Duxbury returns to field after one-month hiatus to edge Scituate

SCITUATE — Despite being on a one-month hiatus, Matt Festa looked right in midseason form.

In Duxbury’s first game back since being caught using anti-Semitic language during blocking adjustments at the line of scrimmage, Festa threw for 354 yards and three touchdowns as the Dragons edged out Scituate, 20-13, in a Patriot League crossover on Thursday night at Scituate High School.

It was Duxbury’s first game since March 12, when the Dragons were caught using anti-Semitic slurs at the line of scrimmage against Plymouth North. Most notably, it was found that for multiple years Duxbury used “Auschwitz” and “Hitler” as a few of its line adjustments. Since then the Dragons have seen storied head coach Dave Maimaron fired, elected not to play a pair of games, and had last week’s game against Marshfield called off due to COVID-19.

No members of the Duxbury coaching staff would give comment to the Boston Herald with regards to the game or the team’s efforts to move past the incident. Duxbury does not plan on playing a game in Week 7.

“It felt awesome to be back out there,” Festa said. “It was a long break but it felt good.”

The score was tied 13-13 with 5:13 left and the Dragons knocking on the door at the Sailors’ 2-yard line. Colin Morley, however, came off the edge and forced a fumble that was recovered by Keegan Sullivan and appeared to tilt the momentum in Scituate’s direction.

The Dragons’ defense stepped up, forcing a punt that gave Duxbury the ball back on its own 14 with 3:33 to play. That’s when Festa came through with his biggest throw of the night as the sophomore quarterback unloaded a bomb to a wide-open Matt Ciesielski, who caught the pass in stride and took it the distance for an 86-yard touchdown to give Duxbury a 20-13 advantage. Duxbury’s defense proceeded to force a turnover on downs to seal the win.

“We saw that (Ciesielski’s) man was hovering in the flat the last time we ran that play so there was no one there to guard him once we threw it up,” Festa said.

Early on it seemed as though Duxbury would win in a runaway as Festa led his offense right down the field, highlighted by a Bowman Rhinesmith 12-yard touchdown, to give the Dragons a 6-0 advantage.

Scituate came right back with Henry Gates finding his older brother, Harry, for 46 yards to set up a 9-yard Sullivan touchdown run to even the score at six. The two sides once again traded touchdowns in the third quarter with Festa finding Ciesielski for a 4-yard score before Sullivan came back with a 4-yard touchdown of his own to send the game into the final stanza even at 14.

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