MEDWAY – Medfield’s coaching staff delivered this message to their football team following Friday night’s 35-18 loss in Medway: "Don’t stop fighting."
“The 11 guys that step onto the field on each play are giving everything they can and the guys that have been filling in and coming in [for] those guys have been giving everything they can,” said Medfield head coach Erik Ormberg of his team’s desire to play football throughout a difficult season. “There’s no quit in these guys and that means a lot to us as a coaching staff. That means a lot to the program and that’s something to certainly build off of as we get into November.”
A season challenged by injuries to key players has led to its share of ups and downs for the Warriors, who fell to 2-6, 0-3 after Friday’s Tri-Valley League Large Division loss.
Friday’s game against Medway was no different.
The game could not have started better for Medfield – scoring on its first possession of the game to take an early 7-0 lead. Warriors’ quarterback Alex Opiela continued his outstanding offensive play Friday, connecting with Jake Mintz on a pair of 65-yard touchdown passes, including one less than three minutes into the game.
“Alex is definitely in the zone in terms of being able to make plays on the run,” Ormberg said. “When he’s given time and protection up front, he’s completing some great passes in small windows.”
Medfield's passing game continued to progress as the offense maintained the momentum it had built in Norton last week into the first half Friday night against Medway. The Warriors built a 10-0 lead in the second quarter before Medway found its own success in the passing game and scored on two touchdown passes from quarterback Pat Sheehan to give the Mustangs a 14-10 lead at the break.
Trailing 14-10 at halftime, Medfield remained very much in the game … but that all changed in the third quarter.
Medway (5-3, 1-2) outscored the Warriors, 21-0 in the third quarter to build a commanding, 35-10 lead heading into the final 11 minutes of play.
“We’ll have to watch the film to see the specifics but I think the plan was to take away [the run] … they’re a team that runs 80 percent of the time and I think we did a pretty good job [of that],” Ormberg said of Medway’s offense. “They’re fullback was banged up [Ryan Bukis] and they went to the passing attack and did a real nice job at it.”
Sheehan connected on numerous big plays in through the air in the third quarter, including two touchdown passes to build the 25-point lead.
“We tried to adjust at halftime to account [for Medway’s passing attack],” Ormberg said. “We tried to change our secondary coverage a little bit. We had a tough time getting pressure on the quarterback and they’re a good team. They’re a veteran team, they know how to win. They made their adjustments too and in the third quarter they certainly showed they won the adjustment game.”
Despite the 25-point deficit, Medfield refused to quit – showing the coaching staff it won’t stop fighting and the only number that matters on the scoreboard is the time left on the clock.
As a result, Opiela found Mintz for a 65-yard touchdown pass with 4:30 remaining in the fourth quarter. The Warriors converted on the 2-point conversion to cut the deficit to 35-18.
“Jake Mintz and Tim Bernard are giving everything they can to catch the ball in small spaces and getting yards after the catch,” Ormberg said. “The offensive line, Ife Adebayo and Greg Rose and Doug Nelson are doing everything they can and fighting on every play to give Alex protection. We’re hoping it’s gong to payoff next week against Hopkinton.”
With only three games remaining in the season, Ormberg said his team’s focus is supporting its seniors and giving those 15 veterans the best three weeks of their football lives.
“We think that every senior that’s on the team is giving everything they can,” Ormberg said. “We want these last three games to be special for them. We want to get them wins. That would be a great end to the season and that’s the plan. We got to prepare for a really good Hopkinton team and get into November and continue to grow offensively and continue to coach them up defensively and on special teams and that’s the plan.”
Ormberg said he expects his team to learn from Friday’s loss, especially the mistakes made in the third quarter and build on the positives.
“You look at [this game] in bits and pieces and say ‘well there was some good things in the first half’ and then there were some bad things in the third quarter and we were still fighting in the fourth quarter,” Ormberg said.
And in a season with no shortage of adversity, fighting is all the Warriors can do.
“These guys never stop fighting and that’s all we can ask for,” Ormberg said.
Medfield returns to the field Friday, Nov. 4 when it hosts Hopkinton at 7 p.m. on the MHS turf.
For an in-depth look at Friday's game, see our