English looks to defeat depleted South Boston squad

Enduring a second straight week of watching two starters go down with injuries, South Boston will look to regroup this week in practice before taking on an English High squad still looking for its first on-field victory.

English (1-2), which won it’s only game in the first week of the season after Burke forfeited because they didn’t have enough players,  hosts Southie (1-2) at 6 p.m. on Friday night underneath the lights.

Southie, which lost to Whitman-Hanson, 29-24 two weeks ago, lost two starters (tight end Euclides Semedo and Malik Joseph) to knee injuries in an 18-6 victory against Dorchester last week. In a 34-20 loss to Wayland on Friday night at Saunders Field, Southie (1-2) lost backup tight end Derrone Stone with a fractured bone in his shoulder and offensive tackle Ruddy Castillo to a neck injury.

“We had to play a JV offensive tackle with one scrimmage of experience,” South Boston head coach Sean Guthrie said. “Derrone Stone, we were hoping just separated his shoulder but when he went in for x-rays they saw a fracture in there. It’s going to be a little longer than we thought.

“The Other injury, Ruddy Castillo, it was just a freak injury. He woke up in the morning and moved his neck quick and couldn’t move his neck in any way.  He tried to play at the beginning but he he had to come out.”

English coach Chris Boswell said he’s not focusing on Southie’s injuries.

“I think everybody has to deal with injuries,” he said. “Unfortunately it’s part of the game. Every team we play is a good team. We got to prepare like every game will be a good game. … We’re going to stress run blocking and tackling; that’s football.  You don’t worry about your opponent. If  you run block and tackle everything takes care of itself.”

English lost to Latin Academy 14-6 on Friday night.

Boswell said his team is still trying to get used to former Natick High coach Tom Lamb, who is English’s offensive coordinator this year.

“He doesn’t have to get acclimated, we have to get acclimated to him,” Boswell said. “He’s a master and I say that to the kids. We’re fortunate enough to have guys on our staff who have done it all at all levels, as a player himself and as a coach.

“We’re trying to do what he’s asking of us.”

A second-year head coach, Boswell said they are also getting used to Lamb’s offense but he noted that it doesn’t matter what offense they run if they don’t get the basics down first.

“When you talk football it’s not so much X’s and O’s as it is Jimmies and Johnnies,” Boswell said. “If nobody blocks it doesn’t matter what you’re running. He’s putting in the scheme he’s used to and we’re learning it and getting better at it.

“What I noticed about him most is he’s just so positive and his energy is at a high level and he reinforces positives with the kids and with the team.”

Guthrie said he has a lot of respect for Lamb and expects English’s offense to be improved.

“He’s a great coach and I expect good things out of them,” he said. “They probably will revamp their offense. But I just want to walk out of that game healthy try to get more of the JV players involved.”

Despite all its injuries, Southie still managed to take a 6-0 lead on Wayland after recovering an onside kick at the start of the game that led to sophomore Pannel Davis’ 15-yar TD reception on fourth-and-seven from quarterback Donnell Hightower.

Southie trailed 14-12 at halftime because they failed to convert a 2-point conversion after running back James Tolls (85 yards) scored on an 11-yard rush. The Knights fell down three touchdowns in the third quarter before raining a score of its own on Sean Hunter’s 7-yard run in the final quarter.

“We were going for two because we are short so many lineman we didn’t even have a field goal team.,” Guthrie said. “We were right in it at halftime but our guys started to wear down. An already small team, we had guys playing in positions they never played. I was really proud of my guys going in and playing a Division 2A team and hanging in there in the first half.

“I’m proud of the way they never gave up. They showed a lot of hear despite being tired and hurt.  I’m trying to get the guys rested this week. Get them prepared for English. I’m trying to balance having them prepared and resting them so I can get them over these injuries. It’s just a balancing act this week.”

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