Walpole Defeats Wellesley In Critical Game


A senior wide reciever goes to make the catch in a previous game.

Michael Fortin

A senior wide reciever goes to make the catch in a previous game.
A senior wide receiver goes to make the catch in a previous game.

Ever since the Lee-Era began in the late 60’s, Walpole Football has been one of the most dominant football programs in Massachusetts.  Throughout this time many great players have gone through the program to make it as successful as it is.  However, these players are not the only reason why Walpole has been so successful.  Walpole has been so successful by following one simple motto, “Next man up.”

As the Rebels were in the midst of a must win game against Wellesley, they watched their do-it-everything running back,  senior Captain Connor Moriarty, go down with a high ankle sprain at the beginning of the second quarter while the Rebels were leading 13-7.  Up to this point, Moriarty was the only producer on the Rebels offense, scoring both their touchdowns on runs for 50 yards and 21 yards.  To make matters worse, junior Andrew Papirio,who is a two way starter, went down with a concussion late in the first half.  Theses injuries took the wind out of Walpole’s sail and Wellesley took the momentum, scoring two late touchdowns.  Wellesley went into halftime with the lead, the score being 21-13.

During halftime Walpole’s Coaching Staff challenged the young squad, knowing they were down two key players.  Many spectators would wonder how the Rebels would do while standing in the face of adversity. Many people had doubts about the character of this team.  However, Walpole proved these doubters wrong as they came out flying and turned the game around.

After a quick stop by the defense, The Rebels offense went right to work as Moriarty’s backup, sophomore Steve Cuqua caught a 65 yard TD pass from senior Captain Will Bolster to tie the game up at 21. Wellesley failed to move the sticks again and they were forced to punt.  Walpole’s offense did not slow down.  After some tough runs by Cuqua to bring Walpole into Raiders territory, The Rebels faced a crucial third and one.  To catch Wellesley off guard, Bolster took a quick snap and he snuck it up the middle. He broke free behind great blocking which helped him run for a 38 yard touchdown to put Walpole ahead.  However, Wellesley responded quickly, having a phenomenal drive of their own. They took the lead back due to their stud quarterback John Fadule scoring on a one yard run to put the Raiders up 28-27.

Once again going into the fourth quarter Walpole was faced with adversity and they simply just listened to their, “Next man up” motto.  This time, junior Jack Lavanchy stepped up he hauling in a 27 yard touchdown pass from Bolster, coming down with the TD catch despite great coverage by Fadule.  Walpole continued to play relentlessly after this momentum shift and senior Colton Mitchell and Cuqua both found the end-zone to put the game out of  Wellesley’s reach.  Despite a late score by Wellesley, Walpole wrapped up the 49-35 win to make the Rebels just one win away from a playoff birth.

The Rebels hope to claim this playoff birth on Friday October 11, against Bay State Herget foe Milton.