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WATERTOWN TAB: Watertown Football Downs Wilmington

Posted Monday, November 05, 2012 by Michael Antonellis

Football: Watertown downs Wilmington at home

The Watertown High football team now possesses a winning record again thanks to their 27-14 Senior Night win over the Wilmington Wildcats Friday evening at Victory Field.

Needing a solid effort to snap their three game losing streak the Raiders skilled players, in particular, came up big.

Not only did senior quarterback Joey Farrar, senior running back Logan Riley, and junior receiver T.J. Hairston have big games offensively but all three of them also had interceptions.

"It's a good feeling when you are known for offense and you can contribute defensively," Farrar said. "Their quarterback did a very nice job for being just a sophomore but we were also able to take advantage of his inexperience and make some key turnovers."

Watertown got the ball first and wasted very little time taking a 7-0 lead. Exactly three minutes into the game, Riley, who rushedfor 172 yards on the night to go with two touchdowns, found a huge hole for a 27-yard scoring run that capped off a seven play, 66-yard drive.

"The offensive line opened up some really nice holes all night," Farrar said. "But on that touchdown it was really a gaping hole."

After Wilmington went three and out the Raiders found the end zone again with a seven play-60 yard drive to go ahead 14-0 with 1:39 left to go in the opening quarter. The touchdown came on a 26-yard pass from Farrar to Hairston with the locals facing a fourth and 12.

It appeared the Raiders were going to give up the ball on downs after a bobbled snap and a busted play forced the fourth and long but the Farrar to Hairston duo, which was a factor all game long, came through for their biggest reception of the night.

"T.J. has a  height advantage over almost anyone," Farrar said of his 6' 3" wideout. "But the person covering him wasn't that big and I knew if I could just throw it to him with one on one coverage he would have a good chance to catch it

The Raiders, though, did not celebrate their two touchdown lead for long. Just 22 seconds after the Hairston touchdown, Wildcat sophomore quarterback James O'Regan made a perfect pass in stride to senior receiver Tim Woods for a pretty 61-yard touchdown pass to cut the deficit to seven with 1:17 left in the opening quarter.

After Watertown failed on their next possession, the Wildcats began moving the ball down field but a Riley interception stalled the drive at midfield.

The Raiders, however, returned the favor when two plays later Hairston coughed up the ball after making a catch at midfield but the Wildcats also failed to capitalize with good field position.

Wilmington, though, would not fail on their next possession. With time running out on them before halftime, a 33-yard pass from O'Regan to junior running back Ryan Carroccino put the ball in the Watertown red zone. Two plays later with Wilmington out of timeouts, O'Regan hit senior tight end Brian Priem for a seven yard touchdown pass  to tie the score with just nine seconds left in the half.

"We were really disappointed at halftime," Farrar said. "The way we started out we should have had a comfortable lead. It certainly wasn't one of our better halves but I like the way we responded."

Wilmington got the ball first in the second half but after a couple of first downs the Raider defense forced them to punt. When they did Hairston prompty fielded the punt and took it 80-yards to the end zone for a brilliant touchdown return to put the Raiders back up 21-14. It was Hairston's second touchdown of the night.

"T.J. has really been stepping it up for us lately," Farrar said. "With Matt (junior receiver Matt Donnell out last few games due to concussion) not playing he has done a great job filling some of the void. He has even done a great job on special teams."

When Wilmington got the ball back they marched 70 yards downfield on 13 plays eating up nearly all of the third quarter time. However, the Raider defense once again got tough when it had to denying the Wildcats the end zone after they created a first and goal situation.

"We needed to score there," Wilmington coach Mike Barry said. "I was proud of the way we played, though. We played hard all game but we missed some really good opportunities to score and of course our turnovers also hurt us."

In the fourth quarter the Raiders jumped on the back of Riley who highlighted a long scoring drive with several big runs. He put the game away with a two yard run with exactly two minutes left to go to provide the final score.

"He is not the fastest runner," Barry said of Riley. "But I tell you I really like his patience. He is a smart runner and makes great cuts when he has the ball. Coming into this game we knew we had to try to stop him."

In the end Riley's efforts were a huge factor in putting the Raiders at 5-4 for the season. They will play Friday night at Wakefield, who posts a very impressive 7-2 record.

"This was a great win for us," Farrar said. "Winning on Senior Night and winning our last game ever at Victory Field is a special feeling for the seniors. But now we know we have a tough game ahead of us and we would love to have a lot of momentum going into Thanksgiving.

Read more: Football: Watertown downs Wilmington at home - Watertown, MA - Watertown TAB http://www.wickedlocal.com/watertown/news/x1890072140/Football-Watertown-downs-Wilmington-at-home#ixzz2BfIdEDSI


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