Rebels Get Revenge on Natick

Sophomore+Brad+Webber+celebrates+with+teammates+after+his+interception.

Sophomore Brad Webber celebrates with teammates after his interception.

Russell Ollis

Sophomore Brad Webber celebrates with teammates after his interception.

With the memory of last year’s loss still burning in their minds, the Walpole Rebels Football Team traveled to Natick on Friday October 29 to seek revenge for the bitter 35-14 loss of a year ago. The game featured the 7-0 Rebels facing off against the 4-3 Red and Blue. Despite a lackluster record for Natick, Walpole knew that the Red and Blue cannot be taken lightly and were prepared for a fight. The first quarter was a true defensive stalemate. It was a stalemate until 18 seconds left when Walpole’s senior quarterback Troy Salvatore threw a 38 yard touchdown pass to sophomore wide receiver Mike Rando. Senior kicker Tim Crowley hit the extra-point, making the score 7-0 Walpole on top as the second quarter began.

The Rebels continued to flew their offensive muscles as Rando scored again half way through the second quarter. This touchdown was a 10 yard touchdown run for Rando, and the extra-point put Walpole ahead 14-0. As predicted, Natick responded with a strong offensive showing as well. Their next drive ended in a run touchdown by Natick’s freshman quarterback Troy Flutie. The Natick defense stopped the Rebels on their next possession, and the Red and Blue picked up where they left off at on their last drive as they drove the field another time. This time Flutie finds senior wide receiver John Bishop for a big gain. The long pass from Flutie to Bishop set up another rushing touchdown for Natick, tying the score at 14-14 going into halftime.

Walpole’s offense came out in the second half and performed. On their first drive of the second half, Salvatore hit senior tight-end Andrew Mandeville on a huge pass that took the Rebels to Natick’s 1 yard line. Salvatore then took the ball himself for a 1 yard touchdown carry. The score stood at 20-14 as the extra-point was no good. The Rebels defense had a defensive stand and forced the Red and Blue to punt after a three and out on the last play of the third quarter. Junior punt returner Craig Hanley fumbled the punt and Natick recovered on Walpole’s 23 yard line for the start of the fourth quarter.

A few plays later, Natick scored on a 10 yard touchdown pass. The extra-point attempt was blocked by junior lineman Dan King and picked up by senior safety Chris Norberg. Norberg than ran into Natick’s endzone to record two points for the Rebels. This play changed the score to a 22-20 Walpole lead and swung the momentum of the game into the Rebels’ favor. When the Rebels offense got the ball back, they preceded to march down the field and burn a lot of time off the clock. Walpole finally scored when Salvatore ran it in from 9 yards out. Crowley’s extra-point kick had the score at 29-20. Natick was in desperation mode for their next possession because they needed two scores in under two minutes. Natick was close to scoring fast because on their first play of the drive, Flutie threw a long bomb to a Red and Blue receiver that took Natick to the 35 yard line of Walpole. Shortly after, sophomore cornerback Brad Webber picked off one of Flutie’s passes. This interception sealed the game, and gave the Rebels a 29-20 victory over Natick.