Today’s games are listed below.
Milford, 44 @ Wellesley, 7 – Final 1st Quarter: (M) Evan Cornelius 51-yard pass to Nick Schuler, Nicholas Araujo XP good; (M) E. Cornelius 31-yard pass to Jaden Agnew, N. Araujo XP good; (M) E. Cornelius 20-yard pass to Isaiah Pantalone, N. Araujo XP good.
2nd Quarter: (M) Grant Scudo 81-yard rush, N. Araujo XP good; (M) N. Araujo 38-yard field goal; (W) Vincent Ferrara 65-yard pass to Jack Poirier, XP good.
3rd Quarter: (M) N. Araujo 32-yard field goal; (M) N. Araujo interception return, N. Araujo XP good.
4th Quarter: (M) N. Araujo 45-yard field goal.
Stoughton, 0 @ East Bridgewater, 4 – Final
Taunton, 4 @ New Bedford, 2 – Final – Emily Calderon scored twice to power Taunton to its first win of the season and first win for second-year coach Mike Couture (the Tigers only played four games last year). Ava Alves and Janessa Arguello also scored for Taunton, while goalie Isabella Anslow had a strong game and helped keep the team together defensively to earn the victory.
MILFORD, Mass. – Milford graduated almost all of its starters from last year’s prolific offense. There were concerns that it may take the Hawks a few weeks to integrate new faces in new positions and start producing close to what they were able to during the Fall II season. It turns out, the new players didn’t need long at all to find their footing.
Junior Isaiah Pantalone (four receptions, 296 yards) touched the ball six times in the game and accounted for three touchdowns and more than 350 total yards. Junior Evan Cornelius stepped into the quarterback position, replacing UMass quarterback Brady Olson, and threw for two scores and rushed for two other. Senior Tyler Lane took over as the primary back from Carter Scudo (also playing at UMass) and rushed for 116 yards and a pair of scores.
It all amounted to a 49-28 season-opening win for the Hawks against Foxboro, one of the favorites in the Davenport division. The Milford sideline clearly felt that they were underrated coming into the year and they believed this was an emphatic statement to the rest of the league that they shouldn’t be overlooked.
“Losing nine kids on offense from last year’s team, but I knew we had a good core group of kids coming up,” said second-year Milford coach Dale Olson. “Our sub-varsity went undefeated and we had some talented kids. You saw that kid tonight, Isaiah Pantalone, he’s a special kid.
“They struggled to stop our run off tackle and made them put everybody in the box and then you get one-on-one matchups and Evan Cornelius delivered the ball a few times.”
Foxboro coach Jack Martinelli admitted that his team struggled to contain Milford’s balanced attack and was undone by allowing too many big plays. “They were a lot more physical than we were and they deserved to win the game. We didn’t quit, we kept coming back, but just didn’t have the ability to stop them in any way or fashion.”
It took only 13 seconds to show how explosive the new faces on offense could be. Milford turned to a little trickery on the first play from scrimmage, as Matt Girard looked upfield on a halfback pass and saw Pantalone all by himself. It was an 80-yard strike that set the tone for how the Hawks would attack.
Foxboro’s offense answered right back on its first possession. The Warriors marched 64 yards on 10 plays, twice converting third downs thanks to offsides calls against Milford, to tie the game. Tom Marcucella rolled out and threw a strike to Tre Stith for a 10-yard score to bring Foxboro level. Marcucella was impressive throughout, completing 26-of-45 passes for 349 yards and four touchdowns.
“Offensively, we did what we had to do,” Martinelli said. “It was the other end, the defensive end, we had no answers for them. We’d put seven in the box to stop the run and they were good enough to throw the ball.”
On Foxboro’s second possession, Sam Carpenter (4-for-4 on extra points) attempted a 52-yard kick that was short to the left. By rule, Milford took over at the 20. On third and four, Cornelius fired the ball across the middle to Pantalone, who eluded a pair of Warriors and was off to the races again. This time it was a 74-yard touchdown and a 13-7 lead.
The Warriors had a chance to try and tie or take the lead after Cornelius’ fumble was recovered by Dylan Kerrigan at midfield. Milford’s defense came up with a three-and-out to get the ball back. Carpenter did his job in the punting game, pinning the Hawks at their own two.
Milford proved that it also had the ability to put together a long drive. Lane took the first carry for 22 yards to get out from the shadow of his own end zone and the Hawks never looked back, producing a 10-play, 98-yard drive (six carries for Lane and four for Grant Scudo) to extend the lead. Lane finished it with a one-yard plunge and Cornelius ran in the conversion to make it 21-7.
Foxboro answered right back. Three plays later, Marcucella swung the ball to Dylan Gordon (158 total yards), who proceeded to break three tackles on the sideline, somehow staying inbounds, and broke free for a 76-yard touchdown. Pantalone made sure the momentum was short-lived, returning the ensuing kick 61 yards to the Foxboro 37. Lane got the ball to the one and Cornelius punched it in, restoring the two-score lead.
After nearly hitting a Hail Mary pass to end the half, Foxboro came out and put together another strong drive to start the third quarter. Marcucella was 5-for-5 and found four different receivers on the possession. He picked out Tommy Sharkey on an out-route to the front pylon for an 18-yard touchdown that got the Warriors back within seven.
Lane came up less than a yard short on fourth down at midfield, giving Foxboro the chance to pull even, but again the Hawks were able to make a key defensive stand and force a punt. With Foxboro trying to step up and stop the run, Cornelius hit Pantalone on another slant route. This time it was for 76 yards but Sharkey hustled to delay the touchdown. Two plays later, Lane got his second of the day, barreling over the goal line from four yards out.
Jaden Agnew then came up with a huge play, reading the bounce off the receiver to pick off Marcucella and return it down to the Foxboro 12. Pantalone went 11 yards to the one and then, after Foxboro’s line stuffed two attempts from inside the one, Cornelius started the fourth quarter by getting just into the end zone for a 42-21 lead.
“They’ve got skill all over the place, the quarterback puts the ball on the money, and them coming down and making it a one-score game, but then we answered and then we answered again,” Olson said about going up by more than two scores. “I knew we were going to be alright because they couldn’t stop us off-tackle. It was just over and over, it was no secret we were running over (senior lineman) Marco [Monteiro].”
Following a Foxboro punt, helped by a couple of solid coverage plays by Scudo, Milford effectively sealed the win. No surprise, it was Pantalone again. The Warriors had bunched up at the line expecting the run and the receiver was able to beat his coverage at the line and caught a 66-yard pass from Cornelius for his third score of the night.
To their credit, the Warriors kept fighting despite the big deficit. Marcucella went 6-of-10 on the next drive, including a highlight-reel sidearm toss to Rashaad Way ( nine catches, 121 yards) and a 10-yard touchdown to Gordon. After Agnew was ruled to have fumbled out of the end zone as he dove for the pylon, Foxboro mounted one more drive to try and make it a game, getting all the way to the Milford six with five minutes to play, but the drive stalled.
“They’re a good program, they’re well-coached, but we kind of thought we’d be able to enforce our will,” Olson explained. “We did graduate a lot but we’re good up front, we’ve got some good kids, and I couldn’t be prouder.
“People were writing us off, saying they’re one-and-done, they’re rebuilding, but I think we’ve got one of the better teams in the Hock. We want to keep rising this program.”
Milford (1-0) will travel to Wellesley next Saturday. Foxboro (0-1) will try to bounce back with a trip to Whitman-Hanson on Friday.
Attleboro, 10 vs. Durfee, 7 – Final 1st Quarter: (A) Blake Garzaro 10-yard pass to Chris Mota, Anthony Salviati XP good.
2nd Quarter: No scoring.
3rd Quarter: No scoring.
4th Quarter: (D) Durfee 9-yard rush, XP good; (A) A. Salviati 30-yard field goal.
Canton, 7 @ Dighton-Rehoboth, 15 – Final (OT) 1st Quarter: No scoring.
2nd Quarter: No scoring.
3rd Quarter: (C) Bahsor Mahn 7-yard rush, Hayden Rose XP good.
4th Quarter: (DR) Hendrix Pray 40-yard rush, Adam Pereira XP good.
Overtime: (DR) H. Pray 10-yard rush, Jacob Suprenard 2pt rush.
Foxboro, 28 @ Milford, 49 – Final – Click here for a Recap and Photo Gallery from this game. 1st Quarter: (M) Matt Girard 80-yard pass to Isaiah Pantalone, Nicholas Araujo XP good; (F) Tom Marcucella 10-yard pass to Tre Stith, Sam Carpenter XP good; (M) Evan Cornelius 74-yard pass to I. Pantalone, XP no good.
2nd Quarter: (M) Tyler Lane 1-yard rush, E. Cornelius 2-point conversion rush; (F) T. Marcucella 76-yard pass to Dylan Gordon, S. Carpenter XP good; (M) E. Cornelius 1-yard rush, N. Araujo XP good.
3rd Quarter: (F) T. Marcucella 18-yard pass to Tommy Sharkey, S. Carpenter XP good; (M) T. Lane 4-yard rush, N. Araujo XP good.
4th Quarter: (M) E. Cornelius 1-yard rush, N. Araujo XP good; (M) E. Cornelius 66-yard pass to I. Pantalone, N. Araujo XP good; (F) T. Marcucella 10-yard pass to D. Gordon, S. Carpenter XP good.
Franklin, 37 vs. Wachusett, 21 – Final
Mansfield, 28 @ St. John’s Shrewsbury, 20 – Final 1st Quarter: (SJ) Ryan Miller 54-yard pass to Ryan Coonan, XP blocked.
2nd Quarter: (M) Rocco Scarpellini 6-yard rush, XP good; (M) Drew Sacco 9-yard rush, XP good.
3rd Quarter: (SJ) Bobby Rodolakis 34-yard rush, XP failed; (SJ) B. Rodolakis 5-yard rush, R. Miller 2pt pass to R. Coonan.
4th Quarter: (M) Conner Zukowski 10-yard pass to Trevor Foley, XP good; (M) C. Zukowski 5-yard pass to T. Foley, XP good.
