North Makes Goal Line Stand to Win at Mansfield

North Attleboro football
North Attleboro senior Greg Berthiaume drags a Mansfield tackler with him for a first half touchdown, one of his two scores in the game. (Josh Perry/HockomockSports.com)

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MANSFIELD, Mass. – With under eight seconds remaining in the second quarter of Friday night’s rivalry game at Alumni Field, Mansfield faced a third down from the one-yard-line. The Hornets had traveled 61 yards in 45 seconds, now they just had to punch it in. North Attleboro senior Jack Munley had other ideas and stopped Rocco Scarpellini short of the end zone.

Having started the first overtime period with a touchdown, North’s defense had the chance to repeat its earlier trick, stop the Hornets from the one, and clinch a second consecutive impressive road victory. Mansfield QB Connor Curtis tried to keep it himself, looking for a hole in the middle of the line, but was swallowed up by white shirts.

Click here for a photo gallery from this game.

For the second time in the game, North’s defense made a stand, this time sealing a 27-21 win, avenging last year’s double-overtime defeat to the Hornets at Community Field. It was North’s first win at Mansfield since 2015.

“Whether you get the ball first or second, you’ve got to stop them and it came down to that at the end,” said first-year North coach Mike Strachan. “I’m just really proud of my football team, they fought. To beat Mansfield at Mansfield, with this great team, and this great tradition they have here, I’m really proud of my guys.”

Mansfield coach Mike Redding admitted that he will be second-guessing his call on that final play for a while.

“It’s a heartbreaker,” he explained. “I’ll go over this for 10 years on any call that would’ve worked.

“We’re trying to come up with a little bit of a counter to kind of get them overflowing, get Connor back, he’s great off the fake finding the seam to run. Once we get to the one or two, they’ve just got 11 big, strong bodies up front and we’re young up front and we just can’t quite get movement to punch it in.”

The Hornets started the game on top. Aidan Gleavy made a nice read on a screen pass to force a three-and-out. After Munley sacked Conner Zukowski, Mansfield was able to convert third and long with Zukowski (18-of-28, 300 yards) throwing a 20-yard strike to Trevor Foley (five catches, 134 yards) on the near sideline. CJ Bell followed with a nice grab on the far sideline, hauling in a 29-yard reception.

After Zukowski and Foley combined again for another 17 yards, Scarpellini punched it in from a yard out to make it 7-0.

In the second quarter, Kyle Murphy sacked North quarterback Chase Frisoli to force a punt from the three. Mansfield started at the North 30-yard-line but a holding call stalled the drive. North took over possession and took the momentum.

On third and short from the North 42, Frisoli (12-of-22, 180 yards) looked deep down the sideline to Jovany Rivera (six catches, 123 yards). The 41-yard completion put the Rocketeers in the red zone for the first time. Eight yards and three plays later, facing fourth and two Strachan elected to go for it. Greg Berthiaume wouldn’t be stopped, dragging a would-be tackler with him for a nine-yard, game-tying score.

The North defense followed up that score by forcing a three-and-out. A short punt gifted the visitors the ball at the 26 and North took advantage. A timeout before Austin Clemente attempted a 46-yard field goal led to a change of plan, with North electing to go for it and Frisoli finding Rivera for 21 yards to the eight. On the next snap Berthiaume caught a pass in the flat and dove for the pylon to put Big Red in front.

Mansfield only had 53 seconds on the clock but wasted no time racing up field. Zukowski hit Drew Sacco for 15 yards and Bell for 17. He then fired a 30-yard pass to Foley to get the Hornets down to the two. After a false start, Nolan Bordieri took a sweep for six yards but just short of the end zone. An incompletion and Munley’s big stop, left the Hornets down 14-7 at the break.

Strachan said, “I think we were physical up front. I thought we were very physical and controlled the line of scrimmage.”

North added to its lead on its first possession of the third. Frisoli’s quick release to Rivera down the sideline for 25 yards got them into Mansfield territory and a perfectly executed play action left sophomore Ryan Bannon all alone in the secondary for a 26-yard touchdown.

The Hornets were struggling to get the ground game working but Zukowski was having a lot of success through the air. On the first snap of the next drive, he looked down field for Foley, who made a great adjustment to the flight of the ball and pulled in a 47-yard catch. On the next play, Foley out-jumped the defensive back in the back of the end zone, snatching a 20-yard touchdown.

Down seven in the fourth quarter, Mansfield got the ball back at its own 11. A first down got it out to the 23 and Zukowski again looked down the sideline, this time to Brandon Jackman, who made a great catch for 37 yards. Zukowski appeared to get a cramp at the end of the play and had to come to the sideline. Curtis jumped in and immediately broke away for a 40-yard touchdown run that tied the game with under six minutes remaining.

“We let them go up 14 and then we kind of woke up and started playing clean,” Redding said. “Zuk started throwing the ball well, we spread them out. We really started playing great from when they scored to go up 14 until overtime. We showed a lot of heart.”

North had one more chance to win it in regulation. A 10-play drive to the Mansfield 19 gave Clemente a chance from 36 yards out, but his kick was wide left with just 20 seconds to play.

The visitors had the ball first in OT. On first down, Frisoli flipped a pass over the shoulder of Aidan Conrad in the flat and he walked in with the go-ahead score. Ryan DeGirolamo was in tight coverage to breakup the two-point conversion try, leaving North up six.

Mansfield had four plays to try and tie it. Zukowski looked for Foley on each of the first two plays, with Rivera doing a good job in coverage on the second. On third down, Zukowski hit Sacco in the flat and he showed patience to pick a hole but North converged at the goal line to keep him a yard short.

Curtis came in for the final play, trying to force his way through North’s defensive line, but Zachary Gallagher, Bannon, Berthiaume, and others were on hand to keep the Hornets just short and add another exciting chapter to this historic rivalry.

“We practiced all week in the goal line, what to do, we practiced our new formations, and I really think we just executed it like we’re supposed to,” Berthiaume explained. “When you don’t make mistakes, you win football games.”

Strachan said, “We go to work each week, we talk about that, we say we put the money in the bank and the payout is on Friday nights. This was a big check mark for us and it was a really big test for our team. We’re going to try and enjoy this one, but I’m just really happy with our football team.”

Following a bye week, North Attleboro (2-0) will have its home, and Kelley-Rex, opener when the Rocketeers host currently unbeaten Franklin. Mansfield (1-1) will head out on the road for the first time next Friday, traveling to Worcester to face Doherty.

Click here for a photo gallery from this game.

Football: 2022 Kelley-Rex Division Preview

Milford and King Philip will both be contenders for the Kelley-Rex division title this season. (Ryan Lanigan/HockomockSports.com)
By HockomockSports.com Staff

2022 Kelley-Rex Football Preview

2022 Kelley-Rex Division Preview

Attleboro

2021 Record: 4-6
Coach: Jim Winters

Key/Returning Players: Matt Harvie, Jr., QB; Ethan Lako, Sr., LB; Isaiah Miranda, Sr., OL/DL; Ayden Ramirez, Sr., WR/CB; Adrian Rivera, Jr., RB; Anthony Salviati, SR.; WR/S; Spencer Sherck, Sr., S

Outlook:
In a loaded Kelley-Rex division, Attleboro has largely been on the outside of the title race and the Bombardiers enter this season with an eye to the future, as they have a relatively inexperienced roster. First-year coach Jim Winters, who came from Silver Lake to replace Mike Strachan after his move to North Attleboro, will lean on a talented crew of skill position players and an aggressive mindset to be competitive with the league’s top teams.

Offensively, the Bombardiers have a lot of depth and athleticism at receiver. Senior Anthony Salviati is a dynamic playmaker who can line up in multiple positions, whether out wide or in the backfield. He was also the team’s kicker last year. Junior Matt Harvie gets the nod at quarterback to start the season after seeing time under center as a sophomore. His strong arm and ability to read the defense will be key. Senior Ayden Ramirez will be another threat on the outside and junior Adrian Rivera will be the team’s go-to back at the start of the season. Senior center Isaiah Miranda is the team’s only returning lineman, on either side of the ball, and his leadership is going to be critical to the offense’s success.

Athleticism is going to be important on defense as well. Salviati will bring his playmaking to the secondary as a safety. Winters called Ramirez one of the best corners that he has coached, while senior linebacker Ethan Lako is a ball hawk who led the team in interceptions last season. Senior safety Spencer Sherck is recovering from a preseason injury and the Bombardiers will be hoping to have his leadership back on the field as soon as possible. The defensive line remains a question mark with young players getting their first taste of varsity action this season.

“We should be fast and aggressive at the skill positions,” Winters said. About the challenges on the line, he added, “We will be very inexperienced and do not have the size of Attleboro teams of the past.”










