NORTH ATTLEBORO -- Jack Martinelli brought out one of his vintage “Foxboro” pullovers, but it was more of the lucky charms that he has on his Foxboro High School football roster that delivered an electrifying 21-14 victory over North Attleboro Friday at Community Field.
Limited to 74 net yards of offense and three first downs while being held scoreless through the first 24 minutes of their Hockomock League play, Foxboro delivered one big play after another on both sides of the line of scrimmage to beat North Attleboro for the first time since 2000.
Moreover, in winning their fifth straight game, Foxboro gained the upper hand for supremacy in the Davenport Division over the defending champion Rocketeers.
“We didn’t have field position, we kind of hung around and we didn’t give them any points in the first half,” Martinelli said. “We bent defensively, but it didn’t hurt us on the scoreboard.
“We have that big-play capability, we said at halftime it’s only 2-0, it’s a long game.”
It was the manner in which the Warriors prevailed that was dazzling, especially after North had merely that 2-0 lead — by virtue of Tyler Bannon blocking a Foxboro punt out of the end zone in the first minute of the second quarter.
Senior speedster wide receiver Rashaad Way snared second-half TD strikes of 40 and 68 yards from senior QB Tom Marcucella, while senior running back Dylan Gordon (148 rushing yards) bolted 72 yards for six points on the very first play of the Warriors’ third offensive series.
Just as impressively, Way plucked off a North pass to end a Big Red bid for the go-ahead points at the Foxboro 18-yard line with 2:48 remaining to be played. Then senior linebacker Dylan Kerrigan ended the Rocketeers’ last gasp, intercepting another pass at midfield on the very first play of North’s next series.
“We gave them too many opportunities,” North Attleboro coach Don Johnson said, acutely aware of Foxboro’s lightning attack — Way scoring Foxboro’s first TD on the second play of the Warriors’ second series of the second half; Gordon scoring on the first play of Foxboro’s third series; and Marcucella once again combining with Way on the left flank on the second play of the Warriors’ fourth series.
While North had a punt blocked, Foxboro had a field goal blocked.
“We shot ourselves in the foot too often there, we had more holding calls (four) in the first half than we had all season,” Johnson added of the 60 yards in flags. “That was a big difference-maker, we should have gotten more points.”
Bannon boomed a 61-yard punt to the Foxboro 8-yard line for North, which set up his safety.
However, North went scoreless on five first-half series, despite having most favorable field position to start drives, at the 24-, 27-, 50-, Foxboro 46- and Foxboro 34-yard lines.
Gordon stopped North with a seven-yard tackle for a loss on a fourth-down play at the Foxboro 41-yard line to end the first series; a holding penalty derailed the second series; Foxboro’s Ryan Addeche dropped a North runner shy of the first-down marker on a third down on the third series; North was unable to convert a fourth-down-and-4 play at the Foxboro 7-yard line to end the fourth series; while a holding penalty and an intentional-grounding penalty derailed the fifth series.
North gained an 8-0 lead on its first series of the second half, with Chase Frisoli connecting with Gavin Wells on a 10-yard strike to the left — after Aidan Conrad recovered a Foxboro fumble.
North then drove 72-yards on 12 plays, consuming 5:21 of the clock with senior Tyler DeMattio scoring from a yard out on the first play of the fourth quarter to gain a 14-8 lead. In that series, DeMattio rushed for 32 yards, while a 16-yard burst by Bannon brought the ball out to the 49-yard line.
“The big-play kids made the big plays,” Martinelli added. “The kids weren’t down (trailing at the half), they weren’t doubting themselves. They had the will to hang in there.”