LYNN — After a lackluster offensive performance last week, the St. Mary’s football team homed in on sustained drives in practice.
Friday night at Manning Field, the Spartans’ offense looked like a well-oiled machine in a 36-0 win over South Boston.
“The goals during the week were to be ready and get better,” St. Mary’s coach Sean Driscoll said. “We got better and we executed better, especially up-front. Last week (6-0 win over Boston English) was a wake-up call about the pace of a game, battling for four quarters. We got better (Friday). We came out with a sense of urgency that we didn’t have last week.”
Junior running back Sal Afflitto carried the offense with a 20-yard touchdown run and a 51-yard touchdown catch on quarterback Derek O’Leary’s lone throw of the game.
Geroge Percy found the end zone on a 4-yard carry. David Brown (12-yard rush) and Derek Coulanges (6-yard rush) scored their first career varsity touchdowns.
“One of the strengths of our football team is our young running backs,” Driscoll said. “It was great to get them in the flow, better than last week. I’m hoping we can continue that rotation as much as we can.”
It was also a great night for St. Mary’s offensive line.
“Tony Bello was huge at left tackle,” Driscoll said. “Danny Lauria didn’t play much last week because of injury. He played pretty good. Alec Colacitti at left guard was a big player, on both sides of the football.”
Percy (nine carries, 100 yards) got the Spartans started on the right foot, capping his team’s opening drive with a 4-yard touchdown run (O’Leary rush). South Boston’s first possession stalled quickly and the Spartans went back to work. Afflitto (seven carries, 64 yards) punched one in from 20 yards out (Percy rush), stretching the lead to 16-0 after one quarter.
The Knights picked up rhythm on the ensuing drive, marching to their own 40. But Afflitto intercepted a pass, returned it to midfield and opened the door for Brown’s 12-yard touchdown run (conversion failed). Afflitto reeled in a 51-yard touchdown pass from O’Leary (Brown rush) to cap the half with St. Mary’s up 30-0.
Neither offense got anything going in the third quarter. South Boston turned the ball over on both its possessions, once on a Brown interception at his own 16 and the other on downs near midfield.
“David had a great game,” Driscoll said. “He’s a solid athlete on the field and he does everything right off the field. The good news is he’s a freshman.”
Coulanges’ 6-yard touchdown scamper in the fourth quarter sealed the 36-0 win.
The game ended with 1:16 remaining due to a brief scrum near midfield. Coaches ran onto the field and separated their teams from the scrum.
St. Mary’s (2-0) opens its Catholic Central League schedule next week. The Spartans travel to Cardinal Spellman in Holbrook next Friday (6:30).
“It’s always good to get into league play,” Driscoll said. “We’re playing a good team. I’ve seen Spellman a couple times already. I’m excited about it. We’re going to see some tough opponents moving forward.”