Apr. 3—Manchester Essex head coach Jeff Hutton was pleased with some aspects of his team's performance on Saturday afternoon against Lynnfield.
The Hornets head coach said his offensive line played its best game of the season and he was happy to see his team play a physical football game for the second week in a row.
Despite the positives, Manchester Essex made some errors that are nearly impossible to come back from with six turnovers. Those giveaways were essentially the difference in a 29-0 loss at Hyland Field as the Pioneers turned three of those turnovers into points.
"We don't have a lot of margin for error with the way we've been struggling on offense," Hutton said. "Those turnovers just take you out of it, especially when we played right with them in the first half."
The Hornets (1-3) were right there in the middle of the second frame, trailing only 8-0 after a 16-yard touchdown pass from Lynnfield quarterback Austin Sutera to Jack Ford on the previous possession.
Behind runs of 21 and 15-yards from Eli Hammett (team high 40-yards rushing), the Hornets moved inside the Pioneers five yard line, facing a third-and-goal at the two.
That's when the game took a shift. Manchester Essex fumbled in the backfield and Ford scooped up the ball for Lynnfield at the four. He then raced 96-yards the other way for a Pioneers touchdown and a 15-0 lead, where it stood at halftime.
To make matters worse, Manchester Essex saw two of its captains, Will Levendusky and Gavin Glass, get hit with injuries. Glass missed the remainder of the game with an ankle injury while Levendusky played only defense in the second half with an injury to his left (throwing) thumb.
"We were dropping like flies out there at one point but we were still in it," Hutton said. "I thought it was our best game of the season from a blocking standpoint, we moved the ball. We just continue to hurt ourselves with mistakes in the red zone. We punch that in there in the second quarter and it's a different game."
The Hornets were trailing, but they still had a chance to get back in it after receiving the second half kickoff. Lynnfield, however, got an interception from Blake Peters on the first drive of the second half.
Manchester Essex got it back after Daniel Wood jumped on a fumble inside the five. But the Hornets could not capitalize, going three-and-out.
After forcing a three-and-out of its own, Manchester Essex got the ball back again with a chance to make it a one-score game, but fumbled on the first play from scrimmage with the Pioneers picking it up at the Hornets 38.
Four plays later, Sutera hit Peters for a 13-yard strike to extend the lead to 22-0. Peters took a big hit on the touchdown but still came down with the catch on the tipped ball.
Manchester Essex again drove into Lynnfield territory on its ensuing drive only to have another drive finished off with an interception, this one from Bakari Mitchell on a deep pass at the three. The Pioneers offense then went 97-yards on 10 plays, taking 6:06 off the clock to put the game away with a 29-0 lead and only 2:47 to go.
The Hornets have now been shut out in two straight games and travel to Hamilton-Wenham next Saturday (1 p.m.).
Lynnfield 29, Manchester Essex 0
at Hyland Field, Manchester
Lynnfield (4-0) 0 15 7 7 5/8 29
Manchester Essex (1-3) 0 0 0 0 5/8 0
L- Jack Ford 16 pass from Austin Sutera (Ford pass from Sutera)
L- Ford 96 fumble return (Kevin Connolly kick)
L- Blake Peters 13 pass from Sutera (Connolly kick)
L- Peters 26 pass from Sutera (Connolly kick)
Rushing: Lynnfield- D.J. Capachietti 6-49, Joseph LaFerla 6-40, Austin Sutera 7-26, James Sharkey 1-2. Manchester Essex- Eli Hammett 4-40, Joe Daly 8-29, Will Levendusky 3-19, Owen Aiello 2-18, Gavin Glass 3-9, Sam Rice 3-6.
Passing: Lynnfield- Austin Sutera 15-26-143-3-1. Manchester Essex- Will Levendusky 4-6-20-0-1, Brennan Twombly 2-6-20-0-3.
Receiving: Lynnfield- Blake Peters 5-78, D.J. Capachietti 2-24, Jack Ford 2-19, Bakari Mitchell 4-15, James Considine 1-7. Manchester Essex- A.J. Pallazola 5-43, Owen Aiello 1-(-3).