MANSFIELD — The North Attleboro High football team proved once again that it can score plenty of points in plenty of ways and from plenty of Rocketeers.
Not just that, but the Big Red compiled eight QB sacks for 39 lost yards and 13 of the 19 running plays initiated by Sharon High during the first half went for gains of two yards or less.
That package allowed the Rocketeers to walk off Alumni Field at Mansfield High Friday with their second impressive victory of the season, a 48-7 Hockomock League conquest of the Eagles.
Junior quarterback Tyler DeMattio completed seven of 10 passes for 91 yards in the first half, two of those going for touchdowns to senior running back Tommy Whalen on scores of eight and 24 yards.
The Penta brothers (Jared, 1-yard run) and Matt (25-yard pass from DeMattio) helped North Attleboro take an insurmountable 35-0 halftime lead.
Sophomore Julian House (65 yards on six second half carries), junior Garrett Inglese (31 yards) DeMattio (45 yards on five first half carries), Jared Penta (37 yards) and Jacob Silva (29 yards) all factored prominently as North Attleboro amassed 133 yards rushing in the first half and 133 second half rushing yards.
Sophomore Nathan Shultz placed another exclamation mark on the win with a 79-yard return of a kickoff for a TD midway through the third quarter following Sharon’s lone TD, an 85-yard burst by Ike Ogbonnanze, who had 148 yards rushing.
“We have an experienced group out there,” North Attleboro coach Don Johnson said. “We knew that we had some depth in the skill positions, but the key was the line. It’s a matter of how quickly we can develop those guys up front and they’re coming along.”
The Rocketeers scored on drives of 53 yards (five plays), one yard (one play), 48 yards (seven plays), 48 yards (four plays) and 70 yards (four plays) in the first half.
North Attleboro totaled six sacks alone in the first half for 29 lost yards, while Matt Penta spoiled Sharon’s fourth offensive set of the game with an interception at the Rocketeer 19-yard line to set up their third touchdown.
“It’s progress, we’re moving along,” Johnson said of the week-to-week improvement,
North Attleboro reserve quarterback Gavin Wells engineered a 52-yard, 11-play drive with House rushing for 24 yards and Adian Conrad scoring from three yards out. Evan Vigorito then booted his fourth conversion kick.
North tallied three TDs in the second quarter on Penta’s pick return, a 17-yard run by Inglese and a Sharon pass interference penalty set up a 1-yard TD run by DeMattio.
Tyler Bannon’s sack on a Sharon fourth down attempt set North in motion for another six points. Silva bolted 18 yards to the Sharon 17 and two plays later DeMattio completed a 25-yard scoring strike to Matt Penta on the left side.
DeMattio completed a 12-yard pass to Alex McCoy to ignite North’s fifth scoring drive and then charged 34 yards to the Sharon 24-yard line. A play later, DeMattio found Whalen on the right side to complete the final distance.
A 28-yard run by Jared Penta on the Rocketeers’ very first play of the game served as a catalyst for the go-ahead TD, capped by DeMattio’s first of two TD tosses to Whalen.
Back-to-back sacks by Justin Vecchiarelli and Whalen followed by a botched Sharon fourth down punt attempt left North with the ball at the Eagles’ 1-yard line.
“We’ve had kids lifting weights for the better part of 15 months, and their increased size and strength is evident in their play,” Johnson said. “Along with that hard work comes a great deal of confidence and a level of toughness.”
North Attleboro will play its first home game next Saturday at 1 p.m. against Oliver Ames.