Canton’s defense tossed its fifth shutout in nine games this season and the Bulldogs did just enough on the offensive side to pull out a 15-0 win against Foxboro to remain unbeaten and to advance to is second straight sectional final.
“Our defense was outstanding, our special teams was very good tonight, and as usual these kids stepped up and got things done for us and I’m very proud of them,” said Canton coach Dave Bohane. “
The Bulldogs set the tone right from the start when Owen Lehane got into the backfield to stop a jet sweep for a five-yard loss on the game’s first play. Foxboro almost struck on a deep ball to Elijah Lewis on second down, but the Warriors went three-and-out.
Starting at its own 40, Canton moved the ball upfield quickly in search of an early lead. The Bulldogs got as far as the Foxboro 28, but then on second and short Johnny Hagan (7-of-11, 77 yards) was picked off on the one by Mike Devlin. Two plays later, the snap sailed over the head of Foxboro quarterback Shayne Kerrigan (7-of-22, 93 yards) and out the back of the end zone.
On the ensuing kick-off, Gersom Rivera (91 yards of offense) broke free down the near sideline for a 60-yard score only to have a penalty take the points off the board. The Bulldogs drove into the red zone but defensive linemen Anton George and Austin Read stuffed a second down play and Hagan’s third down pass to David Allen fell incomplete. Lehane booted a 22-yard field goal for a 5-0 lead.
Bohane said, “We’d get in that nice second and three and okay here we go, and then we’d jump offsides or on third down we’d take a bad penalty. We’d get momentum going, be on their side of the field, and find ways to shoot ourselves in the foot.”
The baseball score continued into halftime because both defense remained on top. Jahmi Aldin had a sack and recovered a Kerrigan fumble to end a pair of Foxboro drives, while TJ Perry had an interception in the red zone to stop a Bulldogs possession. With time winding down in the half, Foxboro got to the Canton 24, but a sack by Lucas Ragusa and Jack Connolly kept Canton in front at the break.
To start the third quarter, a Rivera kick return and a personal foul penalty put Canton at the Foxboro 48. The Bulldogs got to the 28, but on fourth and three Kyle Fitzgerald (17 carries, 63 yards) was stopped a yard short of the marker.
Foxboro’s next possession stalled and Robbie Gallery came flying off the edge to block the punt, putting Canton back in business at the 19-yard-line. A false start to begin the possession stymied the momentum and the Bulldogs had to settle for another Lehane kick, this one from 31 yards, to put another three points on the board with four minutes left in the third.
“They played great,” Foxboro coach Jack Martinelli said about his defense. “I felt pretty good at halftime down 5-0, still a one-score game. The blocked punt hurt us to give them the eighth point on a field goal and then we responded and came up empty-handed.”
The Warriors finally put together a drive and gave themselves a shot at tying the game. Kerrigan hit Luis Sulham for 11 yards and then Ryan Hughes for 12. Back-to-back penalties made it third and 12, but Kerrigan hit Hughes in stride for a 41-yard completion down to the Canton three.
Kerrigan gained two yards on two plays against the Canton defensive line to set up third and goal at the one, but misfortune struck as a snap sailed over his head. He scrambled to recover it but lost 22 yards on the play. His fourth down pass fell incomplete.
“We couldn’t change field position at all and we held on as long as we could and if you don’t cash in on the one or the two then you don’t deserve to win the game,” said Martinelli. “They’re a great team but our kids played their hearts out.”
“We feel like w’re never down defensively,” said Bohane. “The quarter ended and one coach thought they were going for the conversion and it was like, no they haven’t gotten in yet, and it was like okay well let’s keep them out. Good fortune on the snap but good effort by the defense.”
After an Allen punt pinned Foxboro deep, Gallery and Connolly combined on a sack to force the Warriors to punt from their own end zone. Canton took over at the 28 and for the first time was able to make field position count.
Hagan finally found a seam on the right side, followed his blockers and burst into the end zone for a 15-yard score and a 15-0 lead. Aldin and Lehane capped the evening with a sack of Kerrigan with two minutes left to seal the shutout and the trip to the final.
“They had probably 10 guys in the box, the whole game,” said Martinelli. “They weren’t going to let [Shayne] run and they didn’t. They had the kids to do it and executed and hence no points on the board. We felt we needed three scores to win the game because we felt our defense was good enough to keep us in it and it did.”
Canton (9-0) will host No. 2 seed Holliston in the South final next Friday night. Foxboro (5-4) will await its next opponent in the non-playoff bracket.
“Couple guys said that to me over the off-season who’ve been through this and they were like you want to get that third game at home and we’ve done it,” Bohane explained, “but Holliston we’ve never played and I’ve only heard great things about them. So, we’re going to get to work on them now, probably tonight, and just try to crack that riddle.”
MILFORD, Mass. – Trailing by three points at halftime of a road game that it had to win in order to reach the state tournament, Foxboro came out of the break with the mission of taking control of the game at the line of scrimmage. Mission accomplished.
The Warriors dominated up front on both sides of the ball in the second half on Friday night, putting pressure on quarterback Colby Pires to disrupt the Milford offense and opening holes for senior quarterback Shayne Kerrigan to exploit on his way to 141 second half yards and a pair of scores. Foxboro turned the game on its head and won 21-10.
“As you get as old as I am, you get a little philosophical and I just said there’s not too many chances in life that you can control your own destiny and this is one of them,” said Foxboro coach Jack Martinelli, who earned his 275th career win on Friday. “They took the cue and I couldn’t ask anything more of them.”
He added, “We played better in the second half. The kids came to play and I’m so proud of them. I’m pretty sure that puts us in. I don’t really care where, just as long as we’re in.”
Foxboro came out of the break and marched right down field. Kerrigan (22 carries, 169 yards) called his own number eight times, helping the Warriors get all the way down to the Milford 26, but on third down he tried to go to the end zone and was picked off by Grant Scudo. On second down, the Hawks gave the ball right back when Luke Rosa (14 carries, 65 yards) lost the ball when fighting for extra yards and it was scooped up by Rashaad Way.
With the ball back in their hands, the Warriors went back to the ground game. Kerrigan, Brian Derba, and Luis Sulham all got touches to get inside the 10-yard-line. Chris McNamara pushed the ball to the goal line and on the next play Kerrigan broke the plane on a QB sneak for a 14-10 lead with just 1:24 left in the third quarter.
“Up front I think they physically beat us in the second half,” said Milford coach Anthony Vizakis. “They wanted it and they physically pushed us around. Our kids fought, I thought they did well, but it just wasn’t good enough.”
After a Milford punt, Foxboro’s offense went back to work and got the ball to the Milford 18 after a 45-yard run by Kerrigan, but on third and eight his pass to the end zone was picked off by Carter Scudo.
The visitors’ defense was equally strong up front. Nick Cherry was dominating up the middle with Anton George controlling the edge. Cherry tipped a pass at the line that was nearly intercepted and Jon Moses got pressure on Pires (14-of-33, 106 yards) and batted a pass down.
Despite there being six minutes left, Vizakis decided to go for it on fourth and 10 from his own 29. The pass fell incomplete and Foxboro had the short field only for a bad snap and a 20-yard loss derail the chance to put the game away. Again, the Foxboro defense shut things down. George tipped a first down pass and, following an 18-yard completion to Maxwell Martin, Pires was forced into four straight incompletions, Mike Sheehan’s pressure forcing another turnover on downs.
“They put us in position,” Vizakis said of his defense. “They gave us two shots to win it, but we just didn’t execute, we didn’t capitalize on those opportunities, and we’ve just got a lot of correcting to do.”
This time the Warriors took advantage, as Kerrigan burst through a hole on the right side of the line and raced 44 yards to pay dirt to seal the win.
“He was better than advertised,” Martinelli said about Kerrigan. “He just has that knack, he’s not that big, he’s not overly fast, but he has great vision and a quiet confidence in his abilities and you can’t coach any of those things. We’re lucky to have him.”
Foxboro drew first blood on its second possession of the game. Kerrigan pump-faked towards a receiver screen, caught the Milford defense jumping forward, and then hit Elijah Lewis in stride for a 55-yard touchdown to grab a 7-0 lead.
Milford went three-and-out on its first possession but the Hawks, who had only scored one touchdown in two games coming into Friday night, put together an eight-play, 65-yard drive to answer immediately. Rosa got the ball on the first five plays and, with the help of a face mask call, got the Hawks to the Foxboro 13. After a penalty and then a 17-yard completion to Danny Farrelll to round out the first quarter, Rosa punched it in from two yards out on the opening play of the second.
