Friday’s Schedule & Scoreboard – 10/14/16

Today’s games are listed below.

Game of the Week – Football
King Philip, 36 @ Attleboro, 13 – Final
1st Quarter: No scoring.
2nd Quarter: (KP) Cole Baker 20-yard field goal; (KP) Brendan Lydon 40 yard pass to Ethan Dunne (15 yards) and Shane Frommer (25 yards), C. Baker XP good.
3rd Quarter: (KP) B. Lydon 1 yard rush, C. Baker XP good; (A) Marc Dieu 2 yard rush, Paul Deluca XP good.
4th Quarter: (KP) John DeLuca 12 yard rush, XP no good; (KP) S. Frommer 12 yard rush, 2-point conversion no good; (KP) Giovanni Fernandez 65 yard rush, C. Baker XP good; (A) Tyler McGovern 37 yard pass to Elvin Sam, 2-point conversion no good.

Football
North Attleboro, 35 @ Canton, 7 – Final
1st Quarter: No scoring.
2nd Quarter: (NA) Nick Rajotte 2 yard rush, Geoff Wilson XP; (NA) N. Rajotte 1 yard rush, G. Wilson XP; (NA) Chad Peterson 4 yard pass to Mario Bresko, G. Wilson XP.
3rd Quarter: (NA) C. Peterson 15 yard pass to Kyle McCarthy, G. Wilson XP; (NA) Brendan McHugh 1 yard rush, G. Wilson XP.
4th Quarter: (C) Dan Dillon 5 yard rush, XP good.

Foxboro, 3 @ Stoughton, 42 – Final
1st Quarter: (S) Izon Swain-Price 10 yard rush, XP missed.
2nd Quarter: (F) John Cronin 20 yard field goal; (S) I. Swain-Price 2 yard rush, Evan Gibb 2pt rush.
3rd Quarter: (S) E. Gibb 67 yard pass to Ryan Sullivan, Dave Cellucci 2pt rush; (S) I. Swain-Price 25 yard rush, XP good; (S) E. Gibb 27 yard pass to R. Sullivan, XP missed.
4th Quarter: (S) Alex Sjoquist 2 yard rush, XP good.

Franklin, 7 @ Mansfield, 42 – Final
1st Quarter: (M) Conor Driscoll 25 yard interception return, Diogo DeSousa XP good; (M) Anthony DeGirolamo 61 yard pass to Kristian Connor, D. DeSousa XP good; (M) Nick Graham 2 yard rush, D. DeSousa XP good.
2nd Quarter: (M) A. DeGirolamo 25 yard pass to Ben Budwey, D. DeSousa XP good.
3rd Quarter: (M) N. Graham 5 yard rush, D. DeSousa XP good; (M) Joe Cox 2 yard rush, D. DeSousa XP good.
4th Quarter: (F) Alex Cregg 84 yard pass to Packie Watson, XP good.

Oliver Ames, 7 @ Taunton, 25 – Final
1st Quarter: (T) Noah Leonard 19 yard pass to Adam McLaughlin, XP blocked.
2nd Quarter: (OA) Kyle Gagliardi 15 yard pass to Anthony Berksza, Leandro Moro XP good.
3rd Quarter: (T) Brevan Walker 66 yard run, 2pt failed.
4th Quarter: (T) N. Leonard 28 yard pass to Mike Fernandez, XP blocked; (T) TJ Mendes 21 yard rush, John Teixeira XP good.

Boys Soccer
Franklin, 0 @ Sharon, 2 – FinalClick here for a recap of the game.

Girls Soccer
Sharon, 0 @ Franklin, 2 – FinalMiranda Smith and Emily Mastaj each scored a goal for the Panthers while Halle Atkinson and Calen Frongillo both notched an assist in the win.

Stoughton, 0 @ Norwood, 1 – FinalStoughton head coach Tara Daniels said Emma Harrington had a strong game in net and Mia Greene played well up front for the Black Knights.

Volleyball
Attleboro, 3 vs. Norton, 0 – Final

Canton, 0 @ Notre Dame Academy, 3 – FinalThe Canton Bulldogs gave the defending State Champions a run for their money but ultimately fell 21-25, 18-25, 21-25. “They were definitely the hardest hitters we’ve seen this year,” head coach Pat Cawley said of the undefeated Cougars. Erika Lum played good defense leading Canton with 16 digs (along with three kills) and Julia Panico added 11 digs. Cawley had high praise for setter Nicole Poole – “she was awesome, making something out everything no matter where the pass.” – finishing with 18 assists and two kills. Casey Shea had a big night on offense with seven kills and no errors and added four blocks while Emma Murphy had three blocks and three kills.

