Football Picks: Rested Amesbury looking to make statement against Pentucket

Kirk R. Williamson photoAmesbury's Brady Dore cuts upfield as teammates JT Tilton (4) and Tim Gilleo (8) move in to make a block on Manchester Essex's Jesse Oliver.

We are officially in the home stretch, as this weekend Amesbury, Pentucket and Triton will play their penultimate games in hopes of heading into rivalry week with some momentum. Newburyport unfortunately will not play due to the school’s recent COVID-19 outbreak, but hopefully the team will get good news going into the final week against Amesbury. In the meantime, what can we expect from this weekend’s two remaining matchups?

Pentucket at Amesbury

Saturday, 1 p.m.

For one reason or another Amesbury has flown under the radar all season, but with a big performance on Saturday against Pentucket the Indians could firmly establish themselves as one of the top teams in the Cape Ann League. The Indians are currently 3-1 and riding a three-game winning streak, and that has come since a 17-14 loss to undefeated Ipswich on opening night that keeps looked better as Ipswich has emerged as a juggernaut within the CAL.

Amesbury will enter Saturday’s game well-rested coming off the bye, and overall the Indians haven’t allowed a point since March 20 against Hamilton-Wenham, with back to back shutouts against Manchester Essex and North Reading since then. Pentucket, meanwhile, is coming off a tough loss at Newburyport and the team’s continuing struggles in the run game could be a huge problem against a team that lives and dies in the trenches. THE PICK: Amesbury 24, Pentucket 7

Lynnfield at Triton

Saturday, 1 p.m.

Triton is coming off its best rushing performance of the season, with quarterback Kyle Odoy and running back Kyle Scibetta both topping 100 yards for the first time this season. Scibetta in particular had a huge game, going for 211 yards from scrimmage and three total touchdowns, and Triton’s receivers collectively played well.

An offensive performance like that will keep Triton in the game against anybody, but defensively the Vikings need to do a better job. In most of Triton’s games so far the team has fallen into holes just too big for the offense to dig itself out of, so the number one order of business on Saturday will be getting stops against Lynnfield’s explosive passing offense. When the two sides met last time Lynnfield hung six passing touchdowns on Triton, but while the Vikings should probably be better prepared in the rematch, covering receivers Jack Ford and Bakari Mitchell for a full four quarters will be a tall task. THE PICK: Lynnfield 35, Triton 24

Sneaky great season

A quick note on Newburyport football. Even before Friday’s game against North Reading was canceled, Newburyport quarterback Finn Sullivan was never going to have the chance to post the kind of gaudy numbers that might jump off the page years down the road thanks to this season’s condensed schedule. Yet even amid a shortened season, Sullivan has quietly posted one of the best seasons by a Clipper quarterback in recent memory.

Through five games, Sullivan leads the area in passing yards (583), completion percentage (53 of 80, 66.3%), touchdown passes (7) and rushing yards (379) and is also among the area leaders in yards per carry (7.2 on 53 carries) and rushing touchdowns (4). Those numbers stack up well against most Newburyport quarterbacks who have played full seasons over the past decade, and pro-rated over a full 10-plus games they would represent the best season by a Clipper quarterback since Connor Wile in 2011.

That year Wile went 159 for 263 (60.4%) with 2,006 yards and 21 touchdowns in 12 starts to lead Newburyport to a 9-3 record and its most recent CAL title. By comparison, Sullivan’s current numbers averaged over 12 games would be 127 for 192 with 1399 yards, 17 touchdown passes and 909 rushing yards with 10 rushing touchdowns.

 

Fall 2 Picks

Last Week: 2-0

Season Record: 9-5

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