By Matt Noonan
MALDEN, Mass. — The Malden Catholic football team scored a convincing 35-6 victory on Friday evening against Weymouth in front of their home crowd at Donovan Field at Brother Gilbert Stadium.
Here are some takeaways and thoughts, as well as a few observations from the Lancers’ initial win of the 2021 fall season.
- Friday’s win was a complete team effort. However, what really impressed me was the Lancers defense, along with their special teams.
After forcing the Wildcats to go three and out on their initial series, Michael Azzari recorded a punt block, which would eventually be followed later in the half with a key sack during the final seconds of the second quarter, which allowed the Lancers to enter the break with a 21-6 advantage.
When I asked Azzari about his blocked punt in the beginning of the first quarter, he thought he was going to score. “It was crazy,” he said.
Unfortunately, the Lancers were unable to score on the ensuing possesion — the Weymouth defense, which did pose challenges to some running and passing plays — was able to stop Malden Catholic on the Wildcats’ one-yard line.
- Malden Catholic first-year Jaiden Williams was a players to watch on both offense and defense this evening. Not only did he record a 12-yard rushing touchdown midway through the opening session, but he also recovered a key fumble late in the third quarter on defense.
Williams said he was very excited to play his first varsity contest — he told me after the game how excited he was hearing his name echoed throughout the stadium. “I feel great,” Williams said when discussing his first varsity game and touchdown. “It’s a feeling I can’t explain.”
- In addition to being impressed by Williams, I also enjoyed watching senior Aidan Sweeney, especially on his 50-yard touchdown run to the left at the end of the first half.
When I asked Sweeney about his lone touchdown of the non-conference clash, he said that it was “somewhat our trick play.” Sweeney
As you can see below, it appeared as if a few members of the Lancers offensive line were going in different directions before Sweeney burst through to the left side.
“Thankfully, it worked out,” he said.
Indeed, it did. And that touchdown — the team’s third of the contest — seemed to keep momentum on the Lancers’ side.
Sweeney will certainly be a player to watch on the Lancers this fall, but so will Williams and other members of the offense, along with quarterback Ryan Perry, who did a good job leading the squad on a few long drives that resulted in points.
- All three players I spoke with after the game credited their teammates for the win, but also the fans, too — it was an exciting atmosphere for football that I (and most likely many) have not experienced since 2019.
Said Azzari, “The energy was crazy, the crowd was going wild, it was a great time
Malden Catholic will look to continue its early momentum next Friday, September 17 when they host Gloucester at 7 p.m. The Fishermen lost to Hamilton-Wenham by a score of 13-7.
Weymouth will look to bounce back next Friday, as well, against Newton North.