2022 Kelley-Rex Division Preview

Franklin

2021 Record: 10-1 (Kelley-Rex division champions)
Coach: Eian Bain

2022 Kelley-Rex Division Preview

Key/Returning Players: Jase Lyons, Sr., QB/S; Luke Davis, Sr., WR/CB; Grayson Hunter, Sr., TE; Ben Papa, Sr., OL; Ben Ryan, Jr., OL; Leo Meuse, Soph., OL; Jay Gulla, Sr., DL; Emmett Lackey, Sr., DL; Julian Rampino, Soph., DL; Nick Quintina, Sr., LB; Luke Sidwell, Sr., CB; Devine Johnson, Sr., CB;

Outlook:
Franklin was not only the best team in the Kelley-Rex division last year, winning its first league title since 2009, but also proved to be one of the top teams in the state. The Panthers were a win away from a spot in the Super Bowl, going toe-to-toe with Springfield Central in the state semifinal. This season, the Panthers will have to overcome the graduation of a lot of skill position players to keep the positive momentum that the program has shown over the past few seasons.

Last year’s offensive group was as good as any in the state and it showed. This season, Franklin will have a lot of new faces and a lot of versatile athletes that will be part of the game plan. Senior Jase Lyons will take over at quarterback and is a dual threat with his legs and his arm. Senior Luke Davis will be one of the primary targets out wide along with junior wideout Derek Dubriske and senior tight end Grayson Hunter. The graduation of Mack Gulla opens space for new running backs to step up. Juniors Mike Davide and Cody Howard are backs to watch out for this year. Senior Ben Papa will lead the offensive line with junior Ben Ryan and sophomore Leo Meuse adding depth and size. Senior Garrett Portesi will be back on kicking duties and gives Franklin a consistent source of points.

While the offense got a lot of attention last season, Franklin’s defense allowed fewer points than anyone else in the league. The secondary was one of the biggest strengths in 2021 and should be again this year. Senior Devine Johnson is a lockdown corner, while classmates Luke Sidwell, Bobby Padula, and Davis all are playmakers in the passing game. Junior Connor Klawson will add depth in that position. The linebacking group is led by senior Nick Quintina, who will make plays in the middle, and Howard will be a new face in that position. Senior Emmett Lackey will control the defensive line, while senior Jay Gulla is a constant threat on the edge and sophomore Julian Rampino gives another big athlete at defensive end.

“We are taking this one day at a time,” said Franklin coach Eian Bain. “Last year was a whirlwind, and culmination of many years of hard work. It is important not to lose sight of the process that got us to such great accomplishments. It remains all about the process.”




2022 Kelley-Rex Division Preview

King Philip

2021 Record: 9-3
Coach: Brian Lee

Key/Returning Players: Will Astorino, Sr., FB/LB; Thomas Brewster, Sr., WR/DB; Rudy Gately, Sr., RB/DB; Nathan Kearney, Sr., RB/DE; Sean King, Jr., OL/DL; Chris Sesay, Sr., OL/DL; Matt Kelley, Sr., K/WR/DB; Tommy McLeish, Jr., QB;

Outlook: Last season was another banner year for the Warriors, reaching another Division 2 state final and took second in what was one of the most talented years in the Kelley-Rex division.

Certainly, the Warriors have plenty of holes to fill in due to graduation like at quarterback (Charlie Grant), running back (Crawford Cantave), Jonathan Joseph (defensive back), and on both the offensive and defensive line. But head coach Brian Lee has to like the weapons he does have back this season.

It starts with one of the best two-way players in the state in senior Rudy Gately, who will be a workhorse in the backfield and a reliable option at linebacker. He’s been making plays for KP for two years and that’s likely to continue again this year. He’ll be joined in the backfield by Will Astorino (full back) and Nathan Kearney, and they’ll work with junior Tommy McLeish (6’3), who takes over at quarterback. McLeish has weapons in Matt Kelley, who is not only one of the best kickers around but will also line up at receiver and defensive back, as well as Thomas Brewster.

The strength of the squad likely lies where it usually does: in the trenches. The Warriors are big up front on both sides of the ball and return two of the best linemen in the state in 6’6 265-pound Chris Sesay, who holds D1 offers from Eastern Michigan and Brown among others, and 6’0, 260-pound junior Sean King.

Defensively, Astorino will be one of the key pieces at linebacker while Sesay looks to be a force to reckon with on the defensive line.

“As far as strength and weaknesses go, we lost a lot of players from all different positions so we are just in the process of still figuring out what we are, who we are, and if we have all the right guys on the field and in the right spot,” Lee said. “Despite what we’ve lost, our goal is to be prepared and focused each week so that we can be competitive.”




2022 Kelley-Rex Division Preview

Milford

2021 Record: 9-3
Coach: Dale Olson

Key/Returning Players: Key/Returning Players: Nicholas Araujo, Jr., LB/K; Jayden Archeval, Sr., DB; Damien Carter, Jr., WR/DB; Evan Cornelius, Sr., QB/DE; Keith Lee, Jr., G/DT; Isaiah Pantalone, Sr., WR/DB; Tyler Potter, Sr., T/DT

Outlook:
Milford has come a long way in the past couple of seasons, earning wins over its Kelley-Rex division rivals, putting in a challenge for the league title, and making a run to the Div. 2 semifinals. The Hawks will try to continue building on that momentum this fall with the hope of a talented and experienced lineup bringing home a first Kelley-Rex title.

Senior quarterback Evan Cornelius is back to run the Milford offense after a strong junior campaign. Cornelius gives the Hawks a threat with either his strong arm or his ability to make plays with his legs and he helped Milford put together one of the league’s top offensive units last year. Senior wideout Isaiah Pantalone had a breakout junior season and emerged as one of the most dangerous receivers in the Hock. Junior Damien Carter can line up in multiple positions and classmate Nicholas Araujo can make an impact at receiver or as one of the league’s top kickers. Junior Keith Lee and senior Tyler Potter will be two of the top returning lineman and the Milford line got a huge boost by the transfer of Ryan O’Connor from Lawrence Academy.

Cornelius is just as impactful on the defensive side of the ball with his speed and size at defensive end. Lee, Potter, and O’Connor add strength to the interior of the Milford line. Araujo will be one of the key returning players at linebacker. Milford’s athleticism at receiver translates into a strong secondary as well. Carter and Pantalone are both playmakers on the edge and senior Jayden Archeval emerged as one of the top one-on-one cover guys in the league last year.

“We don’t have great numbers and will have to stay healthy,” Milford coach Dale Olson explained, “but have a talented group that has worked hard to rebuild this program.”




2022 Kelley-Rex Division Preview

North Attleboro

2021 Record: 8-4
Coach: Mike Strachan

Key/Returning Players: Greg Berthiaume, Sr., RB/LB; Zack Gallagher, Sr., OL/DL; Nate Shultz, Sr., RB/DB; Kaden Leary, Sr., OL/DL; Jack Munley, Sr., OL/DL; Chase Frisoli, Soph., QB; Lucas Mattson, Jr., OL/DL; Nolan McLaughlin, Sr., OL/DL; Aidan Conrad, Sr., RB/DB;

Outlook: The 2022 season marks a new chapter in the very rich history of North Attleboro football. Coming off a narrow loss in the Division 3 state championship, the Rocketeers have a brand new head coach along with a slew of new faces in new positions.

Mike Strachan is now at the helm of the Big Red. Strachan, who played for the Rocketeers in high school for legendary coach Ray Beaupre, had been the head coach of rival Attleboro since 2013 before switching in his Bombardier blue back to Rocketeer red.

He’ll have the tough task of finding replacements for a very talented senior class from last year, including star Tyler DeMattio – who played a handful of positions over the past four years, including quarterback, running back, linebacker, and kicker – as well as fellow league all star Tyler Bannon. But the cupboard is far from empty for Strachan, who is looking to uphold the high standards and tradition of North Attleboro football.

Sophomore Chase Frisoli returns at quarterback after an impressive freshman season. He will have a lot of new weapons to work with this year, and Strachan is leaning heavily on a big offensive line to not only protect Frisoli but set the tone with a strong running game. The line is anchored by Zack Gallagher (6’3, 280) and North will look to run behind him as well as Kaden Leary, Lucas Mattson, Jack Munley, Nolan McLoughlin, and Danny Locke. Nate Shultz will be the primary ball carrier and brings an explosive run game to the table.

“Nate will lead the defense at free safety [too],” Strachan said. “Nate brings breakaway speed to the offense and has the ability to catch the ball out of the backfield. In addition, Nate is a tremendously smart player and gives us the on-field leadership required to have a great team.”

On the defensive side, the Rocketeers will turn to veteran linebacker Greg Berthiaume, who lead the D3 finalists in tackles last year. With Berthiaume in the mix, North’s strength defensively will be its linebackers, with Ryan Bannon, Aidan Conrad, and Julian House also in the mix.

