By Mike Flanagan
Hometown Weekly Sports Editor
Football is a game of highs and lows.
Allowing the opponent to run the opening kick-off of the season back for a touchdown can certainly be described as a low.
Responding with 30 unanswered points, however, is about as high as a high can be.
Down 8-0 just 14 seconds in following the return touchdown by Framingham's Joseph Ferrante and a successful two-point try, quarterback Cory Kilroy hooked up with tight end Max Collins for a 74-yard catch-and-run to set up Walpole's offense in the red zone. Two plays later, junior running back Andrew Falzone bulled his way into the end zone for a two-yard touchdown run to make it an 8-7 game.
On the second play of Framingham's ensuing possession, Will Domineau strip sacked Cody Coleman and the ball was recovered by Danny Bush at the five-yard line. Kilroy punched home a one-yard touchdown run two plays later to give Walpole's its first lead of the day at 14-8. On the first play of the next series, senior defensive end John Colleran made a perfectly-timed leaping interception to give Walpole possession inside the red zone and the chance to go ahead by multiple scores.
With the possession carrying over into the beginning of the second quarter, Kilroy hooked up with Hazell for an 11-yard touchdown in the back-right corner of the end zone to make it a 21-8 game. With Framingham pinned back along their own goal line moments later, the Flyers committed a holding penalty in their own end zone, resulting in a safety and pushing Walpole's lead to 23-8. After a good return by Falzone out to midfield on the punt, Kilroy marched Walpole's offense right back down the field. Kilroy was forced to leave the field after his helmet came off on third-and-goal from the six. Noah Mackenzie came in and lofted up a perfect jump-ball for Jay Mackenzie in the back-right corner of the end zone, who came down with it for the touchdown to give Walpole a 30-8 lead.
Coleman responded for Framingham with a touchdown drive and two-point conversion just before the half as Walpole took a 30-16 lead into halftime. Coleman again led Framingham on a touchdown drive on the first possession of the second half for the Flyers, along with a two-point conversion to make it a six-point game. The game remained 30-24 until 9:13 to play in the fourth quarter, when Colleran recorded his second interception of the day deep in Framingham territory. Colleran returned the ball for a touchdown, but the score was called back due to a block in the back.
Two plays later, however, Kilroy hooked up with Hazell for an eight-yard touchdown in the back-left corner of the end zone to make it a 37-24 game. Back-to-back interceptions by Hazell on Framingham's next two possessions sealed the 13-point victory.
Walpole will look to carry the momentum from the Framingham win into week two with an absolutely massive matchup at rival Natick looming.
For funny and incisive sports analysis as well as video highlights of games, follow Mike Flanagan on his personal Twitter and Instagram handles @flano0.