2021 HockomockSports Football Awards

Milford Holds Off Taunton, Wins First Holiday Meeting

Milford Football
Milford senior Tyler Lane (21) break away for a first quarter touchdown, helping the Hawks earn a win in their inaugural Thanksgiving Day game against Taunton. (Josh Perry/HockomockSports.com)

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MILFORD, Mass. – Across the Hockomock League, there are Thanksgiving Day rivalries that stretch back decades. On Thursday morning, the two newest programs in the league squared off in the league’s newest holiday rivalry, kicking it off with a game that went right down to the wire.

Click here for a photo gallery from this game.

Milford (9-3) pulled ahead by two scores in the fourth quarter but then had to hold on in the final minute, watching a deep pass drop incomplete to seal a 34-28 victory over Taunton (5-6) in their inaugural Thanksgiving Day game. It was Milford’s third win in three meetings between the two teams and during the trophy presentation both athletic directors spoke about their hopes that this will develop into a great end-of-season rivalry.

“A great program like Taunton, they’re going to continue to get better and better,” said Milford coach Dale Olson. “Milford had a great Thanksgiving opponent here back in the Mid-Wach days with Shrewsbury, hopefully we can turn that game into this game with Taunton.

Taunton coach Brad Sidwell added, “It’s great. If it’s anything like this one then it’s going to be a little bit of stress on Thanksgiving. It was back-and-forth, back-and-forth.”

Taunton had an extra week to prepare for the game, as the Hawks were playing a state semifinal last Friday, and the Tigers put that extra work into practice on the opening drive. Jacob Leonard ( 20-of-28, 202 yards) threw a perfect strike to Trent Santos (seven catches, 118 yards) for 19 to get to the Milford 37. Three plays later, Leonard’s sneak converted on fourth and inches and then he hooked up with Santos again for 25 yards and a touchdown.

The Hawks looked sluggish at the start, needing an emotional boost after the disappointment of the loss to King Philip. After a halfback pass went incomplete and Nathan LaPlante stuffed a play for a loss of five, Olson called timeout and gave his team a much-needed wakeup call.

“We sensed it. Only having a few days to prepare for a very good Taunton team, there’s a ton of skill on that team and the kids get after it, we knew we were going to have our hands full,” Olson explained.

Evan Cornelius (17-of-24, 154 yards) swung a pass to Tyler Lane for 17 and a first down. A 12-yard pass to Grant Scudo got the ball down to the Taunton 32 and Lane (16 carries, 108 yards) did the rest. The senior running back barreled through the line, breaking tackles, and then broke free in the secondary for a game-tying score.

After forcing a three-and-out, thanks to a sack by Cornelius (who was named Defensive MVP), the Hawks went right back to work. A completion to Jayden Agnew got the ball to the goal line, but then Taunton stuffed back-to-back runs, with Kasaan Jean-Baptiste and Ryan MacDougall combining to drop Lane at the four. On third and goal, Cornelius looked to the right and Faisal Mass tipped, picked off, and returned the pass 97 yards to put the Tigers back in front.

Milford’s offense was still moving the ball well and the Hawks marched right back down the field on the following possession. John Castillo sacked Cornelius for a loss of seven but on third and 17, Cornelius connected with Isaiah Pantalone (seven catches, 56 yards) for 18 and the first. Another third down and long pass hit Scudo for 25 to the one. This time, Cornelius was able to punch it in for the TD and tied it at 14-14.

Pantalone also provided a defensive spark, as his hit forced an Evan Perrotta fumble that was recovered by Alex McColl at the Taunton 41. Lane got an inch more than he needed on fourth and two to keep the drive moving but the Tigers were able to hold and force a field goal. Nicholas Araujo booted a 41-yard kick to make it 17-14.

“We get the deflection and the kid goes back 97 yards and changed the whole outlook on the game,” said Olson, “but I’m thankful we have a sophomore kicker who can kick the ball like that, he’s a huge weapon.”

The Tigers thought they had a chance to take the lead with a two-minute drive. Leonard scrambled for 21 yards on two plays to get to the Milford 22. On third and three from the 15, Leonard hit Jose Touron for 10 yards to the five and the Tigers scrambled to spike the ball and stop the clock with six seconds left. Sidwell was adamant the clock should’ve stopped seven seconds earlier on the first down and given Taunton two shots at the end zone. Instead, the Tigers got one and Scudo tackled Troy Santos a couple yards short as time expired.

