If past years are any indicator on how this afternoon’s game between Gloucester and Masconomet at Hyland Field (2:00 p.m.) will go, expect a dog fight that isn’t settled until the game’s final minutes.
The Fishermen (1-3) and Chieftains (3-1) have played each other every year since the 2007 season including a pair of postseason clashes and just about every meeting has been highly competitive.
Last year’s meeting may have been the most hotly contested and easily Gloucester’s most heartbreaking loss of 2011. The Fishermen outplayed the Chieftains but four fumbles, including one in the final minute at the six yard line with Gloucester looking to go in for the winning score, cost Gloucester the game.
The Fishermen, who are hoping to put together a winning streak after last week’s 35-7 drubbing of Peabody, will be looking for revenge after the way the 2011 contest ended, and they are also expecting a close game.
“It’s always a battle (when we play Masco) and I think that’s great, we love the competition we have with them,” Gloucester head coach Tony Zerilli said. “It usually comes right down to the wire. We’ve played each other for a number of years and we each know how to defend each other. It’s gonna be a good game.”
Saturday’s battle will pit strength vs. strength on each side of the ball.
On the defensive end Gloucester will look to stop Masco’s two-headed monster rushing attack of Mike Tivinis and Dylan Mann. The Chieftain’s love to ride both of their backs out of the I-formation in front of a big and physical offensive line.
The Chieftains’, who hold victories over Catholic Memorial, Wilmington and Salem, strength is running the football, and they make no bones about it, but Gloucester’s strength on defense is stopping the run. Powered by a big front three featuring a rotation of Drew Shairs, David Dimaio, Anthony Palazzola and Nick Sanfilippo, and a rock solid linebacking core, the Fishermen pride themselves on being tough against any opponents running game.