Published in the November 1, 2017 edition


LYNNFIELD — The Pioneers’ 34-6 win over Bedford advanced them to a spot in the Division 5 North semi-finals and another date with Newburyport Friday night at Pioneer Stadium. The fifth-seeded Clippers easily got past Weston 28-0 on Saturday to earn a second shot at the top-seeded Pioneers (7-1). Lynnfield shut out Newburyport 32-0 on opening night, the first game for the Clippers under new coach Ben Smolski.

The Clippers (4-3) bounced back to nip Ipswich 10-7 then were again blanked, this time by Masco 35-0. After a bye week, they edged Triton 19-13 and then Pentucket 21-13 before losing to North Reading 32-13 in the final game of the regular season to finish 3-3.

They dominated Weston from the beginning in their playoff opener last week, scoring on their first drive and never looking back. The Clipper offensive line took control allowing big games for Myles Maloof (94 yards, 3 TDs) and quarterback Owen Bradbury (101 yards, 1 TD).

“They are much improved,” said Pioneer head coach Neal Weidman. “They are doing much more on offense then they were at the beginning of the year and they’re getting the ball into the hands of the right kids.”

The Pioneers dominated the first meeting rolling up 410 yards of offense and holding the Clippers to 149 total yards. Weidman knows he will be facing a very different team Friday night.

“(Maloof) and (Bradbury) both are running the ball real well,” said Weidman. “They do some option and zone read stuff with bubble screens. It’s going to be like defending the triple option. It’s difficult to do especially when two or three of those options are viable as far as runners go. They have good athletes doing a good job.”

Weidman doesn’t see the two teams playing a second time as an advantage or disadvantage for either team.

“It can go either way for either team,” he said. “It’s really going to come down to blocking and tackling and who wants it more to play hard.”

Game time at Pioneer Stadium is 7 p.m.