Two weeks of Massachusetts high school football are in the books. And a third is set to begin this evening with a few games to watch, including Natick (2-0) at Milford (2-0) — the game is scheduled for a 6 p.m. kickoff.
Before we officially begin the third week, allow me to share some thoughts and observations from the first two weeks.
This week, we’ll be making the trek to Medford (1-1) — the Mustangs will host their initial Greater Boston League (GBL) tilt of the 2021 season by welcoming Revere (1-1) to Hormel Stadium for a 6 p.m.
Both teams scored week two victories with Revere beating Chelsea while Medford outlasted Cambridge. Medford’s win over Cambridge was their first on their home turf in three seasons.
As of this morning, Medford and Revere are two of four teams in the GBL that boast a 1-1 record, however, the Patriots and Everett both own identical 1-0 marks in conference play.
Lynn English, Malden, and Somerville are seeking their first wins of the 2021 season — could that happen this week?
Last Saturday, I had the chance to watch two Catholic Central Large (CCL) teams compete at Hormel Stadium with Bishop Fenwick scoring an impressive 48-7 win over Arlington Catholic.
The game was highlighted by an impressive ground attack that was led by Troy Irizarry, who scored three touchdowns. The Crusaders’ defense was also fun to watch — they certainly did not make things easy on a Cougars offense that registered just one score after recording 30 points one week earlier against Lowell Catholic.
Arlington Catholic quarterback Isaiah Osgood has tossed three touchdowns this season — his third occurred last Saturday against Bishop Fenwick on a long toss down the far sidelines to Andrew Sullo.
While it was only one game, I certainly believe the Crusaders are going to be a team to watch this fall, despite graduating some key pieces from its Fall II squad earlier this spring. Bishop Fenwick graduated 18 seniors last spring, but one might not know that by the way, this team has played in the first two weeks.
Bishop Fenwick quarterback Steven Woods will continue to be a signal-caller to watch — the same could be said for Costa Beechin (wide receiver/defensive back), Chris Faraca (wide receiver/defensive line), and Troy Irizarry (running back/defensive end).
Going back to Medford-Revere, here are a few players I am looking forward to watching on Friday: Dominick Terranova (Medford | QB), Alvin Legros (Medford | WR), Isiah Blake (Medford | RB), Osman Elkouram (Medford | LB), Augusto Gonsalves (Revere | DE), Wilmer Rodriguez (Revere | RB), Davi Barreto (Revere | RB), and Max Doucette (Revere | LB).
Kipp AcademyLynn Collegiate football coach Jim Rabbitt joined me this week on the Noontime Sports Podcast — you can hear the show on Apple Podcasts and Spotify, as well as on other platforms, too.
Jim and I discussed a variety of topics, including his playing days at Framingham State, his path to becoming the head coach of the Panthers, and what he and his team learned from their 2019 campaign, which saw Kipp Academy fall short of advancing to its first-ever state championship at Gillette Stadium.
This week, Kipp Academy, which has won its first two contests, will look to continue its early season momentum when they travel to Georgetown for a 7 p.m. kickoff. The Royals enter the week three clash with a 1-1 record.
There are quite a few teams that boast a 2-0 record, but here are the squads — well, programs, to be exact — that I am interested in watching this week to see if they can pick up their third-straight win:
East Bostons: The Jets soared past Brighton last Friday and appear to be the team to watch in the Boston City League.
North Reading: The Hornets are averaging 47.5 points per game but will they be able to score six or seven touchdowns tomorrow against 2-0 Pentucket?
St. Mary’s (Lynn): Keep your eyes on the Spartans tomorrow evening as they travel to Bishop Feehan for a battle of 2-0 squads.
Malden Catholic: The Lancers have scored back-to-back wins to start their season against Gloucester and Weymouth, but face a tough test tomorrow against Scituate, which lost a heartbreaker last Friday to Duxbury.
And a few more: Billerica, Chelmsford, Lunenburg, Wakefield, Marblehead, North Quincy, Ashland, Norwood, Dover-Sherborn, Norton, and Cathedral.
The first official week of the Massachusetts high school football season is in the books.
Here are some highlights (and yes, takeaways, too) from the initial week of the 2021 season.
For starters, it was great to see fans back in the stands last Friday and Saturday.
I was at one of the games — a non-conference clash between Malden Catholic and Weymouth that saw the Lancers roll past the Wildcats by a score of 35-6. The game was highlighted by some impressive defensive plays, along with a rushing attack that will once again be on display this week when the Blue and Gold host Gloucester on Friday, September 17 at 7 p.m.
The Generals defense kept the Fishermen’s offense in check, limiting Gloucester to just one touchdown, a 62-yard rushing score by Caleb DeCoste, which provided them with their first and only lead of the contest.
