Tuesday’s Schedule & Scoreboard – 09/17/19

Today’s games are listed below.

Boys Soccer
Sharon @ North Attleboro, 3:45

Girls Soccer
Oliver Ames @ Attleboro, 3:45
North Attleboro @ Sharon, 3:45

Cross Country
Attleboro @ Mansfield, 3:45
Canton @ Foxboro, 3:45
Franklin @ King Philip, 3:45
Milford @ Sharon, 4:00
North Attleboro @ Stoughton, 3:45
Oliver Ames @ Taunton, 3:45

Golf
Attleboro @ Milford, 3:30
Sharon @ North Attleboro, 3:30
Stoughton @ Franklin, 3:30

Player of the Week: Allie Kemp, OA Volleyball

Allie Kemp
 
By HockomockSports.com Staff

Oliver Ames senior Allie Kemp has been selected as the HockomockSports.com Player of the Week, presented by Morse Insurance, for Sept. 8 through Sept. 14. Kemp is the second player chosen as Player of the Week for the 2019-20 school year.

Oliver Ames has started the season with four wins in its five matches and is coming off a perfect three-win week. Kemp started the week with a big performance in a three-set sweep of Taunton, recording her 1,000th career assist in the process. She is just the third player in program history to reach the 1,000 point club.

“She came in committed and she came in with the goal of getting it right at the beginning of her senior year and then take off once she had it and that’s exactly what she’s done,” said OA coach Chelsea Correia about Kemp reaching the assist milestone. “She really blossomed when she got to 700, 800 assists and she started to think, ‘I could really get there.’ I’ve never seen her so confident after getting that recognition, but bringing that confidence out of her was probably the highlight working with her over her four-year career.”

Kemp finished the Taunton match with 24 assists and added five aces. Two days later, OA swept North Attleboro in its home opener. Kemp was again instrumental in the Tigers’ success, dishing out 26 assists and another five aces. On Friday, the Tigers were on the road again, sweeping Bridgewater-Raynham for their fourth straight victory. Kemp was stellar in spreading the ball around, recording 35 assists on the night and chipped in at the service line with eight aces.

The Player of the Week, presented by Morse Insurance, is selected by the HockomockSports.com staff. Nominations can be submitted throughout the week up until Saturday night at midnight. There may be a poll posted on every Sunday with the nominations. The results of the poll influence the selection but do not strictly dictate the decision.

Oliver Ames Bests Attleboro In Five-Goal Thriller

Oliver Ames boys soccer Anthony DaCosta
Oliver Ames junior Anthony DaCosta gets his shot off for the first goal just before Attleboro’s Kevin Raczkowski could get a foot in. (Ryan Lanigan/HockomockSports.com)
ByRyanLanigan_2016FollowRyanLanigan_2016
 
 
NORTH EASTON, Mass. – In an early-season showdown between division favorites, Oliver Ames boys soccer ended up on the winning side of a five-goal thriller against visiting Attleboro.

The teams went back-and-forth with all five goals coming in the second half. Twice the hosts took a one-goal lead, and twice the Bombardiers erased the deficit to tie the game. But OA junior Jimmy Keane nodded in the game-winner goal inside the final five minutes to secure the 3-2 win for the Tigers.

OA opened the scoring just over 10 minutes into the second half but Attleboro equalized six minutes later. The Tigers once again went ahead but that lead lasted just a minute when the Bombardiers equalized just over 60 seconds later.

Click here for a photo gallery from this game.

The winning tally came in the 76th minute after a free kick from junior Matt Nikiciuk. Nikiciuk’s service from just beyond midfield dropped into the center of the area, was originally knocked up in the air, drawing the keeper out. The ball was partially cleared but only as far as Keane, who looped a header over the scrum and into the open net.

“We were able to play with a strong team, we were happy to play with them and compete, and that we could score against them,” said Oliver Ames coach John Barata. “And it was nice to see that we could bounce back after a couple of mental letdowns, and we continued to bounce back too. It was a good maturity test for the guys because we really haven’t had that yet.”

