Below are the official 2018 Hockomock League Football All Stars, selected by the coaches in the league.
Hockomock League MVP
Nick Gordon, Franklin
Ryan Clemente, North Attleboro
Hockomock League All Stars
Nick Evans, Attleboro
Justin Cote, Attleboro
Jason Weir, Attleboro
Michael Strachan, Attleboro
Nick Gordon, Franklin
Ryan Driscoll, Franklin
Jack Nally, Franklin
Terrell Jacobs-Baston, King Philip
Ryan Halliday, King Philip
Jack Webster, King Philip
David Morganelli, King Philip
Daenin Walker, Mansfield
TJ Guy, Mansfield
Aidan Sacco, Mansfield
Vinnie Holmes, Mansfield
Dean Pacini, Oliver Ames
Woudanly Danger, Taunton
Cory Pintabone, Taunton
Ben Seaman, Canton
Brendan Albert, Canton
Brian Campagna, Canton
Johnny Hagan, Canton
Anton George, Foxboro
Hunter Williams, Foxboro
Mike Sheehan, Foxboro
Brendan White, Milford
Colby Pires, Milford
Kevin Pyne, Milford
Brendan McHugh, North Attleboro
Nick Raneri, North Attleboro
Ryan Clemente, North Attleboro
Ryan Gaumond, North Attleboro
Chris Gong, Sharon
Alex Iverson, Stoughton
Evan Jackman , Stoughton
Malachi Green-Hightower, Stoughton
CANTON, Mass. – Stoughton senior Jeff Grier was mostly a spectator during last year’s Thanksgiving game against rival Canton, a game the Bulldogs ran away with.
After not getting a carry on the holiday as a junior, Grier wanted to make the most of his opportunity this time around.
The senior delivered, and in a big way. Grier had 15 carries for 211 yards and scored three touchdowns to pace the Black Knights to a 28-7 win over the Bulldogs in the 93rd annual meeting on Thanksgiving.
“This felt great,” Grier said. “I didn’t play last year so this is my first real Thanksgiving game. Senior year, my last game, I just went out there and did my best, did what I could to help the team. Coming into today, we really wanted to bring [the trophy] back home and that’s what we did.”
Grier entered his final season as the top home run threat type running back in the Hockomock, capable of breaking off a big play on any carry. But injuries hampered his season, and Stoughton head coach Greg Burke said Thursday morning was the first time his starting running back was fully healthy all season.
“We played hard today, Grier got going – this is the first week he’s been healthy, and he’s a great kid,” Burke said. “The line played well, we don’t have the biggest line but they are tough, we have some tough kids.
“The kids wanted that trophy back so bad after we lost it last year.”
The teams were tied 7-7 at halftime before Grier went off in the second half with three unanswered scores to lead the way.
It took the Stoughton offense very little time to take its first lead of the game. After receiving the kick off to begin the second half, the Black Knights needed just two plays. On 2nd and 13, Grier came across the formation on a counter, found a small hole, burst through it and raced his way to a 66-yard touchdown. Josh Cocchi made all four of his extra points on the day, this one putting Stoughton up 14-7 with 10:02 left in the third quarter.
Canton’s offense took the field and looked primed to respond with a strong drive of their own. Highlighted by a 20-yard run from Kyle Fitzgerald (10 carries, 49 yards), the Bulldogs moved to the Stoughton 25-yard line.
But Stoughton’s defense clamped down, holding Canton to a short gain on first down, getting an incomplete pass on second down, and Savion Scott coming up with a big sack on third down. The Black Knights forced a turnover on downs with an incomplete pass on fourth.
The Black Knights offense went back to work, using a strong ground game to move up the field. Christian Ais (65 all purpose yards) had a 19 yard run and Alex Iverson followed with 15 more yards to get to the Canton 33-yard line.
On second down, sophomore quarterback John Burke (3-for-3, 68 yards) connected with Christopher Ais for 16 yards. On the next play, Grier fought his way through a tackle and found the end zone on an 18-yard carry. Stoughton led 21-7 with 1:45 left in the third quarter.
“We’ve played hard the last couple of weeks, we’ve just turned the ball over too many times,” Burke said. “We’ve played some tough teams this year, we’ve been up and down. I’m just happy for these guys that we finished strong today, it’s really rewarding for all they’ve been through this year.
“That’s a good Canton team, I don’t want to see them next year but I know we will. I love Dave [Bohane] and all of his guys, they are great coaches. It’s just phenomenal for the town of Stoughton and all of they’ve gone through.”
Stoughton’s defense forced a three and out but Canton’s defense answered with the same, with Brendan Albert coming up with a big nine-yard tackle for loss on third down to force a Stoughton punt.
The Black Knights’ defense didn’t allow Canton’s offense to get going at all, with Evan Jackman and Jacob Brisson combining to stop a runner for no gain on second down, and Christian Georges batting down a third-down pass at the line of scrimmage to force a punt.
Stoughton’s next offensive possession was short lived as Albert came from behind to knock the ball free and the Bulldogs recovered. But on the first play of the ensuing drive, Canton junior quarterback Johnny Hagan was picked off on a deep pass by Stoughton junior Anthony Pizzano with 6:00 left in the game.
“We kept those guys in check, they’ve been running all over people,” Burke said. “We did well today [on defense]. We kept it simple, used our simplest defense. We had to make sure that [Hagan] doesn’t kill you. We had a couple of spies on him every play, you have to. He’s a guy where nothing is happening on a play and all of a sudden he’s in the end zone.
Facing a 3rd and 14 at its own 28, Stoughton elected to keep the ball on the ground to kill more clock but Grier was able to turn the corner and get up field and no one was able to catch him as he sprinted for a 72-yard score and a 28-7 lead with 4:34 to play.
Canton scored the first touchdown of the day. After punting on the opening drive, the Bulldogs got the ball back after stopping Stoughton’s offense and fake punt attempt. Canton took advantage of the short field and on fourth down, Hagan hit Fitzgerald for a 30-yard touchdown. Owen Lehane’s extra point made it 7-0 with 9:20 left in the first quarter.
Stoughton tied the game late in the first half. After stalling on its first two drives, the Black Knights went to the air to get things going offensively. Burke hit Christian Ais out of the backfield for a 48-yard pass, down to the 1-yard line. From there, Burke pushed it in himself and tied the game 7-7 with 1:45 left in the second quarter.
“I’m just really happy for the kids,” Burke said. “They sucked it up and it was a great way to finish the year.”
Stoughton football finishes the season 4-7 while Canton closes out 2018 with an 8-3 record.
Attleboro, 24 @ Franklin, 31 – Final 1st Quarter: (F) Nick Gordon 2-yard rush, Parker Chevront XP good; (A) Justin Cote 83-yard kick return, Colby Briggs XP good.
2nd Quarter: (A) Jason Weir 1-yard rush, C. Briggs XP good; (F) P. Chevront 31-yard field goal; (A) C. Briggs 35-yard field goal.
3rd Quarter: (A) J. Weir 10-yard pass to Ethan Cameron, C. Briggs XP good; (F) N. Gordon 55-yard pass to Marcus Quintina, P. Chevront XP good.
4th Quarter: (F) N. Gordon 11-yard pass to Jack Nally, P. Chevront XP good; (F) N. Gordon 52-yard pass to J. Nally, P. Chevront XP good.
Foxboro, 17 @ Sharon, 8 – Final
Taunton, 7 @ King Philip, 24 – Final
Mansfield, 36 @ Oliver Ames, 8- Final 1st Quarter: (M) Michael DeBolt 5-yard rush, M. DeBolt XP good.
2nd Quarter: (M) V. Holmes 7-yard rush, M. DeBolt XP good; (M) Aidan Sacco 12-yard pass to Khristian Conner, M. DeBolt XP good; (M) V. Holmes 6-yard rush, M. DeBolt XP good.
3rd Quarter: (OA) Nathan Cabral 5-yard rush, Cam Perron conversion pass to Darnele Ryan.
