Warriors Put Together Complete Effort, Trounce Winchester 28-7

October 28th, 2015 by wwcpresident

Wakefield, MA 

First Quarter

Wakefield scored on its opening drive for the first time this season going 67 yards on 13 plays, keeping the ball on the ground for all but one play.  The drive started after a 25 yard kick return by junior Joe Marinaccio put the ball at the 33 yard line.  Senior running back Paul McGunigle foreshadowed what was to come as he carried the rock four straight times to gain 23 yards into Winchester territory.  Senior quarterback Ned Buckley then mixed it up a bit, finding senior fullback Zack Kane out in the flat for 7 yards before the Warriors went back to its ground-and-pound offense.  Next up was Kane, as he bulled his way up the middle for 16 yards before adding another 6 yards on a quick hitter.  McGunigle then churned out runs of 2 and 1 yard as the Winchester line stiffened a bit.

Sitting at the Sachem 12 yard line looking at 4th-and-less than 1 yard, Offensive Coordinator Ruben Reinoso called Buckley’s number on a quarterback keeper and he squeezed out a yard for a first down.  However the Sachem defense then stuffed Kane and McGunigle on consecutive runs before Buckley threw an incomplete pass on third down.  But Winchester was called for roughing the passer keeping the drive alive and giving the Warriors a first-and-goal from the 5 yard line.  Given new life, Wakefield did not squander the opportunity as Zack Kane took it up the gut for the touchdown on the very next play.  Wakefield lined up for the PAT kick but went for trickeration instead as holder Ned Buckley took the snap from senior center Matt Mercurio and found senior all-purpose back Alex Jancsy uncovered in the end zone for a two point conversion.  Six minutes into the game Wakefield led 8-0.

The Warrior defense gave the Winchester offense absolutely nothing on the Sachems first possession forcing a three-and-out.  Wakefield got the ball back with just under 4 minutes remaining in the quarter and went lather-rinse-repeat to start: McGunigle slashed his way for 4 yards up the middle, Kane powered his way to another 5 yards up the middle and then Buckley gained 2 yards on a QB keeper for a first down at the 30 yard line.  A 9 yard gain by McGunigle on a pitch right was called back on a clipping penalty putting Wakefield in a 1st-and-25 situation.  A bubble screen from Buckley to senior receiver Tighe Beck netted 11 yards, a quarterback draw got 2 more, before a 3rd down pass fell incomplete.  A 33 yard punt by junior Pat Leary marked the end of the first quarter.

Second Quarter

Winchester’s second drive of the game also went nowhere as senior linebacker/safety Mike Moran dropped running back Sam Curtin for a 1 yard loss after getting good penetration and a third down pass fell incomplete.

Wakefield’s third possession of the game would not go well however.  While a Winchester penalty did move the ball from the Wakefield 23 to the Wakefield 38, the Warriors preceding two runs yielded little.  Then the Sachem defense dropped McGunigle for a 6 yard loss, one of only a handful of times they were able to solve Wakefield’s star of the game.

Wakefield went to the air looking to make up lost ground by setting up a catch and run play.  The catch part worked as Buckley found Beck open but the run not so much as Beck lost the handle moving downfield.  Millyan Phillips, a short, stout lineman for the Sachems, returned the fumble 36 yards down the visitor’s sideline for Winchester’s first and only score of the game.  The PAT kick by Shaya Hedayatina was good and the Wakefield lead was cut to 8-7.

Wakefield was unable to immediately answer as Winchester defended the passing game well and forced the Warriors to punt on its next possession after just three plays.  But the Sachems gave the ball right back to Wakefield when a gang tackle on a long gainer for the Sachems resulted in a fumble, with senior safety Ned Buckley recovering on the Warrior 35 yard line.

The Warriors then put together a decent drive that moved the ball from the Wakefield 35 yard line to inside the Winchester 20 yard line, indirectly setting up their second touchdown later in the quarter.  Taking over with 5:21 to go in the half, Kane gained 5 yards before Buckley hit senior split end Nick Elcewicz for 13 yards on a beautifully executed middle screen.  Buckley, Kane, and McGunigle then went for 7, 4, and 9 yards respectively as Wakefield kept the ball on the ground.  An offside penalty against Winchester gave Wakefield a first down at the Winchester 26 yard line before the drive stalled and the Warriors turned the ball over on downs at the 18 yard line with just over a minute to go in the half.

The Warrior defense forced yet another three-and-out and the punt was shanked out-of-bounds giving Wakefield the ball at the Winchester 34 with 33 seconds to work with.  A Winchester offside sandwiched between two incomplete passes put the ball at the Sachem 29 yard line with less than 20 seconds on the clock.  Here, Ned Buckley and Alex Jancsy connected on another screen pass, this one in the left flat.  Jancsy sprinted 27 yards downfield following great blocking before being hauled down 2 yards short of the end zone.  Then, with the Winchester coach waving wildly for a timeout to no avail, Zack Kane found pay dirt.  The PAT kick was blocked but Wakefield had extended its lead to 14-7.

