This is a great site!! Boy, you've come a long way since you were toying with this stuff 10 years ago. I figure I'll drop my own 2 cents in and say that the '94 NA game was the most perfect game played and/or coached in the 10 years I was with Mike. What made this game so special was the fact that the '94 seniors had a very,very bad taste in the off-season after the '93 NA game.
That game was very frustrating for the players (Gary D's suspension and injury) as well as the coaches (very poor 3rd and 4th down conversion ratio). Our whole thought process throughout the off-season was to focus on beating North.
From summer workouts to all hours of the night film breakdowns (we even broke out the old 8mm Holy Cross cut-ups), the staff and players were intently focused on hammering the "Big Red" at Community field during the '94 season.
The game plan and execution were nearly flawless; the offense opened up the scoring with a 90+ yard opening drive touchdown. Freddy Vallett was ripping them with a trap option play we hadn't shown, but had practiced since day 1. Smitty and the line croaked their 4-4 with trap and dive. Warren Bacon caught some unbelievable crunchtime "5" routes to convert big 3rd and 4th down conversions. Kerry Taylor was driving their "C-Gap" kid into the secondary! And this was just the offense.
Defensively, the anually explosive NA offense was kept in check all afternoon. What a job the scout team did to prepare us for that game, which I suppose is why they were the #1 team in the state 2 years later. Other than one long kick-off return by NA, this day was a culmination of 50+ men, young and old, who worked together to achieve a common goal: BEAT NORTH!
Assistant Coach 1989-1999
1994 Offensive Coordinator, QBs and LBs
NORTH ATTLEBORO -
Three games into the 1994 season and the Hockomock League championship may well be decided. We're not even at the midway mark of the campaign and already an Eastern Mass. Division 3 Super Bowl berth appears to be at stake.
One does not have to be entrenched with scouting reports and game film to know that tonight's football game between Mansfield and North Attleboro at Community Field is one of immense proportion.
The Rocketeers (1-1) are defending Hockomock League and Super Bowl champions. The Hornets (2-0) wore those same crowns in 1992. And considering the state and strength from top to bottom in the Hockomock League this season, it would be fair to proclaim both the Hornets and Rocketeers being the best of the bunch. Barring any unforeseen complications, these two teams might not lose another league game after tonight.
So a win tonight and the Hockomock league title and Super Bowl ticket go hand-in-hand.
"It's always a big game and this comes with some extra incentives," said North Attleboro coach Ray Beaupre.
"It's still early, but it certainly looks like the winner would be in control of the league," said Mansfield coach Mike Redding. "Our feeling, though, is that if we don't beat North, we're not sure if anybody else will. "
The Rocketeers, reeling after a season-opening two-point loss to Bishop Feehan, routed and shut out Stoughton at Community Field last Saturday.
The Hornets have beaten Lincoln-Sudbury and Canton, allowing just one touchdown in each game. But, the Hornets haven't played four good quarters of football.
"A lot of things they do are a lot of things we do - there are a lot of similarities in the running and passing games," said Beaupre. After all, Redding is a Beaupre disciple.
The Rocketeers come at you offensively with quarterback Anthony Pirri, a breakaway threat in Brian Droney, a good stable of other backs and a good receiver in Chris Deschenes.
The Hornets come at you with the run-pass threat of quarterback Fred Vallett, a steady runner in Robert Smith, a good return man in Vin Hollins, a deep passing threat in Warren Bacon and an over-the-middle passing threat in Kerry Taylor. "North Attleboro's the best offense we've seen," said Redding. "It'll be a challenge for us, for our team speed, to see just how well we can close in their running backs. North is scary."
Beaupre thinks the key to the Hornets' offense is Vallett, the senior quarterback.
"He's a very good player, he passes and runs well. They've got a good football team around him too, so you can't just key on him. If there is a difference between the Hornets and the Rocketeers, it is in experience of the offensive and defensive linemen. The Hornets have an all-senior line in center Jeff Devine, guards Steve Medeiros and Dave Sullivan along with tackles Eric Schleman and Paul Marder.
Offensive line is "a difficult position to play, said Beaupre, noting the one area in which his team has improved each week. Beaupre and his staff have been moving some personnel around. "With an inexperienced team, you have to figure out how kids react. You don't get that in practice. So it takes a lot of game analysis," he said.
Redding would like to see his Hornets be more proficient offensively. Four times they ventured into scoring territory at Canton in the first half and failed to score.
"Against North, every chance we get we have to score, " Redding said. "We have weapons to move the ball. He hopes to have two of those weapons ready tonight. Hornet wide receivers Erik Lundell (quadricep muscle pull) and Bacon (knee bruise) both sat out the Canton game.
