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.
WRENTHAM, Mass. – Mansfield had Thursday night’s game in its grasp. It was only the second quarter, but the Hornets were on the verge of capping a dominant first half with another score and building a three-score advantage before the teams headed back into the locker room.
With 1:33 left in the half and the ball at the King Philip 10, Mansfield quarterback Damani Scott dropped deep and fired the ball towards Danny DeGirolamo (11 carries, 51 yards). The senior running back was well covered but almost pulled it in. The ball was deflected into the air and fell right into the hands of KP senior Shane Frommer.
The Yale University-commit hauled in the interception and took off down the suddenly energized KP sideline. He went 96 yards untouched to pull the Warriors back within three points and send the team into the half with a renewed purpose.
“It completely changed momentum for us,” Frommer explained after the game. “We were a little down, but right when I got the pick-six all of us got up again and we knew we had to finish it. We knew we were going to win.”
The interception turned the tide and King Philip never looked back. The Warriors scored 28 unanswered points, 21 of those in the fourth quarter, and pulled out a 28-10 victory over the Hornets at Macktaz Field, running the program’s win streak to 17 games.
Although it was not the game-winning score and it was a full quarter before KP added another point, both coaches highlighted the interception as the turning point in a battle between the two Kelley-Rex division favorites.
“We were up against ropes bad,” KP coach Brian Lee admitted. “We had nothing going and Shane…you have a dude for a reason. Everything was going wrong – pass interference and then we let them get a big run – and we had no answer. Then, bang, we get a play and we’re back in it.”
Mansfield coach Mike Redding said, “They’re good, they’re aggressive, but it’s just so frustrating when you play well for 22 minutes and one play completely flipped things.”
Even without injured senior Joe Cox, Mansfield went with the ground game right from the opening kick. It worked on the opening drive, as the Hornets marched 80 yards, all but nine on the ground, in 14 plays to take an immediate 7-0 lead. DeGirolamo capped the possession with a nine-yard run on a toss to the left.
KP ran only three plays before Brendan Lydon was intercepted by Hunter Ferreira, who returned the ball to the Warriors 30. After a pair of incomplete passes from Scott (4-21, 91 yards), Redding elected to go for the field goal and Mike DeBolt split the uprights from 37 yards.
The Warriors moved the ball on its next possession, but were forced to punt and Mansfield came right back down the field. Aidan Sacco (10 carries, 71 yards) converted one third down and Ferreira drew a pass interference call on a third and 10 to keep the possession alive. After Scott scrambled and found Ferreira for a spectacular 19-yard catch on the sideline, it looked like the Hornets were about to break it open, but Frommer stepped in and changed the storyline.
“Down 10, we knew we had to keep fighting,” he explained. “I knew I had to make a big play for the team. Luckily my teammate tipped it up for me and right when I picked it I knew I was going for six.”
Redding said, “The defense played great for the whole half and at minimum, if we get the field goal, it’s 13-0. It’s just a weird play. We go up and grab it and he ends up with it and we have no one to cover the pick. It’s just a huge flip.”
The second half was all KP. Although the first drive stalled at midfield, the defense held Mansfield to just six offensive plays in the third quarter (and 16 offensive plays in the entire second half). Evan Rice was involved in three sacks of Scott, including a big 15-yard loss in the fourth.
“The kids were just playing a little bit harder, again getting life with the big play,” Lee said. “I’m very pleased with the resiliency of the team.”
Mansfield had bottled up the KP rushing attack, but the Warriors turned to Lydon (8-18, 110 yards) to make plays. Jack Piller came up with a sliding grab for 25 yards and three plays later Lydon scrambled to bide time before hitting Dylan Leonard, who had come all the way across the field, for a 19-yard score and a 14-10 lead.
Following a Luke D’Amico interception, KP added another score. On fourth and 10 from the Mansfield 31, Lydon found Thomas Madden open in the middle of the field and the senior receiver broke tackles on his way to the end zone.
“We have to be more balanced,” said Lee. “We can’t just line up and do what we did last year. Going forward that’s something we’ll have to figure out. We’re still figuring out our pieces.”
