The Campus Report: Looking Back At Fall 2017

Campus Report
The HockomockSports.com Campus Report is an update on former Hockomock League athletes currently competing in collegiate sports. If you would like to submit an update, please e-mail info@HockomockSports.com.

Former Foxboro standout Austin Ryan had a very memorable and impressive first year suiting up for the Bentley Falcons. After spending time at Williston Northampton School after graduating from Foxboro High. Ryan was named Northeast 10 Conference Rookie of the Week four times throughout the season, and was named NE10 Offensive Player of the Week in the final week of the season. He was second on the Falcons with 49 receptions but had almost more than triple the yardage of the next highest receiver on the team with 1,237 yards. He also hauled in a team-high and conference-best 16 touchdowns. His 123.7 receiving yards per game also led the NE10.

Franklin’s Quintin McDermott also had a strong season for the Falcons. He recorded 34 tackles, forced a team-high three fumbles and came away with three pass breakups. He had two interceptions on the season, coming in the same game. He picked off Merrimack quarterback CJ Scarpa twice to help Bentley pick up a 17-7 win on the road against the Warriors. Attleboro’s Luke Morrison played in five games, Mansfield’s Kyle Wisnieski (six tackles) played in six games and Bobby Mylod, a freshman, played in all 10 games and made five tackles.

Ryan wasn’t the only former Hockomock star to have a standout first year in the NE10. Former HockomockSports.com Player of the Year and Canton star Jake Ragusa was a monster on the defensive side of the ball for Merrimack. Ragusa led the Warriors with 70 total tackles, and was tied for the team lead with 4.5 sacks (for a total of 40 yards). He also had two interceptions from his linebacker spot, three quarterback hits, two forced fumbles and a fumble recovery.

Lasy year’s girls’ soccer HockomockSports.com Player of the Year Hannah Reiter made an immediate impact for the Quinnipiac team this fall. Reiter was named to the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference All-Rookie team. She earned a spot as the Bobcats’ primary defensive midfielder and racked up four assists in 17 regular season games (11 starts). Reiter increased her minutes played in all six games prior to earning a starting spot she has since not relinquished at Harvard on Sept. 13. Since Reiter joined the starting lineup, Quinnipiac finished the regular season with a mark of 5-3-3 while she played every minute in seven out of the 11 games she started in 2017. In addition, Quinnipiac allowed more than one goal in just three of the 11 regular season games in which Reiter was in the starting lineup.

Joe Wilder, a former Stoughton standout on the gridiron, was named the Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference Offensive Lineman of the Year after a great senior year at Framingham State. Wilder, who was also selected to the MASCAC First Team All Offense, helped lead a Rams offensive line that first in the conference in rushing yards (2,044), rushing yards per game (204.4), rushing touchdowns (22) and rushing first downs (104). Wilder started at tackle for the Rams.

Also at Framingham State, Attleboro’s Tom Burns earned Second Team All Defense honors after another solid campaign with the Rams. Burns, a senior, was third on the team with 54 tackles (most among defensive backs). He also recorded two tackles for loss while coming away with three interceptions (totaling 65 return yards) and three pass breakups. King Philip’s Brian Donahue had 14 tackles, including two for loss, while fellow former Warrior Cory Lombardo had five tackles and an interception.

Taunton’s Trevor Wysong continued to pace Bridgewater State’s men’s cross country team again this season. Now a sophomore, Wysong helped the Bears finish second at the 2017 Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference (MASCAC) Cross Country Championships held at Stanley Park in Westfield. Wysong garnered All-MASCAC honors as he placed second overall at the meet, covering the eight-kilometer course in a time of 26:07.60. Taunton’s Dylan Lynch, a freshman, finished 41st overall and Attleboro’s Will McKenzie, a sophomore, was 80th. In the women’s race, Milford’s Jenise Madden, a sophomore for BSU, crossed the finish line fourth overall in a time of 19:39.50, earning All-MASCAC honors. She helped the Bears finish fourth overall.

2016 HockomockSports.com Best XI selection Colby Koch made an immediate impact on the pitch at Becker College. Koch was second on the team with four goals and had a team-high four assists, resulting in 12 points during his rooking campaign. He had a team-high 26 shots on goal, and three of his four goals were game-winners.

At Bridgewater State, former Oliver Ames football star Cam Williamson wrapped up his collegiate career with 34 tackles from his defensive back spot. Williamson, who played in eight of 10 tames, averaged 4.3 tackles and a game, had a fumble recovery in a win over Westfield state, had an interception on the road at Fitchburg State and totaled five pass breakups.

