Milford Comes Out On Top in Slugfest at Stoughton

Milford Football
Milford celebrates Tyler Lane’s touchdown with 1:59 left to play, which turned out to be the game-winner in a 28-21 win at Stoughton. (Josh Perry/HockomockSports.com)

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STOUGHTON, Mass. – One of the characteristics that first-year Milford coach Dale Olson has talked about with his team is resiliency. On Friday night at Stoughton’s new Veterans Memorial Stadium, the Hawks showed that they have been listening to the coach’s message.

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Milford overcame two first half turnovers and three first half drives that ended inside the Stoughton 10, and twice in the fourth quarter the Hawks answered Stoughton touchdowns with scoring drives of their own. All of that allowed Milford to pull out a hard-fought, 28-21 road win against their former division rival.

“We always talk about adversity and we faced it again tonight,” said Olson. “The kids handled it. We didn’t score two times inside the five and that’s a great football team and you can’t do that, but I’m proud of our kids tonight. They fought and good teams find a way to win.”

The visitors were able to move the ball almost all night. Milford finished with more than 300 yards passing and nearly 200 yards on the ground, but the Hawks missed several opportunities to break the game open early.

On the opening drive of the game, the Hawks put together a 10-play drive and marched all the way down to the Stoughton three. Milford was finding success with the short passing game, as senior Brady Olson (25-of-42, 312 yards) completed seven passes to three different receivers on the first possession. But, on first and goal, his pass into the end zone was intercepted by Emmett Pearl.

“We were trying to get as much pass rush as we could and they just nickel-dimed it,” said Stoughton coach Greg Burke. “They had a couple simple patterns and we were trying to cover, but we didn’t stop them right there.”

Stoughton got the ball at it own three and just four plays later was in the lead. A 19-yard carry by Christopher Ais (17 carries, 68 yards) gave the Black Knights some breathing room. On third and five, John Burke (11-of-24, 187 yards) fooled the Milford defense with play action and hit Christian Ais (five catches, 108 yards) in stride for a 73-yard score.

Not to be outdone, the Hawks hit back with a big play of their own. Facing third and 13, Olson fired a strike to Max Martin (seven catches, 121 yards), who hauled it in, took a big hit, spun free, and got a good block from Jayden Agnew to race 75 yards. Both extra points were blocked, so it was tied 6-6.

Following and Evan Hazard interception and return, Milford started its next drive at the Stoughton 25. The Black Knights managed to stop the Hawks on three plays inside the 10 and blocked Nicholas Araujo’s 21-yard field goal attempt.

A short punt again gave Milford great starting field position, this time at the Stoughton 34. On second down, Jake Queeney picked off a pass in the end zone to again deny Milford a go-ahead score.

With a 53-yard punt, Christopher Ais pinned Milford down to start its next drive at its own two, but with horrible starting field position the Hawks finally got back into the end zone. Olson started working down the left sideline to Matt Varteresian (seven catches, 74 yards) out to almost midfield.

As Stoughton’s defense prepared for the pass, Carter Scudo took a draw play up the middle for 52 yards and the visitors’ first lead. Olson hit Agnew on the conversion to make it 14-6.

Milford had one more possession to try and extend its lead before halftime. The Hawks used 15 plays and got all the way to the Stoughton three but were denied again by the Black Knights defense. Andrew Medina made a good play on the ball to breakup one pass and Olson saw his fourth down try get batted down at the line.

It definitely looked like the story of the game would be missed chances, as Stoughton put together a 14-play, 76-yard scoring drive that ate up nearly 7-1/2 minutes of the third quarter. The big play was a play action pass from Burke to Pearl for 31 yards into Milford territory.

Burke capped the drive on third and goal from the five, as he rolled out to his left and went full extension to hit the front pylon. His two-point pass to Pearl in the back of the end zone tied the game at 14-14.

“He had some good throws,” Burke said of his quarterback. “We just missed a couple of home runs. We worked hard and we had some good runs.”

After an intentional grounding call stalled Stoughton’s next drive inside Milford territory, the Hawks answered to get back in front. On third and six, Olson went deep to Keithley Sutton, who just got his hands under the ball and pulled in the 37-yard reception. On third and three from the 26, Olson showed off his legs, scrambling for 25 yards down to the goal line. Scudo (11 carries, 68 yards) punched it in for his second touchdown of the night.

“We knew that we could take the short stuff,” Olson explained. “Take what they give you and [Brady] did it tonight. At times, it didn’t look good and we struggled to run the football and in the end we rushed for 173 yards. In the end, we needed to be able to run the football to win this game and we did.”

For the second time in the game, Ais pinned Milford deep, this time with a 60-yard boot that rolled down to the two. On first down, the Black Knights nearly caught Scudo in the end zone, but he was able to dive to the one and avoid the safety. Stoughton took advantage of a short punt to even the game up. Christian Ais cut upfield on a sweep to the left and raced for a 22-yard score, his second touchdown of the night, and it was 21-21 with 4:38 to play.

Momentum seemed to be with the home team, but Milford’s offense continued to be hard to stop. An eight-yard pass to Sutton converted a third and four and kept the drive alive. With the ball at the Stoughton 22 and the Black Knights expecting a pass, Tyler Lane (seven carries, 58 yards) burst up the gut on a draw play, cut to the far sideline, and flung himself at the front corner of the end zone for what turned out to be the game-winning score.

“I was trying to blitz there at the end, thinking they were going to throw, and that kid just went over us,” said Burke. “Their QB is just tough. He had a pretty good day. Second half I thought we did better.”

Stoughton had two minutes to try and answer. Burke started it with a 15-yard keeper and was able to recover from an intentional grounding call with an 11-yard pass to Queeney on fourth and eight. In the end, the Milford defense forced three straight incompletions and a turnover on downs to seal the win.

“It was a rock fight,” said Olson. “Burke has a done a great job and Stoughton kids are tough kids. We’re 4-1 and almost every game we’ve been in a rock fight, it’s just a slugfest.”

Milford (4-1) will travel to Lowell for a non-league game next Friday night. Stoughton (3-2) will look to avoid a three-game losing streak when it travels to King Philip.

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Big Red Back On Top After Win Over Stoughton

North Attleboro football Tyler DeMattio
North Attleboro junior quarterback Tyler DeMattio slips away from the grasp of Stoughton junior Jonah Ly in the first half. (Ryan Lanigan/HockomockSports.com)
ByRyanLanigan_2016FollowRyanLanigan_2016
 
 
 NORTH ATTLEBORO, Mass. – Through the first three weeks of the Fall II season, North Attleboro’s high-powered offense has received plenty of attention and headlines.

In the biggest game of the year to date, however, it was the Rocketeers’ defense that received rave reviews after containing a dangerous Stoughton offense — all the way to the final play of the game — to the tune of a 14-6 victory, clinching at least a share of the Davenport division title in the process.