4th Quarter: (M) Conner Smith 23-yard pass to Shane Downey, Aridan Archambault 2-point rush good.
Milford, 18 @ Stoughton, 15 – Final – Click here for a Recap and Photo Gallery from this game. 1st Quarter: No scoring.
2nd Quarter: (S) John Burke 26-yard pass to Alex Iverson, Josh Cocchi XP good; (M) Colby Pires 1-yard pass to Shapel Feaster, XP blocked.
3rd Quarter: No scoring.
4th Quarter: (M) C. Pires 16-yard pass to Brendan White, 2-pt conversion no good; (S) Christopher Ais 12-yard rush, J. Burke conversion pass to Malachi Green-Hightower; (M) Ryan Pearl 1-yard rush, XP no good.
King Philip, 0 @ Attleboro, 0 – Final
Stoughton, 2 @ Foxboro, 6 – Final – Stoughton scored a pair of first half goals but Foxboro had four straight unanswered goals to pick up a win on the road. The Black Knights opened the scoring in the 16th minute but headed into halftime down 3-2, after being tied 2-2 late in the half. Foxboro added three more goals in the second half. Joe Cusack had four assists and Shane VandenBoom added a pair of goals and an assist to pace the Warriors. Dylan Barreira, Ronnie MacLellan, and Max Beigel all scored once while Nic Beigel had an assists. Stoughton freshman Dante Eschleman scored on a free kick to put the Knights up 1-0. Senior Carter Gerome also scored his first career goal for the Black Knights, assisted by Ryan Reis.
Franklin, 3 @ Taunton, 1 – Final – Franklin built a 1-0 lead at half, doubled that advantage in the second half, and walked away with a 3-1 decision to qualify for the state tournament. Nick Barry opened the scoring on an assist from Donny Tappin to give the Panthers a lead by halftime. Tim Duval and Lucas Moura scored second half goals for Franklin.
Mansfield, 1 @ Oliver Ames, 0 – Final – Click here for a Photo Gallery from this game. Mansfield senior Ethan Brill-Cass scored game-winner in the 78th minute to give the Hornets a win and at least a share of the Kelley-Rex division title. After a long throw from Dylan Buchanan, Oliver Ames’ clearance was knocked down by a partial block from a Mansfield player. Brill-Cass latched onto the loose ball and placed it into the far corner for the winner.
Milford, 0 @ North Attleboro, 0 – Final – Both teams had chances to find the back of the net but didn’t convert as North, Milford settled for their second draw of the season. Kyle Briere made three saves for the Rocketeers while Tiago Carvalho and Lucas Da Silva had strong games for the Hawks.
Attleboro, 6 @ King Philip, 0 – Final – KP broke the game open with five goals in the second half. Avery Snead scored a hat trick and had an assist for the Warriors. Snead opened the scoring off an assist by Chloe Layne in the first half. Snead doubled the lead with a penalty kick in the second half and then assisted on a Layne goal. Ally Stanton made it 4-0 from Layne and then Layne assisted on Snead’s third. Layne wrapped up the scoring with her second goal (and fourth point) off an assist by Molly MacDonald.
Foxboro, 8 @ Stoughton, 1 – Final – Jordyn Collins had two goals and two assists for the unbeaten Warriors, who maintain their lead at the top of the Davenport division. Mackenzi Fraser had two goals and an assist, Kailee McCabe had a pair of goals, Aislinn Serveas scored her first goal of the season (assisted by Katie Huether), and Lizzy Davis chipped in with a goal as well.
Taunton, 0 @ Franklin, 4 – Final – Anna Balkus scored twice and Calen Frongillo had a pair of assists to lift Franklin to a big win to keep pace with league-leading Mansfield. Sydney St. Marie and Bridgette Ginley also scored goals for the Panthers. Hailey Toolin and Kaylee DeSimone each had assists. Franklin goalie Breanna Atwood made three saves for the clean sheet.
North Attleboro, 3 @ Milford, 1 – Final – Juliana France opened the scoring for Milford, but Kayla Pasquel answered with a 20-yard strike to tie the game at 1-1. In the second half, Alex Moulson scored off a pass from Lydia Santos for what turned out to be the game-winner and Ashlyn Gaulin, who assisted on North’s first goal, scored off a Pasquel assist to seal the two points. With a goal and assist on Friday, Gaulin moved into third on North’s career scoring list with 82 points.
Oliver Ames, 1 @ Mansfield, 4 – Final – Bryn Anderson scored a pair of goals to keep Mansfield in first place in the division. Maria Sevastos and Kerina Geminiani also scored goals for the Hornets, while Katie Garvin, Steph Kemp, and Kaylee Smith all recorded assists in the win. Allison Evin scored for Oliver Ames.
Attleboro, 4 @ Bishop Feehan, 0 – Final – Alex Compton and Anna Beck each scored twice for the Bombardiers against their cross-town rivals, while Shea Harrison made 14 stops to earn the shutout.
Sharon, 0 vs. Norwell, 3 – Final
Stoughton, 3 vs. Brockton, 2 – Final – Stoughton broke a tie game inside the final five minutes of the game to earn a win over the Boxers. Alanna McCormick scored the game winner with 4:40 left, while Haley Nelson scored Stoughton’s first two goals.
Taunton, 3 vs. New Bedford, 0 – Final – Taunton took a 1-0 lead into halftime and then scored two late goals to secure the win over visiting New Bedford. Cierra Bartel, Caitlin Connors, and Kennedy Thielker each scored once for the Tigers.
King Philip, 0 @ Needham, 3 – Final – King Philip suffered a 3-0 (18-25, 15-25, 16-25) setback on the road at Needham. Kristen Masse led the offense with eight kills while Nicole Coughlan had seven kills for the Warriors. Shayla Weitzman finished with 10 digs.
North Attleboro, 2 @ Mansfield, 3 – Final – Mansfield overcame a 2-1 deficit, winning the final two sets to prevail 3-2 (3-25, 25-19, 25-27, 25-21, 15-12) in a non-league win over North Attleboro. “It was a great team effort by the whole team,” said Mansfield head coach Melissa Heeden. Abby Sullivan has 18 service points with half of those coming in the fifth set to help the Hornets each the win. Greenly Kelly added 12 kills and four blocks, Olivia McGrath had 11 kills, had Katie Dardinski finished with 15 service points and five digs for Mansfield. For North Attleboro, Brooke Street had a great defensive game while Grace Munley had a strong game at the net with four blocks.
Milford, 3 @ Nipmuc, 0 – Final
Stoughton, 3 @ Brockton, 2 – Final – In one of the tightest matches of the season, Stoughton avenged a five-set loss to the Boxers from earlier in the season with a 3-2 (26-24, 27-25, 23-25, 17-25, 16-14) win on the road. Molly Turner led the Stoughton offense with 18 kills while Delaney Nagel added 14. Amaya Morris recorded nine blocks and Mia Bennett was strong on defense with 38 digs.
Taunton, 3 vs. Coyle & Cassidy, 2 – Final
Franklin, 160 @ Oliver Ames, 150 – Final – In the final dual match of the season, Oliver Ames knocked off Franklin to earn a share of the Kelley-Rex title with the Panthers. Nolan Donze led the way with a 35, both Liam Barry and Justin Shapiro fired rounds of 38, and Thomas Walsh chipped in with a 39.
CANTON, Mass. – For three and a half quarters, the Canton defense was having its way against the Stoughton offense.
The Bulldogs forced the Black Knights to punt on each of their first seven drives, holding the visitors to negative yards on three of those drives. Stoughton had just one first down early on in the fourth quarter.
But with just under six minutes to go, Stoughton’s offense finally clicked. The Knights cut a 14-point deficit in half with 5:34 to go, and got the ball back down just one score with 1:56 to play.
A big pass play set the Black Knights up in striking distance, but the Bulldogs defense, as it had for the majority of the game, came up with a stop with under 30 seconds to play.
On fourth down, Canton junior Robbie Gallery tracked down Stoughton quarterback John Burke for a sack, preserving a 14-7 win for the Bulldogs.
