By HockomockSports.com Staff
Player are listed alphabetically
Hockomock Football Players to Watch on Offense
Jared Arone, Senior – Franklin
Playing quarterback in an up-tempo, pass-heavy offensive set against the defenses in the Kelley-Rex division is a difficult task for an experienced signal-caller. Arone stepped behind center for the Panthers last year and got his first taste of varsity action. Now, a few months later, Arone will try to build on that experience to make the Franklin offense even more potent. From the opening game, against a loaded Mansfield defense, Arone showed that he has the accuracy to make the offense tick and the willingness to stand in the pocket and make throws down field. He developed a better rapport with his also relatively inexperienced receivers over the course of the season and there is potential for the Panthers to be prolific in the passing game this fall. In a division that continues to be loaded with talent, Franklin will hope that Arone can continue his growth and help the Panthers challenge perennial powers Mansfield and KP for the Kelley-Rex crown.
Evan Cornelius, Junior – Milford
Milford junior Evan Cornelius worked his way onto the field during the abbreviated Fall 2 season as a sophomore, emerging as a dangerous threat at defensive end. Now, Cornelius will see a new role on the offensive side of the ball as the new quarterback, taking over for Brady Olson, who is now at UMass. Cornelius isn’t a stranger to the position having started under center on sub-varsity his freshman year. Coming in at 6’3, 235-pounds, Cornelius doesn’t look like your prototypical high school quarterback but it’s a position he’s comfortable in, has a strong arm, and is athletic enough to make plays with his feet. It will be interesting to see if the Hawks change their offense up much as Olson was a pocket passer that spread the ball all over the field. Cornelius and the Hawks will get a stiff test right away as they host Davenport contender Foxboro on opening night.
Rudy Gately, Junior – King Philip
It was a big spring for King Philip’s Rudy Gately, both on the gridiron and on the diamond for the Warrior baseball team. That upward trend will likely continue this Fall with Gately poised for a possible breakout season at running back and linebacker for King Philip. The Warriors have one of the best backfields in the league with senior Crawford Cantave alongside Gately. King Philip has a reputation for pounding the rock and having two viable options, along with an improved passing game, should make the Warriors tough to stop on offense. Gately is tough as they come and will have no problem running right at the defense. He’s not all power and strength either as he showed he’s got the wheels to breakaway from the defense.
Dylan Gordon, Senior – Foxboro
Opposing defenses are going to have their hands full trying to contain and tackle Foxboro senior Dylan Gordon this season. At 6’3, 200-pounds, Gordon is not the size of your average running back but he certainly has the skillset of one. He has shown good patience in waiting for space to develop and he has a really strong line in front of him that is going to create holes for him. Once he finds the space, he has no problem running right at the defense. It’s probably going to take more than one person to tackle him most of the time and when he gets into open space, he can turn on the jets and pull away. He has good hands out of the backfield too so he will be an option in the passing game on swing passes and wheel routes. Given his size, he will be a good option to help protect the quarterback on passing plays as well.
Tyler DeMattio, Senior – North Attleboro
DeMattio was a force to be reckoned with last season, leading North Attleboro to an unbeaten record and the Davenport division title. Capable of beating teams with his arm or his legs, DeMattio was nearly unstoppable for much of the fall, as the Rocketeers scored 40-plus points in each of the first three games and recorded a league-high 186 points in six games. His ability to grind out tough yards up the middle, coupled with the speed to break a big play and the arm strength to stretch the defense vertically, made DeMattio a unique weapon for the North offense. Teams couldn’t bunch the line of scrimmage for fear of giving up the home run pass over the top, but DeMattio could also grind out drives taking the small yardage plays right up the middle. His toughness was emphasized by lining up at tailback against Attleboro in the season finale despite a cast on his wrist. Expectations are always high for North and defending the Davenport crown is the goal this fall. If they can keep DeMattio upright and healthy, then North will have one of the league’s most dynamic playmakers to make another title run.
