You can now read 5 articles in a month for free on BostonGlobe.com. Read as much as you want anywhere and anytime for just 99¢.

Needham 42, Duxbury 28

Mike Elcock helps Needham recover for win

NEEDHAM — He didn’t register a rush, reception, or pass in the second half, but Mike Elcock found the ball in his hands when it mattered most Friday night.

The Division 2 leader in receiving touchdowns with 10 entering the game, the senior wideout pounced on a Needham fumble in the end zone for a touchdown with 4:35 remaining. Elcock’s fumble recovery wound up being the spark Needham needed to win its Division 2 South playoff opener, 42-28, over Duxbury at Memorial Field.

Continue reading below

“I just saw it squirt out,” said Elcock. “Mike [Panepinto] got hit right when he got the ball. I saw it go under a huge pile and fortunately it popped out and I was able to capitalize and jump on it.”

A week after collecting a school-record six touchdowns in the Bay State Carey title game, Panepinto amassed 228 yards and four touchdowns. The Rockets (7-1) will face Mansfield in the D2 South semifinals next weekend.

“It is a very tough sectional,” said Needham coach Dave Duffy. “We’re out of the frying pan and into the fryer next week down in Mansfield. But to get by Duxbury, that’s a very good football team. To have our first home playoff win, that’s very exciting for the town and for the community.”

Trailing, 21-7, late in the first half, the Green Dragons stormed back. Freshman quarterback Bobby Maimaron (189 total yards, four touchdowns) connected with senior wideout Wes Quinzani for a 69-yard touchdown pass. A failed point-after attempt kept the Rockets’ lead at 8 heading into the break.

On Duxbury’s opening drive of the second half, Maimaron marched the Dragons 48 yards on seven plays, capped by an 8-yard TD rush by the quarterback.

Sean McCarthy found Cam Walsh on the 2-point conversion to tie the game. On Duxbury’s ensuing drive, Maimaron connected with senior Drew Hadley for a 5-yard score to give the Dragons a 28-21 lead with 10:23 left in the fourth.

However, Needham answered right back. Starting at his 5-yard line, Panepinto rushed three times for 45 yards to bring the ball to midfield. Two plays later, the senior running back took a screen pass from senior quarterback Ryan Charter, stiff-armed a Duxbury cornerback, and ran 50 yards to the end zone. With 8:10 remaining, the game was tied at 28.

Elcock pounced on the loose ball on Needham’s following drive for the 35-28 advantage. Maimaron made a bid down the right sideline with less than three minutes remaining, but sophomore defensive back Will Macaluso intercepted a pass intended for Walsh.

Loading comments...

Wake up with today's top stories.

Want each day's news headlines delivered fresh to your
inbox every morning? Just connect with us
in one of the following ways:
or
Please enter a valid email
BostonGlobe.com will never post anything without asking.
Privacy Policy
Subscriber Log In

You have reached the limit of 5 free articles in a month

Stay informed with unlimited access to Boston’s trusted news source.

  • High-quality journalism from the region’s largest newsroom
  • Convenient access across all of your devices
  • Today’s Headlines daily newsletter
  • Subscriber-only access to exclusive offers, events, contests, eBooks, and more
  • Less than 25¢ a week
Marketing image of BostonGlobe.com
Marketing image of BostonGlobe.com