Shamrocks eye home-opener after victory over Connecticut Panthers

648

By Dakota Antelman, Managing Editor

Shamrocks running back Zach Grasis strains for a first down against a crowd of Connecticut defenders in the second quarter of their game July 24.
Shamrocks running back Zach Grasis strains for a first down against a crowd of Connecticut defenders in the second quarter of their game July 24. (Photo by/Dakota Antelman)

MARLBOROUGH – A handful of interceptions and other defensive plays helped the Marlborough Shamrocks power past the Connecticut Panthers for a 14-6 victory on the road, July 24. 

The performance continued a trend that has Marlborough’s defense currently listed as the second-best in the East Coast Conference of the New England Football League in terms of points allowed.  

“Our defense is the identity of our team,” offensive coordinator Harrison Ingels said after the game. “The defense has carried us.” 

Though Ingels’ offense rumbled up the field to score a first-quarter touchdown, the group struggled on subsequent possessions. 

They fumbled later in the first quarter. An interception then ended a long second quarter drive just before halftime. After Connecticut held the ball through much of the third quarter, Marlborough took possession and drove to the Panther’s goal-line early in the fourth quarter. Another fumble, though, ended that drive. 

“We are below our own standards, drastically,” Ingels said. “There’s no other way to put it. We’re underperforming in both aspects, passing and running the ball.” 

Still, as turnovers and other offensive struggles had Ingels frustrated, he shared more praise for the team’s defense.

“They score, they force turnovers, they put points on the board,” he said. 

Zach Grasis celebrates with teammates after scoring in the first quarter of his team’s game against the Connecticut Panthers.
Zach Grasis celebrates with teammates after scoring in the first quarter of his team’s game against the Connecticut Panthers. (Photo by/Dakota Antelman)

Indeed, Marlborough’s second touchdown of the day came when Orlando Anderson-Prescott intercepted a short Panthers pass on the Panthers goal-line. He took a single step into the endzone to all but double the Shamrock’s lead.  

This win prolonged an undefeated start to the season as the Shamrocks now approach four weeks of home games at Kelleher Field starting on Saturday, July 31. 

Excited to play before a hometown crowd after more than a month of road trips, the team is looking to make adjustments while maintaining momentum.

“We just have to match the output that the defense is giving us,” Ingels said of the offensive unit. “People want to come. They want to see points being scored. The defense has been doing that as much as we are. We have to do our part to catch up to the defense.”