Shamrocks dominate home opener

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Fans enjoy victory in first home game since 2019

Shamrocks dominate home opener
The Marlborough Shamrocks snagged their fifth win of the 2021 season at home on July 31.
(Photo by/Jesse Kucewicz)

By Jesse Kucewicz, Contributing Writer

MARLBOROUGH – The Marlborough Shamrocks continued their undefeated season in front of a packed crowd in their home opener, July 31. 

Playing in what was their first home game since Nov. 9, 2019, they beat the Rhode Island Cowboys by a score of 35-14. 

With that win, the Shamrocks offense scored more points than it had at any point in the season, including two touchdowns passes from quarterback Blake Rice to receiver Johnny Moores Jr., who later received the player of the game nod.

“If I was in a little bit of a bind I would find him, for some reason, wide open down the field,” Rice said of Moores Jr. “Overall, it was great to actually come out and start clicking on offense.”

Marlborough improved their season win-loss record to 5-0. They now have three straight home games on their schedule.

“Starting the season with four away games was interesting to say the least,” Rice said. “It has been unreal to have all of the stands filled, everyone screaming and cheering for us, it really helped get us going.”

According to Offensive Coordinator Harrison Ingels, the levels of community engagement that the team receives is something unique to the Shamrocks within their league. Members of the team were quick to show their appreciation.

“The community shows us so much support, so much love, and it’s great to be back,” said Ingels. “Home field advantage doesn’t really exist in our league, unless you come here, so it was awesome to see.”

Though Marlborough had won every game it played so far this summer, frustration had been building on the sideline in recent weeks. 

The team was moving the ball with ease over the middle of the field. But it was struggling to convert inside the redzone. While the Shamrocks beat the Connecticut Panthers on July 24, its offense had help in the form of a goal line pick-six by defender Orlando Anderson-Prescott.

The offense snagged just one touchdown of its own against a Connecticut team that had allowed an average of 22 points per game coming into its tilt with Marlborough. 

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

On that day, still a week before his team’s home opener, Ingels circled July 31 on the calendar and said his offense needed to score, in part to live up to the expectations of fans.

“People want to come,” he said. “They want to see points being scored.” 

Having succeeded in that goal to put points on the board, Marlborough’s will next play on Aug. 7 against the Southern Maine Raging Bulls. Kickoff is set for 7pm at Kelleher Field.

The Shamrocks will then host New Milford Fire and the Connecticut Panthers on Aug. 14 and Aug. 21 in rematches of games played earlier this year.