“It was two teams that were 3-3, each beat the same two teams, and each lost to the same two teams [in the league], so I knew it was going to be a game like that, back-and-forth,” Martinelli said.
The Hawks have had trouble finishing drives in recent weeks and that was no different on Friday. Pires finally got some rhythm in the passing game on the next possession, connecting with Scudo, Farrell, and Matt Varteresian to get down to the Foxboro 11, but a delay of game forced third and long and CJ Cerrella’s 30-yard kick slipped wide of the left upright.
Cerrella put an end to Foxboro’s next drive with a sack of Kerrigan and Milford once again got into the red zone, but a drop and then pressure by Sheehan forced another field goal attempt. This time, Cerrella was on target from 37 yards on the final play of the half to send the Hawks into the locker room up 10-7.
Milford (3-4) had already sealed its spot in the tournament and could still end up with a home game in Div. 3 South, but they will have to find renewed momentum after suffering a third straight defeat.
Vizakis explained, “It’s almost like a brand-new season. I just asked them, which Milford team is going to show up for this new season. We’re in the playoffs, we’re most likely going to be on the road, and the goal we set at the beginning of the year is still there, but we need to execute and tackle and make plays.”
Foxboro (4-3) got the win it needed to seal a playoff spot and now awaits its seed to see who it will face in Div. 5.
Game of the Week – Football
Foxboro, 21 @ Milford, 10 – Final – Click here for a Recap and Photo Gallery from this game. 1st Quarter: (F) Shayne Kerrigan 55-yard pass to Elijah Lewis, Cam Prescott XP good.
2nd Quarter: (M) Luke Rosa 2-yard rush, CJ Cerrella XP good; (M) C. Cerrella 37-yard field goal.
3rd Quarter: (F) S. Kerrigan 1-yard rush, C. Prescott XP good.
4th Quarter: (F) S. Kerrigan 44-yard rush, C. Prescott XP good.
Canton, 35 @ Sharon, 7 – Final 1st Quarter: (C) Kyle Fitzgerald 2-yard rush, Owen Lehane XP good; (C) Johnny Hagan 42-yard pass to David Allen, O. Lehane XP good; (C) K. Fitzgerald 8-yard rush, O. Lehane XP good; (C) Nick Cushman 10-yard fumble return, O. Lehane XP good; (C) Johnny Hagan 18-yard pass to Jace Emma, O. Lehane XP.
2nd Quarter: No scoring.
3rd Quarter: No scoring.
4th Quarter: (S) Kiran Chandrasekaran 12-yard pass to Conor McLaughlin, Alec Filipkowski XP good.
Taunton, 0 @ Franklin, 28 – Final 1st Quarter: No scoring.
2nd Quarter: (F) Thomas Gasbarro 5-yard pass to Jake Davis, Parker Cheuvront XP good; (F) T. Gasbarro 63-yard pass to Jack Nally, P. Cheuvront XP good; (F) T. Gasbarro 32-yard pass to J. Davis, P. Cheuvront XP good.
3rd Quarter: (F) J. Nally 5-yard rush, P. Cheuvront XP good.
4th Quarter: No scoring.
Oliver Ames, 0 @ King Philip, 28 – Final
North Attleboro, 0 @ Stoughton, 35 – Final – Click here for a recap and photo gallery of this game 1st Quarter: (S) Clayton Rahaman 20-yard pass to Christian Ais, Anthony Girolamo XP good.
2nd Quarter: (S) Christopher Ais 22-yard rush, A. Girolamo XP good.
3rd Quarter: (S) Christian Ais 36-yard fumble return, A. Girolamo XP good; (S) Christian Ais 27-yard rush, A. Girolamo XP good.
4th Quarter: (S) Christian Georges 48-yard fumble return, A. Girolamo XP good.
Milford, 3 vs. Walpole, 3 – Final – Milford trailed 3-1 with under 10 minutes play but scored a pair of goals in a three-minute span to earn a draw against visiting Walpole. Carly Ferreira was outstanding in goal for the Hawks while Ashleigh Starks, Juliana France, and Maddie Boyle each scored.
Taunton, 2 @ Stoughton, 2 – Final – Click here for a photo gallery from this game – Stoughton took a lead in each half but Taunton answered each time to split the points in a draw. Emma McSweeney put the Black Knights up with a shot from atop the 18-yard box but Kayla Botelho answered minutes later to make it 1-1 heading into halftime. Mackenzie Manning put the hosts back in front in the 46th minute but Morgan Zakrzewski converted a shot from 20 yards out in the 67th minute to level the scoring.
Franklin, 3 @ Attleboro, 3 – Final – Attleboro’s Hannah Webster scored the lone goal of the second half to help the Bombardiers earn an impressive draw against the Kelley-Rex champions Franklin. The Panthers jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the first half behind goals from Hanna Richardson and Stephanie Bell (assisted by Amanda Lewandowski) but Attleboro’s Madison Ellis and Anna Beck scored back-to-back goals to tie it 2-2. Richardson (from Lewandowski) scored her second of the half to put Franklin back ahead, 3-2, at halftime. Neilee Hess had 10 saves in net for the Panthers while Olivia Curreri and Molly Collins each had great defensive saves today to help Franklin preserve the tie.
King Philip, 1 @ Oliver Ames, 2 – Final – Oliver Ames scored a pair of second half goals to rally for a win, earning a spot in the state tournament in the final game of the season. KP freshman Lauren Barreiro scored midway through the first half, a 1-0 advantage that the Warriors took into halftime. Cassie Gennis scored a pair of second half goals to help the Tigers rally for the win. Gennis struck in the 41st minute on an assist from Maura Kiernan, and then scored again four minutes later from Georgia Costello to put the hosts in front.
Franklin, 3 @ Attleboro, 0 – Final – Franklin went on the road and earned a 3-0 (25-13, 25-20, 25-12) sweep, earning a share of the Kelley-Rex division title with a win combined with OA’s win over KP. Allyson Bonnet-Eymard had 10 kills and seven digs, Cailyn Mackintosh handed out 17 assists, and Jill Benoit had seven digs for the Panthers.
Canton, 3 @ Milford, 0 – Final – Canton earned a 3-0 (25-16, 25-17, 25-13) win on the road to secure sole possession of the Davenport division title. Taylor Harris has 17 kills, two aces and eight digs to pace the Bulldogs while Liz Bickett (13 digs, four aces), Shannon Malloy, Claire Quinn and Angie Elias were solid at the net. Nikki Desjardins and Steph Trendell played great defense, and Katie Lynch came in and served well for Canton.
Foxboro, 1 @ North Attleboro, 3 – Final – Foxboro won the first set on the road at North Attleboro but the hosts rallied to win three straight to pick up a 3-1 (20-25, 25-21, 25-20, 25-13) win over the Warriors. For Foxboro, Kelsey Treweek (20 digs) and Pam Nelson (16 digs) played well defensively, Shakirah Ketant added four blocks and three kills, and Grace Boudreau had 16 kills and four total blocks.
King Philip, 1 @ Oliver Ames, 3 – Final – After splitting the first two sets, Oliver Ames won two straight to secure a 3-1 (25-22, 23-25, 25-13, 25-21) win over King Philip. With the win, Oliver Ames earns a share of the Kelley-Rex division title alongside the Warriors and Franklin. Senior Jordan Bosse helped pace the offense with 16 kills and 14 digs, Allie Kemp handed out 30 assists, and Alison Barth finished with 22 digs. Junior Jordan Bennett added six kills, two blocks, and three aces in the win. For King Philip, Nicole Coughlan (14 kills, two blocks) and Catherine Waldeck (seven kills, two blocks) had strong games at the net, Ali McNamara added seven kills and two digs, and Kiley Sullivan dished out 19 assists.
Mansfield, 3 @ Taunton, 0 – Final – Mansfield pulled out a pair of tight wins in the first two sets and then finished off a 3-0 (25-23, 27-25, 25-12) sweep on the road. Julia Buiser had 15 service points and five digs, Sam Sternburg added 10 service points and eight digs, and Emily Dardinski had a strong game offensively with five kills for the Hornets.
Game of the Week – Football
Milford, 0 @ Canton, 35 – Final – Click here for a recap and photo gallery of this game. 1st Quarter: (C) Johnny Hagan 3-yard rush, Owen Lehane XP good.
2nd Quarter: (C) J. Hagan 21-yard rush, O. Lehane XP good; (C) J. Hagan 3-yard rush, O. Lehane XP good.
3rd Quarter: (C) Gersom Rivera 3-yard rush, O. Lehane XP good.