Franklin, 3 @ Sharon, 0 – FinalFranklin middles Meaghan Maguire and Maggie Doyle “were dominant at the net” according to Panther head coach Kate Horsmann. Maguire registered a pair of kills and five blocks while Doyle had two aces and three blocks. Erin Skidmore had four aces, 16 service points, eight kills and four digs for the Panthers while Ellie Wisniewski chipped in with five kills and Maddie Kuzio had 18 digs and an ace.

Field Hockey
Attleboro, 0 @ Foxboro, 2 – Final

Franklin, 2 @ Sharon, 0 – FinalFranklin senior Dana Lewandowski netted what turned out to be the game winner just five minutes into the first half as the Panthers picked up their seventh win of the season. Sophomore Annie Walsh scored with just under three minutes remaining to ice the game for Franklin. Franklin head coach Lisa Cropper said Kate Morse “did an outstanding job in the midfield” for the Panthers.

Taunton, 0 @ Stoughton, 4 – FinalOlivia Schlehuber led Stoughton’s offense, scoring a pair of goals in the win. Julia Russell and Kelli Joyce scored each scored once for the Black Knights. Gianna Barbosa and Meghan McSweeney combined for the shutout in goal.

Golf
Oliver Ames, 157 @ Franklin, 166 – Final – Oliver Ames clinched the Kelley-Rex title outright with a win over Franklin at Franklin Country Club. The win marks Oliver Ames’ fourth straight outright league title and fifth straight overall. Brady Allbritton and Nick Lombardi both shot 37 to lead the Tigers. Matt D’Errico carded a 40 for the Panthers and Bryan Woelfel finished with a 41.

Mansfield, 173 @ Sharon, 171 – FinalSam Fritz had the low score for Sharon with a 41, helping the Eagles edge Mansfield at Spring Valley Country Club. Jason Hindman was the match medalist, shooting a one over 37 for the Hornets.

Mansfield Jumps All Over Attleboro in Hock Opener

Mansfield football
Nick Graham (18) rushed for a pair of touchdowns to lead Mansfield to a 38-7 win in the league opener against Attleboro. (Josh Perry/HockomockSports.com)

Josh PerryFollowJoshPerry


MANSFIELD, Mass. – The Hornets won the coin toss and elected to defer possession to the second half. With senior Diogo DeSousa kicking with the wind at his back, Mansfield coach Mike Redding knew that he could pin the Bombardiers deep in their own zone.

The strategy worked perfectly. Mansfield started all but two first half possessions in Attleboro territory and the two that started in the Hornets’ half of the field were at the 49 and the 48. Mansfield cashed in every time, scoring each of the first five times it touched the ball and cruised to a comprehensive 38-7 victory at Alumni Field in the league opener for both teams.

“Diogo with wind is going to get it in the end zone and we get three and outs, we get good field position, we get big plays early,” Redding explained. “They gave us a couple of breaks and we took advantage.”

After a three and out to start the game, Mansfield started its first possession at the Attleboro 40. Kristian Conner rushed for 15 yards to the left, Nick Graham went for 11 up the middle, and Will Garvin broke a 15-yard carry on a counter. Joe Cox capped the short drive with a one-yard plunge to put the Hornets on top.

Attleboro got off to a good start on its next possession with Tyler McGovern (7-16, 61 yards) hit James Weir down the seam for 21 yards. But on the next play, Cam Furtado had the ball ripped loose by Julio Arevalo who kept hold of it and returned the fumble 34 yards to the one. Anthony DeGirolamo scored on a QB sneak on the next play and it was 14-0.

“That was a big turnover for us,” Attleboro coach Mike Strachan admitted. “I think that was a big play in terms of momentum and it got kind of blustery there and it pinned us. We’ve got to regroup.”

Another three and out gave the Hornets the ball at their own 49. Four plays later, on fourth and three from the Attleboro 44, Graham took a toss sweep to the left and cut it back inside, finding a hole and taking it to the house for a 21-0, first quarter lead.

The mistakes continued for the Bombardiers with the next possession ending on a low snap that flew past McGovern and was recovered by Jareme Dilorenzo at the six. Two plays later, DeGirolamo hit Hunter Ferreira on the near sideline for a four-yard score.

“It was absolutely brutal for us,” Strachan said, “but we need to find a way as a team to fight through that adversity. We didn’t and they’re just that much more seasoned then us and we’re going to go through some growing pains.”

Ben Budwey returned an Attleboro punt 12 yards to the Bombardiers 27 where Mansfield started its fifth possession. Again the Hornets took advantage of the short field. Cox had two carries for 20 yards and Graham ended the drive with a seven-yard carry up the middle for his second touchdown of the game.

Redding credited the play of the offensive and defensive lines for the dominating performance.

