Foxboro High offensive coordinator Bryan Carew saw the North Attleboro High linebackers slowly approaching the line of scrimmage. He knew the Warrior football team had the perfect call, but just hoped senior quarterback Shayne Kerrigan did too.
The first-year signal caller depicted so, perfectly reading an option and faking the hand off to Foxboro running back Bobby Yerardi. Kerrigan kept it himself instead, weaving his way through the tackles and bouncing to the outside. The play went for a 64-yard touchdown run on Foxboro’s third play of the third quarter.
At the time, the third touchdown of the game for Kerrigan (two passing, one rushing) gave Foxboro a three-possession lead and proved too much to overcome as the Warriors pulled out a 21-14 Hockomock League victory over Davenport rival North Attleboro on Saturday at Community Field.
It marked the Warriors’ first win over the Rocketeers since 2012. It also was the 273rd career win for coach Jack Martinelli, who is now in a tie for eighth all-time in Massachusetts football history, according to the Boston Herald.
“I think our offense came alive today,” Martinelli said. “Kids did what we felt they were capable of doing, like (Louis Sulham), and Shayne Kerrigan had a great game, and Ryan Hughes, (Brian) Derba, they all made some great plays and catches.
“Not too many people beat North, so we’ll take it any which way we can,” Martinelli added. “This was a key win for us.”
In all, Kerrigan (14-for-22 for 137 yards) led the Warrior offense on a 11-play, 77 yard drive on it’s second possession of the game, which was capped by a 12-yard touchdown reception from Kerrigan to senior Ryan Hughes. The drive included three receptions to Sulham (nine rec., 77 yards), which accounted for 33 of those yards, and a pair of third-down conversions from Kerrigan (eight rushes, 94 yards) including a gain of 17 on third-and-six.
The Foxboro offense came up with a momentum-changing eight-play, 64 yard drive just before the first half ended. It was highlighted by a pair of receptions, the first a 19-yard, next-level play as Elijah Lewis pinned the ball to a Rocketeer defenders back to advance the ball to the North 27 yard line. Brian Derba then made two catches during a string of three plays, the final of which went for a 13-yard touchdown as he pinned the ball to his own shoulder and came down with the ball.
And while it was the offense which had it’s biggest day of the young season, the defense was just as consistent as its been through the first two games.
Foxboro held North to just 107 total yards (285-107 advantage in total yards) through the first three quarters. The only times North Attleboro scored was on a bad snap on a punt, which the North Attleboro special teams recovered to make it 21-7, and on a Rocketeer drive in which they were set up with favorable field position.
North made it a game late with a two-play, 31 yard touchdown drive. It cut Foxboro’s lead to 21-14 with 4:45 remaining. It was the Rocketeers second touchdown in a span of 2:03.
After the North defense forced a Foxboro three-and-out, the hosts got the ball back with three minutes left. The Warrior defense clamped down again. Mike Sheehan made a tackle on first down, Mike Norvich (nine tackles) made a tackle for no gain on second down and after a third-down spike, North came up a half yard short of a fourth-down conversion.
“I definitely felt the momentum swung there, but just had that eerie feeling all along that it was too little too late,” North Attleboro coach Don Johnson said as Foxboro more than doubled North in first downs (13-6), total yards (308-147) and passing yards (137-66).
Foxboro also managed numerous sacks and a fourth-quarter interception by Elijah Lewis. Anton George made seven tackles with one sack while fellow defensive end finished with five tackles (three for loss) and three sacks.
Foxboro (2-1) will travel to Canton on Friday for another crucial Davenport Division game.
“We got to get right back at it,” Martinelli said. “We got a tough game against, everybody. This is the best the league has ever been, from top to bottom. And every week there seems to be an implication no matter what the match up is, in the big picture.”