Down at Mass. Maritime, a handful of former Hockomock League standouts are factoring to the Buccaneers’ defensive unit. Mansfield’s Alex Ruddy was second on the team with 47 tackles, including two for a loss. He also came up with one interception, two pass breakups and three passes defended. KP alum Leo Munafo had 22 tackles, an interception, and two pass breakups, Mansfield’s Connor Finerty had nine tackles in six games played, KP grad Chris Winbourne had four tackles, former Sharon standout Peter Banks had three tackles, and James Cooke (an offensive lineman) had one tackle.

Kim McNally had her best offensive season during her senior campaign with the Sacred Heart women’s soccer team. McNally, a defender, was one of just four players on the team to start in all 18 games. And even has a defender, she finished third on the team with three goals scored. The former Canton Bulldog scored on the road at Yale, scored the game-winning goal at home against Mount St. Mary’s and added a third tally on the road at Wagner. She finishes her career with six goals and one assist, playing in all 73 games that happened during her four-year career – starting all but four of them.

Mansfield’s Alyssa Kelly finished second in both assists and digs for the Bridgewater State volleyball team. Kelly had 116 sets, averaging 1.15 assist per set. She added 187 digs (1.85 per set) as well as 27 kills and 24 aces (third on the team). Against Lasell, Kelly had a season-high 15 digs while notching a season-best four aces just a week earlier against Worcester State.

Brandies men’s soccer is in the midst of another successful postseason run, with two former Hock players leading the way. Josh Ocel has a team-high 10 assists along with four goals, leading the Judges with 18 points. Ocel, along with King Philip grad Andrew Allen, are just two of nine players to see action in all 19 games this year. Allen has been a weapon off of the bench, making 12 appearances as a substitute. He’s second on the team with five goals and also had three assists during his junior season.

Attleboro’s Michelle Sheehan set the offense in motion for Mass. Maritime’s volleyball team this fall. Sheehan, a sophomore, posted a team-high 307 assists (3.30 per set) and was also a top defensive option for the Bucs, notching 129 digs. Along with 41 kills, she had 24 aces. She had a season-high 24 assists on the road at Pine Manor and a season-best 12 digs on the road at Fitchburg State.

Former Foxboro Warrior Katie Notarangelo finished her collegiate career with her best offensive season in four years with MIT’s field hockey team. During her senior season, she scored a career-high seven goals along with a career-high five assists for 19 points, which was top five for the Engineers. She finished her career with 11 goals and six assists for 28 points while starting in 66 of the 69 games she appeared in over four years.

Franklin’s Alexis Stowell earned Northeast-10 All-Conference Third Team honors after another successful year with the Assumption women’s soccer team. Stowell helped anchor a defensive line that posted five shutouts on the season, including a huge effort against Saint Rose in the NE10 Quarterfinals. She also recorded three assists playing right back for Assumption, including producing the game-winning assist in the Hounds 2-1 win over Le Moyne on October 11th. Twin sister and former HockomockSports.com Player of the Year Victoria Stowell scored once and had two assists with 18 games started for the Greyhounds.

Former King Philip standout Melissa Daigle finished her collegiate career with an even 800 kills for the WPI volleyball team. She had a career-best 266 kills her freshman year, and finished with 167 during her senior campaign. She also had 565 career digs, 48 aces and 79 career blocks.

Two of Bridgewater State’s three field hockey all-conference honorees hailed from the Hockomock League. Mansfield’s Janet Maher was named to the All-Little East Second Team and Foxboro’s Emma Daly, a freshman, earned honorable mention honors. Maher, who hails from Mansfield, Massachusetts, started all 17 games on the Bears’ back line this season. She tallied four goals and one assist for nine points to go along with a defensive save. In 70 games over four seasons with the Bears, Maher recorded six goals and three assists for 15 points in addition to six defensive saves. Daly put together a solid rookie campaign as she notched eight goals and three assists for 19 points.

Another former Hockomock field hockey player that Little East honorable mention honors was Franklin’s Allison Burke. Burke was the stingiest goalkeeper in the conference, sporting an .824 save percentage that slotted her atop all LEC netminders. The junior shattered her previous season-high for saves, stopping 168 shots in 2017, logging four shutouts with a 2.57 goals against average. UMass Dartmouth’s season-opener against MIT on Sept. 2 was a sure preview of Burke’s outstanding season; she set NCAA Division III’s highest single-game save total of the season with 37, holding the Engineers to just four goals and breaking Seana Golden’s previous school-record of 29 saves.

