Varsity Dominates First Half, Beats Wilmington 21-0; JV Wins Third Straight

October 12th, 2014 by wwcpresident

Wakefield, MA – Whether it was closed door meetings, senior leadership, or what was in the water bottles, the Wakefield Warrior varsity looked like a different team when they came out to play under the lights at Landrigan Field Friday night.  After two consecutive disappointing games against Melrose and Watertown, the varsity outscored the Wilmington Wildcats 21-0 in the first half and played tough physical disciplined football throughout on their way to an important victory.  On Saturday morning the Junior Varsity made that one big play that often spells the difference in a game played in bad weather, beating their Wilmington counterparts 6-0 in the rain.

VARSITY

First Quarter

Say this about Wakefield Warrior football this season.  If you miss the opening kickoff, you miss an interesting play.  For the third time this season, the opening kickoff provided a highlight.  This time it was junior special teamer Ned Buckley on kickoff coverage who put helmet on ball, forcing a fumble by the Wilmington return man.  And it was senior special teamer Pat Casaletto who emerged from the scrum with the fumble recovery putting Wakefield in business at the Wildcat 35 yard line to start the game.

Then on the game’s second play senior running back Luke Martin did what he does best, busting a 36 yard touchdown run.  Martin got to the second level, made a nice cut at the 20 yard line and ran cleanly from there to the end zone.  Chris Saponaro’s PAT kick was good and Wakefield led 7-0 just thirty-five seconds into the game.

Wilmington went three-and-out on their first possession turning the ball back over to Wakefield almost immediately.  The Warriors took advantage, scoring two touchdowns but only one counted.

Luke Martin took the Wildcat punt and returned it 14 yards to the Wakefield 49 yard line.  On the next play Martin took the rock, broke several tackles, and went 51 yards for an apparent touchdown.  The play was called back for a block in the back penalty but the offense was unfazed.  The Warriors went back to work putting together an 11 play drive where five different players touched the ball on the way to the end zone.  The drive featured several runs by featured back Martin, a 5 yard gain by senior fullback Joe DiFazio, a five yard reception by junior receiver Tighe Beck, a designed run and a scramble totaling 12 yards by senior quarterback Anthony Cecere, and two fine runs by junior fullback Zach Kane.  The first was 8 tough yards that got the Warriors into the red zone and then a 5 yard run that got Wakefield into the end zone.  Chris Saponaro again converted the PAT kick and Wakefield was up two scores, 14-0, as the quarter drew to a close.

Second Quarter

Wilmington then put together a 15 play series consuming more than 7 minutes but got nothing out of it.  Wilmington moved the chains downfield three downs at a time with the exception of one 22 yard scamper down the sideline by Wildcat Matthew Penney, who went out of bounds early before taking on a closing Wakefield defense.  The drive died inside the Warrior 15 yard line when Martin made two stops on running plays (including one where senior linebacker Jack Brown, who had several tackles during the game, sniffed out the double reverse trick play) and two passes missed their intended target.

Taking over deep in their own territory at the 13 yard line, Martin provided the offense with some space to operate by moving the ball out to the 25 yard line on two runs.  Quarterback Anthony Cecere then found Tighe Beck down the right sideline who first adjusted to the ball and then ran the tightrope down the sideline for a 75 yard touchdown play.  Saponaro made his third straight PAT kick and Wakefield was up 21-0 with just under three minutes to go in the half.

Wakefield’s surprising onside kick was recovered by the Wildcats at midfield and the Wilmington offense tried to go back to work.  Using their run game exclusively, the Wildcats moved the ball 35 yards to inside the red zone, with less than 30 seconds left.  First senior lineman Jake Cataldo, who had a strong game, beat his blocker to drop the Wildcat runner for a 2 yard loss.  And then two passes fell harmlessly incomplete to end the drive and the half.

Third Quarter

Wakefield took the second half kickoff but could only gain one first down before the series ended on a quarterback sack on third down.  A Wakefield gadget punt play failed and the Wildcats took possession on the Warrior 35 yard line.  But Wilmington could not move the ball on the ground and gave up the ball on downs.

Neither Wakefield nor Wilmington could muster much offense on the next two possessions.  When the Warriors next got the ball back, Luke Martin picked up 18 yards and 12 yards on consecutive plays to get the ball to the Wilmington 24 yard line.  But this drive stalled as well.

Fourth Quarter

Both offenses struggled to move the ball during the remainder of the game.  Though this seemed more a testament to the defenses, especially Wakefield’s.  On four Wilmington drives during the second half, the Wildcats only gained three first downs.  The defense seemed to maintain their lanes and positioning better this week as well and the tackling seemed more surehanded.  .

Notes: The Wildcats came into the game having run for more than 300 yards twice and 200 yards once, according to the Wilmington reporter….another Warrior role player who excelled Friday night was Joe Cresta…the team showed great emotion leaving the field after the game.

