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Previewing and predicting the Division 6 Super Bowl: Fairhaven vs. Salem

Salem coach Matt Bouchard has guided the Witches to their first Super Bowl in his 10 years at the helm, and the program's first title shot since 1999.Matthew J. Lee/Globe Staff

The MIAA Division 6 Super Bowl will be played Thursday at Gillette Stadium.

Read on for a preview and prediction of the game.

Here’s a look at the full schedule.

SALEM (10-2) vs. FAIRHAVEN (11-1)

When: Thursday, 3 p.m.

Where: Gillette Stadium

How to watch/listen: NFHS Network, Patriots.com, WEEI-AM 850


Coaches: Salem — Matt Bouchard (10th year, 41-66); Fairhaven — Derek Almeida (4th year, 32-9; overall 74-34).

Scoring: Salem — 36.9; Fairhaven — 33.8.

Defense: Salem —17.1; Fairhaven — 13.9.

The heavies up front: Salem — OG/NG Alfred Ferrioli (6-foot, 230 pounds), OT/DE Elias Vasquez (6-6, 260); Fairhaven — C Zach Moura (6-1, 250), LG Ben Comey (5-11, 265).


Stat check: The Witches’ offense runs through Corey Grimes, who has completed 61.5 percent of his passes for 1,922 yards with 28 touchdowns (tied for best in D6) and just 4 interceptions. Devante Ozuna the runner (937 yards, 12 TDs) and the receiver (34-482-3 TDs) has been a matchup nightmare for opposing defenses. Quinn Rocco Ryan leads the Witches in receiving yards (709) and TD grabs (9) while closing in on 1,000 yards of total offense. Ozuna and Rocco Ryan are also dangerous on special teams, combining for four TD returns, and they each have more than 100 points scored. Albert Pujols has three TD catches and three interception returns for scores. For the Blue Devils, Justin Marques has accounted for 34 of the team’s 58 TDs this year for 208 points, tops in Division 6. He has rushed for 1,467 yards and 33 TDs from his fullback spot. Wingbacks Colby Correia (576 rushing yards, 7 TDs) and Aaron Lague (562, 5 TDs) are also threats in the triple-option attack. Four of Jayce Duarte’s 5 TD passes have gone to Nikko Morris.

The captains: Salem — OL/DL Alfred Ferrioli (Sr.), QB/DL Corey Grimes (Sr.), RB/LB Devante Ozuna (Sr.), WR/DB Albert Pujols (Sr.), WR/DB Quinn Rocco Ryan (Jr.); Fairhaven — RB/DB Colby Correia (Sr.), QB/DE Jayce Duarte (Sr.), RB/LB Justin Marques (Jr.), RB/DL Nate Pickup (Jr.).


Seniors on the roster: Salem — 14; Fairhaven — 7.

Last Super Bowl appearance: Salem — 1999 (EMass Div. 3); Fairhaven — 2000 (EMass Div. 4).


Both offenses have gone up and down the field at will this year, each averaging more than 33 points per game. Both defenses have also been susceptible to giving up big plays and points: Fairhaven has allowed at least 20 points in four of its last five games, while Salem had a five-game stretch of surrendering at least 20, including one-point losses to Winthrop and Peabody. They might get those yards in vastly different ways, but the yards will be there for the taking. The dilemma comes when one team gets a stop or forces a turnover and possesses the ball with the lead — will the pace go from up-tempo to burning as much clock as possible?


The Witches’ offensive balance gives them the edge, with Grimes having spread the ball with six different receivers having at least 100 yards and three TDs. Marques is going to get plenty of touches and yards, but to prevail the Blue Devils will need someone else to make a key play, most likely on the perimeter. Fairhaven opened the playoffs by defeating Winthrop, which beat Salem in Week 7, and then grinded its way past top-seed Norwell before holding on for a 40-37 victory over Hudson. See something similar here, with the Blue Devils prevailing.


Fairhaven 36, Salem 33