BY DAN GUTTENPLAN SPORTS EDITOR
Newburyport Daily News
---- — AMESBURY — The Amesbury football team’s offense is becoming a scary proposition for future opponents.
The Indians (6-2 overall, 2-0 Cape Ann League) scored at least 35 points for the fifth game in a row last evening in a 35-7 victory over Winthrop (3-5, 1-2) at Landry Stadium.
Since Amesbury dropped to 1-2 with a 21-7 loss to North Reading Sept. 21, the team’s offense has been as efficient as any team in the 24-team CAL/NEC conference, with the exception of Beverly. Amesbury has averaged 38.4 points during the program’s first five-game winning streak since its Super Bowl season of 2008. Beverly (7-0), the class of CAL/NEC Divison 2 so far this season, has averaged 38.7 points per game on the season.
Last night, Amesbury opened up its passing attack with 6-foot-3 receiver Devlin Gobeil at full strength for the first time since suffering an injury in Week 2. Winthrop was unable to interrupt the connection between Amesbury quarterback Matt Talbot and Devlin Gobeil with man-to-man coverage in the first half.
Gobeil had six catches for 145 yards — all in the first half — before leaving the game for good with leg cramps during the opening series of the second half. Talbot didn’t stop passing, and his final line was 15 for 22 for 248 yards with two touchdowns and one interception.
“We decided to spread it out a little more than we had in the last few weeks,” Amesbury coach Thom Connors said. “That plan was successful.”
Amesbury led 14-0 at halftime, and it could have been worse for Winthrop. Talbot made his only major mistake late in the second quarter when he threw an interception to Winthrop defensive back Zach Deeb in the end zone.
Amesbury continued to move the ball at will in the third quarter, scoring touchdowns on its first two drives. By the middle of the fourth quarter, Connors substituted one defensive player after another in order to give his younger players varsity experience. Winthrop put its first points on the board with 0:22 remaining in the game.
Gobeil added another dimension to the Amesbury offense from the opening drive, when Talbot connected with him on a 31-yard completion on third-and-10. Winthrop had Amesbury on the brink of opening the game with a three-and-out, but Gobeil’s diving catch in traffic kept the drive alive.
That catch also set the tone for the way Amesbury attacked Winthrop. Talbot threw deep to Gobeil often, whether the receiver was covered or not. Nearly every time, the receiver won a jump-ball situation, coming down with first-down catches.
“He wasn’t back at full strength until tonight,” Connors said. “This was really his first night back. I’m not sure if they saw him or expected him. That was part of our game plan, and we executed it well.”
Connors called on his fullback, Perry Mroz, to finish drives inside the 10-yard line. The 215-pound ball-carrier had seven carries for 63 yards and two touchdowns. The coach’s son, Tommy Connors, continued to put up big numbers. He had six catches for 70 yards and a touchdown. Talbot continued to serve as a dual threat behind center. He added 54 rushing yards on nine carries to his 248 passing yards. He also had a 7-yard rushing touchdown to complement his two touchdown passes.
The Amesbury defense had somewhat of a bend-but-don’t-break performance, allowing 182 yards of total offense. However, the Indians had a shutout until the final seconds of the game. Amesbury’s Pat Scanlon had an interception to go along with a 4-yard touchdown reception. Gobeil also had an interception on the defensive side of the ball.
Amesbury 35, Winthrop 7
at Landry Stadium, Amesbury
Winthrop — 0 0 0 7 — 7
Amesbury — 7 7 14 7 — 35
A — Perry Mroz 4 run (Mac Short kick), 2:29
A — Tommy Connors 16 reception from Matt Talbot (Short kick), 7:28
A — Mroz 3 run (Short kick), 6:57
A — Pat Scanlon 4 reception from Talbot (Short kick), 0:04
A — Talbot 7 run (Short kick), 4:51
W — Bo Diaz 4 reception from Dylan Driscoll (Eric Castro kick), 0:22
Rushing: A — Talbot 9-54-1; Mroz 7-63-2; Ben Cullen 6-23; Connors 2-11; Alex Mercier 1-7; W — Jordan Corbett-Frank 16-54; David Gallo 7-20; Bo Diaz 5-10; Jordan Atkins 4-8; Vinny Sparacino 3-15; Driscoll 2-11.
Passing: A — Talbot 15-22-248-2-1; W — Driscoll 9-14-64-1-2.
Receiving: A — Devlin Gobeil 6-145; Connors 6-70-1; Ben Cullen 1-15; Shawn Bannon 1-14; Pat Scanlon 1-4; W — Diaz 3-19-1; Corbett-Frank 2-7; Atkins 1-14; Sparacino 1-10; David Capone 1-9; Jake McKinnon 1-5.