North Attleboro beat Mansfield Friday 18-15 in a stunning game. North Attleboro held possession after possession on Mansfield, and the Hornets couldn’t take advantage of their offense during the game.
“I think the extra week paid dividends for them,” Mansfield head coach Michael Redding said of the Rocketeers. “They did a lot of new things we hadn’t seen before.”
The first two possessions, and subsequent touchdowns for North Attleboro were crucial to their win on Friday. Mansfield fumbled the ball on the first play of the game, and North Attleboro recovered. The Red Rocketeers then ran in a touchdown, already being on the Mansfield 11 yard line.
“We spot them 12 points on two turnovers and that’s the game,” Redding said. “Other than that it was an even game, but to give them 12 right off the bat, you’re asking for trouble.”
There were four fumbles, two from each team, during the game, and one interception from Mansfield’s Craig Mallet.
The game could have gone worse for Mansfield, but they stuck with it and stopped North Attleboro during the third quarter.
“We thought we had to win the third quarter, but we didn’t,” Redding said.
The score was 12-7 North Attleboro, and they were threatening on the Mansfield goal line. Zack Schafer stopped two running plays that could have easily been a touchdown. On their second down, North Attleboro’s center over estimated the snap, and the ball went clear over their quarterback’s head. They recovered the ball, but lost about 20 yards and started on the Mansfield 25.
Michael Hershman gave a great pick to stop a pass, and the hornets took possession at their own 25 yard line.
North Attleboro was able to score again during the fourth quarter, bringing the score to 18-7. Mansfield bounced back with a touchdown and a two-point conversion late in the fourth quarter, but was unable to recover their onside kick, and did not get the ball back before the buzzer.
“We didn’t surrender, the kids played hard,” Redding said. “We got outplayed tonight by a good football team.”