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Not quite a perfect 100, but North Attleborough comes away with milestone victory against Attleboro

North Attleborough seniors (from left) Tyler DeMattio, Jared Vacher, and Tyler Bannon hoist the Hilda trophy after beating Attleboro in the 100th meeting between the schools.STEVEN SOUSA

ATTLEBORO — North Attleborough’s 62nd win over Attleboro in the 100th game of their Thanksgiving Day rivalry wasn’t pretty, but it was enough.

In a physical slog, both teams punted the ball a combined nine times, had a total of four turnovers, and commited 13 penalties. But thanks to two touchdowns from senior captain Tyler DeMattio, the Super Bowl-bound Red Rocketeers took the 14-6 victory at Tozier-Cassidy Field and a 62-30-8 edge in the series.

“I’m really not surprised at all how the game went,” North Attleborough coach Don Johnson said.

It was a quick turnaround for North (8-3), which beat Billerica in a Division 3 state semifinal last Saturday and now has a full week to prepare for its Super Bowl against Marblehead at Gillette Stadium (Dec. 2, 3 p.m.).


When the clock hit all zeroes Thursday, the celebration was a little subdued, as if the Red Rocketeers sighed a collective sigh of relief.

“We went through this in 2017,” Johnson said. “Our kids are worn out and beat up from a long season and some tough playoff games and we didn’t have many days to prepare.”

North Attleborough struck first on its second drive of the game with a 45-yard touchdown run from DeMattio. The Blue Bombardiers (4-6) answered right away with a 14-play drive, ending with a 5-yard touchdown from sophomore Adrian Rivera but the extra-point kick was no good.

On a fourth and 20, Attleborough quarterback Matt Harvie tried passing on North senior Gavin Wells one too many times and Wells came up with a huge pass breakup to force a turnover on downs.

“Earlier in the game I got burned the same route [Hayden Hegarty] ran where he was cheated in more and tried to get me on the outside so I just knew it was coming,” Wells said.


DeMattio scored a few plays later on an 8-yard touchdown with 1:54 left to put the Rocketeers up by eight.

Wells ended the game on the next drive with a leaping theft of Harvie.

“We dropped back into zones just reading the quarterback, looked at his eyes, and made a play,” Wells said.