BURLINGTON — The Wakefield High football team put together another well-executed game in all three phases on their way to a convincing 35-6 road victory over Burlington on Friday night, improving to 3-1 on the season.
Senior captain and running back Leo Yardumian had been having a great season through Wakefield’s first three contests. On Friday, he took his game to another level, the type of level that is typically followed up by state recognition and changing game schemes. Wakefield’s next opponents will be forced to circle number 20 on the scouting report after he ran wild over Burlington with four rushing touchdowns and 154 yards on 18 carries — an average yard per carry of 8.5.
“Leo is a pretty darn good running back,” said head coach John Rafferty who was also quick to credit Wakefield’s offensive line including Nathan Ickes, Luke Ickes, David Amyouny, captain Chris Amyouny and Kaiden Johnson along with skill position players who continue to block well like tight end Ian Dixon.
“It wasn’t complicated, just basic run schemes – the guys up front executed very well,” said Rafferty.
The Warriors rushed for a total of 297 yards as QB Javin Willis (9 carries, 85 yards, 1 TD) and RB Nathan Delgado (7 carries, 40 yards) kept the Red Devils off balance enough to let Yardumian find space. Willis also went 5-for-8 passing for 26 yards.
Defensively, Wakefield never let Burlington find a rhtyhm, holding the home team to 68 yards receiving and 49 yards rushing. The Red Devils scored on just one of their eight total drives. Wakefield scored on five of their eight.
“It was a complete effort defensively,” said Rafferty. “The front, the linebackers and secondary all played well. It wasn’t one individual making plays, they played well as a unit which is great to see. Burlington tried an assortment of things and couldn’t get much going.”
It was the defense who set the tone, getting one of their two turnovers on the very first series. Nathan Aliberti stripped a Burlington runner with Nathan Ickes also in on the tackle. Dixon recovered for the Warriors to set the offense up at the Red Devil 10 yard line. Willis carried it down to the 1 yard line and Yardumian punched in his first score of the night on the next play.
After a turnover on downs, the offense took their turn in tone-setting, putting together a 12-play, 70-yard, eight-minute scoring drive that ended in a 9-yard TD run by Yardumian and a 14-0 lead after one quarter. A 20-yard keeper by Willis and three 3rd down conversions, two by Yardumian and one from Bobby DeFeo (4 carries, 18 yards) were the highlights.
Burlington opened the second quarter with their lone scoring drive capped by an 8-yard TD run from Adam Eldeeb.
That, combined with Wakefield’s three-and-out on their next possession gave some life to the home fans, but Wakefield’s defense forced a short carry and two incompletions to give it right back to their offense on their own 30. Five minutes and 70 yards later, Yardumian was celebrating his thrid TD of the half, this time from 5-yards to make it 21-6 after another successful PAT from Mark Letchford who was 5-for-5 on the night. Yardumian had six carries for 45 yards on the drive.
The defense made one more stop in the half, highlighted by a sack on first down by Dixon and Yardumian as the Warriors went into halftime up 21-6.
Wakefield iced the clock and won the final two quarters 14-0, sending the Red Devils to their fifth consecutive loss.
Willis had a 13-yard TD run on Wakefield’s first drive of the second half. He read an edge rusher on an option and wisely kept it as the defender went for running back Nathan Delgado. Willis looked to be bottled up on the boundary but faked to the sideline and cut upfield, juking a couple more defenders on his way to pay dirt and a 28-6 lead.
The defense forced their second turnover on Burlington’s next drive when Wakefield’s best ball hawk Christian Delgado came away with an interception.
Wakefield’s final score came on a 32-yard Yardumian run early in the 4th on 3rd-and-2. With the line pulling in multiple directions, Yardumian found a gap on the left side and exploded through, breaking one tackle before cruising to the end zone for his fourth touchdown of the day – his team-high ninth of the season.
The defense and a continuing strong run game ran out the clock and gave the Warriors their third win.
After two conescutive road games, Wakefield will now get two home games in a row as they shift their attention to Winchester (0-5) this Friday at 6 p.m.
“That’s the goal every week – set the tone on Monday’s and be productive every practice,” said Rafferty. “We just want to stick to the script and have four days of good practice to get ready for Winchester.”