The North Attleboro defense forced four straight punts to start the game, ended a pair of Stoughton drives on downs inside their own territory, created back-to-back turnovers in the fourth quarter, and denied the visitors a chance at tying the game as time expired.

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“We were worried because it’s a physical matchup against those guys with their big backs and all of our little guys coming up trying to tackle them,” said North Attleboro head coach Don Johnson. “I think we kept them off balance enough. We learned last year one guy isn’t going to bring down their backs so we worked all week on getting guys to the football, and we have some speed on defense so that helps.

“It felt like the whole second half we kept giving them chances, we could never get that third score. We felt like if we could get that third score we could relax a little but we never got it, we never finished it on offense but the defense kept stepping up and making plays.”

It marked a quick one-season turnaround for the program, which finished under .500 for the first time in over 25 years during the 2019 season. Now, the Rocketeers are division champions for the fifth time in the past six years.

“These kids were really motivated throughout the whole offseason, they wanted to get North Attleboro back to where it should be,” Johnson said. “I couldn’t be prouder of them, they’ve done everything we’ve asked of them for the past 15, 16 months now and it’s been awesome, it’s a great group of kids.”

Stoughton’s defense, down three starters to injury including top pass-rusher Christian Georges, put in a solid shift as well as the Black Knights continued to make big stops in the second half to give themselves a chance. The visitors made things interesting by scoring on the first play of the fourth quarter as senior quarterback John Burke read the blitz and got the pass out quickly, hitting an open Christian Ais. Ais turned on the jets and sprinted up the left sideline for a 43-yard score and Stoughton trailed by just one possession, 14-6.

North nearly answered right away but couldn’t quite finish off the drive. The Rocketeers used all of their weapons on the drive to march down the field, as junior quarterback Tyler DeMattio (24 carries, 150 yards) started with a 24-yard run, Tommy Whalen followed with a 10-yard carry, and Jacob Silva moved the sticks for the third straight play with a 16-yard rush.










DeMattio ran for 11 yards later in the drive to get into the red zone but on 4th and 5, Stoughton’s Christopher Ais came up with a sack and the Knights took over on downs.

But just three plays into the ensuing drive, North Attleboro got the ball back as junior Tyler Bannon ripped the ball free from the ball carrier and recovered the fumble himself, setting the Rocketeers up with the ball at the Stoughton 30.

The Black Knights once again came up with a red zone stop to stay in the contest. Christian Ais had a tackle for a loss on second down, and on fourth and 2 from the 8-yard line, Stoughton’s Davin Swierzewski met DeMattio up the middle to deny him the first down with 3:24 to play.

A 20-yard rush from Burke plus a personal foul followed by an 11-yard reception from Jake Queeney moved Stoughton over midfield. But Stoughton’s drive came to another screeching halt as Bannon came flying in and jarred the ball free and the ref ruled it was a fumble and not an incomplete pass, allowing sophomore Greg Berthiaume to slide into the loose ball before it went out of bounds, seemingly ending Stoughton’s chance at a comeback with just 1:17 to go.

Stoughton used its two timeouts on first and third down, denying the Rocketeers a first down and making the hosts punt with just seconds to go. A high snap forced punter Max Bumpus to chase the ball down, falling on it at his own 20-yard line for a turnover on downs, giving Stoughton one last chance.

Burke’s first pass was knocked down as Christian Ais was triple covered in the end zone, and his second toss was just out of the end zone as he tried to hit Queeney in the corner.

“We had a chance at the end,” said Stoughton head coach Greg Burke. “I was happy we didn’t let them score in the second half and we got one, but we can’t give up the two scores. They certainly deserved at least one [score] in the first half, they were pushing us around and I thought we’d do a little better upfront so hats off to them. Their quarterback is tough, every time you think you got him he just squirms awayWe lost the ball a couple of times, and you can’t do that in games like this.

“It’s a consolation but the kids played hard, we didn’t get blown out. Our kids are never going to quit, no matter what, no matter who we play so I’m happy about that.”

North Attleboro orchestrated back-to-back scoring drives on its second and third chances of the game. After going three-and-out to start the game, the Rocketeers took advantage of good field position both times.

On the first drive, the Big Red needed seven plays to cover 45 yards before finding the end zone. Silva had a 15-yard carry to set the tone to start the drive and then hauled in a 3-yard catch inside the 5-yard line to move the chains. DeMattio kept it himself from a yard out to give North a 7-0 lead in the first quarter.




North’s next drive started in the first quarter and ended in the end zone with 8:29 left to play in the second quarter. Again starting in Stoughton territory, North marched 41 yards on 10 plays, twice converting on fourth down, to double its lead.

The Rocketeers went to Silva to covert 4th and 1 early in the drive, and then DeMattio kept it himself for 10 yards on 4th and 2. North kept going with DeMattio up the middle and two plays later, he kept it for a 5-yard touchdown and a 14-0 lead.

“With their speed, they were doing a good job of shutting down the edge on us early so it was leaving a little bit of a seam up inside,” Johnson said. “He’s the safest way to run off tackle, you don’t have to risk a handoff or anything. So that’s why it ended up being him more than some of the other running backs.

“[Tyler’s] the guy you want in your fox hole. There’s no stop to him, he’s just constantly going hard in everything that he does. He’s pound-for-pound the toughest kid that I’ve seen in a long time.”

After four punts to open the game, Stoughton finally got something going on offense late in the first half. Jonah Ly sprinted for 12 yards on first down, Christian Ais followed with a 13-yard carry, and Christopher Ais went up the middle to convert third and short. The Black Knights moved inside the red zone but back-to-back incompletions, including one near the pylon in the front of the end zone, stopped the drive.

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Stoughton’s defense forced a turnover on downs on North’s first drive of the second half (10 plays, 51 yards) and the Black Knights carried some momentum to offense. Christian Ais scampered his way for a 41-yard carry to start the drive but three plays later, Burke’s pass to Christian Ais was spotted a yard short on fourth down.

“They have great speed, they were able to use that,” Burke said. “We had some success going right at them but we didn’t continue with it, but shoulda, coulda, woulda, and we just didn’t do enough. We had some chances but came up short on some fourth downs. They did a good job using their speed, brought an extra guy in on us. I thought we’d hit a few more passes but we didn’t. And we had turnovers, you can’t do that.”

North Attleboro (4-0) can clinch the Davenport title outright when it travels to Foxboro on Friday for a 5:30 kickoff. Stoughton (3-1) will compete in crossover action when it hosts Milford (3-1) on Saturday at 11:00 AM.

Stoughton Finishes Strong To Fend Off Foxboro

Stoughton football Christian Ais
Stoughton senior Christian Ais breaks free for a long run in the fourth quarter against Foxboro. (Ryan Lanigan/HockomockSports.com)
ByRyanLanigan_2016FollowRyanLanigan_2016
 
 
 STOUGHTON, Mass. – The Stoughton football team has long prided itself on its performance in the fourth quarter and how they finish games.

