By Joe Clark, HockomockSports.com Student Reporter
FOXBORO, Mass. – All season long, whenever it needed a stop, the King Philip Warriors defense had the answer.
In the MIAA Division 2 State Championship game Friday night at Gillette Stadium, that held true once again.
With 5:03 left to play and the game tied 7-7, KP linebacker Jack Webster hit Lincoln-Sudbury quarterback Braden O’Connell from the blind side and forced the ball loose with KP senior Evan Rice falling on the loose ball.
KP took over on the Lincoln-Sudbury 27-yard line, and moved the ball up to the L-S 13 to set up Cole Baker for a 31-yard field goal, which the sophomore drilled through the uprights with 1:36 to go, giving the Warriors a 10-7 and King Philip it’s 25th straight victory.
On the first play of Lincoln-Sudbury’s ensuing possession, Max Armour sacked O’Connell, and three incompletions later, King Philip clinched its second consecutive state championship.
“I knew when we got that strip sack that we were going to win it,” King Philip head coach Brian Lee said. “I knew right then it was over.”
On KP’s first drive of the second half, starting quarter Brendan Lydon scrambled to his right and picked up the first down. However, Lydon got rolled up on and suffered a leg injury and was forcing to the sideline, meaning sophomore backup Robert Jarest had to take over under center.
“I really did not expect to play today,” Jarest said. “[Lydon] is a tough kid, I didn’t expect him to get hurt, but he went down, and I tried to do what the coaches asked me to do.”
On Jarest’s first play under center, he fumbled the snap.
“I would say there were some jitters there, I pulled it a little early,” Jarest added
After a Shane Frommer run, KP was facing a third and eight backed up in their own territory. The Warriors’ coaching staff showed their faith as Jarest connected with Thomas Madden down the sideline for a 38 yard gain that put KP on the L-S 23 yard line. Frommer (23 carries, 107 yards, TD) did the rest, as three carries later KP was in the end zone and the game was tied up at 7-7.
After KP forced a stop on the ensuing L-S possession, largely thanks to some key plays by cornerback Andrew Dittrich, the Warriors gave Frommer the keys to the offense once again, as he ran for 30 yards on the next KP drive to get them in field goal range. Cole Baker’s 39 yard field goal attempt had the distance, but it was just wide left.
On the next L-S possession, Jack Webster forced the strip sack that changed the momentum of the game.
“I was just going for the sack, and my head peeked over the shoulder and I just swatted at the ball, and got a hold of it,” Webster said about the game-changing play.
KP killed clock on their next possession by giving it to Frommer, who kept the ball moving and was able to pick up 14 yards. Baker came back in and drilled a 31-yard attempt to give KP a 10-7 lead.
“I thought of taking a look to Thomas Madden on the outside, because Robert can throw a pretty good fade and that’s what got us down there before, but in the end I just didn’t want to put undue pressure on that kid coming in like he did, and I knew that Cole, had that kick in him, and I was more confident in going with Cole at that point,” Lee said about his decision to kick the field goal late in the game.
“Keep it simple, give it to Shane, let him get a first down, and run out the clock, and we did that, and Cole hit a great field goal,” Jarest added about KP’s strategy after forcing the turnover.
Lincoln-Sudbury opened the game in impressive fashion. After getting stuffed on two straight run plays to open the game, O’Connell completed a pass on third down to move the chains. From there, it was a slow grind as the Warriors methodically moved upfield, eventually taking a 7-0 lead on an 18-yard pass from O’Connell to Matthew Cunningham. The drive took 7:35 off the clock.
King Philip was limited to just 52 yards of offense on limited played in the first half thanks to Lincoln-Sudbury’s offense eating up a majority of the clock.
But in the second half, King Philip’s defense pitched a shutout. It marked the seventh time in 12 games that the Warriors didn’t allow any points in the second half. The five teams who have scored against KP in the second half this year did not score more than once, and three of them did it in the first three weeks of the season.
Even more impressive is that KP held the opposing Warriors to just seven points, which is over 30 points less than what previously unbeaten Lincoln-Sudbury averaged coming into the contest.
King Philip football (12-0) once again completes an undefeated season, and they’ve won 25 straight games dating back to Thanksgiving 2015 against Franklin. The Warriors beat Barnstable, Mansfield, and Bridgewater-Raynham en route to their second straight state title.
Below are the official 2017 Hockomock League Football All Stars, selected by the coaches in the league.
Hockomock League MVP
Shane Frommer, King Philip
Chad Peterson, North Attleboro
Hockomock League All Stars
Cam Furtado, Attleboro
James Weir, Attleboro
Elvin Sam, Attleboro
Brian Kosicki, Franklin
Jake Noviello, Franklin
Shane Frommer, King Philip
Jack Piller, King Philip
Brendan Lydon, King Philip
Jack Webster, King Philip
Andrew Dittrich, King Philip
Will Shield, Mansfield
Hunter Ferreira, Mansfield
Danny DeGirolamo, Mansfield
Vinnie Holmes, Mansfield
Anthony Berksza, Oliver Ames
Jack Mills, Oliver Ames
Zakim Harrow, Taunton
Dan Murphy, Taunton
Brendan Albert, Canton
Alec Ragusa, Canton
Devin Hassett, Foxboro
Mike Henri, Foxboro
Kade Treannie, Foxboro
Patrick Kaveny, Foxboro
Patrick Brogioli, Milford
Will Pointer, Milford
Neil Arquillano, Milford
Chad Peterson, North Attleboro
Ryan Clemente, North Attleboro
Sam Bullock, North Attleboro
Marion Bresko, North Attleboro
Aidan Harding, North Attleboro
Justin Ly, Stoughton
Alex Sjoquist, Stoughton
Ruben Gonzalez, Stoughton
Jason Joseph, Stoughton
WRENTHAM, Mass. – Over the course of its 21-game win streak, King Philip has found a number of ways to come out on top, particularly in close games. Whether it is a big passing play, breaking a long run, or forcing an important turnover, the Warriors know how to grind out results week after week.
