BILLERICA – The Billerica Indians overcame nine penalties and some defensive lapses to stay undefeated with a 42-15 victory over the Methuen Rangers Friday night at Marshall Middle School.
Billerica was paced offensively by quarterback Justin Beck (7-of-15 passes for 125 yards and two touchdowns; 14 carries for 156 yards and a touchdown), Jeff Trainor (three catches, 52 yards, two touchdowns, four extra points), and Drew Laundry (two rushing touchdowns)
The Indians’ first drive of the game took up 10:06 out of a possible 11 minutes in the first quarter. Despite five offensive penalties, Beck, Drew Laundry and Derek Laundry ground up the Methuen defense for 77 yards on 16 plays before Beck scampered in from 11 yards out to open the scoring at 7-0.
Midway through the second quarter, the Indians were set up by a fumble recovery at the Methuen 20-yard line but nearly turned the ball over on downs. A Methuen pass interference penalty on fourth and long gave the Indians (4-0) a reprieve, and Beck took advantage with a 17-yard run to set up Drew Laundry for a 1-yard touchdown rush to make it 14-0.
Just before halftime, Trainor intercepted a Kendrick Denose pass and returned it 50 yards to the Methuen 30. On the next play, Beck found Trainor over the middle for a 30-yard touchdown pass to extend the lead to 21-0 going into halftime.
The Rangers dusted themselves off and got on the scoreboard on the first play of the second half, as Denose took advantage of a misaligned Billerica defense and sprinted 77 yards for a touchdown to make it 21-7.
Any momentum that the Rangers might have gained was quickly snuffed out on the next drive, as the Indians drove 66 yards on 8 plays in 4:21, featuring passes from Beck to Justin Carlson of 34 and 26 yards to set up Drew Laundry for another a 1-yard score to make it 28-7 with 6:12 to go in the third.
After a Methuen three and out, Beck showed off his legs again with rushes of 15 and 43 to set up another touchdown pass to Trainor, this one for eight yards, to put the game out of reach at 35-7.
With the outcome in hand, Billerica brought in the second string and still couldn’t be stopped. With a short field to begin their first drive of the fourth quarter, Zac Burns had a 24-yard rush and Herby Pierre pounded it in from one yard out to make it 42-7 Indians.
Despite the win, Billerica head coach Duane Sigsbury wasn’t 100% satisfied with the effort. He said there were things that have to be fixed in time for their showdown with North Andover next week.
“We weren’t crisp,” Sigsbury said. “We made some mental mistakes… you can’t have self-inflicted wounds and be a great football team. Good and average football teams will make mistakes like that, great teams shouldn’t. We’re striving to be a great football team, and if we don’t clean it up, we’re not a great football team.”