Anthony Barreira worked his way into the starting lineup by the midway point of the season for Bryant University’s men’s soccer team. Barreira started in six straight games, including both of the Bulldogs’ wins this season. He scored his first collegiate goal at home on October 22nd, netting the opening strike in a 2-1 win over Sacred Heart.

Brett McEvoy became Nichols all-time leading tackler (385) this season and earned his fourth Commonwealth Coast Conference all-conference nod and second First Team selection. He led the Bison and finished second in the conference in tackles with 115 (41 solo) and recorded 10-or-more tackles in seven contests, including a season-high 15 against Westfield State and Endicott. He also led the CCC in fumble recoveries (four) and collected seven tackles for loss. He also owns several punting records at Nichols, including punts (207) and yards (7,237).

Mansfield’s Kerra Anastasia concluded her four-year career with Fitchburg State field hockey with her highest point total during her senior season. Anastasia scored a pair of goals for the Falcons, scoring her first of the season in a rout on the road at Becker, and netting her second in a comeback win against Southern Maine. She finishes her career with three goals and six assists, for a total of 12 points.

At Regis College, Stoughton’s Ashley Chipman was the leading scorer for the Pride’s field hockey team while Oliver Ames’s Yvonne Abate was in the top five in scoring from her midfield position. Chipman, who played forward, notched a team-high five goals to tie for a team-best 10 points this season. Abate, who started in 14 games this season, scored twice and had two assists to finish with six points.

Former Attleboro Bombardier Owen McKenna handled punting duties for the Norwich University team this season, along with getting reps on the defensive side of the ball. In 10 games played, McKenna booted 60 punts, averaging over 35 yards on each kick with six kicks inside the 20-yard line and only one attempt blocked. On defense, the sophomore had 22 tackles.

At Bard College, Franklin alum Nicole Ellin appeared in all 17 games as a junior, starting 16 of them. She totaled 1,316 minutes played, which was fourth on the team, finished with a shot on goal, and was a rock in the middle of Bard’s defense at center back. Another Franklin grad, Meghan Dieterle, became a mainstay on Saint Michael College’s backline. She started in 16 games, and even scored a pair of goals (including the game-winner on a free kick in overtime against Post).

Sharon’s Tim Peng notched his first collegiate goal during his senior season at Trinity College. Peng, who patrolled the midfield for the Eagles four years ago, concluded his college career with his best season. He appeared in a career-high 14 games, along with seven starts. He scored his first goal – the game-winner – in a 1-0 win on the road at Western Conn. State.

Danny McDermott made the most of his senior year, starting under center for Salve Regina. He finished the season with 1,892 yards, 22 touchdowns through the air and an average of 210.2 passing yards a game. He completed 55.8% of his 258 attempts. Attleboro’s Tyler McGovern, a freshman, was McDermott’s backup and completed two of his four attempts for 32 yards. One of those completions went for former Bombardier teammate Brendan Nunes, who was second on the team with 34 receptions, totaling 432 yards and hauling in seven touchdowns. Nunes also had six kick returns for 142 yards and was third on the team in all-purpose yards. Foxboro grad Ronnie Martin, in his first year with the Seahawks, was third on the team with 96 rushing yards and scored a pair of touchdowns.

Two former Mansfield Hornets earned All-MASCAC honors after solid seasons with the Bridgewater State women’s soccer team. Molly Sheild was named to the All-MASCAC First Team and Katie Bongarzone earned All-MASCAC Second Team honors. Shield and Bongarzone anchored an outstanding BSU defensive unit which limited opponents to just 6.7 shots on goal per game and helped produce seven shutouts and a team goals against average of 0.98. As a team, the Bears ranked second in the MASCAC in shutouts and third in goals against average. Bongarzone started all 19 games this season and finished with a goal and six assists, while Shields appeared in 17 games with 16 starts and recorded an assist. Taunton’s Alana Vincent finished with four goals and four assists in just eight games played for the Bears.

Merrimack junior Mary McNeil was named to the Northeast-10 All-Conference Second Team for another solid season with the Warriors. McNeil, a former Canton standout added to her well-decorated career with another all-league selection. The two-time All-American posted totals of three goals, a team-best 10 assists and 16 points over 18 appearances. She ended the season in a tie for fourth in the conference in helpers, one of six players in the league with double-digit assists. She posted three multi-assist efforts in 2017, and a pair of four-point performances. Also at Merrimack, Canton’s Lindsey Nolte scored five goals and had two assists while Milford’s Jess Palmer scored once. All three started in all 18 games this season.

