Methuen Rangers Football '19

Sat, Sep 14, 2019 01:00 PM @ Methuen
Team Q1 Q2 Q3 Q4 Final
Malden Catholic 0 14 0 0 14
Methuen 13 20 7 7 47

Methuen's offense sharp in opener.

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METHUEN — Understandably, Methuen quarterback Connor Bryant was just happy to start playing real games once again Saturday afternoon.

"After a long preseason, after all the work we've put in, it was good to get out here and see what we can do," said Bryant following the Rangers' season-opening 47-14 romp over Malden Catholic.

If Bryant was anxious to start the season, it's no wonder. He has several key returnees on offense from last year's 8-3 squad that scored an average of 26 points a game. So there are high expectations.

For the most part, those expectations were met. Just consider:

— Bryant rushed for 68 yards and two touchdowns on 10 carries.

— Kareen Coleman had a 46-yard TD run caught a slant pass from Bryant for a 32-yard score and rushed for 68 yards on just four carries. He also had a 57-yard touchdown run nullified by a penalty.

 — Zac Bergeron ran the ball hard for 133 yards on 13 carries, scoring once on an 11-yard run, and returned a punt 60 yards for a score. Overall, the Rangers rushed for 323 yards and passed for another 101 yards.

— Wide receiver Nic Mathieu, who was lauded by head coach Tom Ryan for his blocking, hauled in a pass over the middle and went 69 yards, shruggubg off tackles along the way. 

"I thought our offense did really well," said Bryant. "We made some mental mistakes but we'll work on that and I think we'll get better every week."

Coach Ryan agreed, saying that "I would say we scored a lot of points but we also made a lot of mistakes that we need to clean up if we're going to be successful in the MVC."

The Rangers started scoring early in this one, reaching the endzone on the fifth play of the game on the slant to Coleman, making it 7-0 in a hurry. Several minutes later it was 13-0 when Junior Gelin recovered a fumble and ran it into the endzone from six yards out.

Totally frustrated in its first two possessions, Malden Catholic scored twice in the second quarter, first on a four-yard run by Zeke Bragg that capped a nice 63-yard run and then on a 27-yard pass to a wide-open Sean Kelley.

The visiting Lancers had success running the ball in the second quarter, several times picking up yardage after being initially hit. That changed in the second half, however, as they had a mere 19 yards of offense and one first down after halftime.

The one constant on defense for Methuen was junior linebacker Anthony Romano. He was all over the field, making five tackles for a loss and 16 tacles overall.

"He (Romano) had a big day and was outstanding," said Ryan. "As far as I'm concerned, he's the best defensive player we've had since I've been here.  

"But our tackling was poor in the first half and we made a lot of mistakes, things we have to work on."

Still, the tackling got better as the game went on as did the offense. Touchdowns on three straight possessions in the second quarter provided a comfortable 33-14 halftime lead. And Bergeron's 11-yard run late in the third quarter and 60-yard punt return, which was aided by nice downfield blocking, early in the fourth quarter capped the convincing win.

The game was the first for Malden Catholic under Bill Raycraft, the former Windham head man. He got a strong two-way performance from Bragg, who rushed for 108 yards, but it was apparent that the Lancers are lacking depth.



Game Statistics:

First Quarter

M — Kareen Coleman 32 pass from Connor Bryant (Brandon Mondesir kick) 9:48

M — Junior Gelen 6 run with recovered fumble (kick failed) 5:10

Second Quarter

MC Zeke Bragg 4 run (Gerald Copson kick) 10:20

M — Coleman 46 run (kick failed) 7:57

MC — Sean Kelley 27 pass from Nikolas Paganis (Copson kick) 6:07

M — Bryant 6 run (pass failed) 4:19

M — Bryant 4 run (Bryant run) 1:59

Third Quarter

M — Zac Bergeron 11 run (Mondesir kick) 0:56

Fourth Quarter

M — Bergeron 60 punt return (Mondesir kick) 11:42



RUSHING: M (35-323) — Kareem Coleman 4-68, Connor Bryant 10-68, Zac Bergeron 13-133, Tarell McDowell 3-22, Jaetel Gomez 2-21, Joe Gango 3-11; MC (39-143) — Sean Kelley 11-34, Zeke Bragg 19-108, Nikolas Paganis 6-(-3), Ciro Carbone 3-2 

PASSING: M — Bryant 4-9-0, 101; NC — Paganis 3-10-1, 47

RECEIVING: M — Bergeron 2-10, Nic Mathieu 1-59, Coleman 1-32; MC — Chris Gill 1-7, Kelley 1-27, Daps Olatunbosun 1-13

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