MANSFIELD -- After committing five turnovers and falling to Foxboro last week, North Attleboro played yesterday with a chip on its shoulder and something to prove.
The Red Rocketeers (5-1) ended Mansfield's 31-game winning streak, 26-0, at snowy Memorial Park, as North Attleboro running back Anthony Sherman ran for a touchdown, caught a touchdown, and threw for a touchdown.
Sherman, who finished with 95 yards on the ground, did not wait long to establish his presence. He sacked Mansfield quarterback Mike Feck on the third play of the game, forcing a fumble. Brett Luongo recovered the ball at the Hornet 33. Four plays later, Sherman ran up the middle for a 21-yard touchdown, breaking several tackles. Eric Vandeventer booted the extra point, putting the Red Rocketeers on top, 7-0.
Sherman was not done. After his defense forced a three and out, Luongo found Sherman wide open in the flat and the junior took it the rest of the way for a 63-yard scoring play. The resulting kick was blocked, leaving North Attleboro ahead, 13-0.
The Red Rocketeers scored again. Sherman found fellow running back Robbie Vaughn wide open with a halfback pass for a 42-yard touchdown. The extra-point kick failed, leaving North Attleboro with a 19-0 lead.
''Everyone blocked well. Today it was a team effort," Sherman said. ''We wanted to come out and show the [Hockomock league] that we are the best team and that last week was a fluke."
Not to be outdone was North Attleboro's quick and stifling defense. With huge contributions from junior defensive end Brett Catarius and junior cornerback John Farroba, the Rocketeers allowed only 52 yards of offense to the Hornets in the first half. Mansfield did not have a first down until late in the second quarter.
The snow intensified in the second half, making it tough for the offenses to sustain drives. Mansfield's best chance to score came midway through the fourth. The Hornets drove the ball down the field, with the biggest play being a 22-yard run up the middle by Creeden that advanced the ball to midfield. The Hornets had a fourth and one but the visitors stuffed it and regained possession, effectively ending any chance for a Hornet comeback.
''Like I told the boys, this is one we'll never forget," said North Attleboro coach Kurt Kummer, noting the weather, the streak, and the comeback from last week's loss as memorable factors. ''This is the biggest win I've ever been around."
Vaughn closed out the scoring with 2:10 left in the game when he sprinted 28 yards off-tackle for a touchdown. Vandeventer's kick was good, making the final score 26-0.