Third Quarter

In the first half, Paul McGunigle ran for approximately 35 yards.  It was here in the second half that he went into true “beast mode” to go well over 100 yards rushing for the night.

Winchester received the opening kickoff and, stop me if you’ve heard this before, again went three-and-out.  Wakefield wasted no time building off the momentum of its last minute first half score.  With the ball back in their hands, the Warriors went 73 yards in 14 plays, using well over six minutes to extend its lead to two scores.

On this drive alone McGunigle nearly equaled his first half performance.  His highlight run was a 15 yard effort which featured a spin move away from a potential tackler and an ability to keep his legs churning as Winchester tried to bring him down.  Kane ran a counter for 11 yards and Buckley converted two 3rd down plays with quarterback sneaks.  Tighe Beck pitched in with a nice sideline hitch for 8 yards as well.  But the capstone of the drive belonged to junior Joe Marinacchio who first gained 10 yards on a sweep right on the drive’s penultimate play and then, on the next play, ran wide, turned the corner and found the pylon for an 11 yard score.  McGunigle converted the PAT kick and Wakefield was in command 21-7.

Winchester did get something going on their next possession, which spanned the 3rd and 4th quarters but good defense prevented any sustained momentum.  The Sachems covered a squib kick at their own 45 yard line to start the drive.  On the first play from scrimmage, Evan Gourville broke through the line followed by Zack Kane who helped him clean up the play for a 3 yard loss.  A short pass to Sam Curtin, defended by senior corner Eric Smith, got those three yards back and then a nice slant route to Sam Casey got the Sachems another 13 yards.  On the next play though Mike Moran diagnosed the screen pass and dropped Devin Marrocco for a 6 yard loss.  A 7 yard run by quarterback Liam Fitzpatrick brought the third quarter to an end.

Fourth Quarter

A Wakefield offside gave Winchester a 3rd-and-3 at the Wakefield 35 yard line.  Joe Connell stepped up to stuff a run for no gain and then Carmen Sorrentino forced a 3 yard loss on a completed swing pass on 4th down to end the Sachem drive.

The best pass sometimes is the pass you don’t make.  On a couple of occasions earlier in the game, quarterback Ned Buckley threw the ball out-of-bounds when the play just wasn’t there.  On this possession, however, his strategy for escaping the pass rush resulted in an intentional grounding penalty which pushed the ball back to the Wakefield 25.  Wakefield had to turn the ball over to Winchester with 10 minutes to play, plenty of time for a potential comeback.  But punter Pat Leary uncorked a season-long 53 yarder that would pin Winchester back at its own 19 yard line, snuffing out any possible momentum from Winchester’s defensive stop.

Four plays later any hope of Winchester mounting a comeback threat was extinguished.  Senior safety Ben Yandell intercepted Fitzpatrick and returned the ball 27 yards to the Winchester 18 yard line.  McGunigle then went for 4 yards on first down and again on second down.  Buckley converted his sixth short yardage run for a first down to the 7 yard line.  One play later McGunigle took a pitch left into the end zone but the score was called back due to holding, pushing the line of scrimmage to the 21 yard line.

Undaunted Mr. McGunigle gained 18 hard yards on the next play, 2 more on the following play before reclaiming the touchdown he lost with a 1 yard jaunt on 4th down.  He also converted the PAT kick and Wakefield had completed its scoring for the night at 28-7.  Winchester mounted one final inconsequential drive before turning the ball over.  McGunigle was good for one final run of 20 yards before Buckley took a knee and the Warriors walked off the field having clinched a spot in the MIAA Division 3 playoffs.

Notes: Senior two-way lineman Logan Dunn had a monster game hitting everything in sight on both sides of the ball…..He and his fellow offensive linemen, Jared Regan, Evan Gourville, Matt Mercurio, and Joe Connell deserve a lot of credit for the success of the running game this night…..Also the entire Warrior defense should take a bow as they pitched a shutout and accumulated no fewer than four three-and-outs….Senior Quarterback Ned Buckley’s middle name is Brady, the family name on his mother’s side.  By successfully converting six quarterback keepers for first downs, he made some wonder whether he was named after another Brady who quarterbacks down in Foxboro…… the 4th quarter punt by junior Pat Leary could get lost in the excitement of a 21 point victory but it helped ice the victory…. Junior Joe Marinacchio continues to do something better each and every game as the season progresses….seniors Kevin Russo and Zach Conlon were among the players in street clothes nursing injuries…the loudspeakers atop the press box failed during the first half and were only intermittently functional for the remainder of the game…..The technical difficulties disappointed what was another good-sized crowd on a cool football night.

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