There was another familiar face on the NE10 All-Conference Second Team, as former HockomockSports.com Player of the Year Hannah Friend, who now plays forward for Saint Anselm, was also selected to the team. Friend earned Second Team recognition by leading her team with 21 points of offense (9-3=21) against NE10 foes, scoring nine goals and three assists. Overall on the season, she notched a team-best 12 goals and seven assists for 31 points (12-7=31) and currently ranks 13th nationally in points per game (1.72). Another former OA standout, Kendall Clifford, was named to the NE10 All Rookie team. She led all Saint Anselm freshmen in 2017 by scoring three goals and as many assists for nine points. Making 16 appearances in a reserve role, Clifford has boosted a midfield that has scored more than four goals per game on eight occasions and has blanked its opponents in eight games as well. Franklin’s Maddie Bressler scored five goals and added two assists and Canton’s Mary Nee had three goals and five goals for the Hawks.

Former Stoughton standout Malachi Baugh concluded an injury-riddled career at Stonehill with his best season. After being limited to 27 carries through his first three years, Baugh was second on the Skyhawks with 96 carries this season and totaled 472 yards (52.4 per game and five touchdowns. He scored a touchdown in five of his last six games, helping Stonehill go 4-2 in those contests.

Luke Albertini concluded a four-year career at Central Connecticut State. The former Red Rocketeers started in 56 games over his four years, including 17 in each of the past two seasons. He made 63 appearances in total for the Blue Devils, patrolling the midfield. He scored a pair of goals, one as a freshman, and one as a junior.

Taunton High grad Adam McLaughlin hauled in a pair of touchdowns in his rookie year at UMass Dartmouth, finishing fifth on the team in receptions with 14. He scored his first touchdown of the season in the second game of the year, hauling in a 10-yard touchdown. He had a season-high four catches for 66 yards in a win on the road at Mass. Maritime and then scored his second touchdown of the season in the finale at Fitchburg State, a 29-yard reception in the third quarter. Also at UMass Dartmouth, Attleboro’s Andrew Gingras started all 10 games at left tackle during his freshman season.

Lauren Berman capped a rollercoaster ride of a collegiate career with a great final season with the Boston College women’s soccer team. Berman finished second on the squad in points this season, scoring a team-high seven goals while adding three assists for 17 points. She started in all 20 games this season and was fourth on the team in minutes played. She was named New England Soccer Journal Midfielder of the Year. She finishes her BC career with 14 goals and 15 assists.

Former two-time HocomockSports.com Player of the Year Taylor Cogliano finished the season fourth in scoring for the Merrimack Warriors. Cogliano made 12 starts, and a total of 19 appearances as the Warriors reached the NE10 semifinal game. The former Frankin star scored a pair of goals – one against Molloy and one against Le Moyne – and finished with two assists (against Dominican and Stonehill). Milford’s Nicole Dahlgren made six appearances off the bench for the Warriors this season.

King Philip grad Joe Kellett continues to be a mainstay in the midfield for the talented UMass Lowell men’s soccer program. After starting in all 16 games as a freshman, Kellett was just one of three River Hawks to start in all 18 contests in 2017. He was second on the team in minutes (1,670), and had one assist on the season. He set up a goal in UMass Lowell’s 3-2 win at home over Monmouth.

Elias Camacho, a former Canton gridiron standout, concluded his career at Wesleyan fourth on the team in tackles. He had 26 solo tackles, and 35 total tackles, including two for a loss. He also had an interception in the final game of the season – his third career pick – and had five pass breakups. For his career, Camacho finished with 67 tackles and 3.5 tackles for loss.

After just one appearance during her freshman campaign, former Franklin standout Dani Lonati lead the Colby women’s soccer team with eight starts in net and nine total appearances. She posted 48 saves with an impressive 1.42 goals against average, earning a shutout win on the road against Thomas. Lonati made a career-high 13 saves in a scoreless tie to open the season against Tufts.

Franklin’s Sammy Rondeau was named to the Great Northeast Athletic Conference Field Hockey All-Conference Second Team after a strong season with Simmons – her second straight year on the second team. The senior enjoyed the best season of her career, racking up 40 points to rank sixth among GNAC players, while scoring 16 goals to stand fifth and recording eight assists for the fourth-most in the league. The forward’s four game-winners place her fifth among GNAC leaders. The former Panther’s season was one of the best in school history with the fourth-highest point total in school history, the fifth-highest assist count and the sixth-most goals in a season at Simmons. She started all 19 matches for the Sharks and was named the GNAC Player of the Week as well.