North Attleboro, 10 vs. Bishop Feehan, 24 – Final
Oliver Ames, 18 vs. Brookline, 8 – Final 1st Quarter: (OA) Chad Silva 6-yard rush, XP failed.
2nd Quarter: (OA) C. Silva 4-yard rush, XP failed; (OA) Collin Williamson 11-yard rush, XP failed.
3rd Quarter: No scoring.
4th Quarter: Brookline touchdown, 2pt conversion good.
Stoughton, 14 vs. Norwood, 21 – Final
Taunton, 21 vs. New Bedford, 0 – Final – Click here for a Recap and Photo Gallery from this game. 1st Quarter: No scoring.
2nd Quarter: (T) Jacob Leonard 22-yard pass to Trent Santos, Nathan Keenan XP good; (T) Bryan Batista 21-yard rush, N. Keenan XP good.
3rd Quarter: No scoring.
4th Quarter: (T) B. Batista 12-yard rush, N. Keenan XP good.
Sharon, 0 @ Norton, 15 – First Quarter – Due to a power outage of the lights, the game will continue on Saturday morning at 10:00AM.
Franklin, 0 @ Canton, 2 – Final – Canton’s Jake McCabe scored for the second straight game and Jacob Crugnale also found the back of the net as the Bulldogs opened their Hockomock schedule with a win over visiting Franklin.
Foxboro, 0 @ Milton, 2 – Final
Milford, 0 @ Sharon, 1 – Final
Oliver Ames, 5 @ Attleboro, 1 – Final – OA rallied from a goal down with five straight scores to open its season with a road win. Jamie Davies had put Attleboro ahead in the ninth minute, off a Kacey Parker assist, but not two minutes later the Tigers equalized on a long-range strike by freshman Emma Gavin. Camryn O’Connor put OA ahead for good and then Kyla Melton scored either side of halftime to put the game out of reach. Alex Lane added the fifth with 15 minutes left to play. Attleboro coach Steve Santos praised his central defenders Olivia Calderone and Emma Stromfors but admitted that the Tigers just had too much on Friday.
Foxboro, 5 vs. Walpole, 2 – Final – After being shut out on Thursday, the Warriors found their offense on Friday to earn a non-league win. Kailee McCabe was the star, as the All-New England selection scored three times and assisted on another. Erin Foley and freshman Neve Taylor also got on the board for Foxboro. Foxboro coach Katie Stalcup also praised the Warriors defense for fighting hard the whole game to keep out the Timberwolves.
Sharon @ Milford – Postponed to TBD.
Oliver Ames, 1 @ Attleboro, 3 – Final – Attleboro defended its home turf with a win over the defending Davenport division champions Oliver Ames. Sarah McMahon and Madison Ellis each had a goal and an assist to pace the Bombardier offense. Alyvia Bessette opened the scoring for Attleboro followed by Ellis (unassisted) and McMahon (from Ellis and Olivia Hillman).
Canton, 1 @ Franklin, 5 – Final – Franklin opened the second in style, pumping in a pair of goals in both the second and third quarters, to knock off visiting Canton. Kendall Jones (from Kaitlyn Carney) opened the scoring but Canton’s Erin Lane tied the game just two minutes later. Franklin pulled ahead in the second and never looked back; Carney (unassisted) and Jones (from Shaw Downing) scored three minutes apart to give the Panthers a 3-1 lead at the half. In the third, Downing (unassisted) scored less than a minute in and Payton Crandall (from Carney) notched her first career goal to cap the scoring. Megan Sullivan made six saves to earn the win in net.
North Attleboro, 2 @ Mansfield, 2 – Final – North Attleboro sophomore goalie Gracie Leary made two huge saves inside the final three minutes to help preserve a point for the Rocketeers on the road at Mansfield. Leary totaled nine saves, including her final one with just over a minute to go to get the point. Junior Julia Puccio scored on a corner in the first quarter on a pass from Zoe McKeon. Mansfield got goals from Rose Maher and Dani Cuzzi to take the lead but North’s Caroline Folan scored on a corner with 3:25 to play to level the scoring.
Sharon, 0 @ Milford, 1 – Final – Click here for a Photo Gallery from this game. McKenna Smith was able to squeeze the ball through a scrum in front of goal and across the line midway through the fourth quarter for the game’s lone goal.
Stoughton, 0 @ Taunton, 3 – Final – Taunton opened the new season at home with a shutout win over the visiting Black Knights. Emily Gannon turned away six shots to get the shutout win in net. Ashley Amaro and Kaysie DeMoura both grabbed a goal and an assist in the win while Caelen O’Leary had the first goal of the game. Thalia Nogueria, Kylie Thorpe, and Braeley MacDonald also played well for the Tigers.
Oliver Ames, 1 @ Attleboro, 3 – Final – Attleboro won a close first set and went on to take a 3-1 (25-22, 25-19, 21-25, 25-16) win over visiting Oliver Ames. For OA, senior Hadley Rhodes had 15 assists and six kills, Maddie Homer had 24 digs and 22 serve receptions and sophomore Sarah Hilliard tallied 10 kills.
Foxboro, 0 @ King Philip, 3 – Final – King Philip opened its season in style with a 3-0 sweep (25-9, 25-12, 25-3) over visiting Foxboro. Ahunna James paced the offense with seven kills, Sami Shore added six kills and four aces, Sofia Reidel had was strong at the service line with seven aces and Emily Sawyer put down five kills in her debut.
Canton, 0 @ Franklin, 3 – Final – Franklin fended off a big challenge from Canton in the final set to secure a 3-0 sweep (25-14, 25-16, 25-23) over the Bulldogs. Cailyn Mackintosh had 20 assists, Lindsey Tarantola recorded seven kills and Cate Roberge had a big game for the Panthers with seven aces and five kills. Sophomore Jess Wright notched 11 kills in her varsity debut for the Bulldogs while freshman Zoe Scibelli played well defensively at libero in her first match. Senior Anna Verille had a great game defensively with 16 digs to go along with four kills and an ace while Taylor Reynolds dished out 21 assists.
North Attleboro @ Mansfield, 5:15
Sharon, 0 @ Milford, 3 – Final
Stoughton, 0 @ Taunton, 3 – Final – Taunton grabbed its second win on the young season, this time with a 3-0 sweep (25-8, 25-20, 25-23) win over Stoughton. Mikayla Cleary led the charge with 11 kills, seven aces, and three blocks, Hayley Krockta had five kills, and Angie Lynch had a strong game at the net with three kills and two aces. Danielle Lofgren (six digs), Mia Fernandes, and Jess Foley all set the tone for the Tigers with a strong serve receive.
Canton, 145 @ North Attleboro, 160 – Final – For the second straight match, all of Canton’s scorers broke the 40 mark, this time to get a key division win at Heather Hills. Canton’s Conor Hunter and Mike Leonetti as well as North Attleboro’s Jake Gaskin all shared medalist honors at 35. Will Gefteas added a 36 for the Dogs while Mekhala Costello and Nate MacDonald each came in with a round of 39 for Canton. Tyson Laviano added a round of 36 for the Big Red.
Sharon, 158 @ Oliver Ames, 155 – Final – Oliver Ames made it three straight wins to start the season, knocking off visiting Sharon at Pine Oaks by three strokes. Jo Jo Gaultier had the low-round for the Tigers at 36 while David Rodgers added a 37 and both Braden Shapiro and Daniel Paul shot a 41. Sharon’s Nate Daly was the match medalist at 35 while Eric Carter chipped in with a 37.
King Philip, 166 @ Franklin, 171 – Final – King Philip emerged from a key division showdown with Franklin with a close win at Franklin Country Club. Pat Reardon was the match medalist, firing a three-over round of 38 while Mike Matheson chipped in with a 42 for the Warriors. For Franklin, Corey Steel shot a 39 while Tyler O’Brien sank a birdie on the seventh hole to help finish with a round of 42.
Attleboro struggled on the offensive side of the ball last year, scoring only 44 points in six games and not scoring a touchdown until the fifth game of the season. The Bombardiers will need to improve on that side of the ball to try and move up the standings and challenge the top teams in the Kelley-Rex. With eight returning starters on both sides of the ball, Attleboro can rely on an experienced roster to try and turn things around this fall.
It will be obvious where Attleboro’s strength lies. The Bombardiers run 6’3 285, 6’3 255, 6’2 285, and 6’3 305 at the guard and tackle positions. They are going to try and overpower teams. The leader of that group is senior Chris Leonardo, who is a force on both sides of the ball. Seniors Alvin Harrison, Jacob Struminski, and Isaac Pereira are a formidable front and junior Isaiah Miranda will be back at center. Experience and size are important, but the Bombardiers will need its array of running backs to take advantage. Seniors Ryan Betts, Freddy Wheaton, Keigan Conley, and Kaiden Murray will all get the chance to carry the ball. Junior Aiden Hochwarter returns under center after taking over midway through last year and he will have classmate Anthony Salviati to throw to out wide and senior tight end Christian Dame.
The Attleboro defense will also rely on its strength up front with Leonardo and Harrison controlling the middle. The linebackers have plenty of experience, with Dame, Wheaton, Betts, Conley, and senior Hayden Hegarty all coming back after seeing significant time last year. The secondary has a lot of athleticism. Junior Ethan Lako, Salviati, and Murray are all capable of making big plays and forcing turnovers.
“It is great to have some normalcy back this fall,” said Attleboro coach Mike Strachan. “We have eight returning starters on each side of the ball this season and we have great senior leadership. We are looking to a great fall season.”
All eyes are on Mansfield and King Philip as the favorites in the Kelley-Rex and that’s how coach Eian Bain likes it. The Panthers are certainly flying under the radar a bit but that might not last very long, especially after their success during the preseason has turned some heads.
Having a lot of familiar faces in key positions will be an early advantage for the Panthers, who have a strong non-league schedule that starts with Wachusett and features perennial state powerhouse Duxbury. Senior Jared Arone gained a lot of experience at quarterback during the Fall 2 season and could be poised for a big year with a full schedule on tap. Part of the reason why is because of all the weapons around him. Both Shane Kindred and Will Tracey developed a lot of chemistry with the QB in the abbreviated season and will be his main two targets this year.
