Hornets Swarm Past King Philip Into D2 South Final

Mansfield football Jack Moussette
Mansfield senior quarterback Jack Moussette throws a past in the first quarter against King Philip. (Ryan Lanigan/HockomockSports.com)
ByRyanLanigan_2016FollowRyanLanigan_2016
 
 
MANSFIELD, Mass. – The past two seasons, the Mansfield football team has had its hopes of competing for a state championship dashed by rival King Philip.

The Hornets weren’t going to let that happen again this year.

Mansfield senior quarterback Jack Moussette tossed four touchdowns in one of his best performances of the season and junior Cincere Gill accounted for four total scored to help the Hornets roll to a 34-6 win over #3 King Philip.

Click here for a photo gallery from this game.

“I was just trying to make the most of my opportunities,” said Moussette, who completed 12-of-17 passes for 230 yards. “We run the ball the majority of the time but Coach Redding told me ‘I trust you, go out there and do your thing tonight.’ I just tried to do the best I could. We had a great game on the ground and in the air, it was overall a great team win, I’m really proud of the guys. The offensive line stepped up big when we needed them too.”

While the Hornets have won the past two regular season meetings (28-27 in 2018, 15-13 this season), the Warriors have been the ones with the last laugh. KP knocked off Mansfield 13-11 in the semifinals in 2017 and celebrated with the D2 South trophy on Alumni Field last season after a 10-7 triumph.

“We’ve won the last two regular season games to win the league title but back-to-back losses, when you’re this close to Gillette…the guys have been waiting a year for another chance,” said Mansfield head coach Mike Redding. “We got the monkey off the back in the league, the playoff thing was like a gorilla on our back. It would have been another long year if we blew this one. But being home, being healthy for a change in the playoffs has made a difference. We’re doing it in all three phases right now and with confidence.

“Every year we play them we seem to get seven and get stuck. Last year in the playoffs, we got seven early and didn’t score. This year we got seven and didn’t score until the end. We harped on that, get to 14, get the 14-point lead, build off that. Tonight we got more than that which is great but extending the lead was critical.”

Mansfield made it clear early on that repeating that feat would be a tough task. After a punt and a red zone turnover, the Hornets got on the board on their third series.

Moussette hit Danny Rapoza (three catches, 58 yards) for 32 yards on first down, and four plays later, used play action before connecting with Gill (five catches, 107 yards, three touchdowns) out in the flat and the junior used his speed to race inside the pylon for a 7-0 lead with 11:54 left in the second quarter.

The Hornets’ defense helped set up the next score. Nico Holmes and Chris Graham combined for a tackle for loss, and the front seven helped pressure King Philip quarterback Robert Jarest (8-for-23, 107 yards, touchdown) into a throwaway that was flagged for intentional grounding.

Stuck at their own 11, KP chose a quick kick from Jarest on third down trying to flip the field. Mansfield took over at the KP 46-yard line and quickly cashed in. Gill faked outside to shake his defender and Moussette delivered a pass on the mark for a 46-yard touchdown with 9:19 left in the second quarter.

“It’s a lot of people to cover and I think their quarterback has come along,” said King Philip coach Brian Lee. “He’s the one piece that’s the difference for them right now. He’s getting better and better, it was tough. It’s a lot to defend, and on a short field, you’re asking for trouble.”

Makhi Baskin broke up a third down pass on KP’s next drive and the Hornets took over at their own 32-yard line with 7:12 left to play in the half. Vinnie Holmes (12 carries, 70 yards) broke off a 17-yard run and Gill hauled in a 27-yard pass but Mansfield was faced with a third down when they entered the red zone.

Moussette faked to his right before dropping off a pass to the left on a screen to Everett Knowlton. Junior TJ Guy came up with a big block to spring Knowlton for an 18-yard touchdown, and Michael DeBolt’s third of four successful extra point attempts gave the hosts a 21-0 lead with 3:41 left in the quarter.

“We had a great night throwing, and I think that was the difference,” Redding said. “Jack was on, we had some good matchups with Cincere [Gill] out as a receiver, Danny [Rapoza] did a good job. I think that was the difference was our ability to throw the ball. We ran pretty well but we had to throw it.

“And our defense was lights out, and the field position was a pretty big factor with the kicking game. We fed off the field position, defense got stops. Now you can take chances on offense because you have four downs. Things went our way from the beginning.”

