Football Takes a Liking to Facing M.L. Liberty Teams: Warriors Blast Arlington 30-7, in Landrigan Finale

November 13th, 2015 by wwcpresident

Published in the November 9, 2015 edition of the Wakefield Daily Item.


Wakefield, MA – Playing teams from the Middlesex League Liberty division seems to the Wakefield Memorial High Football team’s liking.

The Warriors posted their second win of the season against an M.L. Liberty division foe and third victory of the season as they routed Arlington by a 30-7 score in a Div. 3 Northwest consolation game on Friday night at Landrigan Field.

Wakefield is now 3-6 overall on the year and has defeated Winchester and Arlington in one-sided games at Landrigan Field.  Wakefield’s other victory came on the road against Stoneham.

The Warriors will now get ready to face another M.L. Liberty divsion team when it takes on Woburn in the second round of consoloation playoff games on Friday night at 7p.m. at Connolly Stadium.

As for what was Wakefield’s home finale this fall, the Warriors had 419 total yards which was their highest offensive output of the season.  Wakefield rushed for 277 yards and passed for 142 yards.

Leading the way on the ground was junior RB Joe Marinaccio who gained 100 yards on three carries. Marinaccio also caught a touchdown pass and a two-point conversion pass.

Senior RB Paul McGunigle gained 55 yards on 13 carries and scored two touchdowns.  The senior, who is also the team’s kicker, also booted a 27 yard field goal.

In the passing game, senior QB Ned Buckley completed 9 of 16 passes for 142 yards and a touchdown. The leading receiver was senior WR Tighe Beck, who had five catches for 85 yards.

Defensively, Wakefield held Arlington to 228 total yards (130 rushing, 98 passing) with quite a chunk of yardage coming in the fourth quarter with backups in on defense for the Warriors. In fact, Wakefield lost the shutout with 1:04 left in the game when the Spy Ponders scored their lone TD against the reserves.

Senior linebackers Zack Kane and Mike Moran led the Warriors with four tackles a piece. Marinaccio recovered a fumble and junior DB Alex McKenna intercepted a pass.

“We made some plays out there tonight and rose to the occasion when we needed to,” said Coach Steve Cummings. “We executed when we needed to. When you have the opportunities, you need to take advantage, and we did that. Arlington is a talented team.”

The contest didn’t start off so good for the Warriors when Arlington’s Mike Mazzei recovered an onside kick to start the game and then Emmet Foster completed a 33 yard pass to senior WR Clark Ewen on a halfback option pass to move the ball down to the Wakefield 11.

But the Warriors didn’t panic, and put together a fine defensive stand in the red zone. Senior RB Tom Houston (84 yards on 14 carries) was stopped for no gain and then Forster was dropped for a one yard loss. Freshman QB Jaden Dottin gained four yards on third down. A holding penalty on fourth down resulted in a fourth down and 19 play from the 20. Dottin’s pass on the run was incomplete as Wakefield took over.

“That was huge, keeping them out of the end zone,” said Cummings. “They had the toss pass after the onside kick. But we kept our composure and had a terrific stand.”

Right after that, the Warriors sustained an 11 play drive which covered 80 yards for their first TD of the game.

McGunigle gained nine yards on the first down. After an incompletion,  Buckley gained four yards on a QB sneak for a first down. A holding penalty pushed Wakefield back. But Buckley found senior RB Zack Kane out of the backfield with a 13 yard pass. McGunigle was stopped for no gain on a second down, and Beck caught a five yard pass on third, which set up a fourth down and two from the Wakefield 41.

Wakefield lined up in punt formation, but junior RB Carmen Sorrentino took the snap and gained 26 yards for a first down at the Arlington 33. Buckley then found Beck with a 31 yard strike to set up a first down and goal from the Spy Ponder 2.

McGunigle lost a yard on first down and Kane gained a yard on second down. On third down and goal, McGunigle took the ball in from two yards out. Marinaccio then caught a pass from Buckley for two points to put Wakefield up 8-0 with 3:07 left in the first quarter.

Arlington went three and out and the Warriors took over at their own 20 after a Ewen punt went in the end zone for a touchback. Wakefield then sustained an 18-play drive which ate up the last 1:20 of the first quarter and the first eight minutes of the second quarter.