“I didn’t feel comfortable until Robbie made that play at the end,” said Canton head coach Dave Bohane. “It reminded me of that 2014 game when [Stoughton] drove down the field and won it at the end. Robbie made the play, and he played great. This year, it seems like another kid steps up each game and it was Robbie’s week.”
Canton’s defense did a nice job bottling up Stoughton’s rushing attack. The furthest the Black Knights for prior to its final two drives was 10 yards over midfield — its lone time into Canton territory through three quarters.
A sack from Owen Lehane on first down forced Stoughton starting quarterback George Currier to the sideline. Burke, a sophomore, took over under center and the Knights had one of their biggest plays of the night — a 22-yard reverse from Ajahn Rue — to spark the offense.
After Rue’s run, sophomore Christopher Ais took a sweep and went for 19 yards to get into the red zone. After Canton’s defense stuffed a rush attempt, Burke floated one to the near pylon on the right side and senior Alex Iverson did a nice job fighting through contact and getting a foot down to get the Knights on the board, down 14-7.
Canton’s offense did its best to run time off the block with quarterback Johnny Hagan (5/9, 44 yards; 21 carries 121 yards) converting a third down with his legs. But a sack on the next play from Stoughton’s Jerry Brisson put the Dogs in a long distance scenario. Canton gained eight yards on the next to plays but had to punt with two minutes to go.
Stoughton’s final drive got off to a rocky start when Canton senior Ben Seaman (two sacks) came on a blitz from the blind side, taking Burke down for a loss of 7 yards.
But the Black Knights made things interesting on the next play as Burke lofted one down the left sideline and Rue used his speed to get under it for a 45-yard catch, down to the Canton 30-yard line with 1:09 to play.
But that’s when Canton’s defense came through again. A pass and catch from Burke to Ais was stopped at the line of scrimmage on first down, Burke was forced to throw it away on second down, and a pass over the middle was short on third down.
On fourth down, Burke was able to buy some time by getting out of the pocket but Gallery came flying in to make the tackle.
It was an impressive showing for the Bulldogs defense, which allowed a total of 122 yards while holding the Knights to 0-for-8 on third down. And they did almost all of it without junior linebacker James Murphy, who Bohane called the quarterback of the defense.
“Defense was the story for us,” Bohane said. “Murphy is our linchpin on defense so for our kids to play the bulk of the game without him, they were impressive. All the other key guys really stepped up like Brian Campagna, Brendan Albert, Ben Seaman, and of course Robbie Gallery, who kind of filled into Murphy’s shoes. I’m proud of them to keep plugging away, they are a resilient group.”
Stoughton’s defense also had a strong showing, forcing the Bulldogs to punt on six times and holding off another drive as the first half came to a close.
However, Canton’s offense was able to find the end zone twice — both on eight play, 65-yard drives.
After punting on its first drives, the Dogs moved the sticks when Hagan connected with Jace Emma for 11 yards. Hagan followed that with a 20-yard scramble on a broken play, and Gersom Rivera had runs of 10 and 23-yards, the latter converting a third down and getting the Dogs down to the 1-yard line.
Hagan took it in from there, following his line in for a 1-yard sneak and a 7-0 lead with 7:23 left in the first quarter.
Stoughton’s best drive of the opening half went for 41 yards, all on a run from Iverson. But an incomplete pass and two runs that netted no yards stopped the Black Knights from advancing.
Canton’s defense picked up where it left off, forcing Stoughton backward on its opening drive of the second half. After a three-and-out, Canton took over at its own 35-yard line and orchestrated what turned out to be the winning drive.
Hagan moved the sticks with a run of his own, connected with Ryan Lentol on second down, got a first down on a Stoughton penalty, and then finished the drive with three straight runs from different players: Rivera for 8, Hagan for 12, and Kyle Fitzgerald with a 9-yard touchdown run.
“We’ve been able to shift gears on offense,” Bohane said. “Some teams have been able to take away something we’ve been doing, and no one is better at that than [Stoughton] Coach [Greg] Burke. He’s going to take away what you do well. It was a game of just constantly finding a way.”
Canton football (5-0 overall, 3-0 Hockomock) is back in action on Friday when it hosts Sharon. Stoughton (2-3, 1-2) hits the road to take on North Attleboro at Beaupre Field.
Attleboro, 32 @ Oliver Ames, 6 – Final 1st Quarter: (A) Justin Cote 5-yard rush, 2pt rush failed.
2nd Quarter: (A) J. Cote 1-yard rush, 2pt rush failed; (A) Jason Weir 24-yard rush, J. Weir 2pt rush good.
3rd Quarter: (OA) Cam Perron 1-yard rush, XP blocked; (A) J. Cote 11-yard rush, 2pt pass failed.
4th Quarter: (A) J. Weir 29-yard pass to Jacob Weatherford, XP failed.
North Attleboro, 34 @ Foxboro, 0 – Final 1st Quarter: (NA) Nick Raneri 3-yard rush, XP no good; (NA) Brendan McHugh 2-yard rush, 2pt conversion failed.
2nd Quarter: No scoring.
3rd Quarter: (NA) B. McHugh 11-yard rush, N. Raneri 2pt rush.
4th Quarter: (NA) N. Raneri 13-yard pass to Ryan Gaumond, Tyler DeMattio XP good; (NA) Jacob Silva 3-yard rush, T. DeMattio XP good.
Franklin, 14 @ King Philip, 35 – Final – Click here for a Recap and Photo Gallery from this game. 1st Quarter: (KP) Robbie Jarest 18-yard pass to Timmy Nault, Cole Baker XP good.
2nd Quarter: (KP) R. Jarest 28-yard pass to Deric Casado, C. Baker XP good; (F) Nick Gordon 1-yard rush, Parker Chevrant XP good.
3rd Quarter: (KP) R. Jarest 25-yard pass to David Morganelli, C. Baker XP good; (KP) Ryan Halliday 12-yard rush, C. Baker XP good.
4th Quarter: (KP) Sam Callanan 12-yard rush, C. Baker XP good; (F) N. Gordon 84-yard pass to Ryan Driscoll, P. Chevrant XP good.
Mansfield, 34 @ Taunton, 14 – Final 1st Quarter: (M) Cincere Gill 70-yard rush, 2pt failed; (T) Noah Leonard 1-yard rush, Coby Adams XP good; (M) Aidan Sacco 6-yard rush, C. Gill 2pt rush.
2nd Quarter: (M) Vinnie Holmes 21-yard rush, Michael DeBolt XP good. (T) N. Leonard 14-yard rush, C. Adams XP good.
3rd Quarter: No scoring.
4th Quarter: (M) C. Gill 17-yard rush, 2pt failed; (M) V. Holmes 34-yard rush, M. DeBolt XP good.
Sharon, 7 @ Milford, 42 – Final
Stoughton, 1 @ Norwood, 3 – Final – Stoughton’s Ted Lucas scored his first career goal to cut the deficit to just one late in the game but the Mustangs tacked on an insurance goal to seal the win.
Foxboro, 5 @ Sharon, 0 – Final – Foxboro came out firing on all cylinders, scoring five goals in the first half to earn two points on the road. Jordyn Collins set the tone inside the opening minute, taking a pass from Lizzy Davis and scoring to put the visitors ahead. Kenzi Fraser, Kailee McCabe, Katie Hunter, and Katelyn Mollica (from Kaitryn Franchino) all scored once for the Warriors.
North Attleboro, 1 @ Braintree, 0 – Final – North Attleboro bounced back from a loss to Foxboro with a solid non-league road win. Ashlyn Gaulin scored the game’s only goal when she followed up her own shot that had caromed off the crossbar and she tapped in the rebound. North coach William Wallace praised the play of Kayla Pasquel, Haley Ferrin, Lydia Santos, and Bri Westcott in the middle of the field. Emma Noreck earned the clean sheet in goal.
