BRIDGEWATER – No. 4 Walpole ran away within the second quarter to advance to the Division 3 Super Bowl with a 45-35 barnburner victory over top-ranked Milford at Bridgewater-Raynham High School.
The win places the Timberwolves (8-3) into their tenth Super Bowl with an opportunity to win their eighth title. Noah Mackenzie had clutch throws all through and had a four-touchdown sport beneath middle for the Timberwolves. Jamal Abdal-Khallaq had seven catches for 213 yards.
Brendan Kearns added two sacks and two interceptions, his final coming with 1:20 left to safe the 10-point victory.
“We are going to Gillette,” mentioned Kearns when requested concerning the second decide when he chucked the soccer into the sky in celebration. “We got off to a rough start this season, but we knew we had the skill players. We were lacking on the line a little, but we gelled together, it’s just unreal.”
Milford (9-2) made its first collection look simple as a Nick Araujo 29-run completed a 74-yard, six-play drive for the Hawks. But Walpole rattled off 24 unanswered factors to leap out entrance for good.
The Hawks protection stood their floor and restricted the Timberwolves to a Nicholas Foynes 27-yard discipline aim. The subsequent two Timberwolves’ collection resulted in Noah Mackenzie TD strikes. The junior quarterback discovered Cash Cantrell down the seam for a six-yard rating.
Then a giant turning level within the sport got here as Kearns had his first interception and ran it again to the Hawks’ 9. Three performs later, Abdal-Khallaq hauled in a five-yard seize behind the top zone for a 17-7 lead.
Mackenzie discovered Abdal-Khallaq for 40 yards on a curl route that Abdal-Khallaq took to the Hawks’ 18. Logan Keyes plowed straight up the center for the eight-yard speeding landing with 1:24 left within the half.
“Milford gave it all they could, they are a good team and were 9-1 for a reason. They had a really good plan on defense, and I know they were missing their starting quarterback but (Callahan) balled out and did a really good job for his team,” mentioned Walpole head coach Chris Sullivan.
The Hawks didn’t give up as they scored on their first two collection after halftime. Owen Callahan, filling in for junior starter Jack Buckley (sickness), hit Jason Stokes round midfield as Stokes went in from 59 yards untouched.
Stokes was at it once more on a wide-open route as Milford fooled the Timberwolves protection on a halfback run-pass possibility and Andrew Rivera hit Stokes in stride for the 72-yard landing go. Sandwiched in between was a 10-yard landing from John Daher for Walpole and the Timberwolves had been nonetheless in entrance 31-21.
To open the fourth, Araujo made it a nail-biter with a one-yard plunge to get Milford inside three, however on the following collection, one other big-time throw from Mackenzie to Abdal-Khallaq for 56 yards arrange an 11-yard landing connection for the pair’s second landing.
Holding on for all times with a three-point lead, Abdal-Khallaq broke freed from a sort out on a slant route and raced 75 yards into the top zone with 2:29 to play in regulation.
The loss is Milford’s third in a row within the state semifinals. Callahan stuffed in admirably for Buckley within the second-half comeback try with two landing passes to Stokes and fellow sophomore receiver C.J. Farrell and added over 200 yards passing within the second half alone.
“Owen had a few jitters early … but once he settled in, he played tremendous, and all our kids played tremendous. We ran into a buzzsaw,” mentioned Milford head coach Dale Olsen.
Walpole is heading to Gillette Stadium for the primary time in 13 years.