LYNNFIELD — The Lynnfield Pioneers football team put a long offseason behind them and started the fall with a bang Friday night, posting a dominating 43-7 win over visiting Newburyport at Pioneer Stadium.
The Pioneers, who finished 3-8 last year, set the tone right off the bat by sending Newburyport off the field in three plays on the first series. Lynnfield took an eight-point lead before quarterback Clayton Marengi and the offense ran a play from scrimmage, ultimately scoring all 43 points in three quarters, including 15 in the second.
John Lee immediately put the home team on the board on the first offensive play as he cut through the Clipper defense and scored a 60-yard punt return touchdown. Austin Sutera connected with Jack Ford for a two-point conversion.
“I told the special teams unit that they were going to swing this game,” said Lynnfield coach Pat Lamusta. “With the execution and with an athlete like John Lee back there ― a senior captain, he’s fast, he lifted all offseason ― it was no surprise to see his relentless ability to get in the end zone.”
The Pioneers marched down field on five plays during their second series, which ended with Marengi finding Bakari Mitchell for a 40-yard reception. Anthony Floramo’s back-to-back runs and a Marengi pass to Brian Ellis sent Lynnfield past midfield and on its way to the second score.
Lynnfield got it done on the defensive side of the ball, too, as the visitors gained just a pair of first downs. Owen Blacker ended Newburyport’s first second-quarter possession quickly, intercepting a Charles Cahalane pass and returning it to the end zone from 20 yards out.
“Those are the plays that swing high school games,” Lamusta said. “Owen is a fast kid, and it was awesome to see what he could do with the ball after he picked it even as a lineman.”
The Clippers took back some of the momentum just over two minutes into the quarter as Cahalane connected with Trevor Ward for a 65-yard score and Walker Bartkiewicz hit the extra point.
However, the ensuing drive was an impressive one for Marengi and the Pioneer offense as the last of 12 plays was a David Capachietti one-yard run. Five different receivers and ball carriers were featured. Blake Peters nailed the point after attempt, as he also did on both third-quarter scores.
Peters was on the receiving end of a five-yard pass from Marengi to start the third quarter. Mitchell then hauled in an interception to set up Joseph Contardo’s two-yard run that concluded the scoring.
Lamusta knows his team will have to play even tougher physically next Friday night at Medford, but he’s happy with the impressive execution and overall performance on the opening night.
“It was a very tough group of kids we had on the field today,” Lamusta said. “I knew they’d play that way, but it was just awesome to see it in reality with toughness and execution.”