Tournament Preview: Football at North Attleborough

Walpoles sophomore runningback carrying the ball against rival, Natick.

Walpole’s sophomore runningback carrying the ball against rival, Natick.

Michael Fortin

Walpole's runningbacks look to have big games.
Walpole’s running backs look to have big games.

Time and Place:  Friday Night November 11 at 7pm at North Attleborough High School.

Records:  Walpole comes into the playoffs with a 4-3 record earning a five seed while North Attleborough has a similar 4-3 record, holding the four seed.

Tough Schedules:  Both Walpole and North Attleborough have seen their fair share of tough opponents over the season as both have shown they can compete with the State’s best.  Walpole has beaten playoff teams Foxborough and Wellesley while scoring on both teams with ease.  However, Walpole has struggled against high powered offenses losing to Needham and Natick, 26-6 and 56-55 respectively.  Similarly, North Attleborough has played a strong schedule.  North Attleborough, however, has struggled against top end teams, accruing a 1-3 against playoff teams.

Most Impressive Win:  Walpole went from an average team to a good team after they beat Wellesley earlier in October 49-35.  In this game, the Rebels saw their star back senior Captain Connor Moriarty and junior two way starter both go out with an injury for an extended period of time.  To add to this, Walpole was facing a deficit, as Wellesley controlled the first half while going into halftime 21-13 Wellesley.  The Rebels fought back to eventually beat the Raiders to earn a 3-1 record at the time.  North Attleborough’s most impressive win was easily their 20-12 upset of powerhouse BC High.  This game surprised most because North Attleborough lost many starters from the year before.

Advantage for Both Sides:  Coming into the game, the Rebels plan to run right behind their massive offense line with backs sophomore Steve Cuqua and Lovevindjy Salvant.  If the offense line for Walpole plays up to their potential then North Attleborough’s front seven is going to have a long night stopping the run.  North Attleborough’s advantage is similar to Walpole, as they are predominately a run team.  The Rebels, throughout the season, has had their struggles stopping the run, which could be their achilles heal.

Prediction:  In one of the more even matches of the first round this game could turn into a street fight.  Expect a high scoring game with both teams boasting high offenses.  However, Walpole should be able to outlast them and come out on top with a 35-28 win.