McGunigle had back to back runs of two yards to end the first quarter. Beck caught a nine yard pass on third down to move the chains to start the second quarter. McGunigle had runs of four and five yards setting up a third down and one. Buckley gained two yards on the sneak to move the chains once again.

A holding penalty pushed Wakefield back. But on second down and 20, Buckley found Beck with an 18 yard pass. Kane then gained 12 yards on a third down and two play to bring the ball to the Arlington 36. Kane then had an 11 yard run for another fist down. But then Kane was dropped for a yard loss and McGunigle had two one yard gains setting up a fourth down and nine play from the 24. That’s when Buckley found senior RB Alex Jancsy down the middle for a 20 yard completion to the Arlington 4.

Kane gained three yards on first down but Buckely was stopped for no gain on second down as Wakefield had a third down and goal from the inside the one yard line. But two false start penalties pushed the Warriors back. Buckley’s third down pass was incomplete. As a result, McGunigle attempted and made a 27 yard field goal to put Wakefield ahead 11-0 with three minutes left in the first half.

The Spy Ponders failed to pick up a first down giving Wakefield one more chance with 1:47 left. The Warriors made the most of the opportunity and scored their second TD of the game.

Starting at their own 25, Buckley had an incompletion on first down. Marinaccio then broke a 57 yard run on second down to bring the ball down to the Arlington 18. James Bradley made the TD saving tackle for the Spy Ponders.

Wakefield was pushed back five yards for having an ineligible receiver down field. Marinaccio got the penalty yardage back with a five yard gain. After an incompletion, Buckley found Marinaccio in the middle of the end zone with an 18 yard pass for the TD with 54:1 seconds left.

The PAT attempt was missed, but Wakefield took a 17-0 lead into the locker room.

Arlington got the ball to start the third quarter, but sophomore QB Kenan Varney was intercepted on the second play by junior DB Alex McKenna as Wakefield had the ball at the Spy Ponder 38. From there,  it took Wakefield five plays to get into the end zone.

Kane gained five yards on first down and Buckley ran for three on second down. McGunigle then broke a 14 yard gain on third down to bring the ball to the 16. Beck took the direct snap and ran for four yards. On second down, McGunigle took the handoff and raced to the left corner of the end zone from 12 yards out for the TD. The extra point was missed, but Wakefield had a 23-0 lead with 8:29 left in the third.

Arlington turned the ball over on its second play from scrimmage once again as sophomore RB Alijah Woods lost the football after a seven yard gain with Marinaccio recovering the loose ball at the Wakefield 40.

McGunigle gained four yards, Kane was stopped for no gain, and Kane caught a six yard pass for a first down at the 50. Marinaccio ripped off a 38 yard gain but lost the football at the Arlington 12 with Michael Thielbar recovering the fumble.  After an unsportsmanlike penalty, the Spy Ponders began their next drive at their own 27.

Houston gained 18 yards for a first down at the Arlington 45. But the Spy Ponders couldn’t move the chains again as Houston’s pass on fourth down fell incomplete giving Wakefield the ball at the 50. The Warriors scored their final touchdown eight plays later.

Kane had runs of two and three yards before Beck caught a 20 yard pass to move the ball to the 25. Kane ran for seven more yards and Jancsy had a four yard run on the final play of the third quarter, which gave the Warriors a first down at the 14.

Kane had rushes of four and two yards setting up a third down and four from the eight. Jancsy took the ball in from eight yards for the TD. McGunigle kicked the extra point to put Wakefield in front, 30-0, with 9:27 left in the fourth quarter.

Arlington took over with 3:48 remaining and scored its only TD of the night to break up Wakefield’s bid for a shutout.

Starting at their own nine yard line, Houston gained 19 yards for the Spy Ponders. But an illegal block penalty pushed the Spy Ponders back 10 yards. Houston had a five yard run. After an incompletion, Houston gained 11 yards for a first down. After a one yard loss by Houston, Woods ripped off a 33 yard run to set up a first down at the Warrior 34.

Varney hit Mazzei over the middle with a 34 yard TD pass to get the Spy Ponders on the scoreboard. Ewen added the PAT for the 30-7 final.

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