Football Notebook: Unbeaten Nashoba Rolls Onward
That’s what the Nashoba Regional football team does through five weeks of play, folks -- as the lone unbeaten team in northern Worcester County. The Chieftains enter this weekend a perfect 5-0, and play host to 2-3 North Middlesex Regional -- their old Thanksgiving rival -- at the Chieftain Athletic Complex Friday night.
Kickoff is at 7 p.m.
Nashoba is coming off a 29-15 win over Algonquin Regional a week ago, where the defending Division 4 champions spread things around: Sam Bolinsky had a pair of TD passes, his seventh and eighth of the season, respectively, while Danny McNulty and Brendan Lee added rushing touchdowns.
Algonquin had jumped out to an 8-0 lead early a week ago, but Nashoba then scored all four TDs to put the game out of reach.
Bolinsky enters the week 61 of 90 for 874 yards passing, and a solid evening of finding receivers should see the senior eclipse the 1,000-yard passing mark.
Last Friday was the most points the Chieftains have yielded this season.
North Middlesex found itself shut out a week ago, 31-0 to Westboro, to drop to 2-3. The Patriots had started out 2-1 thanks to wins over Border War rival Groton-Dunstable Regional and Auburn in Weeks 2 and 3, respectively, before falling victim to Fitchburg, 42-14, in Week 4.
The other unbeaten teams in Central Mass. football? Oxford, Maynard (coached by Sterling native Harold Ogilvie), Doherty, West Boylston, and Northbridge. All five are 5-0.
* Last year, the numbers 41-0 were bandied about during this particular week over at historic Crocker Field, representing the hurting Westboro had applied to the Red Raiders in 2016. With the new regime in place, they wanted to channel those feelings into a triumph.
And that almost worked: The Rangers, though, would make it two in a row against FHS, escaping the corner of Circle and Broad with a 27-14 victory. It was a victory that kept the Raiders out of the Division 4 playoffs by about three-tenths of a percentage point.
Fitchburg would like to turn that around this year when the Red and Gray visit Westboro on Saturday at 2 p.m. This is a time and date change, as Westboro’s usual field is not ready; the Rangers are installing FieldTurf.
A win during this week should help springboard the Red and Gray toward the playoffs: FHS takes on Groton-Dunstable at Crocker Field next weekend, and travel to South on the 27th.
* Other games on the docket this weekend (all games are set for 7 p.m. unless otherwise indicated):
Leominster (0-5) will host Wachusett Regional (3-2) at historic Doyle Field, as the Blue Devils look to steal one from the Mountaineers; St. Bernard’s (4-1) will look to return to its winning ways when it hosts Sutton (0-5) over at the Bowl; Lunenburg will head over to Ayer Shirley (both 4-1) for homecoming exercises and an important Mid-Wach D clash; Oakmont (2-3) will head down to the Morgan Bowl to take on Hudson (0-5); and Monty Tech will look for its second straight win when it hosts Abby Kelley Foster (both 1-4).
The Bulldogs are coming off a 22-18 victory over winless Worcester Tech.
“Our effort was good and we played a complete football game,” Monty Tech coach Anthony Secino said of the victory. “All three areas of the ball contributed to the win.”
Other games to keep your peepers on this weekend: St. John’s is at Shepherd Hill, Clinton is at Littleton, Maynard is at Murdock, and down in the South County, the always entertaining Tantasqua at Southbridge.