Below are the official 2017 Hockomock League Football All Stars, selected by the coaches in the league.
Hockomock League MVP
Shane Frommer, King Philip
Chad Peterson, North Attleboro
Hockomock League All Stars
Cam Furtado, Attleboro
James Weir, Attleboro
Elvin Sam, Attleboro
Brian Kosicki, Franklin
Jake Noviello, Franklin
Shane Frommer, King Philip
Jack Piller, King Philip
Brendan Lydon, King Philip
Jack Webster, King Philip
Andrew Dittrich, King Philip
Will Shield, Mansfield
Hunter Ferreira, Mansfield
Danny DeGirolamo, Mansfield
Vinnie Holmes, Mansfield
Anthony Berksza, Oliver Ames
Jack Mills, Oliver Ames
Zakim Harrow, Taunton
Dan Murphy, Taunton
Brendan Albert, Canton
Alec Ragusa, Canton
Devin Hassett, Foxboro
Mike Henri, Foxboro
Kade Treannie, Foxboro
Patrick Kaveny, Foxboro
Patrick Brogioli, Milford
Will Pointer, Milford
Neil Arquillano, Milford
Chad Peterson, North Attleboro
Ryan Clemente, North Attleboro
Sam Bullock, North Attleboro
Marion Bresko, North Attleboro
Aidan Harding, North Attleboro
Justin Ly, Stoughton
Alex Sjoquist, Stoughton
Ruben Gonzalez, Stoughton
Jason Joseph, Stoughton
Today’s games are listed below.
Attleboro, 6 @ North Attleboro, 14 – Final
Stoughton, 0 @ Canton, 27 – Final
1st Quarter: (C) Johnny Hagan 22-yard rush, Owen Lehane XP good; (C) Alec Ragusa 45-yard fumble return, O. Lehane XP good.
2nd Quarter: (C) A. Ragusa 4-yard rush, XP failed.
3rd Quarter: (C) J. Hagan 6-yard rush, O. Lehane XP good.
4th Quarter: No scoring.
Mansfield, 28 @ Foxboro, 20 – Final
1st Quarter: (M) Phil Dinov fumble recovery in the end zone, Mike DeBolt XP good; (F) Devin Hassett 2-yard rush, XP good; (M) Danny DeGirolamo 81-yard rush, M. DeBolt XP good.
2nd Quarter: (F) D. Hassett 11-yard rush, XP no good.
3rd Quarter: No scoring.
4th Quarter: (M) Damani Scott 8-yard pass to Chris Copponi, M. DeBolt XP good; (M) Aidan Sacco 5-yard rush, M. DeBolt XP good; (F) D. Hassett 11-yard pass to Jack O’Donnell, XP good.
Franklin, 0 @ King Philip, 28 – Final
1st Quarter: (KP) Brendan Lydon 1-yard rush, Cole Baker XP good.
2nd Quarter: (KP) B. Lydon 12-yard pass to Jack Piller, C. Baker XP good; (KP) B. Lydon 37-yard pass to David Morganelli, C. Baker XP good.
3rd Quarter: (KP) Ryan Halliday 3-yard rush, C. Baker XP good.
4th Quarter: No scoring.
Milford, 42 vs. KIPP Academy Lynn Charter, 20 – Final
1st Quarter: (M) Will Pointer 46-yard rush, Sean Lehane XP good; (M) Ryan O’Toole 53-yard rush, S. Lehane XP good; (M) W. Pointer 43-yard rush, S. Lehane XP good; (M) Patrick Brogioli 8-yard rush, S. Lehane XP good.
2nd Quarter: (K) Jansiel Jimenez rushing touchdown, XP failed; (M) Matt Curran 51-yard rush, S. Lehane XP good.
3rd Quarter: (M) Neil Arquillano 8-yard rush, S. Lehane XP good.
4th Quarter: (K) KIPP 39-yard fumble recovery return, XP failed; (K) KIPP 26-yard pass touchdown, 2pt conversion good.
Oliver Ames, 10 @ Sharon, 0 – Final
1st Quarter: No scoring.
2nd Quarter: No scoring.
3rd Quarter: No scoring.
4th Quarter: (OA) Derick Hanscom 29-yard field goal; (OA) Darnell Ryan 40-yard interception return, D. Hanscom XP good.
Taunton, 42 @ Coyle & Cassidy, 7 – Final
1st Quarter: (T) Noah Leonard 1-yard rush, Everett Ferreira XP good.
2nd Quarter: (T) Malik Richardson 5-yard rush, E. Ferreira XP good.
3rd Quarter: (CC) Jackson Harrison 6-yard rush, Ben Vaas XP good; (T) Vinny Diniz 65-yard kick off return, XP failed.
