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Football defeats Waltham in annual Doc Cohn Memorial game

@NNHSTigers on Twitter
The Tigers celebrate with the Doc Cohn Memorial trophy

Football outplayed Waltham on both sides of the ball in its opening game, taking a comfortable 39-21 victory at home Friday, Sept. 8. The win meant the Tigers took home the Doc Cohn Memorial trophy, which is given annually to the winner of Waltham versus North.


Waltham started off strong. Led by its robust running game, the Hawks scored on the opening drive. The Tigers did not stay down for long, though. After Waltham’s touchdown, North replied with ferocity, taking a 14-7 lead going into the second quarter.


“I think today it was just our ability to face adversity,” said Donovan Phanor, the defensive coordinator. “They scored first, they went up 7-0, and then from there we kind of took over the game and improved our focus.”


The Hawks’ defense was unable to stop senior Hayden Willen, the quarterback and captain along with seniors Nate Day, AJ Gordon, DJ Harvey, and Jon Jauregui, from keeping the ball and running for significant yardage. Willen also made impressive throws to Day, moving the Tigers up the field. With its impressive response to Waltham’s opening score, North’s offense injected a confidence boost into the team. “Our players started to buy into it and believe a little more,” said Day.


North’s running game impressed throughout the game. The running back duo of Harvey and junior Scott Caissie were too much to handle for Waltham. A powerful 20 yard run from Caissie gave the Tigers momentum. “Caissie’s run was a huge moment,” said Day. 


Going into halftime, North was firmly in control with a 21-7 lead. 


North’s defense put on a show in the third quarter. “It was truly a no-fly zone,” said senior William Fine, a fan. Waltham’s quarterback was intercepted 3 times, one of which was a pick 6 from junior Adrian Farnese. 


The Tigers also managed to decelerate the Hawk’s running game in the second half. “Our defense started controlling the line of scrimmage well, and our secondary was able to come through and clean things up as well,” said Phanor.


According to Day, strategic changes on defense proved useful. “We were lining up poorly, but we adjusted and started filling in the gaps a little better. We slowed them down once we adjusted the formation,” he said. A Harvey touchdown closed out a perfect quarter for the Tigers, taking them into a 27-7 lead. 


Two Waltham touchdowns were not enough for them to catch up to the Tigers, who kept up the scoring in the fourth quarter. According to Day, North’s 39-21 win was the perfect way to start the season. “This was definitely a confidence boost,” he said. “It’s getting us hot going into the season, but it doesn’t mean we’re not going to keep working hard.”


North, 1-0, will hope to continue its success away against Weymouth Thursday, Sept. 14.

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Gavi Berkman, Sports Managing Editor
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