Marlborough Shamrocks beat Boston Bandits at home


Marlborough Shamrocks beat Boston Bandits at home
Marlborough’s Anthony Cintron darts through a gap during his team’s game against Boston. (Photo/Dakota Antelman)

MARLBOROUGH – It was a day of acrobatics for Anthony Cintron and the Marlborough Shamrocks on Saturday as the Shamrocks downed their rival Boston Bandits at home at Kelleher Field.

A wide receiver, Cintron went airborne in the Bandits endzone in the second quarter when he celebrated a crucial touchdown to expand Marlborough’s lead with a backflip.

Moments later, Cintron was in the air again, diving to snag a second touchdown reception for his squad.

“The line was able to hold,” Cintron said after the 26-6 win.  “[Quarterback] Blake [Rice] was being able to put it in the spot and I was able to get it and add yards after the catch.”

“It was a crazy game for us today,” he continued.

Marlborough snags early lead, defense shines

Marlborough entered this game with a 2-1 record this season.

After a major win over the Mill City Eagles a week ago, the Shamrocks were seeking victory on an even bigger stage at home in a rematch of a hard-fought playoff clash with Boston last fall.

They promptly opened strong, scoring on a touchdown by receiver Graham Asum early in the first quarter.

Kyle Jimenez-Fox later stifled Boston’s attempts to answer with a goal-line interception for Marlborough.

Though they didn’t capitalize immediately, Marlborough mustered a field goal in the second quarter.

A long pass to George Smith then positioned the Shamrocks inside the Boston redzone, where Rice hit Cintron for the first of his two touchdown receptions on Saturday.

Up 17-0, Marlborough preserved its first half shutout with additional help from Jimenez-Fox. He came down with his second interception of the game just over 30 seconds before halftime.

Marlborough missed a field goal attempt in the second half. They similarly continued to keep Boston off the board through the third quarter.

Cintron then added his second touchdown catch before a flubbed handoff gave Boston a fumble recovery. The Bandits used that opportunity to slash Marlborough’s lead to 24-6, failing to score further on a two-point conversion attempt.

Though Boston threatened, Marlborough forced a late game safety on an endzone penalty flag to take their 26-6 advantage.

“Overall, I’m happy with the efforts with the offense,” Marlborough offensive coordinator Harrison Ingels said. “You can see the extra work that they put in…You can see that translating.”

Cintron displays speed

Marlborough made adjustments on Saturday, initially seeing a tight run defense up the middle of the field from Boston.

“We just said we’ve got to get these guys moving sideline to sideline,” Ingels said of his early-game calculus. “When you do that…seams are going to open up. We were able to get them moving laterally and then attack them downfield.”

Marlborough, indeed, picked apart the Boston secondary, snagging multiple big gains on passes to Smith, Cintron and others.

“It’s always nice when the adjustments work,” Ingels said.

Cintron, who wears a lone lightning bolt earring under his helmet, frequently blazed past defenders, shaking would-be tacklers to stay on his feet.

“He is too fast for his own good sometimes,” Ingels said. “He has a next level gear and he’s a tremendous player.”

Ingels further credited blockers in front of Cintron, who helped carve lanes for him to gain extra yards after the catch.

“Once the ball got rolling, it was hard to stop,” Cintron said. “We finally clicked together.”

‘It’s always on to the next week’

Marching to victory, Marlborough is now casting its attention toward a rematch one week from now against the Mill City Eagles.

Just two weeks after beating Mill City in Chelmsford, the Shamrocks will host the Eagles at their own field.

“I think the team is really starting to bond together,” Cintron said of the current unit.

“You love to win big games,” he added on Saturday, “but it’s always on to the next week.