Stoughton, 0 vs. Norwood, 3 – Final
Franklin, 4 @ Attleboro, 0 – Final – Cassi Ronan set up a pair of goals in the first half and the Panthers scored two more in the second half to beat Attleboro. Ronan assisted on Regan Paterson’s goal that put the Panthers up 1-0, and then set up Victoria Quinn as Franklin took a 2-0 lead into half. Sara Carney and Stephanie Bell each scored unassisted goals in the second half and Anna Jardine made four saves in goal for the shutout.
Canton, 3 @ Milford, 0 – Final
Foxboro, 4 @ North Attleboro, 0 – Final
King Philip, 6 @ Oliver Ames, 1 – Final – Meghan MacDonald, Alli Meehan, and Nicole Connor all scored in the first half, helping the Warriors build a 3-0 lead that it never relinquished in a win over Oliver Ames. Abby Nixon had an assist on MacDonald’s opening goal with 12:49 left in the first half. Meehan set Connor up with 4:41 left in the half, and then switched roles for a 4-0 lead less than three minutes into the second. Meehan finished with three goals and an assist and sophomore Olivia Kulesza added a late goal for KP. Oliver Ames sophomore Brynna Courneen scored her first goal of the season off a penalty corner in the second half.
Mansfield, 0 @ Taunton 0 – Final – Taunton goalie Emma Sheehan made 10 saves to help keep the contest equal.
Stoughton, 2 @ Sharon, 0 – Final – Allie Howe and Haley Nelson each scored once in the second half to lead the Black Knights to a win on the road at Sharon.
Canton, 3 @ Milford, 1 – Final – After splitting the first two sets, Canton won a close third game and went on to finish the match with a 3-1 victory (25-15, 18-25, 25-23, 25-16). Erin Devine has a great night for the Bulldogs, finishing with 12 kills and six blocks. Taylor Harris added nine kills, two blocks and 12 digs, Nicole Brown continued to impress with 22 assists, five kills, three aces and 11 digs, and Emily Morrison and Megan McDonough (five aces) combined for 19 digs.
Foxboro, 1 @ North Attleboro, 3 – Final
King Philip, 3 @ Oliver Ames, 0 – Final – King Philip went on the road and recorded a 3-0 sweep (25-7, 25-21, 25-20) against Oliver Ames. KP middles Catherine Waldeck (12 kills, two blocks) and Nicole Coughlan (seven kills, five blocks, two aces) both had strong games for the Warriors while, Kat Kmetz added 12 digs, two kills, and a pair of aces, and Shayla Weitzman finished with 14 digs, four aces, and 13 service points. For Oliver Ames, senior Jackie Raymond had eight aces, senior Sadie Homer finished with 36 digs, and junior Allie Kemp had 16 assists.
Mansfield, 3 @ Taunton, 2 – Final – Mansfield fell behind 2-1 but battled back to win the fourth set, and went on to win the decisive fifth set for a win over Taunton (16-25, 25-23, 24-26, 25-17, 15-7). For Mansfield, Greenly Kelly had nine kills, four blocks and 14 service points, Sam Sternberg added 15 digs and 10 service points, Olivia McGrath had a nice game with 13 kills and 10 service points, and Katie Dardinski chipped in with nine digs and 13 service points.
Stoughton, 3 @ Sharon, 1 – Final
King Philip, 158 @ Attleboro, 173 – Final
Foxboro, 173 @ Taunton, 174 – Final
Foxboro, 173 @ Oliver Ames, 153 – Final – Oliver Ames picked a pair of wins, including a divisional victory, by beating Foxboro and Taunton in a tri-match at Pine Oaks. Nolan Donze paced Oliver Ames with a 36, Liam Barry shot 38, Ryan Bock carded a round of 39, and Justin Shapiro finished with a 40.
Taunton, 174 @ Oliver Ames, 153 – Final
Franklin, 163 vs. Medway, 178 – Final – Franklin defended its home course against non-league foe Medway on Friday afternoon. Quinten Faro paced the Panthers with a team-low round of 40 while Matt D’Errico and Jack Paterson each shot a 41.
North Attleboro, 191 @ Sharon, 160 – Final – Ethan Skelly shot a 37 and Corey Carter shot a 38 to Sharon to a win at the Cape Club of Sharon. Max Brody carded a 41 and Andrew Glaser shot 44 to contribute to the win.
Game of the Week – Football – Click here for a recap and photo gallery from this game.
King Philip, 27 @ Mansfield, 28 – Final 1st Quarter: (KP) Cole Baker 23-yard field goal; (M) Nick Marciano 80-yard rush, Michael DeBolt XP good.
2nd Quarter: (KP) C. Baker 33-yard field goal; (KP) Robbie Jarest 24-yard pass to Tim Nault, 2pt failed; (KP) Safety.
3rd Quarter: (M) Cincere Gill 7-yard rush, M. DeBolt XP good; (M) N. Marciano 31-yard rush, M. DeBolt XP good.
4th Quarter: (M) Aidan Sacco 23-yard rush, M. DeBolt XP good; (KP) R. Jarest 11-yard pass to T. Nault, C. Baker XP good; (KP) R. Jarest 18-yard pass to T. Nault, 2pt failed.
Taunton, 3 @ Attleboro, 28 – Final
Canton, 43 @ Foxboro, 20 – Final – Click here for a Recap and Photo Gallery from this game. 1st Quarter: (C) Johnny Hagan 75-yard pass to Jace Emma, Owen Lehane XP good; (F) Liam Foley 26-yard pass to Rob Fay, Russell Neale XP good; (C) Gersom Rivera 6-yard rush, O. Lehane XP good.
2nd Quarter: (C) Kyle Fitzgerald 33-yard rush, O. Lehane XP good; (F) Keyshawn Sanders 10-yard rush, R. Neale XP good; (C) J. Hagan 36-yard pass to J. Emma, XP no good.
3rd Quarter: (C) O. Lehane 27-yard field goal.
4th Quarter: (F) L. Foley 8-yard pass to Mike Luong, 2-point conversion no good; (C) J. Hagan 1-yard rush, XP no good; K. Fitzgerald 9-yard rush, O. Lehane XP good.
Oliver Ames, 0 @ Franklin, 41 – Final 1st Quarter: (F) Owen Palmieri 4-yard rush, Parker Chevront XP good; (F) O. Palmieri 4-yard rush, P. Chevront XP good; (F) Nick Gordon 32-yard pass to Jake Davis, P. Chevront XP good.
2nd Quarter: (F) N. Gordon 65-yard pass to Ryan Driscoll, P. Chevront XP good; (F) O Palmieri 40-yard fumble return, P. Chevront XP good.
3rd Quarter: No scoring.
4th Quarter: (F) Marcus Quintina 9-yard rush, Cody Trotin XP good.
Milford, 21 @ North Attleboro, 42 – Final 1st Quarter: (NA) Nick Raneri 1-yard rush, Tyler DeMattio XP good; (NA) N. Raseri 11-yard pass to Ethan Friberg, T. DeMattio XP good.
2nd Quarter: (NA) N. Raneri 39-yard pass to Ryan Gaumond, T. DeMattio XP good.
3rd Quarter: (NA) Brendan McHugh 80-yard rush, T. DeMattio XP good; (M) Colby Pires 54-yard pass to Shapel Faster, Sean Lehane XP good.
4th Quarter: (NA) B. McHugh 12-yard rush, T. DeMattio XP good; (M) C. Pires 42-yard pass to S. Feaster, S. Lehane XP good; (NA) N. Raneri 38-yard pass to R. Gaumond, T. DeMattio XP good; (M) C. Pires 52-yard pass to S. Lehane, S. Lehane XP good.
Stoughton, 12 @ Sharon, 6 – Final 1st Quarter: (Sto) Malachi Green-Hightower 8-yard rush, XP blocked.
2nd Quarter: No scoring.
3rd Quarter: No scoring.
4th Quarter: (Sto) Alex Iverson 6-yard rus, 2pt conversion failed (Sha) Jeremy Ruskin 20-yard pass to Chris Gong, XP failed.