Friday’s clash between the Fishermen and Lancers will be one to keep an eye on — could the Lancers begin their season with back-to-back wins?
Scituate is going to be a team to watch, both this week and throughout the fall — the Sailors scored an impressive victory last Friday over Milton, thanks to Keegan Sullivan, who rushed for four touchdowns, including a 67-yard score in the third and 66-yard touchdown in the fourth to secure a 34-20 victory.
This week, the Sailors visit Duxbury on Friday for a 7 p.m. kickoff — the Dragons also scored an opening win by downing Bridgewater-Raynham by a score of 42-0.
The Norwood Mustangs are going to be a team to watch and yes, beat, in the Tri-Valley League (TVL).
Norwood commenced its 2021 campaign with a 21-14 victory over Stoughton last Friday — the win was highlighted by a trio of student-athletes, including Matt Alves, who recovered a fumble in the end zone in the third quarter.
Norwood returns to the field on Saturday, September 18 when they host Falmouth, which lost its season-opener to Plymouth North by a score of 18-14.
Jathan Greene was the player to watch last Friday afternoon in Brighton’s season-opener against O’Bryant.
Greene led the Bengals with three touchdowns — two on the ground, one through the air — while Damian Blacknall added an 82-yard rushing touchdown in the fourth.
Following Greene’s initial score against the Tigers, Quarterback Sahmir Morales connected with Isiah Joseph for a 36-yard touchdown, which provided the visitors with a 14-0 lead after one frame.
Brighton’s opponent this week — East Boston — also scored an opening day win over Boston Latin, thanks to a trio of rushing scores from Jaye Kincade, Jashua Delacruz, and Randy Bermudez.
The Jets beat the Bengals during Fall II by a score of 20-12, so it will be interesting to see if the Blue and Yellow can duplicate that performance from March on Friday.
A few additional thoughts … congrats to Brian McCray on his first win as the head coach at Belmont. The Marauders defeated Cambridge last Friday by a score of 20-7 … Wayland looked rather impressive last Friday as the Warriors rolled past Hopkinton by a score of 40-6. Shayne Sutton could not be stopped as the senior rushed for four touchdowns against the Hillers … Chelsea, which is competing in the Greater Boston League (GBL), scored an opening day against Salem, and will look to continue their early season momentum against Revere, which lost its home opener to Peabody by a score of 28-7. The two teams will square-off in Chelsea on Friday at 6 p.m.
We’ll have a few more high school football posts later this week, but for now, thanks for stopping by to read our first-week highlights — and yes, some takeaways and thoughts, too.
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.
Weeks after scoring its initial win over Malden, the Medford boy’s lacrosse team found themselves needing to claw back from a two-goal deficit not once, but twice to secure hard-fought 8-7 overtime victory over the Golden Tornadoes on Thursday afternoon at the Edgerly Sports Complex.
Medford’s PJ Haberstroh netted back-to-back goals, including the equalizer with 4:44 remaining in the fourth quarter before Tom Connearney clinched the win for the Blue and White with a transition goal during the final seconds of overtime.
The win provided the Mustangs with a season-sweep of the Golden Tornadoes, who led for a majority of the contest, thanks to key contributions from Zach Rufo and Collin Wilcox.
Malden led 3-1 after one quarter before Medford stormed back to even the score at 4-4 at the break, thanks to a strike from Connearney, which was set-up by Joe Sargent.
Both teams would swap goals throughout the opening minutes of the third before Malden pushed ahead, 7-5, thanks to back-to-back tallies from Rufo and Wilcox.
Medford returns to action next Monday, May 6th when they visit Salem, while the Golden Tornadoes are scheduled to face Matignon on Saturday, May 4th at 1 p.m. Malden and Matignon were scheduled to compete earlier this spring, but the game was postponed to this weekend.
Thursday’s High School Lacrosse Scoreboard | May 2nd, 2019
Braintree 15, Weymouth 6
St. John’s Prep 8, BC High 6
Beverly 9, Swampscott 2
Revere 11, Salem 6
Marblehead 16, Danvers 9
Peabody 13, Gloucester 4
Duxbury 22, Plymouth North 0
Xaverian Brothers 9, Bishop Guertin 4 (with tonight’s win, the Hawks qualify for the upcoming MIAA Tournament).
Hingham 10, Needham 8
Natick 9, Wellesley 2. (tonight’s win over the Raiders was the Redhawks’ first-ever in program history. Natick has been competing for the past 18 seasons).
Needham 17, Hingham 5
Wellesley 10, Natick 9
Walpole 20, Milton 4
Brookline 10, Framingham 9 (OT)
Winchester 16, Wilmington 4
Duxbury 20, Plymouth North 2
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