Mansfield, 49 @ Canton, 0 – Final – Click here for a photo gallery of this game. 1Q: (M) Conner Zukowski 31-yard pass to Brian Butler, Travis Hennessey XP good; B. Butler 5-yard rush, T. Hennessey XP good.
2Q: (M) Tommy Smith 1-yard rush, T. Hennessey XP good; (M) C. Zukowski 56-yard pass to CJ Bell, T. Hennessey XP good; (M) C. Zukowski 16-yard pass to Ryan DeGirolamo, T. Hennessey XP good; (M) Brandon Jackman 44-yard fumble return, T. Hennessey XP good.
3Q: (M) T. Smith 4-yard rush, Sean Murphy XP good.
4Q: No scoring.
North Attleboro, 1 @ King Philip, 4 – Final – Mara Boldy accounted for three points to lift KP to a division win over North. Boldy scored a pair of goals and assisted on a third. Leah Santoro added a goal and an assist and Abby MacDonald also found the back of the net for the Warriors. Haley Bright (two saves) and Samantha Sweetman (one save) each played well in goal for KP.
Milford, 0 @ Mansfield, 6 – Final – Mansfield scored three times in each half to pick up the win. Francesca Smith had a pair of goals to lead the Hornets in attack. Ava Adams opened the scoring with a first quarter goal. In the second, Ella Palanza and Kristina Kipp found the back of the net for a three-goal lead at the break. Smith got both goals in the third quarter to extend the lead and Danni Cuzzi added one more in the fourth.
Mansfield, 159 @ Stoughton, 191 – Final – Hayden O’Connor was the low scorer for the Hornets, shooting a round of 38. Nate McClean was right behind him, finishing with a 39.
Milford, 168 @ Taunton, 177 – Final Noah Lawrence and Tyler Hipplito shot co-medalist rounds of 39 to lead the Hawks to the win. Taunton was led by Noah Faidell and Alex Dias, who both finished with a 43.
Foxboro, 156 @ Sharon, 174 – Final
North Attleboro, 152 @ Canton, 167 – Final – North bounced back from Wednesday’s loss to Franklin with a non-league win over Canton. Tyson Laviano had the low round of the day, shooting a 36 for the Rocketeers. Jake Gaskin (37) and Dillon Harding (38) also broke 40 for the visitors. Jordan Paradis added a round of 41. Canton’s low scorers were Teddy Shuman and Gavin McMahon, both finishing with rounds of 41. Matt Anderson had a 42 and Huck McCready shot a 43 for the Bulldogs.
MANSFIELD, Mass. – With under eight seconds remaining in the second quarter of Friday night’s rivalry game at Alumni Field, Mansfield faced a third down from the one-yard-line. The Hornets had traveled 61 yards in 45 seconds, now they just had to punch it in. North Attleboro senior Jack Munley had other ideas and stopped Rocco Scarpellini short of the end zone.
Having started the first overtime period with a touchdown, North’s defense had the chance to repeat its earlier trick, stop the Hornets from the one, and clinch a second consecutive impressive road victory. Mansfield QB Connor Curtis tried to keep it himself, looking for a hole in the middle of the line, but was swallowed up by white shirts.
For the second time in the game, North’s defense made a stand, this time sealing a 27-21 win, avenging last year’s double-overtime defeat to the Hornets at Community Field. It was North’s first win at Mansfield since 2015.
“Whether you get the ball first or second, you’ve got to stop them and it came down to that at the end,” said first-year North coach Mike Strachan. “I’m just really proud of my football team, they fought. To beat Mansfield at Mansfield, with this great team, and this great tradition they have here, I’m really proud of my guys.”
Mansfield coach Mike Redding admitted that he will be second-guessing his call on that final play for a while.
“It’s a heartbreaker,” he explained. “I’ll go over this for 10 years on any call that would’ve worked.
“We’re trying to come up with a little bit of a counter to kind of get them overflowing, get Connor back, he’s great off the fake finding the seam to run. Once we get to the one or two, they’ve just got 11 big, strong bodies up front and we’re young up front and we just can’t quite get movement to punch it in.”
The Hornets started the game on top. Aidan Gleavy made a nice read on a screen pass to force a three-and-out. After Munley sacked Conner Zukowski, Mansfield was able to convert third and long with Zukowski (18-of-28, 300 yards) throwing a 20-yard strike to Trevor Foley (five catches, 134 yards) on the near sideline. CJ Bell followed with a nice grab on the far sideline, hauling in a 29-yard reception.