2022 Kelley-Rex Division Preview

Photos

Taunton

2021 Record: 5-6
Coach: Brad Sidwell

Key/Returning Players: Ryan MacDougall, Sr., OL/LB; Nathan Laplante, Sr., OL/DL; William Guachichulca-Torres, Sr., OL; Logan Frank, Sr., OL; Jacob Leonard, Sr., QB; Bryan Batista, Sr., RB; Tanner Brannon, Sr., OLB; Dom Kessel, Sr., DL; McKyen Gonsalves, Sr., WR/DB; Jose Touron, Jr., WR/DB; Bryan Joanis, Jr., OL/DL; Ethan Harris, Jr., RB/LB;

Outlook: Taunton took a step in the right direction during the 2022 season with five wins and a trip to the state tournament, but the Tigers went without a win in league play. With an experienced and talented group back in the fold this year, head coach Brad Sidwell and his Tigers will look to make a splash in the league and continue to move the program forward.

It will all start up front for Taunton because of a big and talented group of linemen that have a lot of varsity experience. The team’s three captains are all members of the offensive line: seniors Ryan MacDougall (center), Nathan LaPlante (guard), and William Guachichulca-Torres (tackle). They’ll be joined by senior Logan Frank (guard) and junior Bryan Joanis (tackle). All five register above 6’0 and have a lot of varsity experience under their belt.

Behind them will be returning quarterback Jake Leonard, who is in his third year as the starting quarterback for the Tigers. While Leonard lost some of his top targets from last year, he has some dangerous weapons at his disposal still, including Jose Touron (fresh off an impressive sophomore campaign), seniors Mckyen Gonsalves and Braden Mullen, and speedy junior Dmitrius Shearrion. After a promising start to last year was cut short due to injury, Bryan Batista is back in the mix at running back along with Etha Harris and Malachai Johnson.

Defensively, the Tigers boast an athletic secondary, a big defensive line, and a mix of veteran and new linebackers. Laplante will be among the most disruptive defensive linemen in the league and will be joined by Frank, Joanis, and senior Dom Kessel. MacDougall had a great year at linebacker last year and will be flanked by Harris, senior Tanner Brannon, junior Ryan Keenan, and sophomore Elijah Prophete.

“We have a solid nucleus of experienced players that have worked hard during the off-season,” Sidwell said. “As always, we look to play well, improve, and gain some momentum during our non-league battles to prepare us for the highly competitive Hockomock Kelley-Rex Division.”

Wednesday’s Schedule & Scoreboard – 06/08/22

Today’s games are listed below.

Baseball
Division 1

#16 Chelmsford, 2 @ #1 Franklin, 3 – FinalFranklin overcame an early two-run deficit and escaped a bases loaded jam in the seventh inning to slip past upset-minded Chelsmford. After the visitors staked a 2-0 lead in the top of the second inning, Franklin plated a single run in the bottom half of three straight innings. In the bottom of the second, junior Eisig Chin brought home Evan Raider with a sacrifice fly to cut the deficit in half, and in the bottom of the third a two-out single from Chris Goode brought courtesy runner Luke Sidwell (Joe Tirrell walk) to tie it 2-2. After a 1-2-3 inning from junior Alfred Mucciarone (6IP, 4H, 2ER, 0BB, 5K) in the top of the fourth, the Panthers pushed across the go-ahead run in the bottom half. Jase Lyons led off with a single, took second on an error, and advanced to third on a ground out. After back-to-back outs, Tirrell delivered a single to left to bring Tirrell home to make it 3-2. Mucciarone kept rolling, retiring the side in order again in the fifth and sixth innings. Chelmsford threatened in the final inning against Franklin’s bullpen with a one-out single, a two-out walk, and then an infield error to load the bases, but James Kuczmiec induced a grounder to second for the final out.

#15 Natick, 2 @ #2 Taunton, 8 – Final

Division 2
#18 Plymouth North, 5 @ #2 King Philip, 12 – Final After a scoreless first inning left the hosts on the wrong end of a one-run game, the Warriors’ offense roared to life with five straight scoring innings to knock off visiting Plymouth North. The visiting Eagles took advantage of a leadoff walk and an RBI double to seize an early 1-0 lead but after the first inning, it was all KP. Matt DiFiore knotted the score at 1-1 with an RBI single in the second, and a sac fly from Rudy Gately followed by an RBI double from Travis Crawford gave the Warriors the lead for good. Brendan Sencaj was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded in the fourth, and Gately followed with a walk to bring in another run for a 5-1 lead. Plymouth North made a game of it with three runs in the top of the fifth to get it back to a one-run game but KP answered with three of its own in the bottom half, with a two-run triple from Max Robison and a sacrifice fly from Matt Kelley to make it 8-4. In the sixth, three straight singles from Sean Sullivan, Eli Reed, and Robison each brought in a run, and Shawn Legere was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded to bring in KP’s 12th run of the game.

#14 Marblehead, 1 @ #3 Mansfield, 5 – FinalBuoyed by a big start offensively and a pair of terrific pitching performances, Mansfield picked up a win over visiting Marblehead. The Hornets scored three runs in the bottom of the first and never trailed, tacking on two key insurance runs in the sixth inning. Matt DeShiro and Conner Zukowski drew back-to-back walks, and the former came across to score on a passed ball. Anthony Sacchetti was hit by a pitch and Jake Maydak walked to load the bases, and a two-out single from Jared Fraone saw two runs come home for a 3-0 lead. Marblehead got a run back in the fifth inning but a two-out, two-run single from sophomore Brian Butler in the sixth inning restored Mansfield’s lead. Aaron Blinn earned the win on the mound for the Hornets, allowing just one unearned run on two hits and five walks, striking out one. Connor Curtis tossed three scoreless innings in relief, allowing just three walks and no hits, striking out a pair.

#13 Westfield, 1 @ #4 North Attleboro, 15 – FinalNorth Attleboro’s offense stayed red hot, belting out 13 hits to the tune of 15 runs in a big win over Westfield at DiNardo Field. After leaving a pair of runners in scoring position in the first inning, the Rocketeers didn’t squander many chances in the next five innings, scoring in each of them. Gio Martello got the scoring started with a one-out single to score Gavin Wells (walk) and David Floyd (double), and Tyler DeMattio doubled the lead with a two-out, two-run line drive single to left. Danny Curran cleaned things up with a an RBI single to push the lead to 5-0 after just two innings. Wells added a third inning sac fly to plate Jordan Paradis, and both DeMattio (triple) and Curran (error) scored in the fourth inning to extend the lead to 8-0. Paradis had a two-run hit in the sixth and Jack Munley cleared the bases with a three-run triple in the sixth to make it 15-1. Floyd earned the win on the mound, allowing just one run on three hits and one walk, striking out eight in 4.2 innings of work. Dillon Harding finished the game off, issuing just one walk while striking out a pair in 2.1 scoreless innings.

Division 3
#12 Sandwich, 6 @ #5 Foxboro, 7 – FinalFor the second game in a row, Foxboro used a walk-off home run to rally for a win in the final inning. After using back-to-back homers on Monday in the seventh inning to knock off Saugus, Foxboro senior Liam Mulkern launched a two-out, two-run home run to hand the Warriors a dramatic 7-6 decision over Sandwich. The host Warriors rallied for three runs in the fifth to stake a 5-3 lead but the visiting Knights tied the game with two runs in the sixth and took the lead back with a two-out run in the top of the seventh. In the bottom half, sophomore Tyler Prescott kept the game alive with a two-out walk. Mulkern battled his way to a full count, and with the Warriors down to their final out, the senior sent a fastball over the fence in left for his first career homer and a walk-off win for Foxboro. Sean O’Leary (single) and Prescott (squeeze bunt) each brought a run home for the hosts for an early 2-0 lead. Sandwich leveled the scoring in the second and went up a run in the fourth before the Warriors pushed three across the plate in the fifth: an RBI single from Prescott followed by a two-run single from Mulkern. Tom Marcucella pitched well in relief for Foxboro, allowing one run on four hits and a walk, striking out two in three innings of work.








Softball
Division 1

#15 St. Paul Diocesan, 4 @ #2 King Philip, 6 – FinalKing Philip plated five runs with two outs in the fourth inning and that was enough to hold off an upset bid from visiting St. Paul Diocesan (formerly Holy Name). The Warriors carried a 1-0 lead (Taylor Regan RBI in the first inning) into the into the bottom of the fourth. Mia Bennett was hit by a pitch with one out and Sarah Cullen followed with a two-run opposite field blast over the fence in left, her second two-run homer in as many games, to make it 3-0. Ava Kelley kept it going with a single, and scored on a double from Ava Lanza (three hits, two runs, RBI). After Meg Sherwood was hit by a pitch, an infield error brought a run home. Charlotte Raymond tacked on an RBI single to make it 6-0. The visitors rallied for four runs in the top of the fifth but Jordan Bennett (7IP, 5H, 4R, 0ER, 1BB, 6K) put an end to the rally by inducing an infield ground out and retired the side in order with a pair of strikeouts in the sixth. St. Paul reached on an error to lead off the seventh but Bennett snagged a trailing line drive and doubled the runner up at first and Bennett got the final out with a fly ball to Cullen in center two at-bats later.