4th Quarter: (T) N. Leonard 8-yard pass to Brayden Merrill, N. Leonard 2pt rush good; (T) N. Leonard 6-yard pass to B. Merrill, N. Leonard 2pt pass to Alec Simon good; (T) Tryton Zavala 96-yard rush, XP failed.
WRENTHAM, Mass. – Over the course of its 21-game win streak, King Philip has found a number of ways to come out on top, particularly in close games. Whether it is a big passing play, breaking a long run, or forcing an important turnover, the Warriors know how to grind out results week after week.
There was a lot of turnover from last season’s state title-winning roster and head coach Brian Lee has admitted that he was not sure how good the Warriors could be this fall, but the new faces have stepped right in where the previous team left off and continued to win.
On Friday night at Macktaz Field, KP extended its winning streak by another game, pulling out a 13-11 win against rival Mansfield, beating the Hornets for a second time this season and advancing to the Div. 2 South final. This is the third sectional final in the past four years for the Warriors.
Lee explained, “The kids just battle. They’re tough. They’re not much to look at but they battle and compete. I didn’t know if we’d be any good this year and somehow we’re here again.”
“We’ve got a lot of guys who are just laid back and chill and they know when to perform,” said junior linebacker Jack Webster. “They perform at the right times. We’ve got good confidence on the team. We’re just calm, cool, and collected and we just play team ball.”
After pulling away with a strong fourth quarter in the first meeting between the two teams, KP carried the momentum into this game.
The Warriors called for a reverse on the opening kick-off and Shane Frommer took it up the sidelines for 42 yards to start near midfield. Brendan Lydon (5-14, 69 yards) hit David Morganelli for 16 yards and then Frommer for 21 to get the ball into Mansfield territory. Three plays later, Frommer (24 carries, 110 yards) bounced a run to the outside for six-yard score.
“We score the first drive, everyone’s smiling, and I was like, ‘Remember, it’s going to be a long game,’ “ said Lee. He added, “I told them before the game, ‘I don’t know how it’s going to play. I don’t know what they’re going to do different this time. All I know is that it’s going to take the entire game.’”
After a three-and-out by the Hornets, Aidan Bender’s return gave the Warriors great starting field position at midfield. The Mansfield coaches were imploring the defense to come through with a big stop and that is exactly what the Hornets got, forcing three-and-outs on back-to-back KP possessions to settle the game down.
The first meeting changed on a first half interception and it looked like Friday’s game might too. Lydon was flushed out of the pocket by Nick Marciano and his pass was picked off by Hunter Ferreira, who returned the ball down to the Warriors eight and gave the visitors momentum. Three plays later, Damani Scott (5-15, 55 yards) punched it in from the half-yard-line.
The Hornets surprised KP by running a trick play rather than an extra point with Ferreira pitching it to Mike DeBolt for the conversion and an 8-7 lead.
The excitement on the Mansfield sideline was short-lived, as the Warriors returned the ensuing kick out to the 45 for another great starting spot. As usual, KP turned to Frommer and the Yale University-commit carried the ball five times for 42 yards on the drive, including his second touchdown of the game, this time from 10 yards out.
The Hornets had gone practically nowhere on offense to this point, but with 3:25 left in the half and starting at their own 23 Mansfield put together its best drive of the game. Scott hit Danny DeGirolamo for a 14-yard completion and Khristian Conner for eight yards, while sophomore Vinnie Holmes (17 carries, 89 yards) gave the Hornets a threat up the middle. Mansfield got the ball to the KP 16 and DeBolt nailed a 33-yard field goal with 8.4 on the clock to cut the lead to two.
Deric Casado had an interception to start the second half for KP, but the Warriors were held to one first down, Chris Graham making a big stop on Frommer on second down. Mansfield’s next drive got on the edge of field goal range but Evan Rice had a big third down sack that forced a Hornets punt. It was one of three second half sacks for the Warriors, who ratcheted up the pass rush in the second half.
“The coaches just made up a great defensive plan this week,” said Webster. “We knew what we’re doing and we attacked it.”
Mansfield coach Mike Redding said, “We played tough on Frommer, they did a great job on our run game, and we just needed to complete a few more passes. They’re as good a team as we play defensively every year, they make you work.”
The punt pinned KP down inside its own 10, but Webster managed three yards on third and three for a big first down then Lydon hit Morganelli for another third down conversion and Frommer picked up another with a nine-yard dive up the middle. The Warriors managed to get as far as midfield to switch the field position advantage.
“They got a lot of big first downs,” said Redding. “The Lydon kid hit a couple of outs, great throws on time. Field position was a killer. We always started in our end and gave them the ball at midfield way too much.”