Redding added, “They get a little momentum and they fed off it and we battled on ‘D’ but we gave them way too many plays. We couldn’t get any first downs.”
Another interception, this time by Jack Webster, gave KP back the ball at its own 39 with time winding down. The player who changed the game was also the one that ended it. Frommer burst through the middle of the line and broke off a 47-yard run for his second touchdown of the game.
He said, “It was a 25-power and I was going to be right behind my tackle, Anthony Vahue, he’s always been a leader for us and I knew right when the play was called this is going for six. I followed right behind him, saw him take out the linebacker, and I knew I was going for six.”
With the victory, King Philip (4-0, 2-0) extends its winning streak to 17 games, which is the longest active streak in the state. The Warriors will put it on the line next Friday with a trip to Franklin. Mansfield (3-1, 1-1) will look to bounce back and keep the pressure on KP when it hosts Taunton next week.
Game of the Week – Football
Mansfield, 10 @ King Philip, 28 – Final – Click here for a recap of this game. 1st Quarter: (M) Danny DeGirolamo 39-yard run, Mike DeBolt XP good.
2nd Quarter: (M) M. DeBolt 37-yard field goal; (KP) Shane Frommer 96-yard interception return, Cole Baker XP good.
3rd Quarter: No scoring.
4th Quarter: (KP) Brendan Lydon 19-yard pass to Dylan Leonard, C. Baker XP good, B. Lydon 31-yard pass to Thomas Madden, C. Baker XP good; S. Frommer 47-yard run, C. Baker XP good.
Foxboro, 27 @ Canton, 21 – Final – Click here for a recap of this game. 1st Quarter: No scoring.
2nd Quarter: (F) Mike Henri 5-yard rush, XP missed.
3rd Quarter: (C) Alec Ragusa 59-yard rush, Owen Lehane XP good.
4th Quarter: (F) Devin Hassett 13-yard pass to Jack O’Donnell, D. Hassett 2pt pass to J. O’Donnell; (C) Kyle Fitzgerald 2-yard rush, O. Lehane XP good; (F) D. Hassett 1-yard sneak, Russell Neale XP good; (C) Johnny Hagan 70-yard pass to Tony Harris, O. Lehane XP good.
Overtime: (F) D. Hassett 6-yard pass to J. O’Donnell.
Franklin, 22 @ Oliver Ames, 40 – Final 1st Quarter: (OA) Noah Fitzgerald 29-yard rush, XP no good; (OA) Anthony Berksza 15-yard rush, XP no good.
2nd Quarter: (F) Jake Noviello 20-yard pass to Jack Nally, XP no good; (OA) A. Berksza 19-yard rush, Curtis Cann 2pt pass to A. Berksza; (OA) C. Cann 34-yard pass to Ralph Derolus, A. Berksza 2pt rush; (F) J. Noviello 25-yard pass to Sean Leonard, J. Noviello 2pt pass to Evan Wendell.
3rd Quarter: (OA) Michael Mulrean 50-yard interception return, Derick Hanscom XP good; (F) Nick Gordon 4-yard rush, J. Noviello 2pt pass to S. Leonard.
4th Quarter: (OA) A. Berksza 7-yard rush, D. Hanscom XP good.
Stoughton, 33 @ Sharon, 0 – Final 1st Quarter: No scoring.
2nd Quarter: (Sto) Evan Gibb 1-yard rush, XP blocked; (Sto) Justin Ly 11-yard rush, 2pt failed;
3rd Quarter: (Sto) E. Gibb 1-yard rush, E. Gibb 2pt pass to Ruben Gonzalez; (Sto) Jason Joseph 50-yard fumble return, XP failed.
4th Quarter: (Sto) J. Ly 1-yard rush, XP good.