Whether it’s with a lead, in a tie game, or trying to come from behind, the Black Knights always look to empty the tank in the final 12 minutes of action.

Locked in a defensive battle with division rival Foxboro, knotted at 7-7 since the opening quarter of the game, Stoughton delivered in the fourth quarter. The Black Knights scored a pair of touchdowns inside the final five minutes of the game, sandwiched around a game-clinching takeaway to earn a 21-7 win over the visiting Warriors.

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After the opening drive of the game in which the Black Knights broke free for a 44-yard touchdown, Foxboro’s defense stymied Stoughton’s offense. The Warriors recovered fumbles on back-to-back possessions in the first half, forced Stoughton to punt to start the second half, and had a huge stop in the red zone forcing a turnover on downs in the third quarter.

But when Stoughton’s offense took the field for the first time in the fourth quarter, starting at their own 20-yard line with 11 minutes to play, the Black Knights finally found a rhythm.

Helped along by a pass interference call three plays in on a third down, Stoughton’s ground game got going. Christopher Ais (20 carries, 138 yards) took four straight carries, moving the chains twice, and took the Knights into Foxboro territory. Then it was Christian Ais’ (10 carries, 50 yards) turn, cutting back up the middle for a 21-yard dash to get down to the 10-yard line.

Three plays later, Christian Ais bowled his way over a trio of Foxboro defenders at the goal line, getting an extra push from junior lineman Edward Conrad, for a 2-yard touchdown. Jonah Ly (3-for-3 on extra points) split the upright to put Stoughton up 14-7 with 4:33 to go.

Ais’ score capped a 10-play, 80-yard drive that took off 6:27 of the clock.










“We fumbled all over the place, you don’t do that, you can’t give up the ball,” said Stoughton head coach Greg Burke. “They are tough, we knew they’d be good but at least we finished up the way we want to play and we played good defense throughout. But hey, if we give up only one touchdown every week I’ll take it. We have a couple of issues that we still need to iron out but we’ll get there.”

Foxboro started the ensuing drive at its own 15-yard line but Cam Prescott’s deep pass got caught up in the wind and Stoughton senior Andrew Medina was able to adjust and come down with the interception to get the hosts the ball back right away.

Stoughton went right back to its ground game, and aided by a Foxboro unsportsmanlike penalty, moved into the red zone. Christopher Ais broke free for a 15-yard run to get inside the 10-yard line and two plays later, senior quarterback John Burke took the QB option around the corner on the left sideline for a 9-yard touchdown and a 21-7 lead with 1:31 to play.

“The fourth quarter comes down to weight training,” Burke said. “We’ve got a brand new weight room here that the kids haven’t been able to use. They put in the time, they found ways in the offseason to lift. We aren’t the biggest team but pound-for-pound I’ll match us against anyone. I felt like if we could hang close for three quarters, we could win in the fourth. We didn’t help ourselves with the fumbles, they had one or two good hits but those fumbles are our fault. We’ll get back to the drawing board but we’re 2-0 and we’ll take any league win we can.”

While Foxboro’s defense slowed Stoughton’s offense throughout the majority of the game, the Black Knights’ defense kept the Warriors’ offense bottled up.

The Warriors’ defense forced a turnover on downs to set up Foxboro’s best drive of the game, a 5-play, 45-yard drive. Starting in Stoughton territory, junior Dylan Gordon had pair of good runs and junior Omarion Otto-Broomstein barreled his way in from 1-yard out. Sam Carpenter’s successful point after attempt tied the game, 7-7, with 1:14 left in the opening quarter.

But beyond that, Stoughton’s defense didn’t allow the Warriors to move the ball much. In fact, Foxboro only ran more than five plays on one drive, punting on five possessions, including four straight between the second and third quarters. The Warriors ran nine plays on their second possession but that came to an end on downs.




Anthony Girolamo had a strong game at linebacker while Stoughton got good pressure up front from Ly, Christian Georges, Nivon Domoulin, Konrod Rogers, and Liam Joyce, among others.

“Our defense played great for us,” Burke said. “[Gordon] had a couple of runs, we kept [Chris McNamara] in check, and [Luis Sulham] only caught a couple of passes. They did a good job passing blocking, that’s something we usually get in on but they did a nice job there. But I was very, very happy with the way the defense played and getting the win, it was a tough win. We still have a long way to go.”

Stoughton nearly jumped back in front twice near the end of the second. The Black Knights marched 9 plays to get into the red zone but fumbled on a run to the left and Sulham jumped on the loose ball for the visitors. But Foxboro’s drive was put to a stop on a sack from Davin Swierzewski. Stoughton got the ball back at the Foxboro 31-yard line with 32 seconds left but had four straight incompletions to end the half.

The Black Knights threatened again at the end of the third quarter, set up on a 41-yard pass and catch from Burke to Christian Ais. But Foxboro’s defense tightened up, getting key tackles from Mike Norvish, Dylan Kerrigan, Jon Moses, James Kraus and Trent Rennie. Stoughton tried to run the “Philly Special” on fourth down but Jake Queeney’s pass to Burke was just out of reach in the end zone.

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“I thought the kids did a good job but those three backs [the Ais brothers and Christian Georges], you can’t key on one that’s for sure,” said Foxboro head coach Jack Martinelli. “It’s not like stopping one back, and they run what they run offensively very well. Even if you have those kids stopped, they are still going to get positive yardage so give them credit. It was a good game, 21-7 doesn’t look like the game I saw…14-7 yeah. If you don’t tie up those kids before they get going…they are as good as I’ve seen in a while in a league and there are three of them.

“I’m disappointed in how it ended but not disappointed in how the kids played from start to finish. Now we’re onto next week.”

Stoughton (2-0) will host Sharon on Friday night at 5:00 while Foxboro (1-1) has its home opener, hosting Canton at 5:30.

Football: 2020 (Fall II) Davenport Division Preview

2020 (Fall II) Davenport Division Preview
North Attleboro quarterback Tyler DeMattio (6) runs away from the Foxboro defense during the 2019 season. (Ryan Lanigan/HockomockSports.com)

By HockomockSports.com Staff

2019 Davenport Football Preview

Canton

2019 Record: 10-1 (Davenport division champions)
2019 Finish: Reached D5 South Final (Davenport Division Champions)
Coach: Anthony Fallon

Key/Returning Players: Matt Connolly, Sr., OL/DL; Cam Sanchez, Sr., RB/DB; Jack Albert, Sr., WR/DB; Carson Campbell, Sr., OL/DE;

Outlook:
It’s a new era in Canton as Anthony Fallon takes over for longtime head coach Dave Bohane, who stepped down from his second stint in charge of the Bulldogs at the end of last season.

While it’s a new era, all of the players and coaches are hoping that the success from the past two seasons continues going forward. If that success is going to continue, it’s going to be by a host of new faces. The Bulldogs graduated a historic class that won back-to-back Davenport division titles and reached the D5 South Sectional final in 2019. While competing for the Davenport division title this year, Canton will lean heavily on its few returners while new players take advantage of the new opportunities.