The game seemed to be over when Makhi Baskin muffed a punt with about four minutes remaining, but again the Hornets held firm defensively with Conner making a big stop on Frommer on the sideline and Baskin redeeming himself with an interception at the goal line on fourth down.
Mansfield had one more shot. After a sack by Webster pushed the Hornets back five yards to their own 24, Scott hit Ferreira for his only catch of the game and the senior appeared to be out to the 40 for a first down. After some confusion, the officials marked him down at the 38, one yard short of the marker.
“I thought we completed the pass for 20 yards on [third down], someone’s got to explain that to me, but even with that I don’t know if we’ve got the time to get the field goal,” said Redding. “You just hate to see that in a big game, that kind of mismanaging of the stakes.”
On fourth down, Holmes tried to fight his way to the sticks but Webster was on the spot, as he had been all game, to make the stop that sealed the win.
“Fourth and one, I was daggering off the outside,” Webster explained, “and Jack Piller made a great play and everyone just collapsed on him and pushed him back. It was a great team effort.”
When asked what has made this KP roster continue to find ways to win, Webster said, “Shane Frommer and Andrew Dittrich, our two captains, have just made us play together, play great team ball, everyone’s made plays when we’ve had to…it’s just been a good team game.”
The respect for the Mansfield program and all that it has achieved is evident on the KP sidelines and Lee said that the strength of the Warriors’ rivals has pushed them to be even better.
“You know why I love Mansfield so much,” he said, “because they have made this program work so hard to compete against that and that’s how we’ve gotten better. You’re either getting crushed by them or you learn how to fight and our guys have responded.”
King Philip (9-0, 5-0), the top seed in Div. 2 South, advances to the sectional final and will host No. 3 Bridgewater-Raynham next Friday night. Mansfield (7-2, 4-1) has not set an opponent for next week.
Today’s games are listed below.
Football – Playoffs
#6 Attleboro, 6 @ #3 Xaverian, 44 – Final
3rd Quarter: (A) Cam Furtado 2-yard pass to James Weir, 2-point rush failed.
#8 Taunton, 0 @ #1 BC High, 34 – Final
#1 King Philip, 35 vs. #8 Barnstable, 20 – Final
1st Quarter: (B) Barnstable 31-yard rush, XP failed; (KP) Shane Frommer 1-yard rush, Cole Baker XP good.
2nd Quarter: (KP) S. Frommer 5-yard rush, C. Baker XP good; (B) Barnstable 27-yard pass, 2-point failed; (KP) Brendan Lydon 12-yard pass to Jack Piller, C. Baker XP good.
3rd Quarter: (KP) B. Lydon 22-yard pass to Tom Madden, C. Baker XP good.
4th Quarter: (B) Barnstable 5-yard pass, 2-point pass good; (KP) B. Lydon 5-yard pass to J. Piller, C. Baker XP good.
#4 Mansfield, 34 vs. #5 Marshfield, 14 – Final
1st Quarter: (Mans) Damani Scott 6-yard pass to Hunter Ferreira, Michael DeBolt XP good.
2nd Quarter: (Mans) Vinnie Holmes 2-yard rush, D. DeBolt XP good; (Marsh) Jackson Phinney 14-yard pass to Danny Hickey, D. Hickey XP good.
3rd Quarter: (Mans) Nick Marciano 71-yard interception return, XP failed.
4th Quarter: (Mans) V. Holmes 13-yard rush, M. DeBolt XP good; (Mans) M. DeBolt 6-yard rush, M. DeBolt XP good; (Marsh) J. Phinney 31-yard pass to Nick Banks, D. Hickey XP good.
#1 North Attleboro, 28 vs. #8 Walpole, 14 – Final – Click here for a Recap and Photo Gallery from this game.
1st Quarter: No scoring.
2nd Quarter: (NA) Chad Peterson 8-yard pass to Nolan Buckley, Geoff Wilson XP good; (W) Brett Lavanchy 47-yard pass to Chase Conrad, XP no good; (NA) C. Peterson 26-yard pass to Devin Slaney, G. Wilson XP good.
3rd Quarter: (NA) C. Peterson 7-yard rush, G. Wilson XP good; (W) B. Lavanchy 16-yard pass to C. Conrad, B. Lavanchy to C. Conrad 2-point conversion.
4th Quarter: (NA) C. Peterson 8-yard rush, G. Wilson XP good.
#4 Stoughton, 30 vs. #5 Whitman-Hanson, 21 – Final
1st Quarter: (WH) Ethan Phelps 8-yard pass to Jacob Nixon, XP good; (S) Justin Ly 50-yard rush, 2-point failed.