Varsity vs Wilmington Game Photos are available here >>>

 

JUNIOR VARSITY

JVs Beat the Elements and Wilmington 6-0

A light, steady rain fell Saturday morning crimping both teams ability to move them ball through the air but a well-executed pass play late in the game lifted the Wakefield JVs over the Wilmington JVs 6-0.

First Quarter

Wilmington took the opening kickoff at their own 30 yard line and returned it 8 yards to start their initial drive of the game at the Wildcat 38.  Wilmington then put together five consecutive run plays for positive yardage, moving into Wakefield territory.  It looked like the drive was halted when sophomore defensive lineman Joe Connell broke through and dropped the ball carrier for a loss behind the line of scrimmage, coming away with an unidentified piece of clothing as a souvenir.

But then on fourth-and-nine, Wilmington completed a 27 yard pass play to the Wakefield 17.    Here the Warrior defense held forcing an incompletion, a two yard run, a four yard completion featuring blanket coverage by junior defensive back Alex Jancsy, and a clutch fourth down run tackle by junior linebacker Evan Gourville.

Wakefield’s run game yielded little but a quick three-and-out but Matt Smith recovered a fumble on the ensuing punt putting Wakefield the ball at its own 39 yard line.  Junior quarterback Ned Buckley and junior tight end Mike Moran then combined on their now familiar first down bubble screen call to gain a quick 18 yards.  Sophomore running back Will Shea added 9 yards a play later to put the ball at the Wilmington 31.

Second Quarter

The Wakefield drive broke down there as two passes just missed connecting and Buckley was sacked on fourth down.  Wilmington’s next series was short lived though as Will Shea, playing defensive back as well, picked off a Wildcat pass at the Wakefield 15 yard line, returning it to the 38 yard line.   Both offenses struggled in the weather the rest of the half with Warrior highlights confined to special teams and defense.  They included a 46 yard punt by sophomore Pat Leary, another strong special teams play by Matt Smith dropping the Wildcat punt returner after junior Kevin Russo made the initial contact, and an interception by sophomore defender Alex McKenna who won a jump ball late in the half.

Third Quarter

Wakefield’s opening drive of the second half mirrored Wilmington’s of the first half – long but ultimately empty.  A series of runs by sophomore Carmen Sorrentino and Will Shea moved the chains 40 yards from the Wakefield 22 to the Wilmington 39 yard line.  Two double digit runs, 12 yards by Kevin Russo and a 15 yard designed keeper by quarterback Kobey Nadeau, got the ball to the Wildcat 15.  But the drive ended there with Wilmington taking over on downs.

The defensive play of the game for the Warriors occurred next.  Wilmington had the ball on their own 27 yard line, facing third-and-eight, when the Wildcat runner got through the line, and using cut back moves appeared to break free into the open field with nothing but Field Turf between him and the end zone.  Here sophomore linebacker Joe Marinaccio made a shoe top tackle from behind bringing him down after a gain of 36 yards on the last play of the quarter.

Fourth Quarter

The Wildcats moved the ball another 12 yards on three running plays and seemed to have the momentum they needed, setting up shop on the Wakefield 25 yard line.  But the Warrior defense rose up beginning with a 5 yard sack by sophomore lineman C.J. Wixon, a no gain tackle by junior Nick Elcewicz, and two incompletions forced by a strong pass rush.

Wakefield took over on their 30 yard line but immediately lost 10 yards on a miscommunication on a shotgun snap, making it second-and-twenty from their own 20.  Ned Buckley, lined up in the slot, went in motion across the formation, took the handoff from Nadeau and motored his way to a 20 yard gain and a first down.  On the very next play, Wakefield used the same formation, and ran the same play except quarterback Kobey Nadeau did not hand the ball off to Buckley but instead looked downfield.  Much like last week where play action froze the defense, receiver Nick Elcewicz was wide open and hauled in Nadeau’s pass scampering 60 yards for the touchdown.  The conversion passed failed but Wakefield had the lead 6-0 with but a few minutes remaining.  And that is how it would end with the Wakefield defense allowing only one first down on the final unsuccessful Wildcat drive.

Notes:  Good to see junior lineman Nick Nice making his way back into the rotation after missing the start of the season with an injury….You also heard the phrase “Nick…Nice” in the stands several times during the game but for a different reason.  Junior Nick Elcewicz had an outstanding game making a couple of fine defensive plays to go along with his TD catch….Wakefield forced three turnovers and could have had a fourth but DB Alex McKenna wisely batted a ball down rather than try for an interception late in the game… The offensive line struggled at times on pass protection, especially in the first half, but did a better job in the running game …The officials let ‘em play choosing to ignore possible face guarding calls on both sides of the ball.

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