Senior Matt Connolly is a force on both sides of the ball, protecting the quarterback on the offensive line and leading the way for the ground game with his blocking. And defensively, the 6-foot-2, 300-pound senior who is committed to play at Assumption College, is an absolute handful and requires a lot of attention. Cam Sanchez is another experienced player back for the Bulldogs and will be involved in the running game offensively and apart of the secondary defensively. Carson Campbell started all 11 games for Canton last year at right tackle and will add defensive line duties this season. Jack Albert should see an expanded role on both sides of the ball and will be one of the main targets in the receiving game.

“Our team has great speed in our secondary, we are big and strong upfront and our linebackers are tough and fast,” Fallon said. “We have a solid mix on our varsity of juniors and seniors. I am also excited with our numbers on the sub-varsity level with 30-plus players. With a tough-minded defense and a fast offense, I know we will compete in every game.”

2020 (Fall II) Davenport Division Preview

Foxboro

2019 Record: 5-6
2019 Finish: Reached D5 South Semifinal
Coach: Jack Martinelli

Key/Returning Players: Jon Moses, Sr., DE; Sean Ferguson, Sr., OC; Mike Norvish, Sr., LB; Chris McNamara, Sr., RB; Luis Sulham, Sr., WR; Dylan Kerrigan, Sr., OG; James Stamatos, Sr., OLB; James Kraus, Sr., SS; Rashaad Way, Jr., WR/CB;

Outlook:
There is a lot of optimism in Foxboro for the Fall II season, and with a strong group of returning starters in different spots all over the field, there is good reason for it.

The Warriors seem to be in the mix for the Davenport division title each season, coming in third in 2019 and 2017. With talent back in key spots, Foxboro could be a serious contender for their first crown since 2015. The offense starts with the line and Foxboro has some experience and size to work with. Senior Sean Ferguson is a towering presence at 6’5, 315-pounds and anchors the line from the center position and he will be joined by junior Dylan Kerrigan (6’0, 205) at tackle. Senior Cam Prescott will start under center and will have a bevy of options to work with including playmaker Luis Sulham and junior Rashaad Way. Look for Chris McNamara to pick up where he left off carrying the ball.

Foxboro has an equal amount of playmakers on the defensive side of the ball with the strength of the team coming from the linebackers and the secondary. Seniors Mike Norvish and James Stamatos return with plenty of varsity experience under their belts and will anchor the linebacker position while senior James Kraus will start at safety and will be accompanied in the secondary by Way and Tom Sharkey, both juniors. One player to keep an eye out for is senior Jon Moses, a 6’4 defensive end that really improved over the course of last season and could be a handful for opposing offenses to deal with.

“The heart and soul of team this year is the senior leadership and experience along with a strong and talented junior class,” said Foxboro head coach Jack Martinelli.




2020 (Fall II) Davenport Division Preview

North Attleboro

2019 Record: 4-7 (Davenport Division Champions)
2019 Finish: Missed playoffs
Coach: Don Johnson

Key/Returning Players: Jared Penta, Sr., SLOT/DB/PR; Jacob Silva, Sr., TE/LB; Harry Bullock, Sr., OG/DE; Matt Penta, Sr., SE/DB; Tyler DeMattio, Jr., QB/K; Robbie Donovan, Sr., TE/DE; Alex McCoy, Sr., SLOT/DB; Jared Vacher, Jr., OG/DE; Danny Hayes, Sr., OT/DT; Colby Feid, Sr., SE/DB; Tommy Whalen, Sr., SLOT/LB;

Outlook:
North Attleboro was ravished by injuries during the 2019 season and the result was the program’s first sub-.500 season in 27 years. It speaks volumes to how consistent the Rocketeers are year in and year out that it had been that long but the Big Red are ready to turn the page and begin a new streak.

The Rocketeers are getting a lot of players back that missed time last year and also have a bunch of players back that were thrown into the fire last year and now have varsity experience. With that combination, North Attleboro is hoping the end result is the Davenport division title. Junior Tyler DeMattio is back under center for his second year as the starter after making a big splash on Thanksgiving his freshman season. DeMattio can get it done with both his arm and his legs (and his foot in the kicking game). He has a lot of weapons at his disposal this year with Jared Penta and Alex McCoy in the slots, Coby Feid and Matt Penta at split end, and 6-foot-5 Endicott-commit Robbie Donovan at tight end. Jacob Silva returns at tailback and will be complemented by senior Tommy Whalen while sophomores Nathan Shultz and Greg Berthiaume could be in the mix as well. Harry Bullock will anchor the offensive line alongside classmates Danny Hayes and Justin Vecchiarelli and juniors Jared Vacher and Keysun Wise.

On top of the eight returning starters on offense, the Rocketeers boast eight returners on the defensive side of the ball as well. North Attleboro has a lot of depth at the linebacker position with Silva, a team captain, being a key part of the group. He’ll be joined by Berthiaume, Vecchiarelli, Whalen, senior Dylan Eberle, and junior Tyler Bannon. Jared and Matt Penta are both very experienced safeties while McCoy and Feid return at corner, so the secondary will certainly be a strength for the Big Red. The Rocketeers don’t have the biggest defensive line but the likes of Donovan, Vacher, and Bullock provide speed from the edge.

“The extended off season has provided extra time for tremendous growth in the weight room,” said North Attleboro head coach Don Johnson. “The depth at the skill positions on both sides of the ball will be the strength of this team. The key will be how quickly and effectively we can put together our offensive and defensive lines.”

Oliver Ames

2019 Record: 4-7
2019 Finish: Missed playoffs
Coach: Ed DeWitt

Key/Returning Players: Jadon Ricci, Sr., RB/DB; Gavin Morrison, Sr., OL/DL; Max Tower, Sr., OL/LB; Dante Cocivera, Sr.,OL/DL; Jaden Krowski, Sr., DB; Colin Williamson, Jr., RB/DB; Chad Silva, Soph., RB/LB;

Outlook:
Oliver Ames is back in the Davenport division and is looking to make a splash in its first season back.

The Tigers had a lot of success when the league first split into two divisions, winning the Davenport title in 2011 and 2013 before making the jump up to the Kelley-Rex. With a strong group of players back, OA is looking to take the next step forward during the Fall II 2020 season. Senior captain Gavin Morrison is a two-way lineman and will anchor the offensive group from the center spot. He’ll be joined by senior Dante Cocivera and Max Tower, both returning players from last season. Junior Collin Williamson burst onto the scene last year and should see an expanded role in the backfield during this abbreviated season while sophomore Chad Silva should be in the mix as well.

