The Sachems have won each of their last two games by less than a touchdown when they made defensive stops inside their own 10-yard-line as time expired. First, they sealed a 19-13 victory over Triton Sept. 28 when the defense swarmed Triton’s leading rusher, Justin Spillane, at the 9-yard-line, and Triton couldn’t get off another play before time expired. Last Friday, Pentucket beat Newburyport 14-7. The final play saw Newburyport quarterback Michael Shay attempt a pass in the end zone, only to have Pentucket defensive back Ryan Kuchar knock the ball down.
Pentucket has yet to allow more than 13 points in a game this season. The Sachems have dominated the line of scrimmage in all three games. The line’s top performance came against Amesbury, when the Sachems rushed for 297 yards and allowed only 75 rushing yards.
The rivalry between Pentucket and Masconomet peaked in terms of intensity in 1963 when the undefeated teams met in West Newbury before 5,000 fans. That game, which Masconomet won 22-0, was delayed a week by the assassination of John F. Kennedy. Masco won the CAL title under coach Walt Roberts, the namesake of the field in which tonight’s game will be played. Pentucket was coached by Tom Flahery, who is now an assistant for the Sachems.
The Chieftains have won a Cape Ann League title five of the last sevens years. They collected CAL Large titles in 2006, 2007, 2008 and 2009. Last year, they won the Northeastern Conference/Cape Ann League Division 2 title.
Masconomet quarterback Troy Bunker has completed 19 of 38 passes for 432 yards and four touchdowns this season. He is the third member of his family to play for a CAL champion Masco team. His older brother, Evan, was the CAL Player of the Year in 2009. He is now a senior running back at Trinity College. His older brother, Eric Bunker, was CAL Player of the Year in 2006. He went on to play running back at Amherst College, where he was named NESCAC Player of the Year in 2010.