DUXBURY, Mass. -- It's been a slow start for the much ballyhooed offense of No. 2 Duxbury.
The high powered spread attack was stunted at times during the preseason -- most notably in the Dragons' scrimmage against Catholic Memorial. Likewise, Duxbury took nearly two quarters to get going on offense in the season-opener against No. 8 Bridgewater-Raynham on Friday.
But after a convincing 26-0 win over the Trojans, it looked like the Dragons rediscovered the form that lifted them to a Division 2A Super Bowl title last year.
"We've been working hard all summer," Duxbury quarterback Matt O'Keefe said, "with the guys running routes at 6 a.m. with Don [Webber], [Joe] Guilfoile, [Andrew] Buron, [Reilly] Naton, even [James Burke], who's known more as a defensive player. We've spent a lot of time trying to perfect it."
While the Dragons (1-0) were able to shake off signs of the early rust, Duxbury found its consistency in the red zone, punching in touchdowns on three of four trips inside the Trojans' 20, following O'Keefe's touchdown pass to Guilfoile with 6:46 remaining in the first half.
"Our offense really hasn't clicked," Dragons head coach Dave Maimaron said, "but today was the first day that they played up to their ability, I think."
In addition to Duxbury's regained offensive polish, the Dragons were effective in shutting down B-R's running game, holding Trojans running back Nick Schlatz under 50 yards on the ground. Duxbury won the battle of the trenches with its swarming defense, flying to ball carriers in addition to sacks from defensive linemen Seamus Connelly, Mike Klein and Mark Trudeau.
"We knew they were going to try to run the ball and control the clock against us and try to keep it away from our offense," Maimaron said. "We just had to stop them on third downs and get off the field and get the ball back to the [offense]."
O'Keefe and the offense took care of matters from there. The senior quarterback completed 71 percent of his passes (15 of 21) while throwing for two touchdowns and 110 yards.
Junior running back Jon Hurvitz had the Dragons to a 12-0 lead before the half with a 2-yard touchdown run with 2:23 to play in the second.
After the defenses traded interceptions -- with B-R's Schlatz nabbing an O'Keefe pass and Duxbury linebacker Max Randall returning the favor with a theft of Brad Delulis -- O'Keefe threw for his second score of the game, finding Andrew Buron in the end zone from eight yards out.
Dragons sophomore running back Khai Perry showed a glimpse of his potential with a 20-yard scoring run in the fourth quarter.
"[O'Keefe] has so much confidence in his arm strength now that he only needs a small window and he can fit the ball in there," Maimaron said. "We had some good route running down there as well. The slant was a great catch by Andrew Buron, the throw was a little bit behind him and he made a great catch."
Proof that there's still room for improvement in an otherwise stellar start to the season.
"We're not there yet," O'Keefe said of the offense. "We're still working on it. There's a long way to go. We're onto Plymouth North week now."
B-R (0-1) 0000 -- 0
Duxbury (1-0)01277 -- 26
Duxbury - Joe Guilfoile 6-yard pass from Matt O'Keefe (kick failed)
Duxbury - Jon Hurvitz 3-yard run (pass intercepted)
Duxbury - Andrew Buron 8-yard pass from Matt O'Keefe (Tucker Hannon kick)
Duxbury - Khai Perry 20-yard run (Tucker Hannon kick)