Petrucci, Rebels advance to South semifinals

Drew Von Klock (22) returns a second quarter kickoff.

By Mike Flanagan
Hometown Weekly Sports Editor

Coming off a tough 30-28 defeat to Needham in their regular season finale, the No. 4 seeded Walpole High School football team returned to the gridiron on Friday night for their quarterfinal round contest of the Division III South playoffs against No. 5 Milford.

Behind big performances by senior quarterback Will Jarvis (two rushing touchdowns, one passing) and junior running back Derek Petrucci (15 carries, 104 yards, one touchdown), the Rebels earned a 34-19 victory to advance to the semifinals against top-seeded Hingham on November 8.

Milford began the game with the ball, but Brian Malone intercepted a pass by Scarlet Hawks quarterback Carter Scudo to set the Rebels (4-4) up in positive territory just three plays into the game. Walpole was unable to punch the ball into the end zone, but Harry Butters knocked home a 29-yard field goal to salvage points on the drive and give the Rebels a 3-0 lead.

Walpole’s defense forced a punt on Milford’s next series before Jarvis led the Rebels down the field with a pair of completions to Connor Glebus and Ray Louissant before sneaking one in from a yard out to make it 10-0 Rebels with 1:56 to play in the opening quarter. Milford responded quickly as a long return on the ensuing kickoff was capped by a 22-yard run by Scudo to make it 10-6 at the end of one quarter (PAT no-good).

Harry Butters (30) knocks in one of his two field goals on the night.

Harry Butters (30) knocks in one of his two field goals on the night.

Derek Petrucci ripped a 49-yard run down inside the Milford 20 two plays into Walpole’s next series. Petrucci then capped off the drive with a 13-yard run to the right corner of the end zone on the very next play to put the Rebels back up by two scores at 17-6 with 11:33 left in the half.

Milford responded with a touchdown run by Scudo to cut it to 17-13. After a turnover on downs followed by an interception deep in Milford territory by the Rebels, the Scarlet Hawks drove down the field and took a 19-17 lead off of another scrambling touchdown by Scudo (PAT no-good). With 1:42 to work with, Jarvis led the Rebels into field goal range with a pair of long completions to Von Klock and Connor Glebus. Harry Butters knocked home a 23-yard field goal as time expired in the half as the Rebels entered the locker room with a 20-19 lead.

The second half was all Walpole. A 22-yard touchdown run by Jarvis with 1:18 to play in the third extended Walpole’s lead to 27-19. Still ahead by eight midway through the fourth, Jarvis connected with Von Klock for a 54-yard touchdown down the near sideline to hammer the nail into the coffin. The Rebels capped off a second half shutout and advanced with the 34-19 victory.

For funny and incisive sports analysis, follow Mike Flanagan on his personal Twitter and Instagram @flano0.

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