Attleboro, 2 @ Taunton, 1 – Final – Attleboro scored a pair of first half goals, including a penalty late to pick up a win on the road at Taunton. Joe Soucy gave the Bombardiers the lead off an assist from Hugo Henriquez before the Tigers came back to tie the game. Nathan LaPlume scored on a penalty kick late in the first for Attleboro’s game-winning goal.
North Attleboro, 1 @ Canton, 3 – Final – Canton scored twice in the second half, breaking open a tie game, to earn two points at home against previously unbeaten North Attleboro. The Bulldogs took a 1-0 lead but North Attleboro’s Joe Hilf tied the game on a cross from Gavin O’Malley. Canton tacked on two goals in the second half, finishing off a throw-in and a cross. Griffin Roach had two goals, TJ McCabe scored once, and Paul Corcoran recorded two assists for Canton.
Sharon @ Foxboro – Postponed to Monday, 10/29.
Franklin, 1 @ Oliver Ames, 2 – Final – Oliver Ames built a 2-0 advantage over the first 40 minutes of play and held on for the rest of the way to earn two points. Sophomores Colin Milliken and Kevin Louhis each scored their third goals of the season while Louhis and Jimmy Keane each had an assist. OA head coach John Barata said his defense had a strong game.
King Philip, 1 @ Mansfield, 2 – Final – Mansfield senior Luke Savoie scored a pair of first half goals to help the Hornets inch closer to a playoff berth. Savoie opened the scoring just two minutes in, finishing off a throw in from Cam Eddy. Savoie then doubled the Hornets’ advantage in the 11th minute, scoring directly off a corner kick to make it 2-0. King Philip cut the deficit in half in the 62nd minute when Ian Zimmerman was able to pounce on a ball in the area after a service from Cam Lawrence. Mansfield goalie Cam Bovey made three saves in the win.
Milford @ Stoughton – Postponed to Monday, 10/29.
Taunton, 0 @ Attleboro, 5 – Final – Isabella Salviati scored a pair of goals and assisted on a third to help the Bombardiers pick up a big divisional win. Julia Reyes scored once and assisted on another, while Jessica Gates had a pair of assists for Attleboro. Ashley Macia and Ashley Dame each scored once and Briley Harnois had an assist. Tayla Drape made three saves to keep the clean sheet.
Canton, 0 @ North Attleboro, 2 – Final – North Attleboro netted a pair of first half goals to defend home turf, picking up two points with a win over Canton. Kayla Pasquel scored from Lydia Santos, and Ashlyn Gaulin scored from sister Emma Gaulin for the Rocketeers. Bri Westcott and Sam Hawkins led the North Attleboro defense in front of Emma Noreck. North head coach Bill Wallace added that Haley Ferrin and Alex Moulson played excellent two way soccer at midfield.
Foxboro @ Sharon – Postponed to Friday, 10/5.
Oliver Ames, 1 @ Franklin, 1 – Final – Erin Holmberg got a breakaway and scored 10 minutes into the game to give the Tigers the lead, but Franklin tied it on an Anna Balkus goal (assisted by Calen Frongillo) with less than five minutes remaining. Franklin coach Tom Geysen said that his team played well in the second half, hitting the bar several times. OA coach Britt Sellmayer noted that Brianna Gibson, Anna Tempesteoso, and Gabrielle McLaughlin all played well for the Tigers.
Sharon, 0 @ Oliver Ames, 5 – Final – Oliver Ames built a 3-0 lead at halftime and added two more in the second half to get a win over Sharon. After 20 minutes of scoreless action, sophomore Hannah Stryke scored three times over the final 10 minutes of the first half to put OA ahead. Stryke’s first two goals were assisted by Kayla Lozzi, and the third, with just under three minutes left, was set up by Georgia Costello. Haley Gilman (from Maggie Woods) and Costello (from Katherine McCarthy) scored in the second half for OA.
King Philip, 0 vs. Walpole, 3 – Final – King Philip hosted Walpole on Friday afternoon but came up short, falling 3-0 to the Rebels (17-25, 18-25, 21-25). Catherine Waldeck led KP with nine kills and two blocks while Nicole Coughlhan had four kills and two blocks.
Mansfield, 1 @ Brockton, 3 – Final – Mansfield grabbed a win in the first set but Brockton rallied to win the next three and the match (25-21, 20-25, 22-25, 16-25). Greenly Kelly had nine kills and nince service points, Katie Dardinski added seven digs and 12 service points, and Olivia McGrath chipped in with eight kills.
Canton, 164 @ Franklin, 167 – Final – Canton’s Thomas Singleton was the lone golfer to shoot under 40 on Friday, carding a medalist round of 39 to help the Bulldogs knock Franklin from the ranks of the unbeaten. Tommy Dimock and Mike Gobbi each shot 41 for Canton while Chris Lavoie chipped in with a 43. Matt D’Errio led the Panthers with a 40, Quinten Faro shot a 41, Gerry Collins carded a 42 and Nolan Norton finished with a 44.
Mansfield vs. Norton – Postponed to Monday, October 1st at 3:00.
North Attleboro @ Sharon – Postponed to Friday, October 5 at 3:15.
Outlook: After playing plenty of sophomores last season, the Bulldogs will be looking to boast a balanced, experienced team aiming to compete for the Davenport division title in 2018.
Canton brings back six starters on offense and seven starters back on the defensive side of the ball. The Dogs are one of the few teams with their starting quarterback returning as junior Johnny Hagan continues under center after a solid sophomore season. He showed the ability to pass and run with the ball, and he has almost all of his running back options back to work with. Gersom Rivera had a terrific sophomore year and will be counted on to be a big piece of the offense during 2018. Rivera’s athleticism and speed will be complemented by the hard nose running and blocking of junior Kyle Fitzgerald and senior Brendan Albert.
Junior Jack Connolly will anchor the offensive line and will be joined by senior Brian Campagna and junior Lucas Bryant at the center position. Ryan Lentol, who came on strong at the end of last year, picked up right where he left off and will be a top option at split end.
The strength of Canton’s defense is its linebacker group, which is full of experience and talent. Albert is back at one of the outside spots after earning Hock All Star last year while senior Ben Seaman is back on the other side. Junior James Murphy will fill in the middle after impressing last season and junior Robbie Gallery has impressed early on as the other inside option. Canton will also rely on a seasoned secondary with Fitzgerald and David Allen returning as starters. Ryan Colby should see time in the secondary and Owen Lehane is in the mix for the defensive line.
“We’re very excited for the season,” said Canton head coach Dave Bohane. “The kids have put the work in, we think we can play with anyone in the league but its a very good league so you have to be on your ‘A’ game every night. Every team is well coached and competitive so any time you can win in the Hock, its a success. We have to take it game by game, do the best we can, and keep plugging.
Outlook: The Warriors are aiming to make it two straight years in the postseason and will use a mix of returning players and new faces to try and get it done.
Foxboro graduated 35 seniors last year so there are some spots that need to be filled, but the Warriors are off to a good start with Liam Foley back in the fold at quarterback. The senior saw time under center last season along with Devin Hassett. And Foley will be in good shape as the Warriors have a lot of experience on the offensive line. Senior Tom Cullen is back in the middle of the line as the center, senior Andrew Longa and sophomore Sean Ferguson take on the tackle positions, and senior Hunter Williams and junior Aidan Dow will fill out the interior of the line.
Mike Luong got touches as a junior out of the backfield last season and will be a main part of the offense this season. Pat Stapleton is a returning split end, classmate Rob Fay will step into the same role, and junior Shayne Kerrigan will a top target for Foley.
The Warriors have experience and good size up front on defense, led by returning starting tackles Shawn Teixeira (6’4, 260) and Bill McNeil (6’0, 265). Senior William Ogbebor and Anton George will be called upon to fill out the defensive line on the ends while Williams and Martin McElroy will be joined by Mike Sheehan at linebacker. Russell Neale is back as the place kicker after a strong junior season.
