Rebels Defeat Rival Mustangs 34-14 despite Injured Backfield

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Michael Curran

Even with injuries hampering key players, the Walpole Rebels defeated their cross town rivals, the Norwood Mustangs, by a score of 34-14 last Friday night on Turco Field. Junior quarterback Charlie Auditore and senior running-back Lovey Salvant stepped up on the offense to replace senior starting running-back Steve Cuqua and the previously injured senior quarterback Tyler Berkland.   

The Rebels looked to be in some trouble early on as the Mustangs had no problem marching down the field and scoring a touchdown on a drive highlighted by a 70 yard reception. Walpole’s offense also had a slow start by committing three penalties on their opening drive.

The Rebels suffered yet another devastating loss in the first quarter as Steve Cuqua went down with an ankle injury. Backup running back Salvant filled-in for his injured co-captain.

“When someone goes down there’s always someone that has to step up. This week it happened to be me. I just know I have to work harder now,¨ said Salvant.

After their lackluster first drives, the Rebels picked up the pace and scored 14 unanswered points before halftime with a touchdown pass from Auditore to senior Nate Porack, and a rushing touchdown from Salvant.

After halftime, the Mustangs came out and scored an early third quarter touchdown, but that was all they got for the remainder of the game. Salvant turned it on rushing for a pair of second half touchdowns and lead the offense by grinding out yard after yard. Auditore also contributed in the Rebels rushing attack by going for 94 yards on 4 carries. Auditore’s night was highlighted by a long Johnny-Manziel-like rush where he made multiple Mustang defenders miss.

¨I felt confident, I had played quarterback my whole life and I worked hard all week to get on the same page as my teammates,” said Auditore.

The fourth quarter was entirely dominated by the Rebels as the offense continued to march down the field, scoring 20 unanswered points to put the game out of reach. Junior fullback Ferry Armand got his first rushing touchdown of the season when he powered the ball in the end zone from inside the 5 yard line.

¨We knew this was a must-win game and we went out there and did exactly what we needed to do¨ said Auditore after the game.