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By Michael Flanagan
Hometown Weekly Sports Editor
The Walpole High football team capped off their 2016 season with a 45-20 victory at Weymouth on Thanksgiving to improve to 5-6.
Running back Ferry Armand (18 carries, 169 yards) led the Rebels to the hard fought win with four rushing touchdowns, all while the Walpole defense was able to force three Weymouth turnovers and thwart a late comeback attempt, thanks in part to the stellar play of cornerback Matt Tosone.
Mark Nicholson got the scoring party started for the Rebels near the end of the first quarter when quarterback Brett Lavanchy found him on a wide receiver screen play and Nicholson flew 35 yards to the end zone to put the Rebels up 7-0.
Alex Lucas converted a 25-yard field goal to put the Rebels up 10-0 with 9:39 left to play in the half after the drive was set up by Matt Tosone’s interception deep in Wildcat territory.
The Rebel defense continued to dominate, as Dan O’Leary’s interception at the Weymouth 49-yard line set the Walpole offense up in good field position with less than three minutes remaining in the half. Lavanchy connected with wideout Brett von Klock from seven yards out with just seconds remaining in the half to extend the Rebel lead to 17-0 at the break.
Barry Greener’s team came out of the halftime break and got right back to work on offense, as Armand’s 63-yard touchdown run on Walpole’s first possession of the second half gave the Rebels a commanding 24-0 lead.
Weymouth responded with a scoring drive of their own following the long touchdown run by Armand, cutting the Rebel lead to 24-6 (two-point try unsuccessful).
Armand struck again midway through the third quarter, punching one in from three yards out to boost the Rebel lead to 31-6. The Wildcats responded with two consecutive touchdown drives to cut the deficit to 31-20 at the end of the third.
The Rebels stayed composed, however, and were able to put the game out of reach with two long clock-killing drives late in the fourth quarter that each resulted in a rushing touchdown by Ferry Armand, and Walpole hung on for the 45-20 victory to finish their season on a winning note.