NORTH ATTLEBOROUGH — A lack of preparation time almost proved costly to Super Bowl-bound North Attleborough in its Thanksgiving Day clash with Attleboro.
“It wasn’t easy to prepare because we played a tough game on Saturday [a 29-22 victory over Tewksbury in a Division 3 state semifinal] and we hadn’t fully recovered so I thought we came out flat today,” Red Rocketeers coach Don Johnson said after his team’s 14-6 triumph. “I think the fact it was Attleboro and Thanksgiving Day got our kids over the hump even though we never fully recovered from last week’s game.
“That was the most difficult game to prepare for in my coaching career because we were spent from that last game. We were banged up. We only had one full day of practice on Monday. So I’m really proud of the kids.”
Attleboro (5-7) capitalized on the game’s lone turnover when James Weir intercepted a pass midway through the first quarter and returned it 45 yards to the Red Rocketeers 34.
Bombardier quarterback Cam Furtado capped a short drive by tossing a 10-yard touchdown pass to Justin Cote.
That lead held up until a Red Rocketeer deflected an Attleboro punt, which gave North Attleborough possession on the Bombardiers’ 38.
Seven plays later, Chad Peterson (10-of-14 passing for 101 yards) tossed a 3-yard touchdown pass to Nolan Buckley and Geoffrey Wilson kicked the first of his two extra points.
Peterson engineered what proved to be the game-winning drive commencing late in the third quarter.
North Attleborough covered 74 yards in 16 plays with Zach DeMattio plunging over from the 5 with 5:34 left on the clock.
“I think that might have been our best drive of the season and Buckley made some great catches to keep it going,” Johnson said.