Mansfield nearly added more points before the break with runs from DeBolt and Nick Marciano helping get the Hornets inside the red zone. But a pass fell through a receiver’s hands in the end zone and KP sophomore Crawford Cantave snatched the interception with under a minute to play.

King Philip looked to have a bright start to the second half when Jarest connected with Alex Behling for almost 30 yards down the sideline but a holding call erased the completion and two plays later, Marciano came up with an interception to give Mansfield the ball back with good field position at the KP 23-yard line.

Four plays later, Gill took the handoff, cut up field and found the end zone with an 11-yard touchdown, and a 28-0 advantage with 7:59 left in the third quarter.

“One thing that was a little disappointing was that we got beat up, we got out-physicaled, out-played,” Lee said. “I’m not sure what was so different this time than last time but it definitely was a big difference. When they are out in front, they get on you. You have to keep it close with them. They are loaded, they have a lot of guys. They are coached well and they believe.”

The Warriors put together their best drive of the game in response. Jarest had a first down pass to Behling and Ryan Halliday (13 carries, 47 yards) barreled his way for a first down. Jarest linked up with Behling again for a 42-yard gain to get inside the red zone.

On the next play, Mansfield’s Joe Plath broke up a pass intended for KP’s Drew Danson, but the loose ball was hauled in by Andrew McKinney along the back of the end zone for a 19-yard touchdown.

Sophomore Mark DeGirolamo recovered an onside kick attempt from the Warriors, and the Hornets needed just three plays to strike. DeBolt hauled in a 19-yard pass, Holmes grinded out nine yards, and Moussette connected with an open Gill for a 24-yard touchdown, and a 34-6 lead with 3:14 left in the third quarter.

Click here for a photo gallery from this game.

“We have great receivers,” Moussette said. “Cincere is unbelievable, I worked all summer with Danny Rapoza, I think he’s one of the most underrated players in the league. We have guys on the sidelines like [Joe] Cappelletti that can come in and make plays. We’re loaded with weapons and coach is doing his best to get everyone involved.

“This means the world to me. We got up in the summer every day at 5 in the morning to work out. Our main goal is to win a state title and we wanted to beat KP. We were lucky enough to do it twice this year, I couldn’t be prouder of the team. We really battled and put it all together to show everyone what we’re all about.”

Mansfield football (8-1) will play at top-seeded Natick in the D2 South Final, but the date and time have yet to be posted by the MIAA. King Philip (7-2) will enter the non-playoff pool for one week.

Friday’s Schedule & Scoreboard – 11/01/19

Today’s games are listed below.

Football
D1 South

#7 Attleboro, 0 @ #2 Franklin, 14 – FinalClick here for a Recap and Photo Gallery from this game.
1st Quarter: No scoring.
2nd Quarter: No scoring.
3rd Quarter: (F) Thomas Gasbarro 16-yard pass to Jack Nally, Parker Cheuvront XP good.
4th Quarter: (F) T. Gasbarro 23-yard pass to Jake Davis, P. Cheuvront XP good.

D2 South
#2 Mansfield, 24 vs. #7 Marshfield, 6 – Final
1st Quarter: (Mans) Michael DeBolt 2-yard fumble recovery, M. DeBolt XP good; (Mans) Cincere Gill 14-yard rush, M. DeBolt XP good.
2nd Quarter: (Mans) Jack Moussette 16-yard pass to Vinnie Holmes, M. DeBolt XP good; (Marsh) Masterson 48-yard pass to Chabra, 2-point conversion failed.
3rd Quarter: (Mans) M. DeBolt 38-yard field goal.
4th Quarter: No scoring.

#3 King Philip, 34 vs. #6 Barnstable, 6 – Final
1st Quarter: No scoring
2nd Quarter: (KP) Ryan Halliday 2-yard rush, XP good; (KP) Robert Jarest 9-yard pass to Drew Danson, XP failed.
3rd Quarter: (KP) Nick Viscusi 78-yard kickoff return, XP failed; (B) Nick Wilson 36-yard rush, two-point rush failed; (KP) R. Halliday 5-yard rush, R. Jarest 2pt pass to D. Danson.
4th Quarter: (KP) R. Jarest 4-yard rush, XP good.

