Warriors dropped by Red Raiders for the second straight year, lose 40-22
By JIM SOUTHMAYD
WATERTOWN — The Wakefield Memorial High football team had won 23 games in a row against Watertown and had quite an impressive streak. Now, the Warriors own a more dubious streak against the Red Raiders.
The Warriors lost their second straight contest against Watertown as they couldn’t stop undefeated Watertown and dropped a high-scoring 40-22 game last night in rare Thursday night contest at Victory Field.
Wakefield fell to 1-3 overall on the season and is now 0-2 in the Middlesex League Freedom division. Watertown, meanwhile, increased its overall record to 4-0 and is 2-0 in the division.
A big reason why the Warriors lost was due to the play of senior QB Nick Giordano. Giordano rushed for two touchdowns and passed for two more scores. Giordano had 111 yards on 16 carries rushing. Through the air, Giordano completed 10 of 18 passes for 176 yards.
“The good news is that Giordano is a senior and he will be graduating,” said Head Coach Mike Boyages. “He does so much for them. He threw the ball and he made his runs. We had to respect the fake (with Giordano keeping the ball). Watertown is very balanced football team.”
The Warriors showed the ability to move the ball, too, but mostly through the passing game. Senior QB Anthony Cecere completed 15 of 26 passes for 254 yards and two touchdowns. He also rushed for one TD.
Senior WR Brian Dickey, senior WR Chris Calnan and junior WR Tighe Beck all had solid receiving efforts in the passing game. Dickey had six catches for 84 yards and one TD. Calnan had three catches for 29 yards and caught a two-point conversion pass. Tighe had three receptions for 125 yards.
The game couldn’t have started off any worse for Wakefield as it got the ball first and fumbled two plays later with Watertown’s Nicholas Ohannesian recovering the loose ball at Wakefield 20.
On second down and nine, Giordano broke a 17 yard run to set up a first down and goal at the Warrior 2. But the Warrior defense had a terrific goal line stand dropping Giordano for a two yard loss, forcing an incompletion and stopping senior RB Austin Farry for just a two yard gain. On fourth down and goal from the 2, freshman kicker Conor Kennelly kicked a 19 yard field to give Watertown a 3-0 lead with 7:09 left in the first quarter.
Watertown never trailed in the game as a result. Also, the Red Raiders haven’t trailed in a game this year.
“We turned the ball over at the 20 and you can’t do that against a good team,” said Boyages. “We did a good job keeping them out of the end zone and held them to a field goal.”
Cecere was sacked for a nine yard loss by senior Brian Dellacosta on a third down and six play as Wakefield punted the ball away from their own 24. The Red Raiders started their next series of downs at the Wakefield 32 after a 16 yard return by senior Jared Grillo.
After an incompletion, Giordano found junior Tyler Poulin with a six yard completion which Poulin held on to despite a hard hit from Beck. Giordano gained a yard. After a holding penalty on Watertown, Giordano completed a 14 yard pass to junior WR Kyle Foley on a fourth down and 13 play from the Warrior 35 to move the chains.
Giordano gained five yards and then threw an incompletion. Sophomore Zach Rimsa gained four yards setting up a fourth down and one play from the Wakefield 12. The Warriors clogged up the middle to prevent a QB sneak so Giordano broke outside and ran down the left side line for the TD. Kennelly’s PAT gave Watertown a 10-0 lead with 1:10 remaining in the first quarter.
The Warriors answered with a score early in the second quarter. Senior RB Luke Martin gained two yards and lost a yard to end the first quarter. A pass interference call against the Red Raiders gave Wakefield a first down at its own 43 to start the second quarter. Cecere found Beck with a 43 yard pass down the left sideline. On a first down and 10 play from the Red Raider 15, Cecere showed his running ability as he took the ball into the end zone with a scamper down the left sideline.
The extra point attempt was blocked as the Warriors trailed, 10-6, with 10:12 left in the first half.
It didn’t take long for Watertown to get the lead back up to double digits as it scored on its next drive which was seven plays long.
Giordano gained 11 yards, Farry ran for three and Giordano hit Farry with a seven yard pass. Giordano gained three yards to set up a fourth down and one play from the Warrior 37. Giordano used a hard count to get the Warriors to jump offside and move the chains. Rimsa had a one yard run but a spot foul for holding pushed the ball back 10 yards. Giordano then broke an 18 yard run, but an illegal block penalty pushed the ball back to the Warrior 23. Giordano once again called his own number and scored on a TD run down the left sideline.
Kennelly added the extra point to give Watertown a 17-6 lead with 6:32 left in the frame.
After a three and out by Wakefield, Watertown turned the ball over two plays after the punt as Grillo caught a 29 yard pass but fumbled the ball away with Dickey recovering the loose ball.