Milford’s Eric Nunez had a strong senior season for the Worcester State football team. From his linebacker spot, he finished fifth on the team with 44 tackles and had a team-high four sacks, and six tackles for loss. He also forced two fumbles and recovered a fumble as well. Mansfield grad Aurian Dawkins had 12 tackles during his senior year, as well as a fumble recovery and a pass breakup.

Former Red Rocketeer and New England Revolution academy standout Justin Freitas wasted little time making an impact at the University of Vermont. After spending time at Dean College, Freitas scored eight goals and had three assists while starting 13 games for the Catamounts. Freitas had a pair of goals in a 3-1 win at home against UMBC and again notched two goals two games later in a 2-3 setback at home against Northeastern.

For the third time in four years, Franklin graduate Joe Kalil was honored by the Commonwealth Coast Conference. Now anchoring Wentworth’s defense, Kalil was named to the all-conference second team for his strong 2017 campaign. Kalil earned honorable mention during his freshman year, and was named to the first team a year ago. In 2017, Kalil started 20 games and picked up a pair of goals. He finishes inside the top 10 all-time in program history in starts.

The 2016 Hockomock Boys Lacrosse All Stars & HMs

Below are the official Hockomock League Boys Lacrosse All Stars.

Hockomock League MVP

Austin Kent, Franklin

Hockomock League All Stars

Ben O’Neill, Canton
Michael Pigeon, Canton
Austin Ryan, Foxboro
Brian Buckner, Foxboro
Jake Addeche, Foxboro
Eric Civetti, Franklin
Austin Kent, Franklin
Packie Watson, Franklin
Jacob Alexander, Franklin
Sean Lockhart, Franklin
Steven Eaton, King Philip
Paul Macrina, King Philip
Billy Grant, Mansfield
Hunter Ferreira, Mansfield
Connor Finerty, Mansfield
Dan McDonald, North Attleboro
Matt Gilson, Oliver Ames
Mark Bloom, Sharon

Honorable Mentions

Brian Letourneau, Attleboro
Jake Ragusa, Canton
Bobby Kierce, Foxboro
Connor O’Rourke, Franklin
Sam Agricola, King Philip
Josh Schafer, Mansfield
Harrison Bliss, Milford
Andrew Casson, North Attleboro
Jake Aronson, Oliver Ames
Santiago Lopez, Taunton

Wednesday’s Schedule & Scoreboard – 06/01/16

Today’s playoff games are listed below.

Boys Lacrosse
D2 South
#6 Canton, 9 @ #3 Sandwich, 10 – Final – Canton’s Shaun Kirby netted a hat trick, Ryan Lodge scored twice and Ben O’Neill, Jake Ragusa and Griffin Roach each scored once. Michael Pigeon, Dan Nadeau, Jon Sutton, and Brendan Albert all played well defensively while Matt Mackay provided a spark on face-offs. Ragusa was able to hold Sandwich’s 300 point scorer to just a pair of assists on the day while Chris Albert made 14 saves in net.

Girls Lacrosse
D1 East
#12 Sharon, 7 vs. #5 Bishop Feehan, 13 – FinalClick here for a recap of the game.

Piccolo Caps Foxboro Comeback Against Canton

Foxboro boys lacrosse
Foxboro sophomore Louis Piccolo (0) scored three second half goals, including the game-winner, against Canton. (Josh Perry/HockomockSports.com)

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FOXBORO, Mass. – With 2:38 remaining in the game, Canton senior attacker Ben O’Neil stepped into a shot that seemed destined for the bottom corner. He put his arms up to celebrate what he thought was the go-ahead goal, but then just as quickly dropped them when he realized that Foxboro goalie Jake Addeche had somehow stopped the ball on the line.

The game stayed tied and Foxboro transitioned into the attack. The ball swung around to Andrew Whalen who drove at the net and flicked a behind-the-back pass to sophomore Louis Piccolo with time and space. He fired a rising shot just over the stick of Canton goalie Chris Albert (10 saves) and under the bar.

Piccolo’s goal with 2:03 remaining, his third goal of the game, handed Foxboro a come from behind 5-4 victory at Sam Berns Community Field and command of the Davenport division at the midway point of the league season.

Each of the last three seasons, this match-up has produced games that have come down to the wire. Three years ago, Canton ended a long losing streak with an overtime win on its way to a league title and last year the Bulldogs won by two goals to help Sharon get to the top of the division.

