The Mansfield High football team suffered a tough loss to North Attleboro, 36-21, on Friday after coming back in the second half to take the lead.
Penalties were a key factor for Mansfield, as eight were called on the Hornets. One play, when it seemed Mansfield could strike back and take the game at 26-21, North Attleboro leading, Brendan Hill caught an amazing pass from a harried and pressured Kyle Wisnieski. The pass was deemed incomplete as Wisnieski was called over the line of scrimmage.
“I just love the way we played in the second half,” head coach Michael Redding said. “We dug ourselves a hole, we battled back on the road, we get the lead, it looks like we could have the win, but they answered back.
North Attleboro struck early, showing their running prowess when Jake Dallaire, who caught a 62 yard pass for a touchdown. The extra point was good and North Attleboro took the lead 7-0 in less than three minutes of play.
North Attleboro’s Ryan Perron made the next touchdown for the Red Rockeeters, taking the lead to 14-0.
Mansfield started a long drive that ended in a touchdown run from Robert Rapoza. The drive was hard fought, with two successful fourth down attempts. Mansfield got on the scoreboard, still trailing North Attleboro, 14-7.
Mansfield was unable to capitalize on their possession and had to punt the ball back to North Attleboro. Red Rocketeer captain Alex Jette made a touchdown pass to increase their lead to 20-7 after a failed field goal attempt.
Mansfield answered with a touchdown run from Kevin Mackey in the second half, shortening North Attleboro’s lead to 20-14. Mansfield got possession back and made a 39-yard touchdown pass to Michael Herschman to take the lead, 21-20.
North Attleboro was able to drive once again and score from Perron on a pass, taking the lead once again, 28-21.
North Attleboro sealed the game with minutes left to play when Dwayne Hunter made a 75-yard touchdown run.
“They have a veteran offense team and they made the big fourth down play,” Redding said.
Mansfield is still in the playoffs with 6-3 record and only one loss in the Hockomock League Kelley-Rex Division.