Rando, Rebels deliver in frosh win over Norwood

James Cullinane

Tailback Mike Rando alludes Norwood defenders in Walpoles 18-7 win. (Photo courtesy of Greg Salvatore).
Freshmen tailback Mike Rando alludes Norwood defenders in Walpoles 18-7 win. (Photo courtesy of Greg Salvatore).

Through the first six games of the Walpole Rebels Freshman Football Team’s season, Captain Cam Hanley lead the way to an undefeated start in the backfield.  Unfortunately, Hanley suffered a broken collarbone against Brookline the week before the frosh’s annual showdown with the Mustangs of Norwood.  This injury worried many, but coach Chris Costello kept the team prepared as always.  In the absence of Hanley, Mike Rando, backup tailback and special teams standout, took over the game like he owned it.  In the first quarter, Rando powered the ball down the field until fullback Gary DeVincentis and scored on a 2 yard run through the middle of the Mustang defense.  This was one of Walpole’s longest drives of the season and proved to be costly to the Mustang morale.  Rando continued to run through, around, and on occasion, over the Mustang defense through the first quarter.  It was not long into the second quarter when Rando scored his first touchdown of the game to make the score 12-0 Rebels.  Although down, Norwood proved that they were not yet out of the game when they took the ball down the field and scored on the Rebel defense.  After a successful two point conversion, Walpole was only on top 12-8.  The defenses of Walpole and Norwood played spectacular throughout the third quarter, proving that they could both bend but not break as they stopped each other repeatedly inside each others’ red zones.  Unfortunately for the Stangs, it was their defense who broke first, when Rando scampered in for a fourth quarter touchdown to make the score 18-7.  This score would hold true in the end, but Norwood proved again to the Frosh why they are always one of the toughest teams Walpole plays each and every season.  The most valuable play for the Rebs was most definitely Rando who proved that he has what it takes to be a starting tailback.  Rando carried the ball over 30 times for 300 yards and two touchdowns – one of the best performances by any freshman in the Bay State League this season.