No letdown this time, Marblehead handles Swampscott

MARBLEHEAD – For the second year in a row, Marblehead entered the Thanksgiving game vs. Swampscott susceptible to a letdown, coming off a heartbreaking loss in a high-stakes game. This year, the results were markedly different.View Photo GalleryThere would be no emotional hangover this time, as the Magicians rode Brooks Tyrrell’s record-breaking 300-yard rushing performance to a 51-13 rout of the Big Blue on the shiny, new turf at Staff Sergeant Christopher N. Piper Field.”What happened last year (25-16 Swampscott win) helped in an odd way,” said Marblehead Coach Jim Rudloff, whose team lost to Tewksbury in the MIAA Div. 3 Northeast final on Nov. 16. “We had something to point to and tell them, ‘You better be careful or this can happen to us again.’ We didn’t want it to happen two years in a row.”Tyrrell and his bruising offensive line made sure history did not repeat itself. The junior running back, who has verbally committed to play lacrosse at Notre Dame, set the tone by carrying six straight times for 58 yards and a touchdown on Marblehead’s first drive, which followed a Swampscott 13-yard punt into a very stiff wind.”They won the toss and took the wind, which I thought was a big factor,” said Swampscott Coach Steve Dembowski. “They converted some huge third downs in the first half, which really hurt us.”Truth be told, the way Tyrrell ran and his line — Trevor Gelineau, Dan Marino, Tom Koopman, Liam Gillis and 6-5, 315-pound behemoth Derek Dumais — blocked, you got the feeling the Magicians could have been heading into a hurricane all day and it wouldn’t have mattered. They were that dominant.”The wind obviously meant we needed to run the ball,and Brooks complied,” Rudloff said, with a cat-that-ate-the-canary grin. “He’s an animal. He’s the type of kid that always steps up in big games.”After Matt Millett connected with Jeremy Gillis on a 78-yard scoring pass to make it 13-0 after a period, Tyrrell scored three more touchdowns in the second quarter on runs of 2, 68 and 20 yards to make it 32-0 at the half and send some people home early. He finished the half with 175 yards on 20 carries.”We beat them last time — (35-7 earlier in the season, a premature matchup necessitated by the new playoff structure) — but it was nothing like this,” Tyrrell said. “We knew we were going to run the ball. If something works, you keep doing it.”Marblehead, which finished 9-2, made it 51-0 as Spencer Craig’s 32-yard pick six was sandwiched by 1-yard and 77-yard touchdown runs by Tyrrell, the latter of which was his final carry of the day. The jaunt gave him exactly 300 yards (on 26 carries) with 6:26 left in the third quarter.”Those linemen are my favorite people on earth,” he said. “They opened holes you don’t see in football games. They are the biggest and the best boys around.”The Big Blue, who finished 4-7 and failed to win at least five games for the first time since 2000, averted the shutout with two touchdown passes by Brendan McDonald — 16 yards to Cam Frary on the final play of the third quarter and 13 yards to running back Desmond Wilhelmsen (100 yards rushing, 35 receiving) with 27 seconds left in the game.”Tyrrell is one of the best players in the league,” Dembowski said. “He’s a scholarship athlete. They have several scholarship athletes and we do not. We were hoping we would play better and make some plays, but that didn’t happen.”Rudloff said he and his staff did not add anything to the playbook for this game, which is somewhat of a rarity when it comes to Thanksgiving.”We spent a week and a half refining what we did well,” he said. “The kids felt that every play we ran today, they could do in their sleep. We executed very well.”Very well indeed.

More Stories In Sports