The spread offense has been the Achilles heel of the Gloucester football team’s defense this fall.
Heading into tonight’s NEC/CAL Division 2 clash with Salem, the Fishermen have a record of 0-4 against teams running the spread offense and have allowed 151 points in those contests, an average of nearly 38 points per game.
In Salem (4-4), Gloucester (1-7) will be facing off against another spread offense tonight at Bertram Field (7:00 p.m.), and this one is a versatile offense with a dynamic quarterback, Christian Dunston.
That high powered spread offense has led to a much improved Witches team in 2012. Sporting a 4-4 record, Salem is fresh off the heels of the biggest upset in NEC/CAL play so far this season, a 35-34 win over Marblehead, the Magicians only loss this fall.
“They run the spread and they like to run and throw out of it,” Gloucester head coach Tony Zerilli said. “They have shown a lot of improvements this season. Our goal is to make them one dimensional on offense. It’s been a good week of practice and the kids are excited to play.”
Zerilli praised his teams enthusiasm at practice this week despite the fact that the team, along with every other team in the state, had a shorter practice week with Hurricane Sandy wreaking havoc on the entire Northeastern United States.
With one fewer day of practice the Fishermen just bumped everything up a day. Instead of a Thursday walk through Gloucester was in full pads this week, something Zerilli liked.
“I liked the way we practiced (Thursday),” Zerilli said. “It’s usually our walkthrough day and usually a tough day of practice, but with the hurricane we came out in full pads today. And I liked what I saw, we were physical and got to work, I liked what I saw so much I may do it again next week.”