The Tigers dominated the opening 40 minutes but had nothing to show for it after the teams went into the halftime break scoreless. While the second half was a bit more even, Oliver Ames still created chances early and was able to break through in the 51st minute.

Junior Colin Milliken collected the ball and quickly switched fields, playing classmate Kevin Louhis in behind the defense. Louhis’ speed forced the keeper off his line, and he quickly cut inside around the charging keeper and centered to classmate Anthony DaCosta, who got his shot off just before a defender could get there to bury it into an open net for a 1-0 lead.

The hold up play of Attleboro junior Jackson Singer helped the Bombardiers find the equalizer. His ability to hold possession allowed Joey Soucy to make a run in and Singer found him streaking into the area. Soucy was fouled right on the edge of the box, giving Attleboro a penalty kick.

Senior Michael Russo confidently buried his chance from the spot to bring the visitors level at 1-1 in the 57th minute.

The Tigers continued to press though and went back ahead in the 61st minute. After a corner was cleared, Nikiciuk tracked it down and found Milliken on the sideline, who dropped a cross to the far post and Louhis finished on the bounce at the post to make it 2-1.

“We had dominated the entire first half, outshot them by a large margin and have a couple balls cleared off the line,” Barata said. “If you can stay in the game, you get more confident and comfortable so it was good for us to come out and get some goals in the second. We were kind of stretched trying to go for the goals so it opened the game up and it went back and forth.

“It was a good game for us, [Attleboro] is a very good team that I think will do very well. I thought it was a good game for the boys, I was happy with how we played we just have to make some adjustments.”

But Attleboro was back level just a minute later. The Bombardiers earned a throw in the attacking third, and senior Josh Smith launched a toss to the six yard line. With the keeper coming out to play the ball, it was deflected to the back post and freshman Esvin Morales was all alone to nod the ball in to make it 2-2 in the 62nd minute.

“That was a good thing, we came back and we hung around,” said Attleboro head coach Peter Pereira. “After they scored, we came back, and we did it a second time so that was a positive. But they were a better team than we were today. Hopefully next time we are more organized and play our game. These were critical points.

“First half, [Oliver Ames] was all over us, they were playing their game. In the second half, we adjusted and were playing better balls to feet and we created some opportunities. A couple of mistakes cost us a couple of goals and their speed hurt us too. They have more experience and they have some depth that we don’t have.”

OA’s chances in the first half started early when Keane blasted a shot from in close off Milliken’s corner that had the keeper beat but Russo was positioned on the line to block his bid. Five minutes later, Louhis connected with Milliken open in the area and he tucked a header inside the post, but was ruled offside.

The best chance of the first half came in the 17th minute when Milliken labeled a free kick for the upper 90 but Attleboro keeper Zackary Brown made a terrific leaping one-handed stop to keep it out.

Click here for a photo gallery from this game.

Keane saw another chance blocked by an Attleboro defender, this time Kevin Raczkowski came up with the goal line stop.

Attleboro had its best chance in the final 10 minutes of the opening half as a pass from Nathan LaPlume ended with a volley from Morales that forced OA keeper Drew Nickla to make a low diving stop to keep the game scoreless heading into the half.

Oliver Ames boys soccer (4-0 Hockomock, 4-0 overall) visits Foxboro on Thursday afternoon. Attleboro (2-2, 2-2) hosts rival North Attleboro on the same day.

Monday’s Schedule & Scoreboard – 09/16/19

Today’s games are listed below.

Boys Soccer
Attleboro, 2 @ Oliver Ames, 3 – FinalClick here for a recap and photo gallery of this game.

Canton, 0 @ Stoughton, 3 – FinalStoughton grabbed its first league win of the season with a 3-0 decision over visiting Canton. Ryan Reis had a goal and an assist for Stoughton while Mateo Eschleman and Ted Lucas each scored once. Nolan Gerome made six saves to earn the shutout in goal.

Foxboro, 2 @ Milford, 2 – FinalMilford’s Joao Pedro Da Silva scored in the final seconds of the game to help the Hawks earn a tie against visiting Foxboro. The Warriors took a 1-0 lead in the first half when Dylan Barreira headed in a corner kick from Will Morrison. Leo Coelho knotted the score with an early goal in the second half but Joey Cusack finished off a quick give-and-go with Barreira to put the visitors back ahead. Da Silva headed in a corner kick in the final seconds to make it 2-2.