Sidwell said, “The clock should stop on a first down, which it didn’t. I thought there were 12 seconds left, there were six. It was bad. It was awful. We had a timeout in our pocket to save. I’m very frustrated by the way that happened.”

Things went from back to worse at the start of the second half. Milford was forced to punt, but the ball appeared to bounce up off the leg of Nathan Keenan and was recovered by Eric Landry at the 32. On third and goal from the three, Cornelius was able to power into the end zone over the right side of the line for a 24-14 edge.

A three-and-out gave Milford the ball back with a chance to make things comfortable heading into the fourth quarter, but Taunton’s defense held again, stopping the Hawks at the 28. Araujo made sure that Milford got at least three points with a 45-yard field goal.

The visitors needed a break and Trent Santos gave them some momentum with a 31-yard return out to the 48. Two plays later, Santos was able to get separation on the near sideline and pulled in a 46-yard touchdown that cut the lead to six with 12 minutes to go.

Araujo was unable to hit from 51 yards, which gave Taunton the ball at its own 20. Leonard scrambled away from pressure but then attempted an underhand pass that Scudo was able to pick off and give the Hawks the ball at the 23. Pantalone followed the block of Marco Monteiro on a sweep, scoring from 10 yards out and seemingly putting the game away.

It only appeared to be over, as Taunton roared back into the game with a huge drive. Leonard moved the chains with a 13-yard scramble and then hit Santos for 16 yards to the Milford 31. On the next play, he threw a strike to Touron, who had gotten behind the secondary. Keenan’s extra point cut the lead to six.

“Our kids fight hard all the time,” Sidwell said. “It is hard on a younger quarterback when you have to throw it and they know it. He gave us a chance to win there at the end.”

The onside kick attempt was recovered at the Taunton 48 and the Tigers had one last chance. On third and two, Cornelius and Angelo Romero combined on a sack to force fourth and nine from the Taunton side of the 50. Leonard bought time in the pocket and looked deep for Santos, who beat his man, but the throw was a yard too far and Milford took home the win.

“That’s kind of been our M.O.,” said Olson. “We haven’t done anything easy over these past two seasons. We’ve played in a lot of tight games.

“When the kids needed to dig in, they dug in today. It’s been a great ride these last two years and to finish 9-3 the future is bright here in Milford.”

Click here for a photo gallery from this game.

Milford Runs Over Natick and Into D2 Semifinal

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Milford senior Tyler Lane (21) rushed for more than 150 yards and scored a pair of second half touchdowns in a 21-7 win over Natick. (Josh Perry/HockomockSports.com)

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MILFORD, Mass. – There are days when an offense can be creative, going with trick plays, receiver screens, deep throws trying to stretch the opposition and score in a hurry. In the playoffs, sometimes a more straightforward approach is required.

Click here for a photo gallery from this game.

In the second half of Thursday night’s Div. 2 quarterfinal, Milford decided to take a decidedly old school plan of attack. Over two drives, the Hawks ran 33 plays, covered 173 yards, used up nearly half of the clock in third and fourth quarters, and scored a pair of touchdowns. Out of those 33 plays, only five were passes.

The ground game and a stout defense proved to be Milford’s best weapons, as the Hawks pulled out a 21-7 victory that moved them within one win of a first-ever trip to Gillette.

“I just told them, buckle up, we need to run the football,” said Milford coach Dale Olson about his message at halftime. “Three down box and sometimes it was a 3-2 or a 3-1, they were so concerned about our pass game. It’s so simple, I told the quarterback if it’s a limited box then run the football. It wasn’t Evan’s best night throwing the football but he ran the ball like a man tonight.”

Natick was in Milford territory in seven of its eight drives on the night, but many times that was the result of great starting field position. The 35-yard-line was the furthest that Natick started any of its first half drives, but the Milford defense kept finding ways to keep them out of the end zone.

On the first possession, a big tackle on the edge by Nicholas Araujo and Jayden Archeval forced third and long. Grant Scudo broke up the third down play to end the drive. The second drive ended after Keith Lee stuffed a run on second down and then Scudo dropped a third-down screen pass attempt for a loss.

The visitors finally broke through on their third possession, which they started at their own 45. After converting on third down, Colby LeBlanc was able to buy time in the pocket, eluding the rush and giving time for a receiver to come free. Mathew Pole found himself open in the seam and it turned into a 43-yard touchdown.

