Melrose tops Chieftains, 36-6, in Friday night thriller

Published in the September 15, 2017 edition


MELROSE—The Melrose Red Raider football team kicked off their season last Friday, September 8 at home at the Fred Green Memorial Field with an impressive display of offensive firepower and defensive expertise for a 36 -6 victory over Masco to start their season 1-0.

MELROSE QUARTERBACK Charlie Stanton helped lead Melrose to a 32-6 opening night victory over Masconomet last Friday. (Steve Karampalas photo)

Things started rolling for the Red Raiders three minutes into the game, as quarterback Charlie Stanton connected with wideout Michael Fennell on a 3rd and long that brought out the chains. After measurement , the Raiders were a yard shy of the first. Deciding to go for it, Stanton handed off to running back Rey Guity , who brought the rock off tackle and through a Masco linebacker for a first down around the Masco forty yard line. Melrose offense went hurry up, handing off to Guity and completing an inside slant to Michael Fennell for a drive-saving first down, setting up the Raider offense inside the Masco thirty yard line. A series of short runs and an incomplete pass brought up fourth and four . Quarterback Charlie Stanton received the snap and lobbed a pass to Michael Fennell by the right sideline for yet another first down inside the Masco red zone. A four yard gain by Guity only brought Melrose closer to the end zone. The Raiders ‘ air superiority was established as Stanton took the snap on second down and rolled out to the right and fired a laser into the end zone where Fennell was mid-dive. Fennell hauled it in for the Raiders first touchdown of the 2017 season, giving Melrose a 6-0 lead with three minutes left in the first.

Masco began their possession with a hand off up the middle but ran smack in the wall of Melrose defensive tackle Jake Fortier for a loss. Masco found a groove and began driving after two big gains on the outside. Melrose’s Colin Kiernan and Kevin Peete caused   big collisions but Masco advanced into the Raider red zone soon punch ed it up the middle for a touchdown, leaving the score at 6-6 with about ten minutes left in the second quarter. As Masco lined up for the extra point and the go ahead, Melrose’s Cameron Rosie burst through the line like a ball seeking missile and dived in front of the kick, blocking it, and keeping the score tied.

After forcing Melrose to punt, Masco advanced to the Melrose 25 and on fourth and two saw the ball stripped for a fumble recovered by Melrose captain Adam Caffey . Melrose ran the ball on a series of carries by Rey Guity and Jack Sullivan (in QB duty) but was forced to punt just as the clock ran out at halftime, the score locked, 6-6.

After the half, Melrose kicker Kemar Bynoe sent the ball deep into the Masco end zone and Christopher Cusolito rushed down the field with enough speed to be clocked on radar and landed an absolute stick on the Masco return man. With the ball on the Masco 25 , the Chieftains ran directly into the immovable forces of Drew Difraia and Jake Fortier . On second down , Melrose’s Kevin Peete came through with the phenomenal coverage of a Masco wideout, forcing the ball to drop out of his hands and ushering in third down.

With six minutes left in the third and the score tied, 6-6, Melrose faced a threat by Masco in the red zone. With 4th and 7 on the Raider 18 yard line Derek Diraffaele sacked Masco quarterback Matt Brockelman. With a momentum now shifted, Melrose’s Guity bounced a run outside into the Masco red zone . Penalties helped bring Melrose to the goal line and Stanton punched it in with a touchdown that gave Melrose a lead of12-6 with 3:00 left in third.

The ensuing kickoff left the Masco squad on their own 24 yard line. Coverage by Rey Guity prevented a huge pass and on 3rd and 9 and soon Cameron Rosie forced a f umble that bounced into the hands of Adam Caffey, who defied a number of Masco blockers on a scoop and score , sprinting past the twenty, ten, and five yard line for a touchdown. The crowd went crazy and Raiders took a lead of 18-6 with 1:00 left in the third.

As the 4th started ticking , Masco continued their drive up field, and a questionable pass interference call set them up close to the Raider red zone. Two runs and an incomplete pass brought out 4th and 10 for Masco. As Brockelman took the snap he was picked off by the Melrose’s Kevin Peete , who returned the interception close to the Masco red zone. From there Stanton found Colin Kiernan , who punched it in for the hard nosed touchdown. After a successful extra point, the score was Melrose 25- 6 with 5 minutes left in the game.

Masco was forced to punt at the 3:00 mark and on Melrose’s next possession Rey Guity advanced on a 2nd down hand – off to the seven yard line, then punched it in for the score . The point after was good and Melrose took a lead of 32-6 with 2:00 minutes left . As the clock drained that score remained and represented Melrose’s (1-0) first win of the season.

On Friday, the Red Raiders will travel to Waltham to take on the 1-0 Hawks, who just came off a win over Newton North. Melrose has played Waltham the last two seasons in non league action and prevailed both times. Action takes place at Leary Field in Waltham at 7:00 p.m.