NORTH ATTLEBOROUGH — Not surprisingly, North Attleborough coach Mike Strachan had mixed emotions after the Rocketeers defeated Attleboro, 17-12, on Thanksgiving Day.
Strachan, a North Attleborough alumnus, had coached Attleboro since 2013 before replacing Don Johnson this season.
“My kids went to school in North Attleborough and we’re grateful for everything North Attleborough has done for us,” Strachan said. “There are a lot of great kids over there so there were mixed emotions, but I’m glad to be back in the saddle.”
Nathan Shultz knew what the victory meant to his coach.
“He graduated from North Attleborough and I knew when he went there he really wanted to be here,” Schultz said. “I believe every word he says. I’m glad he’s here. He’s an awesome coach.”
Out of the numerous plays each team ran, none was bigger than the first of two interceptions by Schultz. He returned it 29 yards for a touchdown early in the first quarter.
“He was geared and really focused on what we were doing,” Strachan said. “I’m really proud of him.”
Schultz, for his part, was prepared for what transpired.
“We were game-planning all week,” he said. “We knew No. 4 [quarterback Matt Harvie] was their best player. He didn’t see me, so I was able to jump on the ball.”
The Rocketeers increased their lead to 14-0 late in the second quarter when Chase Frisoli threw a 44-yard touchdown pass to Greg Berthiaume.
Attleboro scored early in the third when Adrian Rivera wedged over from the 1. But the Rocketeers countered with a 35-yard field goal by Austin Clemente midway through the fourth.
The Bombardiers closed the gap when Harvie tossed a 9-yard touchdown pass to Brady McKenna with 3:02 remaining. After Attleboro exhausted its timeouts, North sealed it by running out the clock.