When Marblehead opened Friday’s nonleague matchup against Lynnfield with a pick-6, the Magicians’ sideline was notably nonreactive.
The defending Division 3 state champions were playing in what coach Jim Rudloff described as a “fog” after receiving shocking news hours before game time.
Jeff Scogland, the 46-year-old father of junior Jake Scogland, who had coached many of Marblehead’s players in youth football and baseball, died suddenly Friday afternoon.
While Rudloff and school officials prepared to postpone or cancel the contest, Jake sent a text telling the coaches that he wanted to suit up Friday night, and the two-way lineman wound up playing the game of his life in a 26-18 comeback victory that extended Marblehead’s state-best win streak to 22 games.
“[Scogland] was completely committed to playing,” said Rudloff. “He said he needed it. He needed to be around the team. He’s the kind of guy who is the first one in and he played out of his mind. Just an incredible performance. I don’t know if it has registered yet, but it’s amazing the resiliency kids can show.”
With senior captain Sam Annese injured, Scogland started at left guard, then moved to left tackle when Scott Campbell suffered an injury. The 6-foot, 180-pound junior also started at defensive tackle, recording several tackles and a blocked extra point while serving as a full-time player for the first time in his career.
Lynnfield (1-1) jumped out to an early 18-7 lead thanks to Robert Marley’s 34-yard interception return for a score, followed by a 53-yard touchdown run from the senior captain. On the final play of the half, Marblehead junior Miles O’Neill scrambled and found senior captain Connor Cronin (4 receptions, 122 yards) for a 40-yard touchdown that seemed to jolt the Magicians.
“The game was played in a fog in the first half,” said Rudloff. “It was difficult for a lot of our kids. They woke up in the second half and reverted back to what we would do in a normal game.
“There was an understanding that we’re going to make the front page [if our win streak ends], and no one is going to care about the emotional aspect, so is it worth it to do all this and go out and lose? I think that registered with the kids and we went out and had a great second half.”
Marblehead (2-0) created multiple turnovers in the third quarter and scored on a botched snap to take a 19-18 lead, eventually adding an insurance score in the fourth quarter.
Lynnfield coach Pat Lamusta learned of Scogland’s death the news shortly before kickoff and broke it to his players. In a show of class and unity, players and coaches from both teams came together at midfield after the game to show their support.
“We came together as a larger group and reminded both teams what this is all about,” said Lamusta. “There’s a larger football family here and we’re all rooting for Marblehead as they try to navigate this tough time.
“It’s not easy for any community to deal with something so sudden. It was an emotional night and a great game. It was special for our players to be on that stage and compete, but also to recognize that it’s about the greater football community and being there for your fellow brothers.”
⋅ Braintree and longtime assistant and first-year head coach Lee Carlson earned his first win Friday night over Stoughton thanks to a last-minute stop on a two-point conversion attempt. The Wamps took a 27-6 lead through three quarters before giving up 20 unanswered points to the Black Knights, but held on by denying quarterback Jarred Daughtry’s attempt to sprint for the goal line with :45 remaining . . . On the same night, former Braintree coach Brian Chamberlain earned his first win in his new position as the head coach of Southeastern Regional when his Hawks topped Case, 35-27. Chamberlain and Carlson, who coached together for 11 years, exchanged congratulatory texts afterwards.
▪ Junior Evan Archer intercepted a pass in the end zone with less than a minute remaining to help Nauset snap a 10-game losing streak with a 21-14 nonleague victory over East Bridgewater.
It was the first victory for coach Jesse Peno, a 1999 graduate of Nauset who played as a freshman when the school launched its football program in 1995.
“I’m just so happy for the kids, first and foremost,” said Peno, who also coaches Nauset’s boys’ lacrosse team. “They put so much time and effort in to end a losing streak that was a little less than two years. In the moment, it was more happy for them, but then as I was walking off the field, it’s almost like you come full circle from starting there as a player to getting your first win as a coach—it was really special.”
Nauset hadn’t won since April 17, 2021, when it earned a 20-14 win over Falmouth in its penultimate game of the 2021 “Fall II” spring football season. The Warriors finished that season 1-4 before posting an 0-9 record last fall in Bruce Strunk’s final season at the helm.
Peno said the team was determined to snap the streak early in the season following a 27-0 loss to Norwell in Week 1.
“We didn’t want it to build up,” he said. “I think that was a little bit of what happened to us in the first game. I think there was a pressure to come out and be perfect right away and I think it kind of got to us a little bit with our inexperience. But the guys, to their credit, rebounded and came around. It was good to get that win out of the way right away.”
Week 3 Games to Watch
Friday, No. 2 Xaverian at No. 4 King Philip, 7 p.m. — Henry Hasselbeck has given Xaverian’s offense a new look, but King Philip’s defense has been impenetrable over the Warriors’ first two wins.
Friday, No. 6 Duxbury at No. 7 Franklin, 7 p.m. — They met in Week 3 last year when Franklin scored 27 unanswered points to earn a 27-14 win. Matt Festa is back under center for a prolific Duxbury offense.
Friday, No. 10 Marblehead at No. 18 North Andover, 6 p.m. — The Magicians put their state-best 22-game win streak on the line at North Andover, where the Scarlet Knights will be hunting for a huge nonleague win.
Saturday, St. John’s College HS at Springfield Central, 1 p.m. — Nebraska-bound quarterback William Watson leads the Golden Eagles against a program from D.C. ranked 23rd nationally. Then Central closes out the regular season with five league games.
Saturday, BB&N at Milton Academy, 7 p.m. — Action opens in the ISL this weekend with two-time defending league champion Milton Academy hosting a physical BB&N squad. Milton senior quarterback Jake Holtschlag has a bevy of talented tight ends to target, including Penn State commit Andrew Rappleyea.
Globe correspondent Brad Joyal contributed to this story.