October 20, 2023
• Neeedham improved to 6-1 with an impressive road win Last week, Needham Football dominated Braintree with a balanced offensive attack that showcased both their passing and running. But on a night that started off in the pouring rain, it was the Rockets’ ground attack that flooded the Wildcats as Needham won convincingly, 33-7 on the road. After giving up a 68 yard Weymouth passing touchdown just 1:41 into the game, the defense took control and didn’t let up a single point the rest of the way. Despite falling from #1 in the MIAA Division I rankings to #4 this week due to their strength of schedule dipping (likely due to Milton’s upset loss to Walpole), Needham still improved to 6-1 on the season with one game left on their regular season schedule. The Rockets struggled to get their offense going in the first quarter, but were helped by the Wildcats, who went for a 4th and 1 from their own 36 and were stuffed by a barrage of white Needham jerseys. That led to a 1 yard TD score by Rockets Junior Quarterback Griffin Carr to start the second quarter. On their next offensive drive, Needham’s ground game hit full throttle, running all over Weymouth and finishing with a 5 yard TD by Tate Hoffmeister. The Senior has been a focal point of the Rockets offense all year and despite Needham sharing the wealth, with eight different runners getting at least one carry, Hoffmeister still managed to carry the ball 24 times for 133 yards. Needham was on the verge of scoring again right at the end of the first half, in part due to a big run by Junior Aidan Williams. But Carr would throw an untimely interception with 34 seconds left, leaving the score at halftime 14-7 Rockets. Hoffmeister finished the first 24 minutes with 14 carries for 79 yards and the one touchdown. Williams picked up where he left off to start the third quarter, with his biggest offensive play of the season, a 43 yard touchdown run halfway through the quarter. Holding the ball for half the third was huge for the Rockets, as despite a blown extra point attempt, a 20-7 Needham lead might have put the game out of reach already for Weymouth. Then to end the third quarter, it was Aidan again breaking a long run, this time from 25 yards out, to put Needham on the board yet again. The extra point was blocked, but the Rockets still led it 26-7 with 12 minutes to go. Three minutes into the fourth, Needham’s defense came up huge again, as Junior Joe Kajunski picked off a pass by Weymouth QB Tyler Nordstrom. Kajunski made a few contributions on offense as well, rushing for 8 yards and catching a 12 yard reception. In addition to the INT, The Rockets defense also had two sacks, with Jake Reiser and Dave Curtis taking down Nordstrom. Needham put the final nail in the coffin with 2:55 to go as Junior Stephen Rocamboli scampered into the end zone from 14 yards out and with Dante Varano’s extra point, the Rockets finished with a 26 point victory. On the game, Needham finished with 317 yards rushing, with another 38 yards through the air by Carr, giving them 355 total. Needham will close out the season on Friday, October 27th at Memorial Field, when they host Framingham (3-3) at 6:30pm. Needham Channel Sports Producer Kristen Connors has highlights from the game as part of her Rockets Roundup here:
You can watch the full broadcast streaming on needhamchannel.org and our TNC Roku app.