Monday Morning Blitz: Amesbury football's dominant defense harkens back to title-winning 2018 team

Mac Cerullo, The Daily News of Newburyport, Mass.
·3 min read

Apr. 19—Dominant, not unprecedented

Amesbury football's run of three straight shutouts is impressive and speaks to how dominant the team's defense has been over the past month, but while the recent shutout streak is remarkable, it's not unprecedented. In fact, just two seasons ago, Amesbury football recorded four shutouts during its 9-2 CAL Baker championship season in 2018. Though those shutouts weren't consecutive, the Indians blanked Pentucket, Triton, Saugus and Newburyport (plus Manchester Essex technically if you count their forfeit) and ultimately wound up allowing 10.4 points per game. This year's Amesbury team, by comparison, is allowing 5.8 points per game.

Scibetta picking up steam

While it took him some time to find his footing, Triton senior Kyle Scibetta has been the area's hottest runner by a mile over the past two weeks. Since being held to just seven yards on five carries by Newburyport in Week 3, Scibetta has posted back-to-back games with more than 130 yards rushing. Saturday he was the workhorse for the Vikings, going for a game-high 133 yards on 20 carries to help Triton nearly pull off a thrilling upset of CAL Kinney champion Lynnfield, and that came after he went for a career-high 144 yards in Week 5's loss to North Reading. Scibetta now has 376 yards rushing in five games this season.

Ward's big milestone

While his high school football career is ending earlier than he would have preferred, Newburyport senior Trevor Ward did achieve a significant career milestone this Fall 2 season, becoming only the fourth player in Newburyport High history to record 1,000 career receiving yards. Ward will graduate with 1,011 career receiving yards and he also ranks fourth all-time with 66 career catches.

Under better circumstances Ward probably could have caught Andrew Sokol (73 catches), Kyle LeBlanc (72 catches), JJ Bajko (1,086 yards) and moved into the top 10 in career touchdown catches (he has seven, one outside the list), but even in a full-length season Brett Fontaine's all-time program records (121 catches, 1,754 yards) would have likely remained out of reach.

Unsung heroes

Between its preseason COVID pause, its all-road schedule and its recent run of blowout losses, this hasn't been an easy season for Pentucket football. But amid the adversity Pentucket has gotten some strong performances that bode well for the team's future. In particular, junior Will Sutton recorded an interception against Amesbury in the end zone on Saturday and also caught a touchdown against CAL Kinney champion Lynnfield in the team's opener, and sophomore Henry Walsh has stood out on the line and on defense in ways that never show up in the box score.

Coming up next

Friday, April 23

Pentucket at Triton, 5 p.m.

Week 6 Leaders

Rushing

Name, School Car Yds TD

K. Scibetta, Tri. 20 133 0

B. Dore, Ames. 12 77 1

K. Donovan, Ames. 11 70 1

K. Odoy, Tri. 16 68 1

J. Tilton, Ames. 7 53 1

Passing

Name, School Att Com Yds TD

D. MacDonald, Ames. 7 10 122 0

K. Odoy, Tri. 4 6 64 2

C. Dwight, Pent. 2 5 10 0

Receiving

Name, School C Yds TD

K. Donovan, Ames. 2 55 0

J. Leonard, Tri. 3 53 2

T. Mazzaglia, Ames. 3 37 0

B. Dore, Ames. 1 21 0

K. Scibetta, Tri. 1 12 0

CAL Standings

Kinney Division

School Record Win%

Lynnfield 5-1 .833

Newburyport 3-2 .600

North Reading 3-2 .600

Pentucket 0-4 .000

Triton 0-5 .000

Baker Division

School Record Win%

Ipswich 5-0 1.00

Amesbury 4-1 .800

Ham-Wen 2-3 .400

Man-Essex 1-5 .166