Wakefield picked up one first down as Dickey caught an 11 yard pass. After a four yard run by Cecere, the QB threw three straight incompletions as Watertown took over at its own 44. The Red Raiders needed six plays to get into the end zone once again.
Rimsa gained six yards and then caught a 19 yard screen pass. After two incompletions, Giordano gained nine yards to set up a fourth down and one play from the Wakefield 22. Once again, Giordano’s cadence drew the Warriors offside to pick up a first down. Rimsa then took the ball in from 17 yards away.
The PAT attempt by Kennelly was wide to the right as Watertown led 23-6 with 1:10 left in the second quarter.
Wakefield got into the two minute drill and began its final drive of the first half with 1:01 left and several timeouts.
Starting at its own 32, Cecere gained six yards on first down. He then found Dickey with a 13 yard pass for a first down. The big play, however, was a 46 yard pass down the left sideline to Beck to set up a first down and goal from the Red Raider 3. Cecere gained a yard on both first and second down. On third and goal from the 1, senior RB Joe DiFazio was stopped for no gain. Using a timeout, Cecere found Martin with a one yard TD pass with four seconds remaining.
Cecere ran in the two point conversion play to cut the Watertown lead to 23-14 at halftime.
The third quarter was a repeat of what happened at Landrigan Field a year ago. Watertown held onto the ball for most of the period. Wakefield had a three and out and then got the ball back again with a minute left in the quarter.
The Red Raiders picked up one first down on their first drive of the second half as Foley caught a 14 yard pass. But the drive stalled and from the Wakefield 39, Giordano kicked a 33 yard punt to pin the Warriors at their own 6 yard line. Wakefield punted the ball away from its own 15 and the kick went off the side of the foot of Cecere for an 18 yard punt. Watertown took at the Wakefield 33 and scored nine plays later.
Farry ran for five yards, Rimsa gained three yards and Giordano ran for four yards and a first down. A delay of game penalty pushed the Red Raiders back. After an incompletion, an illegal use of hands penalty on Wakefield gave Watertown a first down at the Warrior 13. Giordano gained nine yards but a spot foul for holding pushed the ball back to the Wakefield 14. Farry gained two yards and Giordano fired an incompletion. Giordano rolled out on third down and found Foley from 12 yards out for the TD.
Kennelly added the PAT to give the Red Raiders at 30-14 lead with 1:08 left in the third quarter.
“They had the ball almost the entire third quarter,” said Boyages. “We only had the ball one or two times and had two three and outs.”
The Warriors took over at their own 30 with a minute left. After two incompletions and no gain by Cecere, a Wakefield punt was the final play of the third quarter.
The Red Raiders took over at their 31 to start the fourth quarter after a two yard punt return by Farry and an illegal block penalty. On the first play, Giordano found a wide open Farry over the middle with a 69 yard TD pass after a Warrior defender fell down. Kennelly added the extra point for a 37-14 advantage with 10:45 left.
Wakefield wasn’t about to quit and it quickly scored its third TD of the night. The Warriors needed seven plays to score.
Starting at the Wakefield 35, Cecere found Martin with an 11 yard pass and Calnan with a 15 yard pass to pick up a pair of first downs each time after a pair of incompletions. After a false start penalty, Cecere found senior TE Dylan Brady with a four yard pass to bring the ball down to the Red Raider 40. After an incompletion, Wakefield had a third down and 11 play. That’s when Cecere found Dickey with a 40 yard TD pass.
Calnan caught Cecere’s pass on the two-point conversion to cut the Watertown lead to 37-22 with 8:05 left.
Watertown scored its final points on its next possession starting at its own 49.
Rimsa had no gain and then caught a two yard pass. A facemask penalty on Wakefield gave Watertown a first down on the Warrior 34. Rimsa had a three yard run and Grillo ran for 19 yards on reverse play for a first down. Farry gained no yards, Giordano ran for five and Rimsa gained three yards to set up a fourth down and one play from the Wakefield 4. Kennelly kicked his second field goal of the game, this one from 21 yards away, to put the Red Raiders in front, 40-22, with 3:22 left.
Wakefield moved the ball deep into Red Raider territory on its final series of the contest. The drive started at the Warrior 30.
Dickey caught a third down pass which was good for eight yards. Then on a third down and 10 play from the Wakefield 47, Beck hauled in a 36 yard completion to bring the ball down to the Watertown 17. After a pair of incompletions and a six yard loss on a fumble, Cecere hit Calnan with five yard pass on fourth down as Watertown took over and ran out the final 49 seconds.
“We moved the ball but we weren’t able to run the ball consistently,” said Boyages. “Number 67 (Erik Baghdasaryan) played heck of a game for them on defense.
“It’s unusual that we’re 1-3 but hopefully we can put a string of wins together to get to the playoffs,” added Boyages. “We have the talent to do so. This was a key game in our division. We didn’t want to go 0-2. It’s disappointing.”