By Ed Niser
WORCESTER — For the second time in as many weeks, Groton-Dunstable (3-4) rode the shoulders of its dynamic duo of running backs Logan Higgins and Shane Dawson to victory.
Worcester North (3-4) had no answer for the speed of Higgins (24 carries, 160 yards) and the bullish nature of Dawson’s runs.
Higgins and Dawson combined for 265 yards rushing on the day.
Dawson (14 carries, 105 yards), scored all 3 G-D touchdowns to lead the Crusaders to a 21-0 win at Foley Stadium at Commerce Bank Field in Worcester.
“We have been getting better each week,” First-year head coach Tom Sousa said.
“We were reinforcing in our headsets to ground and pound all game.
This is a maturation of our coaching staff — we tried to mix it up too much early on.
That is part of our growing as a team and a unit.”
Groton-Dunstable junior defensive back Nate Forbes intercepted a Worcester North pass at the Crusader 25-yard line to ice the game –setting up the final scoring drive.
The Crusaders forced three turnovers in the win.
“The defense made a lot of big plays for us all day,” Sousa said.
“The defense has done great for us all season except for that big loss to Marlboro. Today, the defense picked us up early in the game, and the offense did its share to get the job done.”
The game was scoreless at the end of one.
And, that was fine with Groton-Dunstable as it had its back to the end zone on its opening drive from the one-yard line following a forced turnover by the defense.
The Crusaders found the end zone on their fourth drive, which began at 45-yard line of the Polar Bears.
Groton-Dunstable quarterback Michael Tammaro hooked up with senior wide receive
Battles down the right sideline for a 40-yard pickup to the North 5-yard line.
The Crusaders offensive line and the one-two punch of Higgins and Dawson proved fruitful. Dawson went up and over the pile from the one-yard line to make it 7-0 with 3:11 left in the second quarter.
Worcester North’s offense failed to get anything going as the Crusaders forced a four-and-out and took over possession at the Polar Bear 45-yard line.
Groton-Dunstable marched down the field in just five plays to set up a Dawson dive off right tackle from 2 yards out to make it 14-0 with 42 seconds left, following the Kyle Battles extra-point.
The Crusaders fell victim to a surprise onside kick by North that was recovered at the G-D 45-yard line.
Forbes picked off a Damian Watson pass at the Crusader 25-yard line and ran it back 10 yards to the 35.
Groton-Dunstable drove 65 yards and capped off the drive with a one-yard blast off right tackle by Dawson to make it 21-0 with 1:53 remaining following the PAT.
The Crusaders are back in action Saturday afternoon at 1 p.m., when they travel to Westboro.