It has turned into a trend over the first four weeks of the high school football season; the Gloucester defense dominates the second half.
Through four games the 3-1 Fishermen have repeatedly gotten better on defense as the game wears, and they have done so every week. Of its 70 points allowed on the year, the Gloucester defense has surrendered just 21 points in the second half.
That dominant second half defense was on display in Friday’s dramatic 18-14 win over Beverly.
The Fishermen held the Panthers to just 47 yards of total offense over the final 22 minutes of play while allowing 15 yards rushing on just 18 plays against one of the most dangerous backfields in the Northeastern Conference. The Fishermen defense was also opportunistic forcing a pair of late fourth quarter fumbles, the second one, which was recovered by Jordan Pallazola, set up the winning touchdown with 19.9 seconds to play.
That’s not to say Gloucester didn’t play well defensively in the first half, it did, but the second half defense was nearly perfect and kept Gloucester within striking distance. And when it made the biggest play of the game by forcing a fumble with 1:39 to play, the offense followed the defense’s lead and capped off a dramatic victory.
The Fishermen defense has been very good in just about every game this season - with the exception of the first half of the Masconomet game - but in the second half, the unit has been great which is a great sign moving forward into the Northeastern Conference Large schedule. If Gloucester has a lead at halftime, the defense will make it really tough for teams to make a comeback.
Speaking of defense, it’s about time to take the Manchester Essex defense seriously as well. The Hornets put forth their second straight dominant defensive effort in Friday’s 28-12 win over Georgetown, following up last week’s stout defensive effort in a 22-12 win over Greater Lawrence.