Host Winchester tomorrow night in homecoming at Landrigan Field
Published in the October 22, 2015 edition
By JIM SOUTHMAYD
WAKEFIELD — Right now, the Wakefield High Memorial High football team is on the outside looking in as far as a Div. 3 Northwest playoff berth is concerned.
The Warriors are currently ranked ninth in the power rankings in the 11-team sectional and will need to win to move up a spot to get into the postseason. A win against Winchester will help them toward that goal.
Wakefield hosts Winchester tomorrow night at 7 p.m. at Landrigan Field in the regular season finale.
Wakefield stands at 1-5 overall while the Sachems are 2-4 and are seeded seventh in Div. 3 Northeast.
“It is a battle for the seventh and eighth spots by us, Belmont and Woburn. Woburn is playing Melrose. If they win, they will be in but that is a tall order,” said Head Coach Steve Cummings. “Belmont is playing Lexington. If they win and we win, it is going to come down to a couple of games that are happening elsewhere that will determine playoff points (Medford vs. Somerville and Stoneham vs. Watertown are the biggest ones). Overall, we just need to win and hope things break our way but we put ourselves in a position where we need some help.”
It will also be homecoming tomorrow night for the Warriors who return to Landrigan after playing three straight games on the road. Wakefield went 1-2 on the road with the lone win coming against Stoneham by a 7-6 score. Wakefield lost by a touchdown against Wilmington and was blanked by Burlington in a one-sided contest last week.
“It is great to be back home. This is our seniors’ last scheduled home game, so I expect us to come out hitting on all cylinders. We have had a great week of practice and I am looking for our seniors to lead us tomorrow night,” said Cummings.
The only way Wakefield might get a home game again is if it doesn’t make the playoffs and hosts a non-qualifier game at some point over the next three weekends after tomorrow night. The Warriors are scheduled to play Melrose on Thanksgiving Day in Melrose.
But of course the Warriors are hoping for at least the eighth seed and a playoff berth. As long as Wakefield is in the playoffs, it will most likely play its games on the road.
The Warriors are 1-5 due mostly to turnovers, three of which led to 21 of Burlington’s 28 points last Friday night. Ball security will be job number one when Winchester rolls into town.
Wakefield will also have to deal with a Sachem team that needs a victory to help solidify its playoff spot as well.
“Winchester beat us last year, so we are not taking them lightly. They jumped out to a 30-0 halftime lead on us and we fought back to 30-26 but fell short at the end,” said Cummings. “Coach (Wally) Dembowski does a great job with his offensive scheme, lots of read option with back side bubbles, short passes and crossing routes. They give you a lot of field to defend. They are in the same boat as we are. They are currently in the seventh spot in D3 NE, so this game is vital to both programs. We just need to focus on playing mistake free football.”
Winchester is coming off a high scoring 35-28 loss where Belmont’s Mekhai Johnson rushed for 283 yards and four touchdowns.
Sachem QB Liam Fitzpatrick, a sophomore, threw two touchdown passes last week and rushed for another score. He had 117 yards passing as he completed 11 of 15 passes with one interception as well. Fitzpatrick also ran for 93 yards on 11 carries and was Winchester’s leading rusher.
Sam Curtin caught both of Fitzpatrick’s touchdown passes, one was from five yards out and the other 33 yards.
The fourth touchdown was scored by running back Sam Casey on a three yard run.
The Warriors are certainly hoping that they can earn a victory and do their part to earn a playoff berth. Then they will have to wait and see how some of the other match-ups turn out to determine their postseason fate.