Published in the October 1, 2015 edition

HORNET RUNNING BACK Matt McCarthy was an offensive weapon that the Somerville defense could not stop Friday night at Dilboy Stadium. (Bob Turosz Photo)

HORNET RUNNING BACK Matt McCarthy was an offensive weapon that the Somerville defense could not stop Friday night at Dilboy Stadium. (Bob Turosz Photo)


SOMERVILLE — The North Reading football Hornets are now an impressive 3–0 in the 2015 fall season thanks to beating the hosting Somerville Highlanders, 34–13, last Friday night at the Dilboy Stadium. Though it looks like a blowout, this game was much closer than the score indicates, knotted at 13 –13 in the middle of the third quarter. It took two late Hornet touchdowns within the last two minutes of the fourth quarter to put the game away.

“It was a very tight game, as predicted, and we knew it going to be a close game,” said North Reading Head Coach Jeff Wall. “I told the kids that this was good, because we haven’t been tested yet, so tonight when it was 13–13, we knew we were in a battle. The kids fought for four full quarters and we just wanted it more then they did.”

The first score of the game came from the Hornets’ first drive of the game, finishing with an 8 yard run by David Smith. The extra point attempt went wide left so it was only 6–0, Green and Gold.

The Highlanders’ answer came on their first offensive drive of the second quarter, on an 11 yard touchdown from quarterback Elijah Jeffreys to Jiovanny Pierre but just like North Reading, the extra point kick went wide and the game was tied at 6–6.

The Hornets responded immediately on the ensuing kickoff by Somerville with a 80 yard kickoff return by Matt McCarthy. This time the extra point was good, kicked through the uprights by Angelo DiSanto for the 13–6 lead for North Reading that held for the rest of the first half.

The Highlanders tied the game for the second time with their first drive of the second half, as Jeffreys hit Shaquille Joseph, who then avoided Hornet defenders and went 30 yards for the equalizer, making it 13–13 all.

The Green and Gold would grab the lead for the third and final time on a one play, 20 yard drive that was finished on a McCarthy run, for his second touchdown of the game. Bob Donohue this time would hit the extra point to make it a 20–13 lead for the Hornets.

The game would remain at that score until just 1:34 left in the game as the Green and Gold finally got the insurance score they were looking for as McCarthy ran for his second rushing touchdown and third score overall. McCarthy went 33 yards for the score and the play was complete with a DiSanto point after touchdown to make it a 27–13 game.

The Hornets completed the scoring for the game just 21 seconds later as the Highlanders were trying to get back in the game but quarterback Jeffreys was picked off at the line of scrimmage by defensive lineman Bobby O’Donnell who then went 49 yards for the touchdown. DiSanto kicked the extra point to give North Reading the 34–13 win.

The Green and Gold are now 3–0 and will be playing their first game tomorrow night against an opponent from their division in the Cape Ann League, the Kinney, and that’s Masconomet. The Chieftains are only 1–2 in the season but are 1–0 within the division thanks to a 21–7 victory over Newburyport last Friday night.

“(Last week’s) game was a good test for us, because we face teams now that can run and pass equally well,” said Coach Wall. “Masco will be rolling in, they’re always big and always physical, so this was a good test for us and will prepare us for down the line.”

The game will be held at the Arthur Kenney Athletic Field at 7 p.m. Parking is likely to be a challenge, so get there early and don’t be afraid to park in back of the new high school and walk down to the field.