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.