FITCHBURG'S DEFENSE SILENCES PANTHERS
O-line allows Oquendo to rush for 226 yards
MARLBORO — After suffering back-to-back losses to Tantasqua and Wachusett Regional, the Fitchburg High football team put it all together on Friday night in a sound, 14-0 Mid-Wach B victory over Marlboro High at Kelleher Field.
“I’m very proud of our team and how they battled through some adversity,” said FHS football coach Tom DiGeronimo. “We had a great effort from everyone this week in preparation for the game, which paid dividends in our win.”
Defensive coordinator Charlie Raff’s high-flying and swarming defensive unit, which has yielded only 22 points in the last 3 games, put the clamps down on the Panthers, pitching an impressive shutout in another sound defensive game for the tough-as-nails Red Raiders. Fitchburg’s defense was led by strong play by tackling machine and linebacker Gio Marrone.
Meanwhile, Fitchburg’s physical offensive line took the fight to the Panthers’ defensive front, and talented tailback Anthony Oquendo reaped the benefits. Oquendo, a shifty running back who can run away from defenses but also has the power to run over would-be tacklers, chugged his way for 226 yards rushing on 29 carries, including two touchdown runs of 46 and 40 yards, respectively, in the third quarter to help Fitchburg get back to .500 with a 2-2 overall record.
Justin Comesano added two extra point kicks.
Fitchburg is 1-0 in league play, and hosts Algonquin Regional at 7 p.m. Friday night at historic Crocker Field.
(Photos by Fitchburg Athletics student-journalist Keith Worden)