Mansfield, 3 @ King Philip, 1 – Final – Mansfield built a 1-0 lead at halftime and added two more in the second half to pick up a win on the road at KP. Jackson Murphy opened the scoring on an assist from Sean Lanzillo to put the Hornets ahead. Cullin Anastasia scored what proved to be the game-winner with a penalty kick in the second half and then added an insurance goal on an assist from Sam Hyland. Mansfield goalie Nick Ferraz made 11 saves in the win.
Milford, 1 @ North Attleboro, 3 – Final – North Attleboro scored all three of its goals in the second half to pick up a key division win over Milford. Big Red went up 1-0 when Gabe Pinhancos scored just under eight minutes into the second half, running onto a flick from junior Joe Hilf and converting. Pinhancos made it 2-0 just three minutes later, heading in a cross from Zach Matracia. Milford cut the deficit in half in the 62nd minute when Anthony Salvador volleyed in a throw from Joey Madden. Nate Burns put the game away with his first career goal, scoring off a flick from Connor MacIver.
Oliver Ames, 3 @ Taunton, 1 – Final – Oliver Ames senior Matt Alvarado collected his third and fourth goals of the season, helping OA pick up two points on the road. Michael Nikiciuk netted his fourth goal of the season as well. Nathaniel Cardoza, Colin Evin and Cam Valla each had an assist in the win.
Sharon, 4 @ Stoughton, 0 – Final – Sharon had four different goal scorers in the win on the road. Tyler Hippler, Andrew Reyes-Jones, Tyler Goldstein and Michael Baur each found the back of the net for the Eagles.
Attleboro, 1 @ Franklin, 5 – Final – Franklin scored four times in the opening half hour to break the game wide open. Emily Mastaj, Halle Atkinson, Olivia Dellorco, and Sarah Yelle scored the goals for the Panthers before halftime and Molly Duncan added a fifth with five minutes left to play. Julia Hayes netted the lone goal for Attleboro. Breanna Atwood made five saves for the Panthers and Ashley Macia made five for the Bombardiers.
Canton, 1 @ Foxboro, 2 – Final – Katelyn Mollica scored what turned out to be the game-winner with 12 minutes remaining to extend Foxboro’s win streak to five games. Shaina Abbott had the opening goal on a volley from a Mackenzie Fraser assist before Mollica doubled the lead. Canton cut the lead to one with a late goal, but the Warriors held on for the win. Jamie DeVellis made eight saves to earn the win in goal.
King Philip, 2 @ Mansfield, 1 – Final – Avery Snead scored one and set up the other to lift KP to a win over the defending Kelley-Rex champs and put the Warriors into a tie atop the standings. Chloe Layne opened the scoring off a Snead assist in the first half, firing a low shot into the corner. Kerina Geminiani equalized for the Hornets with a 25-yard free kick that sent the game into halftime 1-1. Snead scored the game-winner with 11 minutes remaining, sending her shot just past the outstretched arms of the Mansfield keeper. KP coach Gary Pichel credited his “great defensive line” for helping the Warriors earn the two points.
North Attleboro, 3 @ Milford, 0 – Final – North Attleboro scored all three of its goals inside the first half hour of the match and played a strong defensive game to earn the shutout. Ashlyn Gaulin opened the scoring in the 15th minute, converting a feed from Haley Guertin to make it 1-0. Guertin then doubled the lead off an assist from Kayla Pasquel before Emma Gaulin made it 3-0 in the 30th minute, with Leah Jette getting the assist. Emma Noreck made six saves for North to earn the shutout. Milford head coach Jay Mastaj said Briana Braza played well defensively for the Scarlet Hawks.
Taunton, 1 @ Oliver Ames, 2 – Final – OA scored a pair of second half goals to come back from a goal down and pull out the win. Erin Holmberg scored off a through ball from Anna Tempestoso in the first minute after the break and Gabrielle McLaughlin netted the winner on an assist from Maeve Hogan. Samantha Tichelaar scored the lone goal of the game for Taunton in the opening minute. Alex Wapenski had the assist for Taunton.
Stoughton, 2 @ Sharon, 6 – Final – Ally Filipkowski and Fallon Pfeifer both scored hat tricks for the Eagles and Filipkowski added an assist as well. Bridget McManus and Marika Fillon also had assists for Sharon. Stoughton got goals from Nicole Weir (off a cross from Brigid Pearl) and Mia Greene.
