NORTH ATTLEBORO — Through the first four games of the season, the North Attleboro High School football team has allowed an average of 29 points per game, having emerged victorious but once thus far.
In week No. 1 it was quarterback Robbie Jarest and the King Philip Warriors scoring 25 points.
In week No. 2 it was quarterback Brady Olson and the Bishop Feehan High Shamrocks scoring 27 points.
In week No. 3 it was quarterback Shayne Kerrigan and the Foxboro High Warriors scoring 21 points.
And on Saturday, the Rocketeers yielded 296 passing yards by Milford High quarterback Colby Pires and seven TDs in a 45-19 loss to the Scarlet Hawks in a Hockomock League game.
“We’re hitting some very good quarterbacks who can exploit some of our weaknesses,” North Attleboro coach Don Johnson said of the Rocketeers’ third loss of the season, surrendering TDs to Milford on four of its first five possessions and facing a 35-7 deficit at halftime.
Milford scored the first four touchdowns of the game, taking a 14-0 lead into the second quarter and a 28-0 lead with four minutes left until intermission.
“They’re very good,” Johnson added of the Pires-fueled Scarlet Hawks. “He was on target (17-for-28 passing), and they have athletes all over the place.”
North sophomore quarterback Tyler DeMattio completed 10 of 23 passes for 167 yards, and put the Rocketeers on the scoreboard with 2:39 left until halftime with a one-yard run.
The Rocketeers actually narrowed the deficit to two touchdowns (35-19) midway through the third quarter by scoring twice within a 63-second span.
North converted a fake punt by DeMattio, turning that into him throwing a 43-yard TD pass to Russ Dunlap with 6:42 remaining in the third session.
Then an Owen Harding QB sack of Pires, with Dan Hayes recovering the ensuing Milford fumble, presented North with another opportunity. DeMattio teamed up with Alex McCoy on a 59-yard TD pass. Unfortunately for North, the respective conversion kick and conversion pass went unfulfilled.
“We did a better job offensively in the second half,” Johnson said. “But in the first half we made it too easy for them,”
Milford and Pires were quick-striking too, as the Scarlet Hawks beat North for the first time since becoming a Hockomock League member.
Milford scored on the fourth play of its first series, a 67-yard TD pass from Pires to Max Martin.
Five plays into the Scarlet Hawks’ second series, Pires completed a 23-yard TD pass to Martin.
Seven plays into Milford’s first series of the second quarter, Carter Scudo scored from two yards out.
And on Milford’s very first play of its first offensive set, Scudo hauled in a 64-yard TD pass from Pires.
To make matters worse for North, the Scarlet Hawks tallied their fourth TD on a fumble recovery, a 30-yard romp by Herrick Louis with 4:29 left in the first half. Meanwhile, Milford kicker C.J. Cerella booted a 43-yard field goal late in the third quarter and hit six conversion kicks.
“Offensively, we kind of struggled early,” Johnson said of three-downs-and-out series. “We can’t play from behind, we don’t have the athletes to play like that.”
North returns home for a Saturday matinee (1 p.m.) against Sharon.
Cardinal Spellman 36, Tri-County 7
HOLBROOK — The Cougars of Tri-County surrendered a pair of first-quarter touchdowns to Cardinal Spellman and faced a 21-0 deficit by halftime in losing the non-league game.
“It’s a 7-0 game and then we give up a touchdown with just over a minute left in the first quarter on a bad punt,” Kahn Chace, the Tri-County coach said.
The Cougars (2-2) scored their lone TD in the third quarter on a 70-yard pass from Tyler Saunders to Jordan Pina, with Kolbie Blakely hitting the conversion kick.
The Cougars were unable to earn a pass interception or fumble recovery, and were also unable to sustain an offense in the first half, allowing Cardinal Spellman to benefit from field position.
“We were there, but Spellman is two divisions above us, the No. 2-ranked team in Division 6,” Chace added. “We need to get in the weight room and get some bigger bodies.” The Cougars return home for a 1 p.m. kickoff Saturday against Bristol-Plymouth.