Late in the fourth quarter of a spectacular Friday night offensive showcase between Attleboro and Taunton at Tozier-Cassidy Field, Bombardier receiver Tom Burns caught a pass from quarterback Tim Walsh to score a 59-yard touchdown and tie the game at 32 points apiece. This was followed by a fake extra-point kick that turned into a two-point conversion via a pass from Brandon Clark to Luke Morrison.
Attleboro had a two-point lead and it appeared the team that had lost five straight games after a 4-0 start would finally win again.
But it was not to be. Less than a minute later, Taunton's Domingo Jenkins, who along with fellow running back Jamal Williams had given the Attleboro defense trouble all night, ran the ball 50 yards into the end zone. He added another two points to the Tigers' lead on the next play.
Attleboro still had time to score again in a contest that included several lead changes. The team marched down the field and got into Tiger territory but the effort ended when Taunton's Matt Nunes caught an interception.
The final score was 40-34, dropping Attleboro to 4-6 (0-4) on the season and improving Taunton's record to 3-7 (2-3).
"The kids battled all the way through," Attleboro head coach Kevin Deschenes said. "They didn't give up, kept fighting back. They scored, we scored—it went back and forth. Basically, whoever had the ball last was able to pull the game off."
Taunton got on the scoreboard first when Jenkins ran 30 yards into the end zone for the first of his five touchdowns in the game. Attleboro blocked the extra point, to keep the score at 6-0.
The Bombardiers responded with a touchdown of their own on a five-yard pass from Walsh to Burns, who had a great game with several impressive catches, including two in the end zone. He also helped the team on defense by grabbing an interception. The touchdown was followed by a successful kick by Walsh to give Attleboro a 7-6 lead.
On the next possession, Jenkins again scored a touchdown, this time on a short pass from quarterback Kyle Maderia that was followed by a 78-yard run into the end zone. Three of Jenkins' touchdowns were scored on big plays. And the only Taunton touchdown not scored by Jenkins was by Williams, who ran 58 yards into the end zone in the third quarter.
"They're quick," said Deschenes about Jenkins and Lewis. "We knew they were quick coming in. We had to make sure we could corral them, but we didn't and it was costly."
Following the Jenkins touchdown, Taunton was unsuccessful on a two-point conversion attempt. The quarter ended with the Tigers holding a 12-7 lead.
Walsh opened the second quarter with several good passes, most of them going to Burns. He finished the drive with a short pass to a wide-open Cotey Martinez, who appeared to walk the ball into the end zone. The extra-point kick was not successful, and Attleboro's lead was 13-12, which was the halftime score.
"Timmy had some great plays and key passes tonight when we needed them," said Deschenes about the junior quarterback, who also ran the ball nine yards into the end zone in the fourth quarter.
The third quarter included two touchdowns for Taunton and one for Attleboro. The Attleboro score came on a two-yard run by Jared Harris, who also made some other good plays in the game. Harris was playing for the first time since the second week of the season, when he broke his ankle in a win over Dartmouth. He later had surgery.
"I wasn't planning on using him because I wanted him to have a couple more weeks of practice before he took a hit," Deschenes said. "But I got him in on one play, and stayed with him."
Going into the fourth quarter, Taunton had a 26-20 lead. The final 11 minutes included two touchdowns each by both teams.
In a season that started promising, the Bombardiers have no hope of making the playoffs or even finishing with a winning record. But they can get some satisfaction with a win over rival North Attleboro in the season finale at home on Thanksgiving.
"We're going to regroup, get back to practice next week and dig deep," Deschenes said. "We also have a lot of film to watch. We'll be here on Thanksgiving, ready to play."