And while the Panthers have developed a reputation for a pass-heavy offense, we saw a much more balanced approach during the spring and with senior running back Mack Gulla ready for a breakout season, it’s likely that balance continues. Gulla is a tough runner that will keep defenses honest; he isn’t just going to help set up the passing game, he’s a true threat to run all over defenses. It will all start up front and the Panthers have center Ethan Aeillo and tackle Jack Porkorny back in starting roles.
Senior Joe Tirrell and junior Luke Davis give the Panthers a veteran presence in the secondary. Franklin allowed over 20 points per game last season but will be looking to bring that number down some this year as they try and establish themselves as a contender in the division. Senior Jonathan Martins impressed last season and will be a key piece on the defensive line while the linebackers will be anchored by senior Cullen Pek.
“The Panthers return many familiar faces but face a tough task of replacing some key positions,” Bain said. “Many players have stepped up but there is still a lot to be answered before the home opener against Wachusett.”
King Philip has a strong core of returning players set to compete for the Kelley-Rex crown this Fall season but the Warriors are hoping to develop some depth along the way as they navigate through one of the state’s toughest schedules.
KP is still hurting from the Fall 2 season, when they lost six players to season-ending surgery, four of which were starters. With a quick turnaround to this season, the Warriors will still be without those players but there is still lots of excitement around those who will be on the field this year. Senior Charlie Grant returns as the starter at quarterback and has some weapons to utilize around them, starting with receivers Danny Clancy, Nick Viscusi, and Jonathan Joseph. All three have varsity experience and are seniors. Junior Rudy Gately and senior Crawford Cantave give the Warriors a thunder and lightning running back combination. Senior Drew Danson was set to be one of the top tight ends in the league but is out due to injury. Sophomore Thomas McLeish will also be in the mix to play at quarterback and Grant could see time at receiver.
Hunter Hastings and Chris Sesay are the returners on the offensive line and will start at the tackle positions while Dan Nineve will be the center and Amro Ismail and Sean King man the guard positions. It will be a lot of the same names on the other side of the ball with Hastings, King, and Sesay all playing both ways. Junior Nate Kearney will also be in the mix as a pass rusher.
The veteran group on defense will be the KP secondary, which features a lot of familiar faces. Both Cantave (safety) and Viscusi (corner) had really strong junior seasons and will lead the way alongside junior Thomas Brewster, senior Eli Reed, and Joseph, who has really impressed so far this preseason. There will be a little inexperience at linebacker but the Warriors have Gately back in the fold alongside senior Jake Sullivan and junior Will Astorino. Matt Kelley is back as the starting kicker.
“I love my team, great kids,” said KP head coach Brian Lee. “We just have to make sure ready to go every single week. It’s been kind of a burn, playing in the Spring. It feels like we’ve been going, going, going, but now we have to focus on staying healthy and getting through Thanksgiving. It’s been fun to be around them, they are good kids that work hard. Hopefully, we can turn that into being successful.”
Mansfield won the 2019 state title, is riding a 16-game win streak, hasn’t lost a game in league play since September 2017, and hasn’t lost an in-state game since a triple-OT thriller against Foxboro at Fenway to close out 2018, so the Hornets have earned the target that is on their backs this fall. Everyone will be aiming to be the first Hock team to hand the Hornets a loss and try to end a three-year run as the top team in the Kelley-Rex. Although there are some guys in new spots, especially at the skill positions, Mansfield returns 10 starters and several players who saw significant action off the bench last year.
The offense will be powered by an experienced line. Four of five starters return from last year with only junior center Colton Johnson added. Seniors Mark DeGirolamo, Joe Forte, and James Gilleran, and junior Jephte Jean are all back and should give the Hornets an edge up front. Junior Conner Zukowski will be the new starting quarterback and he will have several new weapons to call on. Juniors Drew Sacco and Rocco Scarpellini are new starters in the backfield, but both were called on plenty last season. Senior Dana Johnson and sophomore Trevor Foley will get the start out wide.
Defense has been Mansfield’s calling card during its run, as the Hornets allowed only 23 points in six games last year. DeGirolamo and classmate Braeden Veno are back on the defensive line along with Jean and senior Pedro Cruz. All three starting linebackers returned, as seniors Zander Holmes and James Fichera are paired with Scarpellini. Junior safety Ryan DeGirolamo is the only starter back in the secondary and will need to provide leadership for sophomores Foley and CJ Bell. Senior Jared Fraone will start at the other corner spot.
Mansfield coach Mike Redding is counting on a tough preseason, against state powers Everett and Central Catholic, to help the Hornets prepare. He is also excited about the new statewide playoff system that could pair Mansfield with a new set of tournament opponents as they seek to make it a three-peat in Div. 2.
Milford made a successful move into the Kelley-Rex last season. Under first-year coach Dale Olson, the Hawks earned a first-ever win over perennial league power King Philip and finished second in the division. This year, the Hawks will try to make another title challenge despite having several new faces stepping into important roles.
On offense, the Hawks will be transitioning from the pass-first offense that Brady Olson ran last year. Junior Evan Cornelius is a very different quarterback, who will bring a lot of size and strength to the position (which makes sense, since he also plays defensive end). Graduation took away a lot of dynamic playmakers from last year’s offense but seniors Tyler Lane, Angelo Romero, and Grant Scudo will give Milford a deep backfield and last year senior Jaden Agnew emerged as a major threat in the passing game.
The Hawks will be tough up front again this year on both sides of the ball. Seniors Alex McColl and Marco Monteiro are big and tough and will open holes on offense while clogging running lanes on the other side. Cornelius will add a threat on the edge defensively and the linebacking corps continues to be a factor, led by Lane and Romero. Scudo seeks out the ball at safety and is always a threat to force a turnover.
Olson admits that his team lacks experience at the skill positions, but he added, “Having three scrimmages will help prepare the first-year varsity kids to play week one.”
Taunton didn’t have the best record during the Fall 2 season but the opportunity to just get on the field and play was incredibly valuable for the Tigers. There are less than a dozen seniors (eight) on the roster for the Tigers this season so head coach Brad Sidwell will be looking for a strong class of juniors, as well as some sophomores, to make up the majority of the lineup this Fall.
A good chunk of those juniors were inserted into the starting lineup or played a large number of snaps just five months ago when the Tigers played six games. That allowed the Tigers to build some depth for the upcoming season, especially on the offensive side of the ball. Junior Jake Leonard got a jump start to his career when he took over for an injured Danny MacDougall. That experience will be key as he begins his first full season as the starter under center. Leonard will have three veteran options to work with in senior captains Trent Santos and Nate Keenan — two receivers — and tight end Nick Lima. Senior Faisal Mass will be a big target as a tight end, also providing key blocking on the line, while seniors Jon Castillo (receiver), Jack Moitiso (offensive line) and Evan Perrota (running back) will be in the mix as well.
Junior Ryan MacDougall started on the offensive line last season and will be joined by classmates Nate Laplante, William Guachiculca-Torres, and Logan Frank while sophomore Bryan Joanis will also be in the mix so some playing time. Keenan could also get some carries out of the backfield while junior Bryan Batista could emerge as a go-to option carrying the ball. Juniors Tyler Wynn, Isaiah Williams, and McKyen Gonsalves are three names to watch as receiving options for Leonard.
Taunton has a lot of experience in its secondary with both Santos and Keenan playing on both sides of the ball, and that experience will be a big strength for the Tigers. There is also a lot of depth in the linebackers, starting with Lima, who uses his speed to attack the ball. He can also step out and play in coverage or drop back into a safety role if needed. Lima will be joined by Frank, MacDougall, and Perrota as linebackers. On the line, Laplante had a strong sophomore season and could be poised for a breakout year.
Taunton will prepare for the ever-challenging division slate with non-league games against New Bedford, Durfee, and Middleboro in its first three weeks. It also marks the first year of its new Thanksgiving rivalry with Milford.
“We’re excited to begin the season with this group after productive preseason practices and scrimmages,” said head coach Brad Sidwell. “Although we only have eight seniors, many of our players gained experience in the spring season. We need to improve through the non-league start of the season as the Hockomock Kelley-Rex is always a challenge for any of the teams involved.”
Playing quarterback in an up-tempo, pass-heavy offensive set against the defenses in the Kelley-Rex division is a difficult task for an experienced signal-caller. Arone stepped behind center for the Panthers last year and got his first taste of varsity action. Now, a few months later, Arone will try to build on that experience to make the Franklin offense even more potent. From the opening game, against a loaded Mansfield defense, Arone showed that he has the accuracy to make the offense tick and the willingness to stand in the pocket and make throws down field. He developed a better rapport with his also relatively inexperienced receivers over the course of the season and there is potential for the Panthers to be prolific in the passing game this fall. In a division that continues to be loaded with talent, Franklin will hope that Arone can continue his growth and help the Panthers challenge perennial powers Mansfield and KP for the Kelley-Rex crown.
Milford junior Evan Cornelius worked his way onto the field during the abbreviated Fall 2 season as a sophomore, emerging as a dangerous threat at defensive end. Now, Cornelius will see a new role on the offensive side of the ball as the new quarterback, taking over for Brady Olson, who is now at UMass. Cornelius isn’t a stranger to the position having started under center on sub-varsity his freshman year. Coming in at 6’3, 235-pounds, Cornelius doesn’t look like your prototypical high school quarterback but it’s a position he’s comfortable in, has a strong arm, and is athletic enough to make plays with his feet. It will be interesting to see if the Hawks change their offense up much as Olson was a pocket passer that spread the ball all over the field. Cornelius and the Hawks will get a stiff test right away as they host Davenport contender Foxboro on opening night.