“He’s just a one-man wrecking crew,” said Redding of Arevalo. “Andrew Ducharme, [Shayne] McCoyis playing great at d-end, the young kid [Colbey] Eason is playing well at tackle, [A.J.] Gibbs and [Colin] Gibbons are great guards and they’re just the hidden secret here on why we’re turning the corner.”

He also mentioned the play of Will Shield and Jayson Richwine on the line and Mike Shannon at tight end for creating the space for the playmakers.

Redding continued, “We do have good skill guys but they’re only as good as the guys in front of them. I think our guys on the O- and D-line are very underrated, not real big but tough and athletic. They’re playing really good football now.”

The Bombardiers tried to get back into the game in the second half. McGovern hit Weir again down the seam for 21 yards to the Mansfield 19. After a six-yard gain by Marc Dieu, McGovern hit Elvin Sam for a 13-yard touchdown. The ensuing kick bounced in front of the Hornets’ returner and was recovered by Malik Mcalister-Pruitt. The comeback ended on a turnover on downs at the Mansfield 19.

“They’re a good football team and they’re better than us,” said Strachan. “I think it’s that simple. In every aspect of the game, they came to play and they caught us early.

“We’ve got a lot of young kids who played tonight and it’s going to be that way for us the rest of the year… We just need to get better as the season goes on.”

DeSousa tacked on a 33-yard field goal in the fourth quarter to round out the scoring. Mansfield will head into next week’s showdown with King Philip clicking in all four phases and Redding was already thinking ahead to next Friday.

“We’ve got another huge one next week,” he said. “It won’t determine the league title but whoever wins is certainly in the driver’s seat moving forward. With North leaving the division, it’s kind of us and KP taking over as maybe one of the better rivalries.

“Buy a ticket early for next Friday. It should be a great atmosphere and a great game…As good as we’ve played, we need to bring our ‘A-plus’ game to stop King Philip.”

Mansfield football (2-1) will host King Philip (3-0), which beat Oliver Ames 42-6 on Friday, at Alumni Field next week. Attleboro (1-2) will look to end a two-game losing streak when it hosts Taunton (1-2).

Football: 2016 Kelley-Rex Division Preview

2016 Kelley-Rex Football Preview

By HockomockSports.com Staff

2016 Kelley-Rex Football Preview

Attleboro

2015 Record: 7-4
2015 Finish: Reached D1 South Quarterfinal
Coach: Mike Strachan

Key/Returning Players: Cam Furtado, Jr., QB/DB; Tyler McGovern, Sr., QB; Andrew Gingras, Sr., OL/DL; Sam Corrado, Sr., RB/LB

Outlook:
Attleboro has developed as a program under head coach Mike Strachan and continues to be one of the teams contend with for the Kelley-Rex title even with a number of new faces on the roster heading into this fall. Even with the loss of standout lineman Kyle Murphy, the Bombardiers will have size on both sides of the ball and use that to control the line of scrimmage.

Offensively, senior quarterback Tyler McGovern returns after an injury knocked him out of the starting lineup midway through last season. He gives Attleboro the chance to look downfield, while junior Cam Furtado stepped in at QB last year and proved to be a dynamic athlete who opened up defenses with his legs.

The offense will flow behind senior lineman Andrew Gingras. At 6’5 and 285 pounds, Gingras will be counted on to open holes for senior running back Sam Corrado and also provide a stout run stopper on defense. Corrado will also provide help at linebacker and on special teams.

“The 2016 Bombardiers are a young team with many players that will be competing for time both offensively and defensively,” said Strachan, who is confident that despite the youth on the roster that Attleboro will be a team to watch this fall.

Franklin

2015 Record: 2-9
2015 Finish: Missed playoffs
Coach: Eian Bain

Key/Returning Players:
Jacob Wolowacki, Sr., RB; Packie Watson, Sr., WR/DB; Joey Blasie, Sr., WR/DB; John Fenton, Sr., OL/DL; Jake Noviello, Jr., QB; Jake Lyons, Sr., RB/DB; Brad Jarosz, Sr., FB/DL; Nick Gordon, So., QB/DB; Khyler Colella, Sr., RB/LB

Outlook:
There is a lot of energy in the Franklin camp over the past couple of weeks, as new head coach Eian Bain takes over from longtime coach Brad Sidwell and looks to give the Panthers a boost after three straight one-win seasons in the Kelley-Rex division. Bain said that he expects there to be a “different vibe” from the team this season.

The Panthers have a lot of experience coming back this season starting in the backfield with quarterbacks Jake Noviello (junior) and Alex Cregg (senior), who both saw action last season. Whoever is starting will have a host of experienced receivers to look for with Eddie Scannapieco, Packie Watson, and Joey Blasie on the outside and 6’5 Connor Peterson at tight end. The bulk of the offense will run through senior tailback Jacob Wolowacki, who emerged last year as a go-to back with three touchdown runs.