Milford moved the ball on its second possession, with Evan Cornelius (13-of-25, 129 yards) hitting Cameron Phillipss for a big conversion on third and eight. Cornelius (11 carrries, 61 yards) also converted third and short with a 10-yard keeper. After getting inside the Natick 30, things stalled. David Seiche nearly intercepted a pass and on fourth and four a screen pass to Damien Carter was stuffed for a loss.

Its first possession after Natick took the lead ended with a Seiche interception, but Milford’s defense forced a punt and the Hawks took over at their own 20. Scudo broke an 18-yard draw up the middle that put Milford into Natick territory and, on third and eight, Cornelius looked down the near sideline to Isaiah Pantalone (four catches, 54 yards), who was finally able to get just enough separation to haul in a 34-yard touchdown and tie the game with 2:20 before halftime.

Momentum seemed to be with the home side, especially when Nizayah Montas fumbled near midfield and Scudo recovered. A big completion over the middle to Jayden Agnew (five catches, 45 yards) gained 17 and got the Hawks to the 26. They managed to spike the ball with one tick remaining on the clock, but Araujo’s 36-yard field goal attempt was blocked.

Seiche had a big kickoff return to start the third quarter, putting Natick at the 46, but on third down and short Alex McColl was able to stop Montas for no gain and force a punt. The ball was downed at the nine and Milford went to work behind its big offensive line.

Scudo, Cornelius, and Tyler Lane were finding running room and grinding out yards and first downs. An 11-yard keeper got the Hawks out to the 35 and then Lane went up the gut for 11 more. On third and one from the Natick 35, Lane burst through the line and then bounced it out to the left, finally being dragged down after a 23-yard gain. Three plays later, he was able to cash in from the one to put the hosts ahead for good.

Milford’s pass defense continued to be excellent with Archeval and Matt Girard both breaking up passes to force another punt. This time, the Hawks started at their own 18 but 18 plays and nearly 9-1/2 minutes later they were back in the end zone.

Olson said, “I said to them we need a championship drive right now and we’re going to run the football right down their throats and, if we can do that, we’re going to go play for the right to go to Gillette.”

Cornelius started the drive with a 13-yard completion to Nick Schuler and he kept the chains moving with a five-yard pass to Pantalone for a first down at the Natick 43. Lane followed that with a 17-yard carry. Scudo, Cornelius, and Lane all got the ball, grinding down to the goal line and it was Lane (29 carries, 157 yards) who would punch it in from a yard out, making it 21-7 with just 4:27 to play.

“Tyler’s a dude,” Olson said. “I don’t want to give him the ball that much because he’s a great linebacker and early in the season we gave it to him 29 times in one game and the first two days after that game he was in an ice bath. He’s not the fastest kid in the world, but man he runs hard.” When told Lane’s stats for the game, Olson said with a smile, “That’s a great night.”

Milford (8-2) will face a rematch with a league foe in next week’s semifinal at a location to be determined. The Hawks will face either No. 3 King Philip, which beat Milford 17-14 on a last second field goal, or No. 6 Mansfield, which Milford beat 27-24 in overtime, for the right to play in the D2 Super Bowl.

“I couldn’t be prouder of this program in 20 months where it’s gone and it’s been the kids,” Olson explained. “They bought into the system and they’re playing well.”

Click here for a photo gallery from this game.

Undefeated Franklin Bests Milford In Defensive Struggle

Franklin football Jonathan Martins Devine Johnson
Franklin’s Jonathan Martins (left) and Devine Johnson (right) tackle Milford quarterback Evan Cornelius in the second half. (Ryan Lanigan/HockomockSports.com)
ByRyanLanigan_2016FollowRyanLanigan_2016
 
 
 MILFORD, Mass. – When it comes to Hockomock League football, one of the first things you learn is to expect the unexpected.

Such was the case on Friday night as Milford and Franklin, the top two offenses in the Kelley-Rex division, ended up locked in a defensive battle. Both the Hawks and the Panthers entered the contest averaging just north of 30 points per game, but Friday’s contest featured just one trip to the end zone.

In the end, it was the Franklin defense that stood tallest, limiting the hosts to just four first downs and pitched a second half shutout to grab a 13-3 win to improve to 7-0 on the season.

