By Michael Jerry –
Climate change is real. Fall happens in March or at least that’s what it felt like Friday afternoon as I sat in the shadowed stands at Rocket Stadium in Auburn to watch the South High Colonels take on the Auburn Rockets to kick off the 2021 Central Mass high school football season.
A scattered crowd showed up to watch the “Battle for Stafford Street at the Mall. Little did they know, they really showed up to watch a star be born.
No. 6, Angelo LaRose, son of the South High Head Coach, punished the Rockets defense and tallied 5 touchdowns and 300 yards rushing as the Colonels barreled to a 35-12 win to start the season 1-0.
The Colonels didn’t show much else in the way of offensive prowess but they didn’t need to either. On the other hand, the Rockets Junior QB JB Whittemore found good fortune connecting with Junior WR Mike Nadeau. Problem is they didn’t connect enough. Instead, missed opportunities and turnovers were the story of the day for the Rockets offense.
After LaRose scored his second TD of the afternoon from about 40 yards out to put the Colonels ahead, 14-12, Whittemore returned fire and led Auburn’s offense down the field to the South 25 yard line with 27 seconds left in the 1st half and with no timeouts left.
If the Rockets had gotten to the line and spike it in time, they may have had an additional shot or two at the end zone before half but they couldn’t do it. They didn’t get the ball spiked till .1 second left on the clock. Whittemore couldn’t connect in the back of the end zone, leading to halftime.
The Rockets threw one last “Haymaker” counter punch that fell just short of the mark as the 2nd half started with them marching down the field in big aggressive chunks; only to see the drive come to a screeching halt as the South defense took the ball away, as they did several times Friday.
It was all Angelo LaRose highlight mix after that. He and the Colonels O Line went off TD after TD. 70 yd touchdown. 52 yd touchdown…as Khaled would say ANOTHER ONE!
It was an impressive game by the talented sophomore to say the least and I look forward to seeing what he and the South High Colonels have in store for an encode as they jump their backyard fence to play their neighbor, Leicester, for Cherry Valley bragging rights.
Do yourself a favor and get familiar with #6 at South High. He’s special!