Defensively, Franklin has a lot of talent returning in the back seven led by senior safety Jake Lyons, who will also help out as a running back on offense. The secondary also includes Kyle McInery and Nick Gordon with Justin O’Callahan, Bruce Johnson and Khyler Colella manning the linebacker positions. Brad Jarosz will add size to the defensive end position.

Bain said, “It has been an uptempo, high energy camp in Franklin. Players have answered the bell every step of the way to learn both new offensive and defensive systems. While still a work in progress, the team is making strides every day.”

King Philip

2015 Record: 5-6
2015 Finish: Reached D2 South Quarterfinal
Coach: Brian Lee

Key/Returning Players:
John DeLuca, Sr., QB; Sean Garrity, Sr., RB/DB; Brett Mazur, Sr., TE/LB; Alex Olsen, Sr., FB/LB; Giovanni Fernandez, Sr., RB/LB; Daniel Loewen, Sr., OL/DL; Michael Sullivan, Sr., OL/DL; Paul Macrina, Sr., OL/DL; Michael Mello, Sr., WR/DB

Outlook:
King Philip got off to a rough start last season, but managed to turn things around with a dramatic victory at Mansfield and won three out of four to get back into the postseason. The Warriors could be inconsistent on the offensive side of the ball in 2015, but with experienced skill position players coming back KP could be ready to challenge for the league title.

It begins in the backfield with senior quarterback John DeLuca, who is ready for his third year as the starter and is one of the toughest signal callers in the league. This season, DeLuca will have a number of weapons to help put points on the board. Senior running back Sean Garrity will add speed to the edge for the Warriors, while his classmate Giovanni Fernandez is a power back to add another dimension inside the red zone. Senior Michael Mello returns to add experience to the receiving corps.

The strength of the Warriors under head coach Brian Lee has been defense and line play and this season should be no different. Seniors Paul Macrina, Michael Sullivan, and Daniel Loewen will be major factors on both sides of the ball. Senior Alex Olsen has the potential to be the defensive MVP this year taking over the role of graduated linebacker Cory Lombardo. Fernandez and fellow senior Brett Mazur will add strength to the linebacker position as well.

Mansfield

2015 Record: 5-6
2015 Finish: Reached D2 South Semifinal
Coach: Michael Redding

Key/Returning Players:
Hunter Ferreira, Jr., WR/DB; Ben Budwey, Sr., WR; Brian Lynch, Sr., RB; Nick Graham, Sr., RB/DB; Anthony DeGirolamo, Sr., QB; AJ Gibbs, Sr., OL/DL; Colin Gibbons, Sr., OL/DL; Travis Sjoberg, Sr., LB; Andrew Ducharme, Sr., OL/DL; Nick Krouskos, Sr., RB/LB; Diogo DeSousa, Sr., K

Outlook:
Mansfield’s defense held teams to 15 or fewer points in all but two games last year. Only St. John’s Prep and Marshfield (two teams ranked in the top five in the state when they faced the Hornets) were able to get any rhythm going offensively against the Hornets. Despite strength on that side of the ball, Mansfield struggled to find consistency on offense and ended up one point short of a share of the Kelley-Rex division title.

This season, the Hornets offense could be a huge strength with a number of playmakers returning. Senior quarterback Anthony DeGirolamo will be the starter for the second season in a row and will have a strong backfield around him with senior Brian Lynch as the power back and Nick Graham giving Mansfield speed to the edges. DeGirolamo will be able to aim for junior Hunter Ferreira, who has emerged as one of the top receivers in the league, and senior Ben Budwey.

On defense, the front seven will once again be a strong feature for the Hornets. A.J. Gibbs, Colin Gibbons, and Andrew Ducharme add size and strength on both sides of the ball, while senior linebacker Travis Sjoberg is a leader with the potential for hitting triple digits in tackles this fall. Senior placekicker Diogo DeSousa is a weapon in special teams after being recognized at kicking camps over the summer.

“We are a senior team (30 seniors),” said Mansfield head coach Mike Redding, “but we have some very talented juniors and sophomores that will help us win this year and give us some great depth”

Oliver Ames

2015 Record: 2-9
2015 Finish: Missed playoffs
Coach: Mike Holland

Key/Returning Players:
Liston Funai, Sr., RB; Jack Mills, Sr., OL/DL; Travis Campbell, Sr., QB/LB; Kyle Gagliardi, Sr., QB/DB; Leandro Moro, Sr., TE/LB; Jay Fruci, Jr., LB; Noah Fitzgerald, Jr., DB; Michael Mulrean, Jr., DB

Outlook:
Oliver Ames head coach Mike Holland is entering his second season in charge of the Tigers and will also be managing the program’s first fall in the Kelley-Rex division. In the last three games of 2015, OA beat Norwell and North Quincy and battled Sharon in a three-point loss on Thanksgiving Day, building momentum heading into this season.