Outlook: After reaching the quarterfinals last season, the 2018 version of the Scarlet Hawks are aiming for a deeper run into the postseason. And not just that, the Hawks are looking to be serious contenders for the Davenport crown.
Milford has a strong core of returning players back, a group of eager new faces looking to make an impression, and big new piece on the line. Kevin Pyne (6’8, 280) transferred to his hometown high school and will anchor what looks to be a big, physical line. Pyne is rated as the top recruit for his class and holds D1 offers from over a dozen schools including Notre Dame and Michigan. Senior Josh Ligor returns as a starter on the line while sophomore Nick Yohn will also be a two-way lineman.
The Hawks bring back both their quarterbacks: senior Ryan Pearl handled the team’s ‘WAR’ package while junior Colby Pires stepped in when Milford spread it out. Junior Luke Rosa will step in as an option at halfback along with sophomore Dominic Schofield. Brendan White (WR/S) brings toughness to both sides of the ball for the Hawks.
Shapel Feaster is one of the most experienced defensive backs in the Hockomock League and should be an important piece of the 2018 Hawks’ defense. Junior CJ Cerella will step in to anchor the linebacking group. On special teams, Sean Lehane is one of the strongest kickers in the area and will try to give Milford a spark at wide receiver this season.
“The goal of the 2018 football season for the Milford Scarlet Hawks is simple: start fast, play physical, and be the toughest team on the field on Friday nights,” said Milford head coach Anthony Vizakis.
Outlook: The target on North Attleboro’s back continues to grow. Coming off their third straight league title, including two straight Davenport titles, the Rocketeers made it all the way to the D3 State Final before falling, 35-33, to St. John’s Shrewsbury.
Big Red is hopeful it can continue its string of success but knows it will be tested with a difficult schedule, including a non-league game with two-time defending state champion King Philip. The biggest challenge will be finding a replacement for three-year starter Chad Peterson, who graduated with a handful of program records and three Hock titles as the starter. Seniors Nick Raneri and Luke LaBonte are both in the mix, and both saw time last year throughout the season. Raneri started all 13 games at tailback but also filled in at QB at times.
Whoever ends up getting the nod at quarterback will have one of the best offensive linemen in the entire state with senior Ryan Clemente anchoring the protection unit. Clemente is joined by senior Jack Puccio as returning starters on the line while seniors Joe Larkin and John Nally, and juniors John Kummer, Ethan Friberg, Trevor Hewitt, Montrel Jackson, and Ethan Mottinger are all competing for time. The Rocketeers also have solid skill options back with senior Brendan McHugh (14 total touchdowns) back at the starting slot back. Omar Jasseh offers size and speed at split end while Ryan Gaumond’s quickness gives the Rocketeers another option down field.
North Attleboro returns six starters on the defensive end, including McHugh, Gaumond, and Jasseh in the secondary. Clemente will be a big piece of the defensive line while Raneri and captain Jonathan James, who will also see time at tight end, will lead the linebacker unit. Russell Dunlap, Puccio, Mike Carty, Friberg and Jackson are all in the mix for defensive end spots while Ryan Boyle, Tom O’Neill, Duane Bryant, and Owen Harding are competing for time at linebacker.
“We expect a very challenging schedule, opening with KP on our new turf field and then an improved Bishop Feehan team in Week 2,” said North Attleboro head coach Don Johnson. “The Davenport division will be extremely competitive this year, with several teams able to beat anyone on any given night. We have a nice core, but if we are going to compete at a championship level, then we are going to need several new faces to mature very quickly. There’s a lot of work still to be done, and not a lot of time to do it.”
Outlook: For the first time in Sharon, there will be football on Friday nights.
With the installation of lights at the high school field, the Eagles will be hosting teams on Friday nights instead of Saturday afternoons. And the 2018 Eagles are hoping to put a show under those lights. Sharon brings back a handful of key returning starters on both sides of the ball, and with one more year experience under their belts, will be looking to compete in what is shaping up to be one of the most competitive seasons top to bottom in the Davenport.
Sharon averaged nearly 20 points per game in its six non-league games last year and is hoping to carry that over into Davenport play this season. Senior quarterback Jeremy Ruskin (six total touchdowns) is back under center to lead the offense and last year’s starting running back Aaron Strong (three touchdowns) also returns to give the Eagles a solid 1-2 punch on offense right away. Coleman Loftus’ size and strength will be a vital part of the line on both sides of the ball while Chris Gong and Alec Filipkowski return as Ruskin’s main two targets.
Not only goes Gong give Sharon options on offense because of his speed, he is one of the most dangerous kick returners in the state. He had an 80-yard punt return touchdown and a 99-yard kickoff return last season so opposing special team units will have to pay a lot of attention.
Despite the numbers, the Eagles had a strong defense last season. This season, Sharon boasts a lot of speed (on both sides of the ball) and is looking to use that to be more aggressive. Juniors Kiran Chandrasekaran will step in to be a big part of the secondary while classmate Nic Marrero will be relied on to anchor the linebackers.
“With a lot of returning starters and a sprinkle of new talent, I am expecting this team to take a huge step forward from last year’s inexperienced team,” said Sharon head coach Dave Morse.
Outlook: It feels like a fresh start for the Black Knights after graduating a bunch of players that had multiple seasons of experience under their belts.
But the focus remains the same for the Black Knights, who are aiming to be in contention for the Davenport title and make another appearance in the state tournament. Similar to previous seasons, Stoughton will have talent in the backfield and that will be the focal point of the offense. Jeff Grier is one of the fastest players in the league and will make defenses pay when there is space. Alex Iverson is a shifty option out of the backfield, Malachi Green-Hightower brings power to the run game, and sophomore Chris Ais could emerge as a playmaker for the Black Knights.
Junior George Currier and sophomore John Burke will battle it out for the starting quarterback position while Matt Piana, Ali Awad, and Evan Jackman have solidified spots on the offensive line. Frank Derbes will factor into the offense as a tight end and junior Ajahn Rue is back as a receiver.
Defensively, Iverson and Green-Hightower will be right in the heart of the lineup as linebackers while Grier will help as a member of the secondary. Cian Swierzewski has impressed throughout the offseason and the preseason and will be a key piece of the defense from the safety spot. Stoughton is looking for other names to step up and help anchor its hard nose defense.
Last fall was somewhat of a rebuilding season for the Bulldogs, who had a roster loaded with underclassmen, and this season the expectations will be much higher as Canton looks to make a push for the postseason. On defense, Albert will be expected to make the difference from his linebacker position, stuffing the run or showing off his athleticism to make plays outside the tackles and against the passing game. Albert’s leadership and reading of the game will be important, as Canton continues to be a relatively young team, and he will be expected to make plays all over the field, chasing down runners or getting into the backfield to harass opposing quarterbacks. Defense has been a priority under head coach Dave Bohane and Albert gives Canton another centerpiece to build around this season.
Mansfield senior Khristian Conner was one of the league’s top defensive backs last season and is one of the reasons the Hornets are expecting to have one of the best defenses in the league. Conner is one of the quickest players in the league so its not easy for receivers to get away from him. If they are able to get some space and make a catch, Conner is a solid tackler so its rare to see a big play happen his way. His experience will give him and advantage as he looks to build upon a strong junior campaign (31 tackles, four pass breakups, and one interception). Conner’s ability to stick with his man is going to allow the Hornets’ front seven to cause a lot of havoc in the backfield.
Despite having his 2017 season cut a couple of games short, Driscoll was one of the top defensive players for the Panthers and also one of the best cover guys in the league. He made 35 tackles, two for loss, last season, broke up four passes, and had one interception from his cornerback position. He also chipped in on offense, catching 23 passes, and his speed and athleticism will be important for Franklin’s defense this fall, as he regularly lines up against the opponents’ top threat in the passing game but also steps up against the running game. Franklin coach Eian Bain called him the team’s “most explosive athlete” at the end of last season and Driscoll will be counted on again to make plays, force turnovers, and help the Panthers stifle opponents to make another playoff push.