4th Quarter: (C) G. Rivera 13-yard rush, O. Lehane XP good.
Attleboro, 0 @ King Philip, 14 – Final 1st Quarter: No scoring.
2nd Quarter: (KP) Sam Callanan 1-yard rush, Dylan Conti XP good.
3rd Quarter: (KP) Robert Jarest 12-yard pass to Brian Wassersug, D. Conti XP good.
4th Quarter: No scoring.
Stoughton, 18 @ Foxboro, 7 – Final 1st Quarter: (S) Savion Scott 5-yard rush, XP failed.
2nd Quarter: (F) Shayne Kerrigan 41-yard pass to Elijah Lewis, XP good.
3rd Quarter: (S) Christian Ais 6-yard rush, 2pt failed.
4th Quarter: (S) John Burke 5-yard rush, 2pt failed.
Mansfield, 39 @ Franklin, 9 – Final – Click here for a recap and photo gallery of this game. 1st Quarter: (F) Parker Cheuvront 24-yard field goal.
2nd Quarter: (M) Michael DeBolt 41-yard field goal; (M) Nick Marciano 35-yard rush, M. DeBolt XP good; (M) Safety; (M) Jack Mousette 13-yard pass to Cincere Gill, M. DeBolt XP good.
3rd Quarter: (M) Vinnie Holmes 21-yard rush, M. DeBolt XP good; (F) Thomas Gasbarro 20-yard pass to Jake Davis, XP blocked; (M) C. Gill 84-yard kick-off return, M. DeBolt XP good.
4th Quarter: (M) Ethan Thevenot 65-yard rush.
Milford, 4 @ Attleboro, 1 – Final – After trading goals, Milford scored three straight unanswered to pick up a win on the road. The Hawks took the lead when Pedro Araujo converted a penalty kick but Attleboro freshman Esvin Morales tied things up moments later. Lucas Da Silva set up Joao Pedro Da Silva to put the visitors back ahead, and Araujo volleyed in a header from Lucas Da Silva before halftime to make it 3-1. Milford’s fourth goal came off a cross from Chris Tocci on an own goal. With the win, and other results around the league, Milford clinches at least a share of the Davenport division title for the second straight season.
Foxboro, 1 @ King Philip, 2 – Final – King Philip built a two-goal lead and survived a pair of second half penalty kicks from Foxboro to earn the win. The hosts took the lead in the 41st minute when Wes Orzell finished off a feed from Ajae Olsen. KP doubled its lead in the 67th minute on a goal from Cam Lawrence, assisted by Stephen Griffin. KP keeper Grant Orzell saved a penalty kick to keep the two-goal lead. Foxboro’s Dylan Barreira scored on a penalty kick four minutes later.
Sharon, 0 @ Franklin, 2 – Final – Click here for a photo gallery of this game – Franklin scored a pair of goals in a five-minute stretch in the second half to earn two points at home against visiting Sharon. After a scoreless first half, a long ball from Matt Szczepanowski was spilled in the area and Lucas Moura was able to touch in the loose ball in the 55th minute. Just minutes later, Nelson Martinez finished off a corner from Donny Tappin to make it 2-0.
North Attleboro, 1 @ Mansfield, 1 – Final – North Attleboro and Mansfield traded early first half goals, battling to a draw under the lights on Friday night. The Rocketeers took the lead just a minute into the second half on a penalty kick but Mansfield’s Dan Rowe netted his first career goal just five minutes later to bring the hosts level. Dylan Buchanan flicked on a cross from Cam Eddy and Rowe found the back of the net. Evan Eames, Michael Caridi, Ethan Scholes, and Eddy all played well defensively in front of keeper Anthony Salisbury.
Canton @ Oliver Ames – Postponed to Sunday, Oct. 20 at 2:00.
Stoughton @ Taunton – Postponed to TBD.
Attleboro, 0 @ Milford, 2 – Final – Jillian Michelson and Kristina Chiarelli each scored as Milford earned its third straight win. Carly Ferreira posted the shutout in net for the Scarlet Hawks.
Franklin @ Sharon – Postponed to Saturday, Oct. 26 at 12:00.
Mansfield, 1 @ North Attleboro, 0 – Final – Avery Hawthorne scored the game’s only goal off an assist from Lauren Hobaica midway through the first half and the Hornets held on for the win. Lydia Hershey, Alex Moulson, and Caroline Ferrin all played well for North in the loss.
Taunton @ Stoughton – Postponed to TBD.
Foxboro @ Mansfield, 3:45
Franklin, 2 vs. Walpole, 6 – Final – Franklin took the lead twice in the first half but Walpole responded each time, and went on to score four unanswered goals in the second half to sweep the regular season series with the Panthers. Amanda Lewandowski opened the scoring just over a minute into the game on a feed from Kaitlyn Carney. After Walpole tied it up in the 18th minute, Franklin jumped back ahead when Olivia Rondeau scored on a feed from Kate O’Rourke in the 21st minute. Walpole scored a minute later to make it 2-2 at half. Neilee Hess made four saves for Franklin.
Stoughton @ Taunton – Postponed to TBD.
Canton, 3 @ Milton, 1 – Final – After splitting the first two sets, Canton went on to win two straight to clinch the win, 3-1 (28-26, 15-25, 25-23) Taylor Harris anchored the Bulldogs with 19 kills and 16 digs while Jackie Morrissey added 32 assists, 15 digs, and two aces. Liz Bickett (16 digs) and Shannon Malloy were strong in the middle combining for 12 kills and six blocks.
Mansfield, 1 vs. Bishop Feehan, 3 – Final – Mansfield forced a fourth set against Bishop Feehan but eventually fell, 3-1 (23-25, 21-25, 25-19, 18-25) in an exclusion match for the Hornets. Feehan was six points away from a sweep, leading 19-15 before Julia Busier (19 service points) led the Hornets to 10 straight points to win the set and force a fourth game. Busier also had seven digs while Julia Kelly chipped in with eight kills and eight digs.
Oliver Ames, 3 @ Bridgewater-Raynham, 0 – Final – Oliver Ames picked up its second win over the Trojans this season, walking away with a 3-0 (25-14, 25-12, 25-18) sweep on the road. Allie Kemp dished out 38 assists in the win with seniors Jordyn Vella (14 kills) and Caroline Flynn (13 kills) leading the charge at the net. Sophomore Hadley Rhodes had another strong showing with eight kills and five aces for OA.
Canton @ Mansfield – Postponed to Friday, Oct. 18 at 3:30.
Taunton @ New Bedford – Postponed to TBD.
CANTON, Mass. – The Canton roster is filled with holdovers from last year’s Davenport division champions. These are players who have taken part in big games, title-deciding games, and have found ways to come out on top. The Bulldogs needed every ounce of that experience on Friday night against Foxboro at WWII Veterans Memorial Field.
Three times the Warriors had the ball down by just six points in the fourth quarter, twice getting into the red zone, but all three times the Canton defense found another gear to make a crucial stand and preserve the unbeaten start.
“Our defense is one of the best in the Hock for sure,” senior linebacker OOwen Lehane explained. “They were kind of rolling on us for almost three quarters just about, but I think we pieced it together at the end, started picking each other up and I think we just knew deep down that we were better than we were playing.”
Thanks to its defensive effort in the fourth, Canton was able to overcome a rash of penalties and two turnovers in the final quarter to pull out a 26-20 win and stay unbeaten through two weeks of the league campaign.
“They were jacked up, we had some success, and then bam we’re in a football game,” said Canton coach Dave Bohane. “Our kids stayed poised and made key plays.”
Foxboro quarterback Shayne Kerrigan got the Warriors within a score when he found a seam and burst into the end zone from six yards out with 10:46 remaining in the game. Gersom Rivera blocked the extra point to keep it a six-point margin, but the momentum was with the visitors.
Canton tried to put the game away on its next possession by going for it on fourth and one from the Foxboro 48. Kyle Fitzgerald (20 carries, 132 yards) pushed up the middle for first down distance but as he stretched for a couple extra feet the ball popped loose and was recovered by Elijah Lewis.
Kerrigan (12 carries, 75 yards) got to work with 13 yards on two keepers and then Chris McNamara broke a 22-yard run to the Canton 25. A penalty against the Canton coaches (for encroaching on the field) handed Foxboro a first down at the 12. A loss of one on first down was followed by an incomplete pass and then James Murphy managed to get a fingertip to another pass on third down. On fourth and 11, Kerrigan was held to just a yard to end the drive.