After Zukowski and Foley combined again for another 17 yards, Scarpellini punched it in from a yard out to make it 7-0.
In the second quarter, Kyle Murphy sacked North quarterback Chase Frisoli to force a punt from the three. Mansfield started at the North 30-yard-line but a holding call stalled the drive. North took over possession and took the momentum.
On third and short from the North 42, Frisoli (12-of-22, 180 yards) looked deep down the sideline to Jovany Rivera (six catches, 123 yards). The 41-yard completion put the Rocketeers in the red zone for the first time. Eight yards and three plays later, facing fourth and two Strachan elected to go for it. Greg Berthiaume wouldn’t be stopped, dragging a would-be tackler with him for a nine-yard, game-tying score.
The North defense followed up that score by forcing a three-and-out. A short punt gifted the visitors the ball at the 26 and North took advantage. A timeout before Austin Clemente attempted a 46-yard field goal led to a change of plan, with North electing to go for it and Frisoli finding Rivera for 21 yards to the eight. On the next snap Berthiaume caught a pass in the flat and dove for the pylon to put Big Red in front.
Mansfield only had 53 seconds on the clock but wasted no time racing up field. Zukowski hit Drew Sacco for 15 yards and Bell for 17. He then fired a 30-yard pass to Foley to get the Hornets down to the two. After a false start, Nolan Bordieri took a sweep for six yards but just short of the end zone. An incompletion and Munley’s big stop, left the Hornets down 14-7 at the break.
Strachan said, “I think we were physical up front. I thought we were very physical and controlled the line of scrimmage.”
North added to its lead on its first possession of the third. Frisoli’s quick release to Rivera down the sideline for 25 yards got them into Mansfield territory and a perfectly executed play action left sophomore Ryan Bannon all alone in the secondary for a 26-yard touchdown.
The Hornets were struggling to get the ground game working but Zukowski was having a lot of success through the air. On the first snap of the next drive, he looked down field for Foley, who made a great adjustment to the flight of the ball and pulled in a 47-yard catch. On the next play, Foley out-jumped the defensive back in the back of the end zone, snatching a 20-yard touchdown.
Down seven in the fourth quarter, Mansfield got the ball back at its own 11. A first down got it out to the 23 and Zukowski again looked down the sideline, this time to Brandon Jackman, who made a great catch for 37 yards. Zukowski appeared to get a cramp at the end of the play and had to come to the sideline. Curtis jumped in and immediately broke away for a 40-yard touchdown run that tied the game with under six minutes remaining.
“We let them go up 14 and then we kind of woke up and started playing clean,” Redding said. “Zuk started throwing the ball well, we spread them out. We really started playing great from when they scored to go up 14 until overtime. We showed a lot of heart.”
North had one more chance to win it in regulation. A 10-play drive to the Mansfield 19 gave Clemente a chance from 36 yards out, but his kick was wide left with just 20 seconds to play.
The visitors had the ball first in OT. On first down, Frisoli flipped a pass over the shoulder of Aidan Conrad in the flat and he walked in with the go-ahead score. Ryan DeGirolamo was in tight coverage to breakup the two-point conversion try, leaving North up six.
Mansfield had four plays to try and tie it. Zukowski looked for Foley on each of the first two plays, with Rivera doing a good job in coverage on the second. On third down, Zukowski hit Sacco in the flat and he showed patience to pick a hole but North converged at the goal line to keep him a yard short.
Curtis came in for the final play, trying to force his way through North’s defensive line, but Zachary Gallagher, Bannon, Berthiaume, and others were on hand to keep the Hornets just short and add another exciting chapter to this historic rivalry.
Final (OT): North Attleboro 27, Mansfield 21, for the second time tonight North is able to stop the Hornets at the one, Rocketeers walk away with the victory #hockomockpic.twitter.com/CNaDkFs9Zf
“We practiced all week in the goal line, what to do, we practiced our new formations, and I really think we just executed it like we’re supposed to,” Berthiaume explained. “When you don’t make mistakes, you win football games.”
Strachan said, “We go to work each week, we talk about that, we say we put the money in the bank and the payout is on Friday nights. This was a big check mark for us and it was a really big test for our team. We’re going to try and enjoy this one, but I’m just really happy with our football team.”
Following a bye week, North Attleboro (2-0) will have its home, and Kelley-Rex, opener when the Rocketeers host currently unbeaten Franklin. Mansfield (1-1) will head out on the road for the first time next Friday, traveling to Worcester to face Doherty.
Outlook: After experiencing some growing pains against a tough schedule last season, the Bulldogs boast a good number of returning players looking to have a bounce-back year in 2022.
