PREVIEW: Redmen Start Quest For D3 State Title By Hosting Lynn English On Saturday
Nov 01, 2019 01:05AM
By Andrew Della Piana
This Saturday, at 1 p.m., the Tewksbury Memorial High School football team will begin another playoff run with one goal in mind; get back to Gillette Stadium.
After last season’s heartbreaking D3 Super Bowl loss to Springfield Central, the Redmen will open the 2019 MIAA D3 North playoffs with a quarterfinals home matchup against the Lynn English Bulldogs.
This will be the second time in three seasons that the Redmen will play the Bulldogs in the postseason. Back in 2017, the Redmen defeated the Bulldogs 22-18 in the D3 North Sectional Championship at the Manning Bowl. The Redmen will look for the same result on Saturday.
After an impressive 6-1 record in regular season with just three returning full-time starters, the Redmen will look to continue their dominance in the MIAA Playoffs. Since 2013, Tewksbury has a combined 16-5 record in the playoffs, including the last two seasons with a record of 7-2.
The Redmen will enter Saturday as the No. 2 seed in the D3 North and with a five-game winning streak after a 44-0 thrashing of Dracut on Friday night. In the win, the Redmen captured the MVC D2 Small title for the first time since 2016.
The win did come at a cost. On the opening drive, senior star back/receiver Shane Aylward needed help from the trainer and his teammates to get off the field after injuring his right ankle on a screen pass. Aylward will not play against Lynn English.
Power running back Kalu Olu will make his return in the backfield on Saturday after he sat out against Dracut with a shoulder injury.
Ever since the Redmen defense allowed 285 rushing yards to Methuen back in Week 2, this defense has looked incredible upfront. In their past two games, the defense has held Chelmsford and Dracut to a combined -13 total rushing yards. That negative is not a typo. In those games, the defense has only allowed 6 total points. Rushing defense will look to be another focal point against the Bulldogs.
“It was a good week of practice with lots of intensity, but they [Lynn English] are still a good football team that we still have to play our best against and can’t overlook," said senior cornerback Jake Kaiser,Thursday,
The Redmen will look to get into the North’s Final-4, but they know there’s a tough task in front of them.
The 7-seeded Lynn English Bulldogs will come into Doucette Field with a record of 5-2 with this being their first official “road” game of the season. They won their only home game of the season and went 4-2 in neutral site games.
Chris Carroll is in his 5th season as head coach of the Bulldogs. Lynn English plays out of the very competitive Northeastern Conference (NEC) in which they have won four out of their previous five games against some subpar teams in Salem, Gloucester, Saugus, and Winthrop.
Junior Mathias Fowler, is the team’s star dual-threat quarterback. Fowler was the team’s leading receiver last season as he led the team with 53 receptions for 591 yards and 7 total touchdowns. This season, Tahj Purter is Fowler’s top target as he was second to Fowler in receiving last year with 522 receiving yards. In addition, look for Jesse Ofurie, Sam Ofurie, and Traiquan Menter as they will also be in the mix between the rushing and pass-catching games.
Ticket prices for the game will be $7 for Adults and $5 for Students and Senior Citizens. Tickets can be purchased at the front entrance of the field. If you can’t make the game, my partner Bill Gilman and I will be doing a live play-by-play broadcast of the game and can be seen on channel 34 for Verizon and channel 22 for Comcast.
You can also watch the game on any mobile device via the live broadcast as it will be on Youtube channel “TewksburyTV”. The winner of the Lynn English/Tewksbury game will play the winner of Beverly/Concord-Carlisle in the D3 North Semifinals.
Kickoff for Lynn English at Tewksbury is Saturday at 1 PM at Doucette.