Sep. 18—METHUEN — For a few moments, it appeared that a dramatic come-from-behind victory was within Methuen's grasp.
Rangers quarterback Drew Eason hit Jason Silverio on a crossing pattern, the receiver was hit in the legs and somersaulted into the end zone for a 13-yard touchdown that gave Methuen a five-point lead with 5:41 left in the game.
But it would not be a happy ending for the Rangers.
Marshfield quickly moved down the field to grab a 1-point lead, a desperation Methuen drive stalled at the Rams' 33-yard line with 0:28 left and the Rangers dropped a thriller, 34-33 on Friday night. Marshfield (1-1) nearly upset St. John's Prep in its opener a week ago (47-42).
"I can't even be mad at the guys," said Methuen (1-1) coach Tom Ryan. "We showed tonight that we are tough and play so hard. This one will sting, but they battled, and I am so proud of the way they played."
It was a true breakout performance for sophomore Ranger QB Eason. After throwing for 74 yards in his first varsity start last week, Eason completed 24 of 34 passes for 355 yards and his first three career varsity touchdown passes. He also ran for two touchdowns.
After Marshfield scored on the game's opening drive, Eason drove the Rangers down the field and found Silverio for a 38-yard touchdown.
He added to the Ranger lead a possession later, completing six passes and then capping the drive with a 1-yard QB keeper for a touchdown. He added his second 1-yard TD run on the first possession of the second half, to make the score 21-13.
After another Marshfield score, Eason struck right back by tossing a swing pass to JP Muniz, who took it the rest of the way for a 62-yard touchdown.
Eason saved his best drive for the fourth. He found his freshman brother Shane Easton for a 15-yard completion, setting up his 13-yard TD to Silverio to put the Rangers ahead 33-28. On the final drive, he hit Will McKinnon on a 31-yard pass he nearly broke for a winning touchdown.
"Drew is already a great player for us, and he's still young, he's only a sophomore," said Ryan. "He's composed, he's tough and he's learning every game. I'm very, very impressed by him."
Muniz led Methuen with 112 receiving yards on nine catches and added eight rushes for 81 yards. Silverio caught four passes for 91 yards,
On defense for the Rangers, who next travel to Lowell on Friday (7 p.m.), Andrew Wannaphong had a sack and Alex Borrelli made eight tackles.
"We executed a lot of things," said Ryan. "We made a few long third downs. We compete for balls. We work hard. I may go to bed sad about the loss, but I'll wake up happy knowing our kids are tough as heck."
Marshfield 34, Methuen 33
Marshfield (1-1): 6 7 15 6 — 34
Methuen (1-1): 8 7 12 6 — 33
Ma — Jessie Phaneuf-Moniz 5 pass from Owen Masterson (rush failed), 7:58
Me — Jason Silverio 38 pass from Drew Eason (Andon Zannini pass from Alex Borrelli), 5:14
Me — Eason 1 run (Owen Aboutoui kick), 7:39
Ma — Jack Marini 4 run (Ethan Grindle kick), 5:31
Me — Eason 1 run (kick blocked), 8:48
Ma — Pat Yesinko 60 pass from Masterson (Jason O'Keefe rush), 7:13
Me — JP Muniz 62 pass from Eason (kick failed), 6:03
Ma — O'Keefe 39 pass from Masterson (Grindle kick), 3:59
Me — Silverio 13 pass from Eason (pass failed), 5:41
Ma — Masterson 14 run (pass failed), 2:31
RUSHING: Methuen (26-102) — JP Muniz 8-81, Drew Eason 16-14, Shane Eason 1-2, Anesti Tourma 1-5; Marshfield (32-162) — Owen Masterson 10-52, Jack Marini 9-38, Yesinko 6-21, Jason O'Keefe 7-51
PASSING: Methuen — Drew Eason 24-34-0, 355; Marshfield — Masterson 13-22-0, 272
RECEIVING: Methuen — Muniz 9-112, Jason Silverio 4-91, Braedan Carter 4-54, Tourma 4-41, Will McKinnon 2-42, Shane Eason 1-15; Marshfield — O'Keefe 4-99, Marini 3-52, Yesinko 1-60, Kyle Scholz 2-29, Ean Scholz 1-24, Sam Sullivan 2-8