2nd Quarter: (WH) E. Phelps 8-yard rush, XP good; (S) Ruben Gonzalez 85-yard kickoff return, 2-point failed; (WH) E. Phelps 61-yard pass to Rian Schwede, XP good.
3rd Quarter: (S) J. Ly 2-yard rush, 2-point failed.
4th Quarter: (S) Johnny Medina 9-yard rush, 2-point failed; (S) David Bell 71-yard interception return, 2-point failed.
#7 Milford, 7 @ #2 Duxbury, 9 – Final
1st Quarter: No scoring.
2nd Quarter: (D) John Roberts 4-yard pass to Frankie Tower, Ben Carver XP good.
3rd Quarter: (D) Duxbury safety.
4th Quarter: (M) Will Pointer 3-yard rush, Sean Lehane XP good.
#5 Foxboro, 35 @ #4 Somerset Berkley, 12 – Final
1st Quarter: (F) Devin Hassett 6-yard rush, Russell Neale XP good; (F) D. Hassett 6-yard pass to Pat Carey, R. Neale XP good.
2nd Quarter: (SB) Steven Fralick 3-yard rush, XP failed; (F) Phil Dure 6-yard rush, R. Neale XP good.
3rd Quarter: (F) Anthony Capachietti 1-yard rush, R. Neale XP good.
4th Quarter: (F) A. Capachietti 5-yard rush, R. Neale XP good; (SB) Somerset-Berkley touchdown, XP failed.
Football – Non-Playoffs
Canton, 6 vs. Plymouth South, 21 – Final
1st Quarter: (C) Alec Ragusa 36-yard rush, XP failed; (PS) Alex Cohen 76-yard pass to Connor Holbrook, Emma Simpson XP good.
2nd Quarter: (PS) A. Cohen 9-yard pass to C. Holbrook, E. Simpson XP good.
3rd Quarter: No scoring.
4th Quarter: (PS) Brendan Shortall 3-yard rush, E. Simpson XP good.
Franklin, 26 @ Weymouth, 14 – Final
1st Quarter: (F) Jake Noviello 18-yard pass to Sean Leonard, Matt Zucco XP good.
2nd Quarter: (F) J. Noviello 65-yard pass to Jake Davis, M. Zucco XP good; (F) J. Noviello 16-yard pass to S. Leonard, XP failed.
3rd Quarter: (F) Sean Hofferty 3-yard rush, XP failed; (W) Weymouth 10-yard pass, XP good; (W) Weymouth 5-yard rush, XP good.
4th Quarter: No scoring.
Oliver Ames, 42 vs. Norton, 8 – Final
1st Quarter: (OA) Cobey Williamson 46-yard rush, XP failed; (OA) Anthony Berksza 44-yard rush, Cam Perron 2-point pass to Noah Fitzgerald good.
2nd Quarter: (OA) A. Berksza 20-yard rush, Derick Hanscom XP good; (OA) C. Perron 10-yard pass to Ethan Eckstrom, D. Hanscom XP good.
3rd Quarter: (OA) A. Berskza 20-yard rush, D. Hanscom XP good.
4th Quarter: (N) T. Elliot touchdown pass to L. Combs, T. Elliot 2-point pass to C. Reynolds good; (OA) Nathan Cabral 30-yard rush, D. Hanscom XP good.
Stoughton, 0 @ Canton, 6 – Final – Canton junior Paul Corcoran scored four goals and also recorded an assist to help the Bulldogs roll to a big win at home. Griffin Roach and Paulo Ruggeri each scored once for Canton.
King Philip, 1 @ Franklin, 1 – Final – King Philip senior Larsen Keys headed in a cross from Anthony Bozza in the final minutes of play to help the Warriors pick up a point on the road.
Mansfield, 0 @ Oliver Ames, 0 – Final – Click here for a recap and photo gallery of this game.
Milford, 2 @ Sharon, 1 – Final – Milford sophomore Nuno Mestre netted his first career goal, which turned out to be the game-winner, as Milford kept its postseason hopes alive. With the win, the Scarlet Hawks need one point from their season finale against Nipmuc. Sophomore Walisson de Oliveira opened the scoring midway through the first half, finishing a fed from Heitor Silva. Then Mestre converted a cross from Zach Brown midway through the season. Sharon scored its goal inside the final five minutes.
Canton @ Stoughton, 3:45
Foxboro, 0 @ North Attleboro, 4 – Final – North Attleboro coach Bill Wallace earned his 200th career win as the Rocketeers got a brace from Leah Jette to earn the home win. Jette scored eight minutes into the game off a Kayla Pasquel assist and added a second off an Ashlyn Gaulin assist with 14 minutes to play. In between, Emma Gaulin scored on a Haley Guertin assist and Aine Mendonca added a goal early in the second half from a Julia Tolfa assist. Emma Noreck earned the clean sheet for North.
