Vikings wins NEC title; defeat Danvers 27-16
By Jim Lederman
The undefeated Winthrop Vikings (7-0) captured the NEC South Title with a comeback victory (27-16) over the Danvers Falcons (3-4, 3-2) at Dr. Deering Stadium in Danvers.
The Vikings play host to Hamilton-Wenham on Friday night 7:30pm in the quarterfinal round of the MIAA Northeast Division 4 Playoffs. The “Generals” (4-3) finished second to undefeated Lynnfield (7-0) in the Cape Ann League (small schools).
The Vikings trailed Danvers 16-13 in the fourth quarter. The comeback was like the opening game vs. Saugus. The title was the first for Coach Sean Driscoll.
“It was great to win the title by ourselves, this group of athletes has worked extra hard to obtain our first goal-an NEC Title” said a jubilant Coach Driscoll. “Our defense kept us in the game. The defensive line played their best game of the year. Senior David Kirby was immense. Jeff Collignon, Renaldo Recinos, Sean Gillis. We made too many mistakes and penalties in the first half. Our sense of urgency when trailing (16-13) we know when we are losing, like in the Saugus game (down by 21 points) we don’t give up. Jordan Atkins played his best game of the year. I was on the 1983 team and that was undefeated and won the Super Bowl. I was Defensive Coordinator on a NEC Title team in 2005 and the Super Bowl Champions in 2006, this was extra special with my Son as captain and quarterback” praised Coach Driscoll.
The Vikings scored the first touchdown in the first quarter. Jake Chiudina scored the touchdown on a 4-yard run to culminate a long drive. Jake split the uprights and the Vikings led 7-0 after one quarter of play. The key play in the drive was a Driscoll to Reise Turransky 20-yard pass. Jake scored with 3:16 left on the clock.
The Falcons took an 8-7 lead midway through the second quarter Nick Andreas (27 for 40, 269 yards) connected with James English on a 10-yard touchdown pass. The conversion from Andreas to Chris Valles (11 catches for 110 yards) and Danvers led 8-7.
The Vikings had a long drive and scored with 28 seconds left in the second quarter. Driscoll connected with Co-Captain Zach Deeb (3 catches for 58 yards) on a beautiful executed screen pass. Deeb made three cuts and found the end zone from 30 yards out and the Vikings held a 13-8 lead at halftime.
Danvers received a key interception by Dan Lynch and a big 25-yard run by Richie Martino go the Vikings 2-yard line in the third quarter. A 2-yard touchdown by Martino gave the Falcons a 16-13 lead as the third quarter expired.
The Vikings defense limited Danvers to 73-yards on the ground a key sack by Senior David Kirby (his best game of the season) and stellar play from Sean Gillis, Alex Anzuoni, Tyler Gillis, Jeff Collignon , Rolando Recinos, Jordan Atkins, Dan Dellano, Jake Chiudina, Zach Deeb and Matt Feeley, held the Falcons scoreless in the fourth quarter.
The Vikings drove 84-yards for the winning touchdown. The clock showed 2:40 to play when Jon Gonzales scored from 4 yards out. Dylan connected with Jake Chiudina (36 yards) and Zach Deeb (12 yards) to key the winning touchdown. Matt Feeley’s interception led to the final touchdown by Dylan Driscoll. The Vikings are undefeated (7-0) Northeastern Conference Champions.
Rushing stats. Dylan Driscoll 13 for 65) Jake Chiudina (9 for 30) Reise Turransky (12 for 25) Jordan Atkins (4 for 17) and Jon Gonzales 1 for a 4-yard touchdown.
Zach Deeb (3 catches for 57 yards) Jake Chiudina (3 for 50 yards) Reise Turransky (2 for 32). The Falcons win the statistical battle with 269 yards passing and 73 yards rushing for a 342 yard total. The Vikings won where it counts- the final score 27-16. The Vikings won the two big games on the road. 21-7 over previously unbeaten Peabody and 27-16 at Danvers got the NEC Title.
Danvers had a capacity crowd on “Senior Night”. They were ready to celebrate but the visiting Vikings stunned the crowd – and the Viking Pride “Blue Bus” was the bus filled with the 2014 NEC Champions leaving Danvers High School parking lot!
Skimming The Sidelines
The Vikings are the number one seed in Division 4 North. Seeds with ratings from points on teams defeated and points from opponents wins. Seeds : 1 Winthrop 7-0, 20.86) 2 Watertown 7-0, 19.43) 3 Lynnfield (7-0, 16.43) 4 Weston (5-2, 15.43) 5 Triton (5-2, 13.86) 6 Saugus (5-2, 13.71) 7 Swampscott (3-4, 11.0) 8 Hamilton-Wenham (4-3, 10.57).