#14 Bridgewater-Raynham, 3 @ #3 Taunton, 4 – FinalTaunton senior Kylie Thorpe launched a two-out home run over the fence in left in the bottom of the seventh to give the Tigers a walk-off win over Bridgewater-Raynham. The visiting Trojans twice took a lead in the game, first with a single run in the top of the first inning to make it 1-0, and then used two runs in the third to stake a 3-2 lead over the Tigers. Taunton rallied in the sixth as Kyleah Plumb dropped a bunt down the third base line and moved all the way to second when the throw was high. After a wild pitch moved Plumb to third, junior Ava Venturelli dropped two-out bunt down to bring in the run to make it 3-3. Freshman Cate Larson (5IP, 2H, 0R, 1BB, 4K) needed just six pitches for a 1-2-3 top of the seventh, setting up Thorpe’s winning home run. Taunton took its first lead in the bottom of the first as Plumb and Angie Lynch both reached on a bunt, an error on the latter allowing the former to come all the way home. Kaysie DeMoura followed with a double to center to bring Lynch in for a 2-1 lead. Larson came on in the third after B-R took its lead, and after a single loaded the bases with no outs, Larson got a strikeout, fielded a grounder and got the force out at home, and Hayley Krockta fielded another bunt to get the third out at home.

Boys Lacrosse
Division 2

#24 Mansfield, 7 @ #9 King Philip, 4 – Final
#26 Sharon, 8 @ #7 Minnechaug, 16 – Final

Division 3
#28 Bishop Fenwick, 5 @ #5 Foxboro, 16 – FinalFoxboro outscored visiting Fenwick 7-1 in the second quarter and closed the game on a 5-0 run to get the win and advance. After trading early goals, the Warriors staked a 4-2 lead at the end of the first quarter before dominating the second to grab a 11-3 lead at half. Fenwick scored two quick goals to start the second half but Foxboro blanked the visitors the rest of the way, scoring five straight. Conor Noone was involved in over half of the goals with five goals and four assists, Lincoln Moore added five goals and a pair of helpers, and John Sacchetti netted four goals and two assists. Tommy Sharkey and Finn Stapleton each added a tally in the win.




Girls Lacrosse
Division 1

#19 King Philip, 11 @ #14 Needham, 9 – FinalKing Philip built a lead by the halftime break and stayed ahead throughout the second to earn an upset on the road over #14 Needham. Lily Brown led a balanced offensive showing for the Warriors, scoring four goals and adding one assist for the Warriors, who led 7-5 at half. KP outscored the hosts 4-2 to extend their lead before the Rockets made a late push to get within two. Julia Marsden and Makenzie McDevitt each had a hat trick in the win, Morgan Cunningham added one goal, and Emily Campbell made six saves in net for the win.

Division 2
#22 Canton, 2 @ #11 Burlington, 11 – Final
#23 Oliver Ames, 8 @ #10 Holliston, 20 – Final

Division 3
#27 Bishop Stang, 4 @ #6 Foxboro, 21 – FinalMya Waryas scored seven times and Paige Curran racked up 11 points as Foxboro rolled in its opening round game against Stang. Waryas also added an assist, while Curran finished with four goals and seven helpers. Val Beigel also had a big day with five goals and Cate Noone chipped in with a hat trick and a pair of assists. Mary Collins (one assist) and Kaelin Connors also found the back of the net for the Warriors. Audrey Campbell made seven saves to record the win in goal. Foxboro will host No. 11 Hanover in the next round.

Boys Tennis
Division 2

#10 Mansfield, 1 @ #7 Walpole, 4 – FinalMansfield’s season came to a close on the road at #7 Walpole, winning just one match. Sophomore Iniyan Karruppusami didn’t drop a game in a 6-0, 6-0 victory at third singles for the Hornets.

Girls Tennis
Division 2

#22 Minnechaug, 1 @ #6 Sharon, 4 – Final
#13 Oliver Ames, 0 @ #4 Masconomet, 5 – Final

Division 3
#10 Whitinsville, 3 @ #7 Foxboro, 2 – Final

Boys Volleyball
Division 2

#13 Lowell Catholic, 0 @ #4 Milford, 3 – Final

King Philip Outlasts North Attleboro To Snap Skid

King Philip boys basketball Grant Kinney
King Philip junior Grant Kinney finishes a layup after being fouled in the first half against North Attleboro. (Ryan Lanigan/HockomockSports.com)
ByRyanLanigan_2016FollowRyanLanigan_2016
 
 
 WRENTHAM, Mass. – Buoyed by a big second quarter, a solid defensive performance, and timely baskets in the fourth quarter, King Philip got back into the win column after a five-game skid.

The Warriors had their best defensive quarter of the game in the second eight-minute frame, and that translated into their best offensive quarter of the game, turning a deficit into a lead that it never relinquished in a 65-51 decision over North Attleboro.

King Philip boys basketball

King Philip forced the visiting Rocketeers into eight turnovers in the second quarter which translated into 10 of their 25 points in the frame. The Warriors also cashed in after North’s misses, as the Rocketeers were unable to get into the full-court press. Instead, KP hit three of their five total trifectas after North misses, and a total of 11 points came after a stop.

Click here for a photo gallery from this game.

“We did a very good job of taking away all of the gaps and even if the guys weren’t there in time, they seemed to get a hand in there to dig it out,” said King Philip head coach Dave DeStefano. “I thought we were pretty aggressive defensively not allowing to get into the paint and get many easy looks.”

The big second quarter turned a four-point deficit at the end of the first quarter (14-10) into a 35-23 advantage at halftime.

After KP’s Will Laplante (20 points, seven rebounds, four assists) and North’s Nate Bennett traded threes just before the midway point of the quarter, the Warriors closed on a 12-4 surge. Grant Kinney (16 points, six rebounds) scored off a turnover, Danny Clancy (15 points, 10 rebounds) dished one off to classmate Braeden Sottile for an easy two, and then Clancy converted a putback off a missed free throw following another North turnover.

King Philip boys basketball

Sottile took advantage of another turnover and went in for an easy two, Laplante had a steal and assist to set up Kinney on the break, and then tacked on two free throws after North missed the front end of a one-and-one. North finished just 9-for-20 from the free throw line, missing all seven attempts from the line in the second.

“I thought we played hard throughout, which I don’t take for granted,” said North Attleboro head coach Sean Mulkerrins. “We’ve had this throughout the season, we have spells where we lose focus a little bit. Whether it’s a turnover or a missed shot, and that seems to turn into another play or two, and against a team like that, and with Laplante back, they’re offensively talented enough to really make you pay. We had too many lulls in the second quarter, missed a bunch of free throws. I thought we fought like heck to get back into it during the second half but we just had too many lulls.”

KP pushed its lead to 15 when Kinney converted one of KP’s 11 offensive rebounds for two, Sottile cleaned up another miss, and Clancy drove to the basket for two more to make it 41-26.

A quick 8-2 surge kept North in the game with senior Casey Poirier (15 points, seven rebounds) connecting from the line, a traditional three-point play from junior Givany Carney, and sophomore Derek Maceda (seven points, five rebounds) sank a triple to bring the visitors within single digits at 43-34.

Laplante answered with a deep three and Charlie Grant went in for an uncontested two after a steal near midcourt to give KP a 48-34 advantage going into the fourth.

North made another push early in the fourth after back-to-back buckets from Jack Munley and a three-point play from Brody Rosenberg close the game to 50-43. Laplante and Carney traded baskets, and North got a stop on the first shot but Clancy cashed in on an offensive board to stall the momentum.

After a stop, Laplante got back his man and finished through contact for a three-point play, and then after another North miss, Laplante once again muscled his way to the rim for two plus the harm, and suddenly KP’s lead surged back to 60-45 with three minutes to go.

“I think in the end when we calmed down and relaxed against their pressure, and we stopped forcing shots, when we were able to move the ball and move them around defensively, we were able to get some get some good baskets,” DeStefano said. “We had some good drives and got some good kicks to the corner too.

“Grant Kinney had a great start for us (all 10 of KP’s first quarter points) and then Will finished it for us with 10 points in the fourth. Those two stepped up for us in big moments. And it helped to give up single digits in two of the quarters defensively, I thought we stepped up on the defensive end when we needed to.

Click here for a photo gallery from this game.

After a three-game absence due to injury, Laplante finished with 10 of his 20 points in the final eight minutes.

“Will’s a gamer and I thought he stepped up and looked really good after being out for a while,” DeStefano said. “He did a good job with his shots, and he understands the game so well and understands when you need a big basket, and he knows how to get it for us.”

King Philip boys basketball (2-8 Hock, 4-9 overall) will try to make it two in a row when it entertains first place Taunton on Friday. North Attleboro (2-9, 2-10) returns home for a clash with Sharon on the same night.

Friday’s Schedule & Scoreboard – 01/21/22

Today’s games are listed below.