It was a big spring for King Philip’s Rudy Gately, both on the gridiron and on the diamond for the Warrior baseball team. That upward trend will likely continue this Fall with Gately poised for a possible breakout season at running back and linebacker for King Philip. The Warriors have one of the best backfields in the league with senior Crawford Cantave alongside Gately. King Philip has a reputation for pounding the rock and having two viable options, along with an improved passing game, should make the Warriors tough to stop on offense. Gately is tough as they come and will have no problem running right at the defense. He’s not all power and strength either as he showed he’s got the wheels to breakaway from the defense.
Opposing defenses are going to have their hands full trying to contain and tackle Foxboro senior Dylan Gordon this season. At 6’3, 200-pounds, Gordon is not the size of your average running back but he certainly has the skillset of one. He has shown good patience in waiting for space to develop and he has a really strong line in front of him that is going to create holes for him. Once he finds the space, he has no problem running right at the defense. It’s probably going to take more than one person to tackle him most of the time and when he gets into open space, he can turn on the jets and pull away. He has good hands out of the backfield too so he will be an option in the passing game on swing passes and wheel routes. Given his size, he will be a good option to help protect the quarterback on passing plays as well.
DeMattio was a force to be reckoned with last season, leading North Attleboro to an unbeaten record and the Davenport division title. Capable of beating teams with his arm or his legs, DeMattio was nearly unstoppable for much of the fall, as the Rocketeers scored 40-plus points in each of the first three games and recorded a league-high 186 points in six games. His ability to grind out tough yards up the middle, coupled with the speed to break a big play and the arm strength to stretch the defense vertically, made DeMattio a unique weapon for the North offense. Teams couldn’t bunch the line of scrimmage for fear of giving up the home run pass over the top, but DeMattio could also grind out drives taking the small yardage plays right up the middle. His toughness was emphasized by lining up at tailback against Attleboro in the season finale despite a cast on his wrist. Expectations are always high for North and defending the Davenport crown is the goal this fall. If they can keep DeMattio upright and healthy, then North will have one of the league’s most dynamic playmakers to make another title run.
Attleboro has rarely lacked for size on the line of scrimmage and this fall will be no different as the Bombardiers will roll out an offensive line that averages 6’3, 280 pounds. Harrison and Leonardo are both returning starters on both sides of the line and will be critical to Attleboro finding its offensive footing after a tough Fall II season that saw the Bombardiers score a league-low 44 points. Attleboro likes to keep the ball on the ground, especially with a relatively inexperienced quarterback, so Harrison and Leonardo will be called upon often to open up holes and give their backs the chance to get to the second level. Both players have the size and strength to take on multiple defenders and they are going to be leaders on offense, making sure everyone has the right assignments against defenses that like to move around and throw numerous looks on each snap. Linemen tend not to get the acclaim of the guys they block for, but Attleboro is going to be counting on its line to be its foundation as it tries to climb up the standings and make a push for the playoffs.
Over the past three seasons, brothers Christopher Ais and Christian Ais as well as Christian Georges combined to score nearly all of Stoughton’s touchdowns. Now those three are gone to graduation so there will be a lot of opportunities for new faces to step up. Senior Jonah Ly is in his third year on the varsity team and should see an expanded role inside the Stoughton offense. Ly knows the Stoughton offense well and has a good combination of strength and speed. He will be relied upon for his blocking too inside the Wing-T. Ly has the ability to get to the edge, changing the point of attack for the run-first Stoughton offense, and can break big plays. The Knights will be hoping that his development can help the offense put points on the board.
Mansfield comes into the season with inexperience at the skill positions, but that doesn’t mean the Hornets lack for talent. Sacco is one of several players who saw significant time during the abbreviated Fall II season and will be counted on to step into a bigger role this year. Quick and strong, Sacco showed flashes of his ability to make big plays last year and should get more carries this fall after the graduation of Cincere Gill. The Hornets like to spread the ball around and expect classmate Rocco Scarpellini, sophomore CJ Bell, and others to get plenty of touches as well. Sacco could get the nod as the primary ball carrier at the start and behind an experienced line has the chance to keep the Hornets’ ground game piling up the yards. Mansfield continues to be the team to beat in the Kelley-Rex and Sacco will be one of the players looking to keep the win streak alive for the Hornets and try to add yet another league title to the record book.
Taunton has a lot of speed and depth on the offensive side of the ball and the Tigers are hoping that translates into points although it won’t be easy against a very talented Kelley-Rex division, which features a lot of good defenses. Senior Trent Santos is in his third year starting and this will be his second season at wide receiver after starting at quarterback as a sophomore. The Tigers will feature a new starter in Jake Leonard, who did get some reps last season so there is already some chemistry between the two. Not only does Santos have a firm grip on the playbook, he knows what it takes to beat the tough secondaries he goes against. He has really good speed and can go up and get it downfield on deep passes. He can really stretch the defense out but isn’t afraid to go across the middle and run with the ball after the catch. Taunton has a lot of weapons so it will be tough for defenses to double him.
Hockomock Football Players to Watch on Offense Photos
Oliver Ames has struggled to put up points in the past couple of seasons, scoring 46 in six games last year, but Silva has emerged as a go-to, every down back that could be a spark for the Tigers on the offensive side of the ball. A big, strong back, Silva has shown that he is capable of carrying a heavy load, even against the top defenses in the Hock. Never shying away from contact, Silva can run over smaller defenders, and also has the agility and quickness to get the edge and create some running room. Still just a junior, Silva continues to grow and get stronger, which will be a problem for opposing defenses. OA moved the ball well at times last season, but couldn’t finish drives on a regular basis. The Tigers will be looking to Silva to carry the bulk of the offense this fall and try to find the end zone more consistently to compete with the top teams in the Davenport.
Below are the official 2021 Hockomock League Baseball All Stars, selected by the coaches in the league.
Kelley-Rex Division MVP
Danny MacDougall, Taunton
Kelley-Rex Division All Stars
Matt McMahon, Attleboro
Bailey Camacho Attleboro
Nathan Cooke, Franklin
Jake Fitzgibbons, Franklin
Alfred Mucciarone, Franklin
Conor Cooke, King Philip
Shawn Legere, King Philip
Rudy Gately, King Philip
Anthony Sacchetti, Mansfield
Mario Lee, Milford
Daniel MacDougall, Taunton
Ty Cali, Taunton
Davenport Division MVP
Dennis Colleran, North Attleboro
Davenport Division All Stars
Andrew Middleton, Canton
Steve Burbank, Canton
Matthew Chafin, Canton
Sean O’Leary, Foxboro
Dennis Colleran, North Attleboro
Jared Penta, North Attleboro
Danny Curran, North Attleboro
Jadon Ricci, Oliver Ames
William Whiteside, Oliver Ames
Matthew Nigro, Oliver Ames
Justin Brown, Sharon
Brandon Mantilla-Mercado, Stoughton
Jake Gorman, Attleboro
Sawyer Julier-Albert, Canton
Ryan LeClair, Foxboro
Jacob Jette, Franklin
Nick Viscusi, King Philip
Eric Sullivan, Mansfield
Evan Cornelius, Milford
Derek Maceda, North Attleboro
Nick Clark, Oliver Ames
JD Rittenberg, Sharon
Kyle Doolin, Stoughton
Conor Quinlan, Taunton
Below are the official 2021 Hockomock League Baseball All Stars and honorable mentions, selected by the coaches in the league. Below are the official Hockomock League Baseball All Stars and honorable mentions, selected by the coaches in the league. Below are the official Hockomock League Baseball All Stars and honorable mentions, selected by the coaches in the league. Below are the official Hockomock League Baseball All Stars and honorable mentions, selected by the coaches in the league. Below are the official Hockomock League Baseball All Stars and honorable mentions, selected by the coaches in the league. Below are the official Hockomock League Baseball All Stars and honorable mentions, selected by the coaches in the league. Below are the official Hockomock League Baseball All Stars and honorable mentions, selected by the coaches in the league. Below are the official Hockomock League Baseball All Stars and honorable mentions, selected by the coaches in the league. Below are the official Hockomock League Baseball All Stars and honorable mentions, selected by the coaches in the league. Below are the official Hockomock League Baseball All Stars and honorable mentions, selected by the coaches in the league. Below are the official Hockomock League Baseball All Stars and honorable mentions, selected by the coaches in the league. Below are the official Hockomock League Baseball All Stars and honorable mentions, selected by the coaches in the league. Below are the official 2021 Hockomock League Baseball All Stars and honorable mentions, selected by the coaches in the league.
Oliver Ames, 2 @ Attleboro, 1 – Final – Oliver Ames scored one run in each the fourth and fifth innings and that was enough offense for junior pitcher Jack Richardson. Richardson didn’t allow an earned run in a complete game effort, striking out seven to get the win. Offensively, Will Whiteside went 2-for-4 with a triple and an RBI and Ryan McKenney added a hit and an RBI.
Canton, 4 @ Mansfield, 1 – Final (8 Inn.) – Canton erased a one-run deficit in the top of the sixth and then tacked on three runs in the top of the eighth to earn a win in extra innings on the road. The Bulldogs totaled eight hits on the day with Cam Sanchez (run) chipping in with two and six others registering one. Sawyer Julier-Albert drove in a pair of runs and scored once while Matt Chafin and Andrew Middleton each had one RBI. Zach Peters allowed just one unearned run on two hits and one walk with a pair of strikeouts in five innings of work. Matt Quan, Andrew Butler, and Nico Bonanno each tossed a scoreless inning in relief.
Foxboro, 6 @ Milford, 12 – Final – Milford took advantage of eight hits and nine walks to score 12 runs and get a win at home over visiting Foxboro. Mario Lee drove in three runs for the Hawks while Evan Cornelius (run) and Grant Scudo (two hits, run) each had two RBI in the win. Carter Scudo added a pair of hits, a pair of runs, and one RBI for Milford, who scored six runs in the second inning to take a 7-2 lead and pulled away for good with four runs in the sixth. Ryan LeClair went 2-for-4 with three RBI and a run for Foxboro while Sean O’Leary added three hits and an RBI.
