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By Michael Flanagan
Hometown Weekly Sports Editor
Long-time TVL rivals Medfield and Westwood met on the gridiron at Flahive Field on Friday night for a pivotal midseason showdown. The Wolverines (3-2, 2-1) entered on the heels 7-6 victory over Norwood in week four to snap a two-game losing skid, looking to make it two wins in a row.
Meanwhile, the Warriors (1-4, 0-3) entered looking to put an end to their two-game losing streak, but were missing some key names due to injury, including running back Joey Vachon, quarterback Jim Cosolito, quarterback Ryan Murray, and wide receiver and linebacker Sam Joline.
With both starting quarterback options sidelined, senior captain Stephen Williams took over the reins under center for Medfield from his normal mark as one of the team’s top pass-catching options. Westwood attacked Williams early with intense pressure off the edges, forcing a punt on Medfield’s opening series.
Jacob Pfaff and the Westwood offense marched down the field on their opening possession, killing a large chunk of a clock in the process. A 13-yard scramble for a first down by Pfaff, along with a series of tough runs by junior running back Colin Fay (122 yards, two touchdowns), kept the drive alive before Fay punched in a two-yard touchdown run to cap off the drive and give the Wolverines a 7-0 lead with 10:55 to play in the second quarter.
A strip sack of Williams by Miles Heespelink on Medfield’s ensuing possession gave the Wolverines the ball at the Warrior 34 yard line. However, Medfield’s defense stood tall and forced a punt after a big sack by senior captain and defensive tackle Dan Dealy moved Westwood back into their own territory. The game remained 7-0 at the half.
After halftime, Westwood continued to stifle the Medfield offense, forcing a pair of punts to maintain their 7-0 lead. With time winding down in the third quarter, Pfaff hooked up with junior Kevin McDonald for a 19-yard gain to move the ball down inside the 20. Fay’s second touchdown of the night capped off the drive, this time coming from eight yards away with 10:47 to play in the game to make it a 13-0 lead for the Wolverines (PAT no good).
Williams and the Warriors tried desperately to put together a scoring drive, as Williams scrambled 16 yards for a first down to move the ball across midfield. Westwood’s defense dialed in and forced a change of possession before feeding the rock to Ray for several big runs to kill the clock. The Wolverines would hang on for the 13-0 victory.
“It was a huge confidence booster for our team getting above .500,” said Fay following the big by the Wolverines. “This’ll hopefully help us as the playoffs start to approach.”
Westwood will look to make it three straight wins when the Wolverines travel to Ashland on October 12, while Medfield will try and get back on track at Hopkinton that same night.
For funny and incisive sports analysis, follow Mike Flanagan on his personal Twitter at @fLAno0.