Franklin, 0 @ King Philip, 5 – Final – Chloe Layne scored a brace and Avery Snead had a goal and two assists to lead the Warriors to a big win in the season finale to clinch at least a share of the program’s first league title since 2002. Layne opened the scoring nine minutes into the game off a Snead assist and she added an unassisted goal four minutes after the break. Abby Baker knocked in a third off a Snead assist and then Snead scored on a 20-yard free kick for a 4-0 lead after 53 minutes. Ally Stanton scored the fifth on a first-time shot off an Emma Corcoran corner. KP coach Gary Pichel said, “The team is so excited to be champs after a 15-year drought!”
Sharon, 0 @ Milford, 1 – Final – Maggie Boyle scored from the penalty spot inside the final minute to lift the Hawks to victory. According to Milford coach Jay Mastaj, Brianna Braza, Leanne Kibbee, Rachel LeBlanc and Julia Oliveira played well in the win. Sharon had its chances during the game, according to Eagles coach Brad Furnival, with Sabrina Robbins hitting the post and Ally Filipkowski forcing a goal-line clearance. He added, “My girls played excellent and did everything but score.”
Foxboro, 1 @ Mansfield, 1 – Final
King Philip, 3 @ Franklin, 0 – Final – King Philip’s Claire Lawler scored a pair of goals in the first half and set up the third to help KP cap its Hock schedule with a win on the road. Lawler scored on a corner with 9:25 to play in the first from Nicole Conner, and then scored with 2:39 left in the half, again on a corner, on a pass from Dana Truini. Liz Furfari iced the game, taking a feed from Lawler with 15:29 to play. Franklin junior Christina Luccini made 10 saves in net, including a stop on a penalty stroke.
Milford, 4 @ Sharon, 0 – Final
Oliver Ames, 0 @ West Bridgewater, 0 – Final – Oliver Ames senior goalie Caitlin Grant made seven totals, including three sliding saves to rob the hosts of find the back of the cage.
Taunton, 1 @ New Bedford, 0 – Final – Taunton senior Liana Duarte scored the winner with five minutes left in the game, giving the Tigers their first postseason berth since 1990. Sophomore goalie Emma Sheehan made six saves for the shutout while interim head coach Mike Fox said Lauren Torres and Kennedy Thielker both had strong games defensively.
Canton, 1 vs. Duxbury, 3 – Final
Franklin, 3 vs. Bishop Feehan, 2 – Final – Franklin picked up wins in games one, three and five to edge off the visiting Shamrocks (25-17, 22-25, 25-21, 17-25, 15-13). Hailey Sanders and Meaghan Maguire each had eight kills apiece as well as two blocks, while Maggie Doyle chipped in with six kills and four blocks. Junior Lauren McGrath had 33 assists in the win, as well as four ace and two kills.
North Attleboro, 3 @ Mansfield, 0 – Final – North Attleboro capped its regular season with a sweep on the road, and sixth straight victory in a row (25-14, 30-28, 25-14). For Mansfield, Meg Hill had nine kills and four blocks, Julia Harrison added eight kills and five digs and Lexi Gardner finished with five digs and four kills.
Oliver Ames, 3 vs. Bridgewater-Raynham, 0 – Final – Oliver Ames defended home court with a clean 3-0 (25-8, 25-20, 25-12) sweep over the visiting Trojans. Senior Kayla Raymond had seven kills and three aces, junior Sarah Litwack notched 20 assists and seniors Katie Flynn and Emma Petrillo each added five kills apiece.
Taunton @ New Bedford, 5:00
WRENTHAM, Mass. – Mansfield had Thursday night’s game in its grasp. It was only the second quarter, but the Hornets were on the verge of capping a dominant first half with another score and building a three-score advantage before the teams headed back into the locker room.
With 1:33 left in the half and the ball at the King Philip 10, Mansfield quarterback Damani Scott dropped deep and fired the ball towards Danny DeGirolamo (11 carries, 51 yards). The senior running back was well covered but almost pulled it in. The ball was deflected into the air and fell right into the hands of KP senior Shane Frommer.
The Yale University-commit hauled in the interception and took off down the suddenly energized KP sideline. He went 96 yards untouched to pull the Warriors back within three points and send the team into the half with a renewed purpose.
“It completely changed momentum for us,” Frommer explained after the game. “We were a little down, but right when I got the pick-six all of us got up again and we knew we had to finish it. We knew we were going to win.”
