The following text was provided by Woburn Pop Warner:
The Loyal Order of Moose E1 Trojans played host to the Reading Rockets this week at Woburn Memorial High School. The two teams had more than just each other to contend with. Mother Nature came to play, too. Bringing with her cold, hard rain on this Sunday morning. No player, coach, referee, Chain Gang member or fan would leave WMHS dry this day.
Coach Mike Morgan’s boys opened up on their own 35 yard line. Running back Nick Puleo strung together two 13 yard runs, both outside to the right. His open running space was created by some fierce blocking from Matt O’Connor, Killian Hayes, Gavin Nigro, Tyler Farren, Andrew Taft and Jake Daniell. The opening drive showed promise but was abruptly cut short when the ball was fumbled away to Reading.
The Rockets first play from scrimmage was blown up in the backfield by lineman Ty Farren. A chorus of ‘Weeman’ could be heard from all over. Big tackles by Devon McLaughlin, Nigro, and Thyago Eller would stop Reading’s next three plays before the Rockets could gain any positive yardage.
The Trojans took over on their own 38 yard line. After two wide runs were stuffed for losses QB Alex Fishlin tried to throw for the first down. The wet spiral slipped through his receivers fingertips and possession went to the Rockets.
The Rockets running attack was fueled up for this drive. Starting on Woburn’s 28, Reading ran left for 11 yards. This put them on the 17 yard line, 1st and 10. Pedro and Joao Germano would combine with Puleo to make a stop in the backfield for a loss of two yards. The next two Rocket runs found them on the Trojan 3 yd line. A huge push up the middle from O’Connor, Joao Germano and and Weeman Farren knocked the the Rockets back to the 5 yard line. Reading reset their line and ran left, leading their man into the end zone. Reading failed to convert the extra point and would then kick off to Woburn, ahead 6-0.
The Trojans would start from their own 43. Nick Puleo ran right for a big 17 yd gain. Birthday boy Thyago Eller celebrated his big day in style. After a short carry for four yards, Eller burst to the left and stormed 38 yards for the touchdown. Eller would run in the extra point and give Woburn a 7-6 lead. The teams then exchanged four-and-outs leading up to halftime, Woburn had the edge, 7-6.
The Roche Bros. cheerleaders were not in attendance today. They had a competition of their own to participate in. Their uplifting halftime show would have helped buoy some spirits this day.
The Rockets opened the second half with the ball at midfield. On 2ndand 10 they carried left and seemed to be shut down. The Rocket running back shook a couple arm tacklesand launched through the pile. 50 yards later, Reading found themselves leading 13-7.
Woburn would fumble away it’s next possession. Defensive Coordinator Jack Hayes’ defense got the ball right back to the offense with a stand resulting in a four-and-out. Tackles being made by Angel Apaza, Joao, Jack MacDonald and a big fourth down stop for Farren.
Starting on Reading 33 yard line, Coach Morgan called for a reverse. Fishlin handed off to Xavier Etiene, who then dished to Eller. Eller sprinted left for 17 yards, putting Woburn in the red zone. 1st and 10 saw Eller charge right trying to get outside the offensive line. The birthday boy took the corner and would not be caught. After Eller’s second TD the conversion attempt failed and the game was knotted at 13-13.
Woburn’s defense would stop Reading on their next two possessions. Fighting and sloshing through the wind-swept rain were Jack Seibel, Mason Parziale, Mike Mahoney, Michael Dionne, Matthew McCarthy, Andrew Taft, Angel Apaza and Matt O’Connor.
Late in the game, with the score still tied, Woburn would start from their own 14. Puleo broke free for another 25 yards down the right side. The next two runs for Woburn were both for losses, setting up 4th and 21with less than one minute on the game clock. The play was busted. Woburn turned it over to Reading on the Trojan 28 yard line, with 0:06 to play. The Rockets had time for one last play. They ran left and the running back broke out 28 yards for the touchdown! Reading would leave victorious, 19-13.
The Loyal Order of Moose E1 Trojans travel to Wakefield next Sunday, 10/21.