Boston High School: Jack Herlihy

Recap: No. 4 B-R 13, No. 13 Duxbury 10

September, 15, 2013

DUXBURY, Mass. – The Bridgewater-Raynham Trojans have become Massachusetts football’s road warriors through Week 2.

First, the No. 4 Trojans traveled to Danvers and dethroned preseason No. 1 St. John’s Prep. Then, on Saturday night, B-R trekked to Duxbury for another Top 25 battle against the No. 13 Dragons. The Dragons’ lair has been an inhospitable environment to all road teams; Duxbury hadn’t lost a home game since Sept. 11, 2009.

It shouldn’t come by that much of a surprise that the Trojans were also the last team to win in Duxbury. And so the Trojans ended that streak, winning their second straight road game by a score of 13-10.

“These road victories are sweet,” B-R head coach Dan Buron said, “going to St. John’s Prep last week, coming here, going to Xaverian next week. It’s just going to get us ready for league play, hopefully.”

Neither side played their best offensive game, but in the end, the Trojans (2-0) did just enough to win.

B-R was unable to get untracked in the first half and the offensive woes even resulted directly in Duxbury’s lone touchdown. With 8:14 remaining in the second quarter, Trojans quarterback Matt Clement’s pitch toss in the direction of running back Brandon Gallagher was picked midflight by Dragons linebacker Victor Moitinho and returned 77 yards for a touchdown.

Despite the early lack of offensive cohesion, the Trojans were able to tie the score, 7-7, before the half. Clement found Arcel Armstead for a 5-yard touchdown pass on play-action with 50 seconds to go before the intermission.

“In the first half, we were playing well, but we made mental mistakes we don’t typically make,” Buron said. “[We weren’t] lining up correctly, we were offsides.”

Duxbury (1-1) regained the lead in the third quarter on Tyler Powers’ 17-yard field goal.

However, on the ensuing possession, the Trojans assembled their longest drive of the evening, marching 70 yards on 11 plays. Gallagher (26 carries, 103 yards) took to the sky, plunging into the end zone on fourth-and-goal from the 1-yard line with 8:10 to play. The point-after try was blocked, keeping it a three-point game.

The Dragons were provided with two additional possessions before time ran out, but both drives resulted in turnovers on downs.

Cause for concern: Undoubtedly, Saturday’s game might not have been the top thing on the B-R quarterback’s mind.

Earlier in the day, Matt Clement’s father was taken to Brockton Hospital after suffering a heart attack while jogging at B-R’s track. After an emergency surgery, his condition improved enough that Matt, a junior first-year starter, felt he was ready to play – although his thoughts may have been elsewhere.

“I don’t know if I could’ve played in that situation,” Buron said.

He added, “He’s a gutsy kid. And he’s just going to continue to get better every week.

Defenses on display: Both Buron and Dragons head coach Dave Maimaron lauded the work of their defenses.

Although Gallagher again surpassed the century mark in rushing, Duxbury took away a key component of B-R’s rushing attack.

“They love running off-tackle and we really shut that down,” Maimaron said. “I thought we did a nice job taking that away from them.”

That was primarily the responsibility of junior defensive ends Aidan Pilon and Hunter Marston. Along with run-stuffing tackles Jack Herlihy and Grant Kramer, the Dragons limited B-R’s big play ability in the ground game.

Kramer boosts steady line for No. 13 Duxbury

August, 28, 2013
DUXBURY, Mass. -- Firing out of his three-point stance for the Duxbury High football team, Dragons’ captain Grant Kramer understands the importance of what he and his offensive linemates do on every single play.

“That’s where it all starts,” said Kramer, a 6-foot-4, 270-pound left guard for the Dragons. “It’s a group of guys -- in our case a real tight-knit group of friend -- just pushing and working together to get things going on offense.”

In recent years, the Dragons have annually boasted one of the state’s premier offensive lines -- which is among the biggest reasons they haven’t lost a regular season since week two of the 2009 campaign. Most impressive about Duxbury’s offensive line success is it has graduated a number of standout linemen, including Grant’s brother Aaron (2010) whose playing at Boston College.

Gordon Acha finished 2011 as ESPN Boston's Lineman of the Year before moving on to Elon College; last year, Rob Kosharek earned a scholarship to Holy Cross. Yet still, they’ve pushed forward. Given the size, and experience, across Duxbury’s offensive line, 2013 should prove no different.

“We’ve been really lucky to reload the last few years,” said coach Dave Maimaron. “I’m not sure how Duxbury has so many of these kids, but I’m glad we do. These guys aren’t just big and strong though, they all athletic too. We’ve been blessed.”

Kramer is the biggest body, but center Rick Lippard (6-0, 240), left tackle Jack Herlihy (6-5, 255) and Matt Boyle (6-4, 250) give Duxbury plenty of road graders ready to pave the way for quarterback Sean McCarthy and running Khai Perry.

Like Maimaron, Kramer couldn’t pin down just one reason the Dragons offensive line continues to be one of the strongest points on the team.

“I know I’ve been blessed with good genes, and I’m sure the other guys would say the thing,” Kramer said. “I think it really just stems down from the great coaching Coach Maimaron gives. We get a lot of help from our running backs and quarterbacks -- those guys make us look pretty good.”

To make sure they keep winning trench battles, this year’s version of the offensive line was most often found in the offseason moving a lot of weight in the weight room.

“We all worked really hard with at the Duxbury strength and conditioning stuff,” Kramer said. “I know for me, working out mostly with Jack (Herlihy) was always fun. Having another big guy with you, we were always trying to push out an extra rep on the bench or move up in weight on squats.”

Kramer and Herlihy have positioned themselves to become the next Duxbury linemen to move on to the college ranks.

Herlihy is still taking part in the recruiting process, and has garnered some Ivy League interest for the next level. Kramer passed on scholarship offers from Villanova and Eastern Carolina, and also couldn’t be tempted by Ive League recruiters.

West Point, the Army’s officer academy, just made more sense. Kramer will either enroll at West Point or West Point Prep next fall, but he’s excited to be a Black Knight.

“I went up in July for a one-day camp, and I just feel like it’s I want to be and where I belong,” Kramer said. “I’ll be honored to serve this country after I finish school there.”

But first, Kramer will have the honor of leading Duxbury’s offensive line as the Dragons pursue a sixth straight Patriot League Keenan Division title.

2012: 11-1, Lost in Div. 2 Playoffs
Coach: Dave Maimaron (Ninth season, 83-13)
Strengths: Offensive line, running back, quarterback
Weaknesses: Linebacker
Key Returnees: Grant Kramer, Sr. OG, 6-4, 270 lbs; Khai Perry, Sr. RB, 5-7, 175 lbs; Sean McCarthy, Sr. QB, 6-1, 185 lbs; Jack Herilhy, Sr. OT, 6-5, 250 lbs
Outlook: The Dragons are replacing a lot on defense, including 2012 Defensive Player of the Year Marshall McCarthy. Even as Duxbury figures out personnel to take on defensive roles, the offense will be able to shoulder the load given the strength of the offensive line, as well as the return of starting QB Sean McCarthy. Khai Perry is a dynamic runner who can make plays in a variety of ways, and will ensure the Maimaron’s squad is once again a balance one. This squad likely matches last year’s 29 points per game, so if the defense does its part, Duxbury will have a chance to hoist a third Div. 2 trophy in four years.