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Mustangs outlast Wilder, Warriors in opener

Senior James Wilder (3) breaks a tackle and rushes up the field on a kickoff return. Photos by Mike Flanagan.

By Mike Flanagan
Hometown Weekly Sports Editor

Medfield High School varsity football hosted Norwood on Saturday afternoon at Fisher Field to open up the much-anticipated, COVID-delayed 2020-2021 season.

With Saturday serving as the first real game action for both teams in over 400 days, it took a quarter for the Medfield and Norwood offenses to click and shake off some rust. Following a Medfield fumble on a jet-sweep attempt to senior wideout James Wilder, Norwood was set up with the ball inside the Medfield 20-yard-line. A 17-yard run by junior running back Bryan Metayer brought the ball down to the one-yard line before senior running back Robert Wladkowsky punched it in for a 7-0 Norwood lead with 10:03 to play in the second quarter.

With Norwood driving late in the half, Medfield junior defensive back Jack Sullivan intercepted a shot downfield by Norwood quarterback Jason Denehy to keep the game 7-0 at halftime.

With 6:19 to play in the third quarter, Denehy hooked up with Metayer for a 35-yard score on a seam route, doubling Norwood's lead to 14-0. Senior quarterback Ryan Murray brought Medfield's offense into Norwood territory with consecutive first-down runs, but the drive would stall out with a turnover on downs.

With 8:10 to play in the game, Metayer struck again, this time taking a hand-off from Denehy and rushing 52 yards to the end zone to put Norwood ahead comfortably at 20-0 (PAT no good). On Medfield's ensuing possession, Murray hit Wilder on a go-route for a 68-yard touchdown up the right sideline to bring Medfield back to within two scores at 20-7. After back-to-back sacks by Jared Hirshfeld and Liam Frazier forced Norwood to punt, Murray and the offense were given the chance to cut the deficit to one score with the ball near midfield with 5:14 remaining. Unfortunately, Medfield's offense was disrupted by heavy pressure, as consecutive sacks by the Mustangs and an interception by senior defensive back James Gamel on fourth down sealed the 20-7 victory for Norwood.

For funny and incisive sports analysis as well as video highlights of games, follow Mike Flanagan on his personal Twitter and Instagram handles @flano0.

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