FINAL TUNE-UP TALE OF TWO HALVES

September 8th, 2015 by wwcpresident

Wakefield, MA – Football coaches love games like Friday night’s final pre-season scrimmage for Wakefield against Lynn English.  There was a lot to be pleased with, but not so much that the team can be satisfied with its performance.  Indeed, there were plenty of bright spots, especially during an efficient first half.  But the second half showed there still is work to do to build the depth a team needs over the course of as long season.  As for the game itself, Wakefield shot out to a 22-6 lead in the third quarter before falling to the Lynn English Bulldogs 24-22.  The 2015 edition of the Wakefield Warriors opens the regular season at home this coming Friday night, September 11 at 7pm against non-league rival Beverly.

First Quarter

Wakefield took the opening kick-off and put together an impressive 14 play drive, lasting 5:37 and covering 74 yards, to jump out to an early lead.  The first nine plays were all runs with seniors Zack Kane and Paul McGunigle sharing the load, save for one 9 yard scramble by senior quarterback Ned Buckley.    With the ball at the 32 yard line, Wakefield tried its first pass of the night with Buckley rolling right and finding junior fullback PJ Iannuzzi out in the flat.  PJ gathered in the pass and rumbled down to the 12 yard line for a 21 yard completion.  Deep in the red zone now at the Lynn English 11, Wakefield’s offense sputtered a bit as two runs lost 2 yards and a pass to the end zone went incomplete.  On 4th and 13, Buckley rolled left and threw a touchdown strike to senior flanker Eric Smith who showed good hands on the play as well.  Buckley and Smith hooked up again on the ensuing two point conversion try and the Warriors led 8-0.

Lynn English could not gain a yard on their first possession and quickly surrendered the ball.  Wakefield then put together a second good drive in a row featuring a 10 yard gain off a jet sweep by senior Kevin Russo, an 11 yard jet sweep the other way by Eric Smith, and a 14 yard completion from Buckley to …who else Eric Smith.  Wakefield looked well on its way to another score before a turnover inside the 20 yard line put an end to the drive.

Second Quarter

The Bulldogs again had difficulty with the Warrior defense and punted away yet again.  Senior Alex Janscy from his linebacker position, along with the Warrior defensive line was making things difficult for the Bulldog offense.  However, the Wakefield offense picked up where it had left off from the last drive, keeping the ball on the ground featuring Kane, McGunigle, and Russo.  Buckley finished off the 9 play all run drive with a 1 yard bootleg touchdown run around left tackle, taking a tumble in the end zone.  Junior quarterback Kobey Nadeau came in for the two point conversion try and threw a one step drop bullet to senior receiver Tighe Beck  and Wakefield had a 16-0 lead.

Lynn English took possession with 5:23 to go in the first half on their own 25 yard line.  A 7 yard pass and two short runs yielded a first down and the Bulldogs gained another first down on a Wakefield pass interference penalty.  Still gaining yards were at a premium until the Bulldog halfback broke through the line, and shake and baked his way 40 yards to the Warrior 9, forcing several Wakefield defenders to whiff on their tackle attempts.  Three plays later Lynn English was on the scoreboard.  A rush for conversion was stuffed by Logan Dunn and Wakefield led 16-6 at the half.

Third Quarter

Lynn English went three and out on their first possession of the second half and Wakefield maintained momentum by scoring on its first possession.  Big plays during the 11 play drive included a 9 yard run by fullback Zach Kane and a 26 yard completion to tight end Mike Moran from quarterback Kobey Nadeau who would play quarterback for the 2nd half.  Moran did a great job keeping his feet in bounds.  Wakefield again showed a patient control offense eating up five minutes off the clock.

As Wakefield started to shuttle more and more players into game action, Lynn English was able to convert three plays of 20 or more yards on its next drive to put themselves in the red zone as the fourth quarter began.

Fourth Quarter

The Bulldogs actually got inside the Wakefield 10 yard line before a 3rd down offensive pass interference put the ball at the Warrior 20.  However, facing 3rd and goal, the Bulldog quarterback was able to scramble and then take advantage of poor Wakefield tackling to score and close the deficit to 22-12.

Wakefield could do nothing on its next possession and Lynn English took over again with 4:42 left in the game.  Playing against many junior varsity players, the Lynn English halfback broke a 67 yard touchdown run on 1st down to close the gap to 22-18.  At the time, Wakefield’s ability to prevent three two point conversion attempts loomed large as the Warriors were now hanging on.

The Warrior offense could not get a first down on its next possession and gave the Bulldogs the ball with 2:03 left in the game.  It took the Bulldogs only five plays to score the winning touchdown with 43 seconds left to play.

Notes: In addition to Jancsy and Dunn providing some strong play, linemen who looked good for the Warriors included seniors Mike Hakioglu, Matt Mercurio, and Mike Moran as well as juniors Joe Connell and CJ Wixon….. PJ Iannuzzi opened some eyes with some strong lead blocking on the offensive side of the ball….Ned Buckley looked comfortable on all three of his first half drives….sophomore lineman Christian Hayes is lost for the season due to a leg injury suffered in the pre-season tilt against Methuen….junior Carmen Sorrentino is week-to-week as he too suffered an injury against Methuen.   

 

 

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