(Highlights by correspondent Patrick Welter.)
BOSTON- North Attleborough did Friday what some teams spend a whole season hoping to do: walk into a hostile playing environment against a team hoping to prove a point, dominate at the point of attack for four quarters, win, and make a statement along the way.
The No. 17 Rocketeers went into No. 13 BC High and walked out with a 27-7 victory and the attention of the entire Hockomock League.
“I’m about to tear up right now, it’s one of the greatest feelings,” said North Attleborough’s Dwayne Hunter, Jr., who had 11 carries for 130 yards behind its offensive line. “Our goal is to try to get to the Super Bowl, we’re trying to do what we gotta do, take it one game at a time. We didn’t come out thinking we were gonna smash this team, but as you can see, we did.”
After being shut out 21-0 last Friday against Brockton, BC High was out to prove that result was more fluke than anything else. However, it struggled to get anything going offensively.
North Attleborough (2-0) out-gained the Eagles 445 yards to 96 in the game.
The defense was able to keep the team in the game early by intercepting Ryan Perron (6-of-13 for 81 yards) twice in the first quarter, one Tim Johnson took back 40 yards for a touchdown.
Things got worse from there for the Eagles (0-2). After North Attleborough drove 80 yards on its ensuing possession to make it a one-point game, it was the benefit of its own mistake. Hunter, also the team’s kicker, lined up to kick off, but failed to get his foot properly under the ball, which sent a line drive into a BC High blocker. The football bounced back in North’s direction and Hunter fell on it to keep possession.
The play went in North’s favor so well that some wondered if it was actually a planned, unorthodox onside kick.
“No, that was purely accidental,” Red Rocketeers head coach Don Johnson said. “He was instructed to kick it deep and down and hard. The same thing happened at our game last week, and he recovered the kick, so that was just luck.”
Three minutes later, Alex Jette took a handoff five yards for a touchdown, and the Rocketeers never looked back.
JETTE'S ON AFTERBURNERS
Just one week after accounting for 345 all-purpose yards against Rhode Island power La Salle Academy, Jette was back at it again for North Attleborough. While his point totals were not nearly as abundant as they were last Friday (just 128 yards and a touchdown on the ground, and 53 yards receiving), he still made an impact on the game.
That kind of productivity, as a team, not just from Jette, will be extremely important for NA as it gets into its Hockomock League schedule if the team’s passing game is not clicking as much as it would like.
“We don’t have a weak spot,” said Jette when talking about his team’s run game. “We thought we were going to have a problem running up the middle against them today. They have huge linebackers and a huge defensive line, but we were able to run successful counters and then get the ball to the other side and catch them off guard.
Jette also made an impact on defense with an interception of Collins. He faced a tall order all night, literally, because he was matched up against the 6-foot-4 Lincoln Collins. While he was giving up three inches to the wideout, Jette held Collins to only two catches for 16 yards.
“Obviously he’s a great wide receiver,” Jette said. “He has a few inches on me, but our defense ran a lot of blitzes tonight, and I think that helped. We got pressure to the quarterback and he wasn’t able to get it to Lincoln Collins, so that helped me overall cover him better.”
BC High has yet to score an offensive touchdown through the first eight quarters of its season. Its lone touchdown came on Tim Johnson’s pick-six of Perron in the first quarter.
The Eagles have struggled to mount consistent offense yet this season, partly due to its well-documented injuries, most notably on offense to quarterback Brandon Craven. Danny Collins, his replacement, was 3-of-9 for 30 yards and an interception Friday.
It appeared the tide could have been turning in the third quarter, when the defense recovered a Hunter fumble at its own 10-yard line. After going three-and-out, the Eagles punted, but North Attleborough’s Tyler Sellner muffed the punt and BC High fell on the loose ball.
Unfortunately for them, NA brought a heavy rush on second and third down, getting to Collins each time, forcing a punt again.
--- With a 2-0 record and the way it dominated its opponents the past two weeks, the rest of the Hockomock League has to have its eyes on North Attleborough. As the season rolls on to its third week, the Rocketeers have become one of, if not the team to beat in the division. There will be no sneaking up on anyone.
“We came into these games knowing that they’re non-league games, but we could only come out here with a positive game,” Jette said. “Especially beating a great team like [BC High], that’s just a huge motivation factor, and now we just have to focus on winning our league games and making it into the playoffs.”
NO. 17 NORTH ATTLEBOROUGH 27, NO. 13 BC HIGH 7
NA --- 6 6 0 15 --- 27
BC --- 7 0 0 0 --- 7
BC - Tim Johnson 40-yard interception return (Jackson Bockhorst kick good)
NA - Ryan Perron 3-yard run (Dwayne Hunter, Jr. kick no good)
NA - Alex Jette 5-yard run (Two-point conversion no good)
NA - Perron 2-yard run (Perron 2-point conversion run good)
NA - Jack Blase 13-yard run (Hunter, Jr. kick good)