There was a lot of turnover from last season’s state title-winning roster and head coach Brian Lee has admitted that he was not sure how good the Warriors could be this fall, but the new faces have stepped right in where the previous team left off and continued to win.
On Friday night at Macktaz Field, KP extended its winning streak by another game, pulling out a 13-11 win against rival Mansfield, beating the Hornets for a second time this season and advancing to the Div. 2 South final. This is the third sectional final in the past four years for the Warriors.
Lee explained, “The kids just battle. They’re tough. They’re not much to look at but they battle and compete. I didn’t know if we’d be any good this year and somehow we’re here again.”
“We’ve got a lot of guys who are just laid back and chill and they know when to perform,” said junior linebacker Jack Webster. “They perform at the right times. We’ve got good confidence on the team. We’re just calm, cool, and collected and we just play team ball.”
After pulling away with a strong fourth quarter in the first meeting between the two teams, KP carried the momentum into this game.
The Warriors called for a reverse on the opening kick-off and Shane Frommer took it up the sidelines for 42 yards to start near midfield. Brendan Lydon (5-14, 69 yards) hit David Morganelli for 16 yards and then Frommer for 21 to get the ball into Mansfield territory. Three plays later, Frommer (24 carries, 110 yards) bounced a run to the outside for six-yard score.
“We score the first drive, everyone’s smiling, and I was like, ‘Remember, it’s going to be a long game,’ “ said Lee. He added, “I told them before the game, ‘I don’t know how it’s going to play. I don’t know what they’re going to do different this time. All I know is that it’s going to take the entire game.’”
After a three-and-out by the Hornets, Aidan Bender’s return gave the Warriors great starting field position at midfield. The Mansfield coaches were imploring the defense to come through with a big stop and that is exactly what the Hornets got, forcing three-and-outs on back-to-back KP possessions to settle the game down.
The first meeting changed on a first half interception and it looked like Friday’s game might too. Lydon was flushed out of the pocket by Nick Marciano and his pass was picked off by Hunter Ferreira, who returned the ball down to the Warriors eight and gave the visitors momentum. Three plays later, Damani Scott (5-15, 55 yards) punched it in from the half-yard-line.
The Hornets surprised KP by running a trick play rather than an extra point with Ferreira pitching it to Mike DeBolt for the conversion and an 8-7 lead.
The excitement on the Mansfield sideline was short-lived, as the Warriors returned the ensuing kick out to the 45 for another great starting spot. As usual, KP turned to Frommer and the Yale University-commit carried the ball five times for 42 yards on the drive, including his second touchdown of the game, this time from 10 yards out.
The Hornets had gone practically nowhere on offense to this point, but with 3:25 left in the half and starting at their own 23 Mansfield put together its best drive of the game. Scott hit Danny DeGirolamo for a 14-yard completion and Khristian Conner for eight yards, while sophomore Vinnie Holmes (17 carries, 89 yards) gave the Hornets a threat up the middle. Mansfield got the ball to the KP 16 and DeBolt nailed a 33-yard field goal with 8.4 on the clock to cut the lead to two.
Deric Casado had an interception to start the second half for KP, but the Warriors were held to one first down, Chris Graham making a big stop on Frommer on second down. Mansfield’s next drive got on the edge of field goal range but Evan Rice had a big third down sack that forced a Hornets punt. It was one of three second half sacks for the Warriors, who ratcheted up the pass rush in the second half.
“The coaches just made up a great defensive plan this week,” said Webster. “We knew what we’re doing and we attacked it.”
Mansfield coach Mike Redding said, “We played tough on Frommer, they did a great job on our run game, and we just needed to complete a few more passes. They’re as good a team as we play defensively every year, they make you work.”
The punt pinned KP down inside its own 10, but Webster managed three yards on third and three for a big first down then Lydon hit Morganelli for another third down conversion and Frommer picked up another with a nine-yard dive up the middle. The Warriors managed to get as far as midfield to switch the field position advantage.
“They got a lot of big first downs,” said Redding. “The Lydon kid hit a couple of outs, great throws on time. Field position was a killer. We always started in our end and gave them the ball at midfield way too much.”
The game seemed to be over when Makhi Baskin muffed a punt with about four minutes remaining, but again the Hornets held firm defensively with Conner making a big stop on Frommer on the sideline and Baskin redeeming himself with an interception at the goal line on fourth down.
Mansfield had one more shot. After a sack by Webster pushed the Hornets back five yards to their own 24, Scott hit Ferreira for his only catch of the game and the senior appeared to be out to the 40 for a first down. After some confusion, the officials marked him down at the 38, one yard short of the marker.
“I thought we completed the pass for 20 yards on [third down], someone’s got to explain that to me, but even with that I don’t know if we’ve got the time to get the field goal,” said Redding. “You just hate to see that in a big game, that kind of mismanaging of the stakes.”
On fourth down, Holmes tried to fight his way to the sticks but Webster was on the spot, as he had been all game, to make the stop that sealed the win.
“Fourth and one, I was daggering off the outside,” Webster explained, “and Jack Piller made a great play and everyone just collapsed on him and pushed him back. It was a great team effort.”
When asked what has made this KP roster continue to find ways to win, Webster said, “Shane Frommer and Andrew Dittrich, our two captains, have just made us play together, play great team ball, everyone’s made plays when we’ve had to…it’s just been a good team game.”
The respect for the Mansfield program and all that it has achieved is evident on the KP sidelines and Lee said that the strength of the Warriors’ rivals has pushed them to be even better.
