Duxbury’s defense shuts down Middleboro

MIDDLEBORO — If defense wins championships then Duxbury proved Saturday that another trip to the Division 2 postseason might be in the future. The Green Dragons defense forced three turnovers while allowing only 33 total yards of offense in a 28-0 win on the road against Middleboro.

“It starts with Marshall McCarthy, the middle linebacker, and the D-line does a great job,” said Duxbury coach Dave Maimaron. “They just play great team defense, everyone is doing their job controlling the gap, and when we do that we are pretty good.”

It was the 30th straight victory for the two-time defending Division 2 state champions, 22 shy of the state record of 52 straight by Acton-Boxboro.

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The Middleboro defense played up to the level of Duxbury’s in the first half by shutting out the Dragons in the first 22 minutes.

Duxbury got the kick to start the second half and got a spark from junior quarterback Sean McCarthy.

McCarthy had been struggling throwing the ball, so instead he used his feet. On fourth and 4 from the Middleboro 34-yard line, McCarthy ran up the middle for 18 yards and a first down. Two plays later, Jon Hurvitz ran for a 9-yard score to put Duxbury on the board.

“We didn’t really produce on offense [in the first half]. The defense was keeping us in the game and we needed to buckle down and step it up,” said Hurvitz. “We just went back to the basics [in the second half], just went back to our basic run plays and pass plays and tried to move down the field.”

After the Dragon defense got an interception from JP O’Neal on the next Middleboro possession, Duxbury was again facing a fourth down and again McCarthy’s number was called. This time on fourth and 3 from the Middleboro 29, McCarthy bulldozed ahead for a 4-yard gain to move the chains again. He would finish the drive running for a 15-yard TD.

The Duxbury defense forced another three and out, the sixth of the game, on the next Middleboro (2-2) possession, and the offense would eventually score on a 2-yard run by Marshall McCarthy.

With 6½ minutes left in the fourth, Shane Sullivan intercepted a pass at the Middleboro 45 and returned it to the 4, setting up the final Duxbury TD of the day.

The Dragons did not allow a first down until they were up, 28-0, with 4:13 left.

Although the Dragons improved to 4-0, Maimaron knows his team has work to do before next weekend’s game with Xaverian.

“We need to get better every week and work hard this week. We obviously have a huge test on Saturday with Xaverian coming to Duxbury. We are going to have to step up our game, that’s for sure.”

The Sachems fell to 2-2 but played well, especially on defense in the first half. “Middleboro is a much improved team,” said Maimaron. “These guys are headed in the right direction.”