Timberlane Owls Football '22

Fri, Sep 02, 2022 06:30 PM @ Timberlane
Team Q1 Q2 Q3 Q4 Final
Manchester Memorial 0 7 6 0 13
Timberlane 6 13 7 15 41

Timberlane opens D-I play with win

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Saturday, September, 03 By Jeff Hamrick

PLAISTOW – Unable to defend its Division II state title because of reclassification, Timberlane had a successful return to the division of harder knocks.

And with their convincing 41-13 victory Friday night over Manchester Memorial, the Owls ran their current winning streak to 13 while also snapping a 13-game losing streak against Division I opponents.

“A lot of people were talking about it,” said quarterback Dom Coppeta, who ran for a pair of touchdowns in his first game since suffering an ankle injury in last year’s semifinal victory. “I think that we showed we belong here, and we can compete with the teams up here.”

Timberlane took leads of 13 points early in the second quarter and 19 points early in the third, but two touchdowns by freshman Liam Corman in a 68-second span late in the fourth sealed the victory.

“We found out tonight that you have to play a full 48-minute game,” said Timberlane coach Kevin Fitzgerald, in his 15th season. “We break one at the end of the game to kind of put it away, and people will pick up the newspaper and think it was one sided.

“While the score looks that way, we know we were in a four-quarter football game, and we had to work at everything we got. They caused us some problems on both sides of the ball, but we were able to make some plays when we had to.”

Coppeta capped the Owls’ first drive of the season with a 1-yard plunge for the initial lead late in the opening quarter.

After pinning the Crusaders deep in their own territory early in the second, Jaden Mwangi hauled in a sloppy punt at the Memorial 24 and easily took it back for a 13-0 lead.

But Memorial quickly quashed the Owl momentum with a 15-play, 82-yard drive that ended with a Chase Burris touchdown run to cut the lead to six with 2 minutes left in the half.

“I’m kind of glad (that) happened because we have to learn when adversity strikes you have to rally,” Fitzgerald said. “You can’t lay down, and every play is the biggest play of the game. We feel good about ourselves running a punt back, but you have to play on the other side too.”

But the Owls responded with a statement drive of its own, going 70 yards in just five plays with Coppeta running the final 29 yards to open a 19-7 advantage 42 seconds before intermission.

“He’s a veteran presence,” Fitzgerald said of his quarterback who finished with a team-high 115 yards on 14 carries and completed two of his five pass attempts. “He understands what we want to do offensively and he’s a big strong kid. He’s tough to tackle.”

On Memorial’s first play from scrimmage after Coppeta’s second touchdown, Burris blasted 71 yards, making the score 26-13 with 4:31 left in the third.

But the Owls continued doing what they do best, compiling 113 of their 250 rushing yards in the final period.

“We stuck with it,” Fitzgerald said. “We’re a run-first football team and we were able to do that. We stayed patient with the inside run. Our linemen love the inside run, and they stay on me to stay patient with it. We have a veteran offensive line and we trust them. The communication is really good amongst them.”

The 5-foot-10, 161-pound Corman, who had four first-half carries, scored on a 5-yard run with 2:44 left before busting a 40-yard score moments later for the game’s final points. The freshman finished with 78 yards on eight carries.

“We had heard he was a good player,” Fitzgerald said. “Some of our guys coached him in middle school wrestling, so we knew he had some ability. He looks the part. He’s been a good player for us. He’s coachable and smart. He picks things up and he can run.”

Things will get tougher Friday when Timberlane plays host to Bishop Guertin.

“This group of seniors have won a bunch of games at a bunch of levels,” Fitzgerald said. “So, they feel good about themselves and believe they’re a good football team.”

Game Statistics:

First Quarter

Timberlane — Dom Coppeta 1 run (kick failed) 2:42

Second Quarter

Timberlane — Jaden Mwangi 24 punt return (Harrison Bloom kick) 9:49

MM — Chase Burris 7 run (AJ Sebastien kick) 2:03

Timberlane — Coppeta 29 run (kick failed) 0:42.3

Third Quarter

Timberlane — Ed DiGiulio 1 run (Bloom kick) 4:52

MM — Burris 71 run (kick blocked) 4:31

Fourth Quarter

Timberlane — Liam Corman 5 run (Coppeta run) 2:44

Timberlane — Corman 40 run (Bloom kick) 1:36



RUSHING: MM — Burris 27-177, Jose Soto 4-28, Ethan Vilgrain 1-5, Tyler Hall 1-2, Connor McFarland 8-2; Timberlane — Coppeta 14-115, Corman 8-78, DiGiulio 11-49, Matt Williams 6-8

PASSING: MM — McFarland 6-19-52, 1 interception; Timberlane — Coppeta 2-5-41

RECEIVING: MM — Burris 3-45, Daniel Betancur 1-4, Jackson Philbrick 1-4, Soto 1-(-1); Timberlane — Williams 2-41

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