Click here for a photo gallery from this game.

The Kelley-Rex division title won’t be decided until Thanksgiving when the Panthers take on King Philip in a winner-take-all showdown. But first, the playoffs.

“I think sometimes just dictate themselves early,” said Franklin head coach Eian Bain. “There was a lot of feeling each other out early in the game. I thought we had a couple of chances to score in the first half and we only walked away with the three [points].

“In the second half, we had a really nice drive to get that score, which was huge. And we had a nice drive late [for the field goal]. It was two great defenses tonight, I think we’ve both done well against our opponents so I thought that might be the case…but it could have gone the other way too.”

Franklin had success on its early drives but its first foray into Milford territory — a nine-play drive — ended up with a turnover on downs just outside the red zone. The Panthers’ second drive lasted eight plays and got all the way down to the Milford 1-yard line, but the visitors had to settle for a 19-yard field goal from Garrett Portesi after a false start.

Milford didn’t have much success early on, punting on its first two drives. But the Hawks were able to orchestrate a response after Franklin took the lead. The hosts took advantage of a good kick return from Jack Veo, covering 39 yards on nine plays.

Facing a 4th and 2 at the Franklin 32-yard line, the Hawks elected to go for it and quarterback Evan Cornelius scampered for 19 yards to move the sticks. But the drive stalled from there as the Franklin defense limited the Milford offense to just two yards over the next three plays and the Hawks went with a 28-yard field goal from Nick Araujo with 7:21 left in the quarter.










After trading punts, Franklin marched into Milford territory late in the first half but Milford’s Angelo Romero and Mason Baldic combined for a sack, and Jared Arone’s (11/17, 129 yards) third down pass to Will Tracey was ruled incomplete, despite what looked like a good circus catch over the middle between two defenders, and the teams went into halftime knotted 3-3.

Franklin started the second half with a big bang, going with some misdirection to the left before Arone went back to the right and hit Shane Kindred in stride. Kindred used his speed to race away for a 71-yard completion down to the Milford 11-yard line.

Three plays later, Arone went with a bootleg and hit Tracey streaking across the back of the end zone for the lone touchdown of the game and a 10-3 lead less than a minute into the second half.

“We definitely want to make sure we’re getting our playmakers touches, and I think everyone had a touch or at least a target,” Bain said of going to Kindred early in the second half. “We had set up a lot of things but we didn’t get to them because of some situations in the first half.”

Franklin relied heavily on running back Mack Gulla (35 carries, 200 yards) for the majority of the game, but even more so in the second half. Of their 31 plays run in the second half, the Panthers handed the ball off to Gulla on 21 of them. Although he didn’t find the end zone in the game, his work rate and ability to get positive yards on almost every play helped the Panthers dominate the time of possession.

He carried the ball nine times for 48 yards on Franklin’s second possession of the second half which, after a costly false start, finished just an inch short of a first down after a 19-yard pass and catch from Arone to Kindred on fourth down.

“It’s awesome to get those carries but that’s my job, I only play one way so I think I’m conditioned enough to do that,” Gulla said. “It definitely feels like a special season. No one expected us to do this this year, no one saw us coming undefeated against one of the hardest schedules in the state. Now we just have to keep pushing going forward.”




A second down sack from Joe Tirrell stunted any momentum the hosts had. Jonathan Martins and Emmett Lackey also had sacks on the day while it seemed Franklin was able to pressure the passer on almost every drop back with linebackers Nick Quintina and Cullen Pek finding their way into the backfield often. Cornelius tried getting the ball into the hands of Nick Schuler and Grant Scudo, as it looked like junior wideout Isaiah Pantalone battled through an injury.

“Most of their passes are out in about 2.2 seconds,” Bain said. “We wanted to try and do is try to elongate the drop back game. It hurt us early because he’s scrambled and he’s a good runner, got an early first down. But with any quarterback, you’re just trying to get him off their spot, doing things they don’t like to do. I think something like 88% of their passes are in the pocket so we tried to design some pressure to try and spill that out, set some things up. They are tough to defend and they do a good job of putting their quarterback in successful situations.”

Gulla went right back to work when the Panthers got the ball back. This drive, Gulla had eight carries that went for 50 yards and took up a lot of clock between the end of the third and nearly half of the fourth quarter.

