Billy McHugh, Watertown run off with another victory

Raider Times photo / Skyla Cacace
Hamilton-Wenham had a hard time stopping Billy McHugh (7), who scored twice for Watertown in the Raiders’ 28-7 home win on Sept. 16, 2022.

Randy Delgado, Raider Times staff

The Watertown Raiders won their second straight football game of the season, defeating the visiting Hamilton-Wenham Generals, 28-7, behind great performances by Billy McHugh, Johnny Cacace, and Payton Andrade on Friday, Sept. 16, 2022.

McHugh ended the game with two 1-yard touchdown runs, Cacace played quarterback for an offense that scored 21 unanswered points, and Andrade added a big 49-yard TD catch.

Quarterback Johnny Cacace (4) led Watertown to a 28-7 win over Hamilton-Wenham on Friday, Sept. 16, 2022, at Victory Field in Watertown. (Raider Times photo / Dilara Canca)

Coach John Cacace shared his thoughts on these three essential players after the game.

“Billy McHugh was excellent … Payton blocked terrific, and I thought it was an overall really good performance … [Johnny Cacace] athleticism and his knowledge of the game has been absolutely terrific,” the coach said.

The Raiders will play again Friday, Sept. 23, going on on the road for the first time this season to face the Saugus Sachems.

The Watertown High School band was once again in the Victory Field stands Sept. 16, 2022, to support the Raiders football team, which defeated Hamilton-Wenham, 28-7. (Raider Times photo / Mufleha Hossain)

Against Hamilton-Wenham, Watertown showed that its physicality, defense, and running game were too much for the Generals.

Early in the first quarter, Cacace made a great connection with Andrade, who escaped the Generals’ defenders for a 49-yard touchdown to open up the scoring, electrifying the Victory Field crowd at 7:55. 

Generals quarterback John Ertel retaliated later in the quarter after a special teams mistake by  the Raiders set up the Generals close to the end zone. Ertel connected on a 5-yard pass to wide receiver Cooper Soolman, tying the game by the end of the first quarter.

The Raiders cleaned up their mistakes, and, in the second quarter, Cacace made a key 35-yard scramble, bringing the home team within 20 yards of the Generals’ end zone. Sticking to the game plan, the Raiders continued to run until they were within a yard’s reach of taking the lead. McHugh finished the drive with a 1-yard touchdown run, and with another successful extra-point kick from Rafael Magalhaes, the Raiders took a lead at 14-7 at 5:29 of the second quarter.

Rafael Magalhaes (5) prepares to catch a pass in the fourth quarter of Watertown’s 28-7 win on Sept. 16, 2022. (Raider Times photo / Skyla Cacace)

For the remainder of the quarter, both sides put forth an excellent defensive effort, with Andrade sacking Ertel for a 10-yard loss and the Generals sacking Cacace to end the first half.

McHugh brought fireworks in quarter four, running the ball successfully past the Generals numerous times, where in one play he drove for 27 yards until he was stopped at the 1-yard line. Once again, he successfully capped off the drive with a touchdown, extending the Raiders’ lead to 21-7 at 6:41. 

The Generals’ next drive did not last long, as Cacace grabbed an interception soon after it started. Minutes later, Anthony Shorter ran for 23 yards until he was stopped at the 1-yard line. Shorter ended the drive with a scoring run, increasing the Raiders’ lead to 28-7 at 1:46 of the last quarter. 

Watertown ended the game with a kneel and walked away with a record of 2-0 for the season.

After the game, quarterback Johnny Cacace said he was proud of his team’s performance, praising his offensive line and the defense.

“We played well all around, the O-line played great, the defense played great, and everyone played great,” he said.

Senior Gregory Moan (79) had a ball in Watertown’s 28-7 win over Hamilton-Wenham on Friday, Sept. 16, 2022, at Victory Field in Watertown. (Raider Times photo / Dilara Canca)

–Sept. 18, 2022–