, Newburyport, MA


November 26, 2012

Seize the momentum

Amesbury and Lynnfield converge for fiery NEC/CAL showdown

AMESBURY — If momentum makes matchups, then football fans need look no further than the Cape Ann League/Northeastern Conference showdown between the Division 3 champion Amesbury Indians (9-2 overall, 5-0 league) and the Division 4 champion Lynnfield Pioneers (8-2 overall, 5-0 league).

The two teams will converge at Lowell’s Cawley Stadium tomorrow night at 5:15 with nearly identical records, but more impressively, the teams concluded their regular seasons with a combined 15-0 record.

After starting the season with a convincing win over Manchester Essex, the Indians lost back-to-back games — a narrow 31-27 defeat at the hands of Lynnfield in Week 2, and then a disconcerting 21-7 loss to North Reading, a team who, like the Pioneers, lost only two games all season.

Likewise, the Pioneers also started 1-2. They lost their first game to Newburyport, 7-6, and then to out-of-conference foe Bishop Fenwick, 14-7.

“Both teams are different teams from when we first met, and both have come a long way,” said Amesbury coach Thom Connors. “We both had frustrating losses in between, but we’ve both managed to find our own way.”

More than any other team in their respective divisions, both Amesbury and Lynnfield have learned from their mistakes. Neither the Indians nor the Pioneers have lost a regular season game since Sept. 21. As a result, the Pioneers are riding a seven-game winning streak, while the Indians’ winning streak is now up to eight — a CAL/NEC mark only bettered by the undefeated Division 2 Beverly Panthers.

“No team is the same since the second or third week of the season. Our teams are just simply better,” said Lynnfield coach Neal Weidman. “We’re more skilled, less sloppy. At the start of the year, things just weren’t as precise. Everything has improved.”

Beyond the number of wins, the two teams have displayed considerable resolve — the true zenith of championship character.

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