WINTHROP — There are games where statistics tell the story. And then there are games like Friday night’s at Miller Field where you can tell almost immediately how it’s going to come out.
Such was the case in Swampscott’s 40-6 win over Winthrop.
When the Big Blue’s Zack Palmer took the opening kickoff at his own 16-yard line, dropped it, doubled back about six yards to gather himself back up, and then ran right up the middle for an 84-yard touchdown return, it was pretty evident the Vikings were going to be in for a long evening.
Even though the Vikings (1-2) put together a moderately effective drive in response, it wasn’t effective enough. And Swampscott (3-0), once it got the ball back, went right back downfield and scored on Dylan January’s 1-yard plunge. With 3:04 still to go in the first quarter, it was 13-0, Swampscott. And the Big Blue were just getting started.
“We had our first real good week of practice this week since the week of Aug. 17 (when preseason camp started),” said Big Blue coach Bobby Serino. “All the kids came to play. And it paid off tonight.”
Central to the proceedings were two players in particular: running back January and quarterback Graham Inzana. January ran for 52 yards on eight carries, all in one half, and scored three touchdowns. Inzana threw for 233 yards, including several long gainers to Trey Hopkins (35 yards), Palmer (32) and Zak Marks (a 60-yard TD pass).
“Both last week and this week,” Serino said, “Dylan could have had more, but we sat him down (once the game was safely put away). He’s a devastating runner.”
Inzanna, Serino said, had the help of a fleet of receivers who did their best “all-for-one-and-one-for-all” imitation.
“They aren’t selfish,” Serino said. “They all block for each other downfield, and you can see them fist-bumping when they get back to the huddle because they’re helping each other out.”
That aspect of Swampscott’s game impressed Winthrop’s Jonathan Cadigan very much.
“When you see that much downfield blocking,” Cadigan said, “and you see linemen doing it too, that is a real good team. And Swampscott has a real good team.
“We knew, from looking at the film, that Swampscott is a very talented, and very athletic team.”
Swampscott parlayed those first two touchdowns into a 34-0 lead at the break. Winthrop didn’t help itself by fumbling three times — with all three turnovers leading to scores.
January got his second TD of the night with 10:03 to go in the second quarter on a 9-yard run, and Inzanna fund Jonathan Oriakhi for a 10-yard strike to make the score 27-0.
January scored his third of the night on a 2-yard rush to make it 34-0 by the break.
The teams traded touchdowns in the second half. Inzanna connected with Marks on a screen pass that the receiver turned into a 60-yard touchdown early in the third quarter.
Winthrop closed the scoring when quarterback Jonathan Applebee went over on a 1-yard plunge late in the game.