D3 South
#3 Stoughton, 41 vs. #6 Whitman-Hanson, 12 – Final
1st Quarter: (S) Christopher Ais 78-yard rush, XP failed; (S) Clayton Rahaman 2-yard rush, 2pt conversion good.
2nd Quarter: (WH) Jason Murphy 58-yard pass to Colby Garden, XP failed; (S) C. Rahaman 10-yard pass to Christian Georges, XP good; (S) C. Georges 4-yard rush, XP good.
3rd Quarter: No scoring.
4th Quarter: (S) John Burke 85-yard pass to Eddie St. Hilaire, XP good; (S) C. Georges 39-yard rush, XP failed.

#5 Milford, 19 @ #4 Walpole, 34 – Final

D5 South
#1 Canton, 34 vs. #8 Scituate, 14 – FinalClick here for a Recap and Photo Gallery from this game.
1st Quarter: No scoring.
2nd Quarter: (C) Johnny Hagan 1-yard rush, Owen Lehane XP good.
3rd Quarter: (C) Kyle Fitzgerald 40-yard rush, O. Lehane XP good.
4th Quarter: (C) J. Hagan 2-yard rush, O. Lehane XP good; (C) K. Fitzgerald 7-yard rush, O. Lehane XP good; (S) Matt Scibilio 65-yard pass to Nick Gould, XP good; (C) K. Fitzgerald 56-yard rush, XP failed; (S) M. Scibilio 48-yard pass to N. Gould, XP good.

#4 Foxboro, 21 vs. #5 Norton, 0 – Final
1st Quarter: No scoring.
2nd Quarter: (F) Shayne Kerrigan 21-yard rush, XP good.
3rd Quarter: (F) S. Kerrigan 3-yard rush, XP good.
4th Quarter: (F) Chris McNamara 15-yard rush, XP good.

Non-Playoffs
North Attleboro, 14 @ Dennis-Yarmouth, 39 – Final
Oliver Ames, 7 @ North Quincy, 12 – Final
Sharon, 0 @ Dedham, 7 – Final
Taunton, 0 vs. Xaverian, 28 – Final

Field Hockey
D2 South

#4 Foxboro, 5 vs. #20 Seekonk, 0 – FinalClick here for a Recap and Photo Gallery from this game.

Volleyball
D2 Central

#11 Foxboro, 2 @ #6 Medfield, 3 – FinalFoxboro battled back from an 0-2 deficit to force a deciding fifth game but host Medfield was the first to 15 to earn a 3-2 (14-25, 18-25, 25-11, 25-22, 11-15) win. Grace Boudreau paced Foxboro with 10 kills, 11 digs, four aces, and a pair of blocks while Pam Nelson and Grace Fortune each had 11 digs. Emma Keefe added five aces, five digs, and two kills, Shakirah Ketant picked up eight kills, three blocks, and two aces, and Maddie O’Brien dished out 19 assists along with seven digs for Foxboro.

#13 Milford, 0 @ #4 Westboro, 3 – Final

Friday’s Schedule & Scoreboard – 10/18/19

Today’s games are listed below.

Football
Sharon, 0 @ Foxboro, 32 – Final

King Philip, 28 @ Taunton, 13 – Final
1st Quarter: (KP) Robert Jarest 29-yard rush, XP failed; (KP) R. Jarest 43-yard pass to Brian Wassersug, R. Jarest 2pt pass to Alex Behling.
2nd Quarter: (KP) R. Jarest 12-yard pass to A. Behling, XP good; (KP) R. Jarest 17-yard pass to Drew Danson, XP good.
3rd Quarter: (T) Trent Santos 2-yard pass to Nigel Choate, Collin Knorr XP good.
4th Quarter: (T) Bretton Heggs 2-yard rush, 2pt rush failed.

Oliver Ames, 6 @ Mansfield, 36 – Final
1st Quarter: (M) Vinnie Holmes 62-yard rush, Michael DeBolt XP good; (OA) Nathan Cabral 3-yard rush, XP failed.
2nd Quarter: (M) Cincere Gill 12-yard rush, M. DeBolt XP good; (M) M. DeBolt 8-yard rush, M DeBolt XP good; (M) Jack Moussette 61-yard pass to Danny Rapoza, M. DeBolt XP good.
3rd Quarter: (M) Nick Marciano 37-yard rush, N. Marciano 2pt rush.
4th Quarter: No scoring.