The Tigers are excited about the potential of the offense with two quarterbacks who can make plays with their feet or their arms. Kyle Gagliardi and Travis Campbell are in the mix to be the starter and Holland expressed confidence in both of his seniors. OA also has a strong running game with senior Liston Funai leading the way for a group of backs that provide the Tigers with toughness and the ability to find open space.

OA has a lot of experience returning on the defensive side of the ball. Jack Mills will be a force on both the offensive and defensive line, while Jay Fruci and Leandro Moro will provide a spark from the linebacker spot. The secondary has also been boosted by Noah Fitzgerald and Michael Mulrean. “[We] have an excellent group of seniors and younger guys,” said Holland. “Kids are working hard and putting in strong efforts in all phases.”

Taunton

2015 Record: 1-10
2015 Finish: Missed playoffs
Coach: Brad Sidwell

Key/Returning Players:
Adam Mclaughlin, Sr., WR/DB; Andrew Welington, Sr., TE/LB; Collin Hunter, Jr., QB; Khoury Simmons, Sr., OL/DL; Jake Norberto, Sr., OL/DL; Khoury Simmons, Sr., OL/DL; Paul Corrao, Jr., OL/DL; Zakim Harrow, Sr., OL/DL; Sylvester English, Sr., OL/DL; Mike Fernandez, Sr., TE/LB; Brevan Walker, Sr., RB/DB

Outlook:
The Tigers have a new coaching staff this fall, but it will be one that is very familiar to fans of the Hockomock League. Brad Sidwell moved to Taunton after 20 years in charge of the Franklin program. Sidwell comes into his new position with plenty of experience in the league and an experienced roster that has 14 returning starters, but the Tigers enter 2016 without a Kelley-Rex win since 2012.

There is optimism in the camp this preseason because of the large number of returning players and because of the size that Taunton boasts on the front line. Senior Zakim Harrow checks in at 6’2 and 335 pounds, his classmate Sylvester English is 6’1 and 290 pounds and junior Paul Carrao is 6’3 and 270 pounds. Those players will open holes on both sides of the ball and create space for playmakers such as senior linebacker Mike Fernandez and senior running back Brevan Walker.

There is a battle for the quarterback position this season. Junior Collin Hunter threw 11 touchdown passes last fall but sophomore Noah Leonard has impressed in camp and could snag the starting spot for Friday night’s opener at New Bedford. Whoever is under center will have a couple of strong targets to aim for with senior receivers Adam McLaughlin and Sam Krajewski and senior tight end Andrew Wellington all back.

“We’re just looking for improvement everyday,” Sidwell said. “Hopefully with a little confidence we can get off to a good start.”

North Beats Mansfield, Stands Alone Atop Division

Kyle Gaumond
Kyle Gaumond (28) knocks the pass away from Hunter Ferreira (3) on fourth down to preserve a 14-13 win for North Attleboro and clinch the outright Kelley-Rex Division title. (Josh Perry/HockomockSports.com)

By Josh Perry, Managing Editor

MANSFIELD, Mass. – Mansfield coach Mike Redding has North Attleboro roots. Although he has been in charge of the Hornets for over 25 years and bleeds green, he took a moment after Friday night’s installment of this fierce rivalry to go to the Rocketeers celebrating at Alumni Field and congratulate them on the league title and urge them to bring home the Div. 3 state title.

It was a classy move by the Mansfield coach at the end of another emotional matchup between longtime rivals and perennial title challengers that North Attleboro won 14-13 to clinch the Kelley-Rex title outright and potentially the No. 1 seed in Div. 3 Southwest.

“This is great high school football,” said Redding. “It was a slugfest, two great teams, two great defenses, yards were hard to come by but both teams did enough to put themselves in position to win.”

The win gives North Attleboro its first league title since 2011 and its first outright Hockomock title since 2008. Once again, as has been the case all season, it was the Rocketeers defense that came up with the plays to win the game.

Leading by just a point with time winding down in the fourth quarter, North punted. Mansfield took over at its own 37 with less than five minutes remaining.

The Hornets got to the Rocketeers 33 and threw incomplete on first down. On second and 10, North dialed up a blitz and Bobby Mylod shot the gap to stuff Brian Lynch for a six-yard loss. On third down, the Rocketeers came again and sacked Anthony DeGirolamo for a seven-yard loss back to the 46. On fourth down, Kyle Gaumond leapt and swiped the ball out of the hands of Hunter Ferreira to end the drive.