Two plays later, the Warriors were in business again. Canton quarterback Johnny Hagan (13 carries, 55 yards), who had been limited by an injury, couldn’t lost the ball going up the middle and Michael Norvish jumped on the loose ball.
The Foxboro drive lasted three plays before Lehane stepped in and picked off a pass, returning it out near midfield. Lehane also kicked a pair of field goals and had an onside kick recovered in the first half.
“He just never lets you down,” Bohane said of Lehane. “You guys are bringing up things from the game and I’m thinking wow he hit a key field goal, touchbacks, the onside kick, and then to step in and get the interception. An outstanding night for Owen and I’m glad because he’s a super kid.”
After a Canton punt, Foxboro had one last chance with 1:27 remaining. Jace Emma had good coverage on the first pass from Kerrigan (6-of-21, 121 yards) and the second was tipped by Jack Connolly. The third and fourth passes also fell incomplete and Canton was able to kneel down to secure the victory.
“We spotted them a couple points, not that they didn’t earn them, they made great plays, and we could never close that gap,” Foxboro coach Jack Martinelli said. “We had a couple chances down here to tie it up, but two good teams and neither team quit when they were ahead or behind.”
Canton opened the scoring on its second drive of the night. After Fitzgerald broke free for 19 yards, Hagan (7-of-12, 99 yards) tossed a perfect pass into the arms of Rivera down the near sideline for a 33-yard touchdown.
The lead was short-lived, as Foxboro answered right back. Kerrigan hit Ryan Hughes on the near sideline and he made a cut to the inside, shaking off the corner, and then raced 46 yards to the corner for the tying score.
It was the passing game that helped Canton regain the lead on its next possession. Again Hagan was able to find the target deep down the sideline, this time connecting with Emma for 33 yards to the Foxboro five. Hagan would call his own number on the next play for his second score of the night.
A penalty on the touchdown moved the kickoff up 15 yards so the Canton coaches called for an onside kick, which Lehane laid right down the middle and Jahmi Aldin tracked down to immediately give the Bulldogs back the ball. The Foxboro defense managed to keep Canton out of the end zone, but Lehane tacked on a 24-yard field goal to make it 17-7.
Kerrigan and the Foxboro offense, despite missing junior playmaker Luis Sulham, managed to again find big plays against a Canton defense that had not allowed a point since the opening week of the season. The Warriors were helped by two of Canton’s four first half personal foul penalties, but marched down the field to get back within three. Kerrigan capped it off with an 11-yard run.
“We had it last week too,” Martinelli replied, when it was noted how far the offense has come since the season opener against Norton. “Canton is a good football team, we knew that, and we were hoping that we wouldn’t give up the big plays, which we did a couple times tonight.”
Canton added to its lead right before the break. Penalties stalled a drive that had gotten as close as the Foxboro 12, but Lehane was on target with a 32-yard kick. After stuffing Foxboro on the opening drive of the second half, Canton took advantage of the short field, Hagan punching it in from a yard out for his third score to make it 26-14.
It proved to be just about enough to get the win.
“Our coach always says it’s the best league in the state,” said Lehane about the challenge of playing in the Davenport division. “Definitely the seniors, we’ve all been there and we know how tough it is. We’ve got a tough crew too.”
Bohane added, “No weeks off in the Hockomock League. They’re so well-coached and the kids play so hard and there’s so much football tradition. It’s a great league to be in but much better when you have a good team like I do right now that’s physical and tough. It was a lot of fun tonight, as stressful as it was.”
Canton (4-0, 2-0) will be back home next Friday night to take on another potential league title contender in Milford. Foxboro (2-2, 1-1) will look to bounce back with a tough home game against Stoughton.
NORTH ATTLEBORO, Mass. – After controlling the game for over three quarters, the Foxboro football team was on its way to a rare comfortable win over North Attleboro.
The Warriors held a 21-0 lead and had just forced their second turnover of the game, this one an interception just before the goal line, to halt another North Attleboro drive. With under 10 minutes to go, Foxboro was well on its way to its first win over the Rocketeers since 2012.
But suddenly, the hosts had life. North Attleboro scored a pair of touchdowns in just 2:03, the latter coming with just under five minutes left in the game to make it a one-score game. And after another defensive stand, the Rocketeers had the ball back with three minutes left with a chance to tie or win the game.
In the end, Foxboro’s defense delivered — as it had done all game — by getting a fourth down stop with under a minute to go to secure a 21-14 win at Community Field.
“Not too many people beat North so we’ll take it any which way that we can,” said Foxboro head coach Jack Martinelli. “I thought we dominated, the first three quarters, but it doesn’t take much to throw off the applecart, whether it’s a penalty or a miscue. And North isn’t going to quit.”
It marks the 273rd career win for Martinelli, which moves him into a tie for eighth all-time in Massachusetts history according to the Boston Herald’s Danny Ventura.
Foxboro scored on its second drive of the game, again just before halftime, and once more midway through the third quarter. The Warriors’ defense held the Rocketeers to just over 100 yards of offense through the first three quarters, forcing the hosts to punt on three of their first four drives and getting fourth down stops on two others.
A Foxboro fumble recovered by North Attleboro’s Tommy Whalen set the Rocketeers up with terrific field position at the Warriors’ 38-yard line. But the momentum was short-lived when Elijah Lewis leaped to intercept a pass on the goal line just a minute into the fourth quarter.
Foxboro’s offense stalled and sent out the punting unit, but a high snap sent the ball into the end zone and a group of Rocketeers came crashing down onto punter Michael Devlin. North Attleboro’s Dan Hayes ended up with the loose ball and a touchdown, getting North on the board. Evan Vigorito hit the first of his two point after attempts to bring North within 21-7 with 6:48 to go.
This time, the momentum stuck with the Rocketeers, who forced a quick three-and-out. On the punt, Foxboro was whistled for catch interference and North Attleboro started with its best field position of the day at the Foxboro 31-yard line.
Sophomore quarterback Tyler DeMattio (6-for-11, 66 yards passing; 11 carries, 60 yards rushing) wasted little time, lofting a pass down field that senior Ethan Friberg went up to get above a pair of defenders for a 30-yard catch. On the next play, DeMattio scored from one-yard out and suddenly the Rocketeers were down just one score, 21-14, with 4:45 to play.
Foxboro’s Dylan Gordon fell on top of the onside kick attempt, and the Warriors killed 1:45 of clock before punting back to North Attleboro with 3:00 to go. DeMattio had a long run negated by an illegal shift call, and on fourth and four, a completion to Russell Dunlap nearly converted a first down. But after a measurement, the ball was an inch shy and Foxboro took over on downs to seal the win.
“It definitely felt like the momentum swung there but we had that eerily feeling all along that it was too little, too late,” said North Attleboro head coach Don Johnson.
“I think [it’s a lesson learned]. We’ve known all along we’re a pretty immature football team, so this is the stuff that’s going to happen. We have a lot of guys still learning, a lot of juniors playing their first varsity action. We’re just a terribly inconsistent football team right now in every phase. We just have to keep working to get better and I think it will come in time.”
Foxboro took the lead in the first quarter on its second drive of the game. The Warriors went 77 yards on 11 plays that including a pair of first down passes from Shayne Kerrigan (14-for-24, 135 yards passing; nine carries, 85 yards rushing) to Luis Sulham (eight catches, 77 yards). On third and 10 inside the red zone, Kerrigan connected with senior Ryan Hughes for a 12-yard touchdown. Tyler James’ extra point made it 7-0 with 1:18 left in the first quarter.
The Warriors orchestrated an eight-play, 64-yard drive just before halftime to double their lead. Highlighted by a first down run from Bobby Yerardi (11 carries, 38 yards) and ridiculous catch from Lewis that went for 22 yards, the visitors advanced into the red zone. On third and 11, Kerrigan floated one to the corner of the end zone and senior Brian Derba came down with the catch for a 13-yard score and a 13-0 lead with just eight seconds to go in the first half.
“I think our offense came alive today,” Martinelli said. “Kids did what we felt they were capable of doing like Luis, Shayne, who had a great game, Ryan Hughes, Derba…they all made some great plays, some great catches. They did a great job. To me, that was the difference in the game that we were able to move the ball and get some points.”
North Attleboro opened the second half with a successful drive with sophomore Tyler Bannon moving the sticks on a 15-yard rush, and DeMattio taking off for 18 yards of his own. A run and late hit call moved the ball all the way to the Foxboro 19-yard line but with the new rules, the hosts didn’t get an automatic first down. Instead, on fourth and 2, Foxboro’s Mike Norvish and Anton George got to the Rocketeer runner in the backfield for a loss and a turnover on downs.
