Senior leadership propelled Marblehead to their first win in the playoff portion of their season Friday at Piper Field, downing Wilmington 34-7.
Marblehead Coach Jim Rudloff said after the game that his team had prepared for the game as they had against Gloucester, a team with big kids on both sides of the ball.
The Magicians jumped out to a 14-0 lead before Wilmington started bringing blitz packages in the second quarter, the coach said.
As the second quarter wound down, with 43 seconds left in the half, Wilmington's quarterback connected with his wide receiver on a 43-yard touchdown pass to close within 7 points, making the score 14-7.
Wilmington then recovered an on-side kick but Marblehead's defense dug in, putting its collective foot down.
Wilmington would not score again in the game.
The Marblehead coach told his players at halftime that it was key for them to stop Wilmington's opening drive in the second hald.
The Magicians did. It was three and out for the visitors.
On offense Marblehead's Brooks Tyrrell broke several long runs, quarterback Matt Millett moved freely in the pocket and swept around end on several runs of his own as the Magician offense started to click.
Marblehead created a key turnover as Wilmington was on the move. A Marblehead defender knocked the ball free from a Wilmington player and recovered the fumble.
Marblehead plays its next game at home on Friday in another playoff tilt, this one against Masconomet.