Walpole Crushes Norwood to Stay Undefeated


A Walpole player kick a field goal.

Michael Fortin

A Walpole player kicks a field goal.

 On the sunny day of October 8 at Norwood High School, the Norwood Mustangs hosted the Walpole Rebels in what was sure to be another great football game to add to the Walpole-Norwood rivalry.  Walpole came into the came looking to improve on their undefeated season; whereas, the Mustangs—who have been having a disappointing season so far—just came off their first win of the season against winless Brookline.  Norwood was coming into the game looking to make their season and upset the 7th ranked Rebels.  This, however, did not pan out for the Mustangs as they got destroyed in every aspect of the game, losing 44-0.

 Walpole flew out of the gates—forcing Norwood to punt deep in their territory to set up great field position for the potent Walpole offense.  Walpole quickly drove down the field with their dynamic backfield duo: senior Captains Mike Rando and Cam Hanley.  The drive was capped off with junior Will Bolster faking the run to Rando and connecting with Hanley out of the backfield for a 15 yard touchdown catch and run.  However, Norwood did have one of their few highlights of the day on the ensuing kickoff as the Norwood kick returner brought it back to midfield.  Walpole’s defense picked up the slack, once again stopping Norwood’s offense for a three and out to force another punt.  This time Walpole’s special teams stepped up as senior Ronnie Shepard found a hole in the Mustang’s line and came off the end to block their punt.  Walpole, once again, went back to their vibrant duo that was so effective as a result of the great line play led by senior Captain Ricky Ordway.  The drive was capped off with a 1 yard run by Rando to put Walpole up 14-0 midway through the first quarter.

 The Rebels’ domination continued, causing another three and out for Norwood.  On the ensuing drive the Rebels marched down the field for an 80 yard scoring drive capped off with a 6 yard Hanley run as he cleared through the Mustangs defense.  This drive was highlighted by a 35 yard catch from Bolster to senior wide-out Brad Webber which brought them deep into Norwood’s territory.  The following drive for Norwood ended much quicker then they wanted as senior Aidan Lancaster picked off Norwood quarterback John Nardelli’s pass inside the Mustang’s 30 yard line.  The Rebels, however, could not put it into the end zone and settled for a 30 yard field goal by junior kicker Colton Mitchell, who just came back from an early season injury, to put the Rebels up 24-0 at the beginning of the 2nd quarter.  Unfortunately for Norwood, things went from bad to worse when senior Ryan Finn came off the edge to sack and force a fumble on Nardelli; fellow senior linebacker Chris Nee recovered the fumble inside the Mustang 30 yard line.  Walpole capitalized as Rando scored on a 10 yard run to put Walpole up 31-0 to end the scoring in the first half.

 The second half was much the same as Walpole continued to control the game.  The Rebels drove down the field, once again, capping the drive off with a 10 yard Hanley touchdown run.  After this score, the Walpole coaches began to put in the backups—senior Jared Porack took advantage of it by ending the game with a 1 yard quarterback sneak to put Walpole up 44-0.

It took Norwood all the way to the end of the 4th quarter, against Walpole’s backups, to gain a first down.  Scoring on 7 of 8 drives, the Rebels proved to the Bay State League and the state that they are a very dangerous team.  If the Rebels continue to play at this level, they will continue to rise up the rankings and prove resilient against teams like Needham—coming up in week 7—and Natick, which is only under a month away.