by David James
After a rain delay pushed the game back two days, the Rocketeers took Community Field on Sunday versus the Scarlet Hawks of Milford. The Rowdy Crowd was not nearly as loud as usual, and this lack of spirit resulted in a sluggish start for the Rocketeers.
After a fumbled punt handed the Scarlet Hawks the ball on the North 26 yard line, Milford, lead by Yale-bound Blake Hill (83 yards rushing), marched down and scored to take a 7-0 lead.
However, that would be the final Milford touchdown as North’s momentum on the field began to grow. Captains Nick Rajotte (134 yards) and Bobby Mylod (139 yards) marched down the field to the Milford 30 yard line where they were finally stopped. On fourth and twelve, Chad Peterson (10/12, 125 yards passing) threw up a long ball to the corner of the end zone that Mylod came down with to even the score at 7-7.
“At the time it looked like this was about to be a back and forth kind of game,” said Defensive End Tom Vidal. “Both sides’ offenses looked really impressive to start out.”
Milford attempted to play to their strength: running straight up the middle. After only brief success at the beginning of the game, it wasn’t
long before the Rocketeers figured out Milford’s strategy and shut it down. Milford struggled to gain any yards and were forced to punt the ball back to North Attleboro
North used what they had succeeded with on the first drive to a very similar result. Rajotte up the middle and Mylod on outside sweeps lead the Rocketeers to the 32 yard line where once again Peterson hooked up with Mylod for a long score to take a 14-7 lead.
With little time left in the half, the Scarlet Hawks were able to drive the ball down the field into North Attleboro territory, but time expired before they could make any difference on the scoreboard.
The game felt closer than it was and the Rocketeers went into the locker room feeling like they had a lot more to accomplish.
“Even though we were winning, there were no smiles at halftime. We all knew we had business to take care of,” said safety Jack Dakin.
After the break, it was North Attleboro’s game. The Rocketeers got the ball to start the half and marched the ball right down the field. From the 13 yard line, Mylod ran the ball to the one only to fumble, luckily, in front of Dave Engler who fell on the ball and was credited with the score.
The Rocketeer defense also began to click, as they held Milford’s rushing attack in check. North’s defense disabled Milford’s strong interior running and once they were forced to resort to passing, the Scarlet Hawks began to fall apart.
The Scarlet Hawks were able to force a North Attleboro punt in order to get the ball back. They went three and out after a sack from safety Jack Dakin.
From this point on, Milford would not pick up another first down and North would continue to score at will. The floodgates opened as Rajotte broke through the line of scrimmage and outran everyone for a 73 yard score. After Jay Loring disrupted a Milford fake punt last fighting attempt, North got the ball back and handed off to Jonathan Shultz, who ran 31 yards for the final score of the game. With Geoff Wilson going perfect on PAT’s, the game’s final score was 35-7.
Quarterback Chad Peterson was picked as the offensive player of the week for his perfect passing in the game. The game’s leading tackler, Jack Dakin, was picked as the defensive player of the week. For leading the lineman and shutting down Milford’s Division 1 prospect Riley Burns on both sides of the ball, Thomas Reynolds was picked as the lineman of the week.
North will travel to Sharon this Saturday afternoon in their third of five divisional games. “We know that they’re not as talented as some of the teams we’ve played, but we can’t go and take them lightly,” said senior Dave Engler, “We still need to give our best effort for four quarters.”