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By Michael Flanagan
Hometown Weekly Sports Editor
After two heartbreaking losses on the road to Falmouth and Hanover to begin the 2016 campaign, the Westwood High football team took the field on Friday night in their conference and home opener against Hopkinton. The game was featured as FOX 25’s High School Game of the Week.
The Wolverines (1-2) got off to a fast start under the lights in front of a huge crowd on Friday thanks to the Antonucci brothers: Jake and Rob, en route to a 45-20 victory. Junior wideout Jake Antonucci (eight receptions, 136 total yards, three touchdowns) and senior running back Rob Antonucci (167 total yards, three touchdowns) were absolutely unstoppable against the Hillers.
Westwood was forced to punt on their first possession of the game, but a Hopkinton fumble on the ensuing punt which was caused and recovered by gunner Paul McCarron got the Wolverines the ball back inside the Hiller 25-yard line. Jake Antonucci cashed in on the ensuing drive with a one-yard touchdown run and Rob converted a two-point conversion on a wide receiver sweep to put the Wolverines up 8-0.
Quarterback Reed Wilson hit Jake Antonucci for a 34-yard catch and run to the end zone on Westwood’s next possession to put the Wolverines up 14-0, but Westwood failed on the two-point conversion attempt, keeping the lead at 14 after one quarter of play.
Westwood began the second quarter the same way they began the first, and that was with a touchdown. Rob Antonucci scampered in from six yards out to put the Wolverines up 20-0 following a Nick Abbatangelo fourth down and two conversion inside the red zone to extend the drive. Abbatangelo also added the two-point conversion following the touchdown to extend the lead to 22-0.
With 2:45 remaining in the half and Westwood comfortably ahead, Rob Antonucci struck again with a 50-yard touchdown run to put the Wolverines up 29-0 at the half.
Hopkinton responded with a touchdown drive of their own to begin the second half to cut the deficit to 29-6, but the Wolverines were quick to respond as Wilson again hit Jake Antonucci for a 68-yard touchdown grab with 4:16 remaining in the quarter to put Westwood up 38-6.
Following a Hopkinton kickoff return for a touchdown to cut the lead to 38-12, Robbie Antonucci put an exclamation point on he and his brother’s dominant performances with a 35-yard touchdown run with just under six minutes to play to put Westwood up 45-12.
Westwood head coach Ed Mantie praised the two Antonucci brothers and his team following the victory, but also said that there is still a lot of work to be done and things on which the team can improve upon.
“They are a solid one-two punch,” said Westwood head coach Ed Mantie. “Getting off to that fast start and building a nice lead early was big. There’s definitely a lot to improve on like our discipline and ball security as we took a couple of personal foul calls and turned the ball over a couple of times, but any time you get a win over a good time like that you have to happy.”
Jake Antonucci credited his offensive line following the win and also said that he and his teammates were just happy to finally get in the win column.
“It was tough, coming back home from two road losses it was great to put some points up on the board early and give our defense a break,” said Antonucci. “Our line played great tonight. We’re just happy to get the W, that was a big win for us.”