There were so many bright spots for the Winthrop High football team that it’s difficult to pick out where to begin the story.
The beginning. How about senior quarterback Duke Doherty taking the football 62 yards for a touchdown on the first play from scrimmage.
The middle. An incredible gadget play that saw senior running back Bobby Hubert take a handoff from Doherty and throw a 29-yard touchdown pass to Mikey Chaves. Hubert later added a 32-yard punt return for a touchdown behind a wall of Winthrop blockers. Also the Vikings’ placekicker, Hubert was a 1-of-2 on PATs.
The end. It all added up to a 28-0 victory for Winthrop over Saugus High in the opener at Miller Field Friday night to a season that had been pushed back from last fall due to the coronavirus.
In a shutout performance, there has be top billing and on Senior Night it was fitting that senior safety Ryan Hovermale brought his A-plus game. You do not have to look at the stat sheet (10 tackles) to know Hovermale was “everywhere” on this football field leading the way for head Jon Cadigan and new defensive coordinator James Fucillo’s Blue and Gold Eleven ‘D.’
Doherty was every bit as good as advertised, with the Naval Academy-bound quarterback scoring two touchdowns, including the 62-yard re-introduction to Winthrop football on the opening play.
“I mean first play for a 62-yard touchdown – I would say, that’s a pretty good start,” said Cadigan.
The Vikings’ defense did an effective job in keeping Saugus running back Sal Franco out of the end zone. Franco is a tough, hard-nosed, All-Star caliber fullback.
Defensive end Stevie Perullo had a couple of QB sacks and made a game-long statement with his presence in the Saugus backfield. Also excelling for the Vikings’ defensive line were Cam Conway, Michael Carter, and Victor Marquez. Junior safety Cam Martin and senior cornerback Mikey Chaves also played very well while paired with Hovermale in the defensive backfield.
Cadigan was pleased with his team’s performance. “Senior Night was a success,” he summarized. “Every senior in the football program played in the game and I was happy with that. It was a great opening night.”
It certainly was, from beginning to end.
The Vikings will play Salem High School Saturday at 4 p.m. at Bishop Fenwick High School. Salem’s Bertrand Field is undergoing renovations.