“We played seven in the box and took our chances,” Martinelli said of defending DeMattio. “Next year and the year after, I’m sure [DeMattio] is going to be a triple threat, not that he throws a bad ball now, but we had to stop him running first, before we could do anything else and I thought the kids did a nice job, I’m very proud of them.”
Three plays into the ensuing Foxboro drive, Kerrigan fooled the defense by keeping the option himself, broke through a tackle in the secondary, and darted his way for a 64-yard touchdown. A two-point pass from Kerrigan to Sulham made it 21-0 with 6:25 left in the third quarter.
“I thought Foxboro did a good job pressing our quarterback and not letting us get comfortable doing anything on offense,” Johnson said. “We never really got that run game going because they were good inside. And then when we had to throw the ball, they did a nice job getting pressure off the edge. DeMattio is still young and not quite comfortable in every phase of the game but he’s getting better every game.”
Foxboro finished with 279 yards offensive, a strong balance between passing (127) and rushing (152) while picking up an impressive 15 first downs.
“The game got moved so many times, we had two weeks of practice which made Thanksgiving break look [short],” Martinelli said. “So I’m just happy for the kids. But we have to get right back at it. This is the best the league has ever been from top to bottom. Each week there seems to be an implication no matter what the matchup is so this was a key for win us.”
Foxboro football (1-0 Hockomock, 2-1 overall) travels the other defending Davenport division champion in Canton (3-0) on Friday night. North Attleboro (0-1, 1-2) takes a trip to visit Milford (2-1).
Canton had its best season in recent memory a year ago, but the 2019 squad is aiming to take it one step further.
With starters back at almost every position, Canton is aiming to defend its Davenport division title and get back to the sectional final for the second straight season. Johnny Hagan is back under center this season and has all of his weapons back. The Bulldogs ran a mix of Wing-T and spread offense a year ago so Hagan is comfortable running whatever is needed this year. Kyle Fitzgerald, Gersom Rivera, and Cam Sanchez are all talented backs that can help grind down opposing defenses while Hagan makes a lot of plays with his feet as well. Jace Emma was one of Hagan’s favorite targets last year and he will be joined by David Allen as options in the passing game. The offensive line will be anchored by senior Jack Connolly, who missed a good amount of last season with an injury. Matt Connolly, Derrell Brown, and Lucas Bryant return to the line as well while Carson Campbell and Brandon Baran are in the mix for the final spot.
A lot of the same names will make plays on the defensive end as well with Jack Connolly and Matt Connolly teaming up with Nnamdi Onyemelukwe to provide size on the line. The strength of the defense will once again be with the linebackers as the Bulldogs have James Murphy back in the middle alongside junior Lucas Ragusa. Owen Lehane and Robbie Gallery both had strong seasons coming from the outside. The entire secondary is back for the Bulldogs with Rivera and Sanchez handle the corners and Fitzgerald and Allen provide physicality from the safety spots. And for special teams, Lehane handles kicking duties, Allen returns as the punter, and Rivera and Fitzgerald handle return duties. The Bulldogs will look to build some depth with so many two-way players in the lineup.
“We have a lot of experience with a lot of guys that have played at this level, and we had the playoff run so that should definitely help us down the road,” said Canton coach Dave Bohane. “We are focused on Dighton-Rehoboth, focusing on one game at a time. We have a lot of competitors that don’t quit.”
Foxboro’s biggest win of the season came in its final game, a thrilling overtime win over rival Mansfield at Fenway Park two days before Thanksgiving. If the Warriors are able to carry any of that momentum into the 2019 season, Foxboro will certainly be in the mix for the Davenport division title.
The Warriors return a good amount of talent from last year but will need to find a replacement for Liam Foley, who came on strong at the end of last season. Senior Shayne Kerrigan and junior Cam Prescott have both taken reps this preseason so longtime coach Jack Martinelli and his staff will have two good options to work with under center. Last year’s leading rusher Mike Luong also graduated so there will be an opportunity for someone to take on carries out of the backfield. The Warriors have good skill options in Brian Derba (three touchdown catches last year) and split ends Elijah Lewis and Ryan Hughes. Foxboro has some experience on the line as well as Zach Jenkins and Aidan Dow are both returning starters at the guard position.
Foxboro’s defense has returning players at all three levels so the Warriors will likely rely on that side of the ball, especially early on against two strong non-league foes. Anton George, a HockomockSports Hock 5 selection for defensive line, is back and will be a force to deal with for opponents. Austin Read will be key in Foxboro’s run defense from the defensive tackle spot. Mike Sheehan returns to anchor the linebackers group after a standout junior season. The secondary should be one of the top units in the league with a lot of experienced playmakers. Derba and Kerrigan made a lot of plays defensively last year and Michael Devlin could be poised for a big year for the Warriors.
“With a challenging scrimmage schedule and formidable non-league opponents, we should be prepared for the Hock grind,” Martinelli said “We have several key components returning to make this possible, but it’s one game at a time.”
Milford just missed out on the playoffs last season but the 2019 Scarlet Hawks are determined to get back to postseason play.
There is a lot of experience on both sides of the ball, and maybe most importantly, at key positions both offensively and defensively. The Hawks have Colby Pires back at quarterback after a big junior season that saw him toss 22 touchdowns, second most in the Hockomock League. But the challenge will be developing chemistry with a brand new set of receivers. Brendan White (12), Sean Lehane (5), and Shapel Feaster (5) all graduated so Milford is looking for new names to step up and make plays offensively. Junior Carter Scudo is a terrific athlete and will be one of the top options while Max Martin, Matt Varteresian, Herrick Louis, Kevin O’Connor, and Xavier Hilton are all battling to get reps on the field. Milford does bring back its leading rusher in Luke Rosa (seven rushing touchdowns), a very powerful back that will help the Hawks pound the ball. Juniors Nick Yohn, Dom Schofield, Mario Lee, and Dom Stallbaum provide a physical yet athletic offensive line.
The linebackers will be the heart of the Hawks’ defense this season. CJ Cerrella had a breakout junior year and will be on the top linebackers in the Hockomock League this season. He will be joined by Rosa, Louis, and O’Connor. A lot of the offensive line will see action on the defensive side of the ball as well while Scudo returns as a top defensive back at the safety position. Look for Martin, Varteresian, and Hilton to factor into the secondary as well for Milford this season.
“We have a very focused, determined, and excited team this season,” said head coach Anthony Vizakis. “They are a hard working group of guys with their eyes on one goal, one mission, and they are determined to do it together.”
The Rocketeers have won four straight league titles, the last three in the Davenport division, and will be looking to make it five straight this year.
If North Attleboro does make it five straight, they will need some new players to step up into new roles to do so. The Big Red graduated a lot of talent in almost every position but the Rocketeers are a program that doesn’t rebuild, they reload. The strength of the offensive will start with the offensive line as there are three returning starters. Ethan Mottinger (6’6, 294), who committed to UMass over the offseason, and John Kummer (5’11, 256) man the tackle positions while Ethan Friberg (6’5, 252) adds additional protection from the tight end position. Senior Casey Poirier, junior Matt Penta, and sophomore Tyler DeMattio are locked in a healthy battle at quarterback with each bringing a unique skill set to the offense. North lost almost all of its skill position players but there are a variety of versatile junior backs battling for time. Friberg, Russell Dunlap, and Robbie Donovan will be options in the passing game.
The strong suit of the Rocketeers’ defense will be in the front seven with several returning lineman and senior captain Tom O’Neill anchoring the linebackers. Friberg will be on one end while Montrel Jackson will see time at the other defensive end position. Kummer is joined by Trevor Hewett at defensive tackle to give North a strong, experienced defensive line. Owen Harding and Jacob Silva are in the mix to join O’Neill at linebacker while North will look for some new names to step up in its secondary alongside Jared and Matt Penta. DeMattio returns as the kicker after a standout freshmen campaign (32-for-35 PAT, 3-for-4 field goals).
“We will need to find a way to stay healthy and quickly develop some depth,” said North Attleboro head coach Don Johnson. “With the inexperience in the skill positions, we expect there to be some early growing pains, but we are hopeful that the great attitude and work ethic that has been displayed in the preseason will help us overcome the lack of experience.”
Sharon might not have as many players as some of the other programs in the league and might not match up in terms of size, but the Eagles have plenty of fight and are looking to showcase that this year.