Sharon, 2 vs. Bellingham, 2 – Final – Emily Locke scored both goals for the Eagles to earn the non-league tie.
Foxboro, 173 @ Stoughton, 189 – Final – Foxboro’s Dylan Quinn earned match medalist honors, carding a low-round of 41 for the Warriors. Brendan Campbell shot a team-low round of 42 for the Black Knights.
Attleboro, 197 @ North Attleboro, 198 – Final (5 cards) – It came down to a fifth card tiebreaker after rivals Attleboro and North Attleboro were knotted at 154. Kyle DelSignore led the Bombardiers with a par round of 35 while Corey McKenna carded a 38. Dylan Kane led North Attleboro, carding a 37 at the middle course of Heather Hill.
Milford, 165 @ Canton, 156 – Final – Canton’s Jack Goyetch carded a round of 37 to earn match medalist honors and help the Bulldogs pick up another key division win. Joey Vaughan finished with a 38 and Bubba McNeice chipped in with a round of 40. Zach Tammaro and Andrew Fauerbach each shot 39 for the Scarlet Hawks.
Sharon, 190 @ Mansfield, 171 – Final – Freshman Nathan Morreale carded a low-round of 41 while classmate Joseph Gormley shot a 42 to help the Hornets fend off visiting Sharon. Senior Brett Kessler, junior Jake DiSangro and freshman Brian See each carded a 44 for Mansfield.
FOXBORO, Mass. – It was fitting that the first game played the recently dedicated Jack Martinelli Field had an old school feel to it.
Unfortunately, King Philip played the role of spoiler, walking away with a hard-earned 16-7 win over Foxboro.
Defense shined for both teams in the first game played on the grass at Ahern Middle School, the first regular season football game played there since it was named after Foxboro’s coach in August.
“That was a good old-fashioned football game, old school by both teams and both sets of kids,” Martinelli said. “[King Philip] made some big plays and we didn’t make enough, I think it came down to that. Both teams had good kickers, both teams played good defense. It was just a matter of a couple of big plays they made and we didn’t.”
King Philip punter Cole Baker averaged over 35 yards on his punts, his last pinning Foxboro deep in its own territory as it looked to complete a second half comeback.
Foxboro punter Liam Foley averaged over 40 yards on his four punts, and the Warriors defense limited visiting King Philip to just 70 yards of offense in the second half.
The longest drive by either team was 56 yards, orchestrated by KP quarterback Brendan Lydon in the second quarter, using eight plays to find the end zone.
Foxboro’s offense didn’t run more than four plays on an offensive series until its last two drives of the game, the first ending in a turnover on downs, the second stopped by the end of the game.
“If style points, we wouldn’t get any,” admitted KP head coach Brian Lee. “We’re playing pretty good defense though. And we’re playing pretty well on the special teams, Cole is doing a nice job kicking for us, putting the defense in good field position.
“We’re missing our hoggies [offensive line] from last year. They’re going to get better. We replaced all six of them from last year. They’re going to get better, it’s tough to get those tough first downs. We had a bunch of weird penalties we have to straighten out too.”
KP forced a quick three and out to start the game and quickly put points on the board. After an eight-play drive only resulted in 19 yards, the Warriors trotted out Baker, who drilled a 31-yard field goal with 4:14 left in the first quarter.
It looked Foxboro was ready to respond, starting with a 20-yard carry from Mike Henri (10 carries, 50 yards), a seven-yard carry and then a run that advanced into KP territory. But on that third carry, Aidan Bender forced a fumble on the tackle and Max Armour pounced on it to get the ball back for KP.
KP had to punt the ball back to Foxboro after its drive stalled but with Baker placing his kick to the Foxboro 10-yard line, KP’s defense was in a good spot. Two rushes for loss and an incompletion resulted in a punt back to the visitors.
