The Winthrop High football team moved the football well and captain Jordan Corbett-Frank had an exceptional night with 152 yards rushing, but the Vikings failed to capitalize on their scoring opportunities and fell to Swampscott, 28-14, in the home opener Friday night at Miller Field.
The Vikings had a difficult time containing Swampscott running back Desmond Wilhelmsen (166 yards rushing, 2 TDs), a transfer from Lynn English who had sat out the Big Blue’s first two games. The Big Blue, known for their prolific spread, passing offense the past several years, unveiled an explosive back in Wilhelmsen.
“Mistakes cost us on the offensive side, but our biggest problem was stopping Wilhelmsen, who took the field for his first game,” said Winthrop coach Sean Driscoll. “He got his waiver on Tuesday and we were prepared to play Swampscott, but not for that kid and what he did. He’s a very good player.”
Dylan Driscoll, who piloted the Vikings to a win over Saugus in the season opener, scored a touchdown late in the first quarter to give Winthrop a 6-0 lead. Swampscott answered with a touchdown and PAT to take a 7-6 lead into the break.
The Big Blue scored on their opening drive of the second half but Winthrop responded with its own march to the Swampscott 15-yard-line, but a fumble derailed the Vikings.
Wilhelmsen made the big play of the game when he rambled 84 yards to paydirt, giving the Big Blue a 22-6 advantage.
“That was the turning point of the game,” said Driscoll. “Instead of going in for a possible touchdown, Wilhelmsen made it a two-score game instead.
Jake Chiudina (9 rushes for 45 yards) rushed for a touchdown and two-point conversion early in the fourth period to close the gap to 22-14, but that man again, Wilhelmsen scored his second touchdown of the game to make it 28-14.
Sean Driscoll said Chiudina and Corbett-Frank both played very well on both sides of the ball.
“Jordan had a great game,” said Driscoll. “I thought our backfield was exceptional in running the football. We just didn’t covert at times.”
Dylan Driscoll was 10-for-20 for 88 yards and had eight rushing attempts for 24 yards in a solid performance. “But we as a team weren’t able connect for a big play down the stretch,” said Sean Driscoll.
Sophomore Reise Turransky had one carry for 10 yards but was sidelined for most of the game. Vinny Sparacino and Justin Casilla also saw action in the Viking backfield.
Zach Deeb was the Vikings’ leading receiver with two catches for 33 yards. Sparacino (2-15), Corbett-Frank (2-20), and Chiudina (3-22) also caught passes from Dylan Driscoll.
The Vikings will travel to Revere Friday night in what is believed to be the program’s first non-Thanksgiving game against the Patriots.
“It’s strange watching Revere on tape this time of year,” said Driscoll. “They’re a very skilled team. They have some really fast and talented players on offense and we’re going to have our hands full on defense.”