Warriors play well against Northeast in initial scrimmage

Published in the September 1, 2015 edition

WAKEFIELD — The Wakefield Memorial High football team had its first scrimmage of the preseason on Saturday morning at Landrigan Field against Hemlock Road rival Northeast Metro Tech. While the veterans were in there, the Warriors scored two touchdowns to the Knights one.

“I was really happy with the overall intensity of our guys Saturday,” said Head Coach Steve Cummings. “They came to play and were able to have success on the field. Obviously, the first scrimmage will have some breakdowns but nothing that we weren’t expecting.”

On the first defensive series (10 plays): Wakefield played well against the run. The Warriors gave up big gain on an inside counter play and NE Voke scored on a toss pass from the 10 yard line. But other than that, guys filled gaps, got off blocks and rallied to the football. The defensive line was led by seniors Logan Dunn and Matt Mercurio. Wakefield also had solid linebacker play from senior Zach Kane and Alex Jancsy.

On the first offensive series (10 plays): The Warriors got in the end zone from one yard out. That was set up by a 51 yard pass from junior QB Kobe Nadeau to Jancsy on a pump and go down the sideline. Senior QB Ned Buckley did a nice job mixing in some short passes and making good reads in Wakefield’s running game. Senior Eric Smith closed the offensive set with a catch over the middle for 13 yards from Nadeau.

On the second defensive series (10 plays): Wakefield’s defensive line played better, getting adjusted to the double wing, toe to toe alignment from NE Voke. The Warriors gave up some short runs here and there but nothing big and guys rallied to the ballcarrier with aggressive gang tackling.

On the second offensive series (10 plays): Smith took a jet sweep for a 25 yard gain early in the series. Nadeau hit senior receiver Ben Yandell on a corner route to set up Wakefield’s second score. Nadeau made a great read on the defensive end and pulled the ball on a read-option to go untouched into the end zone from eight yards out. The key block on the play from seniors Tighe Beck and Kane.

From there on out, the younger kids got to take the field on both sides for the Warriors.

“Defensively, I was very impressed with our young kids. They did a great job of executing, spacing and using their hands,” said Cummings.

Sophomore linebackers Alex Joly and Dan Cataldo had a good showing. Offensively, sophomore Henry Stikeman took a jet sweep 32 yards to the end zone, highlighting what was a very productive day from the younger players.

“They moved the ball, avoiding negative plays, something that we have really focused on this offseason,” said Cummings.

It wasn’t a big first showing for Wakefield. The Warriors do have several areas to work on before their opener against Beverly.

“Overall, we need to tighten up some things on offense. We were out of alignment a couple times and we mixed up some of our motions, but all of that is expected when you are only six days into the season. Defensively, I loved the intensity, guys flying to the ball. We need to get better getting off blocks and finishing at the point of contact but I’m very happy with the progress we have made since day one. Now we just have to focus on getting better and clean some things up for our next scrimmage at Methuen this upcoming Tuesday at 5 p.m.”