Mansfield, 0 @ Franklin, 1 – FinalIt was a tale of two halves between the visiting Hornets and hosts Panthers on Monday evening. Franklin controlled the first half and scored the lone goal of the game as sophomore Terry O’Neill finished off a corner from senior Donny Tappin in the 10th minute. The Hornets had a strong second half but couldn’t find the back of the net.

King Philip, 1 @ Taunton, 1 – FinalTaunton took the lead in the first half but King Philip found the equalizer in the second half as the teams split the points. Alec Nunes put the hosts on the board in the 21st minute but King Philip’s Evan McEvoy (assisted by Tadhg Keller on a corner kick) scored in the 60th minute to bring the Warriors level. Taunton goalie Nolan Melo had a strong game in net for the Tigers.

Girls Soccer
Stoughton, 2 @ Canton, 7 – FinalEliza Diletizia and Mia Gilmore each scored twice, as the Bulldogs’ offense exploded for a big division win. Gabby Herivaux, Jenna Parrella, and Lauren McCabe also scored for Canton. Stoughton freshman Shayla Ford scored twice with Samantha Tran and Mackenzie Manning recording assists.

Milford, 2 @ Foxboro, 2 – Final

Franklin, 0 @ Mansfield, 1 – FinalSara Sacco scored the game’s only goal midway through the first half. Katie Miller got the assist for the Hornets and Olivia Salisbury made five saves to record the shutout. Maria Sevastos, Erin Dooling, Anna Darlington, and Abby Oppenheim all played well in the Mansfield back line, as Franklin continued to pressure throughout the second half.

Taunton, 0 @ King Philip, 7 – FinalKing Philip’s Makayla Griffin factored into three first half goals while the Warriors tacked on four more in the second half to beat visiting Taunton. Griffin assisted on goals from Chloe Layne (18′) and then Kiera Lindmark (28′) before scoring on a free kick from 25 yards out in the 34th minute. Layne (from Ally Stanton in the 56th minute), Stanton (from Lindmark in the 58th minute), Paulina Baczkowski (from Ella Pisani in the 70th minute), and Molly MacDonald (from Pisani in the 75th mintue) all had second half goals for KP.




Field Hockey
Oliver Ames, 3 @ Attleboro, 2 – FinalClick here for a Photo Gallery from this game. Haley Gilman scored a pair of goals and Cassie Gennis added one goal and one assist, while goalie Kara Ostrander had to make a series of saves to give the Tigers a narrow win. Georgia Costello and Hannah Stryke also recorded assists, as OA jumped out to a 3-0 lead with lethal transitions. Attleboro had a lot of the pressure in the attacking half of the field and finally made the breakthrough with 14 minutes to play. Anna Beck smacked a shot through traffic and then a minute later her goal-bound shot was tapped in by Emelia Westwater to set up a frantic final 10 minutes.

Canton, 8 @ Stoughton, 0 – FinalMeg Aldrich scored a pair of goals in the win for the Bulldogs.

Foxboro, 6 @ Milford, 0 – Final

Mansfield, 2 @ Franklin, 7 – FinalFranklin raced out to a 3-0 lead at halftime and added four more in the second half to knock off visiting Mansfield. Hanna Richardson scored twice in the opening half and added one more in the second half to finish with a hat trick. Olivia Rondeau scored twice and had two assists for the Panthers, who scored twice in a two-minute span in the second half after the Hornets’ Gabby Devlin cut the deficit to 3-1 less than a minute into the second half. Freshman Kaitlyn Carney had three assists for Franklin, Neilee Hess made three saves in net, and Kendall Jones came up with two big defensive saves for the Panthers.

King Philip, 0 @ Taunton, 0 – Final King Philip peppered the Tigers’ net with 19 shots but Taunton goalie Emily Gannon stood tall to earn a shutout and a point. Senior Sammy Robison, sophomore Christina Gifun, and sophomore Haley Izydorczak all had strong outings for the visiting Warriors. “She played amazing,” said Taunton coach Liz Hathaway on Gannon’s performance.