“You know why I love Mansfield so much,” he said, “because they have made this program work so hard to compete against that and that’s how we’ve gotten better. You’re either getting crushed by them or you learn how to fight and our guys have responded.”
King Philip (9-0, 5-0), the top seed in Div. 2 South, advances to the sectional final and will host No. 3 Bridgewater-Raynham next Friday night. Mansfield (7-2, 4-1) has not set an opponent for next week.
By HockomockSports.com Staff
King Philip senior Andrew Dittrich has been selected as the HockomockSports.com Player of the Week, presented by Morse Insurance, for Oct. 15 through Oct. 21. Dittrich is the seventh player selected for the 2017-18 school year, third football player chosen this season, and second King Philip player to be selected in as many weeks (following Sydney Phillips of KP volleyball).
Dittrich was a defensive standout for the Warriors on Friday night in a win over Taunton that clinched the second straight outright Kelley-Rex division title for the football program and third title in the past four seasons. The senior defensive back had three interceptions against the Tigers, returning two of them for touchdowns in a 35-7 road victory.
“I’ve never seen three picks in a game by one player, let alone two of them being for touchdowns,” said KP head coach Brian Lee. “As I told the team postgame, it’s no surprise that in a game that we had so much on the line, the player who has invested the most has the best game!”
In the first quarter, Dittrich intercepted a pass and returned it 44 yards for the game’s opening score. In the fourth quarter, he recorded his third interception on the goal line, preventing the Tigers from getting on the board and he took it back over 100 yards for another KP score.
It was the third interception return for a touchdown by a KP player this season. The Warriors boast the league’s stingiest defense, allowing only 66 points through seven regular season games. KP enters the playoffs riding a 20-game win streak and will be the top seed in Div. 2 South looking to defend its Super Bowl title from a year ago.
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.
Today’s games are listed below.
Game of the Week – Football
Franklin, 18 @ Attleboro, 37 – Final
1st Quarter: (F) Jake Noviello 4-yard pass to Ryan Driscoll, XP blocked.
2nd Quarter: (A) Cam Furtado 11-yard pass to Justin Cote, C. Furtado 2pt rush.
3rd Quarter: (A) J. Cote 7-yard rush, C. Furtado 2pt rush; (A) C. Furtado 73-yard rush, Tyler Evans XP good; (A) Joseph Llanos 3-yard rush, T. Evans XP good.
4th Quarter: (F) J. Noviello 1-yard sneak, 2pt failed; (F) J. Noviello 22-yard pass to Evan Wendell, XP blocked; (A) J. Cote 30-yard rush, T. Evans XP good.
Canton, 13 @ North Attleboro, 42 – Final
1st Quarter: (NA) Chad Peterson 4-yard pass to Jonathan James, Geoff Wilson XP good.
2nd Quarter: (NA) C. Peterson 31-yard pass to Mario Bresko, G. Wilson XP good; (NA) Nick Raneri 11-yard rush, G. Wilson XP good; (NA) C. Peterson 15-yard pass to Ryan Gaumond, G. Wilson XP good.
3rd Quarter: (NA) N. Raneri 1-yard rush, G. Wilson XP good; (C) Gersom Rivera 2-yard rush, Owen Lehane XP good.
4th Quarter: (C) Kyle Fitzgerald 2-yard rush, XP missed; (NA) Luke LaBonte 79-yard rush, G. Wilson XP good.
Sharon, 0 @ Foxboro, 31 – Final
1st Quarter: (F) Mike Henri 5-yard rush, Russell Neale XP good.
2nd Quarter: (F) R. Neale 29-yard field goal good; (F) Devin Hassett 1-yard rush, R. Neale XP good.
3rd Quarter: (F) Phil Dure 9 yard rush, R. Neale XP good.
4th Quarter: (F) Keyshawn Sanders 1-yard rush, R. Neale XP good.
King Philip, 35 @ Taunton, 7 – Final
1st Quarter: (KP) Andrew Dittrich 44-yard interception return, Cole Baker XP good; (KP) Shane Frommer 10-yard rush, C. Baker XP good; (KP) Brendan Lydon 15-yard pass to Jack Piller, C. Baker XP good.
2nd Quarter: No scoring.
3rd Quarter: (KP) B. Lydon 25-yard pass to Dylan Leonard, C. Baker XP good.
4th Quarter: (KP) A. Dittrich 103-yard interception return, C. Baker; (T) Noah Leonard 20-yard pass to Wesner Charles, John Teixeira XP good.
Oliver Ames, 6 @ Mansfield, 42 – Final
1st Quarter: (M) Vinnie Holmes 4-yard rush, Michael DeBolt XP good; (M) Danny DeGirolamo 80-yard rush, M. DeBolt XP good; (M) Damani Scott 3-yard rush, M. DeBolt XP good.
2nd Quarter: (M) D. DeGirolamo 31-yard rush, M. DeBolt XP good; (OA) Anthony Berksza 1-yard rush, XP blocked; (M) D. Scott 39-yard pass to D. DeGirolamo, M. DeBolt XP good.
3rd Quarter: (M) Jordan Thevenot 2-yard rush, M. DeBolt XP good.
4th Quarter: No scoring.
Stoughton, 14 @ Milford, 3 – Final – Click here for a Recap and Photo Gallery from this game.
1st Quarter: No scoring.
2nd Quarter: Justin Ly 25-yard rush, Josh Cocchi XP good.
3rd Quarter: Sean Lehane 46-yard field goal.
4th Quarter: Alex Sjoquist 3-yard rush, J. Cocchi XP good.
Attleboro, 2 @ Oliver Ames, 0 – Final – Abigail Boudreau and Grace Mayer teamed up to create a pair of goals, helping the Bombardiers earn an upset on the road at OA. Boudreau scored on an assist from Mayer, and then the two combined to set up Kyra Lyons to make it 2-0. Shealyn Harrison earned her first career shutout in the win.