Alvin Harrison, Senior &
Chris Leonardo, Senior – Attleboro
Attleboro has rarely lacked for size on the line of scrimmage and this fall will be no different as the Bombardiers will roll out an offensive line that averages 6’3, 280 pounds. Harrison and Leonardo are both returning starters on both sides of the line and will be critical to Attleboro finding its offensive footing after a tough Fall II season that saw the Bombardiers score a league-low 44 points. Attleboro likes to keep the ball on the ground, especially with a relatively inexperienced quarterback, so Harrison and Leonardo will be called upon often to open up holes and give their backs the chance to get to the second level. Both players have the size and strength to take on multiple defenders and they are going to be leaders on offense, making sure everyone has the right assignments against defenses that like to move around and throw numerous looks on each snap. Linemen tend not to get the acclaim of the guys they block for, but Attleboro is going to be counting on its line to be its foundation as it tries to climb up the standings and make a push for the playoffs.
Over the past three seasons, brothers Christopher Ais and Christian Ais as well as Christian Georges combined to score nearly all of Stoughton’s touchdowns. Now those three are gone to graduation so there will be a lot of opportunities for new faces to step up. Senior Jonah Ly is in his third year on the varsity team and should see an expanded role inside the Stoughton offense. Ly knows the Stoughton offense well and has a good combination of strength and speed. He will be relied upon for his blocking too inside the Wing-T. Ly has the ability to get to the edge, changing the point of attack for the run-first Stoughton offense, and can break big plays. The Knights will be hoping that his development can help the offense put points on the board.
Drew Sacco, Junior – Mansfield
Mansfield comes into the season with inexperience at the skill positions, but that doesn’t mean the Hornets lack for talent. Sacco is one of several players who saw significant time during the abbreviated Fall II season and will be counted on to step into a bigger role this year. Quick and strong, Sacco showed flashes of his ability to make big plays last year and should get more carries this fall after the graduation of Cincere Gill. The Hornets like to spread the ball around and expect classmate Rocco Scarpellini, sophomore CJ Bell, and others to get plenty of touches as well. Sacco could get the nod as the primary ball carrier at the start and behind an experienced line has the chance to keep the Hornets’ ground game piling up the yards. Mansfield continues to be the team to beat in the Kelley-Rex and Sacco will be one of the players looking to keep the win streak alive for the Hornets and try to add yet another league title to the record book.
Trent Santos, Senior – Taunton
Taunton has a lot of speed and depth on the offensive side of the ball and the Tigers are hoping that translates into points although it won’t be easy against a very talented Kelley-Rex division, which features a lot of good defenses. Senior Trent Santos is in his third year starting and this will be his second season at wide receiver after starting at quarterback as a sophomore. The Tigers will feature a new starter in Jake Leonard, who did get some reps last season so there is already some chemistry between the two. Not only does Santos have a firm grip on the playbook, he knows what it takes to beat the tough secondaries he goes against. He has really good speed and can go up and get it downfield on deep passes. He can really stretch the defense out but isn’t afraid to go across the middle and run with the ball after the catch. Taunton has a lot of weapons so it will be tough for defenses to double him.
Chad Silva, Junior – Oliver Ames
Oliver Ames has struggled to put up points in the past couple of seasons, scoring 46 in six games last year, but Silva has emerged as a go-to, every down back that could be a spark for the Tigers on the offensive side of the ball. A big, strong back, Silva has shown that he is capable of carrying a heavy load, even against the top defenses in the Hock. Never shying away from contact, Silva can run over smaller defenders, and also has the agility and quickness to get the edge and create some running room. Still just a junior, Silva continues to grow and get stronger, which will be a problem for opposing defenses. OA moved the ball well at times last season, but couldn’t finish drives on a regular basis. The Tigers will be looking to Silva to carry the bulk of the offense this fall and try to find the end zone more consistently to compete with the top teams in the Davenport.