Speed will be a strength on the defensive side of the ball for the Tigers, who boast a lot of the same faces on the defensive line as their offensive line. Tower anchors the linebackers and will be one to keep an eye on, using his speed and strength to make plays, and he’ll be joined by the sophomore Silva. Senior captain Jaden Ricci is one of the best defensive players on the team, a fast, physical player with a nose for the ball that will start at corner. He’ll be joined by senior Jaden Krowski in the secondary.

2020 (Fall II) Davenport Division Preview

“We are excited about where our program is heading and are really ecstatic and thankful to get an opportunity to play this season,” said head coach Ed DeWitt.




2020 (Fall II) Davenport Division Preview

Sharon

2019 Record: 0-11
2019 Finish: Missed playoffs
Coach: Dave Morse

Key/Returning Players: Nico Marrero, Sr., RB/LB; Ike Ogbonnanze, Sr., WR/LB; Kiran Chandrasekaran, Sr., QB; Owen Conway, Sr., WR/DB; Shea Letendre, Sr., C/MLB; PJ McManus, Sr., WR/DB/K; Conor McLaughlin, Sr., WR;

Outlook:
Sharon had a very young squad a season ago and went through plenty of growing pains. The Eagles are hoping to turn some of that experience into success on the field this season.

Not only do the Eagles have their quarterback and top receivers back, but they are also getting a big boost with a return from injury. Senior Kiran Chandrasekaran returns under center and has weapons in PJ McManus, Owen Conway, and Conor McLaughlin in the passing game. Nico Marrero, who showed flashes of great play as a sophomore, had to miss all of last year due to injury but is back this year and will be a key two-way player for the Eagles. Marrero is a powerful runner that will look to find space created by an improved offensive line. The Eagles’ offensive line is anchored by senior center Shea Letendre while junior Jack Murphy and sophomores Miles Clay and Daniel Davis help round out Sharon’s line.

Defensive the Eagles are always a competitive group, the challenge will be doing so for four quarters against some top offenses in the Davenport. Ike Ogbonnanze, who is also a big receiving target on offense, will start at linebacker alongside Marrero and Letendre, giving the Eagles a very experienced group in the heart of the defense. McManus and Conway will play on both sides of the ball, starting in the secondary defensively.

“Our kids know our numbers are not strong but they have a great attitude and are playing like their backs are against the wall,” said Sharon head coach Dave Morse.

Stoughton

2019 Record: 8-3
2019 Finish: Reached D3 South Quarterfinals
Coach: Greg Burke

Key/Returning Players: Christopher Ais, Sr., RB/LB; Christian Ais, Sr., RB/DB; Christian Georges, Sr., HB/DE; John Burke, Sr., QB/DB; Jake Queeney, Sr., WR/DB; Sproul Derolus, Sr., OL/DL;

Outlook:
Stoughton head coach Greg Burke always leans heavily on his senior class and he has a real talented group this year.

The Black Knights have a handful of very talented and experienced seniors that have played a lot of snaps over the past two seasons and that has Stoughton primed for a run a the Davenport division title. Senior John Burke is back under center at quarterback for the Knights and it’s likely we’ll see Brady Conlin take some snaps similar to how Burke split with Clayton Rahaman last season. Both quarterbacks will have plenty of options to work with, especially on the ground. The Knights have a “home run” type offense with any given handoff capable to break off a big run. Senior brothers Christopher and Christian Ais recently committed to the University of New Haven and both bring speed and power when running the ball. Christian Georges is another workhorse out of the backfield while juniors Anthony Girolamo and Jonah Ly could see some carries as well. What makes Stoughton’s run game so dangerous is all of the backs do a great job of blocking when they don’t get carries. Jake Queeney will be the main target in the passing game for the Knights. Sproul Derolus is one of the few returners on the offensive line so Stoughton will need some players to step up there.

Defense is always a staple for the Knights and that looks to be the case again this year. A lot of the same faces that make plays on the offensive side will be the ones making plays on the defensive side. Georges is an absolute monster coming off the edge and uses his speed and strength to cause havoc in the backfield. Christopher Ais will be joined by Ly and Girolamo at linebacker while Christian Ais, Queeney, and Burke are all returners in the secondary for the Knights.

“Hopefully without a ton of injuries we can have a good year,” Burke said. “We have some experience and the kids have worked hard in the clubs for weight training. We need the juniors to step up and contribute fast while still learning varsity speed. The league is always tough and hopefully, we can survive tough crossover games.”

2020 (Fall II) Davenport Division Preview

Saturday’s Schedule & Scoreboard – 02/13/21

Today’s games are listed below.

Boys Basketball
Stoughton, 67 @ Franklin, 77 – FinalClick here for a photo gallery from this gameFranklin created separation in the opening quarter and that was proved to be the difference in a non-league crossover clash between the Panthers and visiting Stoughton. The hosts used a 15-3 surge in the first quarter, outscoring the Black Knights 22-10 overall in the first eight minutes. The game hovered around the 10-point cushion the rest of the way, with Stoughton winning the second (17-16) and fourth (21-18) quarters while Franklin edged the visitors in the third (21-19). The closest Stoughton got the rest of the way was seven, down 34-27 in the second quarter, and Franklin had the lead up to as much 19 (49-32) in the third. But the Black Knights continued to make a game of it, the game playing out like a one-possession game throughout. Stoughton made it an eight point game, 70-62, in the final minutes but Jake O’Brien delivered a dagger three, one of 13 made triples for the Panthers. Declan Walmsley saved the best for last, dropping a career-high 34 points (on 71% shooting) along with 11 rebounds in the final game of his high school career. Junior Sean Vinson came off the bench and added a career-high 12 points and six rebounds while Alex Newman had nine points and four boards for the hosts. Senior Waseem Sablon hit six threes for a career-high 22 points for Stoughton while junior KC Ugwuakazi had 17 points and 10 rebounds, and senior Jake Queeney finished with 10 points and three assists.

Girls Basketball
Foxboro, 78 @ King Philip, 68 – FinalFoxboro led by 20 points at halftime and then had to hold off a furious KP comeback to close out the season with a seventh straight victory. KP got the lead down to as little as four in the second half, but the visitors made the plays down the stretch to secure the win. Katelyn Mollica closed out her stellar career with by scoring a career-high 35 points. The two-time state champion, Stonehill College-commit, and league’s leading scorer finished her career with more than 1,400 points, which puts her fourth all-time in program (and school) history. Caroline Aaron was the spark for KP, as she also put up a career-high, scoring 26 points in the loss. Jordyn Collins added 13 points and Hannah Blake and Erin Foley both had 11 for Foxboro.

Stoughton, 24 @ Oliver Ames, 71 – FinalOliver Ames’ offense was firing on all cylinders on Saturday morning, pouring in 42 first half points in a big win over Stoughton, clinching the Davenport division title. Junior Caroline Peper led the way in scoring with 19 points while senior Kelsey Yelle added 17 points and 15 rebounds in the win. OA recorded 28 assists as a team.

