With first-year principal Bill Runey watching on the sideline, the football team beat Runey's former school, intracity rival , Friday night at Tozier-Cassidy Field on the AHS campus in a competitive 19-7 game. It was the first game of the season for both teams as they played for the win and the right to possess the Attleboro Elks Trophy.
All of the Bombardiers' points came off touchdowns by senior co-captain running back Malique Clark.
"This was a big win for our kids, the staff and the school—Mr. Runey all the way down," head coach Kevin Deschene said.
Attleboro got on the scoreboard early, with Clark running 62 yards into the end zone on the third play of the Bombardiers' first possession in the first quarter.
"Malique runs very well," Deschene said. "Once he gets into open space, we know there aren't too many kids who are going to catch him."
The team's next score came in the second quarter in a more difficult, grind-it-out fashion as junior quarterback Tim Walsh and the Bombardiers marched 90 yards down the field through a series of passing and running plays prior to reaching Feehan's 1-yard line. The first Bombardier scoring attempt at the goal line was not successful, but Clark was able to get into the end zone on the next play to give Attleboro a 13-0 lead with just under 7 minutes remaining in the first half.
The Shamrocks reached Attleboro territory later in the quarter, but a costly fumble scooped up by senior co-captain Oladipo Olaogun ended Feehan's chance of getting on the scoreboard prior to the break.
"Give Feehan credit because they were able to get after us," Deschene said. "But when push came to shove, our defense was able to come up big."
Early in the third quarter, it appeared Clark had a second long-run touchdown as he sprinted 67 yards into the end zone. But the referees called an illegal block penalty, sending the ball back to the spot on Attleboro's side of the field. A bobbled handoff two plays later led to a Bombardier fumble that was recovered by Feehan on the Attleboro 37.
The Shamrocks capitalized on the turnover, taking six plays to reach the end zone and cut the lead to 13-7. The touchdown came on a 13-yard pass by senior quarterback Nick Romero to fellow senior Zach Forget.
Later in the quarter, Feehan's offense found itself on its own side of the field following a long Bombardier punt. A pressured Romero threw an interception into the hands of senior co-captain Sean Curran, putting the Bombardier offense into scoring position on the 12-yard line. Attleboro was unable to convert the turnover into a first down or score after four plays.
The fourth quarter was a dramatic frame as the Shamrocks were able to get close to the end zone, but not close enough. A series of good offensive plays brought Feehan deep into Attleboro territory. This was followed by two costly penalties. On fourth down with 10 yards to go, Romero took some time to find an open man, but he was unsuccessful and sacked for a loss on downs.
Attleboro's next play was another long run into the end zone by Clark, who carried the ball 64 yards to put Attleboro ahead by 12 points late in the fourth quarter. Feehan responded with a strong late-game drive on a series of good passes, but it was not enough for a touchdown.
"We are a young team, and we faced a good, fast and well-coached senior team," Deschene said. "So, it's a good start, but that's what it is—a start. We played well enough to beat them and now we have to get better for next week."
The Bombardiers will be on the road next Friday to take on Dartmouth. Feehan on that day will play its home opener against Apponequet at 7 p.m.