NORTH ATTLEBORO — It was four quarters of Shamrock courageousness.
“It wasn’t any mystery to us, we knew what we had to to,” Stan Koss, the 6-foot-1, 260-pound senior two-way lineman declared of the Bishop Feehan High football team never fearing the Rocketeers of North Attleboro.
Senior quarterback Tim D’Ambrosia rushed for 117 yards and three touchdowns, while Koss delivered the first points on the scoreboard at Beaupre Field for the Shamrocks with a first-quarter safety.
Add an interception by John Jesser and a fumble recovery by Koss, both during the third quarter along with a pair of fourth quarter quarterback sacks by Alex Carney and it was vintage Bishop Feehan football.
“We’re learning how to win,” Gary Doherty, the Bishop Feehan High coach related after the bedlam at Beaupre Field, a 23-19 conquest of the Rocketeers by the Shamrocks, snapping Feehan’s nine-game losing streak to North Attleboro.
D’Ambrosia directed the Shamrocks on an 82-yard, 14-play drive that consumed 7:12 of the clock during the fourth quarter, scoring himself on a-fourth down plunge after North’s Trevor Hewitt had dropped him shy of the end zone on two consecutive bids.
While that presented Bishop Feehan with a 23-13 lead with just over four minutes left, true to form the Big Red refused to surrender. North senior quarterback Nick Raneri combined with Ryan Gaumond for a 56-yard pass play to the Shamrock 8-yard line on a fourth down and 21-yard play. A play later, Brendan McHugh scored.
Two plays later North had the ball again! Rocketeer senior captain Jonathan James stripped a Shamrock runner of the ball and Omar Jasseh recovered for North Attleboro at its 11-yard line with ample time (2:25) remaining.
However, Koss and Carney dropped Raneri on consecutive plays for lost yards and the Rocketeers were never able to advance beyond their 25-yard line.’
“We didn’t deserve to win the game, way too many mistakes,” Don Johnson, the North coach offered. “A lot of little things — the bad snap on the extra point, the mishandled punt. You have those kind of mistakes and they (Bishop Feehan) made more plays for sure.
“D’Ambrosia did a really nice job in the run game, he’s shifty and the deception was good with the fakes. They made enough plays.”
And yet, the Shamrocks were guessing themselves too, unable to score from the North two-yard line late in the second quarter, having a field goal sail wide, losing a fumble (which North’s Tom O’Neill and Raneri recovered at the Shamrock 26) a play after picking off a Rocketeer pass.
A bad snap on a North punt which Koss recovered for the Shamrocks at the Rocketeer seven-yard line put Bishop Feehan en route to victory. Three plays later, D’Ambrosia followed the blocking of guard Ryan Corio and center George Dellaleh to score from a yard out regaining the lead at 16-13 for the Shamrocks.
The Shamrocks earned an 8-7 lead in the second quarter as a result of Koss’ safety and Bishop Feehan than driving 49 yards on six plays on the ensuing free kick. D’Ambrosia carried the ball four times for 36 yards in the series, while completing a 10-yard pass too.
North had taken the lead on its very first series, Raneri completing a 70-yard scoring strike to Gaumond, wide open in the Shamrock secondary.