Boys Basketball
King Philip, 41 @ Attleboro, 76 – FinalAttleboro got off to a blistering start with 27 points in the opening quarter, and kept its foot on the pedal with 20 more points in the second on its way to a big win over King Philip. Alvin Harrison scored all nine of his points in the opening quarter, one of six Bombarders to hit a shot from the field as the hosts established a 27-11 lead after just eight minutes. Junior Trevor White accounted for four of Attleboro’s nine made three-pointers, including three in the opening half that led to a 47-23 halftime lead. White finished with a game-high 20 points, Evan Houle added 13 points, including a trio of trifectas, and sophomore Neo Franco chipped in with nine points. Will Laplante led King Philip with 11 points.

Sharon, 51 @ Canton, 59 – FinalCanton exploded for 21 points in the third quarter to surge ahead of Sharon and held on to land an upset win over the visiting Eagles. Trailing 27-25 at halftime, five different Bulldogs hit field goals, including a pair of threes from Jacob Solomon, to help the hosts stake a 46-38 lead going into the fourth. Canton was held to just one field goal in the fourth but went 10-for-12 from the free throw line to stay ahead. Senior Lanse Dorcelus score a game-high 17 points, going 9-for-10 from the free throw line to lead the charge offensively while Solomon finished with nine points. Junior Jack Bates scored a team-high 11 points for the Eagles while classmate Matt Baur added 10 points.

Foxboro, 56 @ Oliver Ames, 65 – FinalOliver Ames built a lead in the first quarter and added enough cushion in the second quarter to keep Foxboro at bay throughout the remainder of the game to get back into the win column, snapping a three-game skid. The Tigers got a balanced scoring attack with nine players registering points, and OA found success attacking the basket with 22 two-point field goals compared to just a pair of three-pointers. After just two points in the first half, junior Zach Tagliamonte got it going in the second to finish with a game-high 18 points. MJ Jean-Baptiste added 12 points and Drew Baxter had 10 for OA, which led 15-10 after one quarter, 30-18 at halftime, and 44-35 going into the final frame. Foxboro’s offense came alive in the second half, hitting on all eight of its three-pointers but couldn’t close the gap. Senior Dylan Gordon and juniors Sam Golub and Alex Penders all finished with 13 points apiece.

Milford, 34 @ Franklin, 77 – FinalFranklin poured in 21 points in the first quarter and never looked back in a big win over visiting Milford. Junior Justin Allen hit half of his four three-pointers in the first quarter, sophomore Henry Digiorgio hit had one of his game-high five three-pointers in the opening quarter, and senior Sean Vinson also hit from deep as the Panthers established a 21-9 lead after one, and pushed the lead to 40-17 at half after hitting five more threes in the second, including one from freshman Caden Sullivan. Digiorgio finished with a game-high 21 points, Allen had 16 points, Vinson finished at 10 points, and junior Geino Scaringello chipped in with 10 second half points.

Taunton, 59 @ Mansfield, 56 – FinalClick here for a Recap and Photo Gallery from this game.

North Attleboro, 48 @ Stoughton, 46 – FinalJunior Jack Munley had a big block late and North Attleboro hit just enough free throws down the stretch to score an upset on the road at Stoughton. Stoughton led by one possession at halftime (23-20) and at the end of the third quarter (34-32) but the Rocketeers pulled even late and went ahead on free throws in the final minute. Freshman Ryan Bannon tied the game with a free throw before Stoughton went back ahead with one of their own. Senior Brody Rosenberg (game-high 16 points) went 2-for-2 at the line to put North ahead, 47-46, with 13 seconds to go and Munley came up with a big block on the other end to get the ball back. Junior Givany Carney (11 points) gave North a two-point lead with a free throw with five seconds to go, and Stoughton’s last-second three was off the mark. Senior Connor Andrews had a team-high 13 points while sophomore Liam Pearl added 11 points for the Black Knights.










Girls Basketball
Attleboro, 49 @ King Philip, 45 – FinalMeghan Gordon scored eight of her game-high 17 points in the fourth quarter, as Attleboro rallied to pick up a road win and extend its streak to six straight victories. Attleboro led 28-18 at halftime, but the Warriors stormed out of the break, holding the Bombardiers to just four points in the third to take the lead. The visitors took the fourth quarter 17-11 to pull it out despite only making five field goals in the second half. Lindsey Perry added 11 points, including seven in the first, and Kayla Goldrick scored eight in the win. Emily Sawyer paced KP with 16 points, scoring six in each of the second and third quarters. Julia Marsden scored 10 and Liv Lafond finished with seven for the Warriors.

Canton, 66 @ Sharon, 33 – FinalKiara Cerruti and Sydney Gallery each scored 20 points to lead the Bulldogs to a sixth straight win. Cerruti added five rebounds and two assists and Gallery had six boards. Fay Gallery scored nine points and had five steals, while Emily McCabe chipped in with nine rebounds, five assists, and five steals and Marissa Staffiere had four assists. Samya DaSilva had four points and five rebounds and also played lockdown defense on Sharon star sophomore Jasmine Davis, holding her to four points and without a made basket.

Oliver Ames, 65 @ Foxboro, 30 – FinalOliver Ames raced out to a 35-9 lead by halftime and controlled the game from start to finish to secure a key division win over Foxboro. “We played great defense, and controlled the glass at both ends and got great finishes…it was a total team effort,” said OA head coach Laney Holbrook. Senior Caroline Peper led the offense with 18 points while Hailey Bourne provided a big spark with a season-high 12 points. Sophomore Jasmyn Cooper added 12 points, 11 rebounds, and seven steals while classmate Kaydance Derba added nine points.

Franklin, 62 @ Milford, 19 – FinalFranklin held Milford to six or fewer points in each quarter to continue its win streak. The Panthers jumped out to a 23-4 lead after the first and then extended the lead to 41-9 by halftime. Katie Peterson and Olivia Quinn each scored 11 to lead the Panthers and Stefany Padula added 10, as a dozen Franklin players got on the board. Maeve Driscoll led Milford with six, all in the fourth quarter on a pair of threes. Maddalena Mannucci Pacini and Brooke Ferreira each scored four.

Mansfield, 72 @ Taunton, 62 – FinalMansfield survived a Taunton fourth quarter comeback and won a shootout at the Raboiun Field House to make it three straight victories. Bridget Hanley led the way for the Hornets with a career-high 27 points, knocking down six of Mansfield’s 13 threes. Kameron St. Pierre was Taunton’s top scorer, finishing with a game-high 35 and making six threes of her own. The Hornets jumped out to a 42-128 lead by halftime and added three more to the lead after the third quarter, but Taunton responded with 25 points in the fourth to cut the lead back to 10. Abby Wager added 16 points for the Hornets, all but one coming in the first half, and Natalya Gill scored 11. Kara Santos chipped in with nine, including six in the fourth. Jillian Doherty scored eight and Abby Souza had seven in the loss.

Stoughton, 43 @ North Attleboro, 54 – FinalClick here for a Recap and Photo Gallery from this game.

Boys Hockey
Canton, 6 @ Attleboro, 0 – Final

Wrestling
Silver Lake Quad (Oliver Ames), 4:00

Swimming
Canton @ Sharon, 7:30 (@ North YMCA)
Stoughton @ Foxboro, 6:00
Taunton @ Milford, 4:00

Gymnastics
Franklin, 147.0 @ Attleboro, 140.6 – Final
Taunton @ Mansfield, 7:30

Rocketeers Ride Rosenberg, Defense To Win Over Milford

North Attleboro boys basketball Brody Rosenberg
North Attleboro senior Brody Rosenberg (career-high 30 points) goes up for layup in the second quarter at Milford. (Ryan Lanigan/HockomockSports.com)
ByRyanLanigan_2016FollowRyanLanigan_2016
 
 
 MILFORD, Mass. – The North Attleboro boys basketball team built its lead over Milford through its full-court pressure defense, so it’s only fitting the game came down to one final stop for the Rocketeers.

North got it, and then another, surviving a pair of highly contested three-point attempts from the host Hawks to break into the win column for the first time this year with a 53-50 decision on Tuesday night.

Senior Brody Rosenberg scored a career-high 30 points, including a key three-pointer midway through the fourth, and anchored North’s full-court pressure, grabbing six steals along with six boards.

Click here for a photo gallery from this game.

“I think our group has been pretty good defensively all year, we’ve held four of the six teams we’ve played under their average entering tonight but we just haven’t really found our footing on offense,” said North Attleboro head coach Sean Mulkerrins. “But I was proud of our guys making enough plays tonight. Milford, hats off to them, they didn’t quit and if there are another two minutes in this game, I’m not sure who the winner is.

The Scarlet Hawks capitalized on a turnover from the visitors inside the final minute, getting a three-pointer from Wyatt Zagami (eight points) in the corner after breaking North’s press to make it a one-point game, 51-50, with 18 seconds to play.

