OXFORD, Mass. - After suffering their first loss of the 2012 season last week at Shepherd Hill, one would figure the Northbridge Rams would take their frustration out on their next opponent.
Unfortunately for the rebuilding Oxford Pirates, they were next on the Rams' schedule. Northbridge took out their frustrations early and often Friday evening in Oxford, scoring on their first possessions and limiting the Pirates to 22 yards and one first half first down in a 33-0 demolition.
Northbridge executed their patented flea flicker on their opening play from scrimmage to perfection. Quarterback Matt Phelan pitched outside to Ben O'Donnell who tossed a strike to a wide open Dan Clasby for a 59-yard touchdown connection. Alex Smith added the point after for a very quick 7-0 lead.
After an Oxford three and out, Phelan would execute the spread offense to perfection, completing all six of his passes, the final one to Clasby in the flat who marched in from 11 yards out. The point after failed, and Northbridge led 13-0 only four minutes into the game.
Another three and out gave the Rams the ball on their own 35. Six plays later, they would strike paydirt once again on a beautiful 13-yard over the shoulder catch by O'Donnell in the corner of the end zone. A 15-yard Phelan run and 18 and 20 yard completions to Clasby and Jake Ryan set up the score. The point after was blocked leaving the score at 19-0.
Oxford appeared to gain their footing on their next possession. Three tough runs produced the initial Pirate first down of the evening. However, Oxford quarterback Matt Faucher's 3rd down pass was intercepted by O'Donnell who advanced to the Pirate 39. Six plays later, Phelan kept it himself for the score from one yard out. Phelan was 2 for 3 on the drive with completions of 18 to Ryan and 15 to Dalton LaChapelle. Smith 's extra point tacked on the 26th point.
Northbridge appeared on their way to adding their fifth touchdown in as many possessions as a well executed 10=yard screen pass to Clasby was nullified by a chop block. After an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty, the Rams faced a rare 2nd and 36. Phelan's deep pass intended for O'Donnell was intercepted by Faucher at the Oxford 5.
The Rams would once again force an Oxford three and out. The Pirates would catch a break when Tyler Barrie's punt was fumbled by O'Donnell at the Oxford 34.
Northbridge's defense would stiffen once again forcing another Oxford punt. Taking over their own 49 with 2:50 remaining in the half, the Rams executed their two minute drill to perfection, capped by Phelan's 6-yard keeper for touchdown. A 21-yard Phelan to Clasby connection set up the score. Smith's point after capped the scoring on the evening.
Neither team would score in the second half. The Rams had the best opportunity facing a first down at the Oxford 10 following a Pirate fumble. However, Rob Fraser's fourth down pass into the end zone fell incomplete.
Phelan was 12 for 17 for 176 yards and two touchdowns. He would add 41 yards and two touchdowns on the ground.
Northbridge (7-1) returns to action next Friday as they host Auburn in a Central Mass. showdown. Oxford (1-7) will host Shepherd Hill.