Sharon, 1 @ Franklin, 4 – Final – Franklin erased an early one-run deficit, scoring once in each the second and third with two big insurance runs coming in the fourth inning. Ethan Voellmicke tossed 4.1 innings of shutout ball with just two hits allowed, striking out nine to get the win. James Kuczmiec came in to get the save with 1.1 scoreless innings, allowing just one hit with a pair of strikeouts. Offensively, CJ Jette had a pair of hits including a double, and drove in one run, Marcus Baker slapped a pair of hits, Jake Fitzgibbons drove in a run, and Jack Marino had a hit, a walk, and scored a run.
North Attleboro, 2 @ Taunton, 9 – Final – Taunton scored once in each of the first four innings, tacked on two more in the fifth, and pulled away for good with three runs in the sixth to knock off visiting North Attleboro. Ty Cali (run, RBI) and Colby DeCouta (run, RBI) each had two hits for the Tigers while Danny MacDougall had four stolen bases, three runs, and two RBI in the win. Matthew Ferrara got the win on the mound with two runs allowed on 10 hits and one walk, striking out two in 6.2 innings of work.
Stoughton, 2 @ King Philip, 9 – Final – Junior Shawn Lagere and senior Conor Cooke hit back-to-back home runs in the first inning and King Philip never trailed in a win over Stoughton. Stoughton cut the deficit in half with a run in the top of the third but KP answered with four runs in the fourth and three more in the fifth inning. Cooke finished with three runs and a pair of stolen bases while Lagere had two stolen bases and two runs.
Attleboro, 11 @ Oliver Ames, 0 – Final – Lindsey Perry picked up her fourth win of the season, tossing a one-hit shutout on the road to lead the Bombardiers. Perry carried a no-hitter in the final inning before OA registered its first hit. Perry struck out seven and issued just one walk in the win. Attleboro played solid defense throughout and offensively the Bombardiers had 17 hits as a team with Hailey Perry accounting for three hits and Brenna Morse and Meghan Gordon each with two. Taylor Lake had the hit for OA while Katie Melendy allowed five earned in a complete game effort.
Milford, 0 @ Foxboro, 10 – Final
Franklin, 13 @ Sharon, 2 – Final – Franklin found its offense late in the game, pulling away to pick up its fourth win of the season. The Eagles kept it close early, trailing by just four after four full. Sophomore pitcher Ally Foulsham had four strikeouts for Sharon.
Mansfield, 8 @ Canton, 7 – Final – Mansfield jumped out to an early need, Canton rallied to jump in front in the fifth inning, but the Hornets were able to come back and scored two runs in the top of the seventh to secure the win. After taking a 1-0 lead in the second, Mansfield scored four times in the third. Jill Koppy got it started with a lead off single, followed by hits from Ashlyn Conley, Alanna Conley, and Abby DeCoste. The Bulldogs answered back with four runs in the fourth and two more in the fifth to go up 6-5. Hits from Casey Moussette and Molly Kucharski led to the tying run for the Hornets in the sixth. In the seventh, DeCoste, Callie Lake, and Moussette each had hits to plate the game-winning runs. Canton got one back in the bottom of the seventh but the Hornets held on. Lake, Moussette, and Kucharski each finished with three hits for Mansfield, which had 17 as a team.
Taunton, 4 @ North Attleboro, 0 – Final – Taunton scored a pair of runs in each the second and seventh innings while Kelsey White was lights out in the circle as the Tigers passed their toughest test to date. White allowed just two hits and issued one walk while striking out 14 batters. McKenzie McAloon drove in two with a base hit in the top of the third to give the visitors the lead. Taunton tacked on two more insurance runs in the top of the seventh with Angie Lynch and Kylie Thorpe coming in to score their second runs of the game. North Attleboro sophomore Zoey McDonough had a strong showing in the circle with four runs allowed (three earned) on six hits and four walks, striking out five.
King Philip, 10 @ Stoughton, 1 – Final – King Philip set the tone early with three first inning runs and never looked back in a win on the road. The Warriors added four runs in the third and three more in the fourth. Sophomore Sarah Cullen belted out a team-high three hits (including a triple) along with three RBI and one run scored while Mia Bennett also drove in three runs on a pair of hits. Sophomore Charlotte Raymond (two RBI, two runs), freshman Ava Lanza (two runs), and freshman Maddie Paschke each had two hits in the win. Junior Emma Sheehan earned the win in the circle, allowing one run on three hits and one walk, striking out five in a complete game effort. Sydney Menz hit a triple for Stoughton while Nicole Baker and Julie Powers each hit a double.
Attleboro, 2 @ Oliver Ames, 3 – Final – Oliver Ames won all three singles matches in straight sets to secure a win over visiting Attleboro. Junior Kylash Ganesh picked up a 6-0, 6-3 win at first singles, junior Rapheal Vache earned a 6-1, 6-2 win at second singles, and freshman Nick Westerbeke prevailed 6-1, 6-1 at third singles to give the Tigers the win at home. Attleboro’s Alejandro Jimenez and Malachi Jefferson emerged with a 6-1, 4-6, 6-4 win at first doubles while the pairing of Kyle Neuendorf and Tyler Rocchio didn’t drop a game in a 6-0, 6-0 win at second doubles.
Mansfield, 2 @ Canton, 3 – Final – By sweeping all three singles matches, Canton defended home court with a 3-2 decision over visiting Mansfield. Suraj Ramanathan earned a big win at first singles with a 6-1, 6-4 score, Max Kupferman added a 6-2, 6-2 win at second singles and Minh Duong prevailed 6-2, 7-5 at third singles. Mansfield won both doubles matches with Kai Schirmacher and Nikhil Lankipalle taking a 6-4, 6-2 win at first doubles while Adam Elsner and Jonah Fine won 6-4, 6-3 at second doubles.
Milford, 1 @ Foxboro, 4 – Final – Foxboro swept all three singles matches and added another point from doubles play in a 4-1 win over visiting Milford. Garrett Spillane was victorious 6-2, 6-1 at first singles, Justin Neale earned a 6-1, 6-1 win at second singles, and Jason Kandula walked away with a 6-0, 6-1 win at third singles. The team of Bo Canfield and Visruth Chavalam took care of business at first doubles with a 6-2, 6-4 win. Milford’s second doubles team of seniors Connor MacLeod and Mike Tersarotto secured a 7-5, 6-2 win.
Franklin, 3 @ Sharon, 2 – Final – Franklin’s Vayshnav Malhotra emerged from a three-hour marathon match at second singles with a three-set victory to give the Panthers a 3-2 decision over Sharon. Malhotra won the first set in a tiebreaker, dropped the second set, and then prevailed in a back-and-forth third set, the score finishing 7-6 (5), 4-6, 7-5. Liam Marr (6-2, 6-2) added a win at first singles while the team of Thomas Broyles and Jay Gorgas (7-5, 6-4) battled to a tight win at second doubles.
Taunton, 0 @ North Attleboro, 5 – Final – North Attleboro dropped just one total game in a clean sweep against visiting Taunton. Jonah Manso, Sam Gallager, and Will Folan all won in straight sets in singles action while both of North’s double teams — Connor Willis and Sayf Siddiq at first doubles and Brody Carter and Niteesh Saravanan at second doubles — won 6-0, 6-0.
King Philip, 3 @ Stoughton, 2 – Final – King Philip won both doubles matches in straight sets and junior Jon Cohen emerged with the deciding point for the Warriors in a win on the road. Cohen picked up a 6-3, 6-2 win at third singles to give the match to the visitors. The team of Diego Nieto and Jackson Hom dropped just one game in a 6-1, 6-0 win at first doubles while juniors Adam Gousie and Connor Connor Sachleben earned a 6-2, 7-6 (1) win at second doubles. Stoughton’s Waseem Sablon battled to a 3-6, 6-2, 10-4 win at first singles while Rayan Sablon secured a 6-3, 6-0 win at second singles.
Oliver Ames, 1 @ Attleboro, 4 – Final – Attleboro defended home court with a singles sweep and one more win in doubles in a victory over visiting Oliver Ames. Ella Lynch Bartek (6-3, 6-1), Lauren Anthony (6-1, 6-4), and Tina Lam (6-2, 6-3) all won in singles action while Maddie Fulscado and Kyra Johnson emerged with a 7-6 (6), 6-2 win at second doubles. OA’s first doubles team of Caroline Peper and Morgan Vasiliou recorded a 6-0, 6-2 win for the Tigers.
Canton, 3 @ Mansfield, 2 – Final – Canton picked up a close win on the row, scoring points with a pair of singles wins and one from doubles action. Rachel Kupferman didn’t drop a game in a 6-0, 6-0 win at first singles, Laura Correal rallied for a 4-6, 7-6 (3), 6-2 win at second singles, and the first doubles pairing of Lily Hazam and Olivia Durham notched a 6-2, 6-1 win at first doubles. For Mansfield, Alexis O’Keefe was victorious at third singles 6-4, 6-2 while Ally McDavitt and Alexis Togue teamed up for a 6-1, 6-1 win at second doubles.
Foxboro, 5 @ Milford, 0 – Final – Foxboro’s second doubles team of Sara Brennan and Emily Stow rallied from a one-set deficit to earn a win to complete the sweep on the road over Milford. Brennan and Stow picked up a 4-6, 6-3, 7-5 win while the team of Abby Costa and Alyssa Cloherty notched a 6-2, 6-0 win at first doubles. Athena Li (first singles) and Sarah Prag (second singles) each won 6-0, 6-0 while Maggie McAuliffe earned a 6-0, 6-1 win at third singles.
Sharon, 4 @ Franklin, 1 – Final
North Attleboro, 3 @ Taunton, 2 – Final – North Attleboro freshman Lauren Hunt emerged from a back-and-forth evenly matched first singles match with a tiebreaker win in the third set to clinch the deciding point for the Rocketeers in a win over Taunton. Senior Haley Strom rolled to a 6-1, 6-1 win at third singles while Kyna Sha and Lauren Consentino battled to a 6-1, 7-6 (3) victory at second doubles. Hunt prevailed with a 6-3, 4-6, 7-6 (11-9) win at first singles to clinch the match. For Taunton, Kayla Parrett secured a 6-4, 6-4 win at second singles and the team of Brooke Bell and Sam Parrett battled to a 7-6 (4), 6-4 win at first doubles.
