LYNN, Mass. -- Wakefield was down 6-0 for most of the game, but in the middle of the fourth quarter drove the ball 78 yards in roughly 3:30 minutes to post their first score of the game, a one-touchdown run by Josh Puccio with 1:52 remaining.
The extra point by Brian Auld made the game 7-6, but the Warriors' defense stopped the Marblehead Magicians from scoring as they had much of the game, holding on for the win and the opportunity to play for the Division 2A Super Bowl on Saturday.
"All season, we've kind of had some tough games," said quarterback Jamie Bourque. "Earlier this year we were in the same situation down 6-0 at the half. Once we went into the half today down 6-0 we knew that we were going to be able to do it. Stick to what was working, just execute. The first half we kind of had the jitters, but at the half we got over it when we realized it was just another football game."
With 5:55 left in the game, Marblehead was stopped on downs and punted to the Wakefield 22. After two incomplete passes, Matt McKenna caught a throw from Bourque for the first down. thee run plays, the first and third by the running back Puccio (14, 2 yards) and the second by Dan Cardillo (3) gave the Magicians a reason to close in on the Wakefield offensive attack, but that is When Bourque dopped back and found McKenna for a 10-yard gain and the first down.
The next play, Cardillo again rushed for thee yards, but on the next throw Bourque and McKenna would go for the fences, the result a 34-yard pass that was brought down to the one yard line setting up a first and goal, for which Puccio was brought back in to finish the job and put his team on the scoreboard.
First Draw Not Enough: Marblehead's only score of the game came with 7:54 left the in the first quarter, just over two minutes after the game had started. Five straight rushing plays, the first two and the last two by Will Quigley, netted Marblehead a quick score. For the rest of the match either Quigley or quarterback Ian Maag would run the ball, with passing attempts by the Magicians all failing until the final drive, in which the two completed passes proved unable to pulled Marblehead out of the hole which had been dug for them by the Wakefield offense.
Options: On Wakefield's scoring drive, McKenna caught three passes from Bourque, and 11 yard, 10 yard and the final a 34-yard snag which brought the Warriors down to the Marblehead one yard line. Prior to that series, Bourque had thrown two passes, both of them to McKenna, only one of them connecting.
"Our game plan going in was to see if we could run the ball," said Bourque. "Once we realized we had some good matchups on the outside we figured that we'd take advantage of that when we needed to."
Lack of options: Marblehead's only score, and main offense producer was Will Quigley. Although he took numerous carries throughout the game, he was unable to score again, and did not gain more than four yards on a carry during the second half.
"We made some adjustments on our defensive line at halftime. I think early on we were pursuing just a little bit too much... and we have great linebackers. They did a great job along with the front line," added Wakefield coach Mike Boyages.