BROCKTON — Sam Malafronte only carried the ball once for Abington on Friday night, but he sure made it count.
With 3:04 remaining in the third quarter and the Green Wave facing a fourth and goal from the 1-yard line, Malafronte received the handoff from Bryan Dwyer and plunged through the Spellman line to break the ice, putting Abington up, 7-0.
The Green Wave rode that momentum to claim a 13-0 victory over Cardinal Spellman under the lights at Potvin Field in Brockton.
Malafronte’s touchdown capped a seven-minute, 63-yard drive to open the second half. Abington had been denied three times from the same spot before handing it to its power back.
“That was a great moment for us as a team,” coach James Kelliher said. “We just wanted Sam to get a chance to play a full game and for him to do that was special.”
Malafronte, who tore his ACL on the first play of last season covering a kickoff, missed the rest of the year.
After being held to just 21 yards and two first downs in the first half, Kelliher knew the Green Wave had to switch something up offensively.
“We noticed a weakness on the left side of their defense in the first half and looked to exploit that,” said Kelliher, who put green dye in his hair for Friday’s game.
The Green Wave did just that in the second half, continually running sweeps to the right with increasing success. Junior Shawn Donovan led the charge, gaining 61 of his 80 yards after halftime, including a 3-yard touchdown run with 5:45 left that put the Green Wave up, 13-0.
The first half belonged to Spellman, which controlled time of possession and consistently moved the ball. However, momentum shifted drastically after Spellman drove to the Abington 1, but could not punch it in. The Green Wave stuffed senior Matt Anastasi on fourth and goal with 2:30 left in the first half to keep the game scoreless.
“We felt good coming into the second half, our defense definitely swung the momentum in our direction,” Kelliher said. “We wanted to come out and control time of possession on offense and make stops on defense.”
Kelliher’s squad put on a time of possession clinic in the second half, allowing Cardinal Spellman to have the ball for only 4:30.
Kellher’s “active and aggressive” secondary, consisting of Aidan Cawley, James Landers, and Josh Riordan, made play after play for the Green Wave, including an interception by Riordan to ice the game with 2:09 left.