Boys Soccer
Oliver Ames, 6 @ Attleboro, 1 – FinalOliver Ames and Attleboro traded goals inside the first 20 minutes but the Tigers scored five unanswered to pick up the win. Junior Anthony DaCosta converted a feed from sophomore Mathias Taylor in the 18th minute before the hosts knotted the score two minutes later. OA jumped back ahead when junior Colin Milliken set up classmate Kevin Louhis in the 33rd minute. Taylor made it 3-1 in the 38th minute on a feed from junior Jimmy Keane. The Tigers scored three goals in the first 10 minutes of the second half to pull away. Keane, Milliken and Nicholas Farley each scored with Milliken, Louhis and Dillon Cupples recording assists. Matthew Nikiciuk, Ben Cohen, Harry Ahearn, Matt Nosalek, Jon Freeman all played terrific for OA.

Stoughton, 1 @ Canton, 3 – FinalColby Ciffolillo, Caden Mirliani, and Jake McCabe scored to help the Bulldogs pick up a win over visiting Stoughton.

Milford, 6 @ Foxboro, 0 – FinalMilford scored three goals in each half to secure a big win on the road at Foxboro. Senior Pedro Araujo scored four goals in the win to break the program’s single season point record, with 32 points so far this season. Araujo opened the scoring halfway through the first half on an assist from Nuno Mestre, and then grabbed his second eight minutes later on a penalty kick. Joao Pedro Da Silva made it 3-0 with Araujo recording the assist. Jordan Borges set up Araujo for his third goal with a beautiful through ball just a minute into the second half. Araujo grabbed his fourth in the 50th minute with Da Silva notching the assist. David Desa scored the final goal with Eduardo Castro getting the assist. Kevin Gomes had the shutout in net while both Borges and freshman Nick Ribeiro had strong showings in the midfield.

Franklin, 0 @ Mansfield, 2 – FinalMansfield freshman Aiden Steele scored a goal and had an assist to help the Hornets knock off Franklin to keep their postseason hopes alive. Steele set up Colin True in the 55th minute for the opener, and then scored his first career goal in the 68th minute off a corner from sophomore Matt Hyland. Mansfield coach Steve Sheridan said his defense played great, adding Peter Oldow and Colin Caridi had phenomenal games in the midfield.

Taunton, 3 @ King Philip, 3 – FinalKing Philip and Taunton traded goals back and forth throughout 80 minutes, with the hosts finding the equalizer in the final five minutes to earn a draw. The visitors opened the scoring in the 12th minute when junior Travis Nunes converted a pass from classmate Kevin Monteiro. Cam Lawrence (from Colin Wesley) tied the game for KP in the 23rd minute, and KP took its first lead when Alex Leon scored off an assist from Tadhg Keller in the 32nd minute. Taunton’s Hunter Cabral knotted things up five minutes later with Khalil Ba picking up the assist. Taunton went back ahead in the 55th minute when Cabral netted his second, assisted by Paiva. Lawrence brought the hosts level once again, this time finishing a pass from Owen Teixeira in the 76th minute.

North Attleboro, 0 @ Sharon, 0 – FinalNorth Attleboro keeper Kyle Briere and Sharon goalie Matthew Baur both played well, each earning a shutout as the Rocketeers and Eagles split the points.




Girls Soccer
Attleboro, 1 @ Oliver Ames, 5 – FinalOliver Ames senior Erin Holmberg scored four goals to pace the hosts to a big win at home. Caroline Peper also scored in the while while Allison Evin had two assists. Lauren Sellmayer and Jenna Gilman each had one helper for the Tigers. Attleboro freshman Emily Dunlea scored her first career goal for the Bombardiers.

Canton, 3 @ Stoughton, 0 – Final

Foxboro, 5 @ Milford, 1 – FinalClick here for a Recap and Photo Gallery from this game.

Mansfield, 0 @ Franklin, 1 – FinalClick here for a Recap and Photo Gallery from this game.

King Philip, 9 @ Taunton, 0 – FinalKing Philip senior Chloe Layne scored twice in the first half and added two assists as the Warriors built a 4-0 lead by the break and never looked back. Layne finished with four assists while Avery Snead had four goals and one assist in the win. Maeve Lawlor, Ella Pisani, and Jenny Montville also scored while Taylor Butler had the shutout in goal.

Sharon, 0 @ North Attleboro, 0 – FinalSharon’s Cass Barbera and North Attleboro’s Regan Fein posted shutouts as the Eagles and Rocketeers took a point each. Lydia Hershey, Colette Petit, and Lily Adams all played well for North Attleboro.

