ATTLEBORO — Attleboro churned out 324 yards on the ground Friday night and held Bridgewater-Raynham’s potent rushing attack in check in the No. 10 Blue Bombardiers’ 40-14 victory over the No. 9 Trojans in a Division 1 South semifinal at Tozier-Cassidy Field.
Attleboro (8-1) will play the winner of Saturday’s game between No. 4 Xaverian and No. 15 BC High next week in the final.
Senior quarterback Tim Walsh finished 7 of 11 for 148 yards and three touchdowns, and racked up 118 rushing yards on 10 carries in the win.
Junior Damon Belin ran for 99 yards and two scores on the ground, and had a third touchdown on a pass from Walsh.
The Blue Bombardiers typically air it out, but the difference in the game was their ability to neutralize the Trojans’ powerful rushing attack (118 yards) with their own ground game.
“When we don’t have to pass, we won’t,” Walsh said. “As long as we’re running the ball, we’re just gonna keep running it. We do what works.”
Bridgewater-Raynham junior Brandon Gallagher managed 102 yards on 19 carries, but 53 came on a fake punt in the second quarter that he took for a score.
Attleboro led by just 7 points at the half but Walsh marched the Blue Bombardiers down the field to start the third, ending the drive with a throwback pass to Thomas Burns for a 14-yard score, making it 28-14.
The score stayed that way until the start of the fourth when Attleboro faced a critical fourth and 1 from the Trojans’ 46-yard line.
Walsh faked a handoff going left to Belin and kept it himself on a naked bootleg. The play caught the B-R defense off guard, leaving Walsh all alone to pick up 41 yards and set the Blue Bombardiers up at the 5.
Three plays later, Belin punched it in from a yard out to make it 34-14 with 8:45 to play.
The Trojans (5-3) got on the board on the opening drive of the game. Steve D’Emilia found Connor Reagan for a 16-yard touchdown.
B-R churned out 51 yards on 12 plays — 11 runs — on the drive and took 7:27 off the clock.
But that was as good as the Trojans offense would look all game long.
B-R was ineffective through the air, as D’Emilia, a sophomore, completed just 7 of 16 passes for 75 yards, with a touchdown and an interception.
Without the threat of the pass, Attleboro repeatedly committed eight in the box to stop Gallagher.
“I think our defense, after the first drive . . . they did a really good job and I thought we settled down,” Attleboro coach Mike Strachan said.
The Blue Bombardiers took a 21-14 lead into the break after David Duquette (10 carries, 62 yards) took an inside handoff 12 yards for a score, and Walsh ran in the 2-point conversion with 3:01 left in the second.
B-R trailed, 13-7, when coach Dan Buron called for the fake punt on a fourth and five from its 47. Gallagher took the direct snap and darted 53 yards for the score.