Semifinal loss fueled Swampscott’s Division 5 Super Bowl run

  • Swampscott’s Graham Inzana drops back to pass during the Thanksgiving Day football game at Marblehead High Schoo, Nov. 28. JARED CHARNEY / SALEM NEWS

  • Swampscott’s Dylan January finds running room at the Division 5 North final at Swampscott High School, Nov. 15. JARED CHARNEY / SALEM NEWS

Staff Writer
Published: 12/6/2019 7:13:14 PM
Modified: 12/6/2019 7:13:01 PM

FOXBOROUGH — The torment of losing in last season’s Division 5 state semifinal stayed with Swampscott’s large junior class.

“We were young, and we learned a lot,” senior running back Dylan January said. “Our goal all year was to get past that game and eventually be here and win this game. We knew what we could be as a team.”

The Big Blue are champions of the North sectional tournament with a 9-3 record. They were the fourth seed but didn’t play it much attention.

“That didn’t discourage us,” January said.

Swampscott won the sectional title in dominant fashion over top-seeded Amesbury then locked down high-flying Holliston in the semifinals to get to Gillette. Much like Amherst (11-0), Swampscott’s players have been together since elementary school.

“It’s grown into a brotherhood,” senior lineman Anton Vasquez said.

The Big Blue relied on that closeness through early season losses to Lynn English and Danvers. Swampscott rallied and won six straight games leading into its Thanksgiving blood feud with Marblehead. The Magicians conjured a victory when A.J. Russo caught a game-winning touchdown with 16 seconds left.

“It’s almost a super bowl game of itself. It’s one you circle on the calendar every year,” January said. “I’m happy we played the game.”

Swampscott absorbed the scenery at Wednesday’s MIAA championship breakfast.

“It’s good to come here before and not be completely breath taken when we have a game to play,” quarterback Graham Inzana said.

As focused as they are, the Big Blue will remember to appreciate the ride they’ve bee on and the stage they’ve reached.

“It’s what you dream of,” January said. “We’re excited, gonna try to keep it under control when Saturday comes around but enjoy every moment.”

Kyle Grabowski can be reached at Follow him on Twitter @kylegrbwsk.

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