Melrose improves to 3-0 after 28-14 defensive gem

Published in the September 29, 2017 edition

MELROSE DEFENSE came up big against Watertown last Friday night as the Melrose Red Raiders took a decisive 28-14 win over Watertown. Pictured is senior Cam Rosie. (Donna Larsson photo)


MELROSE—The Melrose Red Raider football team is 3-0 after a 28-14 statement win over Watertown last Friday at a rain-swept Fred Green Field. In a clash of the undefeateds, Melrose packed a one-two punch with Rey Guity (156 yards on 15 carries, 2TDs) and Isaac Siede (120 yards,1 int.,1TD) who helped hand Watertown (2-1) their first loss of the season. On Thursday (post deadline) Melrose was scheduled to travel to Wilmington (3-0) looking to break up the Wildcats’ undefeated record.

At 3-0, Melrose sits on top of the Middlesex Freedom League with Stoneham (3-0) and Wilmington (3-0) but currently leads the Div. 4 North field in power rankings, exactly where coach Tim Morris and his Red Raiders want to be four games into the season.

On Friday, Melrose’s defense was key to victory for the Red Raiders. The unit had nine sacks, two forced fumbles and an interception over the night ,with numerous sacks by Melrose’s Pat Byrne, Adam Caffey and Charles Femino.

“The kids up front had their hands full with (Watertown’s) front five,” coach Morris said after the game. “I thought our defense played well. We gave up some big plays, but all in all, played pretty well.”

Rey Guity wasted no time getting to work for Melrose. The MHS track star helped launch a 60 yard, 11 play opening drive, that culminated in a quarterback keeper by Charlie Stanton, to put Melrose up 7-0 just minutes into the game.

“Rey keeps getting more confident with every carry,” coach Morris said. “He has been a JV guy until now, and this has been his chance, and he is running away with it. Literally.”

Watertown QB Nick McDermott helped march the Raiders downfield to the Melrose 20, poised to tie the game until Melrose’s Isaac Siede picked off a pass and returned it for 62 yards, a play that changed the momentum of the game. That set up Guity, who found the end zone in two plays, resulting in a 10-yard touchdown which gave Melrose a 14-0 lead early in the second quarter. It was Seide’s turn on Melrose’s next possession when the track sprinter bolted for a 55-yard touchdown down the right sideline to give Melrose a commanding 21-0 lead shortly before the half.

Watertown proved a tough foe despite the score. While they hurt themselves with turnovers, they threatened to score on many possessions and brought to the field 6’3 wide receiver John Korte, who had 126 yards, including 20-yard TD catch that made it a 21-7 game at halftime.

Watertown kept Melrose off balance at the start of the second half when they delivered an onside kick to the Red Raiders, which Watertown recovered. Thanks to some rushes from Korte, Watertown was knocking on Melrose’s door at the 30, threatening to make it a game. But Adam Caffey and Pat Byrnes proved enormous for Melrose stopping the rush, including a 7 yard loss. On 2nd 17 McDermott fumbled, and it was recovered by Caffey, getting Melrose out of a jam. Junior Kevin Peete also got Melrose out of a jam by breaking up a pass to Korte, and soon the two team’s traded possessions. But at the start of the fourth, Watertown’s Mange Camara found the end zone on a 7 yard rush which made it a one touchdown game at 21-14 with 10 minutes to go.

Fortunately, Melrose responded right away with a massive 79-yard touchdown run by Guity, his second touchdown of the night that put Melrose up permanently, 28-14. All point-afters were successfully kicked by Melrose’s Kemar Bynoe.

Melrose defense snuffed any scoring chance on the remaining drives, thanks to key tackles by Caffey and Byrnes, who helped stripped the ball from Watertown’s McDermott. Melrose’s Mike Sickler recovered the fumble and Melrose improved their record to 3-0.

After the game coach Morris acknowledged Watertown as a strong competitor.

“Their receiver (Korte) is good,” Morris said. “They came up with some big plays. We had some penalties and that also helped them giving them good field position, which wasn’t good for us. That led to two of their scores, but we always respect them. They’re a tough team.”