By Dan Harrison
---- — TOPSFIELD — With a chance to clinch a playoff spot last night, the Triton football team started strong on the road at Masconomet.
The Vikings (5-2 overall, 3-2 CAL) finished even stronger, scoring three fourth-quarter touchdowns en route to a 33-6 win over the Chieftains that gives Triton its first playoff berth in program history.
“Triton football has never been in the playoffs. I don’t care if it’s the new playoffs, we’re in,” said Vikings head coach Pat Sheehan. “It’s an exciting time for the school, and we’re really excited to find out who we’re playing.”
Justin Spillane scored fourth-quarter rushing touchdowns of 8 and 51 yards, and quarterback Bradley Whitman found the end zone for the second time on a 16-yard quarterback sneak as the Vikings finished off Masco (4-3).
In the first half, Triton out-gained the hosts 225-89 in total yardage. Whitman scored a 4-yard touchdown run on the opening drive of the game and then found Justin Cashman for an 11-yard touchdown pass in the second quarter. Cashman caught the ball a few yards short of the goal line, but leapt over a Chieftain defender and extended the pigskin across the goal line.
“Offensively, we’ve been pretty good all year and it all starts with the guys up front,” noted Sheehan. “Our quarterback/running back duo (Whitman/Spillane) has been sensational, and we’ve had contributions from all over the place. We don’t have a top wide receiver. It’s a true team offense.”
Defensively, the Vikings were equally impressive. Outside of a 20-yard touchdown pass from Troy Bunker to Corey Tines in the second quarter, Triton allowed just 133 yards of offense.
“We played physical football and won in the trenches,” explained Sheehan. “Masco has a heck of a football program and we matched them physically tonight and even exceeded it.”
Triton missed all five extra-point opportunities, but did get a 23-yard field goal from Daniel Cuddy as time expired in the first half.