Attleboro senior Nick Evans uses the combination of size, strength, and speed to cause headaches for opposing offenses. Whether he’s lined up on the left or ride side, or has a hand on the ground not, Evans is a versatile hybrid of a defensive end/outside linebacker. Evans is very aggressive and if he gets a head of steam, can be a nuisance in the backfield, against both the pass and the run. His speed and strength allow him to get into the backfield to cause issues while his size and length factor in when disrupting the passing game at the line of scrimmage. Even if the play runs away from him, he can use his athleticism to to track the ball down and make a play.
Milford knows that it can always count on the infectious energy that Feaster brings to the field, whether he is making plays in the secondary or snagging passes on offense, but he is also one of the top ball-hawks (no pun intended) in the league. Feaster was Milford’s team leader in pass deflections last season and picked off three passes, while also being willing to step up into the running game to make tackles. Fast, with good hands and solid positioning, Feaster can close quickly on passes and makes plays even when it looks like he may be beat. He will typically be stationed over the opponent’s best receiver and his ability to lockdown on the outside allows Milford to be aggressive in other parts of the field even against some of the top passing attacks, such as North Attleboro or Duxbury.
Mansfield has long been one of the premier football programs in the area, so it is big news when a sophomore just gets a starting role in the linebacker corps…let alone set a new program record for tackles in a season and emerge as one of the top defensive players in the Hockomock League. That is exactly what Holmes did last fall, with 108 tackles for the season, including 18 tackles for a loss. His speed and strength made him tough to block at the line of scrimmage and he showed an impressive ability to read the play, find a seam, and make plays. He also added four sacks, a forced fumble, and broke up two passes and was named the HockomockSports.com Underclassman of the Year. As he showed during an impressive winter on the wrestling mat, Holmes is tenacious and he is a tough player to move off the spot he is trying to get to, which should only get tougher for opponents as he gets more experienced. With Holmes back in the middle, Mansfield should once again have one of the league’s top defensive units as the Hornets try to unseat King Philip at the top of the league standings.
Stoughton has developed a reputation for having a hard nosed defense and will be trying to fit that description during the 2018 season. Senior Alex Iverson is a throw back type of player that fits in nicely with head coach Greg Burke’s style. The Black Knights are in need of some names to step up after graduating a strong class. Iverson plays both inside and outside the box. The senior isn’t the most flashy but gets the job done using toughness and intensity. He isn’t the biggest player on the field but he’s the type of player that will be all over the field making plays. Whether it’s defending the pass, stuffing the run, or getting downhill to get at the quarterback, Iverson is in a position to make big plays for the Black Knights.
Despite playing more games than any team in the league last year (13), North Attleboro was tied for third in fewest points allowed, giving up only 173 total or a little more than 13 points per game. Senior linebacker Nick Raneri will be one of the players that the Rocketeers will be counting on to continue that defensive strength as they go after a fourth straight league title and a return to the Super Bowl. Raneri, who is also stepping in at quarterback this season, is an athletic linebacker, who can cover ground outside the tackles but also step in and make plays up the middle. Never one to shy away from contact, Raneri is a vocal leader for the North defense. He is also capable of following receivers out of the backfield and making plays in the passing game. Raneri could be the quarterback on both sides of the ball and will be looking to fill big shoes after the graduations of last year’s quarterback Chad Peterson and linebacker Zach DeMattio.
King Philip has been defined by its defensive performances under head coach Brian Lee and that has led to back-to-back Kelley-Rex division titles, a pair of Super Bowl crowns, and 25 straight wins. Webster was the lynchpin of the Warriors defense last season, stepping into the linebacking corps and making an instant (and title-winning) impact. His strip sack in the Super Bowl led to the game-winning field goal. Webster was a presence all over the field, making 46 tackles (16 for loss), six sacks, five pass breakups, and even two interceptions. He reads the game like a much more experienced player and a motor that does not stop, which allows him to make big plays at the end of the game when KP needs it most. Webster is in the mold of previous KP linebackers and his attitude on both sides of the ball gets the rest of his teammates going. With him back in the middle, KP remains the team to beat in the Kelley-Rex.
When you talk about kids who did it all on the field last year, Hunter Williams is certainly on that list. Williams was apart of the Warriors’ offensive line, linebacker group, and the kick off coverage unit. This year, it looks like Williams will be a vital part of the Foxboro front seven on defense. The combination of speed and strength is what makes him an effective guard on the offensive line and those same traits are what help him stand out at linebacker. He can get down hill and help stop the run, or as he showed last year, can drop off in coverage and make a play. Williams’ work in the offseason has him in position to possibly be one of the top linebackers in a league that is very deep at that position.
NORTH ATTLEBORO, Mass. – Playing a team for a second time in the season presents plenty of obstacles, and more often than not its a tighter game than the first time around.
That makes North Attleboro’s dominant 35-12 win over Stoughton in the D3 South Semifinals that much more impressive.
Big Red’s defense limited Stoughton’s starting unit to under 100 yards of total offense, and its offensive unit took advantage of strong field position to advance to the sectional final for the second straight year.
Four of North Attleboro’s five touchdown drives required five plays or less, all four of them under 50 yards. Only one drive – the third scoring drive of the game at the end of the first half – was a lengthy possession (seven plays, 65 yards).
“I think this team has really matured as the year has gone on and really developed that business-like attitude,” said North Attleboro head coach Don Johnson. “You get to this point in the year, and you know what you’re supposed to do…you just have to go out and do it. It’s a sign of maturity.”
It wasn’t an ideal start for the Rocketeers, who were forced into an early punt that was blocked by Stoughton’s Jason Joseph and recovered by David Bell. That set Stoughton up at the North Attleboro 20-yard line.
But North Attleboro’s defense stood tall with senior Geoff Wilson sacking Stoughton quarterback Johnny Medina on third down. Medina’s throw into the end zone on fourth fell incomplete and North escaped unscathed.
Stoughton’s defense did its part again, forcing another punt from North but this time the Rocketeers had a big break. Devin Slaney’s long kick got a kind roll and Stoughton’s returner wasn’t able to cleanly field it, allowing North junior Cam Cornetta to pounce and give the Rocketeers the ball at Stoughton’s 10-yard line.
Big Red took advantage of their opportunity and senior quarterback Chad Peterson (5/9, 68 yards – seven carries, 33 yards, three touchdowns) used an option play to keep it himself and run it in from five yards out. North led 7-0 after Wilson’s extra point with 3:05 left in the quarter.
“Sometimes it takes a bad play to kind of spark the team, offense or defense either one,” Johnson said of the blocked punt. “And I think that’s exactly what happened there.
“It felt like on that turnover [muffed punt], the game started over at the point.”
Slaney’s deep kickoff forced Stoughton to start inside its own 20-yard line. And North’s defense did its part, forcing losses on both first and second down. After a punt, North started at the Stoughton 45-yard line.
Peterson hit Nick Raneri for 11 yards then ran for eight yards with a late hit tacked on. Two plays later, North faked the jet sweep and Peterson kept it himself, going in from three yards out and a 14-0 lead with 10:20 to play in the second.
Ryan Gaumond put a halt to Stoughton’s next drive with an interception but the Black Knights’ defense allowed just one yard on North’s ensuing drive and got the ball back with a punt.
Junior Evan Gibb, who was hurt in the first meeting between the two teams and missed the past two weeks, took over under center to start the second quarter. On Stoughton’s next drive, he rushed for eight yards, then hit Alex Iverson for a 19-yard gain and a first down.
Two plays later, Gibb hit Ruben Gonzalez on a hitch route and the senior slipped through a tackle and attempt and raced 41-yards for a touchdown, bringing Stoughton within 14-6 with 3:47 left in the first half.
But that was enough time for North to orchestrate its longest drive of the game. Back-to-back passes from Peterson toMario Bresko moved the chains, and two plays later Peterson hit Raneri out in the flat and he raced 29-yards.
