IPSWICH — It was a numbers game Friday night for the Ipswich High football team. The Tigers spotted visiting Pentucket a 28-point lead and couldn’t stage a miracle comeback in the fourth quarter, falling 28-14.
The loss to the Sachems dropped Ipswich to 0-7, with the team struggling to fill spots vacated by the 22 seniors who wrapped up their careers earlier this year. With just about everyone on the team playing on both sides of the ball, a couple of injuries to key players have really hurt the team this fall.
Pentucket coach Dan Leary said his team had a tough game with the depleted Tigers.
“I give Ipswich a ton of credit. I know they’re down some guys, they’re low in numbers but those backs that they have and the line really battled us all night,” Leary said. “Defensively they got seven guys up in the box, they pressed us to the outside, and they made us work for everything we got tonight.”
Pentucket led 21-0 at the half on a touchdown run by quarterback Chase Dwight, a 5-yard scoring run by James Igoe, and a 32-yard touchdown catch by Jackson Rich.
Ipswich had a couple of chances to punch the ball in in the first half, but turned the ball over inside the ten to kill a possession, and then Sachem Brandon Lee picked off a pass in the end zone to stall another drive.
In the third quarter, Ipswich’s Eliot Donovan grabbed a fumble at the Tiger 25, but Ipswich couldn’t convert. Pentucket got the ball back and Dwight hit Che Condon for a 29-yard scoring play, with bulk of the work on the catch done by Condon in the far corner of the end zone.
Looking at a 28-point deficit with 12 minutes to play, Tiger quarterback Aiden Arnold hit David Lonergan for two scores. The first covered 35 yards, the second good for 21 yards. On the second TD pass, Arnold did a lot of scrambling before Lonergan got open at the 10 and raced past two defensive backs to get into the end zone.
“My assignment is to just go for a block on the edge,” Lonergan said. “Then I saw Aiden rolling out to the left and I said I’m just going to throw my hands up and hope he sees me, and that’s just what happened. I got the ball and ran for an easy touchdown.”
For Tigers coach Zack Lamkin, it’s been a struggle this fall, but his team will regroup and get ready for Newburyport next weekend.
“It’s tough, with the numbers, the kids played hard, we left some plays out there, we made some mistakes and kind of beat ourselves,” Lamkin said. “Defensively I thought we played pretty well, we’re missing some kids with injuries; it’s tough. We didn’t make the plays tonight, hopefully next week we will.”
Quarterback Aiden Arnold said the team has to regroup, and focus on getting that first win.
“I think it really comes down to us staying healthy. I think we’ve got a great group of guys, a lot of guys with a lot of heart,” Arnold said. “I think we’ve got a surprisingly good team and we can surprise some guys this season. It’s getting more difficult with the guys going down, but I think if we keep at it, keep grinding it, we can be a pretty god team.”
Pentucket 28 Ipswich 14
at Jack Welch Field, Ipswich Pentucket(6-1) 7 14 7 0 28
Ipswich (0-7) 0 0 0 14 14
P- Chase Dwight 5 run (Henry Hartford kick)
P- James Igoe 5 run (Hartford kick)
P- Adam Payne 32 pass from Dwight (Hartford kick)
P- Che Condon 29 pass from Dwight (Hartford kick)
I- David Lonergan 35 pass from Aiden Arnold (rush failed)
I- Lonergan 21 pass from Arnold (Lonergan rush)
RUSHING: PENTUCKET (26-246): Johnny Igoe 10-89, Chase Dwight 8-81, Adam Payne 2-37, James Igoe 3-25, Caleb Meisner 2-11, Jackson Rich 1-3; IPSWICH (29-210): David Lonergan 14-103, Henry Wright 10-68, Aiden Arnold 4-31, Matt McGowan 1-8.
PASSING:Pentucket — Dwight 7-11-160-2-0, Meisner 1-1-5-0-0; Ipswich -- Arnold 5-9-96-0-2.
RECEIVING: Pentucket -- Che Condon 3-80, Adam Payne 3-66, Brandon Lee 1-14, Frank Majewski 1-5; Ipswich -- Lonergan 3-78, Henry Wright 2-18.