Field Hockey
Milford, 2 vs. Bellingham, 1 – FinalMilford defended home turf with a 2-1 win over Bellingham. Kat Swineford scored once and added an assist for the Hawks, setting up a goal from Olyvia Whyte.

Volleyball
Attleboro, 0 @ Oliver Ames, 3 – FinalOliver Ames took care of business on Friday evening, sweeping visiting Attleboro, 3-0 (25-11, 25-13, 25-14). Junior Sarah Morley shined at the service line with 12 aces and a total of 24 service points. Allie Kemp added 19 assists, Alison Barth notched 20 digs, and Ryley McNeeley chipped in with five kills and five assists.

King Philip, 3 @ Walpole, 0 – FinalKing Philip earned a regular season sweep over non-league foe Walpole picking up a 3-0 (25-9, 25-13, 25-15) sweep. The Warriors had a strong showing from the service line as Emma Brooks had 20 service points with three aces and Lily Carlow added eight service points (three aces) and four digs. Nicole Coughlan (12 kills) and Catherine Waldeck (10 kills) pace KP’s offense at the net.

Milford, 2 vs. Nipmuc, 3 – Final

Golf
Canton, 160 @ Mansfield, 155 – FinalIn a battle of division champions, Mansfield earned bragging rights with a close win over Canton at Norton Country Club. Mansfield juniors Brian See and Joseph Gormley shared match medalist honors to lead the way, finishing at 38 for the day. See had birdies on both the sixth and seventh holes. Junior Ryan Dow added a 39 and junior Nate Morreale finished with a 40 for the Hornets. Canton’s James O’Keeffe had a team-low round of 39, Chris Lavoie and Mike Leonetti each shot 40, and Owen Donovan finished at 41.

Hornets Hang On To Knock Off King Philip

Mansfield football Vinnie Holmes
Mansfield’s Vinnie Holmes carries the ball in the second half against King Philip at Macktaz Field. (Ryan Lanigan/HockomockSports.com)
ByRyanLanigan_2016FollowRyanLanigan_2016
 
 
WRENTHAM, Mass. – With four of the last five meetings between King Philip and Mansfield football being decided by three or less points, it’s no surprise the teams were locked in another tight battle on Friday night.

And in games so tightly contested, it’s often a small play here or there that can make the biggest difference.

Mansfield senior Nick Marciano blocked an extra point attempt and later converted a two-point conversion rush to help the Hornets secure a 15-13 win on Macktaz Field over the host Warriors.

Click here for a photo gallery from this game.

“It’s a great win, but its Mansfield-KP, it’s gotta go to the wire,” said Mansfield head coach Mike Redding. “Both teams are going to find a way to get points and it’s always great defensively. It’s business as usual between these two.

“They really battled, this is just such a great rivalry, there’s so much pride on both sides.”

The Hornets held a 15-6 advantage and took over on offense after Mahki Baskin hauled in an interception in the end zone with just 5:30 left. But Mansfield was unable to kill much of the clock, and in true fashion this rivalry, King Philip made a game of it.

Just two minutes after turning it over, the Warriors were in the end zone. Senior quarterback Robert Jarest (14/26, 194 yards) orchestrated a four-play, 64-yard drive that took little time off the clock. Jarest hit Alex Behling for a 16-yard touchdown, and suddenly the Warriors were down just 15-13 with 3:18 to go after Dylan Conti‘s extra point.

But KP’s onside kick attempt failed to travel 10 yards, and the Hornets took over in Warrior territory. Senior Vinnie Holmes (13 carries, 106 yards) did the rest, sealing the deal with a 23-yard first down rush that allowed Mansfield to kill the rest of the clock.

“It was circled on our calendar from the beginning of the season,” Holmes said. “We knew this was going to be our biggest game so far that counts. La Salle didn’t really count. This one counts for us and it was great to get this win.

“We always know that they can always inch back. They did it last year versus us, almost got that two-point conversion to win. We knew they could do it. We knew we had to put the pedal to the metal. Stop them. Get that first down at the end that was big and then eventually run out the clock.”

Mansfield got off to a perfect start, needing just four plays to cover 52 yards in 2:22 to take the lead. After three run plays, the Hornets went play action and senior quarterback Jack Moussette (6/10, 72 yards) found Danny Rapoza open down the right sideline. Michael DeBolt split the uprights for the extra point to make it 7-0.

