rally fell just short for the Vikings (1-1).
Southeastern 35, Joseph Case 27 — Mehkai Gibson scored from 3 yards out in overtime to lead the Hawks (1-1) in the nonleague game. Gibson also took the opening kickoff 65 yards to the house, rumbled in a 39-yard touchdown in the first, and scored from 12 yards out in the second.
St. Mary’s 37, Winthrop 14 — Senior Derick Coulanges ran for two scores, highlighted by a 70-yard scamper in the third quarter, to propel the Spartans (2-0) to a nonleague win. Senior captain David Brown Jr. punched in an 8-yard score before hitting senior Jack Marks downfield for a 45-yard touchdown.
Swampscott 27, Lynn English 6 — Senior quarterback Zack Ryan (2 TD passes) tossed a 23-yard to senior Elijah Burns, kicking off the scoring before punching in a 5-yard keeper for the eventual winner to lead the Big Blue (1-1) to a nonleague win.
Tewksbury 27, Lowell 7 — Sophomore Vinny Ciancio threw a 93-yard touchdown pass to senior Michael Sullivan and rushed for a 2-yard score to lead Tewksbury (2-0).
Waltham 17, Winchester 6 — A 14-point third quarter gave the Hawks (2-0) the edge in a nonleague win. Adam Chisari and Jack Renaud each rushed for touchdowns, while Edwin Ramirez knocked in a field goal and hit both extra points.
Westwood 40, Bellingham 7 — Senior Brendan Donegan threw to four different receivers for his five touchdowns, with only three incompletions to lead the Wolverines (2-0) to a Tri-Valley win. Senior Thomas Kane caught two touchdowns, one for 62 yards.
Whitman-Hanson 7, Foxborough 0 — Will Frazier’s 19-yard touchdown run gave the Panthers (2-0) all they needed for a nonleague victory.
Woburn 36, Burlington 7 — Bryan Ferreira’s four touchdown performance, highlighted by scoring runs of 62 and 66 yards, powered the Tanners (2-0) in the Middlesex League win. Brett Tuzzolo tacked on a 2-yard rushing TD for Woburn.
Xaverian 35, Bridgewater-Raynham 0 — Michael Oates ran for scores of 43 yards and 11 yards and Henry Hasselbeck threw two touchdowns, connecting with Danny Edgehill and Jonathan Monteiro, as the host Hawks (2-0) soared in the nonleague game.
Ethan Fuller, Mitch Fink, Ethan Kagno, Khalin Kapoor, Cam Kerry, Lenny Rowe and Eamonn Ryan contributed to this report.
Trevor Hass can be reached at email@example.com.