NICO CHIULLI’s two touchdowns helped Melrose top Watertown 28-16. (photo by Raj Das, edphotos.com)
6-2 Melrose travels to Holliston tonight
By JENNIFER GENTILE
WATERTOWN—The Melrose High football team made their playoff run official with a clutch 28-16 victory over a tough Watertown team on the road at Victory Field last Friday evening, Oct. 28.
Both teams entered the game at 5-2 and the win assured Melrose a return to playoffs, which begin tonight, Friday, Nov. 4 as #13 seed Melrose begins their journey in the Div. 4 playoff bracket by traveling to Holliston to take on the 7-1 #4 seed Panthers.
It was Melrose’s running game against the Watertown Raiders that put them over the edge last Friday evening. Melrose senior quarterback Josh Madden did a lot of it, running for 113 yards and throwing a touchdown pass. Melrose’s Nico Chiulli also ran for two touchdowns for another overall solid night.
Melrose was on board first, taking a 6-0 lead after launching a 13-play drive that culminated in a Chiulli 3-yard touchdown run. After forcing a Watertown punt, Melrose started a new drive, with Madden running 30 yards to the Watertown 42. He then connected with senior Oto Albanese for a 45-yard touchdown pass, and a two-point conversion by Steve Fogarty would give Melrose a 14-0 halftime lead.
The third quarter opened with Watertown quarterback Johnny Cacace connecting with Vincent Wolf to bring Watertown into the red zone but Melrose’s Ben Cassavoy picked off Cacace’s pass on the Melrose thirty.
Melrose would drain the clock on a series of runs by Steve Fogarty (over 60 yards) and a key 15-yard pass from Madden to Dan Dussault helped set up a Dom Delgado touchdown on fourth and goal with less than seven minutes to go in the game. Melrose took the lead, 21-0.
Watertown finally scored with 4:00 left when Cacace connected with Payton Andrade on a 65-yard pass that set up a one-yard Cacace touchdown run. The Raiders attempted an onside kick that was recovered by Steve Fogarty at the Melrose 44. Madden then ran for 45 yards and set up Chiulli’s second touchdown of the game to make it 28-8. Watertown’s Cacace had another touchdown run with 11 seconds left for a final score of 28-16.
Tonight Melrose travels to #4 Holliston to take on the Panthers in the opening round of Div. 4 playoffs. Kick off is at 7:00 p.m.