Sharon, 0 @ North Attleboro, 7 – Final

Volleyball
Oliver Ames, 3 @ Attleboro, 0 – FinalClick here for a Photo Gallery from this match.Oliver Ames earned a 3-0 (25-9, 25-10, 25-17) win on the road over Attleboro behind a strong defensive performance from junior Allie Zwerle, who had eight serve receptions and seven digs. Allie Kemp dished out 28 assists, Alison Barth notched 19 digs, and senior Ryley McNeeley added six kills and three aces.

Canton, 3 @ Stoughton, 0 – FinalThe Bulldogs earned a win on the road in their first trip to the new Stoughton High School, with a 3-0 (25-18, 25-20, 25-21) decision. Taylor Harris led Canton with 17 kills, five digs and two aces, Shannon Malloy had a good day in the middle with seven kills while Liz Bickett was strong at the net with three blocks, five kills, and great defense. Taylor Reynolds did well in her first start of the year, putting up 17 assists while Jackie Morrissey added 11 assists, four digs and two aces.

Foxboro, 2 @ Milford, 3 – FinalFoxboro rallied from a 2-0 deficit to force a fifth set but Milford earned a win in the final game for a 3-2 win (25-17, 25-15, 20-25, 23-25, 15-6). Sara Addeche, Pam Nelson (four kills), and Kelsey Treweek each had 11 digs for Foxboro, Grace Fortune added 10 digs and two aces, Maddie O’Brien dished out 17 assists, Shannon McDonald registered five blocks, and Grace Boudreau paced the offense with 13 kills and two aces.

Mansfield, 0 @ Franklin, 3 – FinalFranklin emerged with wins in tight first and third sets to pick up a 3-0 (23-25, 13-25, 23-25) win over the Hornets. For Mansfield, Julia Kelly had six kills and seven service points, Alina Nowakowski added five kills, and Olivia McGrath and Emily Dardinski each chipped in with four kills.

King Philip, 3 @ Taunton, 0 – FinalKing Philip went on the road and picked a 3-0 win (25-8, 25-13, 25-6) over the Tigers. Catherine Waldeck (11 kills) and Nicole Coughlan (nine kills, two aces) continued to pace the Warriors’ offense while Ali McNamara had a strong game with six kills for KP.

Sharon, 0 @ North Attleboro, 3 – FinalNorth Attleboro defended home court with a clean sweep, taking a 3-0 (25-11, 25-3, 26-24) decision over the visiting Eagles. Brooke Street (six digs) had a 16-point service run in the second game that helped the Rocketeers earn a convincing win in the second set. Middle Eliza Dion had seven kills, outside hitter Kylie Melanson added five kills, and Joanna Collins-Bilyeu had a great defensive performance for North Attleboro.

Golf
Milford, 220 @ Stoughton, 228 – Final (5 cards) – The match was tied at 175 through four cards but the Hawks prevailed on the fifth card to split the season series with the Black Knights. Tyler Wetherbee and Wes Murdock each shot 43 to pace the Scarlet Hawks. Stoughton senior Max Huminik earned match medalist honors with a low-round of 41 while Jake Curtis (42) and Anthony Hearn (43) also scored for the Black Knights.

OA’s Holmberg Inspires in Return to the Pitch

Erin Holmberg
OA senior Erin Holmberg had surgery in December to remove a tumor from her spine. Nine months later, she has six goals in her first four games of the new season. (Josh Perry/HockomockSports.com)

Josh PerryFollowJoshPerry


The pain started more than a year ago. It came at night when she tried to lay down in bed, but then would disappear during the day, and through it all Oliver Ames senior Erin Holmberg kept playing club and high school soccer, outdoor track, and basketball. A new pillow seemed to help take some of the pressure off her neck and allowed her to get some sleep, but gradually the pain increased and then it started lingering through the day or starting in early evening.

In December 2018, the pain became unbearable. Erin couldn’t sleep. She continued coming to school everyday because she didn’t want to miss basketball practices or games, but there was growing numbness in her right arm, in her back, and partially in her legs. It was becoming difficult to do not only the intricate tasks of a basketball player, but even to function in the classroom.