“I think it speaks to having talent but also working hard,” Bain said of Gulla’s large workload. “You put your body in a good position to last for four quarters, seven games into the season, eight weeks into the season. There’s a lot of kids out there that work hard but when one of your best players is your hardest worker, those things happen. He’s kind of built that up for himself and that’s through all of his hard work and dedication and setting the example.”

Franklin’s third down pass was knocked down on a jump ball in the end zone and Portesi delivered his second field goal of the game, this time a 25-yard boot to make it a two-score game with 4:44 left.

“I think you saw two of the best kickers around,” Bain said, also recognizing Milford’s Araujo. “[Portesi] was a soccer guy, came out in the spring for the first time. He’s worked hard, he comes to practice every day and he’s always working, working, working, and you have to trust the kids that put the work in.”

Click here for a photo gallery from this game.

Milford showed some life as Cornelius hit Jaden Agnew over the middle for a 41-yard gain on third down to move into Franklin territory on the ensuing drive but two plays later, Franklin junior Luke Davis hauled in an overthrown pass in the end zone for a touchback, putting an end up any comeback hope.

“They got us on that deep ball and that was alright because that’s going to happen, they’re going to make plays,” Bain said. “But a lot of it is that when the big play happens, you have to bounce back. We gave up a couple of completions that were good plays but eventually that pressure, that frustration we created, I think that disrupted the passing game as a whole.”

Franklin will likely enter the playoffs as the top seed in the Division 1 bracket while Milford will likely be one of the top seeds in the Division 2 bracket. The MIAA will release official ratings and playoff information on Sunday.

Friday’s Schedule & Scoreboard – 10/22/21

Today’s games are listed below.

Football
Franklin, 21 @ Attleboro, 19 – Final
1st Quarter: (A) Anthony Salviati 25-yard field goal; (F) Jared Arone 31-yard pass to Will Tracey, Garrett Portesi XP good.
2nd Quarter: (A) A. Salviati 35-yard field goal; (F) Mack Gulla 3-yard rush, G Portesi XP good; (A) Matt Harvie 11-yard pass to A. Salviati, Josue Salguero XP good.
3rd Quarter: (F) J. Arone 57-yard pass to W. Tracey, G Portesi XP good; (A) Adrian Rivera 3-yard rush, 2pt pass failed.
4th Quarter: No scoring.

Foxboro, 42 @ Canton, 8 – FinalClick here for a Photo Gallery from this game.
1st Quarter: (F) Tom Marcucella 8-yard pass to Rashaad Way, Sam Carpenter XP good; (F) T. Marcucella 76-yard pass to R. Way, S. Carpenter XP good; (F) Dylan Gordon 7-yard rush, S. Carpenter XP good.
2nd Quarter: (F) T. Marcucella 45-yard pass to Dylan Gordon, S. Carpenter XP good; (F) T. Marcucella 20-yard pass to Tom Sharkey, S. Carpenter XP good.
3rd Quarter: (F) D. Gordon 9-yard rush, S. Carpenter XP good.
4th Quarter: (C) Colin Albert 3-yard rush, Charlie Cox 2pt rush good.

Taunton, 8 @ Mansfield, 24 – FinalClick here for a Recap and Photo Gallery from this game.
1st Quarter: No scoring.
2nd Quarter: (M) James Gilleran 32-yard field goal.
3rd Quarter: (M) Conner Zukowski 11-yard pass to Trevor Foley, J. Gilleran XP good.
4th Quarter: (M) Rocco Scarpellini 11-yard rush, J. Gilleran XP good; (M) C. Zukowski 19-yard pass to T. Foley, J. Gilleran XP good; (T) Jacob Leonard 13-yard pass to Jose Touron, Trent Santos 2pt rush good.

Stoughton, 7 @ Milford, 27 – Final
1st Quarter: (S) Jarred Daughtry 25-yard pass to Emmett Pearl, Jonah Ly XP good; (M) Nicholas Araujo 36-yard field goal good.
2nd Quarter: (M) Grant Scudo 7-yard rush, N. Aruajo XP good; (M) Evan Cornelius 11-yard pass to Isaiah Pantalone, N. Araujo XP good.
3rd Quarter: (M) E.Cornelius 10-yard pass to I Pantalone, N. Araujo XP good; (M) N. Araujo 30-yard field goal good.
4th Quarter: No scoring.

