Friday, September 22, 2017

Melrose Continues Hot Start With League Win Against Watertown

By Matt Feld (@mattyfeld612)

MELROSE - On a night full of defensive highlights, Melrose’s final one proved to be the most critical of them all.

With Melrose holding a 28-14 lead and under three minutes to play, Watertown marched down to the 16-yard line, hoping for one last gasp of life.

Melrose lineman Patrick Byrnes (3 sacks), however, came off the edge and stripped Watertown quarterback Nick McDermott. Michael Sickler recovered the fumble and Melrose (3-0) held on for a 28-14 Middlesex League win over the visiting Raiders (2-1) on a damp Friday night at Melrose High School.

The Red Raiders defense combined for nine sacks on the night, while forcing two fumbles and coming away with an interception.

“The kids up front had their hands full with (Watertown’s) front five,” Melrose head coach Tim Morris said. “I thought our defense played well. We gave up some big plays, but all in all played pretty well.”

A cool mist combined with harrowing winds swept through for most of the night, making the conditions seemingly perfect for Melrose’s ground attack.

Rey Guity (15 carries, 156 yards) proved to be an unstoppable force all night for the hosts.

After a seven-yard touchdown pass from McDermott to Magna Camere cut Melrose’s 21-7 lead in half midway through the fourth quarter, Guity responded.

On Melrose’s next drive, Guity took the handoff on the second play from scrimmage and went 77 yards for a touchdown to immediately give the hosts their 14 point lead back.

“Rey (Guity) keeps getting more confident with every carry,” Morris said. “He has been a JV guy until now, and this has been his chance, and he is running away with it. Literally.”

Guity set the tone from the opening kickoff.

The back rushed for 29 yards on five carries on Melrose’s first drive of the contest, before Charlie Stanton punched in a 1-yard quarterback keeper to give the Red Raiders a 7-0 lead.

Watertown appeared destined to even the score on their ensuing possession, as McDermott led the visitors down inside the Melrose 20.

Red Raider defensive back Isaac Seide, however, stepped in front of a McDermott pass and returned it 62 yards into Watertown territory to quell the Raiders scoring threat.

Guity combined to rush for 35 yards over the next two plays, the latter of which was a 10-yard touchdown run, to hand Melrose a 14-0 lead.

It was not the last time Seide was heard from before the end of the half.

A Charles Femino (three sacks) sack forced a Watertown punt, allowing the Melrose running attack to go back to work.

Seide picked up right where Guity left off. The two-way sensation took off on a jet sweep and went 55 yards down the right sideline to hand Melrose a convincing 21-0 lead.

It appeared Melrose was well on its way to a blowout victory, but McDermott hit star wide receiver John Korte (11 receptions, 126 yards, TD) for a 20-yard touchdown pass right before the end of the half to pull the visitors within 21-7 going into the intermission.

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