Norton Football Faces Tough Opening Test
Lancers head to Mansfield Friday to meet Division 2A foe Falmouth.
The Norton High football team will certainly not ease into its 2011 campaign as the Lancers will face a stern test during its season opener in the form of Falmouth in a non-league game on Friday night at 7 p.m. in Mansfield.
The Lancers are members of the new Tri-Valley League Small School Division and are now in Division 4. They will battle a Clipper team that resides in the Atlantic Coast League and is part of Division 2A.
“They are a Division 2 team, so it will be a good test for us,” said third-year Norton head coach Ted Currle, whose captains this season are seniors Tyler Durocher and Nick Jenkins. “This is a game where if we compete, play hard and play well, it will give the team confidence going forward.”
Falmouth is part of the ACL with Dennis-Yarmouth, Marshfield, Nauset, Plymouth North, Plymouth South and Sandwich. After a 9-2 campaign in 2009, the Clippers are looking to bounce back from a 5-5 record a year ago. Falmouth actually started the 2010 season with a 5-0 mark, but concluded the year by losing its final five contests.
“They run the ball,” said Currle of the Clipper offense. “They are a little different this year than they were last year. They are more of an ‘I’ team this year. But they run right at you. They pound the ball. Their quarterback also has a good arm.”
The Falmouth defense could also pose some problems for the Lancer offense on Friday.
“They play a 3-5 with three deep,” said Currle. “They do a lot of blitzing. Any time a team blitzes a lot, it can pose problems for us. But we are hoping with our experience and intelligence on the offensive line that we will be able to execute well on offense.”
After not playing as well as they would have liked during the opening scrimmage against two-time defending South Coast Conference champion Dighton-Rehoboth, the Lancers performed much better against Bristol-Plymouth last Friday night in Taunton.
“We played a lot better, especially on defense,” said Currle. “The kids were really flying to the ball on defense. The kids played with a lot more intensity. It was a better outing overall, but there is still a lot of room for improvement.”
Norton will face another good test next week when the Lancers travel up to Reading to play Austin Prep on Saturday, Sept. 17 at 11 a.m. After registering a 10-3 record and winning the Division 4A Super Bowl in 2009, the Cougars were only 6-5 a year ago, despite a 14-member senior class.
Norton will then begin its inaugural campaign in the Tri-Valley League’s Small School Division when the Lancers host the combined team from Millis and Hopedale on Friday, Sept. 23 at 7 p.m. at Adams Field.
“We are anxious to get the season started,” said Currle. “Everyone, players and coaches alike, have worked hard to get ready and we just want to continue to improve.”