DANVERS — The Falcons couldn't slay the Dragon last night.
Nolan Dragon scored a pair of touchdowns to lead Pentucket to its first win of the year last night, a 19-0 shutout over Danvers at rainy Dr. Deering Stadium.
"They beat us in all phases of the game," said Danvers head coach Sean Rogers, his team now 1-2 after suffering its second straight loss. "Pentucket outplayed us, and that Dragon is just a great back. (Coach) Steve Hayden had them ready to come to our stadium and take the game.
"We lost this game starting on Monday in practice, and that continued all week. Then, we came out and played like we practiced. We had some success against Winthrop in the first game but didn't do the little things against Peabody last week. That continued tonight — and if we don't make corrections, it will haunt us all year."
Dragon rushed for 79 yards on 16 carries and set the tone for the Sachems on the opening drive. Pentucket ate up almost six minutes with a ball control 68-yard, 11-play drive with Dragon barreling in from the 10. Cody Rothwell kicked the extra point to give Pentucket a 7-0 lead.
The Falcons drove to the Pentucket 19-yard line early in the second quarter, capitalizing on a quarterback keeper by Paul Nicolo to pick up a first down and an 18-yard pass to Anthony Garron for another first down at the Sachems' 26. Alex Valles rushed for five yards, but the drive broke down when Nick Valles was tackled for a 7-yard loss. After the Falcons picked up a 15-yard personal foul penalty, they were forced to punt.
The Sachems started at their own 2-yard line after a good punt by Nick Palazola, but it took them only four plays to get in the end zone again when Ryan Kuchar completed a 95-yard pass to Tim Freiermuth. He caught the ball at his own 25-yard line, got behind his defender and raced 75 yards for the score with 7:40 left in the half.
Dragon put the game out of reach with 7:16 remaining when he raced up the left sideline for a 26-yard touchdown, breaking tackles along the way.
"He's strong (6-foot-2, 210 pounds) and hard to bring down," Hayden said. "The kids did a good job up front all game."
"We saw Danvers come back to beat Winthrop (in their opener) and almost come back to beat Peabody, so we were a little concerned coming in. Sean is doing a good job with that team. We know we have to be ready to play right from the start, and we were fortunate to get that first touchdown early."
It was a tough night for Danvers backs as the Falcons ran for only 73 yards. Nick Valles was held to just 1 yard on eight carries, and Alex Valles had 14 on seven carries. The leading rusher was fullback Palazola, who was 9-for-31.