Stoughton, 2 @ King Philip, 3 – Final
Boys Outdoor Track
North Attleboro, 88 @ Canton, 48 – Final – Canton’s Deyontai Dennis took first place in four different events: the 400M hurdles (58.3), the 110M hurdles (16.3), the long jump (20’9.5″), and the triple jump (44’9.5″).
Franklin @ Milford, 5:00
King Philip, 39 @ Mansfield, 97 – Final – Mansfield took first place in 14 of the 16 events to earn a big win on senior day. Seniors Trevor Flint took first in the 1 Mile (4:44.2), Ryan Rispoli won the 2 Mile (11:01.6), Stephen Saba added a first place finish in the javelin (118’6), and DaSean Peters-Wolfe clocked a new PR with a first place time of 22.8 in the 200M. Jake Wall qualified for nationals and broke his own school record with a leap of 23’2 in the long jump.
Girls Outdoor Track
North Attleboro, 80 @ Canton, 56 – Final – For Canton, Tayla Mendez-DeGraw broke the school record in the 100M (12.5) and anchored the winning 4×400 team (52.0).
Franklin @ Milford, 5:00
King Philip, 63 @ Mansfield, 73 – Final – Mansfield took first place in both relays and swept the javelin for key points in a close win over visiting King Philip. Caitlin Dumouchel won the javelin for the Hornets with a throw of 109’9″, Kelsey Hubler was second at 69’8″, and Aimee Cowles took third at 68’4″. In the 4×100 relay, Abbie Scott, Meghan Driscoll, Brooke Penney, and Anna Buckley teamed up to cross first in 51.1 while the Mansfield 4×400 relay team of Katie Miller, Norah Puleo, Caitlin Dumouchel, and Anna Darlington won that event in 4:11.6. Dumouchel picked up her third win with a first-place time of 67.2 in the 400M hurdles.
North Attleboro, 48 @ Taunton, 30 – Final
2019 Record: 14-10 2019 Finish: Reached Div. 1 South Final Coach: Steve Dunlea
Two years ago, Attleboro made a run to the Div. 1 South final, only to run into league rival and eventual state champ Taunton. While the Bombardiers only return three players with varsity experience, Attleboro will be looking to replicate some of that momentum and challenge the top teams for the Kelley-Rex division title this spring.
2021 Hockomock League Baseball Preview
Senior catcher Bailey Camacho caught half the innings during his sophomore season and will be the starter this spring, as well as an important presence in the lineup. Seniors Jake Gorman and Matt McMahon will both be part of the rotation and play corner infield spots when they’re not on the mound building off the experience they got two years ago. Senior Cam Foster adds speed at short and will be the closer, while juniors Billy Saltmarsh and Cian Kelleher, and sophomores Dillon James and Danny Johnson are part of what should be a deep staff for the Bombardiers. Speed should also be a strength for Attleboro, including outfielders Ben Hochwarter, Nate George, Hayden Hegarty, and Packer Sackett, and middle infielders Owen Taber and Evan Houle. Junior Christian Dame is a versatile player who can step in at multiple positions.
“We’re excited to get our players out there to see what we can accomplish,” said Attleboro coach Steve Dunlea. “Our guys have worked very hard during the off-season and have come a long way in the past few years. We are particularly proud of our senior leadership. It’s been a tough year and we are so grateful to the MIAA and ADs for making this season happen for our seniors.”
2019 Record: 6-14 2019 Finish: Missed postseason Coach: Ben Shuffain
Canton had a great start to the 2019 season under then first-year head coach Ben Shuffain, including an impressive win over Wellesley. But almost all of the Bulldogs’ wins came in the first half of the season. Now Canton will look to start strong and continue that throughout the year as they look to challenge for the Davenport division title.
The Bulldogs are one of the teams that have a good number of players that played back in 2019 so there is a lot of optimism surrounding the experience on the roster this season. Canton has four starters back for this year’s campaign: shortstop/right-handed pitcher Steve Burbank, outfielder Cam Sanchez, catcher/outfielder Sawyer Julier-Albert, and right-handed pitcher Nate Hewit. Both Burbank (0.328) and Julier-Albert (0.395) were among the league leaders in batting average as sophomores so they will be key pieces for the offense this year. Shuffain will also look for contributions from outfielders Andy Butler and Zach Peters, infielder Nico Bonanno, and utility option Matt Quan — all four could also see time pitching.
Burbank will also see time on the mound and Hewit will be an important piece of the pitching staff this year. Junior Andrew Middleton, who tossed a perfect game in the season-opener, will obviously be a major part of the rotation as well, giving the Bulldogs solid depth. Behind the pitching staff, there will be a lot of players who have experience at the varsity level so Shuffain hopes mistakes will be at a minimum.
“We are lucky to have a good number of players who have varsity experience from 2018 and 2019,” Shuffain said. “They have been preparing for 18 months for this season and this group has tremendous leadership and a ton of talent. I am excited to see what they can do on the field.”
For the 2021 season, it all starts with pitching for the Foxboro Warriors. The 2019 squad graduated six players, and there were nine juniors on that team that missed out on their senior season a year ago. That means Foxboro has four players coming back for this spring, and almost all picked up a lot of valuable experience the last time out.
2021 Hockomock League Baseball Preview
Seniors Cam Prescott and Sean Yoest will headline the Warriors’ rotation, bringing a lot of experience to the staff. Prescott logged over 26 innings as a sophomore, allowing just four walks with a 1.86 ERA. Yoest had a lot of success at the plate as a sophomore and will be looking to replicate that on the mound this year. Sophomore Sean O’Leary will likely be a key piece on the mound when fully healthy and the Warriors will look to seniors Dylan Quinn, Mike O’Toole, Ryan Jacobs, and Sebastian Ortiz, as well as juniors Liam Mulkern and Tom Marcucella to provide pitching depth.
Yoest will patrol the outfield when he’s not on the mound and will be a key piece offensively after hitting 0.346 as a sophomore with 11 runs scored and 11 RBI. Yoest will be joined in the outfield by junior Jack Watts, a three-sport athlete who has excelled in golf and hockey, and sophomore Kenny Mello. Marcucella will also see time in the outfield while senior Griffin Morse is a solid depth piece that can play all three spots in the outfield.
Prescott will see time at either third or shortstop when he’s not pitching. Beyond Prescott, the Warriors will have some inexperience around the infield with freshman Tyler Prescott (second base) and sophomore Ryan LeClair (shortstop) impressing early on. Mulkern and O’Toole will provide the infield with some senior leadership from first while Marcucella and Ortiz providing depth. Mulkern will also be an option behind the plate while junior Mike LaVita will step into the starting role at catcher.
“We are excited for the opportunity to get back on the field and compete every day,” head coach Derek Suess said. “Having our top two arms still here is comforting, but we will need contributions from many different guys. We have a good mix of seniors and underclassmen who have bought in to our vision for the season.”
2019 Record: 22-3 2019 Finish: Reached Super 8 Coach: Zach Brown
While Franklin won’t be able to make it three straight appearances in the Super 8 with the tournament not happening this year (and possibly for a couple of years), there is something the Panthers can do: defend their Kelley-Rex division title.
2021 Hockomock League Baseball Preview
The Panthers were nearly perfect in league action during the 2019 season (15-1) and will be one of the favorites for the title again this year. But it will be almost an entirely new cast of players doing so. Franklin had 10 seniors on that team plus another seven juniors that graduated last year, meaning just a handful of players from the roster are back. Of that group, just one starter is back in senior Jake Fitzgibbons, who played second base at the time.
Now Fitzgibbons moves behind the plate and will be in charge of handling a pitching staff that is new to the varsity level. Having him behind the plate should make it easier for the likes of junior Jacob Jette and sophomore Alfred Mucciarone, who figure to be two of the key components of Franklin’s rotation this season. And when needed, Fitzgibbons will switch out from behind the plate and take the mound himself.
Seniors Nate Cooke and CJ Jette serve as captains alongside Fitzgibbons and will provide leadership both on and off the field. Cooke is slated to start at first base and will bring a big bat to the lineup while Jette will see time both in the outfield and at designated hitter. Seniors Luc Boudreau (outfielder) and Nick Quinn (right-handed pitcher) have impressed early on as well.
“As always the cornerstone of our program is pitching and defense,” said head coach Zach Brown. “We believe we have the right mix of athletes and arms to compete daily this season. Offensively, we believe that our line-up can be pretty athletic. Obviously, we are all in the same boat missing last season so it will be an exciting season to get back out onto the field. I know the players and our coaching staff are really excited for the games to start up.”
2019 Record: 8-12 2019 Finish: Missed postseason Coach: Jeff Plympton
There will be a lot of new faces on the mound, in the field, in the batter’s box, and even on the bench for the King Philip Warriors this season. Looking back at the 2019 season, only one name is back in action for the Warriors this season. And on top of that, there’s a new coach in the dugout in Jeff Plympton.
2021 Hockomock League Baseball Preview
Both Conor Cooke and Jack Silveria saw plenty of action during their sophomore seasons but Silveria will miss his senior campaign after undergoing Tommy John surgery. That means that Plympton and the rest of the Warriors will lean heavily on Cooke, a three-year starter who will guide KP from behind the plate. Cooke, who is committed to play at Brown University, is a rock behind the plate and that will be important as KP deploys a pitching staff that is new to the varsity level. That rotation will feature junior Nick Viscusi and sophomore Rudy Gately, with seniors Jack Mullen, Grayden Lawrence, Harry Brown, and Jake Burns all providing depth.
Cooke will be a key part of the offense as well, slated to hit from the clean up spot. Viscusi will set the tone from the leadoff spot and can cause some damage on the base paths with his speed. Junior Shawn Lagere will start at shortstop and bat third in the lineup, providing the Warriors with some power while Gately will see time at third when he isn’t on the mound. Seniors Ethan Hurwitz and Mikey Malatesta provide outfield depth and Plympton has 10 juniors on the roster to help fill out the lineup.
