By Evan Mugford CORRESPONDENT
Newburyport Daily News
---- — WINTHROP— The hits keep on coming for the hobbled Triton Vikings (1-8).
After starting the season 1-1, the Vikings have lost their seventh straight contest – their most recent setback coming against the home-advantaged Winthrop Vikings (4-5), a team that surged to a 28-0 halftime lead and never looked back, winning by the score of 40-14.
In spite of their unfortunate record, Triton coach Patrick Sheehan and his cast of Vikings are determined and willing to face adversity head-on.
“It’s been tough, but the kids are sticking together,” Sheehan said. “We’re young, and our lack of experience shows, but we’re not discouraged. We had eight sophomores start on offense and six sophomores start on defense, and sure, they’re feeling these growing pains, but they’re working, and learning.”
Highlights for the Vikings came during the second half.
In the third quarter, sophomore quarterback hooked up with senior Travis Kneeland for a 40-yard touchdown, with triton sophomore Tyler Figueredo rolling into the end-zone for the two-point conversion, and in the fourth, sophomore Luke Boyle used his speed to return a 70-yard kickoff return.
In the midst of such a rough stretch, Sheehan noted the admirable play and leadership of his seniors, most notably captain Joe Ruocco, who willingly stepped in to play offensive guard – an optimistic groundwork that Sheehan believes will trickle through his younger players.
“It’s rough, but everyone’s playing hard and I’m very proud of their effort. These guys never take plays off,” said Sheehan. “We obviously want to end this season as positively as possible for the seniors, and come next week against Saugus, we’ll give it our all.”