North Andover Scarlet Knights Football '21

Fri, Nov 05, 2021 06:00 PM @ Natick
Team Q1 Q2 Q3 Q4 Final
North Andover 7 0 7 7 21
Natick 0 10 0 21 31

Upset-minded Knights can't hold on

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Friday, November, 05 By Bill Gilman

NATICK — Senior Colby LeBlanc threw for a pair of touchdowns and ran for a third, as 7th-seeded Natick High rallied in the fourth quarter for a 31-21 win over 10th-seeded North Andover Friday night in the Round of 16 in the Division 2 State Tournament.
The Scarlet Knights (now 3-6), winners of two straight coming into the tournament, overcame a pair of costly turnovers and the loss of starting running back Jack Ferullo to injury in the first half, to lead 14-10 after three quarters.
But the Red Hawks (8-1) wore down the North Andover defense and scored on all three of their fourth-quarter possessions.
North Andover quarterback Jack O'Connell had a strong game, completing 21 of 29 passes for 197 yards and a pair of touchdowns.
In the second quarter, the tide began to turn. The Knights had a back-breaking fumble on the Natick 1 and an interception led to a Natick field goal on the final play of the first half.
North Andover coach John Dubzinski said, "I thought the turning point was that fumble down at the 1-yard line. That was big."
North Andover was able to retake the lead, 14-10, late in the third quarter on a 5-yard touchdown run by O'Connell. The run capped a nine-play, 64-yard yard scoring drive, the Scarlet Knights' fifth drive of eight plays or more in the game.
But the lead was short-lived. It took LeBlanc just three pass plays to move his team 72 yards, the last 49 nine coming on a sensational pass play to Jayson Little (5 catches, 136 yards, 2 TDs). LeBlanc hit the senior captain in-stride on a fly pattern down the right sideline to give the Red Hawks the lead, 17-14.
It was the start of what would be a wild fourth quarter.
With Ferullo sidelined, Dubzinski turned to sophomore Zach Wolinski to take over as the lead back. Wolinski responded with 60 yards on 12 carries.
"He had never played there before but he was willing to step up and he ran well," said Dubzinski.
With Wolinski carrying the load, North Andover drove downfield mid-way through the final quarter and looked ready to re-take the lead. But on fourth and inches from the Natick 38, the Knights were stopped for a 2-yard loss.
"When it came down to it, they made the big plays and we didn't," said Dubzinski. 
A 41-yard run by Nizayah Montas (7 carries, 82 yards) set up an 8-yard touchdown run by LeBlanc and Natick seemed to be in command, 24-14, with just 3:37 left to play.
O'Connell and the Scarlet Knights had plenty of fight left in them, though, putting together a nine-play, 65-yard scoring drive. Using just 1:26 off the clock, O'Connell completed 8 of 10 passes and capped the drive with a 4-yard scoring strike to D'Andre King to cut the lead to 24-21.
With 2:02 remaining, North Andover attempted an onside kick, but it failed to go the required 10 yards and Natick took over. A 36-yard touchdown run by Montas put an exclamation point on the win.
Before wearing down in the fourth quarter, the North Andover defense played an excellent game, holding the high-powered Natick offense in check. The Scarlet Hawks wouldn't get their first 1st down until their third possession.
In the meantime, North Andover grabbed a 7-0 lead in the first quarter, on an 8-yard touchdown pass from O'Connell Brendan Regan, who worked his way open on the back line of the end zone.
Natick tied the game early in the second quarter on a 37-yard touchdown pass from LeBlanc to Little.

Game Statistics:

State Division 2 Round of 16
First Quarter

NAnd — Brendan Regan 8 pass from Jack O'Connell (Camden Bethel kick) 2:12

Second Quarter

Nat — Jayson Little 37 pass from Colby LeBlanc (Marcus Fontecchio kick) 11:51

Nat - Fontecchio 22 FG 0:00

Third Quarter

NAnd — O'Connell 5 run (Bethel kick) 0:25

Fourth Quarter

Nat — Little 49 pass from LeBlanc (Fontecchio kick) 11:28

Nat — LeBlanc 8 run (Fontecchio kick) 3:37

NAnd — A.J. Lawrence 4 pass from O'Connell (Bethel kick) 2:02

Nat — Nizayah Montas 36 run (Fontecchio kick) 1:49



RUSHING: NORTH ANDOVER (41-160)  Jack O'Connell 22-74, Zach Wolinski 12-60, Jack Ferullo 5-18, Caleb Aghor 1-4, Brian Ferullo 1-4

NATICK (15-89)  Nizayah Montas 7-82, Jake Adelmann 2-6, Colby LeBlanc 6-1

PASSING: NORTH ANDOVER  Jack O'Connell 21-29-1-197

NATICK — Colby LeBlanc 12-17-0-220

RECEIVING: NORTH ANDOVER  A.J. Lawrence 7-71, Brendan Regan 6-58, Nick Ankiewicz 4-55, D'Andre King 2-9, Jack Ferullo 1-5, Aiden Lynch 1-0

NATICK — Jayson Little 5-136, David Seiche 5-61, Drew Waldron 2-23

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