Warriors to host Dracut tonight

Nov 8, 2019 by

Published in the November 8, 2019 edition.

By DAN PAWLOWSKI

WAKEFIELD — The Wakefield High football team is better off looking at strength of schedule rather than record when scouting tonight’s opponent.

The Warriors will host Dracut in a Div. 4 North Consolation game at 7 p.m.

Wakefield lost to Wayland 27-14 in the first round last week while Dracut fell to Revere 42-6.

It was Dracut’s fifth loss in a row. But rather than examining the 3-5 record and doing the math to find the Middies have been outscored by an average of 40.2-9.6 during their current losing streak, Wakefield should consider Dracut’s opponents.

Playing in an always talented Merrimack Valley Conference, Dracut’s losses have come to Billerica, Acton-Boxboro, North Andover and Tewksbury in addition to Revere.

Div. 1 Acton-Boxborough was only knocked out of the tournament by state powerhouse Everett.

North Andover, the 4th-ranked team in Div. 2 North, is playing No. 1 Reading tonight in the semifinals.

Tewksbury, the No. 2 team in Div. 3, beat Lynn English 31-28 in the first round and will play No. 3 Concord-Carlisle in the semifinals.

Revere is still undefeated, now at 8-0 as they get ready to play Wayland in the Div. 4 North semifinals.

Dracut beat Westford (26-20), Lawrence (28-26) and Chelmsford (32-14) to start the season at 3-0. The Middies tough schedule combined with injury issues derailed their expectations.

The Middies are led by QB JC Santiago who has four rushing touchdowns along with six passing touchdowns. His 44-yard TD run accounted for their only score against Revere last week.

Dracut’s best running back Lucas Ibarguen has four rushing scores but has been dealing with injuries all season. The Warriors could see a heavy dose of RB Sloan Carter who has two TD’s.

The Middies have 12 rushing touchdowns and seven passing touchdowns on the season. Wakefield’s secondary will need to be ready for the dynamic Dominic Silvestro who leads the team with four touchdown receptions.

The Warriors’ ground-and-pound game is led by a strong offensive line including seniors captain Anthony DeVito, captain Liam Cosgrove, Jake Sowyrda and freshmen Phil D’Alleva and Ian Dixon along with rotating players like captain Chris Miller and sophomore Sharieff Andrews.

They have opened lanes for a rushing attack led by sophomore Aidan Sweeney (11 TD’s) and junior Tucker Stikeman (6 TD’s). All 21 of Wakefield’s offensive touchdowns have come on the ground.

Senior Wesley Pierre returned last week after missing two games. He has two rushing scores this year along with a kickoff return for a touchdown against Belmont.

Junior Danny Hurley has two rushing TD’s to go along with plenty of strong lead blocking, kicking and tackling from his linebacker spot for Wakefield.

Pierre’s return helps a secondary that includes Sweeney, Leo Yardumian, Jamie Poole and Bryan Lynch. They will need to be on their toes tonight with Santiago capable of beating a defense in multiple ways.

Although the playoff hopes are dashed for both teams, it’s another opportunity to improve, which is something that Wakefield continues to do in each game.

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