Watertown ran into a tough Melrose football team in the team’s Middlesex League opener, and fell at 28-13 at Victory Field on Friday night.
Both teams came off superb seasons a year ago, with Melrose winning the Div. 4 Super Bowl champion and Watertown winning the Div. 5 North Section championship. The Raiders, however, played without senior running back Mange Camara, who was injured the previous game against Cambridge Rindge & Latin.
Melrose (2-1) scored in the first quarter and held a 7-0 halftime lead. They extended the lead to 14-0 with under 4 minutes left in the third quarter.
Watertown (1-2) senior quarterback Nick McDermott tried to lead the Raiders on a comeback. He scored on a QB sneak at the beginning of the fourth quarter, but the extra point was no good, leaving the score at 14-6.
The Raiders had opportunities to score more, but were stopped twice on fourth down inside the red zone. Melrose answered in the second half with not one, but two touchdowns, to extend the lead to 28-6 1:39 left in in the fourth.
Watertown sophomore running back David Manoukian scored a touchdown to narrow the deficit to 15 points, but there were just 46 seconds left in the fourth quarter.
The final score of 28-13 left the Raiders at 1-2 on the season, and 0-1 in League play. The Raiders travel to play Burlington on Friday, Sept. 28 at 7 p.m.