“Defense is keeping us in there,” Lee said. “We were making big plays when we had to. It’s always a grind over here. Especially tonight, you know they are playing for their coach. You knew it was going to be a bloodbath out there.”
Shane Frommer had carries of six, seven, eight and 12 to get KP into the red zone. But a big stop from Foxboro’s Patrick Kaveny resulted in a one-yard loss, and then Matt Pond stopped a run for a five-yard loss, forcing KP into a 3rd and 16.
Lydon then tossed a perfect pass into the back of the end zone where senior Tom Madden hauled it in for a 25-yard touchdown. The extra point was low and blocked, giving KP a 9-0 lead with 6:24 left in the second quarter. KP took that lead into the halftime break.
“It was definitely a defensive battle,” Lee said. “The defense put is in a position for the first three points. We hit the big play for the [Madden] touchdown. Then we just hung on again, which we did last week. This was really a 9-7 game here and just scratching it out.”
Midway through the third quarter, King Philip was pinned inside its 10-yard line and elected to punt on third down. Foxboro took over at the KP 35 yard line and needed four plays to cut into the deficit.
A pair of runs from Henri (seven yards, three yards) sandwiched around a run from Anthony Capachietti (8 carries, 32 yards) set Foxboro up for 2nd and 7. Quarterback Devin Hassett elected to keep the ball on the option, raced out to the left side and followed a huge block from Teddy Maher around the edge to race for a 22-yard touchdown. Russell Neale’s extra point cut the deficit to 9-7 with 3:08 in the third quarter.
Foxboro picked up some momentum at the end of the third quarter when Henri picked off a pass from Lydon. But on the first play of the fourth quarter, an errant snap resulted in a 13-yard loss and two plays later, Foxboro had to punt.
The hosts got the ball back with 5:19 to play and started the drive with three straight positive plays. Back to back five-yard runs preceded a 14-yard completion from Hassett to Phil Dure. But a one-yard rush was followed by two incompletions.
Facing 4th and 9, Foxboro originally sent out its punt team but then decided to send the offense back out. Foxboro had to take a timeout, leaving them with just three. But before they could get a play off, a flag for delay of game cost the hosts five yards.
Armour, along with Kerr, Dylan Leonard and Jack Piller came up with a sack on the play, giving the ball back to KP’s offense.
“We have to find a way to get the ball into the end zone more consistently,” Martinelli said. “Whether it’s in the air or on the ground, we’re still searching. We answered some questions for ourselves tonight. Even though it’s a non-league game, it’s an important game.”
KP took advantage of the short field, using four plays with Kerr punching it in from five yards out with 1:29 to play to ice the game.
King Philip football (2-0) opens Kelley-Rex division play next week when it welcomes Attleboro (0-2) to Macktaz Field. Foxboro (1-1) welcomes Stoughton to Jack Martinelli Field in its Davenport division opener.
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.
The Bombardiers started the season 3-2, but closed with only one win in the final six games, including a pair of losses to league rival and eventual Super Bowl champion King Philip. Injuries piled up for Attleboro in 2016, but it gave a number of players the chance to gain valuable varsity experience and the Bombardiers have high hopes for improvement this fall.
Experience at the skill positions is one of the reasons for optimism at Attleboro. Senior Cam Furtado is slated to start the season at quarterback and has proven to be a dynamic playmaker. Classmate Elvin Sam emerged as a big play weapon last fall, whether in the backfield or split out wide, and tight end James Weir gives Attleboro an option in the middle of the field. Wideout Josh Therrien and running back Justin Cote could also play bigger roles with running back Marcus Blaise adding depth.
Attleboro also has a strong returning core on defense with Furtado, Sam, and Therrien in the secondary and Weir joining senior Nate Barboza and junior Jacob Weatherford at linebacker. Matt Corrado, Matt Jimenez, and Kyle Walsh will give the Bombardiers strength on both sides of the line and junior Nick Evans could be poised for a breakout year after moving from linebacker to defensive end. Sophomore Qualeem Charles is also a player to watch on the line.