North Attleboro boys basketball

North Attleboro junior Givany Carney (nine points, seven rebounds) was fouled before the ensuing inbounds pass and hit both of his free throws to push the advantage back to three. Milford got the ball up the court but a contested corner three was off the front rim, and despite a tip out from Justin Lucini (23 points, 10 rebounds), the Rocketeers surrounded the shooter and the last-second heave was off the mark.

North Attleboro surged ahead in the second quarter and led for the entire second half. The Rocketeers led by as much as eight points in the third quarter, but the offense stalled against Milford’s 2-3 zone. After being shut out over the final four minutes of the fourth, North managed just six points over the first four minutes of the fourth.

Meanwhile, the Hawks continued to chip away. A drive from freshman Jack Buckley and free throws from Lucini and freshman Luca Testa cut it to 38-35 at the end of the third quarter.

North extended its lead back to seven early in the fourth behind a steal and score from Rosenberg, and then a layup from Carney after a good defensive play from senior Casey Poirier, making it 42-35.

Milford made a game of it with a quick 8-2 surge, getting five points from Lucini, who made his sixth three of the game, and then three straight from freshman Andrew Rivera (eight points, three rebounds, three assists) made it 44-43 as the clock ticked under four minutes to play.

“I thought every single time in the late third and early fourth that we could have separated ourselves, we hurt ourselves. Either a turnover there, missed one, or we fouled. And we were in the bonus before I blinked. At that point, I think guys started looking at the scoreboard and got away from being the more aggressive team. We’re still learning how to win, we have a lot of young guys, a lot of new juniors so hopefully this helps us down the road.

Rosenberg came back down the other end and came up short on a layup attempt but Carney secured one of North’s 17 offensive rebounds. After kicking it around the perimeter, Rosenberg faked a shot to get the defender in the air, took a step into space, and sank a three — his first triple since the second quarter, and just North’s fourth three in the game.

The Rocketeers got a stop on the defensive end and Rosenberg sliced to the basket for two more and North had some breathing room at 49-44 with 2:33 to go.

A quick foul led to a free throw from Paul Roberts, and a steal on the defensive end resulted in two more from the line from Roberts, and the Hawks got the ball back down just two. But North’s pressure paid off again as Jack Munley came up with a loose ball and Rosenberg drained two from the line to extend the lead to 51-47.

“I’m really proud of him,” Mulkerrins said of Rosenberg, who accounted for over half of the team’s points. “He hasn’t filled it up like he expects to and I think he’s feeling the weight of the record, the youth and inexperience and at times, maybe pressing like all four of our seniors have. Everyone in that locker room has a lot of confidence in him and when he shoots the ball, we assume it’s going in. There’s no one else we want taking the big three in that moment so I’m proud of him for staying the course and hitting the big one.

After a back-and-forth start, Milford separated itself on Lucini’s sharpshooting. The senior hit his first two attempts from deep and Zagami added one of his own to help the Hawks overcome eight turnovers to grab a 16-9 lead.

Click here for a photo gallery from this game.

But North’s full-court pressure continued to limit the Hawks’ offensive chances as the Rocketeers forced 10 turnovers in the second quarter. North Attleboro turned that into 15 of its 23 points in the middle frame, including a four-point play from Rosenberg and a putback from Nate Bennett. North ran a nice inside-out play with Munley finding Poirier for an open three, leading to a 31-29 halftime edge.

“Even if it wasn’t getting a turnover, I thought it was keeping our guys mentally engaged,” Mulkerrins said. “We saw in our scout that we could possibly turn them over a little bit, and even when we weren’t getting that turnover, I felt like we were speeding them up. We just thought at halftime if we were able to keep it up and then get to [Lucini] a bit better in transition, I thought it was the appropriate defensive decision.”

North Attleboro boys basketball (1-5 Hockomock, 1-6 overall) is on the road again on Friday when it visits Stoughton. Milford (0-7, 0-8) has two games to end the week, hosting Brockton on Thursday and then visiting Franklin on Friday night.

Big Plays Sink North Attleboro in D3 Super Bowl

North Attleboro football Tyler Bannon
North Attleboro senior Tyler Bannon rushes for a first down in the second half against Marblehead. (Ryan Lanigan/HockomockSports.com)
Josh PerryFollowJoshPerry


FOXBORO, Mass. – After Tyler DeMattio punched in his third touchdown of the night to bring North Attleboro from 14 points down to tie the game at 28-28 in the fourth quarter of Thursday afternoon’s Div. 3 Super Bowl at Gillette Stadium, it looked like North’s nearly two-decade wait for a state title could be coming to an end.

The momentum was with the Rocketeers when the kickoff return was stuffed at the 14. Three plays later, on third and long, Marblehead’s big-play offense struck again. Josh Robertson his Connor Cronin on a quick slant and the junior took it to the house.

The 83-yard score, Cronin’s third touchdown reception of the game, turned out to be the winner, as Marblehead’s explosive attack proved too much for North Attleboro to handle in a 35-28 win. It was the first state title for the Magicians, who finished 12-0 and extended their win streak to 20 games.

Click here for a photo gallery from this game.

“We just had trouble matching up with all their skill athletes,” admitted North coach Don Johnson. “Just didn’t do enough to get enough stops on defense. I think they had good athletes who made us miss.”

When asked about Cronin in particular, Johnson said, “He’s awesome. We had seen that on film. I was very concerned about our ability to matchup with their guys in the slot. They’re just great playmakers.”

Marblehead showed off its multiple weapons on its first drive. The Magicians marched inside the North 10. Robertson (14-of-18, 290 yards) connected with Cronin (10 catches, 263 yards) for 25 to the 14. Two plays later, the Magicians had third and one at the five but Nathan Shultz twice made good reads at the corner to knock down passes and force a turnover on downs.

North got out to the 34 but then a punt went out of bounds at the 45, giving the Magicians a short field. Marblehead marched to the North four, but DeMattio sacked Robertson after a bad snap to force third and long and Daniel O’Brien made a good read on a swing pass to force a field goal attempt. An offsides call made it fourth and four at the seven and Marblehead decided to go for it, with Robertson hitting Cronin for their first score.

The Rocketeers answered right back with an impressive 11-play, 75-yard drive. A big screen pass from freshman Chase Frisoli (10-of-18, 144 yards) to Tyler Bannon converted on third and long. Frisoli then hit Aidan Conrad in the flat for 11 and had a play action pass to Bannon for 15. Inside the 20, North went back to the ground game and DeMattio punched it in from six yards.

After a good kickoff return, Marblehead started near midfield but Gavin Wells had good coverage on second down and Keysun Wise forced a punt with a third down sack.

Frisoli continued his strong start to the game when he hung in the pocket under pressure to hit Jack Munley for 16 yards into Marblehead territory and dropped a pass into Shultz for 33 down to the seven. Two plays later, DeMattio got into the end zone again, his second, this time from four yards, to take the lead with just 42 seconds left in the half.

The game turned on Marblehead’s next possession. A Kaiden Leary sack forced third and long, but Cronin was able to get behind the coverage, pulled in the pass from Robertson at the North 30 and then beat a pair of defenders to the goal line, tying the game with five seconds on the clock.

Momentum carried through halftime. Liam McIlroy picked off Frisoli on North’s first series and on the first play Robertson hit George Percy on a 20-yard screen for the go-ahead score. North then went three-and-out and James Galante’s punt return set the Magicians up at the North 21. Two plays later, Robertson’s eight-yard keeper made it 28-14.

Three touchdowns in just 4:02 had turned a game that North looked on the verge of breaking open into a solid Marblehead lead.

“I thought that whole little middle switch there when they scored right at the end of the first half and then when we didn’t convert on offense at the start of the second half,” Johnson said. “I thought that’s when the game started to turn in their favor.”

The Rocketeers needed a response and got one with a methodical, 14-play drive. It started back at the North 11, but Frisoli bounced back from his interception to hit Munley for 15 yards to convert third and three. North then put the ball in the hands of Bannon (18 carries, 92 yards) and DeMattio (24 carries, 105 yards). Bannon would cap off the impressive series with a six-yard score.

North finally got a stop on the other side of the ball. After a 30-yard pass to Cronin put the ball at the North 45, DeMattio made a nice tackle in the open field to stuff a screen for a loss of one and Greg Berthiaume sacked Robertson for a loss of four. On fourth and 10, Robertson hit Cronin for 14 yards but Bannon stripped him and Wells recovered.

On fourth and seven with just under eight minutes to go, North elected to go for it. Wells ran a great post corner route and Frisoli tossed a strike for 20 yards out near midfield. North then pounded the ball with its two running back, eating clock and yards. Bannon’s hard run made it first and goal at the three and DeMattio found the end zone on the next play.

DeMattio had at least three touchdowns in all four of the playoff games, finishing the postseason with 15. The strategy of moving him to running back this year and partnering him with Bannon in the backfield paid off for the Rocketeers.

Johnson said of DeMattio, “That’s what we were hoping for. We knew that we would need him, if we were going to get to this point. We probably just needed a few more guys around him.”