The interception turned the tide and King Philip never looked back. The Warriors scored 28 unanswered points, 21 of those in the fourth quarter, and pulled out a 28-10 victory over the Hornets at Macktaz Field, running the program’s win streak to 17 games.
Although it was not the game-winning score and it was a full quarter before KP added another point, both coaches highlighted the interception as the turning point in a battle between the two Kelley-Rex division favorites.
“We were up against ropes bad,” KP coach Brian Lee admitted. “We had nothing going and Shane…you have a dude for a reason. Everything was going wrong – pass interference and then we let them get a big run – and we had no answer. Then, bang, we get a play and we’re back in it.”
Mansfield coach Mike Redding said, “They’re good, they’re aggressive, but it’s just so frustrating when you play well for 22 minutes and one play completely flipped things.”
Even without injured senior Joe Cox, Mansfield went with the ground game right from the opening kick. It worked on the opening drive, as the Hornets marched 80 yards, all but nine on the ground, in 14 plays to take an immediate 7-0 lead. DeGirolamo capped the possession with a nine-yard run on a toss to the left.
KP ran only three plays before Brendan Lydon was intercepted by Hunter Ferreira, who returned the ball to the Warriors 30. After a pair of incomplete passes from Scott (4-21, 91 yards), Redding elected to go for the field goal and Mike DeBolt split the uprights from 37 yards.
The Warriors moved the ball on its next possession, but were forced to punt and Mansfield came right back down the field. Aidan Sacco (10 carries, 71 yards) converted one third down and Ferreira drew a pass interference call on a third and 10 to keep the possession alive. After Scott scrambled and found Ferreira for a spectacular 19-yard catch on the sideline, it looked like the Hornets were about to break it open, but Frommer stepped in and changed the storyline.
“Down 10, we knew we had to keep fighting,” he explained. “I knew I had to make a big play for the team. Luckily my teammate tipped it up for me and right when I picked it I knew I was going for six.”
Redding said, “The defense played great for the whole half and at minimum, if we get the field goal, it’s 13-0. It’s just a weird play. We go up and grab it and he ends up with it and we have no one to cover the pick. It’s just a huge flip.”
The second half was all KP. Although the first drive stalled at midfield, the defense held Mansfield to just six offensive plays in the third quarter (and 16 offensive plays in the entire second half). Evan Rice was involved in three sacks of Scott, including a big 15-yard loss in the fourth.
“The kids were just playing a little bit harder, again getting life with the big play,” Lee said. “I’m very pleased with the resiliency of the team.”
Mansfield had bottled up the KP rushing attack, but the Warriors turned to Lydon (8-18, 110 yards) to make plays. Jack Piller came up with a sliding grab for 25 yards and three plays later Lydon scrambled to bide time before hitting Dylan Leonard, who had come all the way across the field, for a 19-yard score and a 14-10 lead.
Following a Luke D’Amico interception, KP added another score. On fourth and 10 from the Mansfield 31, Lydon found Thomas Madden open in the middle of the field and the senior receiver broke tackles on his way to the end zone.
“We have to be more balanced,” said Lee. “We can’t just line up and do what we did last year. Going forward that’s something we’ll have to figure out. We’re still figuring out our pieces.”
Redding added, “They get a little momentum and they fed off it and we battled on ‘D’ but we gave them way too many plays. We couldn’t get any first downs.”
Another interception, this time by Jack Webster, gave KP back the ball at its own 39 with time winding down. The player who changed the game was also the one that ended it. Frommer burst through the middle of the line and broke off a 47-yard run for his second touchdown of the game.
He said, “It was a 25-power and I was going to be right behind my tackle, Anthony Vahue, he’s always been a leader for us and I knew right when the play was called this is going for six. I followed right behind him, saw him take out the linebacker, and I knew I was going for six.”
With the victory, King Philip (4-0, 2-0) extends its winning streak to 17 games, which is the longest active streak in the state. The Warriors will put it on the line next Friday with a trip to Franklin. Mansfield (3-1, 1-1) will look to bounce back and keep the pressure on KP when it hosts Taunton next week.
Unfortunately, King Philip played the role of spoiler, walking away with a hard-earned 16-7 win over Foxboro.
Defense shined for both teams in the first game played on the grass at Ahern Middle School, the first regular season football game played there since it was named after Foxboro’s coach in August.
“That was a good old-fashioned football game, old school by both teams and both sets of kids,” Martinelli said. “[King Philip] made some big plays and we didn’t make enough, I think it came down to that. Both teams had good kickers, both teams played good defense. It was just a matter of a couple of big plays they made and we didn’t.”
King Philip punter Cole Baker averaged over 35 yards on his punts, his last pinning Foxboro deep in its own territory as it looked to complete a second half comeback.