Sharon, 0 @ Canton, 8 – Final
Foxboro, 7 @ Milford, 0 – Final
Franklin, 7 @ Mansfield, 2 – Final – Junior Cassi Ronan registered four points to help the Panthers roll to a big win on the road. Ronan scored a pair of goals and set up two more in a win that qualified Franklin for the state tournament. Freshman Victoria Quinn netted a pair of goals while sophomores Erin Walsh and Olivia Mazukina and freshman Amanda Lewandowski each scored once.
Taunton, 0 @ King Philip, 4 – Final – King Philip got off to a strong start, scoring a pair of goals inside the first five and a half minutes to take down Taunton. Dana Truini, Raegan Simeone (assisted by Caroline Klim) and Liz Furfari (assisted by Christina Hathaway) scored in the first half to help the Warriors build a 3-0 lead at the break. Nicole Connor scored with just over 12 minutes left to ice the game.
Stoughton, 1 @ North Attleboro, 4 – Final
Attleboro, 1 @ Mansfield, 3 – Final – Mansfield moved one step closer to an MIAA tournament berth with a win over visiting Attleboro (25-13, 25-16, 25-27, 25-20). The Hornets need to win two of their last three games to qualify. Meg Hill (16 kills) and Julia Harrison (15 kills, 12 service points) paced the offense while Greenly Kelly chipped in with seven kills for Mansfield.
King Philip, 2 vs. Needham, 3 – Final – In a battle of two top teams, and in what could be a playoff preview, KP fell just short (25-21, 24-26, 25-21, 24-26, 15-17) to visiting Needham. Sydney Phillips had a standout performance, notching 29 kills and nine digs while Michaela Palumbo added 10 kills, nine service points, and three aces. Grace Ely chipped in with six kills, Julianne Rando had 11 digs and five service points and Kat Kmetz added 14 service points, five digs, two kills and two aces.
Oliver Ames, 3 vs. Brockton, 2 – Final – Oliver Ames survived a marathon five-game thriller with visiting Brockton, prevailing 25-23, 24-26, 25-13, 19-25, 15-8. OAHS head coach Chelsea Cunningham said senior Emma Petrillo (12 kills, three aces, two blocks) was the player of the game. “She dominated the game offensively and executed at crucial moments in the game,” Cunningham said. Sophomore Allie Kemp added 22 assists and five aces, senior Kayla Raymond had 12 kills and three blocks, and junior Sadie Homer finished with 15 digs and a pair of aces.
Sharon, 1 vs. Norwood, 3 – Final
Taunton @ Coyle & Cassidy, 5:30
Today’s games are listed below.
Game of the Week – Football – Click here for a recap and photo gallery from the game.
North Attleboro, 35 @ Stoughton, 21 – Final
1st Quarter: (S) Alex Sjoquist 2-yard rush, Josh Cocchi XP good; (NA) Nick Raneri 6-yard rush, Geoff Wilson XP good.
2nd Quarter: (NA) Chad Peterson 4-yard rush, G. Wilson XP good; (S) Justin Ly 65-yard rush, J. Cocchi XP good.
3rd Quarter: (NA) C.Peterson 1-yard rush, G. Wilson XP good.
4th Quarter: (NA) Nathan Pearce 8-yard rush, G. Wilson XP good; (NA) C. Peterson 2-yard rush, G. Wilson good; (S) Johnny Medina 51-yard pass to J. Ly, J. Cocchi XP good.
Mansfield, 31 @ Attleboro, 7 – Final – Click here for a recap and photo gallery from the game.
1st Quarter: No scoring.
2nd Quarter: (M) Michael DeBolt 26-yard field goal; (M) Aidan Sacco 27-yard fumble return, M. DeBolt XP good; (M) Damani Scott 53-yard pass to M. DeBolt, M. DeBolt XP good.
3rd Quarter: (M) D. Scott 18-yard pass to Hunter Ferreira, M. DeBolt XP good.
4th Quarter: (M) A. Sacco 2-yard rush, M. DeBolt XP good; (A) Joseph Llanos 14-yard rush, Tyler Evans XP good.
Foxboro, 24 @ Milford, 30 – Final
1st Quarter: (M) Sean Lehane 42-yard field goal.
2nd Quarter: (F) Mike Henri 4-yard rush, Russell Neale XP good; (M) Colby Pires 32-yard pass to Will Pointer, S. Lehane XP good; (F) M. Henri 4-yard rush, R. Neale XP good; (F) R. Neale 39-yard field goal.
3rd Quarter: (F) M. Henri 31-yard rush, R. Neale XP good.
4th Quarter: (M) Ryan Pearl 4-yard pass to Joey Everett, S. Lehane XP good; (M) W. Pointer 31-yard rush, S. Lehane XP good; (M) Ryan O’Toole 62-yard rush, 2pt failed.
Taunton, 14 @ Franklin, 21 – Final
1st Quarter: No scoring.
2nd Quarter: (F) Jake Noviello 71-yard pass to Ryan Driscoll, Matt Zucco XP good; (F) Nick Gordon 3-yard rush, M. Zucco XP good; (F) J. Noviello 31-yard pass to Sean Leonard, M. Zucco XP good.
3rd Quarter: No scoring.
4th Quarter: (T) Noah Leonard 1-yard rush, John Teixeira XP good; (T) N. Leonard 15-yard pass to Jahmeir Lewis, J. Teixeira XP good.
Oliver Ames, 0 @ King Philip, 42 – Final
1st Quarter: (KP) Shane Frommer 10-yard rush, Cole Baker XP good.
