Melrose (6-0) thinking playoffs after 46-14 victory

Published in the October 20, 2017 edition

SENIOR CAPT. Colin Kiernan came up big for the Melrose Red Raider football team with three TDs, to help Melrose stay undefeated after a 46-14 win over Winchester. (Donna Larsson photo)


MELROSE—The Melrose High School football team showed up in spectacular fashion at the Fred Green Memorial Field on Friday, October 13 with a 46-14 win by a mile against the Winchester Sachems, to remain undefeated at 6-0 at the top of the ML Freedom League. 

Melrose dominated early after forcing a Winchester turnover with six minutes left in the first. The Raider offense took over at the Melrose 19 yard line and opened with three Rey Guity handoffs that put them on the Winchester 41 yard line. On the ensuing handoff to Isaac Seide, a blitz forced Seide to make the cutback and break two tackles on his way to another Raider first down. After a Stanton QB keep and a Rey Guity bolt up the middle, the Raider offense were situated just outside of the Winchester red zone. Colin Kiernan found an alley into the end zone for Melrose’s first touchdown with two minutes left in the quarter.

Melrose stalled Winchester’s next drive, thanks to defense from Dylan Robertson and a monster hit by Kevin Peete that broke up a sure-catch. After a Sachem punt, Melrose began the domination once again with QB Charlie Stanton zinging a pass to Michael Fennell for a gain of fifteen yards. Rey Guity took the following handoff for a huge gain, zipping up the left sideline, shaking off one tackler and bringing the rock another 10 yards before finally being brought down. On the next play and the last of the first quarter, Guity made an excellent effort at the Winchester 45 yard line, somehow holding onto a pass after turning upfield and taking a crushing high-low hit from two Winchester defenders. Guilty would come out of the game and not return.

The second quarter opened up with Isaac Seide bolting up the left sideline on an end-around for a first down, and then Gabriel Nyland hauling in a 30 yard Stanton bomb and sprinting into the end zone for a Melrose touchdown. An extra point made the score Raiders 13-0 with 10 minutes left in the second. The Sachems saw their next drive thwarted by Charles Femino and Colin Kiernan to set up a crucial 3rd and 10 at the Winchester 40. As the Sachem QB took the snap and dropped back looking for targets, but Melrose’s Kevin Peete broke up another pass and forced the punt.

Seide received the next punt and took off past the 50 yard until finally brought down at the Winchester 40. Jack Sullivan hopped in the pilot seat at QB for Melrose with great field position and took the first down snap up the middle for a solid 8 yards before handing off to Seide who brought the Raiders to the Winchester 25. Two more handoffs for short gains brought the situation to 3rd and 3. From there, Colin Kiernan took the handoff up the middle through traffic, ping-ponging into the end zone and catapulting the score to Melrose 19, Winchester 0 with five minutes left in the first half. Winchester finally got their wheels turning on their next possession, carrying the ball downfield and scoring their first points of the night, leaving 2:35 on the clock. The Raiders had a solid go of a 2 minute drill but couldn’t force it in, the score at halftime: Melrose 19, Winchester 6.

The second half opened with Melrose receiving the ball and the Melrose line opening craters in  Winchester defense for Kieran and Seide to bomb through over 20 yards. Stanton’s precision passing to wideout Michael Fennell provided another first down and put the ball on the Winchester 49. A few plays later the “Stanton to Fennell portal” opened up again on a laser pass that Fennell snatched out of the air to set up 1st and 10 on the Winchester 19 yard line. Two plays later, Kiernan took the middle handoff and bounced the run outside for his third TD of the night, bolstering the Raider lead to new heights, making the score Melrose 25, Winchester 6 with six minutes left in the third quarter. Then on Winchester’s first down of their next drive, Gabriel Nyland picked off a pass to return the ball to Melrose at the Winchester 45. Quarterback Jack Sullivan brought the Raider offense to the line. With a pass rush closing on him, Sullivan launched a throw to Melrose’s Cam Rosie for a huge gain to set up first and goal. The Raiders’ reigning air superiority seemed the proper channel to stick with. Sullivan promptly fired to Derek DiRaffaele for the Raider touchdown bringing the score to Melrose 32,  Winchester 6 with plenty of game left in the second half.

After another Sachem turnover, a handoff to Colin Kiernan turned into a mad dash for 35 yards, with Kiernan powering through a crowd of Sachem defenders to churn out yet another huge play for Melrose. This run set up the Raiders in the Winchester red zone. A few plays and a holding penalty later, Melrose was faced with third and eleven from the Winchester 11. Quarterback Charlie Stanton received the snap, took a three step drop, and launched a missile at Michael Fennell, who caught and found the end zone, making the score Raiders 39, Sachems 6.

Winchester found the end zone on their next drive and after, their onside kick was recovered by Raider Mike Calvert. Melrose set up shop just outside of Winchester territory and handed off to Michael Koytikh for a huge gain up, putting Melrose on the Winchester 41. A few plays later, Koytikh took the handoff to the outside before spinning around a diving Sachem defender to bring the ball into the end zone for another Raider touchdown, Melrose 46, Winchester 14.

This would be the final score in a throw down of all-around Raider skill, with every member of the Melrose team stepping up to battle it out for 44 minutes of excellent football.

Tonight, Melrose hosts Burlington in their regular season finale. The Red Devils come into the game winless at 0-6. Action starts at Fred Green Field at 7pm.