Newburyport (2-1 overall, 1-0 CAL)
Newburyport has won each of the last three meetings with Pentucket dating back to the 2010 season. In both 2010 and 2011, the Clippers came back from two-score, second-half deficits to secure wins. Last season, the Clippers shut out the Sachems 14-0. The last time Newburyport lost to Pentucket was 2009, when the Sachems squeaked out a 3-2 victory in the rain.
Newburyport has outscored its three opponents by a combined score of 38-6 in the second quarter. The Clippers have yet to have a 100-yard rusher or receiver in a game. After the opening-week loss to Lynnfield, the Clippers outscored their next two opponents, Ipswich and North Reading, by a combined score of 73-14. In last week’s victory over North Reading, Newburyport had three scoring plays of 50-plus yards in the first half — an 85-yard kick return by Drew Bourdeau, a 51-yard reception by Jonathan Bajko, and a 57-yard reception by Ethan Northey.
Michael Shay will earn his fourth start at quarterback for the Clippers. He is the third player to earn a start for the Clippers at quarterback in the last 10 games.
Pentucket (2-0 overall, 1-0 CAL)
The Sachems have split the last six meetings with Newburyport dating back to the 2007 season. In that stretch, the Sachems have outscored the Clippers 79-74. Of the six meetings, four were decided by a field goal or less. The Sachems have already earned victories this season against their other two River Rivals, Amesbury and Triton. They last swept their three River Rivals in 2007.
Pentucket had two consecutive bye weeks to start the season for the first time in school history. All seven games on Pentucket’s schedule are against Cape Ann League Large foes. The Sachems have outscored their two opponents, Amesbury and Triton, by a combined score of 34-13 in the first half. Pentucket has yet to have a 100-yard rusher or receiver in a game. Ryan Kuchar is in his second season as Pentucket’s starting quarterback. Jeff Porter leads the team with three touchdowns. The three scores covered a total of 117 yards.
The recent history
2012: Newburyport 14, Pentucket 0
2011: Newburyport 20, Pentucket 19
2010: Newburyport 21, Pentucket 18
2009: Pentucket 3, Newburyport 2
2008: Pentucket 19, Newburyport 0
2007: Pentucket 20, Newburyport 17