Canton, 59 @ Attleboro, 52 – FinalCanton held off a late Attleboro comeback to close out the season with four straight wins. Kiara Cerruti paced the Bulldogs with a game-high 17. Sydney Gallery added 15 and Fay Gallery chipped in with 11 for Canton. Attleboro cut a 10-point lead in half with a minute remaining, but the Bulldogs had enough on both ends to finish with the victory. Meghan Gordon was Attleboro’s top scorer with 12 points and 15 rebounds. Kayla Goldrick scored 11 points and Narissa Smith and Emma Reilly both finished with eight. Attleboro coach Marty Crowley called it a “great Hock game between two good teams.”

Boys Hockey
North Attleboro, 3 @ Mansfield, 9 – Final

Girls Hockey
Canton, 5 @ King Philip, 1 – FinalClick here for a Recap and Photo Gallery from this game.

Stoughton, 2 @ Franklin, 5 – Final

Gymnastics
Oliver Ames @ King Philip, 2:00

Thursday’s Schedule & Scoreboard – 02/11/21

Today’s games are listed below.

Boys Basketball
Stoughton, 47 @ Mansfield, 70 – FinalMansfield closed the third quarter on a 10-2 and never looked back in a win over Stoughton in a non-league crossover clash. The Black Knights, who had a a 12-9 lead at the end of the first quarter, made it a four-point game when senior Jake Queeney (11 points) scored five straight points to cut the deficit to 40-36 with under four minutes to go in the third. Jack Colby, who recorded a career-high 19 points to go along with eight rebounds, started the run with a hustle play on the offensive glass and capped it with a bucket through contact with under a minute to go as the Hornets staked a 50-38 lead going into the fourth. Mansfield’s offense had its way in the final frame with 23 points. Matt Boen added 16 assists, seven steals, five assists, and four rebounds for the Hornets, senior Brendan Foley chipped in with 11 points and eight rebounds, and junior Chris Hill finished with nine points. Four players scored in double figures for the Knights, with Brett Pendenza (12 points, five rebounds), KC Ugwuakazi (10 points, 10 rebounds), and Connor Andrews (10 points, five rebounds) joining Queeney.

Girls Basketball
Taunton, 38 @ Attleboro, 64 – FinalNine Attleboro players got on the scoresheet as the Bombardiers clinched second place in the Kelley-Rex division. Meghan Gordon scored a game-high 16 points and Narissa Smith added 11. Emma Reilly chipped in with eight points and Kayla Goldrick provided and impact on both ends of the floor. Jaelyn Fernandez topped Taunton with 13 points and Sonya Fernandez scored 10. Kyanna Barros added four for the Tigers. It was a five-point game after one quarter (14-9) but Attleboro hit another gear in the second, outscoring Taunton 25-6 to break the game wide open.

Stoughton, 31 @ Sharon, 36 – Final

Boys Hockey
Franklin, 2 @ Canton, 2 – FinalClick here for a Recap and Photo Gallery from this game.

Monday’s Schedule & Scoreboard – 02/08/21

Today’s games are listed below.

Boys Basketball
North Attleboro, 49 @ Canton, 51 – FinalNorth Attleboro nearly erased a 21-point deficit but saw it’s comeback attempt come up just short at the buzzer when it’s attempt at the game-winning three went in-and-out. Canton got off to a great start, staking a 17-5 lead through eight minutes and pushing it to 31-16 at halftime. The Bulldogs looked to be in full control when they carried a 49-28 edge into the fourth but the game completely changed in the final frame. The Rocketeers limited Canton to just two points and its offense came to life. Tommy Onorato hit a pair of threes and scored eight of his 10 points in the fourth and Brody Rosenberg scored six of his team-high 16 points to help North Attleboro rally to get back within two. North got one final stop and launched a deep three at the buzzer but the ball went in-and-out and Canton held on for the win. Steven Burbank scored all 11 of his points in the first half while Ryan Connerney (14 points), Will Keefe (nine points), and Eric Mischler (13 points) all connected from downtown in the third to help Canton build its big lead.

Stoughton, 72 @ Sharon, 53 – FinalStoughton had its best offensive outing of the season with nine players finding the scoring column, including four players in double figures. The Black Knights jumped out to a 19-10 lead after a quarter, adding 15 points in each the second and third quarters, and pulled away for good with a 23-point fourth quarter. Brett Pendenza and Waseem Sablon each hit four three-pointers and finished tied for the team-high in points with 14 each. Connor Andrews added two threes of his own and finished with 12 points while Jake Queeney added a pair of threes and a total of 10 points for the Black Knights, who led 34-22 at halftime. Sharon’s Matt Baskin had a game-high 19 points along with nine rebounds while sophomore Matt Baur added 15 points and five boards.

Mansfield, 58 vs. Plymouth North, 38 – Final Mansfield established a double-digit lead by the end of the first quarter and never looked back in win over non-league foe Plymouth North. The Hornets jumped out to a 20-9 lead and then limited the visitors to just two points in the second as the advantage ballooned to 30-11 by halftime. Mansfield kept its large lead going into (47-27) and throughout the final quarter. Senior Matt Boen scored nine of his game-high 25 points in the opening quarter and added two more threes in the second. Jack Colby added nine points for the Hornets, who had nine players score.




Girls Basketball
Canton, 51 @ Stoughton, 35 – FinalIn a game that both offenses took a while to get going, a strong defensive first half proved to be decisive for the Bulldogs. Canton held Stoughton scoreless in the opening quarter and to just eight points in the first half. The Bulldogs scored 20 to take a double-digit lead at the break, led by Fay Gallery, who scored 10 of her game-high 19 in the first half. Things remained tight in the third quarter as the teams combined for 16 points and Canton went into the fourth leading 29-15. After a struggle to score for 24 minutes, the teams exploded in the fourth, combining for 42 points in the final eight minutes. Gallery scored nine in the quarter and Kiara Cerruti added seven of her 13 points. Samya DaSilva added seven, including four points in the fourth. Makaiyah Singleton Rivera paced the Black Knights with a team-high 13 points, including seven in the final quarter. Kate Bulger scored eight points and knocked down a pair of threes in the fourth.

Oliver Ames, 62 @ North Attleboro, 33 – FinalOliver Ames built a double-digit lead by halftime and then pulled away by holding the Rocketeers to just 13 points in the second half. Caroline Peper led a balanced scoring attack for the visitors while Hailey Bourne chipped in with 10 points and Caroline Flynn finished with eight points. Amanda Kaiser scored 12 points in the loss and was helped by Cailyn Maxcy’s seven points and six from Ava McKeon.

Boys Hockey
Attleboro, 0 @ Mansfield, 4 – FinalClick here for a Photo Gallery from this game. Liam Anastasia had a goal and assist and Chris Hormann made 14 saves in the shutout, as the Hornets earned their first division win of the season. Brayden Purtell opened the scoring with 6:29 left in the first, when he tapped in a loose puck at the far post. It stayed a one-goal game until 10:50 left in the second when Mark DeGirolamo added an unassisted goal. Late in the third period, Anastasia stole the puck in the corner and played a pass across the crease to Kyle Oakley at the far post to make it 3-0. He added an empty net goal in the final minute to seal the win. Aidan Diggin nearly got Attleboro back into the game in the second period but had a breakaway effort come back off the post and and then struck the crossbar with a shot early in the third. Nick Piazza made 35 saves in the loss.