“Looking forward to getting the season going and watching the team play together,” Plympton said. “It’s been a long time since we’ve had high school baseball and most of our guys, like many teams, are new to the varsity level. We have some good talent on our team. Plenty of good throwing arms to get us through the new pitching restrictions. The infield is solid with very dependable fielders around the diamond. The outfield is fast and does a great job tracking fly balls. I believe defense will be our best strength this season. The players have been putting in a lot of hard work during practices.”
2019 Record: 18-7 2019 Finish: Reached Super 8 Coach: Chris Hall
Joe Breen had a very successful run at the helm of the Hornets, and his successor is one that the program is very familiar with. Chris Hall, who served as Breen’s assistant, takes over and is aiming to continue the success that Mansfield has had in recent seasons.
Coming off one of their best seasons in program history that culminated in a second straight Super 8 appearance, the Hornets will try to rebuild their lineup with a strong core of seniors. Eric Sullivan will move into the starting role behind the plate and will be a vocal leader both on and off the field for the Hornets. Three-sport athlete Jack Colby is slated to take over at first base, Luke Urban looks to take over at second base, Ben Mintz can slot into a variety of roles, including in the field or on the mound, and Greg Coyle, the lone returner from the 2019 team, will be an option on the mound for the Hornets. Juniors Jared Fraone and Liam Anastasia will help round out the lineup.
Coyle will be joined by juniors Aaron Blinn, Anthony Sacchetti, and Jimmy Gilleran on the Hornets’ staff. That group brings a lot of baseball experience and a range of knowledge, and Hall is hoping all of that will translate to the varsity level. Mintz, Colby Geddis, and Brayden Purtell will look to provide additional innings in relief.
“With two years off due to COVID-19, and few players having varsity experience, I expected tryouts to be exciting,” Hall said. “Our players knew they had to come in and earn everything to gain a spot in the starting lineup. There continues to be daily position battles daily and it pushes players to improve. The talent we have in the program is consistent from top to bottom. The team brings energy and enthusiasm to everything they do and it truly makes the atmosphere on the field second to none. We cannot wait to get out on the field and compete against some of the best competition in the Hockomock League.”
2019 Record: 11-11 2019 Finish: Reached Div. 2 South Quarterfinal Coach: Alex Dion
Milford will be the new kids on the block this season in their first year apart of the Kelley-Rex division, which features two teams that went to the Super 8 last time out and another that won the D1 State title.
The Hawks are going to rely on their pitching as they compete for the division title. Senior right-hander Mario Lee and classmate Wes Solomon, another righty, both picked up valuable experience as sophomores during the 2019 season and will anchor the Milford pitching rotation. Lee, who is committed to playing both football and baseball at Wesleyan, pitched in 10 games out of the bullpen in 2019 while Solomon appeared in five games with a 2.33 ERA.
Sophomore Evan Cornelius is a “big, physical kid” according to head coach Alex Dion, and he will round out the Hawks’ rotation this season. When he isn’t on the mound, Cornelius will be behind the plate and the same goes for Solomon, who could also see him in the middle infield. Lee will also be in the lineup when he’s not on the mound, playing at either first or third. Senior Carter Scudo burst onto the scene as a sophomore, hitting 0.352, and will be the catalyst to the offense this year, batting in the leadoff spot. He will anchor the outfield defense from center field.
“I’m excited to start our 2021 season,” Dion said. “It has been great to get back out on Fino Field for the first time since 2019. I have a good group of young men this year with players from all four classes making the varsity roster. This is a great league with quality teams, players, and coaches throughout. We will go out and compete to the best of our ability on a daily basis. I am optimistic about what this group has to offer this year and in the future.”
2019 Record: 11-10 2019 Finish: Reached Div. 2 South First Round Coach: Mike Hart
North Attleboro head coach Mike Hart has the best arm in the Hockomock League in senior Dennis Colleran and the 2019 HockomockSports.com Underclassman of the Year Jared Penta as the catalyst for the offense so the Rocketeers will certainly be in the mix for the Davenport title this season.
2021 Hockomock League Baseball Preview
Colleran, who is committed to pitch at Northeastern, has been a member of the Rocketeers since his freshman year, making his first appearance in North’s D2 South Semifinal win over Dartmouth back in 2018. He logged 37.1 innings as a sophomore, posting a 3-4 record with a 2.63 ERA during the 2019 season. Since then, Colleran has honed his skills on the club scene and is poised to lead the Rocketeers this year. Senior Joe Hartnett and junior Danny Curran look to fill out the rotation while the Rocketeers have plenty of depth pieces including Tyler Bannon, Dan Pedro, Derek Maceda, and Aidan Weir.
Penta will hit from the leadoff spot and set the tone for the offense. Weir and classmate Justin Vecchiarelli will anchor the infield Maceda, a sophomore, could be poised for a breakout season at shortstop. Curran will also see time in the outfield when he isn’t pitching while senior Evan Vigorito, and juniors Brody Rosenberg, and Gavin Wells will be in the outfield mix. Bannon and Nik Kojoian will be options behind the dish for the Rocketeers.
“Just like other teams in the league, we are curious how our players will make the jump to varsity baseball,” Hart said. “We will do our best to be fundamentally sound and keep things simple. Our pitching staff has a handful of competitive guys who are looking for an opportunity to help the team. The boys are excited about the season and hope we can bring a consistent approach to all our opportunities this year.”
2019 Record: 12-13 2019 Finish: Reached Div. 2 South Semifinal Coach: Joe Abarr
After reaching the D2 South Sectional Final in 2018, the Tigers fielded basically an entirely new squad during the 2019 campaign. Two years later, Oliver Ames looks to be in the same boat as there minimal varsity experience on the roaster.
Senior Nate Fulford is one of the few players that did see varsity action two years ago, emerging as a go-to option offensively as a pinch-hitter as a sophomore. Now Fulford will be a key piece in the lineup each game, manning third base and bringing a big bat to the heart of the lineup. Senior Jadon Ricci will take over at shortstop and is slated to hit near the top of the lineup.
Junior Jack Richardson was a part of the Tigers’ varsity squad as a freshman and is now in position to anchor the rotation. He’ll be in the lineup even when he’s not on the mound, patrolling the always tricky outfield at Frothingham Park for the Tigers. When it comes to new faces on the squad this year, junior Jake Waxman brings a big bat to the lineup and can bring some pop to the offense; he will start at first base defensively. Junior Joe Cicchetti has impressed early on in tryouts and the preseason both offensively and defensively, and he is slated to start in center for the Tigers.
“We should have a solid lineup,” said OA head coach Joe Abarr. “We have depth at most positions and decent options on the mound. With so little practice time prior to the first game, there are still a lot of questions to be answered, but we have a great group of guys that are really looking to compete this year.”
2019 Record: 2-18 2019 Finish: Missed postseason Coach: Andrew Poliferno
The last time the Eagles hit the field, they had one of the youngest teams in the Hockomock League. Now that means there is a lot of returning players back in the dugout this year and Sharon should be one of the most experienced groups in terms of baseball played.
2021 Hockomock League Baseball Preview
Sharon has a new head coach in alum Andrew Poliferno, who is no stranger to the program after coaching at each level over the past few seasons. Poliferno takes over for Kee Arguimbau, who had been with the program as a coach for nearly 20 years including the last four as head coach. Poliferno has 10 seniors at his disposal this year including two of the most experienced players in JD Rittenberg and Justin Brown, who both started as sophomores in 2019. Playing at second and short, respectively, the Eagles will have solid defense up the middle of the field. Sharon expects strong defense to come with the experience it has.
Junior Dylan Labbe pitched some innings as a freshman so the Eagles will lean on him as one of the anchors of the pitching staff. Senior Justin Nault and junior Ryan Baker will also see time on the mound while freshman Luke Meixel is slated to be a part of the starting rotation right away. Offensively, Rittenberg and Brown will lead the way once again. Baker and classmate Nate Yaffe should slot into the lineup in their first year on varsity, playing third and outfield, respectively. Poliferno is also looking for contributions from Damien Bonner and Daniel Zagoren offensively.
“After a missed season, it’s wonderful to see our players back out on the field,” Poliferno said. “Despite the year off, I was impressed with the growth and progress our players made since they last played high school baseball. It was clear to me we have a program of players who work hard during the off-season and I look forward to seeing their hard work translate to wins this season.”
2019 Record: 14-9 2019 Finish: Reached Div. 2 South Semifinal Coach: Mike Armour
Like most schools, Stoughton has a limited number of players with varsity experience on the roster this season. It will be baptism by fire for a lot of new faces as head coach Mike Armour will look to get the most out of his lineup to try and compete for the Davenport division title.
The players that do have any varsity experience will be key, especially early on in the season as the rest of the Black Knights get used to the varsity level. Senior Brady Conlin will anchor the Stoughton staff on the mound this year and also hit in the heart of the lineup. Conlin has experience both pitching and at the plate and could be one of the most dangerous all-around players in the league. Senior captain Kyle Doolin will anchor the infield and is an option to pitch as well. He is slated to hit near the top of the lineup and could also see time behind the plate defensively.
Jake Queeney, another senior captain, will patrol center field for the Black Knights and hit from the leadoff spot. Queeney’s speed has been on display on both the basketball court and football field, so his legs could cause some damage on the base paths. Senior captain Brandon Mantilla-Mercado will take care of the pitching staff this year as the starting catcher and will bring some power to the plate offensively. Junior infielder Anthony Tilton has impressed early and figures to be a top bat in the lineup, juniors Jonah Ly and James Price will both see innings in the infield and on the mound, and junior Brad Franey is slated to take over at second. Seniors Joe McNulty, Colby Andrews, Andrew Scardina, and junior Colin Alessi provide lineup depth. Freshmen Hunter Malkin and Ben Zola will likely make an immediate impact for Stoughton.