Click here for a photo gallery from this game.

He added, “We’ve had that character all year, so I wasn’t surprised that we were able to come back like that. My only concern was scoring too early and giving the ball back to them.”

The comeback was short-lived. Less than a minute later, Cronin broke free for another long touchdown and Marblehead was back in front. Fittingly, it was Cronin who sealed the win, intercepting Frisoli on fourth and long to close out a remarkable Super Bowl performance.

“It’s just what we’ve been doing all year,” said Demattio. “It obviously didn’t go our way today and there are no excuses for that. We played well. We proved to everyone that we should be here.

“We gave it everything we had. Everyone left it out there on the field, that’s all that matters.”

North Attleboro Books Trip To Gillette After Beating Billerica

North Attleboro football Tyler DeMattio
North Attleboro senior Tyler DeMattio breaks free from the Billerica defense for a first quarter touchdown. (Ryan Lanigan/HockomockSports.com)
ByRyanLanigan_2016FollowRyanLanigan_2016
 
 
 QUINCY, Mass. — September 10th sure feels like a distant memory for the North Attleboro football team.

The Rocketeers, who opened the season with a double-digit loss to rival Bishop Feehan, have come a long way from that point.

Now, the Big Red is heading to Gillette Stadium for the Division 3 State Final.

Click here for a photo gallery from this game.

Behind a pair of key defensive stops in the second half, North Attleboro pulled away from a gritty Billerica squad for a 28-10 win in a D3 State Semifinal clash at Veteran’s Memorial Stadium in Quincy.

“That was about exactly what we expected, it was pretty clear that they were going to be a tough team no matter what,” said North Attleboro coach Don Johnson. “I think if we didn’t get those two penalties in the first half, maybe it would have been a different game, but they hurt us. Those would have been stops with good field position. But [Billerica] is tough, they have playmakers…they’re a good football team.”

With its back against the wall, North Attleboro’s defense delivered.

Billerica seemingly had all of the momentum after forcing a rare turnover from the Rocketeers on one end of the field, and now was in position to take the lead after a lengthy, double-digit play drive that put the ball inside North’s 5-yard line.

On the Indians’ 10th play of the drive, a 1st and goal attempt from the four down 14-10, the Rocketeers defense not only stuffed Billerica up the middle, they forced the ball free and recovered to end the drive.

“That was the first time all year that I felt like we got a lucky break,” Johnson said. “Now I mean there are kids working hard that caused that to happen but those are the things that have been happening against us. That was one time where it really worked out for us.”

And even when North wasn’t able to get any points on its ensuing 12-play, 80-yard drive because of a blocked punt, the defense didn’t let Billerica capitalize on that momentum. They forced a quick three-and-out, and from that point on it was all North.

Freshman Chase Frisoli converted a third down with a 24-yard pass to junior Jack Munley to move inside the red zone. And despite a false start penalty three plays later that cornered North into a 3rd and 14, Frisoli hit senior Tyler DeMattio for a 17-yard score and the Rocketeers had some breathing room up 21-10 with 6:18 to play.

After just two pass attempts in the first half, Frisoli went 5/8 in the second half for 92 yards and a score.

“We thought going in that we were maybe going to have trouble running the ball and we might have to ask more of him,” Johnson said. “We worked on the pass game a lot and I think he’s just showed tremendous poise for a freshman and he did that tonight.”

Billerica moved into North territory on the ensuing drive in an effort to make it a one-score game but DeMattio and Kaiden Leary combined for a tackle for a loss on second down and the Rocketeers stuffed a fourth down run two plays later to get the ball back.

And just two plays later, DeMattio broke free through the left side for a 72-yard touchdown run, shaking one more defender just before the goal line to ice the win with 1:17 to play — his third rushing score of the game and fourth overall. He also booted all four of North’s extra points.

Billerica’s lone touchdown drive — its second series of the game — had originally ended with a punt but a running into the kicker penalty shortened fourth down and the Indians kept the drive alive. The Indians capitalized on that momentum as junior quarterback Joseph Green scored from 4 yards out to take a 10-7 lead, which was Billerica’s lone advantage of the evening.

“The front seven has played great this year, and our secondary has been awesome,” said senior captain Jared Vacher. “That fumble just completely flipped the game. After that, it was our game and we were able to take over. [Dominic Gird] was quick but we were just trying to mix it up. Their quarterback was pretty good and broke some plays, it was my first time playing against that muddle huddle.

“After our first loss to Feehan, Coach [Paul] Sullivan told us a story about a team from the 2000s that lost their first game but won out the rest of the year and I think that brought us so much hope. We bought in and each we’ve gotten better and better, and that’s what it’s all about. Our goal all along was Gillette and it’s awesome to finally achieve that.”

North opened the game in style, marching 60 yards on seven plays on the first drive of the game to take a 7-0 lead. DeMattio (16 carries, 174 yards) and senior Tyler Bannon (12 carries, 56 yards) split the workload, including back-to-back first down runs early in the drive.

Billerica’s defense forced the Rocketeers into a 4th and 5 situation at the Indians’ 34-yard line. Without hesitation, North kept the offense on the field and DeMattio followed a block from Bannon up the left side for a 34-yard touchdown with 8:13 left in first.

The Indians used a combination of runs from back Joseph Gird (17 carries, 53 yards) and keeper runs from Green (18 carries, 104 yards) — plus a roughing the passer call — to move down the field on its opening drive but the Rocketeers’ defense stood tall in its own territory, getting key tackles from Bannon, DeMattio, Vacher, Greg Berthiaume, and Keysun Wise among others, plus strong coverage in the secondary from Joey Perriello.

Billerica settled for a 40-yard field goal from Shaan Rana to get on the board, down 7-3 with 2:51 left in the first.

Green’s 4-yard touchdown run after the running into the kicker call put Billerica up 10-7 with 8:05 left in the second quarter but North was back ahead less than five minutes later.

Frisoli found Gavin Wells for 35-yards on the second play of the drive, Nathan Shultz had back-to-back carries, and Bannon rumbled his way for 16 yards to move the offense into scoring position. From there, DeMattio took it in from 5 yards out for a 14-10 lead with 3:49 left in the half.

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Following its first two scoring drives, Billerica punted on three of its next four drives (fumbling on the other), turned it over on downs, and then ran out of time to end the game on the final drive. The Indians had 219 yards of offense but went just 1-for-5 on third down in the second half.

“That was the other thing, we didn’t give up many big plays,” Johnson said. “We knew they kind of liked to grind it out so we didn’t see them on film making a lot of big plays. Our game plan was to try and stop their run game and force them into passing situations, which I feel like we didn’t do enough.”

North Attleboro (7-3) advances to play at Gillette Stadium (date and time TBA) against top-seeded Marblehead (10-0), who routed Westfield, 40-7, in the other semifinal.

Offensive Explosion Sends North to the Final Four

North Attleboro football
Tyler Bannon celebrates one of his three touchdowns during North Attleboro’s 62-28 rout of Milton in the D3 quarterfinal. (Josh Perry/HockomockSports.com)

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NORTH ATTLEBORO, Mass. – Heading into halftime of Saturday night’s Div. 3 quarterfinal at Community Field, the only things slowing down the North Attleboro offense was an hour-long delay for thunderstorms and a tornado warning. North scored on six of its seven possessions in the first half and got a touchdown on special teams as well.

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But, despite having already put up 49 points, North came out of the locker room not yet feeing comfortable. A pair of turnovers had given Milton, and it’s high-powered offense, a little bit of momentum. So, the Rocketeers did what they have done to so many opponents over the years and put together a long, clock-chewing drive on the first possession of the third quarter and sealed the win.

It was an offensive explosion for North, as both Tyler Bannon and Tyler DeMattio racked up three touchdowns apiece and freshman Chase Frisoli tossed the first two postseason touchdowns of his career, both to Gavin Wells. North rolled into the final four with a 62-28 rout of No. 6 seed Milton.

“We just didn’t feel comfortable with those guys,” said North coach Don Johnnson. “No lead felt comfortable. I’ve never been in a game where you get to 40 or 50 points and you still don’t feel like you’ve put the game away.”

The Wildcats have a lot of weapons on offense, so it was going to be important for the Rocketeers to get off to a good start and play from in front. North did just that. Jared Vacher sacked Owen McHugh to force a punt on the first possession. Greg Berthiaume blocked the kick, giving the hosts the ball at the Milton 23.

DeMattio (22 carries, 152 yards) got the first carry for 13 yards and Bannon (16 carries, 214 yards) punched it in from 10 to grab the lead. As soon as Bannon hit the goal line, the sky lit up and the forecasted thunderstorm descended on Community Field, forcing the game to be delayed the crowd to scatter to the safety of its cars.

An hour later, DeMattio kicked the extra point to make it 7-0. On Milton’s first play of the ensuing drive, Vacher came up big again, reading the screen pass and picking it off at the 34. Two plays later, Bannon ran straight through the Milton defense for a 33-yard score. It was 14-0 after 3-1/2 minutes.

