WRENTHAM — On a cold and wet evening, it was obvious before the game for coach Brian Lee and the King Philip Warriors that points would be at a premium. And missing two offensive starters, King Philip needed to be creative when moving the ball.
So the seventh-ranked Warriors established dominance by controlling the clock and line of scrimmage with a pair of long scoring drives to defeat visiting Attleboro, 14-0.
“We knew it was going to be tough,” said Lee. “Be patient, when they’re not moving the ball we don’t have to do anything crazy on offense.”
The Warriors (4-1) were without senior running back Ryan Halliday (broken thumb) and senior lineman Nolan Gunning (broken leg) who both sustained injuries last week against Mansfield. The Warriors felt those losses early, struggling to move the ball on the ground through much of the first half.
As halftime beckoned, the Warriors finally started to click, engineering a 10-play drive capped by a 1-yard touchdown plunge from senior Sam Callanan with 30 seconds left in the second quarter. Up until that drive, KP had only run 10 plays for 15 yards, punting thrice with a lost fumble as well.
Attleboro (3-2) had the first chance to score in the first quarter. Facing a second down on the KP 30, four straight pre-snap penalties backed up the Bombardiers, effectively ending the drive. Attleboro finished with less than 70 yards of total offense.
Despite deferring to start the game, Attleboro again kicked off to start the second half, hoping to use the wind to their advantage.
“It’s not unusual,” said Lee. “When you have conditions like this, you don’t know if it’ll get worse. They chose to take the wind and that way we took the ball.”
The Warriors’ dominance in the trenches led to a 14-play, 60-yard scoring drive lasting more than eight minutes at the start of the third quarter. KP converted two third downs and a fourth down on the drive, ending it with a 12-yard pass from Robbie Jarest to senior Brian Wassersug.
“They got tired over there but we made a lot of mistakes,” said Lee. “We just found a way.”
Following the victory, Gunning broke the team huddle from his hospital bed, with teammate Andrew McKinney lifting an iPad allowing the bedridden senior to experience the victory.
“That’s what football is really about,” said Lee. “Winning games is great but those are the memories they all take away.”
Dan Shulman can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.