Wakefield, MA- The Wakefield Warriors traveled to Melrose to face The Red Raiders on their newly completed home turf-field this Thanksgiving. Wakefield was able to clinch the win with a 3-0 victory over Melrose. With this victory, The Warriors won the Middlesex League Small title, and now head into Tuesday’s game against the Marblehead Magicians with some momentum.
This game was a defensive showcase for both teams. The Warriors have been consistently winning with a high scoring offense, but the Red Raiders kept Wakefield from the end zone through the entirety of the game. The first half was filled with turnovers after fourth down, as both teams played a defense that wouldn’t allow for the chains to be moved. Both Senior Josh Puccio, and Senior Zack Bates were able to run for first down plays in the first quarter, but Melrose held strong and kept Wakefield at bay. In the second quarter, Melrose opted to try a more pass heavy offense. Though the Red Raiders gained some first down plays, their offense was quickly shut down after Senior Matt McKenna blocked a pass attempt, and Junior Mark O’Brien stopped a run at the line. Heading into the second half, the score remained 0-0.
The defensive excellence of both teams continued into the second half. After numerous punts on fourth down, Melrose gained the upper hand after Red Raider: C.J. Leach recovered a fumble from Senior Nick Calderone on a punt return. Melrose was in great field position at the 25 yard line but the Warriors’ defense rose to the occasion. At the start of the final quarter, it looked as though Melrose would score, but following a blown field goal attempt, Senior Nick Calderone caught the kick in the end zone and returned the ball to the Melrose 29 yard line where he was brought down by Red Raider: C.J. Hanson. After moving the ball a few more yards, Wakefield was left with a fourth down option of attempting a 33 yard field goal. With Sophomore Brian Auld heading out to kick, Coach Boyages made a last second decision to let Senior Joe Pacitto attempt the kick. Senior Joe Pacitto, who plays as a lineman regularly scored the only points of the game when his kick went sailing through the goal posts. The remainder of the game was on the backs of Wakefield’s defense, and the victory came down to one final play with only 11 seconds on the clock and the ball at the 6 yard line with fourth and goal. Though Melrose could have attempted to tie with a field goal, The Red Raiders went for the victory and ran the ball. Red Raider: Spencer Walsh ran for the goal but was met with a line of Warriors ready to seize the victory. Walsh was stopped for a two yard loss as the clock struck zero.
Wakefield- 0 0 0 3 3
Melrose- 0 0 0 0 0