Canton has key pieces in key spots on the field and has a total of 22 seniors on the roster. The defense will be filled with veterans including a talented group of linebackers that include seniors Jack Flaherty (captain) and Hayden Rose along with junior captain Owen Lane. While the linebackers are likely to be the heart of the defense, the Bulldogs also have some key experience – and some noticeable size – on the defensive line with seniors Julian Prentice (captain) and Jack Digirolamo. In the secondary, Charlie Cox and Josh Richards will man the safety positions to anchor the secondary unit.
The Bulldogs have a familiar face back at quarterback in Lane, an athletic lefty that can make plays with both his feet and his arm. As just a sophomore a year ago, Lane gained valuable experience and will be looking to build on a solid campaign. He will work behind a somewhat inexperienced line that is anchored by senior captain Matt Lesser at center with Nathan Levis and sophomore Luke Richard at guard, and junior Giovanni Disasio and sophomore Luke Laguerre at tackle. Senior Godson Ofonagoro has transferred in and will be in the mix at running back along with James Robbins, Cole Ouellette, and Michael Sayers.
Canton opens the season on the road at Dighton-Rehoboth but then hosts back-to-back non-league games as the Bulldogs look to build some momentum before their first meeting with Mansfield since 2012.
Foxboro narrowly missed out on a trip to Gillette last year, falling in the Div. 5 state semifinal. The reigning Davenport division champions will have to replace the production of league MVP Dylan Gordon, but the Warriors have a host of younger players ready to step into bigger roles this season and will be excited about adding league title drama to their Thanksgiving Day rivalry with Mansfield.
Even graduating its starting tailback and quarterback, Foxboro will have a lot of depth in the skill positions this season with several underclassmen showing that they are ready to contribute right away. Sophomore Mike Marcucella will take over under center and will have plenty of options in the backfield and at receiver. Junior Lincoln Moore has the strength and quickness to be a dynamic runner along with junior Brandon Mazenkas-O’Grady, senior Jaiquann Williams, and sophomore Ben Angelini. Senior Payton France will be an option at wideout, junior Tony Sulham adds speed wherever he lines up, and sophomore Nolan Gordon will be a big target on the outside. The offensive line is loaded with size this season. Senior Andrew Finn will be the leader of a group that includes junior Nate Urman and sophomore Jonathan Balde. Sam Carpenter is one of the league’s top kickers and gives Foxboro the chance for points every possession.
Defense has always been a focal point for the Warriors and they have plenty of experience returning to be a strong group. As one offense, Foxboro will have plenty of size up front. Finn and Mazenkas-O’Grady are constant threats from the ends with Urman and Balde helping out in the interior. Moore was a standout linebacker as a sophomore and he leads a group that includes Williams and Angelini. Sulham is a lockdown corner and Gordon, Francis, and Marcucella will all add depth in the secondary.
“If the players and coaches are patient and are mindful that you never pick up where you left off, assuming nothing, this can be a good football team, characterized by senior strength and tremendous underclass talent,” said Foxboro coach Jack Martinelli.
It usually doesn’t take Mansfield long to rebuild and the Hornets come into the new season with an experienced core of returning players, particularly in the skill positions, that is poised to challenge not only for the program’s first Davenport division title but also to make a deep run in the state tournament. With nearly all of its production back from last year, Mansfield will be counting on that year of experience to be ready for a tough schedule meant to prepare the Hornets for the playoffs.
The Mansfield offense should have plenty of balance to it this season. Senior Conner Zukowski will be back under center for the Hornets and he has a host of weapons to take advantage of in both the passing and ground games. Seniors Drew Sacco and Rocco Scarpellini will be in the backfield this season and both are dynamic runners who can grind yards or break big plays. Juniors Brian Butler and Nolan Bordieri could also be added to the mix. Junior Connor Curtis will give another option as a running QB. Junior Trevor Foley emerged as one of the top receivers in the league last season and junior CJ Bell, Bordieri, and junior Brandon Jackman give the Hornets a lot of depth on the outside, while senior Ryan DeGirolamo gives Zukowski a big target at tight end. The line should also be deep this season, led by seniors Jephte Jean and Colton Johnson and newcomers senior Dexter Harris, and juniors Aidan Gleavy, Matt Tryon, and Jason Riley.
Experience is a strength on the other side of the ball as well. Foley and Bell give Mansfield playmakers in the secondary that will cause havoc with opposition passing attacks. Bordieri and Jackman will add to that defensive back group. Jean was an imposing force on the defensive line and he will be helped by Gleavy and Harris. DeGirolamo gives the Hornets a threat from his defensive end position and Riley could step into that role on the other side. Scarpellini and senior Caden Colby will return at linebacker.