North Attleboro ran out the clock and celebrated the victory.

“What we were trying to do is just get pressure on the quarterback,” said North coach Don Johnson. “I thought they had guys that they could throw to in the passing game…We were worried about it the whole game.”

“Defense has been doing it for us all year,” he added with a smile. “I’d just like the offense to score a couple more and make it a little easier for us.”

The Rocketeers offense looked great at the start of the game. Against a Mansfield defense that has been solid all season, North took the opening kickoff and marched 67 yards on 14 plays to take the lead.

Nick Morrison (12 carries, 68 yards) was big on the drive with six rushes, including a crucial fourth down and one gain of seven yards near midfield. Sophomore quarterback Chad Peterson showed off his arm hitting Davon Andrade for 18 yards and then snuck a shovel pass to Mylod on fourth and one from the four for the go-ahead score.

North Attleboro would not get another first down until its second possession of the third quarter.

Johnson said, “I think they frustrated us a little on offense. We had some blown assignments that we haven’t had in a few weeks, but I think that had a lot to do with their scheme over there.”

Mansfield was not able to get much going offensively but got a little spark right before the half. Ben Budwey’s punt return set the Hornets up at the North 37. DeGirolamo (7-11, 165 yards) hit Ferreira for 18 yards and then, following a four-yard loss, hit him again for another 10.

The Hornets had to settle for a 23-yard Diogo DeSousa field goal but were on the board and went into the break down 7-3.

To start the third quarter, DeGirolamo was strip sacked by Thomas Reynolds and Thomas Kummer jumped on the loose ball at the Hornets 37. But the Mansfield defense forced a turnover on downs, helped in part by Joe Bukuras’ tackle in the flat on Nick Dean for a four-yard loss on third and one.

The Hornets offense took advantage of the momentum swing and drove 71 yards on eight plays to take Mansfield’s first lead. DeGirolamo and Ferreira (six catches, 164 yards) hooked up for a 32-yard completion into North territory and then combined again on a 12-yard touchdown pass to the front pylon that put Mansfield ahead 10-7.

“He made some great passes,” said Redding of DeGirolamo. “Hunter is a great athlete and we tried to get him the ball tonight.”

“The offense is coming together. We just need to find a way to get to 21-24 and with our defense we’re going to win games.”

The lead was short-lived, as North Attleboro showed its resiliency to bounce right back. Peterson hit Ridge Olsen on the far side of the field for 14 yards and Nick Rajotte got 11, before Morrison broke free down the North sideline sprinting past his cheering teammates and the Hornets defense for a 39-yard score.

“We had the momentum,” said Redding, “and if we get one stop there and get the ball back with the lead, I think we win it. But, they’re a championship team, they answered, and they scored.”

Mansfield was not done. After a Connor Flynn sack pushed the Hornets back to third and 21 from their own 27, DeGirolamo and Ferreira connected on a 64-yard pass (taking advantage of a slip by the defensive back) down to the North nine. Again, the Hornets had to settle for a field goal and trailed 14-13 with 7:58 left.

Redding explained, “We thought we outplayed them in the second half and probably needed to score on the drive before, but we didn’t want to come up empty and thought that if we got a field goal and got the ball back that we felt good about driving.”

“Tonight we were just one drive away.”

Mylod, Gaumond, and the North defense did enough to stymie the Hornets on their final drive. When a personal foul flag was thrown for a late hit out of bounds on Mansfield with 1:30 left, the game was won and so was the title.

“I felt this team got over the hump and gained that confidence,” said Johnson. “This week in practice I had that feeling that everyone knew what they were doing for the first time. They entered the game with a lot of confidence.”

Even in defeat, Redding felt that this game had plenty of positives for the Hornets with the Div. 2 playoffs looming. He said, “We get a second life next week; this isn’t the end of the season. If we play like we did tonight, then we can make a run.”

He shook hands with the media and walked over to the North Attleboro players. As Mansfield made its way to the locker room, turning its back on the loss and focusing on next week, the Rocketeers stayed on the field taking a couple of moments to savor the win for a few more moments before moving forward.

Josh Perry can be contacted at JoshPerry@hockomocksports.com and followed on Twitter at @Josh_Perry10.

