Fitchburg Cruises to Shutout Win Over Worcester South
WORCESTER -- In a mismatch against a vastly undermatched opponent, the only thing that matters is execution. Execute, score -- lather, rinse, repeat as much as necessary -- and get your starters off in what has quickly turned into a lopsided affair.
That’s exactly what the Fitchburg football team did on Saturday afternoon, as the Red Raiders soundly trounced host Worcester South, 41-0, in front of a handful of hearty, brave, waterlogged souls at historic Foley Stadium.
The win lifts Fitchburg to 4-4 for the second consecutive season after eight weeks down, and will await on today’s Central Mass. Football Committee meeting to learn their next two opponents. South fell to 0-8.
This one was over when it was put on the schedule, as the Red Raiders built a commanding 27-0 lead through 11 minutes. The Colonels had difficulty in stopping FHS, which scored points on its first four series, and even got two via a safety to make it 14-0 nearly six minutes into the game.
After 6:16, it was 20-0.
Through the first quarter, Fitchburg had accumulated 143 yards of offense, the short field in front of them: The best field position was the South 24 (FHS scored in two plays), the worst being midfield to open the game.
In all, FHS racked up 273 yards of offense on 28 plays.
Defensively, though, Fitchburg held South to minus-3 yards of offense (not including defensive penalties) in 39 snaps of the football. Twenty of those plays were for negative yardage.
It all came down to execution, said second-year head coach Tom DiGeronimo.
“Our kids practiced very well all week, and how we played today was how we practiced,” he said. “We just made sure we executed: We got our guys into the right positions, and our backs hit the holes.”
Following some hard running by Luis Aldarado (82 yards on 5 carries) and Anthony Oquendo (4 carries for 47 yards), fullback Trey Winters punched in the first Red Raider score. The conversion run failed, and the rout was on, 6-0 after 2:07.
FHS got the ball back after its defense allowed minus-2 yards, and only needed two snaps of the ball to double the lead. After a bad snap saw a 3-yard loss to the South 38, Aldarando took Andrew Brooks’ handoff, went up the middle, then broke a tackle before heading left. He would make one more cut near the South 5 and head into the end zone for the 38-yard TD.
The conversion run failed, and it was 12-0.
It was 14-0 two plays later, as the ensuing Damian Saavedra kickoff pinned the Colonels back at their own 5. A loss of 4 on the first snap saw the defense swarm on the second, with the South ballcarrier taken down in the end zone for a safety.
“We were where we were supposed to be defensively,” DiGeronimo said.
Fitchburg got the ball at the South 31, and Aldarando gained 19 to the South 12. Brooks then kept the ball on the next snap and scored from 12 yards out after holding the ball for only 32 seconds.
A South fumble on fourth-and-3 saw the ball turned over to the Red Raiders and, again, FHS only needed two snaps to increase the advantage: Oquendo wrapped up his afternoon with his fourth and final carry for a gain of 23 to the Colonel 1-yard line, before Brooks went up the middle from a yard out.
″(Aldarando and Oquendo), they both played well,” DIGeronimo said. “They feed off each other and complement each other very well; there were some great holes for them to run through. They ran hard, and our kids up front did a great job.”
Saavedra’s kick was good, and that would hold up through the end of the half.
Fitchburg would insert the second-choice team, and they were only able to gain 21 yards before heading into the locker room.
Sophomore Devon Barisano scored on the first Fitchburg series of the third quarter, a 35-yard TD run, before sophomore quarterback Monty Graham punched in a 17-yard score in the fourth quarter to wrap things up.
Red Raiders 41
Fitchburg (4-4) 27 0 8 6 -- 41
South (0-8) 0 0 0 0 -- 0
F -- Trey Winters 1 run (run failed), 8:53
F -- Luis Aldarando 38 run (run failed), 6:20
F -- Safety, 5:16
F -- Andrew Brooks 12 run (pass failed), 4:44
F -- Brooks 1 run (Damian Saavedra kick), 2:03
F -- Devon Barisano 35 run (Monty Graham run), 5:59
F -- Graham 17 run (kick failed), 7:43