The Winthrop High School football team’s late comeback fell short as Stoneham held on for a 24-16 victory in the season opener for both teams Friday night on the Spartans’ home field.
Winthrop appeared to have scored a touchdown in the fourth quarter that would have set up a potential game-tying two-pointer, but the score was nullified by a holding penalty. Two plays later, the Vikings fumbled on the 5-yard line before Stoneham ran out the clock.
“I thought we played tough for four quarters, but Stoneham is a good team, and you just can’t afford to turn the ball over like that and expect to win,” said Winthrop head coach Jon Cadigan.
Winthrop faced an uphill road all game as Stoneham bolted to 16-0 and 24-8 leads.
The Winthrop touchdowns
Robert Rich (7 rushes, 49 yards) scored on a 26-yard run, followed by a Robert Noonan to Nick Cappuccio two-point conversion pass.
Cappuccio, Winthrop’s leading rusher with eight carries for 65 yards, caught a 63-yard touchdown pass from Noonan. Demitri Koutsouflakis rushed for a two-point conversion in his debut for the Vikings.
Stoneham had wide edge in time of possession
Winthrop only ran 11 offensive plays in the 24minutes of the first half, “which is really kind of unheard of,” said Cadigan.
“Stoneham runs such a ball-control, old-school offense, but that’s the way they play their game.
Cappuccio receives Black Shirt
Nick Cappuccio was the recipient of the Black Shirt award as the Vikings’ most outstanding defensive player in the game.
Cappuccio came up from his safety spot to make several tackles.
“Nick played a whale of a game on both sides of the ball, kind of moving up from his position and cleaning things up,” said Coach Cadigan.
Cadigan also singled out outside linebacker Robert Noonan for his excellent contribution to the Vikings’ defensive effort.
At quarterback, Noonan was 3-for-9 for 94 yards with one touchdown pass and one two-point conversion pass. Noonan also rushed for 24 yards on four carries.