Mansfield Wins Turnover Battle to Defeat Taunton

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By Ryan Lanigan, Editor-in-Chief
MANSFIELD, Mass. – The story of the day was turnovers.
And the good news for Mansfield is that they won that battle against Taunton. The Hornets forced five of them, four interceptions and one fumble, and turned them into a 32-14 win over the Tigers on Saturday afternoon.
The weird thing though was the fact that Mansfield was only able to get 3 points from the five turnovers. Meanwhile, Taunton turned both of their interceptions into touchdowns.
“The plus side, our defense the last three weeks has been great, but the thing we haven’t done is get turnovers,” Mansfield head coach Mike Redding said. “Today we had four interceptions, we finally forced turnovers. The negative is we didn’t take advantage of them as much as we should have.
“We tend to have a penalty at the wrong time or a turnover at the wrong time.”
Mansfield’s offense was able to score at the right times though. After the teams traded punts to start the game, the Hornets needed just four plays to cover 41 yards to find the end zone. The first two plays even went for negative yardage but junior quarterback connected with Ben Budwey for 29 yards and sophomore Joe Cox took the next play 15 yards into the end zone. Diogo DeSousa’s extra point made it 7-0 with 5:38 left in the opening quarter.
After two more punts, the Hornets were able to get their first turnover of the day when Mansfield’s Ben Wisnieski intercepted Jared Taje’s pass near midfield and raced all the way to the 16 yard line. The momentum swing didn’t last long though as on the first play, DeGirolamo was intercepted in the end zone by Carlos Borrero.
Taunton was about to turn its first takeaway into eight points, driving 80 yards on 11 plays. Taje connected with junior Adam McLaughlin twice for a total of 48 yards and then hit Tanner Costa over the middle for 21 yards on third down. Taje tried to link up with McLaughlin in the end zone but a defensive pass interference call put the ball inside the five yard line. Damion Theodule was able to punch it in from two yards out while Costa rushed in the two point conversion. Taunton took an 8-7 lead with 5:54 left in the second quarter.
Although Mansfield couldn’t capitalize on their first takeaway, they were able to respond to Taunton’s touchdown drive. The Hornets used 10 plays to go 59 yards before regaining the lead.
Without leading rushers Brian Lynch and Connor Finerty playing, Nick Graham (10 carries, 72 yards), Connor Driscoll and Cox (14 carries, 76 yards) all moved the ball up the field on the ground. DeGirolamo went back to the air and hit Budwey right on the one yard line. On the next play, Graham found a hole and punched it in. Driscoll’s two point rush gave Mansfield a 15-8 lead with just 35 seconds in the half.
“We still have a long way to go on [offense],” Redding said. “It’s a good win though. Without Finerty, Lynch and Garvin, we had three of our top five backs out so any win in the league is good with those guys out.”
The Tigers attempted to get something going before the end of the half but Wisnieski was there again for an interception. Mansfield’s offense moved some but were forced to attempt a 39 yard field that was short as time expired in the first half.
Driscoll put an end to Taunton’s opening drive of the second half, picking Taje off on first down. Mansfield’s offense also stalled though, going four and out and were forced to punt. But that was fine as the Hornets’ defense again came up with a stop.
Mansfield’s ensuing drive got a boost to start when Taunton was flagged for fair catch interference. DeGirolamo hit sophomore Hunter Ferreira on first down for 20 yards and two plays later, Graham just raced through the defense for a 12 yard score to make it 22-8 with 4:13 left in the third.
The Tigers fumbled just two plays into their next drive and for the first – and only – time in the game, Mansfield was able to turn a takeaway into points. Diogo DeSousa hit a 24 yard field goal to extend Mansfield’s lead to 25-8 shortly before the final quarter.
“When you lose the turnover battle it keeps your defense out there and they control the clock,” Taunton head coach Chris Greding said. “The thing about Mansfield is they are so well coached and they don’t make many mistakes. Our boys knew that but we’re very young and made some mistakes. We told them they won’t make mistakes. We had to play a near perfect game. I’m proud of our effort but you can’t make those mistakes against Mansfield.”
Two plays into the next series, Joe Bukuras came away with Mansfield’s fourth interception on the game but DeGirolamo was intercepted by McLaughlin in the end zone for a touchback.
Greding inserted sophomore Collin Hunter in at quarterback on the Tigers’ next drive and was rewarded. Hunter connected with McLaughlin for six yards and then hit Michael Fernandez for 22 more yards. A short completion to McLaughlin was once against followed by a completion to Fernandez for a first down. The next to passes went to McLaughlin for 34 total yards.
Two plays later, Theodule got into the end zone from a yard out to cut the deficit 25-14 with six minutes to play. On the drive, Hunter went 6/6 for 78 yards. The sophomore finished 11/15 for 140 yards in the game.
“Collin has really progressed over the last six weeks,” Greding said, also noting the impressive play by McLaughin at receiver. “Each week he’s gotten better and better. As a staff we’re very confident putting him in if need be and he did very well.”
Mansfield capped the scoring with just over four minutes to play when Graham raced in for his third touchdown of the day, this one a 29 yard rush.
The Hornets (3-2, 2-1) will look to pick up their third league win next week when they travel to Franklin. Taunton (0-5, 0-3) will try to get into the win column when they take a trip to Community Field to take on North Attleboro.
Ryan Lanigan can be contacted at RyanLanigan@hockomocksports.com and followed on Twitter at @R_Lanigan.