Two plays later, Nathan Pearce (eight carries, 53 yards) followed a great block up the middle and burst his way through two Stoughton defenders at the goal line for a 16-yard touchdown and a 21-6 lead with 90 seconds left in the first half.
Pearce led the Warriors in carries and rushing yards. With Stoughton’s defense bottling Raneri up, and Brendan McHugh without a carry, Pearce provided a spark for the Rocketeers.
“Pearce is kind of a combination of those others [Raneri and McHugh],” Johnson said. “You get to this time of year and guys are getting banged up. Pearce has come along – he was banged up early of the year – so he’s really given us that extra depth we were lacking at the beginning of the year.”
Stoughton got the ball to start the second half but another nice kick from Slaney, plus a block in the back, forced the Black Knights to start from their own six-yard line. After gains on first and second down, Wilson and Pearce combined for the sack on third down and the Black Knights had to punt from their own end zone.
“When you prepare for [Stoughton], you really have to prepare for two offenses,” Johnson said. They run the Wing-T offense so well, and then [Jeff Grier] was in there who didn’t play last time, and he’s a legitimate threat because of his speed. So you have to prepare for that and then they go with the spread offense and throw the ball. And Gibb’s a tough kid when he’s in there. So there’s a lot of things you have to prepare for so I was pretty happy with the defensive effort.”
That meant good field position for Big Red once again, starting at the Stoughton 28-yard line. Pearce had three carries for a total of 26 yards, and Peterson capped the drive with a two-yard plunge on fourth down with 6:10 to play.
North’s defense again held court and even though Stoughton got off a strong punt, Gaumond had a 33-yard return and North started at the Black Knights’ 17-yard line.
With Raneri at quarterback, he ran for 10 yards on first down, and then McHugh burst around the edge for a seven-yard touchdown on his first carry. North led 35-6 with 3:10 left, spelling the end of playing time for its starters on both sides.
“We couldn’t get the field position, we couldn’t move the ball…and they sort of stuck it to us,” said Stoughton head coach Greg Burke. “We have to be able to keep it close so we can run the ball. We got plenty of yards the last time, this time they did a couple of different things.
“Hats off to [North Attleboro], that’s a good team. I think they can win this sectional.”
Stoughton’s Justin Ly scored on an 11-yard run with 8:56 to play to cap the scoring.
With the win, the Rocketeers get a rematch with Duxbury in the sectional finals. It’s the third straight year that Big Red has faced off with the Dragons, with the latter coming away with wins both times.
“It’s always great to get an opportunity to go back and play someone you lost to,” Johnson said. “We’ve lost to them in the playoffs the past two years so it’s an opportunity to get another shot at them. They’ve sent us packing so its time to do something about that.”
The game is scheduled for Friday night, November 10th at Community Field at 7:00.
FOXBORO, Mass. – In a game dominated by defenses and special teams, it was Foxboro senior quarterback Devin Hassett that pulled off arguably the play of the game on a soaked, muddy, and windswept Jack Martinelli Field in Friday’s Davenport division opener.
Facing third and 17 from his own 34 and with the Warriors clinging to a one-point lead over rival Stoughton, Hassett (11 carries, 90 yards) rolled out to the far sideline and followed a caravan of blockers, including classmate Mike Henri, before bursting through the opening for a 43-yard gain deep into Stoughton territory.
Although the Warriors did not score on the drive, the Black Knights were forced to start their final possession backed up inside their own five-yard-line with three minutes remaining. Stoughton drove about 70 yards but Alex Sjoquist was stopped at the Warriors 30 as the clock ran out on Foxboro’s 13-12 victory.
“If we had lost this one they would have taken the sign down probably,” Foxboro coach Jack Martinelli joked after picking up his first win at the field that was renamed for him in the preseason.
“It was a great game,” he added. “It was two hard-hitting teams of kids. I’m so proud of them; they took a tough loss last week in a game where we didn’t make a lot of big plays but we did tonight.”
Foxboro earned its first win over Stoughton since 2009, taking advantage of mistakes by the Black Knights to get its offense going. Stoughton fumbled three times in the opening half and the Warriors scored twice off of those turnovers.
“We haven’t done that in a long, long time,” said Stoughton coach Greg Burke. “That’s our fault. You can’t fumble the ball once you have it; it’s like gold and you better protect it no matter. I’m a little disappointed in that, but we battled.”
Stoughton spent almost the entire first half in its end of the field. Foxboro’s first possession ended in a three-and-out, but Liam Foley’s punt bounced off the leg of a Stoughton player and was recovered by Phil Dure at the Stoughton 35. The Black Knights defense, led by Sjoquist, John Jolley, Jason Joseph, and Anthony Burke, stuffed the Warriors and forced a turnover on downs but Foxboro had the territorial advantage.
“A big factor in the game was Liam Foley’s punting,” Martinelli explained. “It got us out of a hole where we continually went three-and-out, but he flipped the field for us and allowed us to play some good defense.”
In the second quarter, Justin Ly was stripped of the ball near the Stoughton bench and the Warriors recovered the loose ball at the Black Knights’ nine. After a penalty and an incomplete pass, Hassett (3-8, 26 yards) found Dure in the back corner of the end zone from 15 yards out to make it 6-0.
“Their first touchdown was a pattern that we went over all week,” said Burke, “but we just didn’t cover it. Hats off to them. We knew the quarterback was going to roll, get out of the pocket; he did a hell of a job. We got him a few times, but they got us more than we got them.”
The momentum was short-lived, as Ruben Gonzalez snared the ensuring kick-off at his own 11 and raced down the right sideline for a touchdown. Dure blocked the extra point and the score was tied 6-6.
On its next possession, Ly (11 carries, 51 yards) was stripped again and Shawn Teixeira recovered the loose ball for Foxboro at the Stoughton 35. Henri (11 carries, 40 yards) got the call for the Warriors and he burst through the middle for 12 yards on third and four to keep the drive alive and he finished the possession with another bruising 14-yard carry up the middle to give Foxboro the lead.
“I’ll take them anyway we can get them,” said Martinelli about using turnovers to score. “Points have been hard to come by this year, so 13 was a lucky number for us tonight. It was the first time that we’ve gone into halftime with a lead.”
Stoughton had the perfect start to the second half. Facing third and four on the opening possession, Alex Iverson (six carries, 93 yards) took a sweep to the left 26 yards to get near midfield. On the next snap, Iverson took an identical hand-off and this time broke it for a 52-yard score that cut the lead to one.
Dure again blocked the extra point, but an offsides penalty gave Stoughton another chance from a yard closer. Burke decided to go for two and the lead, but Iverson was stuffed on the conversion attempt. That point turned out to be the difference.
“It might have been the winning score,” said Burke of the decision to go for two. “I don’t mind going for that, thought we’d get it in, but it didn’t happen. It’s a big decision, of course it is.”
Foxboro’s defense was equally stout in dealing with the three-back look of the Black Knights and Sam Blake, Matt Pond, and AAlec Brodeur stymied several Stoughton drives.
After Hassett’s big play pushed Stoughton back to its own goal line, the visitors tried to put together one last drive. Iverson gained eight yards on third down and junior quarterback Evan Gibb (9-13, 54 yards) hit Iverson for 15 yards on fourth and 10 to get to the Foxboro 40. On fourth and 15, Gibb hit Colin Sanda for 15 yards on the Foxboro sideline to keep the drive going, but he could not get out of bounds and the clock ran down.
“I thought our guy was out of bounds and we weren’t really sure,” said Burke, “but they wound [the clock] and we should’ve spiked it, stopped it, and maybe had at least one pass. We went 70 yards, but that ain’t enough. If we get to the 20, we have a shot at kicking a field goal.”
Although 13 points was a high for the Foxboro offense this season, the Warriors have won twice and Martinelli said, “We’ve played pretty solid so far. We’ve got to continue; we’ve got to get better at a few things.”
Foxboro (2-1, 1-0) will try to continue its strong start to the league campaign when it travels to Canton. Stoughton (2-1, 0-1) will look to bounce back on Thursday with a trip to Sharon.