“I am extremely excited about our senior group of players,” said Attleboro coach Mike Strachan. “We have some dynamic players in Cam Furtado and Elvin Sam and hopefully they can maximize their athletic talents. We have many returning starters from last season so we hope to build on that experience.”
The first season for the Panthers under new head coach Eian Bain was a struggle at times for a young roster that was adapting to new systems on both sides of the ball, but there is hope that the experience gained last fall will pay dividends in 2017. Franklin will have a number of returning players to count on this season.
Offensively, Franklin will have to find ways to make up for the production of graduated running back Jacob Wolowacki, who was a go-to weapon in the ground and passing games. Senior quarterback Jake Noviello will be counted on to lead the offensive unit after more than 1,700 yards and 15 touchdowns last fall. Junior wideout Sean Leonard started all 11 games last year and will be a tough matchup for defenses along with fellow receivers Jack Nally, Will Davis, and Evan Wendell and running back Sean Hofferty. Three-year starter Brian Kosicki will be the leader of the offensive line and tight end Patrick Morrison will be a weapon in the passing game.
On defense, the Panthers have depth in the secondary, including junior safety Nolan McLaney, who was second on the team in tackles last year. Junior Ryan Driscoll has speed on the corner and Bain called him the “focal point” of the defense. Nick Gordon will hold down the other corner spot. Senior defensive end Jackson Gilbert is coming back from injury that cut short his junior season and will add strength on the edge. Junior Riley Downing gives Franklin size and speed in the middle of the line.
“We are in year two of our process,” said Bain. “We are in a different place than we were a year ago…Fans should expect to see a better team in 2017. We have a roster full of experience and had great participation through the Franklin speed and conditioning program. In a league this good we have to bring our best every week.”
What will the Warriors do for an encore? King Philip won its third league title in the past five years, second outright Kelley-Rex title in the past three seasons, and completed an unbeaten season with a win over Reading in the Div. 1A Super Bowl at Gillette Stadium.
Despite losing a large and influential senior class, the Warriors are being picked by some to repeat at champs this fall. One reason for continued belief is the return of senior quarterback Brendan Lydon, who showed poise in the pocket and the ability to make accurate passes downfield in his first year under center in 2016. Yale-commit Shane Frommer is also back for his senior season and will be the feature back for the Warriors in a system that prides itself on pushing teams around on the ground. Beyond that, it will be up to a group of rookies to make an impact. KP will boast an entire new offensive line, anchored by senior Anthony Vahue, and all new receivers. Junior David Morganelli will be one of the options for Lydon.
The Warriors boast a bit more experience on the defensive side of the ball. Even though a good chunk of starters are gone, KP’s rotation last year allowed for players like Evan Rice (defensive end), Jack Webster (linebacker) and Dylan Leonard (safety) to see action. Frommer will be back opposite Webster while Vahue will also play on the defensive line. Andrew Dittrich returns as a starting corner back to anchor the secondary.
Although there are a lot of new faces on this year’s roster and a lot of leadership missing from last season’s championship squad, head coach Brian Lee has instilled a toughness that permeates the program and expectations are that KP will have a decent chance at lifting a trophy again this fall.
“We don’t get any points for last year, we don’t get spotted a touchdown because we went undefeated last year,” Lee said. “When it comes to high school football, it’s about taking those rookies and getting them ready for varsity speed, they have to be able to handle the bright lights on Friday nights. If we can get them up to speed, we should be okay.”
The Hornets finished second in the Kelley-Rex division last year, with the only Hock loss coming by three points to league champ King Philip. Mansfield was stunned in a playoff thriller against Marshfield, but then bounced back to beat Div. 1 playoff teams Needham and Newton North and will enter 2017 with typically high expectations, as the Hornets look to win their first league title since 2013.
A strength for Mansfield this fall will be the experience it returns at the skill positions led by senior wideout Hunter Ferreira, who has emerged as one of the area’s top receivers. The backfield will once again be loaded for the Hornets, who will count on seniors Danny DeGirolamo and Joe Cox and juniors Khristian Conner and Aidan Sacco. New quarterback Damani Scott will try to make use of that talent and the 6-foot-3 junior has a big arm to make plays downfield.