“The kids are excited to play baseball,” Armour said. “They have brought a positive attitude and willingness to work to practice, which is all I can ask for as a coach. We are excited to get a little bit better every day, and put ourselves in a position to win some ballgames this season.”
2019 Record: 21-7 2019 Finish: Won Div. 1 State Championship Coach: Blair Bourque
It seems like just yesterday the Tigers were celebrating their Division 1 State Championship at LeLacheur Park in Lowell. Yet at the same time, it somehow also feels like a lifetime ago.
2021 Hockomock League Baseball Preview
The Tigers are one of the teams that will “what if” when it comes to the 2019 season, as they were set to have eight starters back to try and defend their first-ever state championship. Now for the 2021 season, there is just one Tiger starter back from that regular season. That is senior pitcher/infielder Danny MacDougall, who will anchor the pitching staff and also return to his shortstop position. Ty Cali, who took over for MacDougall after an injury sidelined him for the postseason, is also back to give Taunton a solid 1-2 punch up the middle of the field. Cali can also slide over and play short when MacDougall, who is committed to playing at the University of Hartford next year, is on the mound.
Sophomore Ryan MacDougall is set to finally make his varsity debut this year. A verbal commit to the University of Dayton, Ryan MacDougall was on the playoff roster for the state championship team as an eighth-grader. Not only does he bring a big bat and power to the lineup, head coach Blair Bourque described his plate discipline as “well beyond his years.” If the Tigers want to compete at a high level, Bourque noted the importance of senior pitchers Conor Quinlan, Bretton Heggs, and Matthew Ferrara. In total, Taunton boasts a dozen seniors on the roster.
“My expectation for this season is for us to compete as a team and individually every day as best we can, but ultimately, I will be grateful I get to spend time on the field with my players,” Bourque said. “It is always about the relationships formed with your players throughout the course of a year, you don’t always appreciate how good you have it until it’s gone. Losing last season really made me appreciate my role as the head coach for the Taunton High baseball program.”
MILFORD, Mass. – In last week’s season-opening win, Mansfield’s explosive offense was on full display with five touchdowns.
In week two, it was all about the Hornets’ defense.
Going up a powerful Milford offense that put up 34 points in their first game of the season, Mansfield’s defensive group was near perfect. The Hornets forced four turnovers, limited the Hawks to under 200 yards of offense, and pitched a shutout for the final three quarters to earn a 20-7 win on the road.
It marked the first meeting between the two squads since Milford joined the Hockomock League for football in 2013 with the Hawks making the switch to the Kelley-Rex division at the start of the 2020 school year.
“Story of the day, the defense played lights out,” said Mansfield head coach Mike Redding. “Scoring a touchdown for us, which in this game, was huge. Instead of just a six-point lead, it’s 13. The defense did a great job against a very good collection of receivers and [Brady] Olson can throw the ball. We gave them a few but nothing big, they popped the one run but after that, we were lights out, and thank goodness because this was really one of our sloppiest offensive performances in a long time.”
Mansfield football Milford football Anthony Comer Cincere Gill Brady Olson
Mansfield forced a turnover on Milford’s first possession of the game, Anthony Comer grabbed back-to-back interceptions with the first returned for a touchdown, and Hornets added another pick in the early moments of the fourth quarter.
The Hornets opened the game in style with freshman CJ Bel giving the visitors good field position at midfield after a good return. From there, Mansfield needed just six plays to find the end zone. Cincere Gill (20 carries, 117 yards) broke free for a 16-yard run on third down (his longest carry of the game), and three plays later, Gill — out of the wildcat — handed it off to Comer on a sweep to the left for an 18-yard touchdown and a 7-0 lead less than four minutes in.
Milford completed a third down pass on its opening drive but Mansfield corner Nick Bertolino punched the ball free and recovered the fumble, giving the Hornets the ball back at the Hawks’ 20-yard line. But as good as Mansfield’s defense was throughout, the Milford defense had a strong outing as well.
Hampered by a fumble and a holding call (Mansfield was flagged 10 times in the game), the Hornets offense stalled and Milford forced an incompletion on fourth to get the ball back. The momentum carried over to the offensive side of the ball and the Hawks cashed in just two plays later. With the offense spread out with four receivers, Milford handed it off to senior Dom Schofield up the middle and he found a hole and went the distance for a 69-yard touchdown, tying the game 7-7 with 3:45 left in the first quarter.
From that point, there weren’t many offensive highlights for either squad.
Mansfield had to punt on its next two possessions, but the second one off the foot of Gill took a favorable bounce for the Hornets and was downed at the Milford 5-yard line. On second down, Mansfield’s Caden Colby and Mark DeGirolamo came flying in at Milford quarterback Brady Olson (9/28, 91 yards), who fired a short pass to the right side. Comer read the play, stepped in front and intercepted the pass, and sprinted into the end zone for a 14-yard return.
“It was a hard game, it was hard with our penalties, and they have a very good offense but we just executed on defense,” Comer said. “We held our guys to short-yardage and covered our guys. On the pick-six, I saw green. I was just running for the hills, I wanted the touchdown. We watched a lot of film, watching how they execute so we were ready.”
Mansfield football Milford football Anthony Comer Cincere Gill Brady Olson
Milford started to orchestrate a response as Olson hit Max Martin for 13 yards on first down, and then a late hit on the Hornets moved the ball 15 more yards to the Mansfield 39-yard line. TJ Guy stopped the Hawks for a loss in the backfield but a holding call in the secondary once again moved the chains for the hosts, getting to the Mansfield 24-yard line.
Guy helped stuff another Milford run on first down, and on second down Olson’s pass hit off a receiver’s hands and Comer was able to come down with the deflection for his second straight interception, putting an end to another Milford drive.
Mansfield football Milford football Anthony Comer Cincere Gill Brady Olson
“Anthony played a great two-way game for us,” Redding said. “We felt we really needed him on defense today to cover, he’s one of our quicker guys and made some big plays for us. We’ve played two good spread teams and held them each to 7. We still have to get sharper on offense but the next couple of weeks it will be more about defending the running game. Taunton and KP are big, they’re going to try and bang, run the ball.”
Mansfield capitalized on the interception with its best drive of the game. The Hornets traveled 82 yards on 10 plays, taking off five minutes of game clock, and cashed in with another touchdown with under a minute to play in the half.
Gill had three straight runs that combined for over 20 yards early in the drive, and when the Hornets were backed up by a delay of game call, Gill hauled in a 21-yard pass from quarterback Matt Boen, just eluding the Milford defender along the sideline.
Comer turned a broken play into 18 yards, Nico Holmes burst up the middle for 7 yards, and on second and goal from the three, Boen sold the option and kept it himself, leaping across the goal line for a touchdown, giving Mansfield a 20-7 lead with 0:49 left in the first half.
Mansfield football Milford football Anthony Comer Cincere Gill Brady Olson
“That was big, I thought we wasted [an opportunity] before that…we came down and scored, got the ball back but we didn’t convert and they come down and tie the game,” Redding said. “We fortunately got a couple of more before half, and I thought the one right before halftime was a big turning point.
“When we do things right, we’re good but we didn’t do things right very often today. We’re getting way too many penalties and we just really have to work hard on offense getting sharper and executing because we’re too good not to score in a half no matter who we’re playing.”
Carter Scudo had a big return to the Mansfield 33-yard line to give the hosts a final shot before the break, but the Hornets forced four straight incompletions.
“All we ask for today is for them to give us 48 minutes and I thought they did that,” said first-year Milford head coach Dale Olson. “A couple of plays didn’t go our way today, that should have been 7-7 game in the fourth quarter and anybody’s game. But you live and you learn. But this is what Milford football is going to be from here on out, we’re going to contend. We have to get back on the horse because we have to play a very good KP team next week.”
Olson connected with Keithly Sutton on a bubble screen to move the chains on Milford’s first drive of the second half but the Hawks couldn’t capitalize as the Hornets shut the hosts down on the next three plays, including a perfectly-timed pass breakup by Bertolino.
“We feel Milford is as talented as anybody in the Kelley-Rex so if we didn’t beat them here today, they were going to run the table so, for us, it was basically a must-win game,” Redding said. “We want to be in the league race when we’re playing KP and Attleboro so you have to win today. I don’t Milford loses again moving forward, they have good linemen, I think the best QB in the league, great receivers. We’ve won [the Kelley-Rex division] a couple of times in a row but we felt pressure that it was a must-win for us against them on their field.”
Milford’s defense continued to do its part as Mansfield managed just two total yards on its first two drives, both resulting in punts including a third down kick to try and flip field position. The Hawks did a good job bottling up the Mansfield rushing attack, getting key tackles and pushes up front from the likes of Schofield, Scudo, Evan Cornelius, Grant Scudo, Alex McColl, Evan Hazard, Nick Yohn, Mario Lee, and Tyler Lane.
“I think we struggled a little bit today getting off jams at the wide receiver spot, I thought [Brady] pressed a little bit today,” Olson said. “Instead of standing in there a few times, he got out of the pocket when he didn’t need to. But listen, that’s a great football team we just played. I couldn’t be prouder of how our kids handled themselves today.
Mansfield football Milford football Anthony Comer Cincere Gill Brady Olson
“Realistically, I look up at the scoreboard and it should have been 7-7. We had our opportunities, could have had 1st and goal but instead, it was an interception. They ball-controlled us but our defense was outstanding today. All of the film I’ve watched, I haven’t seen a team hold Gill like that. They didn’t really hurt us today with their offense, I thought it was more a matter of our offense couldn’t get going.”
However, the Hawks’ offense just could never get going, punting twice to start the second half and then had its third drive of the second half come to a sudden stop when Gill intercepted a pass at his own 30-yard line.
Mansfield was able to move the ball enough to kill a lot of clock in the fourth quarter and Milford’s final drive ended on downs.
Mansfield football (2-0) is on the road for the second straight week when it travels to Taunton for a 4:30 kickoff on Friday. Milford (1-1) will face another stiff test next week when it hosts King Philip (2-0) on Saturday at 1:00.
Mansfield football Milford football Anthony Comer Cincere Gill Brady Olson