By Max Bowen-Max.email@example.com
North Attleborough may not have been able to clinch the Division 3 state title, but they made Marblehead earn every yard.
The two teams faced off at Gilette Stadium as part of the MIAA State Championships on Dec. 2. Marblehead was undefeated for its season, and this was the first time the teams had gone up against one another. The teams seemed evenly matched in the first half, ending with 14 points each.
Marblehead scored two touchdowns to bring the score to 28-14, but North Attleborough was able to catch up and tie the score at 28. Marblehead took the lead with 35, intercepting a North pass and kneeling the ball to run out the clock.
Red Rocketeers Head Coach Don Johnson said that North ran up against a team that had a few too many weapons that they could match. But he praised the team’s work, saying they were a tough group and gave all that had been asked of them. He credited the contribution of seniors Tyler DeMattio, Tyler Bannon, and Jared Vacher.
“They were loyal, they were tough,” he said following the game. “So you can’t ask for more than that as a coach.”
The last time North got to the finals was in 2017, and the last Super Bowl win was in 2004. It’s the school’s 11th time in the finals and their record is 7-3.
Johnson said that the second half was when things turned in Marblehead’s favor, adding that they employed a covert offense. He said the team had some great playmakers and was concerned how North would match up.
DeMattio scored three of North’s touchdowns, and Johnson said that had been the plan going into the game.
“We knew we could need him if we were going to get to this point,” said Johnson.
DeMattio said the start of the season was a tough one for North, as they lost the two opening games. He credited his teammates for the hard work they put in all season, and as well as their opponents in the championship game.
“They deserve it, congrats to them,” he said.
Johnson said the team had trouble matching up with Marblehead and getting enough stops on defense, as well as missing tackles.
“My only concern was scoring, scoring too early and giving the ball back to them because we really didn’t get enough stops on defense,” said Johnson. “We know we’re playing an elite.”