Foxboro punter Liam Foley averaged over 40 yards on his four punts, and the Warriors defense limited visiting King Philip to just 70 yards of offense in the second half.
The longest drive by either team was 56 yards, orchestrated by KP quarterback Brendan Lydon in the second quarter, using eight plays to find the end zone.
Foxboro’s offense didn’t run more than four plays on an offensive series until its last two drives of the game, the first ending in a turnover on downs, the second stopped by the end of the game.
“If style points, we wouldn’t get any,” admitted KP head coach Brian Lee. “We’re playing pretty good defense though. And we’re playing pretty well on the special teams, Cole is doing a nice job kicking for us, putting the defense in good field position.
“We’re missing our hoggies [offensive line] from last year. They’re going to get better. We replaced all six of them from last year. They’re going to get better, it’s tough to get those tough first downs. We had a bunch of weird penalties we have to straighten out too.”
KP forced a quick three and out to start the game and quickly put points on the board. After an eight-play drive only resulted in 19 yards, the Warriors trotted out Baker, who drilled a 31-yard field goal with 4:14 left in the first quarter.
It looked Foxboro was ready to respond, starting with a 20-yard carry from Mike Henri (10 carries, 50 yards), a seven-yard carry and then a run that advanced into KP territory. But on that third carry, Aidan Bender forced a fumble on the tackle and Max Armour pounced on it to get the ball back for KP.
KP had to punt the ball back to Foxboro after its drive stalled but with Baker placing his kick to the Foxboro 10-yard line, KP’s defense was in a good spot. Two rushes for loss and an incompletion resulted in a punt back to the visitors.
“Defense is keeping us in there,” Lee said. “We were making big plays when we had to. It’s always a grind over here. Especially tonight, you know they are playing for their coach. You knew it was going to be a bloodbath out there.”
Shane Frommer had carries of six, seven, eight and 12 to get KP into the red zone. But a big stop from Foxboro’s Patrick Kaveny resulted in a one-yard loss, and then Matt Pond stopped a run for a five-yard loss, forcing KP into a 3rd and 16.
Lydon then tossed a perfect pass into the back of the end zone where senior Tom Madden hauled it in for a 25-yard touchdown. The extra point was low and blocked, giving KP a 9-0 lead with 6:24 left in the second quarter. KP took that lead into the halftime break.
“It was definitely a defensive battle,” Lee said. “The defense put is in a position for the first three points. We hit the big play for the [Madden] touchdown. Then we just hung on again, which we did last week. This was really a 9-7 game here and just scratching it out.”
Midway through the third quarter, King Philip was pinned inside its 10-yard line and elected to punt on third down. Foxboro took over at the KP 35 yard line and needed four plays to cut into the deficit.
A pair of runs from Henri (seven yards, three yards) sandwiched around a run from Anthony Capachietti (8 carries, 32 yards) set Foxboro up for 2nd and 7. Quarterback Devin Hassett elected to keep the ball on the option, raced out to the left side and followed a huge block from Teddy Maher around the edge to race for a 22-yard touchdown. Russell Neale’s extra point cut the deficit to 9-7 with 3:08 in the third quarter.
Foxboro picked up some momentum at the end of the third quarter when Henri picked off a pass from Lydon. But on the first play of the fourth quarter, an errant snap resulted in a 13-yard loss and two plays later, Foxboro had to punt.
The hosts got the ball back with 5:19 to play and started the drive with three straight positive plays. Back to back five-yard runs preceded a 14-yard completion from Hassett to Phil Dure. But a one-yard rush was followed by two incompletions.
Facing 4th and 9, Foxboro originally sent out its punt team but then decided to send the offense back out. Foxboro had to take a timeout, leaving them with just three. But before they could get a play off, a flag for delay of game cost the hosts five yards.
“We have to find a way to get the ball into the end zone more consistently,” Martinelli said. “Whether it’s in the air or on the ground, we’re still searching. We answered some questions for ourselves tonight. Even though it’s a non-league game, it’s an important game.”
KP took advantage of the short field, using four plays with Kerr punching it in from five yards out with 1:29 to play to ice the game.
King Philip football (2-0) opens Kelley-Rex division play next week when it welcomes Attleboro (0-2) to Macktaz Field. Foxboro (1-1) welcomes Stoughton to Jack Martinelli Field in its Davenport division opener.
WRENTHAM, Mass. – King Philip came into Friday night’s season opener against fellow league champion North Attleboro at Macktaz Field in a very different position than last season’s matchup. The defending Div. 1A Super Bowl champion Warriors graduated the vast majority of the starters on both sides of the ball, including all but two on offensive, and had a roster filled with new faces.