The Eagles are going to look to capitalize on their team speed this year. Junior Nic Morrero was strong on both sides of the ball last season and will likely feature in the backfield this season for the Eagles. John Saab is another returning play that should pick up carries for the Eagles this year. Junior Kiran Chadrasekaran looks set to take over under center for the Eagles and will have a couple of experienced players to work with in senior receiver Alec Filipkowski and junior tight end Ike Ogbonnanze while junior receiver Owen Conway will likely see an expanded role this season.
Senior Jaden Williams-Thomas returns to anchor both the offensive and defensive lines and will be joined by junior Shea Letendre. Williams-Thomas will handle defensive tackle duties and should be a big part of the Eagles’ defense this year. Marrero anchors the linebackers alongside Saab and Ogbonnanze while Filipkowski and Conway will see time in the secondary.
“We have a great group of relentless players that have the right attitude and understand that they have a ton to prove,” said Sharon head coach Dave Morse.
Stoughton didn’t have the season it wanted in terms of record, but the Black Knights were competitive in just about every game last year and are hoping to get back in the hunt for the Davenport crown this year.
Despite finishing 4-7, Stoughton beat both Davenport champions in North Attleboro (21-10) and Canton (28-7 on Thanksgiving) during the year. If the Black Knights are able to string together those type of performances throughout the year, they will definitely be competing for their first division crown since 2015. Offensively, Stoughton has a good battle at quarterback with junior John Burke and senior Clayton Rahaman. Both saw time last year so head coach Greg Burke has two experienced options to start under center. The offensive line should be a strength for Stoughton with a good group of seniors that includes Oluwole Fabikun, Jaden McCall, Carlvin LaGuerre, and Jerry Brisson. Having a strong and experienced line will set things up nicely for the Black Knights strong run game, which will feature Savion Scott, Christopher Ais, and Christian Ais. Tight end Anthony Pizzano, junior Jake Queeney, and track star David Peters will provide options in the pass game.
Stoughton is often known for its defense and will be looking for that to continue during the 2019 season. Kelven Rodrigues will be a big part of the defensive line for the Black Knights, joined by Brisson, LaGuerre, and Fabikun. Georges had a very strong season on the end last season but will mostly line up as a linebacker this year, alongside Scott and Christopher Ais. Stoughton will have a hard hitting secondary once again this season with Burke, Pizzano, Christian Ais and Kamari Grant all likely to see time.
“We hope to stay healthy and be competitive in the league, all of our athletes improved their strength and conditioning,” Burke said. “We have many juniors also playing and will be a big part of the team. We will need help from all players and try to improve depth.”
Today’s games are listed below. Football
Attleboro, 35 @ Franklin, 0 – Final First Quarter: (A) Brendan Nunes 12 yard rush, Elijah Lewis XP; (A) B. Nunes 9 yard rush, E. Lewis XP. Second Quarter: (A) B. Nunes 38 yard rush, E. Lewis XP. Third Quarter: (A) B. Nunes 11 yard rush, E. Lewis XP; (A) Cam Furtado 8 yard rush, E. Lewis XP. Fourth Quarter: No scoring.
Foxboro, 42 @ Oliver Ames, 6 – Final
King Philip, 47 @ Taunton, 22 – Final 1st Quarter: (KP) Sean Garrity 10 yard rush, XP missed; (KP) John DeLuca 9 yard pass to Cory Lombardo, J. DeLuca 2pt rush. 2nd Quarter: (KP) J. DeLuca 24 yard pass to Mike Mello, XP missed; (KP) J. DeLuca 3 yard rush. Zach Boari XP; (KP) Gio Fernandez 5 yard rush, Z. Boari XP; (T) Collin Hunter 6 yard pass to Tanner Costa, 2pt failed. 3rd Quarter: (KP) Brendan Lydon 18 yard pass to M. Mello, XP missed; (T) C. Hunter 47 yard pass to T. Costa, Jason DeRosa 2pt rush. 4th Quarter: (KP) B. Lydon 1 yard rush, Z. Boari XP; (T) C. Hunter 1 yard rush, Lazare Joseph 2pt rush.
North Attleboro, 14 @ Mansfield, 13 – Final 1st Quarter: (NA) Chad Peterson 4 yard pass to Bobby Mylod, Connor Flynn XP. 2nd Quarter: (M) Diogo DeSousa 23 yard field goal. 3rd Quarter: (M) Anthony DeGirolamo 12 yard pass to Hunter Ferreira, D. DeSousa XP; (NA) Nick Morrison 39 yard rush, C. Flynn XP. 4th Quarter: (M) D. DeSousa 27 yard field goal. Boys Soccer
Canton, 1 @ Milford, 3 – Final – Canton went up first but Milford scored three second half goals to get the win. Marcello Panno, Zach Browne and Matt Fornaciari scored for the Scarlet Hawks while Justin Borges had a pair of assists.
Foxboro, 3 @ Stoughton, 1 – Final – Noah Schulze gave Stoughton the lead with a goal six minutes into the game. The lead stood until the second half when Devante Teixeira, Anthony Barreira, and Joe Morrison all scored for the Warriors.
Taunton, 1 @ Franklin, 3 – Final – David Stowell put Franklin ahead in the first half off an assist from Wes Kozil. Brian Czuba got his first goal before the break off an assist from Cam LeBlanc. Taunton pulled within one in the second half off a free kick from Austin Botelho but Czuba added an insurance goal off an assist from Hatim Brahimi.
North Attleboro, 0 @ Mansfield, 2 – Final – Mansfield’s defense set the school record with its 10th shutout this season. Michael Kirejczyk made six saves for his ninth shutout of the season, which ties a school record. Cullin Anastasia and Jack Reilly scored for the Hornets while Reilly and Brenden Sullivan each had an assist. Girls Soccer
Canton, 4 @ Milford, 0 – Final – Riley Duserick, Hannah Link, Sarah MacQuarrie and Hayley Mulford each found the back of the net for Canton. Tessa Cudmore had a pair of assists in the win and Shannon Foley had one assist.
Stoughton, 1 @ Foxboro, 4 – Final – Shaina Abbott scored a pair of goals and Katherine Luciano and Riley Collins each scored once for the Warriors. Emerson Sprague scored for the Black Knights.
Mansfield, 3 @ North Attleboro, 4 – Final – Hana Caster scored off a corner kick from Grace Guertin with just four minutes left to life the Rocketeers. North held a 3-0 lead at the break as Guertin factored into all four goals for Big Red. Guertin was fouled in the area in the 12th minute and Shannon Kingsley buried the penalty kick. Guertin then set up Leah Jette in the 21st minute and then linked up with Kingsley in the 31st minute to build a 3-0 lead at half. Hannah Reiter scored a pair of goals in the second half for Mansfield and Katie Bongarzone scored once to tie the game at three.
Oliver Ames, 4 @ Sharon, 0 – Final – Kiana Lozzi scored a pair of goals, Delaney Benton and Francesca Calabraro each netted one goal and Jackie Mills had two assists for Oliver Ames. Volleyball King Philip, 3 vs. Walpole, 2 – Final– King Philip dropped the first two sets but rallied back to get the win at home, 20-25, 12-25, 25-12, 25-21, 15-12. Seniors Josie Rowean and Gwen Uyrus shined on senior night with 21 and 12 kills respectively while senior Molly Citarell and Micaela Murray anchored the defense for the Warriors.
Stoughton, 3 @ Sharon, 0 – Final – The Black Knights and Eagles played in their annual Dig for a Cure match and raised over $3,200 for cancer research according to SMAC’s Jeffrey Pickette. Stoughton picked up a 25-16, 25-19, 25-15 sweep on the road. Bridgette Whalen led the Black Knights with nine blocks, six kills, 15 digs and four aces, Bianca DeSousa had 11 digs, nine service points, five kills and four aces and Ava Siegel added 13 service points, five kills and two aces. Field Hockey
Taunton, 2 @ Franklin, 3 – Final – Caroline Lounsbury scored the game winning goal with 44 seconds left off assists from Taylor Reutlinger and Kenzi Pleshaw to lift the Panthers. Taunton held a 1-0 lead at halftime but Diana Griffin knotted the game just three minutes into the second half off assists from Cassi Ronan and Reutlinger. Annie Walsh put Franklin ahead at 2-1. Abbey Kingman scored both of Taunton’s goals.
Stoughton, 3 vs. Brockton, 1 – Final – Courtney Campbell, Mia Russell and Ashley Chipman scored for Stoughton, who qualified for the state tournament with the win.
By Ryan Lanigan, Editor-in-Chief
ATTLEBORO, Mass. – Ordinarily one single punt doesn’t get too much attention, let alone be the play of the game.