2nd Quarter: (KP) S. Frommer 12-yard rush, C. Baker XP; (KP) S. Frommer 17-yard rush, C. Baker XP good; (KP) Brendan Lydon 17-yard pass to Andrew Dittrich, Cole Baker XP good.
3rd Quarter: (KP) Ryan Halliday 4-yard rush, Lazar Rogosie XP good; (KP) R. Halliday 5-yard rush, L. Rogosie XP good.
4th Quarter: No scoring.
King Philip, 0 @ Attleboro, 1 – Final – Attleboro freshman Joey Soucy scored his first career goal inside the first 10 minutes of the game to help the Bombardiers earn their first win of the season.
Sharon, 0 @ Foxboro, 4 – Final – Foxboro scored three goals in the opening 10 minutes and never looked back in a win over visiting Sharon. Shane VandenBoom, Nic Biegel, and Matt Rongione each scored to give the Warriors a 3-0 lead. VandenBoom converted a penalty kick in the second half for the final tally. VandenBoom also had an assist, as did keeper Bobby Harrison.
Oliver Ames, 4 @ Franklin, 1 – Final – Matt Alvarado scored his first of two goals in the first half and Oliver Ames added three more in the second half to grab two points on the road. Alvarado’s goal, assisted by Nathaniel Cardoza, gave the visitor’s a 1-0 lead at the break. Michael Nikiciuk put OA up 2-0 before the Panthers cut the deficit in half at 2-1. Alvardo and James Gillespie added goals to give the Tigers insurance. Cardoza finished with three assists while Brandin Osborne had one.
Mansfield, 4 @ Taunton, 0 – Final – Mansfield scored three goals in the second half to turn a close game into a big win on the road. Cullin Anastasia opened the scoring on a Luke Savoie corner in the 34th minute to give the Hornets a 1-0 lead at the break. Sam Hyland converted off another Savoie corner in the 58th minute to make it 2-0. Four minutes later, Anastasia grabbed his second on a penalty kick. Jackson Murphy capped the scoring in the 70th minute on an assist from Colin Caridi. Nick Ferraz made three saves for his fourth shutout of the season.
Milford, 2 @ Stoughton, 0 – Final – Milford scored once in each half to pick up two points on the road at Stoughton. Sophomore Walisson de Oliveira kept his hot streak going, opening the scoring in the first half on a volley on a feed from Joey Madden. Anthony Salvadore added an unassisted tally in the second half for the Scarlet Hawks. MHS head coach Brian Edwards said freshman Leo Coelho and sophomore Bryan Traya both played great in the midfield.
Attleboro, 1 @ King Philip, 6 – Final – The Warriors got a combined five goals and six assists from sophomores Avery Snead and Chloe Layne to stay in a tie at the top of the Kelley-Rex standings. Makayla Griffin opened the scoring in the second minute off a Layne assist and then Layne added her first 14 minutes later on a Snead assist. Four minutes later, Layne set up Snead for a third goal. Julia Hayes scored off a 20-yard free kick for Attleboro’s lone goal, but KP added three in the second half. Layne scored on a Snead assist five minutes after the break and then the same combo added another four minutes later. In the 58th minute, Snead added an unassisted goal to wrap up the scoring.
Canton, 0 @ North Attleboro, 4 – Final – North Attleboro set the tone early, scoring the opener less than three minutes into the game. Big Red then added one late in the first half and two more in the final five minutes of the game. Kayla Pasquel netted the opener on an assist from Aine Mendonca in the third minute. Haley Guertin, assisted by Leah Jette, made it 2-0 with just two minutes to play in the first half. Emma Gaulin made it 3-0 in favor of Big Red with four minutes left in the game off an assist from Ashlyn Gaulin and then Guertin finished the scoring on a feed from Haley Ferrin with just a minute to play. Emma Noreck earned the shutout in net – “with a smothering defense in front of her,” said NAHS head coach Bill Wallace.
Foxboro, 6 @ Sharon, 0 – Final – Foxboro took a 2-0 lead into halftime and broke the game open with four goals in the second half. Mackenzie Fraser netted a pair of goals for the Warriors while Lily Sykes, Shaina Abbott, Katelyn Mollica and Yara Fawaz each scored once. “We played with a lot of energy and passion today,” noted Foxboro head coach Katie Stalcup.
Franklin, 1 @ Oliver Ames, 2 – Final – Jackie Mills scored a last-minute goal, her second of the game, to secure a dramatic two points for the Tigers. Franklin had a chance from the penalty spot in the second half, but OA defender Maggie Ault stepped in between the pipes (starting goalie Regan Benton was forced to the bench with a yellow card) and made the save. Anabella Walsh and Abby Reardon had assists for the Tigers.
Taunton, 0 @ Mansfield, 4 – Final – The Hornets stayed in a first-place tie atop the Kelley-Rex behind a Stephanie Kemp brace. Cassidy McMahon added a goal and two assists and Emily Vigeant scored one for the Hornets.
Stoughton, 1 @ Milford, 5 – Final – Milford senior Leeanne Kibbee and Ashleigh Starks each scored a pair of goals as Milford cruised to a win at home. Senior Maggie Boyle also found the back of the net while freshman goalie Carly Ferreira notched her first career win. Mia Greene had the goal for the Black Knights.
King Philip, 3 @ Attleboro, 1 – Final – King Philip bounced back from an opening set loss to earn a win on the road, beating Attleboro 19-25, 25-15, 25-18, 25-9. Sydney Phillips led the offense with 11 kills, Michaela Palumbo had five kills with five service points, including four aces and Rachael Veillieux had 18 service points, including eight aces. Kat Kmetz added 10 service points and five kills and Grace Ely chipped in with five kills.