The Quarter Final Round- Winthrop vs. Hamilion-Wenham, Watertown vs. Swampscot, Triton vs. Weston, Saugus vs. Lynnfield. A Winthrop victory over Hamilton-Wenham would play the winner of Triton-Weston the semi final game would be at Miller Field.
“Lynnfield is the team to beat” said Coach Sean Driscoll. The Pioneers have allowed only 20 points in seven games. The Sachems have an offense that scored. 253 points (36.1 average) but they allowed 163 points (23.4). The Winthrop Vikings scored 204 points (29.1) and the defense allowed 104 points (14.9) who can forget the opening game- Vikings-44-Saugus 41. A 21-point comeback!
Hamilton-Wenham lost their first two non league games. They lost to Pentucket and Bishop Fenwick. The Generals defeated Amesbury (2-5) Manchester-Essex (1-6) Georgetown (1-6) and Ipswivh. The General’s were shutout (35-0) by Lynnfield.
Speaking about defense, Coach Driscoll praised Defensive Coordinator Jon Cadigan for his game plans at Danvers. Defense wins Championships!
Peabody (6-1) is in Division 1- they will play Lexington at Peabody. Lynn Classical in Division 2, The Rams (3-4) play at Lincoln-Sudbury. Revere (2-5) won a coin flip with Gloucester for the 8th seed in Division 3 Northeast. The Patriots play Masconomet (6-1) on Friday night. A local connection to the Masco team. Steve O’Reilly (6’3-250) the standout tackle for the Chieftains, is the Grandson of Ted and Betty Conley. Rock Mastrangelo, the popular Cummings school teacher, has two twin sons that play for Masco.
Danvers (3-4) will play at Tewksbury (5-2) in Division 3 Northeast on Saturday. Marblehead (7-0) is seeded second Masco and will host Somerville on Friday night.
Are You Ready For The Playoffs?
WHS SPORTS ROUNDUP
WHS volleyball team plays at Essex Tech tonight in MIAA state tourney
The Winthrop High volleyball team, in just its second year as a varsity sport, will make its debut in the MIAA state tournament this evening (Thursday) when the Lady Vikings travel to Essex Tech for a 6:00 encounter in the opening round of the Division 3 North Sectional.
Coach Christy Scott’s squad finished the season with an 8-8 record during the regular season, splitting their final two matches of the campaign this past week. In a 3-0 shutout over Saugus (25-16, 25-17, 25-22) last Thursday, junior Nina Bartlette was a force at the net with 10 kills and seven blocks. Maddie Faingaa and Haley Holden turned in tremendous defensive efforts with 14 digs apiece, more than half the Lady Vikings’ total. Allie Love contributed seven digs on the night. Freshman Lacey Scott led Winthrop in the assists department with 20 from her setter position and served a team-high four aces.
Winthrop’s contest with Danvers last Tuesday, though a defeat, was a measure of how far the Lady Vikings have come this season, as the Lady Vikings took Danvers, one of the top teams on the North Shore, to five games, falling in the fifth and deciding game only by a narrow score of 16-14.
Scott turned in a huge game with 25 assists, while also making 26 digs, a season-high for a Winthrop player. Bartlette was a power at the net with 12 kills and three blocks, while also making seven digs. Holden had 10 digs and seven kills, while Faingaa dug out 12 balls and Allie Love had 10 digs. Altogether, the Lady Vikings accounted for 82 digs on the night, an indication of the intensity of the contest.
If the Winthrop girls are successful tonight, they will trek to Mystic Valley Monday to take on the second-seeded Mystic Valley squad, which has a bye for the opening round, in a D-3 North quarterfinal matchup.
WHS girls soccer team qualifies for tourney
The Winthrop High girls soccer team won a pair of contests this past week against the only Division 4 opponents on its schedule to qualify for the MIAA post-season state tournament.
Coach Tracey Martucci’s Lady Vikings defeated St. Joseph’s Prep 2-0 on goals by Regina Garufo and Holly Benson from Flora English last week to punch their ticket for a Journey to the Tourney.
Tuesday evening the Lady Vikings delivered their second straight shutout, 3-0 over Mystic Valley. Though Winthrop dominated play in the first half, the Lady Vikings could not find the back of the MV net. However, Winthroop burst out for three goals after the intermission: English, assisted by Holly Benson; Heidy Benson on a free kick; and Holly Benson unassisted.
Winthrop will conclude its regular season today (Thursday) with a makeup contest with Saugus. Martucci and her crew, who now stand a 6-9-2 on the year, then will await word of their seeding and first round opponent in the tourney, which is expected to come out tomorrow.
“The girls are playing very well with each other and we hope to keep this winning streak going into the next game and post-season,” said Martucci. “I really can’t say enough about this team and how proud I am of them. They work hard and they really want this, this year. I have all the confidence in the world they can do it.”