ATTLEBORO, Mass – Their coach says their a young team, but senior running back Malique Clark showed his experience, running for 198 yards and 3 touchdowns, on 18 carries, to lead the Attleboro Bombardiers to a 19-7 win over cross-town rival Bishop Feehan.
The Bombardiers defense forced the Shamrocks to punt after a quick three and out to open the game. On Attleboro’s fourth play from scrimmage – and Clark’s second carry – the elusive back slipped out to the left before splitting the defense and sprinting past the secondary for a 62-yard touchdown.
“We knew if we could get him through the linebacker zone, that there would be a good possibility to get big yardage, and that happened for us,” Attleboro head coach Kevin Deschenes said.
After another Bombardier defensive stop, Attleboro took over at their own 10 yard line – which didn’t prove to be any obstacle. They used 14 plays, including a fourth down conversion, to travel the distance before Clark punched it in from 1 yard out. The snap was high on the extra point attempt, giving Attleboro a 13-0 lead at the break.
It looked as though Attleboro was about to break the game open as Clark burst through the line for a 66-yard touchdown on the first play of the second half, but the run was negated on an illegal block call.
On Attleboro’s next possession, they were forced to punt – something negative turned positive when the punt stopped at Feehan’s own six-yard line. And then just minutes later, captain Sean Curran intercepted a pass from Romero – who was being pressured heavily from fellow Bombardier captain Oladipo Olaogun.
But just like that, their momentum went away as they couldn’t punch it in and turned it over on downs, with just seconds left in the third quarter.
The Shamrocks used the clock as they drove down the field, milking it all the way down to 4:13 in the fourth quarter before failing to convert on fourth down at the Attleboro 36 yard line.
And just like that, another carry for Clark resulted in a touchdown. This time, a 64 yard run on Attleboro’s first play after the turnover on downs. And with that, a sigh of relief.
Attleboro led 19-7 with just 4:03 to go.
“We didn’t panic,” Deschenes said. “It was, ‘Can we do this? Can we persevere?’ We just kept plugging and we were able to dig deep enough to make the stops. Feehan played very well in the second half.”
The Bombardier defense were able to close it out to earn the Attleboro Elks Trophy and their first win of the season.
Seniors Lead The Way
It was a trio of seniors that led the way Friday night for the Bombardiers, which was necessary, as Attleboro had plenty of players playing their first varsity game.
Clark, Olaogun, and Curran provided the sparks when needed.
“The offense was making a lot of good blocks, making sure they holes were big enough for me to get through,” Clark said.
On the lone interception of the game, Olaogun supplied the pressure while Curran took the ball.
“[Olaogun’s] a senior captain,” Deschene said. “He’s had a good camp and as far as I’m concerned, he’s our number one defensive lineman. That’s what we expected from him.”
As the season goes on, the opponents will only get tougher and the team will use the seniors as a crutch.
“We’re going to have to keep on progressing, never let down, and keep doing what we’re doing,” Clark said.