Swampscott’s tournament run ends in loss to Scituate

Swampscott's Zack Palmer (5) carries the ball during the MIAA state semifinal game between Swampscott and Scituate. (Photo by Joseph Prezioso)

HANOVER — The Swampscott football team’s playoff run came to an end Saturday night with a 45-14 loss to Scituate in the Division 5 state semifinal at Hanover high school.

“(Scituate) came out and they punched us right in the mouth,” Swampscott coach Bobby Serino said. “There were a lot of people flustered on our side. The bottom line is they ran the ball down our throats and we couldn’t tackle them.

“We can’t keep going three-and-out everytime we get the ball and have our defense on the field the whole night,” Serino added. “We should’ve sprinkled in some more run but we just kept throwing the ball.”

The Big Blue’s struggles started early in the first quarter when their defense allowed a touchdown with an opportunity to get off the field on 4th down. Scituate quarterback Aidan Sullivan (7-for-11 with 141 passing yards and three touchdowns) connected with wide receiver Jack Gould on the 4th-and-10 for an 18-yard touchdown pass to put the Sailors ahead 7-0.

“I thought we were in a really good place at that moment,” Serino said. “There were about three jump balls throughout the game and we have some athletes out there but they out jumped us for them all.”

Things didn’t get any better for the Big Blue as the game wore on. Swampscott started the game with five three-and-out drives while the Sailors took advantage of every offensive opportunity.

Scituate running back Will Sheskey (26 carries for 217 yards and two touchdowns) was dominant on the ground and wide receiver Max Roche hauled in two touchdown catches as the Sailors took a 42-0 lead into the half.

“When they scored three or four touchdowns, the kids were hanging their heads,” Serino said. “I said, ‘let’s just keep having fun.’ They came back and they started having fun again. It’s hard to have fun when you’re down 35-0 and we hadn’t moved the ball, but they started making plays. That’s a really well-coached team.”

Swampscott was able to hold the Sailors to a field goal in the second half. Big Blue quarterback Graham Inzana broke the shutout with a four-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter. Inzana also connected with Andrew Augustin for on a five-yard touchdown pass in the final minutes.

“I’m not going to dwell on this game,” Serino said. “The bottom line is I’m proud of every one of these guys. We had six seniors and we have juniors that are leading the charge. Our seniors did a great job. We have two junior captains (Dylan January and Jonathan Oriakhi) that did a great job. Every one of them that walked off the field I told them I was proud of them.”

The Big Blue will have to get back to work on a short week when they host rival Marblehead on Thanksgiving morning (10).

“It’s been five years, I’ve been counting,” Serino said of the last time Swampscott found a win on Thanksgiving day. “They walked off the field and bottom line I said, ‘We still got Thanksgiving, the season’s not over.’ They will be right back to work and we just got to start preparing for them.”

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