All Trick And No Treat For Salem As Redmen Roll To A 37-0 Win
Oct 31, 2015 05:57PM
By Rick Spencer
Senior quarterback Brett Morris (11) threw two touchdown passes in leading Tewksbury to a 37-0 win over Salem.
Halloween might be a good time to be a witch in Salem, but being a witch in Tewksbury was no fun at all for the Salem High football team on Saturday afternoon.
Senior running back Troy Carey and senior wide receiver Adam Gajjaoui scored two touchdowns each as Tewksbury High opened its 2015 MIAA Division 3 Northeast playoff campaign with a resounding 37-0 thrashing of the visiting Salem High Witches at Doucette Field.
It was all trick and no treats for Salem, as Tewksbury scored touchdowns on each of its first five possessions and put this game out of reach before the Witches could even think about casting any upset spells on the Redmen. Senior quarterback Brett Morris was also spectacular, completing all five of his first half passes and connecting twice with Gajjaoui on touchdown passes as Tewksbury ran up a 31-0 halftime lead and coasted home from there.
The defending Div. 3 Northeast Champion Redmen were simply relentless in this one, as the TMHS defense held Salem to just 52 yards of total offense in the game. Meanwhile, Morris and his TMHS attackers moved the ball at will, piling up 356 yards of total offense.
“Our line’s playing awesome, the backs are playing awesome and the receivers are playing good. It’s all good,” said Morris, who completed six of the seven passes he threw for 94 yards and two touchdowns. “We practiced hard all week. We worked on a lot of things and it showed.”
TMHS head coach Brian Aylward was more than satisfied with his senior signal-caller’s play. “He takes care of the ball,” Aylward said. “His stats might not show up with some of these other high profile guys, but his turnover stats will rate with anybody in the country. He hasn’t turned the ball over yet. He’s got zero turnovers and he’s got six wins. Those are the stats that count.”
Gajjaoui, who had five touchdown receptions in his previous two games, added two more scores to bring his season total to seven. He caught just three passes for 58 yards, but two of his catches went the distance.
“Having Adam back (from an early season knee injury) helps a lot,” Morris said. “We can do a lot more stuff with him in there. He’s just that dynamic of a player.”
And of course Carey was his usual unstoppable self, carrying eight times for 140 yards and two touchdowns. He also caught two passes for 33 yards. Carey has now amassed over 830 rushing yards and scored 14 touchdowns (13 rushing and one receiving) on the year.
“We’re getting new plays in every week,” said Gajjaoui. “We’re running different plays and we’re just sticking ‘em. We’re pretty confident right now.”
Carey got the scoring started just three minutes into the first quarter on Saturday when he capped a four-play, 55-yard drive with a three-yard touchdown run. A 20-yard Tyler Ward run and a 27-yard Carey scamper were the key plays in that drive.
It took the Redmen only two plays to cover 38 yards and make the score 12-0 on their next possession. Morris hit Carey with a 22-yard screen pass to move the ball to the Marblehead 15-yard line, then connected with Gajjaoui from 15 yards out for the score.
Tewksbury made it 18-0 on the first play of the second quarter when Gajjaoui got behind the Salem secondary and Morris hit him in stride for a 38-yard touchdown. Carey made it 24-0 when he took a reverse play 47 yards around left end for his second touchdown of the day.
Ward, a junior running back, capped the first half scoring three minutes before the break when he powered the ball in from three yards out. Carey had set up that drive with a fumble recovery on the Salem 38-yard line. Gajjaoui added the extra point to make it 31-0 at halftime.
Tewksbury scored the only touchdown of the second half on its first possession in the third quarter. Senior running back Stephen Rosa capped a seven-play, 68-yard drive with a five yard TD run. Carey’s 48-yard sprint around left end was the key play in that dive.
Rosa finished with 65 yards and a touchdown on six carries while Ward had four carries for 32 yards and a TD.
The Redmen, now 6-1 on the season, move on to the Division 3 Northeast semi-finals. They will host Danvers next Saturday afternoon at 1:00 p.m. at Doucette Field.
Last fall, TMHs trounced Danvers, 34-6 in an opening round play-off game and went on to capture the Division 3 Northeast title. Danvers, however, is much improved in 2015, standing at 7-2 after a 7-0 first-round playoff victory over Revere Friday night.
“We know Danvers is a really good team and it’s going to be tough to beat them,” Gajjaoui said. “But our seniors know what it takes to win and we feel like we’ve got our momentum going right now.”