Two second quarter touchdowns result in 13-6 loss to Wilmington

SENIOR KEVIN Russo (#22) tries to elude a Wilmington defender as teammates Paul McGunigle (#42) and Evan Gourville (#55) look on. The Warriors dropped a 13-6 game against the Wildcats Friday night at Alumni Stadium.

SENIOR KEVIN Russo (#22) tries to elude a Wilmington defender as teammates Paul McGunigle (#42) and Evan Gourville (#55) look on. The Warriors dropped a 13-6 game against the Wildcats Friday night at Alumni Stadium.

Published in the October 5, 2015 edition.


WAKEFIELD — Since Wilmington joined the Middlesex League in 2011, the Wakefield Memorial High football team had defeated the Wildcats every time for four consecutive wins.

That all changed on Friday night at Alumni Stadium as Wilmington got its running game going into high gear and scored two second quarter touchdowns to hand the Warriors a 13-6 loss.

As a result, Wakefield to fell to 0-4 overall on the season and 0-2 in the Middlesex League Freedom division. Meanwhile, Wilmington evened its overall record at 2-2 and is now 1-1 in the league.

The Warriors once again hurt themselves with mistakes, while the Wildcats’ wounds were self-inflicted in the second half which gave Wakefield an opportunity at the end of the game. However, Wakefield’s last drive ended with an interception at the Wilmington 25 with 2:10 left.

The Wildcats then were able to run out the clock even though it appeared Wakefield recovered a fumble with 1:47 left. But an inadvertent whistle resulted in no play much to the Warriors’ chagrin among the team and the fans. Still, Head Coach Steve Cummings was making no excuses.

“That was an inadvertent whistle. We didn’t lose the game on that one play,” said Cummings. “We had numerous chances to win this game. We made too many unforced errors. We fumbled on the first play of the game and put our defense in a bad position. We also had that interception deep in their end at the end of the game.

“Wilmington had some mistakes, too, with the penalties and the turnover in the second half,” continued Cummings. “But when they were in the red zone, they cashed in and we didn’t.”

Wilmington had twice as many total yards as Wakefield as it ran for 260 yards to Wakefield’s 120. All of the Wildcats’ yards came on the ground while the Warriors passed for 78 yards and ran for 44 yards.

Leading the way for the Wildcats was senior RB Matt Woods who gained 146 yards on 28 carries with a touchdown. Sophomore RB Graham Smith (28 yards on eight carries) scored the other Wilmington TD.

What didn’t help Wakefield on offense was that senior QB Ned Buckley was out sick on Friday night. Also senior WR Tighe Beck was out hurt.

That meant that junior QB Kobey Nadeau played the entire game for Wakefield under center. Nadeau completed 10 of 21 passes for 78 yards and one TD. He was also intercepted once.

Defensively, senior LB Mike Moran had 11 tackles while junior DB Alex McKenna had 10 tackles. Senior LB Zack Kane made nine stops and senior lineman Evan Gourville had eight tackles.

Wakefield received the ball first to start the game but a fumble during the quarterback-center exchange resulted in Wilmington taking over at the Warrior 37 as Tyler Roberts recovered the loose ball. But Wilmington went nowhere and, on fourth down, senior Ben Yandell intercepted Wilmington QB Rob Ducharme’s pass as the Warriors took over at their own 33.

The Warriors picked up two first downs and moved the ball into Wilmington territory. One of those plays was an offside call on the Wildcats on fourth down. The other came on a seven yard run by senior RB Alex Jancsy on a third down play. A personal foul penalty on the play resulted in the being placed at the Wildcat 28. After a two yard gain by Jancsy, junior RB Carmen Sorrentino was dropped for a two yard loss. Senior WR Kevin Russo lost a yard on a run and then caught a four yard pass as the Wildcats took over on downs.

Wilmington then sustained a 12 play scoring drive which ate up the rest of the first quarter and three plays of the second quarter.

Woods gained 12 yards and then senior RB Charles Minghella had runs of 11 yards and zero yards. Smith gained three yards on third down setting up a fourth down and three from the Warrior 45. Junior RB Sam Jennings forged ahead for four yards and a first down to keep the drive alive. Woods then had runs of 11, eight and six yards to end the first quarter.

Minghella was dropped for a six yard loss on the first play of the second quarter. On second down and 16 from the Warrior 22, Minghella raced through the line for an 18 yard gain to set up a first down and goal from the Wakefield 4. Woods ran the ball in from there.