North Attleboro, 3 @ Canton, 2 – Final – Despite falling behind 2-0, North Attleboro rallied with three straight wins to pick up a big division win on the road (20-25, 22-25, 25-15, 25-8, 15-8). Amelia Murphy led the offense with 22 kills and four blocks while classmate Kezia De La Cruz had 15 kills and four aces. Leah Marceau put the offense in motion with 28 assists. For Canton, Nicole Brown had 20 assists, 11 digs, and four kills, Hannah Jerrier had 10 kills, and Megan McDonough had 15 digs and a pair of aces.
Sharon, 3 @ Foxboro, 0 – Final
Oliver Ames, 0 @ Franklin, 3 – Final – Franklin junior Lauren McGrath spread the ball around in the Panthers sweep of the Tigers, recording 29 assists as well as three kills and two aces. Maggie Doyle (four blocks), Meaghan Maguire (two blocks) and Hailey Sanders (block) each had six kills for Franklin. For Oliver Ames, Katie Flynn had seven kills while junior Sadie Homer had 22 serve receptions and 10 digs.
Mansfield, 3 @ Taunton, 0 – Final – Mansfield snapped its three-game skid with a 25-23, 25-13, 25-14 win on the road at Taunton. Meg Hill had a team-high 18 kills while Julia Harrison added 10 kills. Emma Ascoli had 28 assists and 10 service points and Lexi Gardner had 17 service points and four kills.
Milford, 1 @ Stoughton, 3 – Final – Stoughton picked up its 13th win of the season with a 3-1 decision over visiting Milford. Senior Val Whalen led the way for the Black Knights with 13 kills, 14 digs, and nine aces while Junior Hanna Holden chipped in with 13 digs and eight assists.
Canton, 170 @ Sharon, 176 – Final – Canton’s Thomas Singleton and Sharon’s Corey Carter shared match medalist honors, each carding a round of 40 but the Bulldogs came away with a close win. Joey Vaughan shot a 41 whole Chris Lavoie added a round of 44 in the win. Matt Grosser shot a round of 44 for the Eagles.
Franklin, 168 vs. Medway, 170 – Final
Oliver Ames, 145 @ King Philip, 159 – Final – Oliver Ames seniors Ryan McGarry and Mark Bissonette earned co-medalist honors, each carding a low-round of 35 to lead the Tigers to their 12th win of the season. Nolan Donze shot a 37 and Matt Kelley added a round of 38 in the win.
Taunton, 100 @ New Bedford, 73 – Final (Stableford) – Taunton picked up a win on the road, beating New Bedford in a match decided by Stableford points system. Jack Patneaude led the way with a 42 for the Tigers while Spencer Andrews shot a 43 and Jack Giebel carded a 44.
Today’s games are listed below.
Game of the Week – Football
Taunton, 13 @ Oliver Ames, 12 – Final
1st Quarter: (OA) Anthony Berksza 4-yard rush, 2pt rush failed; (OA) A. Berksza 11-yard rush, 2pt rush failed.
2nd Quarter: (T) Noah Leonard 2-yard rush, XP failed.
3rd Quarter: (T) N. Leonard 36-yard pass to Collin Hunter, John Teixeira XP good.
4th Quarter: No scoring.
Attleboro 14 @ King Philip, 42 – Final
1st Quarter: No scoring.
2nd Quarter: (A) Cam Furtado 2 yard rush, XP failed; (KP) Shane Frommer 35-yard rush, Cole Baker XP good; (KP) Nick Kerr 1-yard rush, C. Baker XP good; (KP) S. Frommer 10-yard rush, C. Baker XP good.
3rd Quarter: (KP) Brendan Lydon 1-yard rush, XP failed; (A) Joseph Llanos 15-yard rush, C. Furtado 2pt pass to Mike Strachan; (KP) S. Frommer 59-yard rush, B. Lydon 2pt pass to Andrew Dittrich.
4th Quarter: (KP) B. Lydon 5-yard pass to Tom Madden, C. Baker XP good.
Milford, 21 @ Canton, 19 – Final
1st Quarter: (M) Will Pointer 51-yard rush, Sean Lehane XP good; (C) Alec Ragusa 1-yard rush, XP failed.
2nd Quarter: No scoring.
3rd Quarter: (M) Jack Felander fumble recovery in end zone, S. Lehane XP good; (C) Johnny Hagan 35 yard pass to Tony Harris, 2pt failed.
4th Quarter: (M) Ryan Pearl 1 yard rush, S. Lehane XP good; (C) A. Ragusa 5 yard rush, Owen Lehane XP good.
Stoughton, 12 @ Foxboro, 13 – Final
1st Quarter: No scoring.
2nd Quarter: (F) Devin Hassett 15-yard pass to Phil Dure, XP no good; (S) Ruben Gonzalez 89-yard kickoff return, XP blocked; (F) Mike Henri 14-yard run, Russell Neale XP good.
3rd Quarter: (S) Alex Iverson 52-yard run, 2-point conversion no good.
4th Quarter: No scoring.
Mansfield, 14 @ Franklin, 13 – Final
1st Quarter: (F) Jake Noviello 28-yard pass to Sean Leonard, Matt Zucco XP good.
2nd Quarter: No scoring.
3rd Quarter: (M) Damani Scott 3-yard rush, Mike DeBolt XP good; (M) Joe Cox 8-yard rush, M. DeBolt XP good.
4th Quarter: (F) J. Noviello 67-yard pass to Ryan Driscoll, XP blocked.
Taunton, 10 vs. Coyle & Cassidy, 0 – Final
Attleboro @ Norton – Postponed, TBD.
Taunton, 4 vs. Coyle & Cassidy, 2 – Final – Lexi Faria, Alex Wapenski, Angie Lynch and Kasey Colvin scored the goals for the Tigers, helping Taunton claim its first city championship in 24 years, according to coach Edith Dixon. Amanda Pugh, Meg Mazerolle, and Emily O’Gara had assists for Taunton and Grace Pimenta made eight saves.