“Depth and experience at offensive skill positions with the return of about 95 percent of the team’s production from last year,” Mansfield head coach Mike Redding said of his team’s strength. “Defensive group is also experienced with the secondary returning three of the four starters and two of the three linebackers, so good experience there as well.”
Outlook: Buoyed by a productive offseason, Oliver Ames is looking to get back into the heart of the division title race this season. The Tigers have a strong nucleus of players back and are hoping a strong line – both offensively and defensively – will pave the way for success this season.
Three of the Tigers’ five captains call the offensive line home so OA will lean heavily on that unit to pave the way for the offense. Columbia University-commit Jaden Hinton has transformed into one of the best two-way linemen in not only the Hock but in the state. He will be joined by fellow captains Chris Young and John Carey, as well as classmate Luis Fernandes. The unit will be in charge of creating holes for four-year starter and captain Chad Silva. After handling lead blocking duties last year, Silva will likely be the feature back for the Tigers and has a great combination of power and speed.
Senior captain Wayne Casey will start under center and will be tasked with controlling the offense. He will work with Robert Jenkins, Jaden Graham, and Bronson Burnham as weapons on offense.
Silva is back for another year at linebacker and is a big-time playmaker on that side of the ball. Seniors Jack Morley and Jordan Young round out an experienced group while Hinton will work with Young, Fernandes, and classmate Donovan Howard along the defensive line. Seniors Jack Perron and Nick Ferrini will play in the secondary alongside Jenkins and Graham.
“I am thrilled about the work our older guys have put in this offseason and really think it should help them pay off,” said OA head coach Ed DeWitt. “We really want to continue to improve week to week and play with more consistency than we did last year.”
Sharon is continuing its independent schedule this fall and, with 13 returning starters, the Eagles will have plenty of experience. Depth continues to be a challenge for the program, but there is room for development, and head coach Dave Morse is hoping that a very young roster will continue to develop this season.
Junior quarterback Liam Conway will lead an offense that is going to try and add more balance this season. Senior Kyle Samuels and junior Jacob McLoughlin will be the primary targets in the passing game. Juniors Gabe Korn and Duncan Seaman will be in the backfield and will give the Eagles a couple of threats in the running game. Senior fullback Joden Chanel will try and lead the way in the running game and senior lineman Dan Davis will be there to open holes.
Defensively, Sharon wants to be more aggressive. Korn and Seaman will lead the linebacking corps and add playmaking on the defensive side of the ball. Davis will be an impact player on the line and Chanel will give Sharon speed on the edge. In the secondary, Samuels will be one of the top cover guys, while junior Elijah Wisdom will be a ball hawk at free safety.
“Hoping to continue to develop and turn that into winning football games,” Morse said. “We are still very young because of the lack of seniors but it is my job to get all of our players up to speed at the varsity level.”
Editor’s note: Sharon is competing a non-league schedule this season.
Outlook: Stoughton finished in the middle of the pack in the Davenport division after an injury-plagued season last year. The Black Knights reached the state tournament and kept it close before falling in the first round, and ended the season with a win over rival Canton on Thanksgiving to finish at 5-6.
Between the graduating seniors and the players returning from injury, there will be plenty of new playmakers for the Black Knights this season. One familiar face will be the one under center as junior Jarred Daughtry is back at quarterback after getting a lot of reps a season ago. Daughtry showed that he can make plays with his arm but he’s very athletic and will be someone opposing defenses have to keep an eye out for.
Running the Wing-T, Daughtry will have senior Tagh Swiezewski and juniors Liam Pearl and Alex Huynh – both of who got off to promising sophomore campaigns before injuries. All three will be involved in blocking and running, and also key pieces in the Stoughton passing game. Junior James Currier has emerged as a top option as a receiver as well.
Stoughton has been known for its tough defenses over the years under longtime head coach Greg Burke, and the Black Knights will be looking to continue that tradition this year. Stoughton gave up over 23 points per game last, which was unusually high for a program that has kept teams under 20 for at least the six seasons prior to that. An athletic secondary will feature Swierziewski, Daughtry, Huynh, and Currier. Timmy Chung returns as one of the starting linebackers alongside Pearl and Beder, while Laz, Noel, and Thomas will all be two-way linemen.
“We need to stay healthy and improve on the line,” said Burke. “We need younger players to play and to improve every week.”