But Mansfield’s 9-8 win over Attleboro at Tozier-Cassidy was no ordinary game.
“This was a hard one to describe,” Mansfield head coach Mike Redding said.
Facing 4th and less than a yard at their own 43 with a one point lead and 1:12 left in the game, Redding had a choice to make.
With the way his defense had been playing, Attleboro’s big goal line defense on the other side of the ball, and full trust in his long snapper and punter…Redding elected to punt.
The decision worked out perfectly for the Hornets. Senior Connor Finerty’s snap was on the money and sophomore Hunter Ferreira booted a 50 yard punt. The kick eluded Attleboro’s return man and a kind bounce pushed the ball all the way to the Bombardiers’ 8 yard line.
Attleboro was forced to go 92 yards in one minute without any timeouts but the Hornets defense didn’t allow anything deep and the Bombardiers’ last second Hail Mary fell incomplete.
“The punt may have been the play of the game,” Redding said. “We really did not want to punt. You worry about the snap, them blocking it but then on the other side if you don’t get it, and [Attleboro] is big up front, you give them the ball on your own 43 with plenty of time. It was one of the plays of the night, the punt sailing, getting the bounce and now they have a 90 yard field. I think a lot of people were wondering if I should go for it but thank God we got the punt in and got yardage out of it.”
With Mansfield’s defense having allowed just one touchdown so far in the game, Redding was confident in his defense.
“We felt pretty good,” Redding said about his defense. “We had bent a little and they hit some short passes but they hadn’t got their run game going. They hadn’t gotten anything downfield and we have a pretty experienced secondary. Mark DeGirolamo, our defense coordinator, did a good job of mixing zone and man and blitzing. So we felt like it was better to give them a 70 yard field than a 40 yard field. We hadn’t run the ball that well and they went with their goal line defense, it looked even tougher to get that yard up inside. Fortunately the punt paid off.”
As good as Ferreira’s punt was at the end of the fourth quarter, the sophomore hauled in five catches for 127 yards, including a pair of big catches on each of Mansfield’s scoring drives.
“Unbelievable catches in traffic,” Redding said.
The first came on Mansfield’s second possession of the game. After Attleboro had an interception on the first series, Mansfield’s defense responded by getting the ball back when Attleboro could only get one yard on four plays.
The Hornets tried a little trickery on first down as junior Brian Lynch took the handoff but instead of heading up field, set his feet and launched a pass up field. The pass was a little under thrown and looked like Attleboro was going to come away with its second interception in as many series but Ferreira was able to leap and snag the ball away for a 29 yard catch.
Three runs got the Hornets inside the Attleboro 10-yard line but the Bombardiers defense came up with a big stop on third down. Diogo DeSousa drilled a 21-yard field goal with 4:34 left in the first quarter.
Attleboro’s offense didn’t take long to answer back. Midway through the drive and facing a 4th and 1 from Mansfield’ 34, Attleboro coach Mike Strachan went for it and this time quarterback Tyler McGovern pushed through the pile on the sneak for the first down. Two plays later, McGovern handed off to senior Brendan Nunes, who sprinted to the left side and then used a sweet cut back and hit an open lane for a 33 yard touchdown.
Instead of a traditional extra point, Attleboro lined up with their offensive line set up on the far right. With Mansfield trying to figure out the play, Cam Furtado took the snap and outraced defenders to the left for the two-point conversion to make it 8-3 with 59 seconds left in the first quarter.
Attleboro got possession back on the ensuing kickoff and Elijah Lewis’ chip shot down the near sideline was recovered by Furtado. But a penalty and a pair of negative plays, the latter an 11 yard sack from Tyrone Pascual, set Attleboro up for 3rd and 32.
The Hornets had a charge late in the first half, moving the ball all the way to the Attleboro 20-yard line but an interception on a lob pass into the end zone brought the first half to a close.
The Bombardiers moved the ball close to the Mansfield red zone to open the second half but a pair of pass break ups by the Hornets’ secondary put a stop to it. On first down, McGovern’s pass was broken up by Connor Driscoll in the end zone. On 3rd and 7, Joe Bukuras got his hand in the way of another pass. A holding call made it 4th and 17 and Mansfield was able to come up with the stop.
The stop was key as Mansfield took their first possession of the second half all the way to the end zone for their lone touchdown of the game. A 16 yard rush from Nick Graham got things going.
Ferreira came up big once again for Mansfield. On 3rd and 11, Mansfield quarterback Anthony DeGirolamo eluded a would be tackler and stepped up into the pocket to fire 17 yard pass to Ferreira to keep the drive alive. Then on the next play, DeGirolamo floated one up to the sophomore. It looked as though Attleboro’s defense had position on the play but Ferreira seemingly climbed an invisible ladder and ripped the ball away for a 39 yard completion.
“I think Anthony really stepped up tonight, he made some big passes,” Redding said. “A couple of big third down conversions. I think on the field goal drive he hit one, and on the touchdown drive he hits one. If he doesn’t hit those, we may get shutout. So I think he took a big step forward in a game where we needed to hit some passes.”
Two plays later, Lynch punched it in for a two yard score. Mansfield’s two-point rush came up short to make it 9-8 with 2:51 left in the third.
Both teams trade punts before Attleboro got inside Mansfield’s 30 yard line on the next drive. Facing 4th and 18th, Strachan went for a field goal but the 45 yard attempt was short.
Mansfield punted it back and Attleboro once again made it into Hornet territory but four straight incompletions turns the ball over on downs. Mansfield’s next drive ended with Ferreira’s perfect punt.
“These are the games we have to build off of,” Strachan said. “Mansfield’s a very good program. They did a good job and I just thought we missed some opportunities out there. We’ll look at the film and look at what we left out there. We just have to build off of this.”
DeGirolamo finished 6/13 for 122 yards, Ferreira had five catches for 127 yards and Nick Graham had five carries for 45 yards and one catch for 18 yards. Attleboro’s McGovern was 17/35 for 197 yards, Brendan Nunes had 44 yards on 12 carries and Alex Silva had a game-high 10 catches for 129 yards.
With the win, Mansfield improves to 2-1 overall and 1-0 in Hockomock League Kelley-Rex Division play. Attleboro drops to 1-2 and 0-1 in the Kelley-Rex.
“This is a great win on the road,” Reading said. “I think [Attleboro] is a very good football team and they’re going to make a lot of noise. Just finding a way to win tonight was good for a young team that’s still in the process of maturing. This was a good character game, wasn’t a great execution game but a character win.” Ryan Lanigan can be contacted at RyanLanigan@hockomocksports.com and followed on Twitter at @R_Lanigan.
Today’s games are listed below. Game of the Week – Football
North Attleboro, 14 @ Stoughton, 6 – Final 1st Quarter: (NA) Chad Peterson 12 yard pass to Nick Morrison, Connor Flynn XP good. 2nd Quarter: (S) Jake Gibb 43 yard pass to Steven Elice, XP fail. 3rd Quarter: No scoring. 4th Quarter: (NA) Kyle Gaumond 49 yard interception return, Connor MacIver XP good. Football
Attleboro, 55 @ Bishop Feehan, 26 – Final 1st Quarter: (A) Brendan Nunes 6 yard rush, Elijah Lewis XP good; Bishop Feehan 2 yard rush, XP fail; (A) Brendan Nunes 36 yard pass to Alex Silva, E. Lewis XP good. 2nd Quarter: (A) Tyler McGovern 1 yard rush, Lewis XP good; (A) B. Nunes 1 yard rush, E. Lewis XP good; Bishop Feehan 90 yard kickoff return, XP good; (A) T. McGovern 1 yard rush, E. Lewis XP good. 3rd Quarter: (A) T. McGovern 1 yard pass to Jon Dunn, E. Lewis XP good; Bishop Feehan 33 yard pass, 2pt fail; Bishop Feehan 46 yard pass, XP good; (A) B. Nunes 53 yard rush, 2pt fail. 4th Quarter: (A) Cam Furtado 14 yard pass to A. Silva, E. Lewis good.
Canton, 17 @ Rockland, 14 – Final 1st Quarter: No scoring 2nd Quarter: (C) Jake Ragusa 3 yard rush, Thomas Monagle XP good; (C) Joe Bires 3 yard rush, T. Monagle XP good. 3rd Quarter: Rockland 20 yard rush, XP good. 4th Quarter: (C) T. Monagle 25 yard field goal good; Rockland 7 yard pass, XP good.
