“McCarthy, Falcons run wild in win over Classical”
By Harold Rivera | October 5, 2018
LYNN — The Classical football team knew Danvers’ running game would be tough to contain coming into Friday night’s game at Manning Field. In the end, however, all the Rams could do was tip their caps to Falcons running back Matt McCarthy.
A senior, McCarthy powered the Falcons to a 29-20 win over Classical with 239 rushing yards on 33 carries and three touchdown runs.
“We couldn’t stop their running game, simple as that,” Classical coach Brian Vaughan said. “It’s always tough to beat a team when they can run right down your throat. They did a little bit of that. Even when we had some success, they’d come back and overcome it. It’s tough to beat a team when you can’t do those things.”
Danvers quarterback Brendan Treacy completed 7-of-11 pass attempts for 103 yards. Treacy threw one touchdown pass, a 10-yard toss to Almany Vargas.
Classical quarterback Keith Ridley went 14-of-25 for 190 passing yards and tossed touchdowns to Nashaun Butler (9 catches, 120 yards) and Marcus Tucker.
Danvers wasted no time setting the tone in the early going. The Falcons scored on their opening drive on a McCarthy 6-yard plunge (Max Leete PAT) to grab a 7-0 lead with 7:52 remaining in the first quarter. After Classical went three-and-out, Treacy linked up with Vargas for a 10-yard touchdown pass. Leete’s PAT split the uprights and Danvers led 14-0 at the end of the first quarter.
Things continued to spiral downward for the Rams early in the second quarter, when McCarthy ran for a 52-yard touchdown with 9:07 on the clock (Leete PAT).
“Matt’s a dynamic kid,” Danvers coach Ryan Nolan said. “Tonight we saw how tough and physical he was finishing runs. Classical No. 2’s (Chase Buono) a heck of a football player. He probably had about 20 tackles tonight. He never stopped coming. When you have a line blocking, a kid running that way and a quarterback that can sprint out, you can be pretty successful.”
Classical found the board two minutes later on Ridley’s 24-yard touchdown toss to Butler (conversion failed). The Rams looked to inch closer in the closing seconds but turned the ball over on downs. Nico Galeazzi intercepted a Treacy pass to end the half with Danvers leading 21-6.
“(At halftime) we just talked about trying to make some plays on offense, trying to make a little bit more plays on defense, cleaning some stuff up,” Vaughan said. “We tried to make some adjustments that worked at times and other times they didn’t work. That’s part of coaching.”
The Falcons marched down to Classical’s 9-yard line on the opening drive of the third quarter but David Barnard recovered a Danvers fumble to keep the guests out of the end zone. Classical couldn’t get anything going offensively and the Rams trailed 21-6 heading into the fourth quarter.
McCarthy’s 9-yard touchdown run with 7:44 remaining in the game (Leete PAT) bumped the Falcons’ lead to 28-6. Refusing to quit, Classical scored back-to-back touchdowns on Tucker’s 45-yard reception and Ridley’s 3-yard keeper but Classical’s late rally fell short in the 29-20 loss.
The Rams (2-3) host Somerville next Friday (7).
“I love this team,” Vaughan said. “I give them all the credit in the world. They kept fighting. We’ll fix some things, we’ll get right and next Friday’s another battle.
“We’re excited for the opportunity we have next week to play again. We’ll move forward and prepare for that.”
Danvers (5-0) hosts Beverly next Friday (7).