MANSFIELD, Mass. -– Greg Donahue rushed for three touchdowns and Craig Mallett finished the scoring with a 102-yard interception return to bolster the Mansfield Hornets over Attleboro, 28-7. The ground attack from the hornets was vicious, eating up the clock and keeping Attleboro’s offense cool for most of the night.
“We had to have had 250 yards on the ground. We’ve got a bunch of backs with [Blayne] Taylor, Donahue, [Dylan] Finnerty and [Mike] Farrell. That’s our M.O., we’re just going to pound the ball and try to play good d[efense],” said Mansfield coach Mike Redding.
Although the Attleboro offense was able to get with scoring distance by forcing defensive stops and producing in offensive spurts, they just could not get the edge on Mansfield. This tactic of resilience is something that is taught to the players by staff and their teammates.
“Never surrender is one of our biggest mottos on this team,” added senior defensive end Zach Schafer. “We’ve got a lot of soul and hope on our defense out here and we took it to them.
Attleboro coach Kevin Deschenes agreed. With an offense that has found a way to make it work, the level of play by the Mansfield defense left his team with little room to breathe.
“They were able to play swarm defense, they were able to get penetration on Chris [Walsh] and he had no time to throw the ball,” said Deschenes. “They stepped it up and were able to get the job done up front.”
One More Chance: With 3:54 left in the game, Blue Bombadiers got a chance to score and make it a one score game. Quarterback Chris Walsh threw three passes, two to Zach Schweiger for 20 yards and one to Malique Clark for 38, the Hornet defense brought pressure up front and shut down Attleboro’s air show. After two sacks, 4th and 23 didn’t allow Attleboro many options, but they got the ball back on a Shawn Reardon fumble recovery. Unable to convert that, the game three touchdowns away was out of their bombing range.
The Donahue Show: Greg Donahue put on a running drill clinic tonight. Following blocks and filling open gaps quickly, he burst through lineman attempting to arm tackle and running through the secondary and linebacker core trying to grab onto his jersey.
“I knew they were big, much bigger than me, so I had to get my center of gravity low so when they hit me I still had a lot of power to stay and I said ‘stay up, get that extra yard," he said.
During the week at practice is where Donahue hones his running skills. Going up against the toughest competition during the week seems to be paying off for Donahue.
“Danny Gimore nails me and I just stay up. If it wasn’t for him, I’d get tackled easy," he said.
MANSFIELD 28, ATTLEBORO 7
ATL (4-2) 0 7 0 0 --- 7
MAN (5-1) 0 7 6 15 --- 28
A – JJ Jolaoso 65 fumble recovery (Chris Walsh kick)
M – Greg Donahue 22 run (Mike Hershman kick)
M – Donahue 5 run (failed kick)
M – Donahue 3 run (Donahue rush)
M – Craig Mallett 102 interception return (Hershman kick)