Cox and Ferreira will add strength and speed to the linebacking corps, while seniors Mike Shannon and Jareme DiLorenzo will provide a pass rush at the defensive end positions. Conner, Sacco, and DeGirolamo will all return in the secondary. If there are questions for the Hornets, it will be at the line of scrimmage; senior Will Shield and junior Colbey Eason have returned and will be the players to build around on the offensive and defensive lines.
“After one week, we are happy with work ethic and development of linemen,” said Mansfield coach Mike Redding, who is in his 30th season with the Hornets. “If we can get pieces of the puzzle sorted out up front on OL and DL, we’ll be a tough out. We have a very good collection of playmakers that can run and catch and we should score some points this year.”
The Tigers got off to a promising start to 2016, winning two of the opening three games including a dramatic one-point win over Franklin, but Oliver Ames struggled down the stretch against a difficult schedule. Now entering his third year, head coach Mike Holland is confident the program is heading in the right direction this fall.
According to Holland, the Tigers’ strength on the offensive side of the ball is the experience of playing in the system for several seasons and a greater understanding of the concepts. Senior Curtis Cann will lead the attack after taking over as the starting quarterback last season and he has several talented weapons on the outside in seniors Michael Mulrean and Noah Fitzgerald. Jay Fruci will be one of the returning players in the backfield, lining up behind a big offensive line.
Jack Mills will be a mainstay in the middle on both sides of the ball and is one of the top lineman in the league. He will be paired with fellow senior John-Michael Cole on the line, giving the Tigers depth in the trenches. Fitzgerald and Mulrean will also be important contributors in the secondary, while Fruci will bring athleticism to the linebacking corps. Holland wants his defensive scheme to take advantage of the team’s speed.
“Looking forward to the start of a new season. Our guys’ preparation and approach leading up to the season has been excellent,” Holland said. “We have guys with experience that need to play big, as well as some new guys that are in the mix to compete for spots.”
The Tigers narrowly missed out on a winning record in their first season under head coach Brad Sidwell and showed signs of improvement, including a narrow, three-point loss to Mansfield. In year two, Sidwell is hoping for even more and Taunton has potential on the roster to be a tough out in the league.
Losing wide receiver Adam McLaughlin to graduation will certainly impact the offensive attack, but junior quarterback Noah Leonard returns for his second season under center and will look to build on the experience he gained last fall. With a number of athletes at the skill positions, including senior Collin Hunter and junior Brayden Merrill at wideout and T.J. Mendes in the backfield, Taunton will use a number of formations and styles to cause matchup problems. Sidwell expects the passing game to be a major strength for the Tigers.
Defensively, Taunton will have a number of new faces, but has size and experience at the line of scrimmage. Seniors Paul Corrao and Zakim Harrow and junior Cam Correiro will all make a significant impact on the battle in the trenches. Senior Nuno Camara provides experience to the linebacking corps, while Merrill and Hunter will be important in the secondary.
“Moving into the second year, the players, coaches and fans are excited for the season but there is lots of work to be done,” Sidwell said. “Hopefully we can get off to a good start and provide some confidence to gain momentum into the difficult Hockomock League season.”
WRENTHAM, Mass. – If you could draw up a prototypical King Philip football game, the Warriors’ 21-0 win over Foxboro on Friday night probably wouldn’t be too far off.
King Philip had its running game going, amassing all 236 of their offensive yards on the ground. The defense was stout, holding Foxboro to under 50 yards of total offense and forcing a turnover. And KP dominated on time of possession, picking up 17 first downs compared to just three for Foxboro.
“It’s nice when you can do it,” King Philip head coach Brian Lee said of being able to continuously run the ball. “The other facets of the game will come. Some nights we’ll be throwing it all over the place, you just never know what you’re going to get for defensive looks. We just played good defense, so you feel comfortable being patient.”
Senior back Sean Garrity (17 carries, 102 yards) went over the century mark for the second straight week while Shane Frommer (14 carries, 66 yards) and fullback Alex Olsen (seven carries, 46 yards) proved to be viable options as well.
