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Football wins big against Beverly on senior night

%28from+left%29+Michael+Toppan%2C+Chase+Goulart%2C+John+Gucciardi%2C+Jayden+Toppan%2C+Ethan+Mahoney%2C+Riley+DeHaan%2C+and+Trevor+Shaw
Aleena Brown
(from left) Michael Toppan, Chase Goulart, John Gucciardi, Jayden Toppan, Ethan Mahoney, Riley DeHaan, and Trevor Shaw

After a bittersweet senior night celebration, the Gloucester Fishermen football team showed the stands what they can do in a 42-21 win against Beverly.

Captain John Gucciardi was a star player Friday night for the Fishermen, amounting to 132 rushing yards in total. Sophomore Kai Rich recorded the second most for the team with 56 rushing yards.

Gucciardi, the starting quarterback for only a month, threw for a total of 212 yards along with four touchdown passes. He was within two touchdown passes of beating the single game record, a record currently held by Jay Palazola with 5 touchdown passes in 1974. Captain Cameron Widtfeldt and Brady Patten scored two touchdowns while Gucciardi and Chase Goulart had one. Widtfeldt also made multiple field goals. 

Goulart had a strong interception during the first quarter of the game, which the Fishermen led with 7 points. The team dominated the second quarter, racking up 21 points. The Panthers scored a touchdown and extra point in quarters 2, 3 and 4, but by quarter 3 it seemed certain that Gloucester would come out victorious.

The defensive line was strong for the Fishermen, with the Toppan twins, Jayden Toppan and Captain Michael Toppan, holding down the fort. The Toppan brothers are top defenders for the Fisherman, laying down a number of tackles and sacks throughout the season. Freshman Max Thomas also made many blocks in the line. 

Sophomore Jaylen Severino, as well as Rich, recorded an average of 9 receiving yards in the game. Senior Sal Russo recorded 7 rushing yards while Kayden Souza had 46. Souza also had 65 receiving yards, which was the most of any Fisherman that night. 

“The kids played really well on Senior Night,” head coach Daniel O’Connor said post-game. “It’s nice to get as many seniors contributing as we had. They were ready to go to practice all week long and it translated onto the field tonight. I thought that they came out with energy and fight. They played really well.”

Senior night celebrated the following senior players: the Captains John Gucciardi, Ethan Mahoney, Cameron Widtfeldt, and Michael Toppan, as well as Brady Patten, Chase Goulart, Kayden Souza, Trevor Shaw, Riley DeHaan, Sal Russo, Jayden Toppan, and Anthony Russo. Graduating cheer captains are Bella Murawski, Brooke McNiff, and Emma Smith.

The Fishermen ended the regular season with a 5-3 record, winning every home game. The team also has a higher quarterback rating than the national average, as well as more passing touchdowns and completion percentage. 

This win last Friday decided Gloucester’s place in the playoffs, which they haven’t played in since 2017. An advantage was the fact that Bishop Fenwick is currently not allowed to play in the MIAA tournament due to a full-year ban, and as both Bishop Fenwick and Gloucester are ranked 5-3, the ban helped the Fisherman take the last spot in the MIAA tournament. The 16th seeded Fishermen are slated to play the first seed Hanover away this Friday. The team has been practicing hard all week in preparation for the game, where they hope to come home with a big win against the 8-0 Hawks.

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About the Contributor
Aleena Brown
Aleena Brown, Sports Writer
Aleena Brown is a freshman at GHS and a first-year sports writer for the Gillnetter. She is the starting JV goalie for GHS Field Hockey, along with the catcher and 3rd baseman for the Gloucester High School softball team. She enjoys drawing, writing, reading, video editing, and photography. When she’s not explaining another hockey romance book no one cares about, she spends her time photographic sporting events.  You can contact her with story ideas at  [email protected]  

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