Stoughton, 0 @ Canton, 7 – Final

Foxboro @ Oliver Ames, 4:00

Taunton, 2 @ King Philip, 9 – FinalJunior Shaun Fitzpatrick scored a hat trick and freshman Brad Guden added two goals a the Warriors skated to a win over visiting Taunton. Junior Sean Crowther registered four assists in the win while senior Shea Cunningham picked up three helpers.

Girls Hockey
Boston Latin @ Stoughton/Sharon, 6:30

Swimming
Attleboro @ Franklin (virtual)

Thursday’s Schedule & Scoreboard – 01/21/21

Today’s games are listed below.

Boys Basketball
Attleboro, 58 @ Mansfield, 66 – FinalMansfield senior Matt Boen poured in a career-high 35 points to help the Hornets overcome an upset bid from visiting Attleboro. The Bombardiers built an eight-point lead after eight minutes (18-10) but Mansfield battled back to make it a two-point game, 33-31, at halftime. Both teams went for 11 points in the third as Attleboro carried a 44-42 lead into the fourth. But Boen flipped a switch in the final frame, hitting a pair of threes and six total field goals, netting 16 points to help the Hornets pull away. Boen also scored 10 points in the second to help the Hornets close the gap. Jack Colby added 10 points while Matt Hyland had eight points. Attleboro senior Justin Daniels shined with a career-high 25 points while Evan Houle and Trevor White each had eight points for the Bombardiers.

Canton @ North Attleboro – Postponed to TBD.

Stoughton, 52 @ Foxboro, 44 – FinalAfter being held to 23 points through three quarters, Stoughton’s offense exploded for 29 points in the fourth quarter to storm past Foxboro. It was a low scoring first half for both sides with the Warriors staking a 14-9 lead through a quarter and an 18-16 lead at halftime. Foxboro had its best offensive showing in third as sophomore Alex Penders (14 points) scored nine of the team’s 13 points to seize a 31-23 lead going into the fourth. But the Black Knights caught fire from three-point land with Connor Andrews (nine points) and Waseem Sablon (10 points) each hitting two and Jake Queeney adding another. Queeney’s three midway through the period gave Stoughton a 38-37 lead before Foxboro jumped back ahead on two free throws from Dylan Gordon (18 points). A strong take from Brett Pendenza put Stoughton back ahead and a steal from Sablon led to two points from junior KC Ugwuakazi (17 points). After a stop, Sablon drained a three as the clock ticked under two minutes. Foxboro got two back from the line but Andrews hit a straightaway three off an offensive rebound to make it 48-40 with a minute to go to ice the win.

Taunton, 55 @ Franklin, 46 – FinalClick here for a recap and photo gallery of this game.




Girls Basketball
Mansfield, 41 @ Attleboro, 63 – FinalFor the second straight game, Attleboro jumped out to a big first quarter lead, but this time the Bombardiers kept control and didn’t let Mansfield back into the contest. Attleboro led 25-10 after the first quarter, as Meghan Gordon and Narissa Smith combined for 18 of the team’s 25 points. Unlike on Tuesday night, Mansfield couldn’t mount a second quarter comeback and the Bombardiers went into the break leading 42-19. Gordon finished with a game-high 22 points and 12 rebounds and Smith scored 14 points (knocking down four threes on the night). Emma Reilly added eight in the win. Attleboro coach Marty Crowley said it was a “great team victory. Our defense was outstanding tonight.” The Hornets were led by Sarah Dooling and Abby Wager, who each finished with eight points.

Foxboro, 53 @ Stoughton, 13 – FinalKatelyn Mollica had her second straight game with 20-plus points and Foxboro swept the series against the Black Knights with a strong defensive performance. Mollica finished with 22 on the night and Hannah Blake chipped in with nine.

Franklin, 66 @ Taunton, 29 – FinalFranklin went on the road and scored a big win to stay unbeaten on the season. Olivia Quinn was the top scorer for the Panthers with 12 points, but it was a balanced effort as all 13 players got on the score sheet. Taunton got nine points from Sonya Fernandez and eight points from Jaelyn Fernandez in the season opener for the Tigers.

Oliver Ames, 52 @ Sharon, 15 – FinalOliver Ames used a balanced attack to get a season sweep of Sharon. Caroline Flynn didn’t miss a shot, finishing with 11 points while Sarah Hilliard added eight points. Jasmyn Cooper hauled in 10 rebounds while Maddie Homer had six steals.

North Attleboro @ Canton – Postponed to Friday, 2/12.

King Philip, 72 @ Milford, 38 – FinalEmily Sawyer scored a career-high 14 points and grabbed 14 rebounds to get the Warriors back in the win column. Fellow sophomore Jackie Bonner scored 11 points for KP, which jumped out to a 43-15 lead by halftime and knocked down 11 threes as a team. Milford was led by Emma Lawrence and Jillian Michelson, who both scored eight points.

Girls Hockey
King Philip, 3 vs. Austin Prep, 8 – Final

Swimming
Attleboro @ Mansfield, 5:00
Sharon vs. Oliver Ames, 3:30

Tuesday’s Schedule & Scoreboard – 01/19/21

Today’s games are listed below.

Boys Basketball
Mansfield, 80 @ Attleboro, 58 – FinalClick here for a recap and photo gallery of this game.

North Attleboro @ Canton – Postponed to TBD.

Foxboro, 64 @ Stoughton, 67 – FinalIn a back-and-forth contest, Stoughton won the fourth quarter and the game, holding on as Foxboro’s shot at the buzzer was just off the mark. After a strong start from the Black Knights, Foxboro used a 20-2 in the first quarter to take a double-digit lead after eight minutes. Dylan Gordon (19 points), Sam Golub (11 points), and Ryan LeClair (career-high 15 points) all hit threes in the opening period to give the visitors the lead. Stoughton responded with a big second quarter, with six players recording a field goal including a pair of threes from senior Jake Queeney (career-high 15 points) and one from Christian Georges to tie the game 33-33 at halftime. Golub added two more triples in the third and sophomore Alex Penders had six of his 16 points in the third to help Foxboro take a 52-50 lead going into the fourth. Stoughton junior KC Ugwuakazi scored all of his 14 points in the second half and helped set up one of the biggest shots of the game. With two minutes to go, Ugwuakazi took a pass in the paint and drew the attention of the defense. He found Connor Andrews (nine points), who quickly skipped a pass to Brett Pendenza (career-high 16 points) for a corner three to make it 65-60 with two minutes to play.

