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By Michael Flanagan
Hometown Weekly Sports Editor
Following their elimination from the 2016 Division 2A South Sectional Finals, the Westwood High football team finished their 2016 season with a tough 46-12 home loss to Holliston on Thanksgiving.
Thursday’s rematch with the Panthers (9-2) went a lot differently than Westwood’s 36-34 comeback victory over Holliston earlier in the season, as the Panthers came out determined to a get a little revenge for surrendering a 20-point lead on September 30 to Ed Mantie’s bunch, resulting in their only conference defeat of the 2016 season.
The voids left by the absence of junior wideout Jake Antonucci and senior linebacker Dylan Linehan - both out due to injury - proved to pivotal for the Wolverines (7-4), as the Panthers were able to pull away late in the second half following a tight first two quarters of play.
After falling behind 6-0 early, the Wolverines tied the game with 4:48 left to play in the second quarter when Reed Wilson found senior Paul McCarron for a 13-yard touchdown (two-point try unsuccessful). However, the Panthers responded with a scoring drive with under two minutes to play to go up 14-6 at the half (two-point try successful).
The Wolverines were unable to put a stop to Holliston quarterback Jack Barrett in the second half, as the senior led the Panthers to 33 unanswered points until 9:03 remaining in the game, when Wilson hooked up with Rob Antonucci from 19 yards out. The deficit was too much to overcome, however, as the Wolverines fell 46-12, thus putting an end to their 2016 season.
On the positive side of things, however, senior running back and linebacker Rob Antonucci was awarded the honor of 2016 Tri-Valley League MVP on November 17. Antonucci had 1,300 all-purpose yards, 16 total touchdowns, and caused three turnovers on defense.
Also winning a prestigious award for the Wolverines was senior safety Brendan Delaney, who took home TVL Defensive Player of the Year honors after leading the team in tackles, causing one interception, and forcing three fumbles throughout the course of the season. Junior wideout Jake Antonucci, senior offensive tackle Evan Traister, senior defensive tackles Noah Henderson and Conor McCaul, as well as junior Colin Best were named TVL All-Stars as well.