BILLERICA— The Wilmington Wildcats C Team (10-0) opened their 2012 playoff run with a 28-0 quarterfinal victory on Friday over the Boston Bengals and a thrilling 14-13 defeat of the West Lynn Rams, the only team to beat Wilmington in the their last 20 games.
This puts the Wilmington Wildcat C Team in the Eastern Mass Conference Championship on Thursday night in Cambridge against the 10-0 Billerica Scouts C Team. Game time is 7:00 p.m. The game will be played at Russell Field, located at 333 Rindge Avenue. Here is a recap of this weekend’s thrilling games:
Wilmington Wildcats 28 – South Boston Bengals 0
The Wildcats came out firing on Friday night scoring three times in the first seven minutes of the game. Running back John Kenney took a handoff on the second play from scrimmage and darted 40 yards into the end zone for a quick 6-0 lead. Kenney carried the ball six times against Boston for 80 yards and two touchdowns.
The defense took the field and stymied the Bengals on their first series. Linebacker Blake Hiltz led the Wildcats with five tackles including two tackles for loss. Defensive tackle Kyle Penney also contributed with three tackles and a fumble recovery and fellow defensive tackle Brett Chisholm had the lone sack for the Wildcat defense.
On their second offensive series, quarterback Andrew Sullivan led the team on a methodical six play drive that culminated with a 20 yard touchdown run by Kenney, his second of the day. The PAT kick by Mikey Daley was good and the Wildcats took a 14-0 lead.
After another strong defensive series that saw big plays from linebackers Joey Dumoulin and Braden Hiltz as well as defensive end Drew Brandenburg (three tackles, one tackle for loss plus one reception for 10 yards), the offense came back on the field and this time it was Kyle Penney’s turn to get into the end zone as he ripped off a 15 yard run right through the middle of the Boston defense. This gave the Wildcats a 20-0 lead.
The offensive line, led by Kyle Kenyon at center, Mark Companeschi and Blake Hiltz at guard and a rotation of tackles including Pat McAndrew, Tommy Strow, Colin Rooney and Kyle Bolis dominated the Boston defensive line all day. The Wildcat offense accrued 246 rushing yards on the day and that can be attributed to awesome line blocking as well as solid perimeter blocking by slot receiver Justin Fraser and wide receiver Ryan “RB Smooth” Brewer.
The Wilmington defense closed out the half in dominant fashion. Defensive End Frankie Irizarry (three tackles) and defensive tackles Michael Smolinsky and Nolan Fitzgerald overpowered a weary Boston defensive line.
After a defensive stop to start the second half, Wilmington ate up a lot of clock in the third quarter. Timmy Rivers came in at quarterback and played solid and the backfield combination of Braden Hiltz and Pete Marino gained 33 yards on the drive that culminated with a one yard touchdown plunge from Marino to give the Wildcats a 28-0 lead.
Boston realized they had a lot of points to make up so they started trying to rush to the perimeter of the field but corner Michael Ducharme (three tackles and one tackle for loss), corner Mikey Daley and safety Timmy Rivers were solid in the Wildcat backfield.
The game ended with a 28-0 victory for the Wildcats and a date with the West Lynn Rams, the only squad to defeat the Wildcats in the last two seasons.
Wilmington Wildcats 14 – West Lynn Rams 13
In a thrilling rematch of last year’s Eastern Mass Championship game, The Wilmington Wildcats defeated the West Lynn Rams 14-13. This game went down to the wire and saw enough twists and turns to make any hardcore football fan sit on the edge of their seat.
Wilmington got great performances from everyone on the team as it was a true team victory. Some standout performances on the defensive side including linebacker Blake Hiltz (10.5 tackles, two tackles for loss), defensive tackle Kyle Penney (six tackles, two tackles for loss), and defensive end Frankie Irizarry (two tackles, one tackle for loss, one sack and one fumble recovery).
On the offensive side of the ball, running back John Kenney shouldered a big load carrying the ball 25 times for 116 yards and two touchdowns, fullback Kyle Penney gained 37 tough up the middle yards on 10 carries and quarterback Timmy Rivers came in midway through the second quarter for injured starting quarterback Andrew Sullivan to lead the offense.
The Wildcat offense took the field first and Sullivan led the team on an 11 play drive that culminated with a four yard touchdown run by Kenney, his first of the day and third in the playoffs. The offensive line; Kyle Kenyon, Mark Companeschi, Blake Hiltz, Pat McAndrew and Tommy Strow were brilliant on the drive as the offense churned out 59 yards in those 11 plays. The PAT kick by Mikey Daley (a kick that would prove to be the decisive factor in the game) was good and the Wildcats took an 8-0 lead.
The defense took the field and gave up a score but managed to stop the PAT try by West Lynn to maintain an 8-6 lead. On their second offensive series, the team moved the ball consistently again, this time with great blocking from Justin Fraser and Ryan Brewer as well and Wilmington scored after seven plays when Kenney got into the end zone for his second touchdown (fourth in the playoffs) of the game. This gave the Wildcats a 14-6 lead.
West Lynn came right back and scored on a long run right up the middle to cut into Wilmington’s lead. West Lynn went for one and converted so the score stood at 14-13 in the second quarter.
Then the unthinkable happened.
Quarterback Andrew Sullivan sustained an injury on the next drive and he would not return to the game. Timmy Rivers went in for Sullivan and although the team did not score in the remainder of the half, they moved the ball and chewed the clock, keeping the ball away from the potent West Lynn offense. Offensive tackles Kyle Bolis and Colin Rooney checked in and were solid in helping the Wildcat ground game.
The half ended with the score 14-13 in favor of Wilmington.
In the second half, the game became a defensive slugfest. Defensive tackles Peter Marino, Brett Chisholm, Michael Smolinsky and Nolan Fitzgerald bottled up the inside running lanes for the West Lynn offense. Linebackers Braden Hiltz and Joey Dumoulin along with corners Daley and Michael Ducharme were solid guarding the perimeter of the defense.
The teams traded possessions and nearing the end of the game with West Lynn driving defensive end Frankie Irizarry came up with a sack and a fumble recovery to give Wilmington the ball and a chance to eat up the clock. Rivers methodically moved the team down the field and on fourth down with the Wildcats needing a first down to keep possession, Rivers through a perfect pass to tight end Drew Brandenburg whose 15 yard reception gave Wilmington the first down and the chance to run out the clock to preserve the victory.
This puts the Wilmington Wildcat C Team in the Eastern Mass Conference Championships on Thursday night in Cambridge against the 10-0 Billerica Scouts C Team. Game time is 7:00 pm. The game will be played at Russell Field, located at 333 Rindge Avenue.