SWAMPSCOTT — The goal for any football team when it first comes together in August is to reach the Super Bowl. Swampscott was no different when the Big Blue started their preseason three months ago, and now they’re one win away from reaching that goal.
The Big Blue, winners of Division 5 North with last week’s 34-26 win over Amesbury, will clash against South champion Scituate Saturday in the Division 5 state semifinal.
“We match up pretty well to them,” Swampscott coach Bobby Serino said. “I think we both do the same things. It should be a very good game. I think they have great special teams, great offense, great defense. I think we match up with them well in all three phases and their personnel.”
Swampscott played a solid game across all three phases in last week’s win over Amesbury. Quarterback Graham Inzana threw four touchdown passes, three of them hauled in by receiver Andrew Augustin. Zack Palmer returned a kickoff 86 yards for a touchdown and squashed Amesbury’s last possession with an interception at his own 9-yard line. Dylan January ran for 75 yards.
Serino, borrowing a Bill Belichick mantra, said the Big Blue are at their best when all 11 players on the field stick to doing their individual jobs.
“The bottom line is all 11 guys have to do their job on every play,” Serino said. “All 11 do their job on every play. If one or two guys don’t do their job or want to do someone else’s job, that’s when you see us get burnt. As long as they do their job and read their keys, we’ll be fine. All 11 guys are buying in on the field and know what they’re doing, and we’re doing it quick.”
Offensively, Serino feels the key to Saturday’s game is avoiding turnovers. With an offense that runs the ball as effectively as it throws it, Serino feels his unit’s playing at it’s best with perfect timing.
“Offensively the key is to not turn the ball over,” Serino said. “We’ve been working on it all week. Throw the ball, catch the ball. If we get yards after it, that’s great. We’ll see what they do. They haven’t changed their defense all year. If you have an equal balance of run-pass, you’ll be alright.”
Defensively, Saturday’s game will be a tough task for Swampscott’s defensive backs. Scituate’s offense, Serino said, boasts multiple passing patterns and the Sailors rely on them for big plays.
“They have a great running game and a great passing game with a bunch of different packages for pass patterns,” Serino said. “Our defensive backs, if they play solid, they can shut down their pass game and we’ll be alright. Whatever they do, we have three great linebackers, our defensive line has held its own all year and our four defensive backs are second to none in our league.”
In practice, it’s been business as usual this week.
“It’s been a really, really good week of practice,” Serino said. “They’re all dialed in. We’ve had a lot of fun doing it.”
Although it’s tempting to look past an opponent when you’re one win away from reaching the Super Bowl (state championship game), that hasn’t been the case in Swampscott. Serino and the Big Blue have adapted a week-by-week approach throughout the season and they aren’t changing it now.
“It’s the one thing we’ve done all year, we haven’t looked ahead to anyone,” Serino said. “The team stays focused. They talk to all the reporters and they’re not jumping ahead. They praise their teammates. We have one task at hand right now. All our focus in on Scituate right now and we haven’t cared about anything else these past few days.”
Kickoff is scheduled for 4 p.m. at Hanover High.