In the big picture, the Winthrop High football team showed it could be very competitive against one of the best teams in its division.
And that’s exactly why head coach Jon Cadigan scheduled Stoneham, to see how the Vikings might match up if the two teams meet again in the playoffs in November.
The Vikings gave the visiting Spartans all they could handle before dropping a 30-20 decision on opening night Friday at Miller Field.
The Vikings had sliced the deficit after junior quarterback Robert Noonan connected with senior wide receiver Mikey Chaves for a 60-yard touchdown early in the fourth quarter.
But Stoneham later responded with a clock-consuming scoring drive to expand its lead and deny the Vikings a chance at a fourth-quarter comeback.
“Stoneham is a very good, well-coached team and they were able to close it out against us,” said Coach Cadigan. “The penalties hurt us in some critical spots. From my observations as a coach, I think you need to go through games like that for the experience factor. I thought we played well at times, buy we just weren’t consistent enough offensively.”
Jurovich Receives ‘Black Shirt’ Award
Senior defensive lineman Pete Jurovich received the Vikings’ defensive player of game award. Jurovich had nine tackles and forced a first-quarter fumble during a quarterback sack. Joe Hayes recovered the football.
Jurovich also excelled on the Vikings’ offensive line.
Martin Makes Solid Debut
Cam Martin had 12 carries for 86 yards and a touchdown in his first starting assignment.
“I think people found out Friday night that Cam’s a pretty good player,” said Cadigan.
Noonan-Chaves for the Play of the Day
Mike Chaves, who had so many bright moments for the 2020 championship team, was right back at it with a nice catch and run for a 60-yard touchdown. Chaves soared for the pass from Noonan and then used his speed to outrace the Stoneham defenders to the end zone.
Coach Cadigan said that Mikey “called for the football” prior to the play. “He said to me, ‘Coach, I think I can beat [the cornerback] on the slant’, and he beat him on the slant and Robert threw a nice pass,” related Cadigan.
Noonan was 5-for-12 for 130 yards in his debut as the starting quarterback.
Harris Makes an Impact on Both Sides of the football
Linebacker Ian Harris made a team-high 12 tackles on defense. Offensively, he had two catches for 44 years.
“Ian’s been a guy who has been pretty steady the last two or three years at linebacker,” said Cadigan. “He played a very good game for us.”
A Trip to Austin Prep
The Vikings travel to Reading for a non-league game Austin Prep Friday (7 p.m.) The Cougars (0-1) fell to Pentucket, 14-7, last Friday.