By Matt Noonan
Five weeks of the Massachusetts high school football season are in the books – it went by fast, eh?
Luckily, there is still so much football left to play. Plus, the postseason is on the horizon, so these next few weeks will certainly be interesting, but also a lot of fun.
Last week, I had the privilege of covering Watertown versus Wilmington – the Wildcats departed Victory Field with a 35-14 win, thanks to quarterback Pedro Germano, who finished the game with four touchdowns, including one on the ground.
Wilmington entered the game with some momentum following a 31-22 victory over Melrose – Pedro Germano recorded two scores (one throwing, one rushing) in his team’s win over the Red Raiders – but really took over last Friday’s contest with a lengthy drive to start the second half, which included three fourth-down conversions.
Germano concluded his team’s 14-play, 77-yard drive with a 15-yard bootleg to the left side to provide the visitors with a 28-14 advantage that would eventually morph into a three-score lead on the initial play of the fourth quarter when the senior signal-caller connected with Mike Lawler for a 41-yard touchdown.
While Germano and the offense were fun to watch, so was the defense, which was tasked with slowing down Watertown halfback Mason Andrade, who rushed for two scores in his team’s second setback.
Wilmington certainly has the capability of going on a deep playoff run, but as I learned after the contest concluded, they must play a complete four quarters, which they certainly can do.
The Wildcats visit Burlington on Friday, October 15 – kickoff is scheduled for 6 p.m. – while Watertown will head to Stoneham for a 6:30 p.m. start.
Since dropping their season-opener to Chelsea, Salem has been a team to watch, winning four straight, including a 12-6 victory over Saugus last weekend. Michael Ready recorded two scores in the win, including a 90-yard pick-six in the final frame to help the Witches break open a 6-6 tie and move to 4-1 in the Northeastern (South) Conference.
This week, Salem will visit Masconomet, which boasts an identical 4-1 record.
Heading into the sixth week of the 2021 season, there are only two teams unbeaten in the Tri-Valley League (TVL): Ashland and Norton.
The Clockers have scored some impressive wins this fall against Holliston (20-14) and Wayland (24-20) and will host Westwood this week in a TVL Large meeting. The Wolverines defeated Medfield last week, 13-7, to secure a two-way tie with Ashland in the Large Division – both teams trail Norwood, which has won a pair of divisional meetings.
Look for Ashland to lean on Matt Gillis this week against Westwood, who concluded his team’s game last week against Holliston with an eight-yard touchdown reception from Luke Herter to go with two extra points.
Norton is one of two teams in TVL Small that has captured at least one divisional game thus far – Bellingham has always won a divisional matchup against Dover-Sherborn. The Lancers scored a 33-27 victory last week against Medway for their second-straight home win and will attempt to make it three consecutive victories in Norton this Friday when they host Millis.
Keep your eyes on Dedham, which bounced back last week against Millis after falling to Dover-Sherborn one week earlier by a score of 27-13.
This week, the Marauders host Bellingham in an important game for the Maroon and White.
Cathedral returned to the win column last week as they pitched a shutout against O’Bryant (35-0). Kyree Egerton rushed for 168 yards and three touchdowns in the win to bump the team’s overall record to 3-2.
This week, Cathedral will look to capture another important contest when they travel to St. John Paul II on Saturday, October 16 for a 1 p.m. kickoff.
One last thought: Natick and Wellesley have been two teams I have been keeping an eye on this fall (from afar, of course!) – the two teams met last weekend with Natick rolling past Wellesley, 42-21.
Jake Adelmann scored three touchdowns in the fourth quarter to help the Redhawks score their fourth win of the season.
I expect Wellesley to bounce back this week against Brookline while Natick should pick up its fifth win against Newton North.
Pending how things shake out with the upcoming postseason, I expect Natick to make a deep postseason run while Wellesley should win at least one, maybe two rounds.