Is it too soon to say Wednesday’s 14-6 win over Natick at Fenway Park was a footnote on the start of a successful rebuild for Framingham?
Flyers second-year coach Ed Mantie doesn’t think so.
“It’s validation, certainly. I guess that’s the best word. All the time and effort and film study and the time in the weight room . . . It gets the guys to buy in that what we’re doing is a good thing,” Mantie said. “For these kids to be where they were, be a one-win team two years ago, to be on this stage, to play that well, to win a [game] like that, it’s just says a lot of the faith that they have in our staff.”
Framingham (6-5) hoisted The Elks Trophy for the first time since 2011 after beating Natick (6-5), who leads the series 75-33-5, in the 113th meeting between Thanksgiving rivals.
Framingham’s defensive line, anchored by seniors John Levenson and Chidi Nna, pressured Natick quarterback Will Lederman all night and sacked him three times. Lederman completed 8 of 20 passes for 100 yards.
“There wasn’t a doubt in my mind that if we did what we needed to do, we’d be able to beat Natick and we did,” Levenson said.
After a scoreless first quarter, Framingham broke the tie on an 11-yard run by junior Reece LaChance with 9:19 left in the second.
In the second half, Framingham’s passing game found a rhythm that was set in motion by junior Jack Beverly’s 62-yard pass to sophomore R.J. Viele at the end of the half. LaChance’s successful conversion put Framingham up, 14-0, with 1:33 left in the second.
Beverly finished 13-for-19 with 248 yards passing.
Natick, which punted six times, got its only score in the third quarter when the Redhawks punted, a Framingham player botched the reception at the Flyer 5-yard line, and Aedan Knowlton fell on it in the end zone.
Natick’s Aidan Hawley was taken off on a stretcher after colliding with LaChance on his touchdown, but Natick coach Mark Mortarelli said it was precautionary.
Brandon Chase can be reached at email@example.com.