North Attleboro, 42 @ Oliver Ames, 12 – Final
1st Quarter: (NA) Tyler Bannon 3-yard rush, Tyler DeMattio XP good; (NA) T. Bannon fumble recovery in the end zone, T. DeMattio XP good.
2nd Quarter: (NA) Greg Berthiaume 32-yard rush, T. DeMattio XP good; (OA) Collin Williamson 72-yard rush, XP failed; (NA) Chase Frisoli 27-yard rush, T. DeMattio XP good; (NA) C. Frisoli 15-yard pass to Jack Munley, T. DeMattio XP good.
3rd Quarter: (NA) Garrett Inglese 1-yard rush, T. DeMattio XP good; (OA) Chad Silva 2-yard rush, XP failed.
4th Quarter: No scoring.

Sharon, 14 @ Hull, 35 – Final










Boys Soccer
Mansfield, 0 @ Franklin, 3 – FinalFranklin scored twice inside a five-minute span in the first half and tacked an important insurance goal just minutes into the second half to get a win over Mansfield, pushing their unbeaten streak to five games. Senior Jack Moran opened the scoring in the 15th minute on a pass from sophomore Sean O’Leary and then junior Ben Costa doubled the advantage in the 20th minute on an assist from classmate Max Tobin. O’Leary extended the lead to 3-0 in the 44th minute, finishing off a chance created by junior Will Krysak.

Milford, 3 vs. Medway, 0 – FinalSophomore J’remy Chaves scored his first career goal and then added his second to lead Milford to a non-league win over Medway, one of the top rated teams in Division 3. Junior Eduardo Santana put the hosts ahead in the first half on a pass from junior Arthur Tome, a lead the Hawks carried into halftime. Chaves’ first goal came off a pass from junior John Borges while his second was set up by sophomore Nate Dinis.

Sharon, 2 vs. Walpole, 2 – Final

Field Hockey
Foxboro, 3 vs. Medfield, 0 – Final
Milford @ Bellingham, 4:45
Sharon, 1 @ Norwell, 4 – Final

Saturday’s Schedule & Scoreboard – 09/18/21

Today’s games are listed below.

Football

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.

Boys Soccer
Stoughton, 0 @ East Bridgewater, 4 – Final

Girls Soccer
Milford, 2 @ Canton, 2 – FinalClick here for a Recap and Photo Gallery from this game.

Taunton, 4 @ New Bedford, 2 – FinalEmily 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 Makes Statement With Big Win Against Foxboro

Milford Football
Junior Isaiah Pantalone (5) made an impressive debut with more than 350 total yards and three touchdowns in Milford’s big win over Foxboro. (Josh Perry/HockomockSports.com)

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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.

Click here for a photo gallery from this game.

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.

Click here for a photo gallery from this game.

Football: 2021 Kelley-Rex Division Preview

2021 Kelley-Rex Division Preview
King Philip could be the favorite to challenge Mansfield for the Kelley-Rex division title this season. (Ryan Lanigan/HockomockSports.com)

By HockomockSports.com Staff

2021 Kelley-Rex Football Preview

2021 Kelley-Rex Division Preview

Attleboro

2020 Record: 1-5
Coach: Mike Strachan

Key/Returning Players: Ryan Betts, Sr., RB/LB; Keigan Conley, Sr., RB/LB; Christian Dame, Sr., TE/LB; Alvin Harrison, Sr., OL; Hayden Hegarty, Sr., TE/LB; Aiden Hochwarter, Jr., QB; Ethan Lako, Jr., RB/DB; Chris Leonardo, Sr., OL/DL; Isaiah Miranda, Jr., C; Kaiden Murray, Sr., RB/DB; Isaac Pereira, Sr., OL/DL; Anthony Salviati, Jr., WR/DB; Jacob Struminski, Sr., OL/DL; Freddy Wheaton, Sr., RB/LB;

Outlook:
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.”










2021 Kelley-Rex Division Preview

Franklin

2020 Record: 3-4
Coach: Eian Bain

2021 Kelley-Rex Division Preview

Key/Returning Players: Jared Arone, Sr., QB; Shane Kindred, Sr., WR; Will Tracey, Sr., WR; Mack Gulla, Sr., RB; Ethan Aeillo, Sr., OL; Jack Porkorny, Sr., OL; Jonathan Martins, Sr., DL; Cullen Pek, Sr., LB; Joe Tirrell, Sr., DB; Luke Davis, Jr., DB.

