AMESBURY — The North Reading football team is determined to prove it belonged in the Division 4 playoffs, and Amesbury was on the receiving end of that statement last evening.
The Hornets (5-4) posted a victory in Amesbury for the first time in program history, 42-28, at James J. Landry Stadium in the Division 4 North non-playoff bracket. Last night brought North Reading’s winning streak to three, and it marked the second straight week the Hornets scored 42 points.
Since the Hornets had their backs against the wall on the final week of the regular season — needing a win to remain in consideration for a playoff berth — they have recorded 14-plus point victories over Pentucket, Winthrop and North Reading. North Reading did not make the playoffs due to Hamilton-Wenham’s automatic entry as a top-two finisher in the Cape Ann League Baker Division.
“At one point, we thought we had a shot at the playoffs as the No. 8 team,” Wall said. “Hamilton-Wenham got the automatic bid, and that woke our kids up a little bit. All we talked about was showing people we deserved to be in the upper bracket.”
North Reading jumped to a 20-0 lead last night due, in part, to its ability to capitalize on Amesbury’s mistakes. The Indians started the game with an impressive drive inside the North Reading 10, but they didn’t come away with a single point after Mac Short was intercepted by Blake Tamlyn-Hayden in the end zone.
North Reading took control in the second quarter when Tamlyn-Hayden broke a 45-yard touchdown run to make it 14-0. On the ensuing kickoff, North Reading recovered a loose ball that deflected off an Amesbury player’s helmet, setting up another possession that started in Amesbury territory. C.J. McCarthy, who had 32 carries for 264 yards and five touchdowns, finished off that drive a few minutes later to give North Reading a 20-0 lead.