SWAMPSCOTT — For Marblehead football, it’s gotta be the shoes.
Unable to get any footing on a frozen Blocksidge Field, the Magicians swapped their spikes for sneakers and were off to the races.
Quarterback Chris Gally ran for three touchdowns after changing his footwear and the Magicians beat Swampscott, 30-14, for their sixth straight win in the Thanksgiving rivalry.
“I actually ran up to the student section and got somebody’s sneakers, one of my classmates,” Gally said. “You’re slipping around in these cleats, but once you put the shoes on it’s just a whole other game.”
It certainly looked that way on the field, as the Magicians came to life on both sides of the ball after the switch. Gally ran for a 27-yard touchdown on his first play wearing sneakers early in the second quarter to get Marblehead (9-2) on the board, and the Magicians defense clamped down after Swampscott’s long touchdown drive in the first.
It was a full community effort to get Marblehead into the right footwear, according to coach Jim Rudloff.
“The coaches all started taking off their sneakers and giving them to kids… we had parents running to Marblehead High School going into kids’ lockers… we had former players down in that end zone taking their sneakers off,” Rudloff said. “That was one of the coolest things I’ve ever been a part of.”
Gally scored his second touchdown of the game from eight yards out to give the Magicians a 14-7 lead late in the second quarter, but Andrew Augustin returned the ensuing kickoff 74 yards for a score as the Big Blue tied it up and seized momentum going into halftime.
Marblehead responded with a big play of its own, as Dylan Klocker grabbed one of the Magicians’ three interceptions off Swampscott’s Graham Inzanza and returned it 40 yards for a score on the first series of the third quarter.
Swampscott (9-3) had its chances when it was a one-score game, but turned the ball over on downs three times in the second half. Gally made them pay for the missed opportunities when he capped off a 10-play, 74 yard drive with his third touchdown to make it 30-14 late in the fourth.