Apr. 16—METHUEN — Methuen’s football team made some history Thursday night.
And the Rangers did it in a big way.
Combining a relentless running attack with a stifling defense, Methuen blasted traditional Thanksgiving rival Dracut, 41-6.
For the victory, Methuen captured the trophy for the Methuen Jaycees Memorial Game. The win put Methuen ahead in the series 28-27-3 and marked the first time since 1963 that the Rangers have been in the lead in total victories.
“You really made history tonight,” former Jaycees president Dan Dodson proclaimed to the team as he presented the trophy after the game.
And Dodson should know — he’s been to all 58 games in the series.
This one was over relatively early as the Rangers scored on six plays on their first possession with Anthony Romano scoring from 22 yards out, making it 7-0 in less than three minutes.
After Dracut went 3 and out, Romano scored again on the next possession, from 7 yards out, making it 14-0.
In the first half, Romano continued his tremendous season by gaining 103 yards on 13 bruising carries. He wasn’t needed in the second half.
Methuen made it 27-0 at halftime as backup quarterback Xander Silva scored on a 12-yard run and starting QB Joe Gangi hit Will McKinnon in the end zone for a 27-yard TD connection.
Dracut, meanwhile, could not move the ball at all against the Methuen defense, gaining just nine yards in the first half.
“It was definitely nice to get the early lead and then let the sophomores and juniors get a lot of action,” said Romano. “We were hyped all week and ready for this game.”
The second half was basically a JV game for the Rangers and the reserves accounted well for themselves. Terrell McDowell scored on a 14-yard run to make it 34-0 in the third quarter and freshman QB Drew Eason scored on an 8-yard scamper in the fourth.
Dracut, which fumbled five times in the game and lost it three times, didn’t score until it connected on a 6-yard pass on the last play of the game.
Among those playing well defensively for the Rangers were Romano, Tom Fitzgerald, Joey Pinto, Jason Silverio and Andrew Wannaphong.
“Our defense came to play again this week and we finally got our offense clicking,” said Methuen coach Tom Ryan. “We cleaned up some of the mistakes we had been making.”
Methuen at North Andover, Thursday, 5 p.m.
Methuen 41, Dracut 6
Dracut: 0 0 0 6 — 6
Methuen (4-2): 14 13 7 7 — 41
M— Antony Romano 22 run (Omar Aboutoui kick), 9:05
M — Romano 7 run (Aboutoui kick), 1:12
MK — Xander Silva 12 run (Aboutoui kick), 5:17
M — Will McKinnon 27 pass from Joe Gangi (kick failed), 1:56
M — Terrell McDowell 14 run (Aboutoui kick), 6:54
M — Drew Eason 8 run (Aboutoui kick), 8:34
D — Mitchell Cripps 6 pass from Kai McDonald, 0:00
RUSHING: Methuen (38-216) — Anthony Romano 12-103, Xander Silva 5-29, Joe Gangi 2-5, Jason Silverio 2-1, JP Muniz 4-13, Terrell McDowell 6-47, Drew Eason 7-18; Dracut (25-55) — Josh Gagnon 7-22, Ismael Zouaoui 7-24, Kai McDonald 5-(-20) Emmitt Collins 6-29
PASSING: M — Gangi 3-3-0, 35; D — McDonald — 9-11-0, 49
RECEIVING: M — Will McKinnon 1-27, Silverio 2-8; D — Mitchell Cripps 7-46, Collins 1-3, Gagnon 1-0