Outlook:
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.”




2021 Kelley-Rex Division Preview

King Philip

2020 Record: 4-3
Coach: Brian Lee

Key/Returning Players: Charlie Grant, Sr., QB/DB; Crawford Cantave, Sr., RB/DB; Nick Viscusi, Sr., WR/DB; Jonathan Joseph, Sr., WR/DB; Hunter Hastings, Sr., OL/DL; Chris Sesay, Jr., OL/DL; Rudy Gately, Jr., RB/LB; Danny Clancy, Sr., WR/DL; Matthew Kelley, Jr., K.

Outlook:
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.”




2021 Kelley-Rex Division Preview

Mansfield

2020 Record: 6-0 (Kelley-Rex division champions)
Coach: Mike Redding

Key/Returning Players: Mark DeGirolamo, Sr., OL/DL; Ryan DeGirolamo, Jr., TE/DE; James Fichera, Sr., WR/LB; Joe Forte, Sr., OL/DL; James Gilleran, Sr., OL/DE; Zander Holmes, Sr., RB/LB; Jephte Jean, Jr., OL/DE; Dana Johnson, Sr., WR/DB; Drew Sacco, Jr., RB/DB; Rocco Scarpellini, Jr., RB/LB; Braeden Veno, Sr., OL/DL; Conner Zukowski, Jr., QB/DB

Outlook:
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.




2021 Kelley-Rex Division Preview

Milford

2020 Record: 5-2
Coach: Dale Olson

Key/Returning Players: Key/Returning Players: Evan Cornelius, Jr., QB/DE; Tyler Lane, Sr., RB/LB; Alex McColl, Sr., DE/OT; Marco Monteiro, Sr., DT/OT; Angelo Romero, Sr., RB/LB; Grant Scudo, Sr., RB/SS

Outlook:
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.”

2021 Kelley-Rex Division Preview

Photos

Taunton

2020 Record: 2-4
Coach: Brad Sidwell

Key/Returning Players: Trent Santos, Sr., WR/DB; Nate Keenan, Sr., WR/RB/FS/K; Nick Lima, Sr., WR/TE/OLB; Nate Laplante, Jr., OL/DL; Ryan MacDougall, Jr., OL/LB; William Guachiculca-Torres, Jr., OL/DL; Faisal Mass, Sr., TE/WR/DL; Tyler Wynn, Jr., WR/DB/P; Evan Perrota, Sr., RB/LB; Jake Leonard, Jr., QB; Isaiah Williams, Jr., WR/DB; Logan Frank, Jr., OL/LB; Bryan Batista, Sr., RB; Jon Castillo, Sr., WR/SS; Jack Moitoso, Sr., OL/DL; McKyen Gonsalves, Jr., WR/DB;

Outlook:
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.”

Thursday’s Schedule & Scoreboard – 05/27/21

Today’s games are listed below.

Baseball
Oliver Ames, 2 @ Attleboro, 1 – FinalOliver 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 – FinalMilford 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 – FinalFranklin 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 – FinalTaunton 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 – FinalJunior 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.










Softball
Attleboro, 11 @ Oliver Ames, 0 – FinalLindsey 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 – FinalFranklin 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 – FinalMansfield 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 – FinalTaunton 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 – FinalKing 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.




Boys Tennis
Attleboro, 2 @ Oliver Ames, 3 – FinalOliver 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 – FinalBy 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 – FinalFoxboro 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 – FinalFranklin’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 – FinalNorth 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 – FinalKing 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.




Girls Tennis
Oliver Ames, 1 @ Attleboro, 4 – FinalAttleboro 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 – FinalCanton 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 – FinalNorth 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 – FinalCanton’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 – FinalMansfield 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 – FinalFor 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 – FinalMansfield 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.

Wrestling
North Attleboro, 48 @ Taunton, 30 – Final

Oliver Ames, 21 @ Milford, 44 – Final

Mansfield Leans On Defense To Deny Scarlet Hawks

Mansfield football Cincere Gill
Mansfield’s Cincere Gill tries to break free from the grasp of Milford’s Tyler Lane in the first half. (Ryan Lanigan/HockomockSports.com)
ByRyanLanigan_2016FollowRyanLanigan_2016
 
 
 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.

Click here for a photo gallery from this game.

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.”

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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.”

Click here for a photo gallery from this game.

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