Red Raiders tame Wildcats to remain undefeated

Oct 5, 2017 by

Melrose (4-0) takes 27-13 victory after 2nd half comeback

Published in the October 6, 2017 edition

THE MELROSE Red Raider football team remains undefeated at 4-0 after spoiling Wilmington’s perfect season with a 27-13 road win last Friday. Tonight, Melrose looks to break Stoneham’s perfect 4-0 record when they host the Spartans at Fred Green Field at 7:00 p.m.

By JENNIFER GENTILE

MELROSE—The Melrose Red Raider football team remains undefeated at 4-0 after a 27-13 road win over Wilmington on Thursday, Sept. 28 at Alumni Field in Wilmington. It was a high stakes game with both teams who entered the game unbeaten at 3-0 hoping to earn league advantage along with Stoneham (now 4-0) whom Melrose hosts this Friday night in must-see football. 

Melrose rallied despite a 13-10 deficit at halftime and the threat of losing their first game against a surprisingly tough Wilmington team, off to their best start in seven seasons. The Wildcats brought to the field a tough running game, including QB Graham Smith and running back Jason Kenney who combined for almost 200 first half yards.  

Both teams swapped possessions in the opening minutes of play. Melrose’s Rey Guity picked off a throw from Smith and Melrose took over on their own 42, then launched a 14 play drive, highlighted with big rushes from Colin Keirnan and Isaac Siede, while Melrose QB Charlie Stanton connected with Nyland for an 8 yard gain. Keirnan helped drive Melrose to the 20 yard line on a series of first downs which set up a field goal by Kemar Bynoe, giving Melrose a 3-0 edge just minutes into the second quarter. Wilmington fumbled on the next possession, recovered by Melrose’s Mike Fennell, but holding calls and a tight Wildcat defense forced the Melrose punt. On the Wildcat’s next possession, quarterback Smith scored on a 73-yard run and point after by Adam Bishop made it a 7-3 game, Wilmington.

But Melrose’s Isaac Seide struck back, breaking three tackles for a 70 yard touchdown run to make it 10-7 with 4:11 left before the half. Wilmington raised their game with a huge kickoff return by Justin Fraser, who brought the ball to the Melrose 35, and from there Kenney scored again for Wilmington. A missed point after made it a 13-10 game, Wilmington, going into halftime. 

Melrose came back a different team after the break. Stanton connected with Mike Fennell on a 10 yard TD reception and a point after by Bynoe was good, giving Melrose a lead of 17-13 with 6:00 left in third. On the next Wilmington punt, their kicker was pinned up in his own end zone, and a bad snap caused the ball drop back out of the end zone for a Melrose safety and two point gain. The score stood 19-13 with 5:00 to go in the third. Melrose silenced the Wildcats once more when Charlie Stanton continued his strong night by finding the end zone on a QB sneak, and completed a two point conversion. A scoreless fourth quarter maintained the score and earned Melrose their fourth straight victory—keeping them undefeated.

Currently, they are at the top of the Middlesex Freedom League with Stoneham (4-0) whom they host tonight at Fred Green Field at 7:00 p.m, in a high stakes, league-advantage game. 

The Spartans were pesky competition last season for Melrose, despite the Raiders taking a late game victory. Stoneham brings to to the field mega running backs Trey Pignone and Christos Argyroupolos, both of whom came up big against Wakefield in their 36-6 win over the Warriors last week.

Game time is 7:00 p.m. A perfect prelude to Homecoming Weekend for Red Raider Nation.

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