Doctors assumed that it was just a muscular problem and recommended physical therapy and stretching. It was only when the Holmbergs visited Boston Children’s Hospital that a low-grade glioma (a brain tumor that can sometimes grow in the spinal cord) was discovered in Erin’s neck.

“Obviously I was shocked and I didn’t know how to react,” Erin said. “The first thing I said to the nurse was, ‘Is this thing growing inside me?’ The pain was unbearable, so it was relieving that they found it and that the pain would finally go away if they removed it.”

Erin’s father Bob added, “The ‘not knowing’ part of how Erin was going to come out of this surgery was the scariest. I’ve told people the only thing that kept us from totally losing it during those days prior to the surgery was: knowing we were in the best place in the world for this kind of stuff.”

Not only was the more than eight-hour surgery successful, but Dr. Edward Smith, the pediatric neurosurgeon who performed the procedure, told the Holmbergs that they removed 99 percent of the tumor. Now, just nine months after having surgery and far from being clear of all the effects that the tumor caused, Erin is back on the pitch with the Tigers and not just playing but excelling.

She has scored six goals in OA’s opening four games, including two goals apiece in the first two games of the season. OA coach Britt Sellmayer said, “It’s awesome to see how far she has come, especially with all the hard work she has put into her rehab. I think it is nothing short of a miracle.”

Erin, who returned to her club team, NEFC Breakers, just 10 weeks after the surgery, said, “Playing soccer almost made me forget that I went through the whole situation, and it’s still like that now where I’m not constantly thinking about my disability with my arm. It makes me forget that I went through it because I can still play soccer.”

Mystery pain leads to Children’s Hospital

The pain started in the spring of last year but became far more intense during the early part of the basketball season. OA coach Laney Clement-Holbrook recalled that when the Tigers played Taunton (on Dec. 14), Erin didn’t look right in warm-ups but she was able to battle through the game. Afterwards, it was clear something was wrong and it only got worse over the next few days.

After several sleepless nights, Erin and her mother Paula went to Brockton Hospital but were told it was likely muscular and no MRI was given. “I couldn’t even stand being with my friends because of the pain,” Erin said. “I was just pacing the room, I couldn’t sit down because the pain was so bad, and my arm that night started to get more numb, which was a different symptom.”

On the advice of a family friend, the Holmbergs tried Children’s Hospital. According to Erin, they arrived in the middle of the night and were given an MRI just a few hours later. The results were explained to the family in the early evening. Bob said, “The initial diagnosis was very scary. They had to cut into her spinal cord, and try to remove as much of the tumor as possible.”

Spinal surgery is delicate and comes with inherent risk, but it was necessary. “I just wanted the pain to be over,” Erin admitted. Following surgery on Dec. 21, Erin was told that it was a success (“It was like a miracle,” Bob said) and that they were able to remove 99 percent of the tumor. “My dad came in and told me and that was the first time that I broke down into tears because I was so happy. That was the first time I cried, but it was tears of joy.”

Bob noted, “She had been an absolute rock throughout all of the scary meetings and diagnoses. Never breaking down, asking questions. Kind of like she is on the soccer field or basketball court: calm, cool and collected.”

Throughout the process, her friends and teammates from basketball and soccer showed support. Clement-Holbrook said that the Tigers got a video of Erin walking in the hospital a couple of days after the surgery and that a couple of players were able to see Erin to deliver stuffed animals that she could use to support her neck during recovery.

“One of the things I always talk about with my players is the value of sports and how someday they will be faced with a life changing moment,” Clement-Holbrook said. “It’s never a question of if, but a question of when. I told them that for Erin this was her when and that we needed to do everything in our power to help her recover and come back with us.”

Long path to recovery continues

The recovery process is ongoing. There are a number of symptoms remain, although there has been improvement. Physical and occupational therapy have improved the strength in Erin’s right arm, even if there is no definite prognosis for how long it could take the nerves to fully recover (if at all).

