Starts off season with a 46-6 win
Published September 20, 2019
By JENNIFER GENTILE
MELROSE—It wasn’t much of a contest on Friday, Sept. 13 but a scary nightmare for Malden when the Melrose Red Raider football team kicked off their season on the road beating the Golden Tornadoes, 46-6, under the lights of MacDonald Stadium to start their season 1-0.
Melrose travels to Lincoln Sudbury on Saturday for a noon game (rescheduled from Friday evening due to EEE concerns.) Melrose will face a tough Warrior squad, who is coming off a 21-20 win over Reading. Melrose opens their season at home on Friday, Oct. 4 against Stoneham.
It was a warm and sunlit evening at MacDonald Stadium last Friday. The Red Raiders took a 40-0 lead at halftime, which set the tone and said it all. Led by an abundance of scorers, Melrose saw two touchdowns a piece by William Pesce, Chris Cusolito and Matt Hickey, who combined for nearly 300 yards rushing over the evening. Pesce (90 yards) was a beast on offense, while junior Hickey got his feet wet in a dazzling season debut. Cusolito, meanwhile, was ruthless on both sides of the ball, scoring twice and picking off two interceptions.
Quarterback Brendan Fennell got the nod for Melrose and connected with Pesce, Sean Herbert and Matt Dassault for pass completions over the night.
Chris Cusolito got Melrose on the board first with a 52-yard rushing touchdown that sent Melrose up 6-0. Senior captain Herbert had a very impressive game and his 50 yard, tackle-avoiding run led Melrose to the 6 yard line setting up Pesce, who hoofed it into the end zone and put Melrose up, 13-0.
In a series of bizarre turnovers, Melrose and Malden traded interceptions and fumbles in the second quarter. Malden’s however, resulted in a Melrose touchdown when Sean Herbert picked off a Malden pass and returned the ball twenty yards. From there, Fennell connected with Matt Dassault on a pass and Hickey ran for a massive 50-yard touchdown to put Melrose up, 20-0.
Cusolito picked off two more passes but Melrose failed to take advantage. With four minutes left in the half Matt Hickey scored again, set up by Pesce, who marched the ball down 40 yards on a series of passes and rushes. A Shea Fogarty kicked made it a 26-0 game.
Cusolito struck again for Melrose with a 31 yard touchdown with 2:00 to go before the half. And Pesce found the end zone again for his second touchdown of the night after recovering a fumble on Malden’s kick off return. The Red Raiders walked into halftime with an eye-popping 40-0 lead.
Malden was able to find the end zone late in the game for a 46-6 final.
Melrose will be up against a historically tough Lincoln Sudbury on Saturday.
Sat, Sept. 21 @ Lincoln Sudbury Reg., noon
Friday, Sept. 27 @ Wilmington 7
Friday, Oct. 4 vs. Stoneham, 7 (home)