Brunswick vs. Salisbury: The Battle for the Erickson Title

Credit: Brunswick School (Left); Salisbury School (Right).

There comes a point in every season where good teams are separated from the great ones. For Brunswick and Salisbury, this moment comes now as the two teams meet to decide the fate of the Erickson league. Barring a collapse by the victor after the matchup, that school will go on to capture the league title and compete in the premier New England championship bowl game. Both teams come in with undefeated records (5-0 and 4-0, respectively), both teams have scored at least 21 points in every game, and both teams have recorded at least one shutout. All told, this game promises an equal matchup and an even better football game.

If this year’s game comes anywhere close to the excitement level of last year’s, this will unquestionably be an exhilarating matchup. Brunswick took that contest on a play for the New England prep ages which made ESPN’s top ten plays of that day. Brunswick used a trick play which featured not one, not two, not three, but four ball transfers to utterly fool the Salisbury defense. The end result was the game winning touchdown from midfield which ended the game at 28-21. You can watch that miraculous play below.

Referring to the stunner from last year, Salisbury coach Chris Phelps said, “It was a heartbreaking loss for all of us; coaches, players, and fans alike, but that’s prep school football and we have to move on. Last year won’t be on our minds this Saturday mainly since about a half of our team is new to the school.” Those new additions have been a key to Salisbury’s newfound success this year, especially in the cases of PG running back Tylor Cook and senior inside linebacker Kyle Tuttle. Phelps describes Tuttle as their “quarterback on defense.” Tuttle’s senior higlights can be found here. Salisbury’s defense has held strong this year. With two shutouts already and the Knights aim to shut down the potent Brunswick offense this week.

Meanwhile, Cook has been the key to the Knight’s strong ground game. So far, he has registerd 726 running yards and 15 touchdowns to account for the majority of Salisbury’s offense this year. In the last game alone, he tallied all five of Salisbury’s touchdowns. His highlights from that game can be found here.

Salisbury is coming off a strong win against the previously undefeated Kent Lions. The Knights have been on a roll on offense, scoring no less than 34 points since their first game against Hotchkiss. For this matchup, according to Coach Phelps, the key is “to play very disciplined football. Still going fast and hitting hard, but we need to maintain our composure and stay disciplined the whole game.” Coach Phelps believes that discipline combined with their offensive weapon in Cook and stout defense lead by Tuttle will lead them to victory against the Bears.

Credit: Brunswick School

Credit: Brunswick School

Contrary to Salisbury’s offense, Brunswick’s operates primarily through the air. Brunswick has adapted well after the loss of prolific QB Billy O’Malley. They have replaced O’Malley with sophomore Nicky Henkel. Through Brunswick’s four league games, Henkel has thrown for 14 touchdowns and 999 yards and lead this offense to high numbers so far this year. You can watch his midseason highlights here.

Receivers Sean Amill ’18 and Kieran Dowley ’17 (pictured right) have reaped the benefits of the Bear’s prominent passing attack. So far, Dowley has lead all receivers in touchdowns with five while Amill has lead in receiving yards with 261. Brunswick’s youth has lead them this year as all three of their prolific scorers are underclassmen.

Brunswick will travel up to Salisbury tomorrow for this premier matchup. The Knights hope to recapture the magic of 2012 which was the last time they won a New England Championship against Exeter. That win came off the heels of a 9-0 season, and they happen to hold an undefeated record so far. Brunswick, meanwhile, won its bowl game last year against Governor’s Academy. They certainly hunger for more this year after their 2014 season was tainted by a single loss in their opening match. A win against Salisbury this year will prove critical to achieving that goal. The kickoff is at three, so be sure to check for the twitter account for constant updates and to check website for the scoreboard regularly to follow the action.

 

Note: Credit to the Brunswick School and the Salisbury School for the featured image.