That would be all of the scoring in the opening half. King Philip’s first drive went for 12 plays but only 35 yards, stalling around midfield. The Warriors’ two other possessions were three-and-outs with a total of four yards.

Mansfield had solid field position throughout but couldn’t solve the KP defense. The Hornets had to punt on their second and third drives of the game and failed to convert a fourth down as time expired in the first half.

King Philip lost star running back and linebacker Ryan Halliday (eight carries, 25 yards) to an injury early in the second quarter but the Warriors’ offense was able to overcome, putting together its best series out of the break. The Warriors marched 80 yards on 14 plays, converting four third downs on the drive. Jarest hit Brian Wassersug for 24 yards on one third down to move into Hornet territory, and two plays later, the senior quarterback connected with Drew Danson for 38 yards to get down to the one-yard line.

It took four tries from there, but sophomore Crawford Cantave was able to punch it across to get the Warriors on the board.

But Marciano came up with one of the biggest plays of the game, flying across to get just enough on the ball to block it and keep it low.

Mansfield failed to convert on fourth down on back-to-back possessions but the Hornet defense held the Warriors to a combined -11 yards on its next two series. DeBolt and TJ Guy (sack) had key stops to help Mansfield get the ball back.

This time the Hornets did cash in on the good field position. After converting a first down, Cincere Gill took the handoff to the left before cutting back to the right, getting around the defense and sprinting his way to a 20-yard touchdown.

After an injury timeout, the Warriors were whistled for too many men on the conversion attempt. Mansfield pulled its kicking unit off the field, and after a timeout, went with the wildcat offense. Marciano took the snap himself, ran forward and jumped over the pile and into the end zone to make it 15-6 with 7:18 left.

“We thought about it from the three [yard line] but they are so good defensively,” Redding said. “When they got the penalty, we felt we had to go for it then from the one-yard line. That was obviously big because it became a two-score game, that makes a big difference.

Andrew McKinney (five catches, 55 yards) grabbed a 19-yard catch, and Wassersug made a terrific catch on the ensuing drive, hauling in a 36-yard completion to set the Warriors up in the red zone before Baskin came away with an interception in the end zone.

“We’ve been more impressed with Robert with what he’s been able to do,” said KP coach Brian Lee. “He’s a senior, he’s been around. He brought us down there at the end.”

“I’ll tell ya, Jarest was unbelievable in the second half,” Redding said. “They lose Halliday and they just found a way to make completions, he can run and throw. They did a great job of getting the offense going without one for the best running backs in the state in the lineup. They made a game of it, their defense played tough.

“We blew some opportunities to extend the lead, and this is what [KP] does, they hang around and manufacture a drive. All of a sudden you’re an onside kick away from them having the ball again with the chance to win.”

This was Mansfield’s second win in the rivalry since 2013, earning their second straight regular season contest. The two teams have also played in the playoffs in two straight seasons.

“Our defense really battled in there,” Lee said. “Ryan is as good of a player and means just as much on defense as he does on offense. So everyone was stepping up for us. The overall takeaway…we made a ton of mistakes, a lot of new guys out there but we hung in there and battled as hard as we could. I think going forward if we can play well, and we’re fortunate enough to see them again, we know we’re not out-classed by them.”

Both teams are likely to make the playoffs again this year and could be on a collision course for a third straight postseason meeting.

Click here for a photo gallery from this game.

“It’s great football, great defense, and I’m sure part two is coming in November,” Redding said.

“We have the utmost respect for KP, they are a great football team,” Holmes said. “They produce great players like Halliday, and we’ll probably see them again.”

Mansfield football (2-0 Hockomock, 3-1 overall) is on the road again next week at Pisani Field to visit Franklin for another key division showdown. King Philip (1-1, 3-1) will host Attleboro on Friday.

Defensive Adjustments Effective for KP at Foxboro

King Philip Football
KP quarterback Robert Jarest (6) celebrates after scoring the first of his two touchdowns in a 20-10 victory at Foxboro. (Josh Perry/HockomockSports.com)

Josh PerryFollowJoshPerry


FOXBORO, Mass. – For the second week in a row, King Philip reacted to the offensive game plan of its opponents, made changes to its defensive approach, and clamped down to secure a victory.

Click here for a photo gallery from this game.

Last week, KP held North Attleboro to only two first downs following the Rocketeers’ opening drive. On Friday night at Jack Martinelli Field, KP gave up 94 passing yards in the opening half against Foxboro but then after the break held the hosts to just 20 yards of offense (11 of those with seconds remaining) and intercepted three passes.

