STONEHAM – The Raiders valiantly tried to catch up to Stoneham after falling behind in the first half, but could not overcome the Spartans in the battle for the Div. 4 North Section football title, Friday night.
Watertown had beat Stoneham at Victory Field last month, but the second time was not the charm. A potent Spartan running attack and errors by the Raiders proved costly.
The Raiders found themselves down 20-0 late in the first half after a 53-yard touchdown pass from Brandon Cann to Tim Russell, a fumble returned 22-yards for a score by Shane Collins and a long drive ending in a 4-yard touchdown run by Evan Taylor.
Watertown found life late in the second quarter. After forcing a punt and getting the ball with just over a minute left, Watertown quarterback Deon Smith pitched the ball out to running back Kyle Foley, who ran 53 yard for a touchdown. The half ended 20-7.
The third quarter belonged to Watertown. The Raiders’ defense stuffed the Spartan’s running attack, then Watertown struck again. After getting the ball on the Stoneham 40, the Raiders began driving and Tyler Poulin ran for a touchdown from the 20-yard line. The extra point was no good, but the Raiders were within 7 points.
The Raiders had their chances to draw even. Watertown started the fourth quarter with the ball on its own 35-yard line. Smith dropped back and had Foley running alone down the middle of the field, but the pass sailed out of Foley’s reach.
The game went off the rails from there. A fumble forced the ball deep into Watertown territory, and then a punt from the 13 yard line only went four yards. Stoneham pounced on the opportunity and scored on a 13-yard run to go up 27-13.
The Raiders could not move the ball the rest of the game and Stoneham ran out the clock to claim the Div. 4 North Section championship trophy. The Spartans improved to 6-4.
Watertown, now 6-4, still has the Thanksgiving Day game against Belmont at Victory Field on Nov. 26.