NEWBURYPORT -- The Newburyport football team had it coming.
One year after overcoming a 26-0 deficit en route to victory against Marblehead on the road, the Clippers sacrificed a large second-half lead of their own on their home field yesterday in a 23-20 double-overtime loss to the undefeated Magicians.
The Clippers (2-3) relinquished a 14-0 third-quarter lead in the loss. They have now lost their last three games in a row. Marblehead, which didn’t win five games in a single season between 1993 and 2007, starts 5-0 for the first time since 1991.
“We let them in the game,” Newburyport coach Ed Gaudiano said. “It was a great high school football game; I have no regrets about how we played. We just have a tendency to shoot ourselves in the foot. Against a good team like Marblehead, you don’t recover from those. These are tough to swallow.”
After playing to a 14-14 tie at the end of regulation, the teams traded field goals in the first overtime. The field goals were considered wins for each of the defenses considering overtime rules state that each offense is to start first and goal from the 10.
Newburyport had first crack in the second overtime, and again settled for a Brandon Trego field goal after the first three plays from scrimmage resulted in four yards of offense. Marblehead put the game away on second and goal from the 8-yard-line. Quarterback Ian Maag looked right, and hit receiver Dylan Cressy in the back corner of the end zone for the game-clinching touchdown.
“They got in at the end, and we didn’t,” said Gaudiano. “That’s it. That’s the game.”
The game started to turn for Newburyport soon after Tyler Cusack broke his second long touchdown run midway through the third quarter. Cusack raced up the left sideline for a 49-yard score, falling just shy of an earlier touchdown run of 56 yards. Cusack had 19 carries for 140 yards and two scores on the day.