Attleboro @ North Attleboro – Postponed, TBD.
Attleboro, 0 @ North Attleboro, 3 – Final – North Attleboro bounced back from its first loss of the season with a 25-14, 25-15, 25-14 win against Attleboro. Amelia Murphy registered 10 kills and two aces while Tori Melanson notched seven kills and two blocks.
Milford, 0 @ Hopedale, 3 – Final
Oliver Ames, 3 @ Bridgewater-Raynham, 0 – Final – Oliver Ames recorded its first win of the season with a 25-20, 25-8, 25-13 decision on the road. Senior Kayla Raymond led OA with nine aces, six kills and two blocks. Junior Sarah Litwack added 22 assists and two aces, junior Sadie Homer had six aces and 10 digs, and senior Emma Petrillo finished with 10 kills and six digs.
Franklin @ King Philip – Postponed, TBD.
Taunton, 203 @ Mansfield, 168 – Final
WRENTHAM, Mass. – King Philip came into Friday night’s season opener against fellow league champion North Attleboro at Macktaz Field in a very different position than last season’s matchup. The defending Div. 1A Super Bowl champion Warriors graduated the vast majority of the starters on both sides of the ball, including all but two on offensive, and had a roster filled with new faces.
Many of the names may have been new, but the play on the field was the same.
KP sacked North’s star quarterback Chad Peterson (13-24, 165 yards) five times, forced four turnovers (two interceptions and two fumbles), and the Warriors made enough plays to pull out a 24-14 victory, the program’s 14th straight win stretching back 2015.
“I’m very pleased,” said KP coach Brian Lee after the game. “I had no idea what to expect. We’re only returning five guys, so there were a lot of rookies out there, a lot of guys going two ways. I love playing North because they make you play your best.”
From North Attleboro’s perspective, it was mistakes that doomed the Rocketeers on Friday. In addition to the struggles protecting Peterson and the turnovers, North also committed five penalties and just looked out of sync.
“Too many self-inflicted wounds,” said North coach Don Johnson. “We had kind of seen it in preseason, but way too many [mistakes] to beat anybody really. They made plays they had to make but we had mistakes in basic coverages. That second touchdown we had someone line up wrong and left a guy wide open.”
The struggles started on the opening drive when KP defensive lineman Evan Rice sniffed out a third down screen, tipped, and intercepted Peterson’s pass to give the Warriors the ball at the North 33. A 13-yard run by senior quarterback Brendan Lydon (7-12, 143 yards) got the ball inside the 10, but KP was stopped on three straight plays and settled for a 22-yard Cole Baker field goal.
North’s defense made the next big play when Brendan McHugh got to Lydon on a blitz and stripped the ball loose. Brad White recovered the fumble for the Rocketeers and three plays later Peterson hit Nolan Buckley for a 21-yard touchdown into the back corner of the end zone to take North’s only lead of the game.
Facing third and 15 on its next possession, KP hit a big play to answer right back. A broken coverage left junior Aidan Bender running free down the seam and Lydon hit him in stride for a 71-yard score. Just two plays into the Rocketeers’ next possession and senior corner Andrew Dittrich forced a McHugh (11 carries, 45 yards) fumble and Dylan Leonard dove on it to get the ball right back.
Thomas Madden saved the possession for the Warriors by diving on a fumble on the first play and on third and eight from the North 13, Lydon threw a perfect strike into the corner that was pulled in by David Morganelli for a 17-7 halftime lead.
“I thought the wideouts caught some really good balls for us and I thought our pass [protection] was good,” said Lee about the success of the passing attack. “Sometimes you’ve got to change up what you’re doing and I thought the guys really responded.”
Johnson added, “I was pleased with the way that we stopped the run game, but they had good balance. I think the quarterback has come a long way for them. He was a difference maker.”
A punt and then back-to-back fumbles gave North the ball at its own 21 about halfway through the third quarter. The Rocketeers put together a 17-play drive that took more than 10 minutes off the clock and needed two fourth down conversions to get themselves back in the contest.
Peterson was sacked three times on the drive, twice by Bender, but also went 5-for-7 passing, including a dart on fourth and eight that hit Omar Jasseh and kept the drive alive. One play after the combo just missed on the right side of the end zone, Peterson threw another fourth down strike, this one to senior Marion Bresko down the left sideline for a 27-yard score that cut the lead to just three points (17-14) with 7:54 remaining.
Lee joked, “They pulled a KP on us. We didn’t do anything in the second half, except for hang on and play some ‘D’. We tell the kids, you’re going to fight. They’re going to come over here and fight to the end. We hung on and sometimes that’s what you have to do.”
A punt gave North the ball right back and a roughing the passer call pushed the Rocketeers to the KP 31. Two plays later, Peterson tried to go for the end zone, but the ball was intercepted by Luke D’Amico at the three-yard-line.
On third and nine, facing another punt to give the ball back to the Rocketeers, Lydon fired down the middle to senior tight end JJack Piller, who pulled the pass down despite two Rocketeers in coverage and held on through contact for a crucial first down. With 48 seconds left, senior running back Shane Frommer, who was held to just 41 yard on his first 13 carries, bounced a run off tackle to the left side and was gone for a 57-yard touchdown to seal the win.
The personnel may be very different from last season’s experienced squad, but the attitude is the same. The Warriors find a way to grind out victories and make opponents uncomfortable.
“That’s kind of our mentality in general – we like to attack,” said Lee. “Sometimes it looks nice to drop eight into coverage but good quarterbacks make plays when they have enough time. We’re just pretty good at it.”
He added, “We love to play good defense here. We made plays when we had to.”
