Watertown Takes Down Belmont, Ends 7 Year Losing Streak
The Raiders trailed after one quarter but came back to win the annual Thanksgiving game against their archrivals.
The Watertown football team suffered seven straight defeats to their rivals from Belmont, but Thursday they did not let an early deficit keep them down.
The Raiders (6-5) prevailed 28-7 against the Marauders in the Thanksgiving day clash at Belmont's Harris Field after Watertown got into gear and scored four unanwered touchdowns.
Belmont (1-10) had the better of the first quarter, and led 7-0 after Belmont's Max Jones scored a touchdown on a screen pass from quarterback Mike Richardson in the first quarter.
Marauders' coach Kevin Gildea had some tricks plays up his sleeve, but on Thursday they did not seem to click. Belmont went for a fake punt late in the second quarter with the score tied at 7.
The Raiders stopped them, and drove down inside the Marauder 10, but were stopped on the first three downs, including a touchdown pass called back because quarterback Joey Farrar was beyond the line of scrimmage when he made the throw.
On fourth and goal from the 10, Farrar faked dropping back and headed for the goal line.
“It was trips (three receivers) right, and we wanted them to think we were going to pass it and we ran a QB draw,” Farrar said. “I cut left, behind Eric Tirrell and Tirrell hit the linebacker. It was a great play.”
The Raiders went into the locker room with a 14-7 lead.
Watertown coach John Cacace said he expected the Marauders to throw some tricks at his squad, but the Raiders were ready.
“(Belmont) has been prepping for this game for a long time, They came out on the first series and did some things to us and we had to adjust. We did,” Cacace said. “We were prepared for (the fake punt). When you are the underdog you need to take some chances like that, and they had to make plays.”
The Raiders got big contributions from running back Logan Riley, who had a number of long runs and two touchdowns. On the second, he got the ball and drove the pile a few yards to put Watertown up 21-7 with 1:52 left in the third quarter.
Receiver T.J. Hairston had several catches. Some for first downs and the final one he made a one-handed catch with a defender draped on him for a touchdown on fourth and goal with 5 minutes left in the game.
Farrar said he could always look to Hairston.
“He always seems to find open space, I can always throw it up to him, and he always goes up and gets it,” Farrar said. Belmont tried to neutralize Hairston, but Cacace said his receiver kept playing hard. “They tried to take T.J. away. They always try to take away what we do best,” Cacace said. “T.J. played his tail off. He never gave up. He kept fighting. They were being physical with him. A terrific effort from him.”
The win means more than just ending the losing streak to the Marauders, Cacace said.
“Yeah, we got a lot of goals accomplished today,” Cacace said. “A winning season, end the 7 year streak, win three Middlesex games. That’s the most that we’ve won (in my time). I told the team this was a great win today, but the goal is to keep building and just keep getting better.”