GEORGETOWN — The season has taken a 180-degree turn for the Amesbury Indians.
Strong offensive performances by quarterback Mac Short and halfback Ben Cullen, along with a solid overall effort by the defense, helped post a 35-0 shutout over the struggling Georgetown Royals Saturday in a Cape Ann League Division 2 battle at Georgetown High School.
It was Amesbury’s third consecutive victory after being beaten soundly in its first three games. The Indians, who have 16 sophomores on this year’s squad, improved to 3-3 overall, but most importantly 3-1 and in sole possession of second place in the CAL Div. 2 standings.
“It took us a while to iron things out, but our offense is coming together and we’re playing much better on defense,” said Indians head coach Thom Connors. “We were a young team when we started the season. But now that we’ve gotten a little beyond midseason, those sophomores aren’t really sophomores anymore. They’re gaining more and more confidence each week.”
The Amesbury defense intercepted three passes. Ryan Foley picked one off in the first half, while Taber Smith and Spencer Fournier hauled in second-half interceptions.
Short attempted just one pass, which was ruled an interception even though it appeared to hit the ground. As it turned out, the Indians were able to take advantage of great field position all game and didn’t need to worry about their air attack.
Short rambled for 110 yards on eight carries, including a TD run from one yard out in the second quarter and a 64-yard dash late in the third period. He was also a perfect 5-for-5 on his point-after kick attempts.
Cullen (49 yards rushing and three touchdowns) got things off to a rousing start for the visitors by returning the game-opening kickoff 85 yards to the end zone, putting Amesbury in front just 12 seconds into the contest.