October 27, 2023
• The Rockets finish a perfect 4-0 at home and go into the postseason with a 7-1 record overall. Needham Football finished off one of their best regular seasons in a long time on Friday night, beating Bay State Conference foe Framingham 24-7 on an unseasonably warm night at Memorial Field. It was a close game most of the way, with the Rockets only pulling away late in the 4th quarter, thanks to a short Aidan Williams touchdown run. Needham, ranked #3 in the MIAA Division I State Rankings heading into the week, ends the 2023 regular season with a record of 7-1, and a perfect 4-0 record at home. Framingham, who were ranked 19th in the MIAA D1 poll, drops to 4-4 and will likely find themselves out of the playoff picture when seedings are released early next week. Needham is hoping the victory will be enough to stay in the top four, which would guarantee them at least two home games in the playoffs, if they win the first game next week. Either way, the Rockets should be hosting their first playoff game in five years, since a 35-32 loss in the D1 South Sectional to Catholic Memorial on November 2, 2018. The 2023 season has been interesting for Needham, as they have played some close games and several blowouts, with the last two victories, at Weymouth last week and at home against Braintree the week prior, being blowout wins for the Rockets. Needham scored the first two touchdowns of the game, both by Senior star Running Back Tate Hoffmeister. The first came with just 1:45 left in the first quarter, a shorter score, while the second was early in the second, as Tate broke a long run to get into the end zone again. But what looked to be a blowout early didn’t materialize, as Needham failed to get any points on a drive later in the second, falling short on a 4th down play. The Flyers would score with 3:15 left in the half to cut the Rockets lead to 14-7. With neither team able to get any points most of the third quarter, it was Senior Kicker Dante Varano who was able to break through, hitting his first field goal of the season, from 44 yards out. That extended Needham’s lead to 17-7 with 1:15 left in the third. The defense then stepped up for the Rockets, as they prevented the Flyers from scoring again, them with 1:50 to go, the Williams TD clinched it. Needham will now await their MIAA playoff fate, with brackets set to be released on Sunday, October 29th. Check out highlights from all the Needham scores, via TNC’s Instagram page here:
You can watch the full rebroadcast streaming on needhamchannel.org and our TNC Roku app, beginning on Saturday, October 28th.