One of those interceptions came on the first possession of the second half and led to a KP touchdown that opened a two-score lead and was decisive in a 20-10 victory.

“We gave up some things and they had some wrinkles that we weren’t ready for and we had to make some adjustments,” said KP coach Brian Lee. “It got to the point that we thought, if we don’t make any more mistakes on ‘O’ and give them the short field then I think we’re going to be okay.”

KP’s offense scored three touchdowns in the second half of the opener against North and that momentum appeared to carry over to week two. The Warriors marched 68 yards on 10 plays on their opening drive to grab the lead. Senior Robert Jarest (4-10, 64 yards) hit Alex Behling on a 37-yard completion to get down to the Foxboro 20-yard-line. Jarest capped the drive with a four-yard keeper for a 6-0 advantage.

Jack Norberg ended the first Foxboro drive with a big sack of Shayne Kerrigan, but TJ Perry got the ball right back for the hosts when he read Jarest’s eyes as the QB rolled out and picked off the pass. Perry returned it to the KP two. Two plays later, Kerrigan punched it in from a yard out and Foxboro grabbed a 7-6 lead.

Foxboro struggled offensively last week against Norton, but things were clicking for the Warriors early on Friday night. Kerrigan (7-18, 94 yards) was causing problems with his ability to make throws on the run. He found Luis Sulham for a 17-yard completion and Ryan Hughes for 23 yards. On third down from the KP eight, Sam Callanan pressured Kerrigan and forced an incompletion.

Despite a low snap, Tyler James managed to split the arms of several KP players and split the uprights on a 25-yard field goal.

Needing a response, KP’s offense put together an eight-play, 58-yard drive that gave it a lead that the Warriors wouldn’t relinquish. Ryan Halliday (23 carries, 87 yards) got the ball four times on the drive, for 25 yards, and then Jarest hit Drew Danson for 15 yards down to the Foxboro five. Jarest (12 carries, 57 yards) kept it himself for his second touchdown of the night.

The hosts didn’t go quietly. Tommy Sharkey returned the ensuing kick out to the 35. On third down, Kerrigan connected with Sulham for 14 yards into KP territory. Two more completions got the ball down to the KP 35. Halliday and Callanan sacked Kerrigan and a spike gave Foxboro fourth and eight from the KP 38 with only eight seconds left in the half.

Kerrigan looked underneath the deep coverage to find Brian Derba down the far sideline. The play went for 23 yards and Derba went out of bounds with one second on the clock. James had a chance to tie the game heading into the break, but KP blocked the kick.

“We had a shot to tie it before the half and it shouldn’t have made an emotional difference but maybe it did,” said Foxboro coach Jack Martinelli. “We improved on a few things offensively in the first half but they dominated the second half.”

Foxboro got the ball to start the second half, but on third and 13 Kerrigan was picked off by Nick Viscusi. After completing 6-of-10 passes in the first half, Kerrigan would complete only 1-of-8 after the break for zero yards. Two plays after the interception, Halliday burst through the line and ran over a couple of defensive backs to score a 15-yard TD.

Lee said, “I think when happened we all felt, okay we’ve got the short field and we can execute. There’s plenty of good things there, but as I said to the guys we have a long way to go.”

KP started to control the line of scrimmage. Pat Zarba stuffed Bobby Yerardi as Foxboro was forced to punt. The visitors would put together a 12-play drive, including a pair of fourth down conversions, and marched to the Foxboro seven, but KP was unable to add to its lead. Sean Ferguson made a big stop on third down to keep KP out of the end zone.

“That was a good football game, a lot of good hitting in there, good plays either way,” said Martinelli. “We just couldn’t muster enough in the second half, gave them the short field, and that kind of spelled the difference.”

Three snaps later, Jack Collentro ended any momentum from that defensive stand when he picked off a deflected pass over the middle. Charlie Grant would add the third interception of the half with seconds remaining, as KP clamped down and Foxboro never got past its own 30-yard-line in the second half.

“We’re still working the kinks out with some of our offensive stuff but I think the upside is still there,” said Lee. “We just need to get better at executing and of course their kids had something to do with that.”

King Philip (2-0) will have a week off before opening league play at Franklin. Foxboro (1-1) will also have next week off and opens Davenport play the week later at North Attleboro.

Click here for a photo gallery from this game.