“I did teach myself how to write lefty because I couldn’t even hold a pencil,” Erin explained. “It was also hard sitting at school for long periods of time, so me and the nurse got very close.”

Holmberg (4) during the 2018 basketball season.

There are still nerve issues, such as tingling, numbness, and pain in her arm, back, and legs, but she continues to manage it and continues to push through both at school and in athletics. In fact, sports were a blessing in the recovery even when she could only watch from the sidelines.

“The basketball and soccer teams kept me sane because they’re all my best friends,” Erin said. “Coach Holbrook was like my mom during the whole thing. She was always checking up on me.”




As soon as she could, Erin was on the bench for the basketball team’s games, cheering the Tigers on during their playoff run. “Right when I got home I wanted to go to my basketball game and cheer them on,” she said. “I made sure to not make it about me. I wanted to be able to cheer them on and not have them feel bad for me all the time.”

Clement-Holbrook said, “The example that she set for all of us was powerful and inspirational to say the least. I credit her with our late run especially in the tournament because she would have done anything to be out there.”

Ten weeks after surgery, Erin was cleared to resume physical activities and she immediately jumped into club soccer. In her first game back, she scored a late goal to earn her team a draw. “My coach even said he was crying,” Erin said with a chuckle.

That form has continued for Oliver Ames this fall. Erin scored a brace in each of the first two games and in OA’s last game at North Attleboro she scored the opening goal of the afternoon (her sixth of the young season) and assisted on the other three OA goals. She has hit the ground running and has shown no signs of the struggles she has endured over the last year, even if symptoms still remain.

“I think my legs are still affected by it but I just don’t notice it as much,” she said. “The feeling is still vaguely off in my legs but it’s not noticeable so it doesn’t affect my running at all.”

Sellmayer said, “We knew the goals were going to come once we saw her in the preseason. All her fitness results were in the top three on the team. We were all just very happy for her and her family.” When asked if he thinks that Erin inspires her teammates, Sellmayer replied, “I feel Erin has been an inspiration to our whole community.”

Her family certainly appreciates being able to see her back on the pitch with her OA teammates and friends. Bob said, “Knowing what she has gone through and knowing that eight months ago, we didn’t know if she would ever play sports again, it kind of puts things into perspective. We are just happy that she is out there…Watching her be a teammate, co-captain and a leader, that’s what high school sports is all about, and we are just happy that she is still a part of it all.”

The recovery process will continue for a long time. Erin is still doing therapy to try and rebuild the strength in her right arm. There is still nerve pain, there is still numbness, and there are going to be numerous follow-up MRIs to keep an eye on the remaining tumor and make sure it isn’t growing.

This experience has given her a new appreciation for the games that she loves and cherishing each moment on the pitch or on the court.

“After I went through this and being told I could never play sports again I always say you never know how many more chances you get,” Erin reflected. “Even if you’re a junior, you never know what could happen, so you need to give everything, 100 percent.

“I’m very grateful that I am able to play and I’m going to give everything I have every day because you never know what can happen.”

Milford Avoids Attleboro Comeback, Earns First Win

Milford football
Milford junior Carter Scudo (11) caught the game-winning touchdown with just 1:34 remaining in a 20-13 victory for the Hawks. (Josh Perry/HockomockSports.com)

Josh PerryFollowJoshPerry


MILFORD, Mass. – There are different ways that a team can show resiliency. Last week, Milford kept fighting its way back on the road, not allowing Franklin to feel comfortable with its lead until the final whistle. On Saturday afternoon in its home opener against Attleboro, Milford was on the brink of putting the game away in the fourth quarter only to see Attleboro snatch momentum and tie the game.

Click here for a photo gallery from this game.

Rather than allowing the game to slip out of their grasp, the Hawks overcame turnovers and penalties and pulled out a victory. Senior Colby Pires hit junior Carter Scudo for a 21-yard touchdown with only 1:34 remaining and Milford escaped with a 20-13 victory.

“Like I told you last week, these kids don’t quit,” said Milford coach Anthony Vizakis. “They play 48 minutes of football. We practice that way, we train them that way, and the results are speaking for themselves. Our kids battle. They don’t quit.”

