NEWTON — It’s a good thing No. 9 Natick’s defense is repetitive.
It turned in its second consecutive shutout yesterday, forced three turnovers and allowed just 67 yards of total offense to Newton North, while the Redhawks’ potent ground attack ran for 229 yards in a 28-0 road romp at Dickinson Stadium.
“Just motivation to keep the zero on the board,” said senior captain and linebacker Tim Ramstrom on the defense’s stellar performance. “Just trying to win. That’s all. Just a bunch of hardworking kids who want to win.”
Ramstrom, along with cornerback Gio DeJesus, who had two sacks and forced a fumble, spearheaded the defensive unit for Natick (2-0), which allowed only three first downs.
“We have guys on both sides of the ball that have played a lot of football for us,” said Natick coach Mark Mortarelli. “We try to just line up correctly and fly to the football.”
The Redhawks went to their ground-and-pound offense early and often as quarterback Christian D’Antonio (18 rushes, 90 yards) opened the scoring with a 1-yard sneak for a 7-0 lead with 9:01 left in the second quarter.
Natick’s defense quickly gave the ball back to the Redhawks and they promptly scored on a 7-yard touchdown run from Malik Williams to go ahead, 14-0.
Newton North (0-2) continued to struggle, but had some life after Christian Hahm recovered a fumble in Natick territory late in the third quarter.
But Natick’s defense came through again to stonewall the Tigers. Two plays after the fumble, Ramstrom intercepted a pass.
“It was just a momentum swing,” Ramstrom said. “They were getting momentum. We felt it on defense. We knew we had to pick it up and then swung it back toward us.”
Natick then went on a 13-play drive and D’Antonio (9-of-15 for 110 yards) capped it off with a 24-yard touchdown pass to Angel Lebron to take a 21-0 lead midway through the fourth quarter.
The Redhawks applied the finishing touches when Amir Mells ran for a score from 12 yards out.