Another Milton punt led to the next score, as Nathan Shultz fielded it at his own 35, despite being under pressure, cut out to the North sideline and was gone. The 65-yard return made it 21-0, a lead that lasted all of 24 seconds. Milton showed its quick-strike potential when Jack Finnegan returned the kick 50 yards to the North 37 and McHugh hit Michael Fulton down the middle for a score. The extra point was missed but it was 21-6.

North was unperturbed. On its next drive, Frisoli (4-of-7, 95 yards) deceived the defense with a perfect play action and fired a strike to Wells, who was running free down the seam for a 57-yard touchdown. Milton drove to the North 34, but turned it over on downs. North went 66 yards on seven plays, including a 32-yard run by DeMattio who capped it with a five-yard TD.

The defense forced a three-and-out and, with the help of a penalty on the punt, gave the ball back to the offense at the Milton 41. Frisoli hit Jack Munley for 18 yards down to the 11 and DeMattio did the rest, punching it in from two yards.

Johnson explained, “We thought we might be able to move the ball on them. Just having that tandem of the two Tylers, that’s been a real key. To be this deep in the tournament, you have to be lucky and stay healthy, so we’ve been able to minimize the number of hits that those guys have taken.”

Milton gave itself a chance by scoring three times in just 3-1/2 minutes. Chase Vaughan took over under center and he hit Fulton for a 43-yard score. The ensuing kickoff was muffed and Milton recovered at the 19. Vaughan then found Dillon Mackenzie for a 14-yard touchdown. The conversion went off the helmet of the North corner and was caught. After forcing another North fumble, Milton got the ball back at the 35 and needed just four plays to get in the end zone again, cutting the lead to 42-28.

There was still 1:00 to play in a first half that had stretched, including the weather break, to more than 2-1/2 hours. That was plenty of time for North to tack on another score. Bannon got it started with a 45-yard carry to the Milton 20. On fourth down from the 15, Frisoli threw a dart to Wells, who pulled in the pass in the back corner of the end zone.

North still felt that there was work to do starting the third quarter and the two Tylers went right back to work, alternating carries and moving the chains. North used 14 plays to go 68 yards and ate more than seven minutes off the clock to put the game away.

“It was kind of a bad feeling at half, letting up 20-something points in five minutes, so we just wanted to stay together, stay as one in the locker room,” Bannon said. When asked about the importance of the third quarter drive, he replied, “Huge, momentum shifted right to our side, so after that it was game over.”

The key play was a fourth and one at the Milton 32, which DeMattio picked up by the length of a football, although the Wildcats coaches and fans were upset with the spot. Bannon got his third score of the night, from five yards, to make it 55-28.

Milton had one more drive in it, converting on fourth and eight and getting all the way inside the five. The North pass rush made it difficult for Vaughan to stand in and find an open receiver and the Wildcats turned it over on downs at the North seven. On the next play, Bannon busted through the line and raced 51 yards into Milton territory. DeMattio got his third TD of the game, and eighth in two playoff games, with a 25-yard run.

“It’s very important,” Bannon said about being able to trade off carries with his classmate. “We can stay healthy, stay fresh, and call ourselves the best running back duo in the league. It’s important for us.”

North Attleboro (6-3), the No. 3 seed, will face the No. 2 seed Billerica, which edged Hanover in the quarterfinal, for the right to go to Gillette Stadium. The date, time, and location of the game are to be determined.

“We don’t know a whole lot,” Johnson said when asked about Billerica. “We got a chance to go up and watch them last night. They look like a proud program with a tradition of winning and tough kids. When you get to this point you need that ingredient, they got the most important ingredients.”

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DeMattio Scores Handful, North Rolls Into Quarterfinal

North Attleboro football
North senior Tyler DeMattio proved to be unstoppable in the playoff opener, scoring five touchdowns against Plymouth North. (Josh Perry/HockomockSports.com)

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NORTH ATTLEBORO, Mass. – Three minutes into Friday night’s Div. 3 playoff opener at Community Field, the home crowd was stunned. Plymouth North, the No. 14 seed, took the opening kick and marched straight down the field to score the game’s opening touchdown. Could the visiting team pull an upset over No. 3 seed North Attleboro?

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It turned out that moment was only reminder for the North players not to overlook the Eagles. Once the message was received, the Rocketeers found the end zone on four straight possessions and scored 48 unanswered points, picking up a comfortable 48-6 victory that sends them into the state quarterfinal.

“I think it was a good wake up call,” North coach Don Johnson said about that opening drive. “We were concerned about their offense because they run that zone scheme so well and we just can’t duplicate that in practice. I think it really caught our guys off guard.”

The Eagles ran their offense to perfection on the opening drive. Quarterback Dallas Murphy used the zone read to find seams in the North defense, breaking runs of 25 and 35 yards. Killian Murphy capped the drive with a 4-yard dive. Plymouth North went for two, but Nathan Shultz was through the line in a flash to stuff the conversion attempt. It foreshadowed how North would take control of the line of scrimmage.

North’s first possession was just as effective as the visitors’ drive. The home team went 66 yards in eight plays, with five different players getting carries. Shultz was making plays on offense too, with jet sweeps of 12 and 20 yards. The second carry go the ball down to the 10. Chase Frisoli came up a yard short on a keeper and then Tyler DeMattio’s impressive night got started with a 1-yard plunge.

Johnson said, “We thought going in that we could move the ball on them, so the question was are we going to be able to stop them? It was nice to see us score that first touchdown but at that time I was thinking this isn’t enough. We need to get some stops on defense if we’re going to win this game and we did.”

After a couple of good tackles by Greg Berthiaume, who had a solid night at linebacker, and a full-stretch pass breakup by Danny Curran, Tyler Bannon picked off a pass to give North the ball on the visiting side of the 50.

Shultz again got things going for North with a 31-yard sweep down the sideline, getting the ball to the 15. A holding call wiped out a touchdown for Bannon, but on the next snap DeMattio (10 carries, 143 yards) broke free for a 17-yard touchdown and a 14-6 lead.

North’s defensive line was taking over the game. Keysun Wise and Jared Vacher both made good plays to stop Plymouth North’s next drive. On fourth and three, the Eagles, maybe sensing that they were going to struggle to stop North’s offense, tried a fake punt but the play was stopped for a loss of one.

“We’ve really matured as a group and we’re at the point where kids can make their own adjustments out there,” Johnson said about his defense making adjustments. “Sometimes I’ve got the worst seat in the house over there, so this group now can come over and tell me exactly what happened, why it happened, and what we need to do to prevent it. It’s awesome when you get to that point.”

Three snaps of the ball later, the lead was extended. Frisoli went down the middle of the field to Gavin Wells, who kept his concentration to pull in a juggling catch for 35 yards. DeMattio made it a hat trick, going right up the middle for an 11-yard score.

Another three-and-out, this time facilitated by a Bannon sack on third down, set North up for a chance to make it four straight scoring drives. Frisoli hit Jack Munley in the flat for 15 to midfield. After DeMattio ran for 16 more, Munley made a highlight reel-quality, one-handed grab for nine yards to the 23. On the next play, DeMattio took a carry around the left tackle, turned up the sideline, and found the end zone again. He added his fourth extra point and had all 28 of North’s points.

“I think we’ve made ourselves so much better by alternating those guys, keeping [Tyler] healthy,” Johnson said about the depth in the offense that keeps DeMattio from having to carry the ball every down. “The combination of all those guys has just made us a better team.”

North had the chance to add one more score before halftime. A 15-yard illegal substitution penalty on a punt gave the Rocketeers a first down near midfield. DeMattio then went 44 yards on the next two plays to get it down to the five. After Frisoli was sacked on first down, he threw a pair of incomplete passes and North settled for a 33-yard field goal attempt that fell short.

It was a missed opportunity, but turned out to be inconsequential as Curran took the opening kickoff of the second half and promptly returned it 75 yards to make it 35-6.

Two plays later, Aidan Conrad recovered a Plymouth North fumble. A personal foul call meant the drive started at the Eagles 20. Bannon went for one and then DeMattio again proved unstoppable, scoring from 19 yards for his fifth touchdown of the night. Connor Ruppert was on extra point duties in the second half, but DeMattio accounted for 34 of North’s 48 points.

A long drive for the Eagles ended on a botched pitch attempt that was recovered by Munley. With the bench in the game, North moved upfield again. On fourth and goal, Garrett Inglese went up the middle for 16 yards and the game’s final points.

The win not only moved North onto the next round of the tournament, but was also the 100th career win for Johnson. Understandably he wasn’t thinking too much of the milestone after the game. “Someone just told me, I forgot all about it,” he admitted. “It’s good, but it’s not time to be thinking about any personal milestones at this point. There’s just too much going on.”

North Attleboro (5-3) will have a tough matchup in the D3 quarterfinal, as the Rocketeers host No. 6 seed Milton next Friday at Community Field.

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