Westboro Runs Past Fitchburg
WESTBORO -- The Westboro football team has been a thorn in the side of Fitchburg many times over the last few years. Last year, the Red Raiders needed to knock off the Rangers in order to stay on track to make the postseason, and Westboro managed to stymie the Red and Gray.
A year later, give or take a day, and it was the same result.
Fitchburg had difficulty in stopping the Rangers’ jet sweep on Saturday afternoon, and host Westboro continued running it en route to a 35-7 victory at Hayes Field.
The loss drops Fitchburg to 2-4 on the season, and the Red Raiders will look to right the ship when they welcome winless Groton-Dunstable Regional to the corner of Circle and Broad on Friday night.
Westboro improved to 3-3 to give itself a chance at a playoff spot in Division 4.
Second-year Fitchburg coach Tom DiGeronimo took this loss on his shoulders.
“We’re not where we’re supposed to be,” he said. “We just didn’t make plays, we didn’t get our responsibilities. We just didn’t play well.
“When we execute, we’re good. We didn’t execute, we didn’t play well, we didn’t come ready to play. That’s on me. I own it. But we’ll get ready to play next week.”
Jack Slocum’s (7 carries, 126 yards rushing) 54-yard TD run on the second play from scrimmage put the host Rangers (362 yards of total offense) into the driver’s seat, as he took Luke Lentine’s handoff on second-and-10, swept right, and cut in through a hole the size of Cleghorn. He turned on the afterburners and couldn’t be caught, and Mac Bradley’s point-after split the uprights to put Westboro up 7-0 after 44 seconds.
Westboro sent Fitchburg three-and-out on its first series, then needed five plays to double its advantage. And again, it was the sweep that set up the score as Slocum gained 21 yards on second-and-3 from the Raider 41.
Three plays later, Slocum scored on the jet sweep to the right from 4 yards out, and Bradley’s PAT made it 14-0.
Fitchburg (186 yards of offense) would move the ball on its next series, converting a third-and-9 from its own 9 thanks to a 37-yard completion between Andrew Brooks and Devin Deleon and a 26-yard carry by freshman Anthony Oquendo (8 carries, 57 yards).
But a series of sacks by the Rangers forced the Raiders to punt.
FHS’ defense would force a pair of Westboro punts, but the Rangers would make it a three-score game with 4:12 remaining as Chris Martin scored from 14 yards away on a sweep to the left.
And Westboro made it a 28-0 lead at the interval after Kevin McCarthy went off the right tackle from 3 yards away.
Fitchburg would give itself new life on the first play from scrimmage in the third quarter.
After Ozzy Guy returned the half-starting kick from the FHS 3 back to the Westboro 33, Luis Aldarando took the handoff, went straight up the middle, and broke a tackle en route to the end zone, accounting for FHS’ lone score of the afternoon.
Damien Saavedra’s point-after was good.
But late in the third, Martin added his second TD of the afternoon on a sweep to the left from 10 yards away.
Red Raiders 7
Fitchburg (2-4) 0 0 7 0 7
Westboro (3-3) 14 14 7 0 35
W -- Jake Slocum 54 run (Mac Bradley kick), 10:16
W -- Slocum 4 run (Bradley kick), 6:08
W -- Chris Martin 14 run (Bradley kick), 4:12
W -- Kevin McCarthy 3 run (Bradley kick), :21
F -- Luis Aldarando 33 run (Damien Saavedra kick), 10:38
W -- McCarthy 10 run (Bradley kick), 2:24