Maiona, Raiders out-duel Jarvis, Rebels

Kevin Canaday (8) knocks home a 31-yard field goal late in the third quarter. Photos by Mike Flanagan

By Mike Flanagan
Hometown Weekly Sports Editor

Wellesley and Walpole High football took to the gridiron on Saturday afternoon for a Carey vs. Herget Division showdown. The Raiders entered looking to make it three straight wins to begin the 2019 season, while Walpole traveled to Wellesley hoping to get back on track following a 30-7 defeat to Natick in week two.

Behind the play of senior captain and quarterback Matt Maiona (215 passing yards, three touchdowns, 94 rushing yards, one touchdown), Wellesley got out to a 21-0 lead and never looked back, outlasting the Rebels (1-2, 0-2) for a 38-12 victory to move to 3-0 (2-0) on the young season.

Walpole’s Derek Petrucci (27) gets off his block from Wellesley’s Grady Cook (31) and rushes down the field on punt coverage.  Photos by Mike Flanagan

Walpole’s Derek Petrucci (27) gets off his block from Wellesley’s Grady Cook (31) and rushes down the field on punt coverage. Photos by Mike Flanagan

Walpole’s defense forced Wellesley to punt on its opening possession, but a strip and scoop by Anthony Perez on Walpole’s ensuing possession gave Wellesley back the ball at midfield. Maiona made the turnover count, rushing one in from 33 yards out with 3:31 to play to give Wellesley a 7-0 lead.

The Rebels were forced to punt on their next possession before Maiona again led the Raiders down the field for a scoring drive, this time capped off with a 32-yard catch-and-run by senior captain Chris Althoff to put the Raiders up 14-0. Wellesley forced another fumble on Walpole’s next series and Maiona wasted little time making the Rebels pay, hooking up with Carl Callahan on the first play of the possession for a 34-yard score to make it 21-0 with 6:22 left in the half.

Desperate for a response, Walpole rolled the dice on its next series as a 47-yard run on a fake punt by Chris Reilly set the Rebels up inside the Wellesley 25. Will Jarvis then connected with fellow senior captain Drew Von Klock for a 23-yard score to make it a 21-6 game at the half (PAT blocked).

Maiona picked up right where he left off to begin the second half, finding Callahan once again for a 36-yard score to make it a 28-6 game just 1:12 into the quarter. Following a Walpole punt, Kevin Canaday booted home a 31-yard field goal to give Wellesley a 31-6 lead at the end of three quarters.

Jarvis responded with a 16-yard touchdown pass to Von Klock to make it 31-12 (two-point conversion unsuccessful) to keep Walpole’s hopes alive with 10:45 to play. With 6:00 remaining, senior wideout Teddy Komjathy hammered the nail into the coffin for Wellesley with a 68-yard catch and run down the right sideline for a touchdown. The Raiders prevailed by the 38-12 final.

Wellesley will look to move to 4-0 at home against rival Newton North on September 28, while Walpole will try and get back to .500 at Milton on September 27.

For funny and incisive sports analysis, follow Mike Flanagan on his personal Twitter and Instagram @flano0.

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