The Bombardiers were playing their first game of the season and struggled throughout the second half with cramps. Junior Michael Strachan (10 carries, 53 yards) was forced to leave the game due to dehydration, while senior Isaac Gudiel and junior Justin Daniels missed portions of the game on both sides of the ball.

“This was our first real test,” said Attleboro coach Mike Strachan. “You don’t get this type of action [in scrimmages] and unfortunately we need to get in better condition. We had too many cramps and that definitely hurt us.”

Trailing 13-6 in the fourth quarter and with its bench struggling to maintain any energy, Attleboro came up with a huge momentum-shifting play. Milford got the ball down to the Bombardiers’ 13 but the defense managed to pry the ball loose from running back Luke Rosa (19 carries, 106 yards). One play later, senior Ethan Cameron (four catches, 136 yards) beat man coverage on the outside and his classmate Jason Weir hit him in stride for a 67-yard touchdown.

Out of seemingly nowhere, just when it looked like Milford was about to put the game out of reach, the game was tied 13-13 and the visitors were filled with confidence.

After partially blocking a punt, Attleboro got the ball at the Hawks 45-yard-line, but a CJ Cerrella sack (one of five sacks by the Hawks) stalled the Attleboro possession and Xavier Hilton returned the ensuing punt 31 yards out to midfield.

“They played man the whole game and they locked up and felt like they were going to bring it and they did,” said Strachan about the Milford pass rush. “I thought we had some success running the ball early and that was our intent but then we got banged up.”

Pires (25-of-41, 266 yards) swung a pass to Max Martin, who hurdled a Bombardier and drew a personal foul penalty for it. Then a 15-yard completion to Matt Varteresian was wiped away by a holding penalty. The third play was a catch by Hilton over the middle but he couldn’t hold on to the ball and Cameron recovered the fumble.

“Fumbles and penalties are going to be our biggest corrections,” said Vizakis. “Those are mistakes that can cost you games. They took advantage of it, but we’ll get those mistakes corrected.”

Again the Milford defense held and recovered possession. A short punt gave the Hawks the ball at the 37. Pires hit Scudo (seven catches, 81 yards) for nine yards, then for six, and then he again found the junior receiver open in the heart of the Attleboro secondary and he took it in for the game-winning score.

Attleboro had one last chance and converted a fourth and 18 (caused by a Herrick Louis sack) as Weir (8-of-21, 188 yards) found Cameron open in the seam for 24 yards. But, after yet another sack (this one by Rosa), Evan “Beav” Hazard picked off Weir’s final pass to seal the win.

Strachan said, “We’re young and we have to build off it. We’re really disappointed. We thought this was a game that we had a legitimate shot to win and I think we did a lot of good things and we need to build off that.”

The visitors grabbed the lead on their first drive. Weir connected with Daniels on a 30-yard pass down the sideline to get into Milford territory and from there Strachan took over. The bruising junior running back broke runs of 13 and 16 yards to get inside the five. He punched it in from one-yard out to make it 6-0.

Following a Scudo interception at their own 11, the Hawks marched 89 yards on 12 plays, including a crucial fourth down pass interference call, to grab their first lead. Gudiel stuffed Rosa for a four-yard loss on a swing pass, but then Rosa came right back with a 16-yard gain and a five-yard touchdown up the gut.

On its next possession, Milford extended the lead. Pires hooked up with Martin for a 22-yard pass to start the drive, but then back-to-back holding calls created a first and 38. On third and 18, Pires found Martin again for 20 yards and the first down to the Attleboro 13. Martin (seven catches, 105 yards) was drilled by Nolan Jaeger on the play, the second time that happened in as many drives, and Vizakis rewarded Martin by giving him the ball at the one and he scored on a jet sweep.

“A testament to his toughness,” Vazakis explained. “We knew when we were down there that there’s one guy that needed to finish the drive and it was Max. I’m so proud of him, offensively and defensively. Just a tough, selfless individual.”

Milford (1-1) will get a week off before opening its league campaign at Sharon. Attleboro (0-1) will have its home opener next Saturday afternoon against Dartmouth.

Click here for a photo gallery from this game.