WAKEFIELD HS (MA) 42, STONEHAM HS (MA) 28
STONEHAM – Wakefield coach Mike Boyages never second-guessed his gut-instinct to go for the end zone on fourth and 7, his team clinging to a one-possession lead with just less than two minutes to play. After calling a timeout to make a slight adjustment, Boyages sent quarterback Mike Miller to the field with the play, and the junior signal-caller executed perfectly. Miller hit tight end Alec Brown with a 17-yard touchdown pass on a seam route with 1:31 to play as Wakefield toppled No. 20 Stoneham, 42-28, Friday night.
“We figured we’d use our outside skills and at some point there was going to be a mismatch,” Boyages said. “We were going to throw all the way on the fourth down, but we didn’t know who to go to so we made an adjustment.” Wakefield (7-1) moves into second place in the Middlesex (Freedom), only behind Burlington (7-1, 3-0). Since Burlington beat Wakefield last week, the Warriors hope Stoneham beats Burlington next Friday for a shot at the conference title. “We had to win this, or we would have been out,” Boyages said. “Now we have to root for Stoneham to beat Burlington, which is a tough task.”
Both teams struggled to contain the big play in the first half, but it was Wakefield which made the second-half adjustments, outmuscling Stoneham in the final two quarters. Stoneham running back Darius McPherson (6 carries, 183 yards) rushed for a 71-yard score on the third play of the third quarter, giving Stoneham a 28-21 lead. But before the third quarter came to a close, Miller hit wide receiver Bruce Brown for a 37-yard score, and a Sal Lo Brutto extra point tied the score, 28-28.
On Stoneham’s ensuing possession, Brown intercepted quarterback Andrew Cann’s pass. Cann tried to get the ball to wide receiver David LaBossiere in the end zone, but Brown outjumped him. “LaBossiere is a good player, so I had to watch out for him,” Brown said. “He has the same jumping ability as I do, but you just got to be patient and wait for the ball.” Three plays later, Brown (7 catches, 190 yards) caught a 6-yard pass and broke 66 yards for the score, giving the Warriors a 35-28 lead with 6:16 left. “Bruce is tough to cover,” Boyages said. “We go five across, and [Stoneham] has to play man-to-man and Miller is a good runner to keep them honest.” On the next drive, Stoneham faced a fourth-and-6 from Wakefield’s 45-yard line, but Cann was sacked for a 7-yard loss.
A 10-yard run from Tyler MacDonald and a facemask penalty set up Wakefield’s final score, which landed in the record books. Miller (17-33, 323 yards) broke the school record for touchdowns in a season with his fourth of the game, bringing his total to 15, one more than Tom McManama in 2005.
PLAYER OF THE WEEK: Rob Ennis (Millville HS/NJ)
In a gathering of the best high school talent in America this summer at Team USA's prestigious Austin, Texas gathering, Rob Ennis opened eyes and gained confidence that he would become one of the best sophomore tailbacks in the land. On Friday night, Ennis carried 32 times for 302 yards to break the school’s single-game rushing record as Millville defeated host Oakcrest 40-29 in a Cape-Atlantic League American Conference game Friday.
Late in the fourth quarter, Ennis ran for 11 yards to tie the record of 294 set by Charlie Patterson in 2005. He followed that with an 8-yard gain to break the record and set the new one at 302.
Ennis also scored three rushing touchdowns, including two that were 50 yards. He started the scoring for Millville with a 4-yard run in the first quarter.
Ennis now has 1,096 rushing yards this season and 12 touchdowns.
PHOTO OF THE WEEK: "TALK TO THE HAND"
Maryland's Calvert Hall football team was pretty banged up after Monday's loss to Gilman and played without four starters in Friday night's regular-season finale at Archbishop Spalding, but the Cardinals only looked bruised for about eight minutes.
The No. 2 Cardinals gave up an early touchdown to No. 10 Archbishop Spalding and then shut out the Cavaliers the rest of the way en route to a 27-7 victory that clinched the No. 2 seed in the Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association A Conference playoffs and a first-round bye. Calvert Hall possessed one of the top junior signalcallers in the nation in Colar Kuhns. His bruising tailback Robbie Jones wins UHP's Pic of the Week with his stiffarm to Archbishop Spalding defender John Craig to pick up a first down in the second quarter.
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