By Matt Noonan
Isaiah Osgood loves his team’s energy.
The senior quarterback for Arlington Catholic couldn’t help but smile while watching his team warm up prior to their Wednesday afternoon practice.
“The energy here is great,” he said.
That energy – perhaps some early-season excitement, too – has resulted in a 2-1 start for the Cougars, which hope to continue its recent momentum on Friday against Bishop Stang.
Arlington Catholic defeated Bishop Stang last season, 39-36, but the early-October victory did not result in additional wins for a Cougars squad that missed the postseason.
Despite recent struggles by a program that has averaged one or two wins per season over the last four years, Osgood and his teammates are determined to rewrite the program’s “narrative.” And so far, they have by winning two of their first three contests.
“Going into (our game) against Wilmington, we had a mindset that we wanted to start off refreshed as a football team in general,” said Osgood.
Indeed, the Arlington Catholic football team looked refreshed in the opening week, especially Osgood, who began his second season as a full-time starter by recording four touchdowns in the opening day win.
Unfortunately, the week one victory did not translate to a week two win. Instead, the Cougars stumbled against a Bishop Fenwick squad that is currently averaging 31.0 points per game.
Should we mention this year’s Bishop Fenwick defense has pitched two shutouts already? Yet, they did allow two touchdowns to the Arlington Catholic offense.
Losing to the Crusaders was perhaps the motivation Arlington Catholic needed heading into its second Catholic Central (CC) matchup last week as the Cougars rolled past Archbishop Williams, thanks to six touchdowns from Osgood.
This week, the team hopes its week three victory can carry them to another win – perhaps a few more, so this year’s squad can accomplish its preseason goal of returning to the postseason for the first time since 2017.
Competing for a state championship would be a dream come true for Osgood, who has yet to experience postseason football with the Cougars.
“Going into the season, we knew we wanted to be in the playoffs,” he said. “We know we (can be) a playoff team.”
The postseason in Massachusetts doesn’t begin for a few more weeks, so luckily there is still plenty of time to accomplish this goal.
For now, Osgood and his teammates will keep their attention on tomorrow’s foe, Bishop Stang, which boasts an identical 2-1 record.
Osgood said it’s been a good week of practice for a team that spent all of Tuesday improving its defensive schemes before focusing on a slew of offensive rushing plays on Wednesday.
The team’s energy – well, more excitement for practicing – was noticeable. Players were smiling, cracking jokes, and commending their teammates that were zigging and zagging their way into the Cougars’ secondary.
“The energy of this team has been great,” said Osgood. “This season feels special to me.
“It’s a special team” we have here at Arlington Catholic, the senior signal-caller would add.
A special team that hopes to begin a new chapter of success that dates back to Super Bowl championships in 1993 and 2008, along with a slew of league titles.
Noontime’s Week Four Picks
OK, after taking a week – maybe two? – off from picking high school football games, allow me to make some predictions for games taking place Thursday and Friday.
Arlington Catholic over Bishop Stang. The Cougars will win their second-straight contest and improve to 3-1 overall and 2-1 in CC play. Look for another big game from Isaiah Osgood.
Weymouth over Needham. I expect the Wildcats to lean on its rushing attack against a Rockets defense that will be tasked with finding ways to slow down Cam Fernandez, Tyler Nordstrom, and Cameron Aieta.
Milton over Walpole. After watching the Timberwolves rally to beat Wellesley last week, it’s hard to pick against them. But I think Milton might be the best team in the Bay State Conference (BSC) – they have won three-straight contests, as well as scored an impressive opening day win against a Scituate squad that appeared in a Super Bowl last December.
Westwood over Medway. The Wolverines will cap the opening month with a win after dropping a heartbreaker last Saturday to Quincy in the final seconds. Look for a big game from Westwood’s Brendan Donegan and Thomas Warren.
Dover-Sherborn over Dedham. The D-S defense has pitched back-to-back shutouts – I expect the Raiders’ early-season success to continue for a fourth-straight week against a Dedham squad that lost to Canton last week by a score of 14-0.
Woburn over Arlington. If Arlington is going to score its first Middlesex League victory, the Spy Ponders will need a big game from Kayden Millis. Bryan Ferreira is the player to watch on the Tanners, which had their two-game winning streak snapped last week against Bedford.
North Reading over Ipswich. Will Batten and the Hornets will continue their early-season success on Friday with a win over Ipswich.
Malden over Somerville. Halfback Mack Blaise will enjoy another successful evening on the ground, leading the Golden Tornadoes to their third win in four weeks.
Revere over Lynn English. The Patriots’ two-game losing streak was snapped last week, thanks to Maykin Gonzalez, who rushed for a trio of first-half touchdowns. Look for another big game from Gonzalez on Friday against the Bulldogs.