Marlborough Shamrocks dominate in 2022 home opener

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Marlborough Shamrocks dominate in 2022 home opener
Marlborough’s Zach Grasis prepares to stiff-arm an opponent on an eventual touchdown run. (Photo/Dakota Antelman)

MARLBOROUGH – The Marlborough Shamrocks semi-pro football team opened their slate of 2022 home games with a bang on Saturday, shutting out a shorthanded Brockton Bucs squad at Kelleher Field in Marlborough.

The Shamrocks snagged a 42-0 victory to even their win-loss record at 1-1 just a week after dropping their season opener against the Southern New England Admirals on June 18.

“We came in and we weren’t concerned with the team that we were playing,” Offensive Coordinator Harrison Ingels told the Community Advocate after the win. “We were concerned with our performance last week.”

Shamrocks look to bounce back after week-one loss

The Shamrocks won a league championship back in October of last year, defeating the Admirals for that title.

They then went on to claim a national title in January, continuing a storied history for their franchise.

Come this month, though, Marlborough came out on the losing side of a rematch against Southern New England, committing five turnovers in a narrow 14-13 defeat.

Looking to rebound, the Shamrocks came home to face a Brockton squad this weekend that played much of its game with an empty sideline.

Players slogged through this contest largely without substitutions.

Brockton did not cross midfield on offense until the second quarter.

The game, which was initially delayed, then ended prematurely with just over five minutes left in the fourth quarter.

“The focal point tonight was to just be aggressive and make sure we scored on all of our drives,” Ingels said.

His team did just that, save for a late-game fumble deep in Brockton territory.

Marlborough scores early

Marlborough opened its game with a fumble recovery on offense, setting up running-back Zach Grasis to scramble for a touchdown.

Grasis punched in another touchdown moments later, putting his team up 14-0 in the first quarter with the help of successful extra point kicks.

Mitjon Celaj, George Smith and Anthony Cintron all then added touchdown receptions before halftime.

Martel Hughes tacked on another touchdown catch for the Shamrocks in the second half, hauling a pass in through coverage before tiptoeing into the end zone.

“There’s still going to be things to work on when we look at the film,” Ingels said. “But, overall, I’m happy with the way the guys locked in, not concerning themselves with who we were playing as much as what we wanted to do.”

Coach notes concerns

Ingels voiced frustration about the situation with Brockton.

Where a forfeit could have ended the game without the mismatched situation that played out on Saturday night, a higher final score like the eventual 42-0 win Marlborough amassed will factor into the Shamrocks’ playoff national rankings.

Ingels continued, dubbing low Bucs turnout for games a “consistent problem.”

The Bucs do have 39 players listed on their 2022 roster on their website. Roughly a dozen were in uniform on Saturday.

With a win now on the books, though, the Shamrocks are looking to the future, eyeing a remaining 2022 schedule that will have them back in action on July 9 in Chelmsford against the Mill City Eagles.

Marlborough’s next home game is set for the following week, when the Shamrocks will host the Boston Bandits on July 16.

“We know how much talent we have, so we got to just focus every week on making every rep count and coming out prepared,” Ingels said. “We just got to keep going and it will click.”

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