FOXBOROUGH — Bob Serino recalls mumbling to someone prior to Swampscott’s state semifinal against Scituate in 2018, “I think we’ve got this.”
His Big Blue squad trailed, 42-0, at the half on the way to a 45-14 loss.
One year later, Swampscott realized their coach’s vision, shutting out Amherst, 21-0, in the Division 5 Super Bowl Saturday at Gillette Stadium.
“It’s not often in life you get second chances,” said quarterback Graham Inzana after Swampscott captured the program’s first title since 2007.
“When you get them, you’ve got to take a hold of them and that’s what we just did.”
The Big Blue (10-3) limited the Hurricanes (11-1) to 53 yards of offense, sacking Amherst quarterback J.B. Mills five times, forcing two turnovers, and not allowing the Hurricanes into the red zone. Nick Reiser and Thomas Frisoli — who also kicked three extra points — had 1.5 sacks each, and Tyler Marshall and Jake Papazoglou registered one apiece. Zack Palmer came up with an end zone interception, and Angelo Ciciotti recovered a fumble forced by Papazoglou.
Amherst’s average starting field position was its 27-yard line. A pair of Cameron O’Brien punts were downed by gunners Palmer and Andrew Augustin inside the Hurricanes’ 10.
“We have a lot of fast, talented kids on the punt team,” O’Brien said. “It’s unbelievable how many athletes we have out of the small town of Swampscott.”
Already ahead, 7-0, after Inzana’s 22-yard touchdown pass to Augustin in the first quarter, O’Brien’s second kick that landed inside the 10 set the stage for more Big Blue points. A Frisoli sack on third down brought the Hurricanes back to their 6, with their ensuing punt bouncing only 3 yards.
One play after Swampscott drew Amherst offside, Inzana scored on a 4-yard keeper to double the lead for the Big Blue prior to halftime.
Dylan January, who had a 45-yard run on the first play from scrimmage for Swampscott, had a 39-yard run early in the fourth quarter to the Amherst 2. He finished off the brief drive two plays later, all but sealing the deal for Swampscott.
“I’m on top of the world right now,” January said. “We earned it, we’re very proud.”
Swampscott 21, Amherst-Pelham 0
at Gillette Stadium, Foxborough
Swampscott (10-3) 7 7 0 7 — 21
Amherst-Pelham (11-1) 0 0 0 0 — 0
S — Andrew Augustin 22 pass from Graham Inzana (Thomas Frisoli kick)
S — Graham Inzana 4 run (Thomas Frisoli kick)
S — Dylan January 2 run (Thomas Frisoli kick)
RUSHING — A, Dan Block 11-24, Joshua Vecchio 9-22, Ahmed Elfawal 1-4, JB Mills 9-(-38); S, Dylan January 15-78, Zack Palmer 2-13, Xavier Bascon 1-1, Graham Inzana 5-(-9)
PASSING — A, JB Mills 6-22-41, CJ Woodfine-Holmes 0-1-0; S, Graham Inzana 8-19--102
RECEIVING — A, CJ Woodfine-Holmes 3-21, Ethan Howard 2-15, Dan Block 1-5; S, Zack Palmer 3-52, Andrew Augustin 5-50
Jake Levin can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.