Wilmington 20, Burlington 0 — Once again the Burlington High football team played hard with a good effort and made some good plays. But as has been the story throughout their season so far, the Red Devils made some mistakes, missed some chances to score, and didn’t play well enough defensively to stay in the game.
Instead it was Wilmington that made some big plays in the first half to set the tone and take a two-score lead. Then the Wildcats played some solid defense in the second half to prevent Burlington from mounting a comeback, to emerge with a 20-0 victory over the Red Devils, in a game held at Alumni Stadium Friday night.
The Wildcats were led by running back Marcello Misuraca who rushed for 155 yards on 16 carries, including two big first-half runs that set up Wilmington’s first two scores. Quarterback Pedro Germano was also huge with six of seven pass completions for 94 yards and two scores and also ran for another score.
The Wildcats’ tough defense limited Burlington running back Adam Eldeeb to just 51 rushing yards, and quarterback Ronan Noke to just 44 rushing yards and three of 13 pass completions. Wilmington’s defense also prevented the Red Devils from moving any closer than the Wilmington 25, and Burlington’s record fell to 0-6.
“It was the same story for our offense as it was for us before,” said Burlington coach Dan MacKay. “We committed penalties, shot ourselves in the foot, and didn’t execute. We had receivers open on pass plays but we didn’t hit them. We drove down the field twice but fumbled it away once and stalled out once.”
After an early exchange of punts, the Wildcats set the tone on the first play of their third possession from their own 12-yard line, when Misuraca broke through the front line and ran 58 yards before being tackled at the Burlington 30-yard line.
Then after Misuraca ran for five more yards, Pedro Germano ran a perfect option play around right end, and rambled down the sideline 25 yards to the end zone for the score, to give Wilmington a 6-0 lead late in the first quarter.
The Red Devils took their next possession into Wilmington territory, as Noke completed passes to Sam Doherty and John Hoffman to move to the Wilmington 37. But after a penalty and a sack of Noke backed up Burlington 10 yards, Noke fumbled the ball which John Germano recovered for Wilmington at midfield.
The Wildcats wasted little time taking advantage to strike once again, as two plays later Misuraca again stepped up big with a 35-yard run to the Burlington 11. Then on the next play Pedro Germano hit his brother John with a pass in the end zone for the score, to extend Wilmington’s lead to 12-0 late in the first half.
“I felt our defense was awesome, but they got us on two big plays, and that was the difference in the game,” said MacKay. “Their running back has two big runs, their quarterback scrambled and scored, and they got us on a pass when we didn’t cover their wide receiver after they showed us the same play before.”
Wakefield 50, Winchester 0 — Even under the best of circumstances, this year's version of the Winchester High football team was going to have problems when it took on a really good Wakefield squad, Friday night at Landrigan Field.
Then to find out the young and inexperienced Red & Black were going to be without Derek Gianci, their leader both on offense and defense, plus a total of four linemen, well it was not unexpected the Warriors would come away with a 50-0 win
Gianci, Winchester's leading rusher and scorer on offense, and top playmaker on defense at inside linebacker, left gaping holes to fill. Sophomore Ryan Doucette made his first varsity start at running back.
The four linemen missing included three starters and a utility player who would sub in for the starters. Winchester dressed Thomas Centurelli, a slot receiver and inside linebacker, with a lineman's number 69 and put him to work in the trenches. They also called up a freshman and another lineman who did not usually play.,
"Between illness and boo-boos, we had about 15 kids unable to practice the other day," said Winchester coach Wally Dembowski. "That's 25% of the team."