By Matt Noonan
For two weeks, the Walpole High School football team seemed unstoppable.
The Timberwolves cruised past Framingham, 56-0, in their season-opener before clinching their first win over Natick in eight years one week later.
On Saturday, Walpole’s early-season momentum was tested, but the Timberwolves prevailed, despite yielding not one, but three touchdowns for the first time this season.
Walpole erased Wellesley’s nine-point lead after three quarters by scoring a pair of touchdowns in the final session to secure a hard-fought 27-23 victory.
“(It’s) the first time this year (our team has) been down, fighting adversity,” explained Walpole coach Chris Sullivan.
“(Our team) showed me no signs of getting down. They were just hungry … just super proud of these guys. They never gave up.”
Indeed, the Timberwolves did not give up.
They received a major boost from quarterback Corey Kilroy, who led the Blue and Orange on back-to-back scoring drives during the final frame that saw Jamal Abdal-Khallaq and Logan Keyes reach the end zone.
Additionally, Walpole’s defense made some key plays, beginning with a third down stop by Sean O’Brien that set up Keyes’ go-ahead score. Andrew Falzone secured the win by intercepting Wellesley quarterback Vincent Ferrara on the ensuing possession.
Falzone’s interception ignited a celebration on the Walpole sidelines, along with a sigh of relief by many players and coaches that watched the offense execute back-to-back kneel downs.
“At halftime, we flipped a switch (and) everyone started to pick up the energy,” said Kilroy, who tossed three touchdowns in the win. “We knew what we needed to do, so we started executing … we came back, play after play, drive after drive.”
Added Keyes, “Everyone did their job and executed.”
Saturday’s performance, especially down the stretch, was impressive. It was a team effort, which will be needed again this week when Walpole visits Milton on Friday evening.
Like Walpole, Milton has won its first three contests, beating Framingham, Scituate, and Holliston.
Milton’s opening day win against Scituate erased memories of last year’s season-opener, which saw the Sailors beat the Wildcats, 34-20. Scituate would go on to win the Division 4 state championship by edging Duxbury, 14-13.
Sullivan knows Milton presents many challenges but knows Walpole will be prepared.
“They are a dynamic team,” Sullivan said of Walpole’s week four opponent. “It’s going to be tough … but I think the kids are up for the challenge.”
Friday’s kickoff between Milton and Walpole is scheduled for 7 p.m. at Brooks Field Turf.
Staying within the Bay State Conference (BSC), Needham secured its first win of the season last Friday over Newton North.
Halfback Tate Hoffmeister rushed for 191 yards on 27 carries for two touchdowns, along with a pair of two-point conversions. Coach Doug Kopcso tweeted about the performance against the Tigers yesterday – he said, “Hoffmeister had himself a career night versus Newton North in Needham’s 22-6 victory.”
Needham, which dropped its first two contests of the 2022 season to King Phillip and Natick, which attempt to capture its second contest of the season on Friday when they welcome Weymouth to Memorial Park at 7 p.m.
Weymouth, which began its season with back-to-back wins over Malden Catholic and Newton North, lost to Hingham yesterday by a score of 20-15.
The Wildcats’ five-point setback to the Harbormen was highlighted by a stifling defensive performance, including Jayce Mellish, who concluded the contest with a sack and fumble recovery.
Hingham will host Whitman-Hanson on Saturday – the Panthers enter the week four meeting with a record of 2-1.
Malden heads into the final week of September with a great deal of momentum after picking up its first Greater Boston League (GBL) win against Chelsea.
The Golden Tornadoes have won two of three contests thus far while averaging five touchdowns per game.
This week, Malden will attempt to cap the opening month of the season with a win against Somerville, a squad they edged last September by a score of 14-12.
Last season’s win over the Highlanders was the first for coach Witche Exilhomme, who is in his second season with the Golden Tornadoes.
Finally, two teams fans of high school football should keep their eyes on, both this week and next month: Burlington and Quincy.
Burlington has won two of three contests this fall under first-year coach George Balian, who will lead his alma mater into their first Middlesex League contest this Friday against Watertown.
The Red Devils outlasted Cambridge on Friday before beating Westborough in their season-opener by a score of 19-0.
Watertown beat Burlington last season, 14-7.
Quincy edged Westwood last night, 48-46, thanks to a go-ahead and a game-winning touchdown pass from Andrew Novak.
Novak connected with Jacey Ham down the far sidelines for the game-winning score to provide Quincy with its third-straight win of the season.
Ham concluded the non-league clash with three catches for 117 yards and two touchdowns while Novak completed 6 of 11 passes for 147 yards and two touchdowns. He also added 100 yards on 12 carries.
Quincy beat Westwood last fall by two touchdowns.
The Presidents will be idle this weekend. They will welcome Hanover to Veterans Memorial Stadium on Friday, October 7 for a 7 p.m. kickoff.