By Mike Flanagan
Hometown Weekly Sports Editor
Following a 28-7 defeat to Natick to open the 2021 Fall II athletic season, Walpole High School varsity football has responded accordingly.
After a 17-14 win at rival Weymouth on March 19, Walpole returned home to face Newton North on Friday looking to climb above .500 for the first time this season. Behind 200 all-purpose-yards by sophomore running back and return-man Andrew Falzone, as well as two interceptions by senior safety Derek Petrucci, Walpole pounded its way to a 17-7 victory against the Tigers to move to 2-1.
Following a scoreless first quarter, quarterback Owen Johnson (11-of-17 passes, 125 yards, two touchdowns) led Walpole down the field late in the half to get his team on the board. With 4:06 remaining before halftime, Johnson connected with Falzone out of the backfield for a 26-yard touchdown to make it 7-0 Walpole. An interception by Petrucci on Newton North's ensuing series gave Johnson and the Walpole offense a short field to work with. Johnson led Walpole down inside the 10-yard line before connecting with junior full back Will Domineau for a five-yard touchdown to make it 14-0 at halftime.
Following a scoreless third quarter, Newton North trimmed the deficit to 14-7 with a touchdown with 10:23 to play. Walpole responded with a long clock-killing drive, capped by a 36-yard field goal by senior placekicker Harry Butters to extend the lead back to two possessions at 17-7. An interception by Petrucci on the ensuing possession, his second of the day, sealed it and allowed Walpole to kneel to victory.
Walpole will look to move to 3-1 with a home matchup against Framingham on April 1.
For funny and incisive sports analysis as well as video highlights of games, follow Mike Flanagan on his personal Twitter and Instagram handles @flano0.