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By Mike Flanagan
Hometown Weekly Sports Editor
Coming off a tough 30-28 defeat to Needham in their regular season finale, the No. 4 seeded Walpole High School football team returned to the gridiron on Friday night for their quarterfinal round contest of the Division III South playoffs against No. 5 Milford.
Behind big performances by senior quarterback Will Jarvis (two rushing touchdowns, one passing) and junior running back Derek Petrucci (15 carries, 104 yards, one touchdown), the Rebels earned a 34-19 victory to advance to the semifinals against top-seeded Hingham on November 8.
Milford began the game with the ball, but Brian Malone intercepted a pass by Scarlet Hawks quarterback Carter Scudo to set the Rebels (4-4) up in positive territory just three plays into the game. Walpole was unable to punch the ball into the end zone, but Harry Butters knocked home a 29-yard field goal to salvage points on the drive and give the Rebels a 3-0 lead.
Walpole’s defense forced a punt on Milford’s next series before Jarvis led the Rebels down the field with a pair of completions to Connor Glebus and Ray Louissant before sneaking one in from a yard out to make it 10-0 Rebels with 1:56 to play in the opening quarter. Milford responded quickly as a long return on the ensuing kickoff was capped by a 22-yard run by Scudo to make it 10-6 at the end of one quarter (PAT no-good).
Derek Petrucci ripped a 49-yard run down inside the Milford 20 two plays into Walpole’s next series. Petrucci then capped off the drive with a 13-yard run to the right corner of the end zone on the very next play to put the Rebels back up by two scores at 17-6 with 11:33 left in the half.
Milford responded with a touchdown run by Scudo to cut it to 17-13. After a turnover on downs followed by an interception deep in Milford territory by the Rebels, the Scarlet Hawks drove down the field and took a 19-17 lead off of another scrambling touchdown by Scudo (PAT no-good). With 1:42 to work with, Jarvis led the Rebels into field goal range with a pair of long completions to Von Klock and Connor Glebus. Harry Butters knocked home a 23-yard field goal as time expired in the half as the Rebels entered the locker room with a 20-19 lead.
The second half was all Walpole. A 22-yard touchdown run by Jarvis with 1:18 to play in the third extended Walpole’s lead to 27-19. Still ahead by eight midway through the fourth, Jarvis connected with Von Klock for a 54-yard touchdown down the near sideline to hammer the nail into the coffin. The Rebels capped off a second half shutout and advanced with the 34-19 victory.
For funny and incisive sports analysis, follow Mike Flanagan on his personal Twitter and Instagram @flano0.