Dismantles Lexington, 42-14, to remain 3-0
Update post publication:
Melrose moves to 4-0 defeating Stoneham 15-8 (Sept. 29)
By JENNIFER GENTILE
MELROSE—The Melrose High varsity football team is off to a 3-0 start following a 41-14 home win over Lexington on Friday, Sept. 22, their best start since their unbeaten 2020 season. Tonight, they host Stoneham at 7:00 p.m. looking to avenge a loss from last year.
This Lexington victory comes on the heels of Melrose’s wins over Reading and Malden, efforts that have collectively seen the boys in red and white outscore opponents 105-40 in three games.
Against Lexington, Melrose senior captain quarterback Connor Brophy rushed for 130 yards with three touchdowns. Also finding the end zone for Melrose were Nico Chiulli, Jack Feeney and Marco Albanese.
Melrose was totally dominant from start to finish, taking a lead of 35-0 at halftime, which compelled Melrose to get creative with a second half lineup that allowed Minuteman points on the board. Yet, it was about as crushing an effort as possible, with Melrose scoring 41 unanswered points until the third quarter when Lexington’s Amari Mow scored to make it a 41-7 game.
Melrose made Lexington pay early when they forced a fumble on Lexington’s opening drive on the Minuteman 16, a ball that was recovered by Melrose junior Nick Hitchman. Melrose jumped at the chance with their first touchdown thanks to a 16-yard touchdown rush by Macro Albanese. A good Connor Brophy extra point put Melrose up 7-0 just a minute into the game, essentially setting the tone for the rest of the night.
Brophy rushed for 30 yards on the next drive, and Nico Chiulli for 11 yards, and the latter would score on a six-yard touchdown and a good point after to keep Melrose up 14-0. Melrose forced the punt on Lexington’s next drive with solid defensive efforts from Tyler Garipay, Will Ryan and Andrew Marciano. Melrose offense kicked it up on their next possession with runs from Ben Cassavoy and Keegan Moloney. Melrose QB Brophy had a huge 37-yard keeper for a touchdown that put Melrose up 28-0.
Lexington had a more spirited drive on their next possession, save for a great Melrose sack by Sam Noel, when Lexington’s Amari Mow caught a 55-yard pass that would set them up in the red zone. But a series of penalties and a fumble recovered by Melrose’s Andrew Marciano stopped that drive. As halftime approached, Melrose put the cherry on top with a 10-play drive that saw screen passes to Ben Cassavoy and rushes by Nico Chiulli that set up a Brophy keeper, his third touchdown of the night, to put Melrose up 35-0.
Melrose took their foot off the gas in the second half but still powered past Lexington defense behind the work of Melrose sub QB Jack Feeney, who had an impressive second half with a 35-yard rushing touchdown that gave Melrose their last score of the night to make it 41-0.
Lexington would score two more touchdowns in the final frames of the games behind Amari Mow and Elijah Cunningham, in a second half that saw strong efforts from Ricardo Teixeira, Tyler Garipay and defensive efforts from Quinn Fogarty, Sean Mackey and QB Feeney.
Tonight, Melrose hosts Stoneham (0-3) in a key Freedom League game. The Spartans are coming off a 42-8 loss to Shawsheen. While it may be easy to overlook their modest record, Stoneham is one team who always grinds with Melrose in unpredictable contests and historically has been a frequent Super Bowl contender.
However, Melrose has a good chance to pick up their fourth victory against Stoneham and third straight home win when they host the Spartans at 7:00 p.m. at Fred Green Field.