Foxboro, 25 vs. Westwood, 20 – Final 1st Quarter: Westwood 36 yard pass, 2pt fail; (F) Ronnie Martin 6 yard rush, XP good. 2nd Quarter: Westwood 50 yard pass, XP fail; (F) John Cronin FG good. 3rd Quarter: (F) Daren Kelly 7 yard pass to Connor McNamara, M. Clagg 2pt rush. 4th Quarter: (F) D. Kelly 15 yard pass to Jason Procaccini, XP good; Westwood 2 yard rush, 2pt good.
Franklin, 0 @ Arlington, 21 – Final
King Philip, 0 @ East Bridgewater, 20 – Final 1st Quarter: East Bridgewater 8 yard rush, XP good. 2nd Quarter: East Bridgewater 46 yard pass, XP good. 3rd Quarter: East Bridgewater 80 yard kick return, XP fail. 4th Quarter: No scoring.
Mansfield, 14 vs. St. John’s Prep, 42 – Final 1st Quarter: (M) Brian Lynch 5-yard rush, XP good; St. John’s Prep 22-yard pass, XP good. 2nd Quarter: St. John’s Prep 60-yard rush, XP good. 3rd Quarter: St. John’s Prep 52-yard pass, XP good; (M) B. Lynch 2-yard rush, XP good. 4th Quarter: St. John’s Prep 29-yard pass, XP good; St. John’s Prep 19-yard pass, XP good; St. John’s Prep 13-yard rush, XP good.
Milford, 22 @ Marlborough, 21 – Final 1st Quarter: Marlborough 75 yard kickoff return, XP good; Marlborough 11 yard run, XP good. 2nd Quarter: Zach Lanzetta 21 yard pass to Blake Hill, Sean Lehane XP good; B. Hill 3 yard rush, S. Lehane XP good. 3rd Quarter: Marlborough 6 yard rush, XP good. 4th Quarter: Z. Lanzetta 25 yard pass to Tony Mobilia, 2pt fail; S. Lehane 21-yard FG.
Oliver Ames, 0 vs. Hanover, 27 – Final
Sharon, 0 @ Falmouth, 30 – Final
Taunton, 20 vs. New Bedford, 45 – Final Taunton scoring only 1st Quarter: No scoring. 2nd Quarter: Jared Tage 13 yard pass to Brian Cherenfant, Jason DaRosa 2pt rush. 3rd Quarter: J. DaRosa 5 yard rush, 2pt fail. 4th Quarter: J. DaRosa 2 yard rush, 2pt fail. Boys Soccer
Attleboro, 0 @ Sharon, 1 – Final – Jake Goloboy scores the lone goal of the game three minutes into the second half to give the Eagles their first win of the season. Goloboy’s goal was set up when Matt Lowerre fed Sunny Somdah a through ball and Somdah got to the ball and cross over to Goloboy for the goal.
Franklin, 2 @ Foxboro, 0 – Final – Franklin’s Kevin Hall headed home a cross from Austin Kent in the first half and then Kent converted a penalty kick in the second half to give Franklin its first win of the season.
King Philip, 0 @ Milford, 3 – Final– Milford freshman Joey Madden scored his first career goal just over 10 minutes into the game to give the Scarlet Hawks the lead. In the second half, Sttarley Flores found the back of the net after a great feed from Justin Borges. Borges then tacked on the third goal shortly before the final whistle on an assist from Jon Torres. Milford goalie Mike Da Silva made eight saves in net.
North Attleboro, 0 @ Stoughton, 1 – Final – Loubensky Lucas volleyed in a corner from Jordan Asnes in the 30th minute for the lone goal of the game. North Attleboro goalie Rob Heaney played well for the Rocketeers with six saves.
Taunton, 0 @ Oliver Ames, 3 – Final – Oliver Ames seniors Chris Romero and Keegan Nutt and junior Thomas McCormick all scored once and picked up an assist as the Tigers rolled. Jack Carroll made two saves in net to record his second straight shutout. Head coach John Barata said Nathaniel Cardoza and Cam Vella played “extremely well” in the midfield while Jared Mallers, Max Ahearn and Max Bamford guided the Tigers defense to its second straight shutout. Girls Soccer
Sharon, 2 @ Attleboro, 3 – Final – Rebekah Entwistle scored two goals in the opening six minutes of the game and Kayla Merritt added the Bombardiers third. Paige Medeiros had two assists for Attleboro.
Foxboro, 0 @ Franklin, 2 – Final – The Panthers got goals from defenders Meghan Dieterle and Nadia Havens to earn their first win of the season.
Milford, 2 @ King Philip, 3 – Final – Nicole Dahlgren scored two minutes into the game for Milford and 13 minutes later KP tied the game on a penalty by Emma Corcoran. Seven minutes later, the Warriors took the lead on a header by freshman Logan Greenburg off a corner by Lauren Hehn. Milford tied the game on a Kristen Franzini penalty in the 28th minute. With nine minutes left, KP found the winner when Elizabeth Cooley found the top corner from 25 yards off an assist by Kelly McSweeney. Volleyball
Attleboro, 0 @ Sharon, 3 – Final – Sharon grabbed its first win of the season with a 25-14, 25-17, 25-23 win over the Bombardiers.
Mansfield, 0 @ Canton, 3 – Final – Canton moved to 2-0 on the season with a 25-14, 25-20, 25-15 win over the Hornets. Olivia Devoe had another big game at libero with 20 digs, Elizabeth Hamilton had a game-high 15 kills, Rye Verille chipped in with seven kills and three blocks. Head coach Pat Cawley said Sarah Reissfelder and Emma Murphy were strong at the net. For Mansfield, Cathryn Heavey recorded 27 assists and Meg Hill had five kills.
Franklin, 3 @ Foxboro, 2 – Final – Franklin was able to edge the Warriors 21-25, 25-21, 8-25, 29-27, 15-12. Franklin’s Dayna McCue had a match-high 47 serve receives and added 14 digs, Alyssa Shea had 11 kills, Caroline Maguire also had 11 kills and added a pair of blocks and aces while Beth Neal had 27 assists, eight kills and four aces for the Panthers.
King Philip, 3 @ Milford, 0 – Final – King Philip swept by the scores of 28-26, 25-17 and 25-10. Emma Lopez had four aces for the Warriors, Josie Rowean had 12 kills and Micaela Murray had a team-high in digs. King Philip moved to 2-0 on the season.
North Attleboro, 1 @ Stoughton, 3 – Final – Stoughton won the first game 25-19, North Attleboro battled back with a 25-23 win in the second game but Stoughton won out, 25-19 in the third set and 26-24 in the fourth set. Stoughton senior Bianca DeSousa shined for the Black Knights with 19 digs, 11 assists, six aces, six kills and three blocks. Bridgette Whalen had nine blocks, seven kills and 14 digs and Ava Siegel added five kills and 22 digs for Stoughton.
Taunton, 3 @ Oliver Ames, 0 – Final– Taunton swept 25-21, 25-13, 25-21. Tatum Speicher shined with 25 assists and two aces while a pair of Tiger middle hitters played well at the net. Alyssa Gibson had four kills and three blocks and Aimee Kistner had seven kills, three aces and a block. Field Hockey
Attleboro, 8 @ Sharon, 0 – Final– Attleboro jumped out to a 3-0 lead at halftime and added five more goals in the second half to move to 2-0 on the season, still yet to surrender a goal. Grace Mayer and Emily Houle each scored twice for the Bombardiers.
Mansfield, 2 @ Canton, 1 – Final – Caroline Maher and Emily Ierardo each scored a goal for the Hornets, who moved to 2-0 on the season. Canton senior Abby Powers scored her first varsity goal on an assist from Caroline Hagan as the Bulldogs suffered their first loss this year.
North Attleboro, 1 @ Stoughton, 3 – Final – Olivia Schlehuber, Erika Paul and Mia Russell each scored a goal to lift Stoughton to 2-0 on the season. Golf
Stoughton, 205 @ Foxboro, 176 – Final
Taunton, 161 @ Franklin, 170 – Final – Taunton’s Mario Wilson shot a match-low 38 to pace Taunton. Ryan O’Berg and Kaynel Gonsalves each shot 40. Franklin’s Matt Dao shot a 40 and Matt Pleshaw shot a 41.
Attleboro, 173 @ Canton, 149 – Final– Sophomore Jack Goyetch shot a match-low 36 to lead the Bulldogs. Senior Steve Gorham shot a 37 while juniors Pat Duggan and Jackson Maffeo both shot 38. Attleboro Senior Keagin Larkin carded a team-low 41.
North Attleboro, 154 @ King Philip, 159 – Final