Although Gloucester’s 28-7 loss to Lynn English Friday at Hyland Field was disappointing, there’s definitely plenty of positives the Fishermen can take out of the win.
The biggest positive had to be the performance of Sr. captain Zach Smith at running back. Smith may have taken a year off from the running back position, he was a tight end in 2011, but he didn’t look like he missed a beat carrying the load for the Fishermen to the tune of 164 yards and a touchdown on 29 carries.
Gloucester’s biggest offensive success came when they fed their workhorse back. On off tackle and sweep plays Smith was able to gain tough yards and then some while cutting through the Lynn English defense sometimes at will.
On a drive late in the second quarter the Fishermen running back carried the ball seven times in ten plays marching them from their own 20 all the way to the Lynn English one yard line where the drive stalled.
The Fishermen offensive line of center Hayden Foley, guards Austin Titus and Filippo Zappa along with tackles Jason Lattof and David Dimaio was also a strong point for the Fishermen.
The Fishermen defensive line of Drew Shairs, Dimaio and Anthony Palazzola also had some success against a strong Lynn English offensive line.
In the trenches Gloucester had success despite the fact that they gave up a lot of size to the massive Bulldogs front lines.
Friday’s tilt against the Bulldogs was similar to many Gloucester and Lynn English games in the past. Like they have many times the two teams went toe to toe, and in past years it was Gloucester’s experience in big games and experience in finding ways to win.
This year the roles were reversed.
Lynn English was the NEC/CAL Division 1 champions last year and that big game experience showed on Friday night. If you take a look at the numbers the two teams were pretty close with the Bulldogs holding a 303-268 advantage in yards of total offense.
The Bulldogs, however, made big plays when they needed big plays, and as championship teams do, they thwarted Gloucester’s opportunities and chances to close the gap.
It also helped that Lynn English had Josh Batista as the speedy running back/wide receiver needed just four carries to compile 128 yards, he also scored three touchdowns against Gloucester for the second year in a row.