Both teams advanced inside the opposition’s 30-yard line on the opening drives but both sides failed to convert on fourth down. Mark Clagg’s pass to Jamaine Few in the end zone went incomplete to end Foxboro’s drive while Trey Guerrini broke up Brendan Lydon’s pass on fourth on KP’s opening possession.
Foxboro’s second possession resulted in a punt and the end of the first quarter. King Philip worked the first drive of the second quarter inside the red zone but their 27-yard field goal attempt was short.
The first turn of events finally came on Foxboro’s next possession when Dylan Leonard jumped the route, picking off Clagg on 3rd and 8 from the Foxboro 22 yard line. Leonard was able to get some yards on the return, setting up KP in the red zone.
After Lydon converted a 4th and 1 and the nine with a sneak, Frommer and Garrity took back to back carries to get it to the two yard line. Lydon took it in himself with the sneak and freshman Cole Baker’s extra point gave KP a 7-0 lead just 41 seconds before halftime.
“The hogs up front have been doing a good job, they were really stacking it in there and bringing a lot of dudes,” Lee said. “They got penetration a couple of times but we snuck by it and we were able to make plays. Our backs run the ball real hard, I have a lot of faith in them. If we miss a block, the backs can make a guy miss and fall forward for three yards and we’ll get it from there.”
KP started the second half in similar style, keeping the ball on the ground to move up the field. After Garrity was stopped in the back field for his first loss of the day, he took his next carry 33 yards up the left sideline, nearly breaking free for the end zone. Frommer romped through the defense for 15 yards on a pair of carries and Garrity took 15 more. Frommer was tripped up just outside the goal line, leading to Lydon’s second touchdown, this one a 1 yard sneak. Baker’s extra point gave King Philip a 14-0 lead with 4:58 left in the third quarter.
“We were on the field way too much defensively tonight,” Foxboro head coach Jack Martinelli said. “You can only make so many stops and we didn’t punch back. You have to give them credit, they’re a good football team, they play hard, they play tough both ways. The score reflects the game was played.
“They were tougher, they deserved the 21-0 score.”
Foxboro was forced into punts on its next two drives, the latter coming from deep inside its own territory. Guerrini skied a nice punt that reached midfield but KP’s Andrew Dittrich found some space on the right side and raced for a 42 yard return, giving KP possession inside the 10. After a pair of runs from Olsen, Lydon grabbed his third touchdown with yet another 1 yard sneak. Baker’s extra point made it 21-0 with 8:36 left in the game.
“It’s complimentary football. It’s cliche to say right now but it’s nice to have it,” Lee said. “Special teams, we’ve been waiting to make a big play in special teams. In the past we’ve always had a guy that can do that and we’re starting to develop that now. Hopefully that’s something we can capitalize on and get good field position.”
“The kids played really good,” Lee said of his defense. “All of the guys in the secondary, they are all returning players. So all last year, they got tons of work. Last year when we played [Foxboro] they went right down the field throwing the ball. It started that way tonight but the kids settled down, made some adjustments, we got some pressure and went from there. When you get a lead, you feel good and we were able to keep it away from them. It wasn’t as pretty as we’d like it to be but it was good enough to get it done.”
King Philip football moves to 2-0 with wins over two Davenport division teams, which do not count to the league record. It marks just the fourth time in history KP has beat Foxboro and North in the same season, including 2011, 2009 and 1969. The Warriors will start their Kelley-Rex schedule with a trip to Oliver Ames next week.
“Back in the old days, we’d be sitting pretty good right now,” Lee said with a laugh of beating North and Foxboro to start the season. “The guys don’t really understand what the big three [Foxboro, North, Mansfield] was in the Hock. We used to waive the white flag to Jack, we used to hope North Attleboro would stop scoring. To be competitive with those guys means everything.”
Foxboro (1-1) will open up Davenport play on Saturday when they take a visit to Sharon to play the Eagles, who are sitting at 2-0.