Wahconah Catches Fire in Second Half at Lee
LEE, Mass. – After a slow start, the Wahconah football team made the proper adjustments at the break to put up 22 second-half points in route to a 28-0 road victory over Lee on Friday night putting them at 4-0 on the season.
"Lee had a good game plan against us," Wahconah coach Gary Campbell said. "They certainly executed it well and I told the kids at half time, not every game is going to be forties to whatever. We made some adjustments and it really helped us.
“Blocking wise, some things that they were doing we didn't expect them to do and credit to them. We didn't adjust well on the fly. We had to step back and say okay, listen this is what you got to do. You've done this before but how come you're not adjusting on the field to it."
The Wahconah defense came out of half-time and showed that it was ready to fix the problems as it forced Lee into a quick three and out. Then on fourth down, the Wildcats punter was unable to handle a bad snap putting Wahconah on the Lee 14. Three plays later, running back Caesar Quinn crashed in from two yards out to make it 14-0 with less than two minutes off the clock.
On Lee's next possession, it was the Wahconah defense again coming up with a big stop on third down to force another punt. Wahconah took over on its own 37 and got the passing game going. After two straight hot passes out to the left side for gains of 6 and 8 yards, quarterback Nick Clayton faked what would have been a third straight hot pass to the left side and found his wideout Ryan Washburn wide open down the sideline for a 41-yard strike, pushing the lead to 20-0.
Despite making adjustments at half and forcing Lee to punt on all five of their offensive possessions, Wahconah's most important defensive stop of the game came in the first half after the visitors took a 6-0 lead on a 9-yard quarterback keeper by Clayton.
Lee took over and marched 79 yards down to the 1-yard line and was looking to tie things up but the Wahconah defense had other plans. Wahconah stuffed the Lee on three straight plays and then on fourth and goal, the Wildcats had back to back false start penalties that backed them up to the 11-yard line before an incomplete pass in the right corner of the end zone gave the ball back to the Warriors.
Campbell spoke highly of his defense including senior captain Marco Anastasio, captain Sean Rice, and defensive end Cole Morrison.
"Obviously, Marco is our dude in the middle,” Campbell said. “Marco's athletic and that's what people don't realize about him, he's an athletic big kid. Cole is 230 pounds, that's a big dude coming down and playing physical and our defensive tackle Sean Rice does a great job. Then our linebackers, Ryan Washburn and Vinnie French. I think the one thing that people may underestimate about our defense is that they are pretty athletic. They can change direction, they can move and then they step up and make those stops. Credit to them, I think that fourth and goal spurred us on for the rest of the game."
The Warriors defense will need to build on their performance as they travel North to Cheshire to face Hoosac Valley and their plethora of offensive weapons including Ty Mach, who is a threat to take it to the house every time he touches the ball.