PEABODY — The Peabody football team executed a near-perfect game plan across all three phases during Friday night’s game against visiting Malden. The Tanners kept Malden’s offense off the field, forced turnovers on defense and made the most of the opportunities they were give. The result was a 42-12 Peabody victory at Coley Lee Field- the Tanners’ third win of the season.
Peabody coach Mark Bettencourt said he was pleased to see his Tanners put forth a solid outing after mistakes cost them in losses earlier this season.
“We jelled, I mean offensively, a lot of mistakes that we’ve been making lately we corrected today, and I think you saw the results on the field,” Bettencourt said. “If the kids do what the coaches teach them to do, things obviously look a lot better for us, and we looked pretty good tonight.”
The Tanners scored on their second possession, after fumbling the first time they had the ball, on a sack and recovery by Malden’s Amilcar Ferreira. Angel Paulino took it in from the 1-yard line with 3:48 left in the first quarter, and Austin Leggett’s first of seven PAT kicks put Peabody ahead to stay.
The Tanners were back in business four seconds later, as Malden fumbled the kickoff, and Colten Cole recovered. Jake Sousa capped the short drive with a touchdown and it Malden found itself in an early 14-0 hole.
Kyle Maglione swiped a Justin Nortelus pass on the next series, and Peabody scored three plays later, when Matthew Jandrisevits found Dylan Peluso in the right corner for the touchdown pass.
Peabody went into the locker room up 28-0, after Alex DeNisco hit Brandon Caniff with an 11-yard touchdown pass. Malden was struggling on offense in the first half, and Peabody was more than willing to take advantage on Senior Night.
After the break, Tanners running back Colby Therrien ran one in, and Luis Guridys busted loose for a 45-yard scoring run in the third to close things out for Peabody.
Malden got on the board late in the third, on a touchdown run by Nortelus, and the Malden quarterback hooked up with Raushad Moore from 21 yards out for the final score of the game. Moore’s catch was a highlight-reel play, going up for a high throw, getting his arm under the ball and pulling it away from a Tanners defensive back.
“Those kids impressed me, I know they’re young, they’re rebuilding, but they fought hard the entire game, I give them a lot of credit,” Bettencourt said. “Our goal is to get better every week, hopefully this gives us a push for Beverly next week. That’s been the goal from week one, get better every week.”
Despite the loss, Malden coach Steve Freker said he was proud of his team’s effort.
“We’ve only got 4-5 guys with varsity experience, we started two freshmen and three sophomores on the offensive line, and that’s unheard of in the NEC,” Freker said. “We told them to keep fighting in the second half and score a few touchdowns and they did that.”
Peabody (3-3) visits Beverly next Saturday afternoon (1).