"Ourselves and North are both very talented offensively," Redding added. "I think it'll fairly tight game, though. I think there'll be a lot of points.
NORTH ATTLEBORO - Click!
On came the lights at Community Field and so to did the Mansfield High offense.
Since the first 12 minutes of the opening game at Lincoln-Sudbury, the Hornet offense has been its own worse enemy. Several times inside the opponent's 20, Mansfield has gone into a deep freeze, but Friday night the undefeated Hornets warmed to the task and routed North Attleboro 34-7.
Again, the Mansfield defense was superb, basically blanking the Rocketeer offense as their only points came on a kickoff return. The Hornets limited North to just 50 total yards, 10 in the first half, and two first downs, none in the first half.
"The defense was outstanding again tonight," said Mansfield coach Mike Redding, whose team has allowed just 13 points against, excluding special teams. "The kids practiced and worked hard all week and we put in a new wrinkle that confused them."The Mansfield offense so dominated the game that North ran just 33 offensive plays in the game, excluding punts, and just 10 in the first half as the Hornets took a 20-0 half-time lead.
The Green Machine piled up 426 yards of offense as senior quarterback Fred Vallett orchestrated a well-balanced attack. Vallett led the Hornets (3-0) with 136 yards rushing on just 10 attempts and scored two touchdowns. Senior fullback Robert Smith pounded out 129 yards and scored once while sophomore tailback Vincent Hollins gained 70 yards and scored twice. In all the Hornets rushed for 343 yards on 61 time-consuming carries, 235 yards in the first half.
"The advantage we have is the experience on both lines. In high school football that's the big key," said Redding.!
North Attleboro coach Ray Beaupre could agree more praising Mansfield's offense balance and experience and lamenting his team's lack thereof. "Mike's got a real good team with a lot of experienced players, especially with Vallett at quarter-back, that's the biggest difference," said Beaupre.
Vallett's prime weapon was the option. Several' times in crucial situations Vallett took off for big gainers!
On the first possession of the game Mansfield, now 2-0 in the league started at its own seven-yard line. Smith got the Hornets out of the hole with a 22-yard burst off tackle to the 32. Then on a third-and-13 from his own 29, Vallett hit senior split end Warren Bacon for 14-yards. On the next play Vallett worked the option for a 22-yard gainer, minus a 10-yard illegal block penalty.
Vallett connected with Bacon once more for 14 yards and then three plays later went around left end for the score to complete an 11-play. Michael Brunelli then kicked the first of his four extra- points.
"Look at that first series of the game, they go 90-something yards for the score," said Beaupre. We had them were you'd want them, but with their experience they just worked their way down."
Mansfield looked to be on its way to another score on its next possession as Smith ripped off a 42-yard run and Vallett added 24 more, but a sack for minus-7 yards by Dave Cieplik forced the Hornets into a fourth-down situation. Redding went for it, but Vallett's pass to Hollins picked up only nine of the 11 yards needed!
North's possession ended when Pirri threw an interception to Bacon on his own 28-yard line.
It took the Hornets 11 plays to score, thanks in part to a holding call. Vallett gained 17 yards on a third- and-17 play and then hit Bacon for 13 yards on fourth-and-12 to keep the drive alive, but North stiffened and it took four plays from inside the three before Vallett dove over the pile from a yard out.
Mansfield's next drive went 75 yards in nine plays. On one third- and-11 play Vallett scrambled for 40 yards. Hollins capped the drive by walking through a huge hole from seven yards out. Jason Kipp blocked the conversion kick so Mansfield led 20-0.
Mansfield almost scored once more following a fumble recovering, but Vallett's pass as the half ended was intercepted in the end zone.
North, now 1-2 overall and 1-1 in the league, started the second half as ineptly as the first while Mansfield picked up where it left off marching 49 yards for a touchdown.
On the first play of the drive Smith faked a reverse and dashed for 14 yards to the North 35. Two plays later Hollins squeezed through the middle for 11 more, and again on third-and-long, this time 10 yards, Vallett took an option keeper for 18 yards. Hollins went up the middle for a five-yard touchdown and a 27-0 lead.
North finally got on the scoreboard on the ensuing kickoff when Brian Droney took the ensuing kickoff 83 untouched yards for the touchdown. Sean Cryan kicked the extra- point.
Mansfield scored its final touchdown following a Eric Schleman fumble recovery on the North 20 as Smith bulled in from nine yards out with 1:35 remaining to play.
|Sacks-ydg.||1- 7||4- 16|
|Att.-comp.-int.||15- 7-1||15- 3-2|
|Penalties-ydg.||9- 60||2- 20|