Bender Completes 20 of 25 Passes
Sunday Gathering Set
By FRANK WALL
Sparked by the great passing of Co-Capt. Billy Bender, the Norwood High football team defeated Walpole, 19-0, in the season opener before 3,000 fans at the John Turco Memorial Field in Walpole Saturday afternoon.
Bender, playing his first game in varsity competition as a quarterback, did a masterful job as he completed 20 of 25 passes in one of the finest aerial exhibitions ever seen in this area. Scoring for Norwood was senior end Mike Carney on an eight-yard Bender pass, and Bender toted the ball on a quarterback rollout for the second score. The third Norwood score was probably, the most satisfying for the Gullamen as Vito Anello scored from in close against the team he played for last year with one minute remaining in the game.
Jack Lanzoni, regular halfback, received an injury early in the second period and was replaced by Bob DeRose, who proved, to be the best runner and pass receiver in the game. Bob caught 10 passes for 75 yards and rolled off 48 more yards on the ground. Some of DeRose’s catches were on the spectacular side and he showed some fine broken field running after his many receptions. Also running hard for the Locals were Vito Anello and Joe Flaim.
The Norwood line also played fine football with sophomore John Solomon making several key tackles and intercepting a pass to set up Norwood’s third score. Co-Capt. Paul Donahue was a fine center and opened many holes for the Norwood backs. Also standing out in the line were ends Dave Eck and Mike Carney and guard Dave Flood.
The Walpole team got over the Norwood midfield stripe only once during the game. Norwood completely outplayed Walpole by gaining over 300 total yards as against 11 yards. Bender threw for 165 yards and the Locals rolled up more than 150 yds on the ground.
Quarterback Brad Brooks was the Walpole standout, but he didn’t have the protection to complete many passes In the Walpole line, Co-Capt. Charlie Sullivan was the stalwart.
Coach Gulla’s post-game praise centered around Bended and the young Solomon. Art said he was surprised at the amount of passes Bender threw but stated that Bill is a smart boy and called his own game. Solomon was everywhere making tackles and he has been the big surprise on the squad.
Gulla’s most important summation was that the whole team was pulling for each other, making for fine team harmony.
The first flip of the coin for the 1963 season was won by Norwood, who .elected to receive. Bender took the kick-off on his 30 and returned it 10 yards. On the first play from scrimmage, Bill carried right up the middle for nine yards behind some fine blocking by Donahue and Santospago. After losing on the 2nd down, Jack Lanzoni plunged for three yards and a first down. Bill then rolled out and threw a strike to Joe Flaim on the Walpole 30. Lanzoni, Flaim, and Anello had turns carrying to the Walpole seven. With first and goal to go, Billy pulled a surprise as he rolled out and hit Mike Carney with a pass in the right corner of the end zone for the first score of the season for Norwood, giving them a 6-0 lead. A pass for the point after failed. The drive took eleven plays and went for 70 yards.
Walpole received Anello’s kickoff and they quickly ran up a first down with Delaney and Brooks carrying the pigskin. With third and four for a first down, Johnny Solomon flew into the Walpole back-field and threw Brooks for a 15-yard loss. Walpole was forced to kick and the locals took over again. Bender completed an eight-yarder to Flaim and Norwood was rolling again but a clipping penalty stopped the drive and Dick Santaspago kicked out of danger. Gerry Delaney went for eight but Solomon, Eck, and Donahue stopped, them cold with nice-line play as the period ended.
The second period opened with Walpole still in possession but the fiery Solomon broke through again to throw Brooks for, an eight-yard loss. Norwood took over as Bender hit for three passes, two to Flaim and one to Anello to put the ball on the Walpole 30. Anello and Lanzoni gained six yards but a long Bender heave to Carney just missed at the goal line. Jack Lanzoni was injured on the next play from scrimmage but recovered to walk off the field on his own. The Jordan men tried for a big gain but Anello stopped Delaney as he was breaking into the open.
Into the picture came Bobby DeRose to replace Lanzoni. Bender hit him with three passes in a row and Bobby fought hard as he gained extra yardage on each carry. The ball was now resting on the Walpole 11 with time running out in the half. DeRose hit for seven yards to the four and on the last play in the first half, Bender was caught by the center of the Walpole line for a loss. The Gullamen. left, the field leading 6-0 but the handwriting was on the wall as the heavier Norwood team was in complete control.
Anello kicked off to open the second half but Walpole couldn’t get going as Dave Eck, Mike Carney and lender shone defensively for the Blue and White.
The Locals again look possession and didn’t give the ball up until they had crossed the Walpole* goal line 16 plays later. Bender threw six passes on this drive, four to DeRose. With the ball on the 18-yard line, DeRose carried off tackle and fought his way to the ten on sheer determination alone. It was first and goal to go and Mr. Bender carried on three consecutive plays the last on a rollout for nine yards into the Walpole end zone as Carney, Flaim and Vito threw the big blocks that opened the hole.
Anello’s try for the extra point hit the crossbar but the Locals had a commanding 12-0 lead as the third period ended.
Walpole took over and rolled up two first downs and seemed to be on the march. Trying desperately to score they shifted into the box formation and Gerry Delaney lofted a long pass, but from out of nowhere came Johnny Solomon to pick it off and take off around the left side to the Walpole 30. It was first down and ten on the 30 and there was one thing that the Norwood team wanted to do if possible: give it to Vito Anello to get the score that would give him sweet revenge on his ex-teammates. The ever-present DeRose carried for four, Bender uncorked a pass to Vito on the 12 for a first down. Bender called on Anello for three straight plunges which carried to the Walpole 7. With only a minute left it was fourth and two for a first down and three for a touchdown. The surprising quarterback knew that the Walpole team would gang up the center of the « line #o he rolled out into the flat and hit DeRose with a strike and Bobby was forced out on the one-inch line. On the next play Mr. Anello bulldozed into the end zone for his big score. Vito then split the uprights and the final score read’Norwood 19, Walpole 0.
NORWOOD — Je, Eck; X, Whitty; 1g, Despinosa; e, Donahue; rg, Flood; rt, Santaspago; re, Carney, qb, Bender; dhb, Lansoni; rhb, Flaim; fb, Anello,
Norwood alternates—Mitchel, Moore, Effortz, Share, Saulnier, Davis, Soloman, Costello, Mogan, McNamera, Bradley, Simoni, Griffin.
WALPOLE — le, La monies; re, Wisneski; It, C. Sullivan; rt, Lamore; 1g, Bob Daley; rg, S. Sullivan; c Golding; qb, Brooks; lh, Delaney; 4b, Webber; rhb, Proccani.—
Walpole alternates—Schneider, Hinchey, Maxwell, Farrell, Klimus, Huai Drake, McGovern, Hescock, Sherlock, Cocci, Fitzpatratrick, Silvi, Barbour, Tucker.
(All articles originally published in the Norwood Messenger)