Freshman kicker Adam Bishop added the PAT to give Wilmington a 7-0 lead with 10:19 left in the second.

Wakefield started at its own 41 on its next series of downs. After a five yard gain and a two yard run by Jancsy, Nadeau was stopped for no gain on third. On fourth down and three from its own 48, Wakefield went for the first down and Kane was stopped for a yard gain as Wilmington took over on downs.

“That one’s on me. I have to punt the ball in that situation,” said Cummings. “I thought after drawing them offside on fourth down before, they might play back a bit and that would give us an opening.”

The play didn’t work and Wilmington took over at the Warrior 49. The Wildcats needed eight plays to get into the end zone for the second time.

Jennings gained four yards and Woods forged ahead for five. On third down and one from the Warrior 40, Ducharme sneaked the ball ahead for two yards and a first down. Minghella and Smith had runs of seven yards and six yards to move the chains again. Jennings and Woods gained five and eight yards for a first down at the Wakefield 12. Smith then raced into the end zone from there.

The extra point kick was no good as Wilmington led 13-0 with 5:50 left in the first half.

Wakefield didn’t pick up a first down on its next possession as it was forced to punt the ball away from its own 40. But a fumbled snap resulted in punter Pat Leary being tackled for a 15 yard loss.

Wilmington picked up one first down on a three yard run by Jennings. But from the 11 yard line, Smith was sacked for a six yard loss by Moran before he could throw the ball on halfback option. That put the Wilmington into long yardage and Durcharme’s fourth down pass was incomplete as Wakefield’s defense kept the Wildcats out of the end zone.

Wakefield punted the ball away and Wilmington picked up one first down on an eight yard run by Woods. But the time ran down on the first half as the Warriors trailed 13-0 at halftime.

Wilmington got the ball first to start the third quarter but didn’t pick up a first down and punted the ball away. The Warriors, meanwhile, were able to move the ball their first series of the second half.

After an illegal motion penalty on first down, Nadeau threw an incompletion. However a personal foul penalty on Wilmington gave Wakefield at first down at its own 46. Russo ran for 10 yards and Paul McGunigle was stopped for no gain. Kane caught a five yard pass and the Wildcats were flagged for facemask penalty which gave the Warriors a first down at the Wilmington 24. The drive stalled from there. After a four yard catch by Russo on third down moved the ball to the 20, Nadeau’s fourth down pass fell incomplete as Wilmington took over.

The Wildcats picked up three first downs on runs of 11 yards by Minghella, seven yards by Woods and nine yards by Smith. That brought the ball down to the Wakefield 39. But a holding penalty pushed the ball back 10 yards. On the next play, Jennings fumbled with Wakefield recovering the loose ball at its own 49.

Wakefield then sustained a nine play drive to score its TD. Senior WR Eric Smith caught a 16 yard pass. After an incompletion, McGungle caught a pass for a yard. But Wilmington was flagged for a personal foul penalty which brought the ball down to the Wildcat 19. Kane had no gain on first down as the third quarter ended.

Russo then gained a yard on the first play of the fourth quarter. Kane hauled in a nine yard pass from Nadeau on a third down and nine play to set up a first and goal from the Wilmington 9. Jancsy was stopped for no gain on first down and a pass by Nadeau on second down fell incomplete. On third and goal, Nadeau found senior tight end Nick Elceciwz in the middle of the end zone with a nine yard strike.

The PAT attempt was no good as the Warriors cut the lead to 13-6 with 8:45 left in the fourth quarter.

Wilmington picked up three first downs on its next drive and moved the ball down as far as the Warrior 24. But an illegal block penalty moved the ball back 10 yards and the Wildcats turned over on downs as Wakefield took over at its own 29 with 3:18 left.

Russo caught a 15 yard pass on second down to bring the ball out to Wakefield 44. After an incompletion, Wakefield was flagged for intentional grounding on the next play setting up a third down and 17 play. McKenna caught a 13 yard pass on third down and Nadeau ran for 14 yards on fourth down to keep the drive alive with a first down at the Wilmington 36. But on the next play, Nadeau’s pass to the left side was intercepted at the 25 by Tyler DeJesus.

Three plays later it appeared that Jennings fumbled with Leary recovering the loose ball at the Wilmington 40. But an inadvertent whistle resulted in the down being played over. The Wildcats picked up the first down two plays later which resulted in Wakefield never getting the ball back as Wilmington ran out the clock.