WEYMOUTH, Mass. — It wasn’t the way that David Maimaron would have drawn it up, or probably liked to see his Duxbury football team advance to the Div. 2 Super Bowl, but a grind-it-out win to run the Dragons' winning streak to 25 is exactly how it went down last night.
The Dragons improved their record to 12-0 on the season, with a tight 7-0 victory over King Philip (9-2) in the Div. 2 Eastern Mass. semifinals at Weymouth High.
Jon Hurvitz scored the lone touchdown for the Dragons, and Greg Williams came away with a game-saving interception in the final seconds, with the Warriors barreling down towards the goal-line for a tying score, to set up a date with the winner of Reading and Tewksbury at Gillette Stadium on Saturday.
Maimaron’s team has probably won a football game in every which way during the 25-gamer, and he knows that having that experience in the playoffs and on the big stage is something that can’t be overlooked, especially in one-score games.
“We’ve been in these situations before,” said Maimaron. “That’s something that kind of helped us. Our big game experience, I think that’s what kind of helped us a little bit here. The fact that we’ve done this before and that was a slight advantage we had, and we needed every advantage we could get against that team.”
Warrior 'D' strong early: It was no secret the formula the Dragons have been using all season against their opponent. Matt O’Keefe came into the game with 32 touchdown passes to only seven interceptions this season, and the talented quarterback can run just as well he can throw.
The Warriors' plan was to punish him and send pressure at him from all angles, and that’s exactly what they did. O’Keefe finished the game 6-for-16 or 60 yards and only picked up 51 yards on 12 carries. The Warriors defense put a shot on the Dragons quarterback whenever they could, as they finished with four sacks and a number of hurried throws.
“They came out with an awesome game plan,” said O’Keefe. “I had no idea really where they were coming from.”
The Dragons best chance to score early came late in the first quarter. Reilly Naton hit Don Webber on a fake punt for a 15-yard gain to keep the Dragons drive alive.
On third and goal from the two yard line, O’Keefe scrambled left and looked like he could have gotten the corner on the play, but decided to heave it at the last minute to a receiver in the corner of the end zone and his pass fell harmlessly to the turf. Then on fourth down, O’Keefe was stuffed at the 1-yard line as he tried to got over center.
Dragons finally get in: Duxbury looked like it was going to stall again in the red zone on its first possession of the second half, but a mistake by the Warriors set up the only score of the game. On fourth and two from the 16 yard line, O’Keefe barked out his commands and got the Warriors to jump offside to extend the drive.
“We tried to draw them off and we went with the hard count,” said O’Keefe.
Hurvitz barreled in up the gut from 11 yards out on the next play, to give Duxbury the 7-0 lead.
The Clincher: Williams made sure to keep his focus with the Warriors on the doorstep in the waning moments of the game. A penalty on a punt, for the Dragons' punter illegally kicking the ball on a bobbled snap, put King Philip in the best position it had all day.
Charles Ruffin broke four tackles for a 20 yard gain to get inside the Duxbury 20. On the next play, Sam McDonald made a shoestring catch to get inside the 10 with less than a minute to go. On first-and-goal to go from the six, John Dillon went searching for an open receiver towards the right pylon, but Williams made a good read on the ball and nearly picked off the pass.
He waited to do just that on the next play.
Dillon went back same route, and Williams was there to jump in front of the intended receiver and intercept the pass to send the Dragons sideline into a frenzy.
It was a huge play for a player who saw little playing time during the opening part of his senior season.
“They came right back at me and I was ready for it,” said Williams. “I just read the quarterback. It came my way and I made a play on it.”
DUXBURY 7, KING PHILIP 0
DUX(12-0) 0 – 0 – 7 – 0 --- 7
KP (9-2) 0 – 0 – 0 – 0 --– 0
Jon Hurvitz 11 run (Tucker Hannon kick)