Rebels Blow Away the Rockets

Walpoles Tight End has been a monster this year as he hauls in a pass from a previous game. (Photo/ Tim Hoffman)

Walpole’s Tight End has been a monster this year as he hauls in a pass from a previous game. (Photo/ Tim Hoffman)

Michael Fortin

Walpole's Tight End has been a monster this year as he hauls in a pass from a previous game. (Photo/ Tim Hoffman)

On a rainy Friday night at Turco field the Walpole Rebels took on the Needham Rockets in a clash of the Titans for Bay State League Supremacy.  Needham came into the game at 5-1 tied in first with Weymouth on top of the Bay State Carey.  This was Walpole’s first true test of the season, having only faced one team with a winning record in their first six games.

Walpole came out of the game strong as they received the opening kickoff and sophomore Andrew Papirio having a shifty return to bring it out to midfield.  With the loss of Mike Rando, junior Connor Moriarty filled in for him at running back, and he and senior Captain Cam Hanley combined to run the ball into Needham territory.  Walpole then went to the air as junior Will Bolster hit senior tight end Chris Collins on a 15 yard seam route.  The drive was capped off with Collins hauling in a jump ball from Bolster for a 21 yard scoring play to put Walpole up 7-0.  The ensuing drive for Needham was not nearly as successful as the Rebels’ as Walpole stuffed star running back Mikey Panipento; Needham’s drive ended on a turnover on downs in Needham territory.  However, Walpole could not take advantage of this as they too turned it over as the failed to move the sticks.  Fortunately for Walpole, their defense was a brick wall the whole night as the forced Needham to punt after the failed to get anything started even with their dynamic offense.

Walpole retaliated by driving down the field with Moriarty and Hanley sharing carries to bring the ball inside the Needham 15.  Walpole, however, could not punch it in as they ended the drive with junior Colton Mitchell booting a 27 yard field goal.  The next two drives ended up in a stalemate as both teams exchanged punts.  Walpole’s defense once again stepped up though when senior corner back Brad Webber intercepted Needham’s Ryan Charter to energize the Rebels once again.  The Rebels took this energy and drove down the field, capping the drive off with a two yard Hanley run to put Walpole up 17-0 and end the scoring for the half.

As the Rebels came out of halftime they knew that the next score would change the game–a Needham score would put them back into the game and a Walpole score would put the game out of reach.  The Rebels responded to this with Webber intercepting yet another Needham pass on their opening possession of the second half and bringing in back 25 yards to the Needham 40.   The Rebels took advantage of this turnover when Bolster rolled out to the right and connected with Mitchell for an acrobatic one handed catch that put Walpole inside the Needham 10.  Moriarty finished off the drive running through defenders for a 9 yard touchdown run to put them up 24-0.  This drive was one of the turning points in the game as it just about killed Needham’s hopes to comeback and gave all the energy to the Rebels.  The scoring for the game ended when Bolster once again connected with Collins for 15 yard to put the final score at 31-0.

This game was very promising for Walpole as it showed that they can compete and dominate any team in their league.  Walpole proved the doubters wrong that they can keep up their dominating ways even against the Bay State’s top teams.  Also, they showed everyone that they are not a one man team with the loss of Rando and anyone can  fill in and do just as good of job as Moriarty showed this with his 124 rushing yards and touchdown.  Walpole(7-0) will hope to stay undefeated as they head over to play at Newton North(3-4) on Saturday October 27.