Watertown tops rival Lynnfield once again
Touchdown, interception by sophomore David Manoukian help Raiders end six-game losing streak
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Watertown and Lynnfield have developed a contentious rivalry over the last few years. In football and basketball, the teams continue to face-off in important tournament games. But over the last three matchups, there has been no doubt which school has the upper hand.
Sophomore David Manoukian had the game’s only touchdown as well as the game-sealing interception for Watertown (2-6), which snapped a six-game losing streak to beat the Pioneers (1-7) on Friday, Oct. 26, 2018, at Victory Field.
“David is a football player, that’s how you sum it up,” said Watertown coach John Cacace. “He has terrific energy and physicality, and knows everything that’s happening on the football field.”
Manoukian, who is in his second year of varsity football, came up big for the Raiders on both sides of the ball.
Watertown senior captain Nick McDermott found Manoukian up the middle for a 20-yard touchdown pass with 4:15 remaining in the second quarter to put the Raiders up, 7-0. That would be the only offensive scoring of the night in the close game.
“We just wanted to come out, play tough, and improve,” Cacace said of the mind-set going into Friday’s matchup. “We wanted to play with some heart, and go out here and get a victory.”
The Raiders’ defense certainly played tough, shutting out the Lynnfield offense. The Pioneers’ only points came on a safety — Watertown junior Karim Monroe had an interception at the goal line, but was downed in the end zone to give 2 points to Lynnfield.
Lynnfield had plenty of other chances to score, including a fourth and goal from the Watertown 2-yard line with 3:00 remaining in the fourth quarter, but the defense held fast and would not give.
Lynnfield got the ball back again and threatened once more before the end of the game. With 1:46 left, a Lynnfield pass floated deep in Watertown territory was tipped away by Raiders senior Brett Sutherland. Manoukian then secured the ball, and the victory, for the Raiders.
Watertown and Lynnfield last faced off in the Division 5 North championship game last November, where the underdog Raiders knocked off the top-seeded Pioneers in the final minutes to take the title.
Cacace didn’t think last year’s result played too much into Friday’s game, but he does think being familiar with the Lynnfield team is important.
“We’ve played them a bunch in this playoff format,” he said. “I think this is the fourth time we played them, and we want to continue to be the better team and be victorious.”
In March, the WHS boys’ basketball team knocked off Lynnfield in the MIAA playoffs en route to its state title. Although Friday’s meeting at Victory Field was only a consolation game for teams that did not make the MIAA Division 5 North playoffs, it seemed so much more intense on the field and in the stands. Now, the Raiders can happily chalk up another victory over their rivals.
Watertown will return to the road to take on Boston Latin this weekend, day, place, and time to be announced.
–Oct. 29, 2018–
Nathan Follett is a longtime member of the Raider Times staff. Beginning in September 2018, he is serving as Sports Editor.
Elizabeth Allen is a longtime member of the Raider Times staff. Beginning in September 2018, she is serving as Photography Editor.