Oliver Ames @ Sharon – Postponed to TBD.

King Philip, 61 @ Milford, 66 – FinalTen players entered the scoring sheet for the Hawks, who broke into the win column with a win over visiting King Philip. The Hawks increased their advantage after each of the first three quarters, holding the visiting Warriors at arms length down the stretch. Senior Jordan Darling scored eight of his 10 points in the opening half while Ben Blanchard (team-high 12 points), Brady Olson, and Wes Solomon all connected from three-point range in the second to give Milford a 33-25 lead at halftime. Dom Schofield and Sean Murray each scored eight points in the third and Max Martin hit a three as the Hawks pushed the advantage to 50-41 going into the final frame. King Philip sophomore Will Laplante hit seven three-pointers for a career-high 26 points to help keep the Warriors in the game. Junior Danny Clancy scored 15 of his 17 points in the second half for KP.




Girls Basketball
Attleboro, 53 @ Mansfield, 54 – FinalClick here for a Recap and Photo Gallery from this game.

Stoughton, 19 @ Foxboro, 76 – FinalAll 11 players scored for Foxboro, which ended its two-game losing streak and moved back over .500 on the season. Katelyn Mollica was the game’s top scorer with 27 points. Camryn Collins also hit double digits with 10 points and Hannah Blake added nine.

Sharon, 13 @ Oliver Ames, 58 – Final Oliver Ames got off to a strong start and never looked back, earning a win at home behind a complete game effort. Caroline Peper was the leading scorer for OA with 11 points while Jess Erlich, Jasmyn Cooper, and Anna Murphy each chipped in with seven points. Caroline Flynn dished out eight assists in the win.

Rocketeers Run Away With Win Over Black Knights

North Attleboro boys basketball
North Attleboro senior George Ladd goes up for a shot in the first half against Stoughton. Ladd finished with 21 points. (Ryan Lanigan/HockomockSports.com)
ByRyanLanigan_2016FollowRyanLanigan_2016
 
 
 NORTH ATTLEBORO, Mass. – The North Attleboro boys basketball team was on the verge of running away with a win during the third period, but visiting Stoughton made enough plays to stay in striking distance.

When given a second chance to put the game to bed, the Rocketeers didn’t take their foot off the pedal and ran away with a 61-36 decision over the Black Knights.

North extended its lead to 15 points with three minutes left in the third but the Black Knights chipped away, led by some hustle plays from junior Connor Andrews. Andrews took a charge and hauled in a pair of defensive rebounds on one end, and scored five straight on the other end to keep the visitors’ hopes alive, down 36-26.

Click here for a photo gallery from this game.

But the Rocketeers’ offense couldn’t be contained in the fourth quarter. Senior George Ladd (eight rebounds) scored 11 of his game-high 21 points in the final frame, taking advantage of Stoughton turnovers and second-chance points. North ended up with 25 points in the quarter, pulling away for the win.

“In the third quarter we kind of relaxed a little and took our foot off the gas,” admitted North Attleboro head coach Sean Mulkerrins, who is in his eighth year at the helm. “In the fourth, I thought our defensive focus was better, our rebounding focus was better, and our attention to protecting the ball was better and I think that was the difference. We thought we had a better man-to-man defense scheme than we executed the first game so we worked a lot on that in practice.”

Junior Casey Poirier set the tone in the first minute, taking a charge as the Rocketeers’ defense forced back-to-back turnovers to start the quarter. On the other end, senior Edan Kelley (seven points, five assists) found Ladd cutting backdoor on an inbounds play, a lob finished plus the foul for a three-point play and the Rocketeers were off and running.

Kelley found Jared Vacher for two and Ladd hit two free throws after a Stoughton turnover. Kelley and Ladd hooked up once again with the latter using a nice scoop finish. Poirier’s hard drive drew the defense’s attention and Ladd was there to finish again. Vacher missed the front end of a one-and-one but grabbed his own miss and snuck a layup in.

Three of Stoughton’s next four possessions resulted in turnovers, the last two turning into back-to-back buckets for Ladd and Brody Rosenberg (11 points, seven rebounds), as North opened the quarter with a 17-7 run and took a 53-33 lead with just over three minutes to go.

North Attleboro boys basketball

“We’re not really a team that gets up and forces a lot of turnovers, we’re trying to play solid defense without giving up easy ones,” Mulkerrins said. “With everything going on this season, lack of practice, roster moves, I think that’s naturally going to lead to turnovers so if you can just be solid defensively, more often than not you’ll be in a good spot.”










Besides the first basket of the game from Stoughton junior KC Ugwuakazi (eight points, 11 rebounds), the Rocketeers never trailed. The response was a 14-2 run in the opening quarter. Rosenberg sliced through the defense, Ladd cleaned up a miss, Kelley confidently sank a triple, Poirier hit one from the line and Ladd scored again. Kelley scored back-to-back baskets and North stretched its lead to double digits in the opening quarter.

“When a couple of things go wrong, and it feels like we’re down a hundred then we try to make up all the points on one play instead of slowly chipping away at it,” said first-year Stoughton head coach Evan Taylor. “I think it starts with a better start at the beginning of the game.”

“I think the biggest concern is on the offensive end. We’ve been playing pretty well defensively, holding teams to reasonable scores besides tonight. But we’re just not scoring enough, we’re not being aggressive enough. I don’t think we’re being unselfish enough. We have too many guys looking for their own shot and it shows on the scoreboard. Our offense as a whole needs to play more together.”

The second was a bit better for the Black Knights, who outscored the hosts 10-9 in the frame. Both Andrews and Jake Queeney connected from three-point range to keep Stoughton close but North got some key contributions from its bench, as it did throughout the entire game.

After Queeney’s triple cut the deficit to four, Nate Bennett’s hustle led to a putback off his own miss. And Rosenberg hit a key triple late in the quarter, getting an open look after a nice off-ball screen from Jason Rodriguez.

The contributions from the bench continued into the third as Tommy Onorato knocked down a triple on one end and Rodriguez stepped in to take a charge on Stoughton’s ensuing possession.

Click here for a photo gallery from this game.

“I have all the faith in the world in every single one of these kids,” said Mulkerrins, who played his entire available roster, most in meaningful minutes. “They are here every day, working hard in practice…we’re trying to pride ourselves this year on having really competitive practices and giving guys a chance. We talk about when guys come off the bench, the energy level has to go up. We had guys do that tonight, Jason Rodriguez stepped up and his focus was there, we got the ball in his hand on offense. I was really proud of the group tonight, they really made the best of their minutes.”

Stoughton got a stop early in the third but the defensive rebound was quickly turned over and Rosenberg dished it off to Ladd for two. Two more from Rosenberg and Onorato’s three pushed North’s lead to 32-17.

North Attleboro (2-1) returns to action on Tuesday when it travels to take on Canton (3-1). Stoughton (0-4) will look for its first win when it hosts Foxboro on the same day.

North Attleboro boys basketball