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Raiders Sports

WATERTOWN TAB: Watertown Football Battles Against Winchester for the Win

Posted Friday, November 16, 2012 by Michael Antonellis

Watertown battles against Winchester for the win


The Watertown High football team rose to the challenge this week as they faced off against Winchester at home.

After coming off a disappointing loss a week ago, the Raiders responded with a solid outing in their Middlesex League opener resulting in a 24-15 win over the Winchester Sachems on Friday night at Victory Field.

"We knew we had to bounce back," Watertown quarterback Joey Farrar said after the game. "We talked about it leading up to this game."

Senior running back Logan Riley highlighted the Raider offense with three touchdowns including the first score of the game just over three minutes into the contest. Riley came out like a man on a mission as he rushed for 73 of the 78 yards needed to find the end zone on the opening drive.

Riley capped off the drive with a five-yard touchdown run, putting Watertown off to a good start. Riley ran for 103 yards in the first quarter alone on his way to a 150-yard rushing night.

"They (Winchester) keep three down linemen on defense so we knew we had the opportunity to open up some gaping holes," Farrar said. "Logan and the offensive line did a great job."

On the Sachems (2-3) first drive of the game, Farrar, who also plays safety on defense, showed he that he can be very effective on the other side of the ball as well, picking off a pass from Winchester senior quarterback Tim Mangano.

Watertown promptly moved deep into Winchester territory after the turnover but a 4th and 6 pass only went for five yards and the Raiders gave the ball back to Winchester at their own 15.

However, on Winchester's next drive the Raiders would make the Sachems pay for their mistakes. This time an interception by junior Nick Giunta in Raider territory was converted into points as the locals proceeded to march downfield. 

Riley capped off that drive with a two-yard touchdown run midway through the second quarter allowing Watertown to double its lead to 12-0. 


Before halftime arrived the Sachems would cut the deficit to 12-7 as Mangano ran one in from seven yards out with just 13 seconds left to go in the second quarter. With no time outs left the Winchester signal caller scrambled to his left and avoided a couple of Raider tacklers to find his way into the end zone. Had he been tackled in the field of play the Sachems likely wouldn't have had enough time to get another play off.


However, because of Mangano's elusiveness it was only a five point Raider lead instead of a twelve-point advantage.

"We had a chance to tackle him there," Farrar said. "I felt like I might have been blocked in the back but there was still a good chance we could of made the play and kept them off the scoreboard."

Whatever momentum the Sachems had heading into halftime was quickly stolen by the Raiders early in the third quarter. Just three plays into that period a Raider interception at the Winchester 35 gave Watertown a short field to work with.

 A few plays later a touchdown pass from a scrambling Farrar to junior receiver Matt Donnell from 29 yards out gave Watertown an 18-7 lead.

For the second time in a row Watertown turned an interception into a touchdown.

"It's important to capitalize on your chances," Farrar said. "It was nice we were able to do that."

However, Winchester would not go away. By the time the third period came to a close it was an 18-13 game. The Sachems answered the Raider score with another seven-yard touchdown run from Mangano. On this scoring drive, as well as their first scoring drive, Winchester executed another clutch 4th and ten pass to keep the ball and eventually find the end zone.

On their next possession, however, Watertown once again grabbed a two-touchdown lead when Riley capped off a very impressive fourth quarter drive with a three yard touchdown run to make it a 24 - 13 game with just over nine minutes left.

The extra point, however, was blocked and returned by Winchester's Stefan Zandbergs all the way to the Raider end zone resulting in a two-point play for the Sachems making it a 24-15 score.

Watertown, who played solidly all night long on both offense and defense, had problems the entire evening with extra points. The Raiders were 0 for 3 in extra points and 0 for 1 in two point attempts. Instead of the typical 14-point lead a team usually has when outscoring their opponents by two touchdowns, their lead was only nine.

Nonetheless Winchester would not be able to get any closer as a fourth down sack deep in their territory halted one possession while another interception by Giunta stopped another. For the evening the Raiders had a total of four interceptions


"Coming up with turnovers is huge," Farrar said. "Nick really had a great night for us. He not only had two big interceptions but he caused a third one by tipping a pass."


Another key factor in the win was Watertown's ability to contain the Sachem running attack in the second half. With their leading rusher junior Dana Marrocco having several big gains in the first half, the Raider defense limited Winchester's ability to move the ball on the ground after intermission.

"After seeing how they ran the ball in the first half we were able to lock in better defensively in the second half," Farrar said.

Watertown, 4-1, (1-0 in Middlesex League) will have their toughest test of the season this weekend when they travel to Stoneham to take on the Spartans who are undefeated at 5-0 following a convincing win over Belmont on Saturday.

The Spartans have two exceptional running backs while their defense has also been stellar all season.

"They have a lot of good players," Farrar said. "We will have to be at our best."

The game with Stoneham was originally scheduled for Friday night October 12 at 7 P.M. but due to a bug that is going around the school the contest may be played on Saturday October 13.



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