[ccfic caption-text format="plaintext"]
By Michael Flanagan
Hometown Weekly Sports Editor
With Friday evening marking the beginning Yom Kippur, the Walpole and Wellesley High School football teams played a rare matinee game on Sunday afternoon, with the Rebels (2-2, 2-1) prevailing 13-7 over the Raiders (2-2, 0-1) thanks to a pair of touchdown passes by quarterback Brett Lavanchy.
Stout defensive play allowed the first quarter to end scoreless. Lavanchy led the Rebels down the field on Walpole’s first possession of the second quarter, capping off the drive with a touchdown pass to senior tight end Kyle Smith for a 7-0 Walpole lead.
An athletic 26-yard run by quarterback Jack Tishman set Wellesley up in Walpole territory on the Raiders’ ensuing possession, but the Rebel defense stepped up and forced a turnover on downs as sophomore defensive back Will Jarvis batted away a fourth down pass.
The deflection gave the Rebels back the ball with under a minute to play in the half. Barry Greener was content with a 7-0 lead, and the Rebels kneeled the ball and headed into the break.
Wellesley received the opening kickoff of the second half and Tishman led the Raiders on a 12-play, 63-yard drive, highlighted by a pair of completions to senior wideout D’Aunte Moore and sophomore wideout Teddy Komjathy. Tishman finished off the drive with an 11-yard touchdown scramble to tie the game at seven with 5:46 to play in the third quarter.
The Rebels and Raiders exchanged punts on their ensuing possessions, but on Wellesley’s punt with under 30 seconds to play in the quarter, junior Ethan Kelly rushed in and blocked the kick for Walpole. The ball was picked up by Walpole’s Will Jarvis and returned to Wellesley’s eight-yard line, setting Lavanchy and the offense up in terrific field position to begin the fourth quarter.
The Raider defense stood tall on the first two plays to keep Walpole out of the end zone, but a great play call on third and goal from the 11 by the Rebels proved to be the difference in the game. Lavanchy hit sophomore wideout Drew Von Klock, who was sent into motion on a flat route out of the backfield and scampered to the right pylon to give Walpole a 13-7 edge with 10:46 to play in regulation (PAT blocked).
The Walpole defense stood tall in the game’s final 10 minutes and change, holding the Raiders out of the end zone and prevailing with the six point victory.
Wellesley will try and get back on a winning note when they travel to Milton on Friday while Walpole will play host to division rival Natick.
For funny and incisive sports analysis, follow Mike Flanagan on his personal Twitter at @fLAno0, or read his blog at www.flannylive.wordpress.com.