Big Blue is poised to make a run in the state tournament and it began Friday night.
Attleboro football defeated New Bedford, 42-7, in the Div. I South Sectional Quarterfinals to improve to 7-1 on the year. The Blue Bombardiers will play Bridgewater-Raynham in the South Sectional Semi-Finals next Friday at Tozier-Cassidy Field.
In true 2013 Bombardier fashion, Attleboro's effort was well-rounded. Quarterback Tim Walsh went 7 for 13 passing, throwing for 75 yards, 1 TD, and 1 INT. The defense and ground game may have been the story Friday, though.
The running attack was led by junior Damon Belin.
"He’s a pretty special athlete," Attleboro coach Mike Strachan said of Belin. "He’s come into his own. We’ve got him more involved with the offense now and I think teams have trouble – they try to pick on our pass or pick on our run. There was no doubt that they tried to do some things defensively against our pass. They did a good job with it, but I think what happens in that case is you’ve got to decide what you want to attack."
Belin rushed for 126 yards on 20 carries. He also caught a pass for 22 yards. He scored three second half touchdowns.
Attleboro's running game was so effective in the second half that Walsh, usually a gunslinger, only threw the ball twice.
Most of the quarterback's yards in the air came in the first half, including a five-yard touchdown pass to senior receiver Tim Morrison on Attleboro's first possession after a recovered New Bedford fumble.
Attleboro scored again in the second quarter when runningback Dave Duquette powered his way into the endzone from 15-yards out.
After Belin led off the second half with a 19-yard touchdown run, New Bedford cut the lead to 14 when sophomore runningback Jonathan Moraes found the endzone from 15-yards out.
Big Blue responded quickly, though. A Tommy Burns (SR) 44-yard end-around set up Belin's second score of the game. Heading into the fourth quarter, Attleboro led 28-7.
"It was the resiliency of the offense and the team all year long," Strachan said. "To bounce back – great senior leadership. I go back to the great preparation, that week of practice we had and it showed tonight."
Belin's third score came in the fourth and a Chansakada Heng (SR) interception for a touchdown with just a minute to play capped a stellar Attleboro defensive performance.
"We talk about all year to finish strong and they take a lot of pride in that," Strachan said. "I couldn’t be happier with their performance."
BR will be in town Friday. The game time has yet to be determined.
"It’s one day at a time, one practice at a time for us," Strachan said. "That’s been our motto all year – don’t get too far ahead and we’ve got a tough match-up.."