Many of the names may have been new, but the play on the field was the same.
KP sacked North’s star quarterback Chad Peterson (13-24, 165 yards) five times, forced four turnovers (two interceptions and two fumbles), and the Warriors made enough plays to pull out a 24-14 victory, the program’s 14th straight win stretching back 2015.
“I’m very pleased,” said KP coach Brian Lee after the game. “I had no idea what to expect. We’re only returning five guys, so there were a lot of rookies out there, a lot of guys going two ways. I love playing North because they make you play your best.”
From North Attleboro’s perspective, it was mistakes that doomed the Rocketeers on Friday. In addition to the struggles protecting Peterson and the turnovers, North also committed five penalties and just looked out of sync.
“Too many self-inflicted wounds,” said North coach Don Johnson. “We had kind of seen it in preseason, but way too many [mistakes] to beat anybody really. They made plays they had to make but we had mistakes in basic coverages. That second touchdown we had someone line up wrong and left a guy wide open.”
The struggles started on the opening drive when KP defensive lineman Evan Rice sniffed out a third down screen, tipped, and intercepted Peterson’s pass to give the Warriors the ball at the North 33. A 13-yard run by senior quarterback Brendan Lydon (7-12, 143 yards) got the ball inside the 10, but KP was stopped on three straight plays and settled for a 22-yard Cole Baker field goal.
North’s defense made the next big play when Brendan McHugh got to Lydon on a blitz and stripped the ball loose. Brad White recovered the fumble for the Rocketeers and three plays later Peterson hit Nolan Buckley for a 21-yard touchdown into the back corner of the end zone to take North’s only lead of the game.
Facing third and 15 on its next possession, KP hit a big play to answer right back. A broken coverage left junior Aidan Bender running free down the seam and Lydon hit him in stride for a 71-yard score. Just two plays into the Rocketeers’ next possession and senior corner Andrew Dittrich forced a McHugh (11 carries, 45 yards) fumble and Dylan Leonard dove on it to get the ball right back.
Thomas Madden saved the possession for the Warriors by diving on a fumble on the first play and on third and eight from the North 13, Lydon threw a perfect strike into the corner that was pulled in by David Morganelli for a 17-7 halftime lead.
“I thought the wideouts caught some really good balls for us and I thought our pass [protection] was good,” said Lee about the success of the passing attack. “Sometimes you’ve got to change up what you’re doing and I thought the guys really responded.”
Johnson added, “I was pleased with the way that we stopped the run game, but they had good balance. I think the quarterback has come a long way for them. He was a difference maker.”
A punt and then back-to-back fumbles gave North the ball at its own 21 about halfway through the third quarter. The Rocketeers put together a 17-play drive that took more than 10 minutes off the clock and needed two fourth down conversions to get themselves back in the contest.
Peterson was sacked three times on the drive, twice by Bender, but also went 5-for-7 passing, including a dart on fourth and eight that hit Omar Jasseh and kept the drive alive. One play after the combo just missed on the right side of the end zone, Peterson threw another fourth down strike, this one to senior Marion Bresko down the left sideline for a 27-yard score that cut the lead to just three points (17-14) with 7:54 remaining.
Lee joked, “They pulled a KP on us. We didn’t do anything in the second half, except for hang on and play some ‘D’. We tell the kids, you’re going to fight. They’re going to come over here and fight to the end. We hung on and sometimes that’s what you have to do.”
A punt gave North the ball right back and a roughing the passer call pushed the Rocketeers to the KP 31. Two plays later, Peterson tried to go for the end zone, but the ball was intercepted by Luke D’Amico at the three-yard-line.
On third and nine, facing another punt to give the ball back to the Rocketeers, Lydon fired down the middle to senior tight end JJack Piller, who pulled the pass down despite two Rocketeers in coverage and held on through contact for a crucial first down. With 48 seconds left, senior running back Shane Frommer, who was held to just 41 yard on his first 13 carries, bounced a run off tackle to the left side and was gone for a 57-yard touchdown to seal the win.
The personnel may be very different from last season’s experienced squad, but the attitude is the same. The Warriors find a way to grind out victories and make opponents uncomfortable.
“That’s kind of our mentality in general – we like to attack,” said Lee. “Sometimes it looks nice to drop eight into coverage but good quarterbacks make plays when they have enough time. We’re just pretty good at it.”
He added, “We love to play good defense here. We made plays when we had to.”
King Philip (1-0) will try to make it 15 wins in a row when it takes on Foxboro next Friday in the first game at the newly renamed Jack Martinelli Field. Next week, North Attleboro (0-1) will host Bishop Feehan at Community Field.