'Rockett'-Powered Prep Too Much for Hornets

Hayden Rockett Joe Bukuras
Hayden Rockett (24) had three touchdown receptions for Prep and proved to be hard to handle for Joe Bukuras and the rest of the Mansfield defense. (Josh Perry/HockomockSports.com)

By Josh Perry, Managing Editor
MANSFIELD, Mass. – The Hornets trekked into the locker room trailing by just seven points against St. John’s Prep, widely considered one of the top five teams in the state. Head coach Mike Redding knew his team had not played its best in the opening half but was feeling okay as his team was still in the game.
“We start off okay and then we just got very sloppy and they adjusted to some stuff we did on the first drive, but then we go in at halftime and we’re playing not very well and kind of sloppy but we’re only down seven,” he explained.
Redding knew that if his team could just keep the lead to one score in the fourth quarter then the Hornets would have a shot at the upset. Unfortunately for Mansfield, Prep’s offense found its groove in the second half.
SJP senior quarterback Ollie Eberth threw four touchdowns and ran for another and junior wideout Hayden Rockett caught three touchdown passes, as Prep scored 28 second half points (21 in the fourth quarter) and rolled to a 42-14 victory at Alumni Field.
“We just couldn’t get a stop when we needed it,” said Redding. “If you play the run, then they go play action and if you go soft on the play action they’re going to pound it down your throat.”
Mansfield got off to the perfect start. The Hornets took the opening kickoff and marched 65 yards on 12 plays, chewing nearly seven minutes off the clock, before junior tailback Brian Lynch finished the drive with a five-yard touchdown.
The lead lasted less then two minutes. Prep answered with Eberth (11-12, 203 yards) hitting Rockett (seven receptions, 144 yards) on the outside for a 22-yard score that tied it at 7-7.
In the second quarter, Mansfield had the ball and was driving inside Prep territory. Connor Finerty (nine carries, 33 yards) was stopped a yard short on fourth and two from the 41-yard-line. On the very next play, Eberth took a keeper 60 yards to give Prep its first lead.
Prep, which was getting the ball back to start the second half, put together a late drive to try and double the lead before the break. Mansfield needed a defensive play and senior Josh Shafer provided three in a row on two sacks and a tackle for a loss to end the threat and keep it a one score game.
When asked how his team was feeling at the break, Prep coach Brian St. Pierre responded, “It was more frustration…we stopped ourselves twice going in. It was a calm locker room, we felt good about our plan and it was just about executing.”
The execution was much better in the third quarter by just getting the ball into the hands of Rockett. He took a swing pass and weaved his way through would-be tacklers, reversing field, stepping back away from defenders, and somehow breaking away for a 52-yard touchdown early in the third that made it 21-7.
“Every body was just flying at me,” explained Rockett, “and I was just trying to make a move. I saw one person and I’d step back, step back, step back and I had some green grass in front of me and went straight in.”
St. Pierre added, “That play…I don’t know if you’ll see a better one this year. It was special.”
The Hornets would not cave. After a good open-field tackle on the edge against Rockett forced a Prep punt, Mansfield got the big play it needed when Nick Graham (seven carries, 73 yards) broke free on a 48-yard sweep to the left that put the Hornets inside the five. Three plays later, Lynch (the 2014 HockomockSports.com Underclassman of the Year) punched it in from two yards out.
Once again, the visitors came right back and (once again) it was Eberth that finished off the drive by hitting Rockett down the far sideline and the junior somehow wiggled away from a tackler for a 24-yard TD that made it 28-14 early in the fourth.
After a Mansfield punt, Eberth used play action to find a wide open Declan Burt on a crossing route for a 19-yard strike that put the game away. Prep would score again in the final minute to add gloss to the final score.
Mansfield showed signs in the running game, but struggled against the Prep pass rush, which rarely needed a blitz and relied on its size advantage at the line of scrimmage.
Redding said, “It wore us down. They never had to blitz and they never had to play both ways. It was fresh 11 and then another 11. It took its toll in the fourth quarter.”
“We just need to settle Anthony (DeGirolamo) down and get the ball more to (Ben) Budwey and (Hunter) Ferreira and (Mike) Arnold on our play action. That was the missing piece, we couldn’t get our play action going and they did.”
Mansfield will travel to Haverhill next Friday night.
Josh Perry can be contacted at JoshPerry@hockomocksports.com and followed on Twitter at @Josh_Perry10.