King Philip (1-0) will try to make it 15 wins in a row when it takes on Foxboro next Friday in the first game at the newly renamed Jack Martinelli Field. Next week, North Attleboro (0-1) will host Bishop Feehan at Community Field.
By HockomockSports.com Staff
Players are listed in alphabetical order.
Hockomock Football Players to Watch on Defense
Jude Albert, Senior – Canton
The Bulldogs will have a young squad this year, but one spot they have some experience is at linebacker, with senior Jude Albert leading the way. Starting at outside linebacker last season, Albert was a big time playmaker for Canton. Whether it was using his speed to get around the edge or through the gap up the middle to pressure the quarterback or stuff a runner, or it was reading the play and dropping back in coverage to matchup with a back, Albert is able to do it. Often times, it will take more than one blocker to take Albert out of the play and he showed last year that he won’t give up on a play either. If the defense fails to put someone in the way, opposing quarterbacks need to be on the lookout for Albert coming their way.
Mario Bresko, Senior – North Attleboro
Standing at 6’4, its no surprise that Mario Bresko will be one of the top receiving options in the league this year, especially with Chad Peterson at quarterback. But Bresko will also be one of the top corner backs in the league as well. After starting last season and playing in some high pressure games, Bresko will bring experience to a secondary that might have some new faces this season. The speed that he shows on the offensive side of the ball is also a reason he can cover opponents defensively. And when it comes to a jump ball, you’re going to want to pick Bresko, who stars for Big Red’s track and field team in the high jump, placing first in the event at Hock Championships in both winter and spring.
Mansfield has plenty of experience returning in its front seven and that group will be led by Cox, a tenacious linebacker who should be involved in plenty of action for the Hornets defense this fall. Cox is coming off an all-star season on the lacrosse field and his speed and ability to read the game translates to football as well, where he can make plays from his outside position against both the ground game and in the pass rush. His quickness also allows him to drop into coverage when needed to cover tight ends or running backs downfield. The Hornets have high expectations for this season and Cox’s leadership on defense will be a big key to achieving their goals.
Zach DeMattio, Senior – North Attleboro
North Attleboro graduated a handful of all-league players on the defensive side of the ball from last season, but one of the key returning pieces is senior Zach DeMattio at the inside linebacker spot. While DeMattio will also see time on the offensive side of the ball in the backfield, he will be one of the anchors for the front seven on defense. Strength is certainly not a question for DeMattio, who is committed to play baseball at Wheaton College and is one of the top power hitters in the league. On top of his strength, he’s shown the ability to read the play and attack. His ability to make the tackle in one-on-one situations makes him one of the best linebackers in the Hock.
Andrew Dittrich, Senior – King Philip
On a team blessed with depth and talent on the defensive side of the ball, Dittrich stood out for last year’s Div. 1A Super Bowl and Kelley-Rex champions. A ball-hawking defensive back, he seemed to always come through in the clutch for the Warriors. Three times – twice in the playoffs – he sealed a KP victory with an interception, including the D1A South sectional final. While the Warriors are known as a team that can bottle up a running game, Dittrich also gave them a playmaker in the secondary. In addition to his coverage skills, he can also help out in the running game and rush the passer from the edge.
Ryan Driscoll, Junior – Franklin
Driscoll stepped into the lineup as a sophomore and started all 11 games at cornerback for the Panthers in 2016. He demonstrated the natural speed and instincts to be a top cover corner and second-year head coach Eian Bain said this his improvement from day one means that Driscoll will be one of the focal points of the Franklin defense this fall. With Driscoll and junior safety Nolan McLaney, the Panthers secondary should be a strength of the team for the next couple of seasons, as they try to shut down high-powered passing attacks like Mansfield, Taunton, and Attleboro.
Nick Evans, Junior – Attleboro
Consistency was an issue at times for the Bombardiers defense last season, but they also showed flashes of versatility and talent. One of the players that emerged as a force for Attleboro was Evans, who played linebacker as a sophomore and was a constant presence around the ball. This year, he is listed as a defensive end, where he can use his speed to get around the edge on the pass rush, but he is also big enough to set the edge on running plays that head his way. There is a lot of optimism about Attleboro this preseason and Evans is a player who opponents will have to plan for in order to have success against a deep Bombardiers squad.
When it comes to the top two-way players in the league, Stoughton senior Justin Ly has to be near the top of the list. He showed off his speed and power running game last year and will certainly be one of the top backs again this season. But more importantly, Ly will relied upon to anchor Stoughton’s front seven after the Black Knights graduated so many starters. The combination of speed and strength that makes him a successful back are also the reasons he’s one of the top linebackers. Whether it’s in pass coverage, or in pursuit of a quarterback or running back, Ly shows great instincts to make the right play.
Jack Mills, Senior – Oliver Ames
Mills is entering his third fall as a starter for the Tigers and has been an anchor for both the offensive and defensive lines. Last season, he was named a league all-star for OA and was named a HockomockSports.com Hock 5 Defensive Lineman. He made 30 tackles and used his imposing size and quickness off the ball to disrupt the opposition. Even when he did not make the play himself, Mills regularly draws double teams and holds up blocker to open lanes for teammates. It has been a difficult stretch for OA over the past two years, but Mills has earned his place as one of the top linemen in the league.
Anytime you have a player that lines up at both linebacker and fullback you know one thing is for sure: they like to hit. Matt Pond will see time at both positions this year but his main role will be as Foxboro’s starting inside linebacker. And because of his combination of football IQ and speed, expect Pond to be among the leaders of tackles in each game. The Warriors didn’t have a ton of experience on defense a year ago, but Pond stepped up to be a leader. Not only is Pond strong in the pass game, but when a blitz is called, he’s one of most dangerous linebackers in league because of his speed and ability to tackle in the open field.