Foxboro coach Matt Noone did not hide the importance of this game to his players. He explained, “I told them this could be the season today. You want to play for something and that’s what we’re playing for – the Hock.”

There is a lot of respect between the two programs and two coaches and the rivalry has turned into one of the most competitive in the Hockomock. Noone added, “We’re the same. It’s two small towns getting after it; it’s fun.”

Canton coach Bill Bendell saw his team lose a 4-2 lead in the second half, but he also stressed the importance of having this rivalry to prepare his team for making a run in the postseason.

“It’s just great for the league and great for us to play teams like this,” he said. “Sometimes it’s those bounces, those pipes, those one or two plays that can make the difference.”

Albert made four of his saves in the first quarter alone, as the Bulldogs struggled to mount a sustained attack. Foxboro was also off to a tough start with a number of shots sailing high or wide. But, with the clock winding down Trey Guerrini spun past his first marker, bounced off a second, and then spun a third time before beating the goalie from the edge of the crease at the buzzer.

Canton would take the lead in the second quarter by beating the Warriors in transition. Shaun Kirby scored the first of his two goals with a bouncing shot to the far post on a man-down situation to tie it at 1-1.

With 4:14 left in the quarter, Kirby would feed freshman Mike Shaw on the break to make it 2-1. The play started with Albert, who made a great save on the other end and then fired a perfect half-field outlet pass to the attackers.

Kirby extended the lead to two goals just 47 seconds into the second half with a rip to the bottom corner, but a two-minute locked in penalty to Jake Ragusa offered Foxboro the chance to get back in it.

Piccolo scored his first on a rip just under the bar 10 seconds into the EMO, but Canton would answer back 22 seconds later when Joe Mulkay spun middle and bounced a man-down goal past Addeche.

The game did not feature a lot of attacking play from either side, as the defensive units were mostly on top. Ragusa and Mike Pigeon were major factors for the Bulldogs, while Bobby Kierce and Brian Buckner continued to make plays for the Warriors.

“They were hurting us a little bit with their exchanges behind, so we went to a little bit of a zone and it seemed to help out a lot,” said Noone. “We were pressing early and they were killing us in transition, so we sat back, conceded the ride and figured lets have them beat us six-on-six.”

Piccolo would cut the lead to one with 5:32 left in the third with a shot on the run and then three minutes later, Foxboro completed the comeback when Guerrini dodged past his marker to set up Brendan Tully.

“In a game like this it’s really a playoff atmosphere but we fought hard the entire game…I think they just out-executed us,” said Bendell. “Things that we normally do well, they took us out of our comfort zone, and we didn’t execute things as well as we would’ve liked.”

Foxboro hit the post midway through the fourth quarter and Addeche (six saves) and Albert traded big stops to keep the game tied. Finally, with 2:03 remaining Piccolo found a seam and made no mistake with his shot.

“We called a timeout to call pressure defense down by a goal and we just didn’t execute it. We usually do,” said Bendell.

The Canton coach heaped praise on Albert for keeping the team in the game and having another big performance against Foxboro. He said, “Goalies feel like they’re responsible and I’m sure Albie feels that way too, but that’s not his fault. That was a beautiful shot. He had his hands free, we weren’t on his hands, but [Chris] played a great game.”

Noone called Piccolo a “goal-scoring machine.” The sophomore was coming off a career-high, 11-assist game against Milford on Wednesday, but Noone shook his head when asked if that game (a 25-1 win) had any positive impact on how his team played on Friday.

He said, “I don’t think we learned anything from that game to be honest…Feelings are hurt on both sides. We were running the clock the whole time; we’re not getting anything out of that.”

The Warriors (7-2, 5-0) have the edge in the Davenport at the moment, but have several tough games coming up in the league and Bendell knows that Canton (4-4, 2-4) has important games coming up to stay in the mix.

He said, “I didn’t know how I was going to like going from two games down to one…but it does add more meaning to this game. This is a big game. We’ll see if someone can upset them and I’m sure that Foxboro-Sharon and Canton-Sharon will be big games.”

Josh Perry can be contacted at JoshPerry@hockomocksports.com and followed on Twitter at @Josh_Perry10.

Five Hock Players Selected for Shriners Classic

Shriners2016
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It was recently announced that five Hockomock football players have been selected by the Massachusetts High School Football Coaches Association to take part in the annual Shriners All-Star Classic on Saturday, June 18 at Cawley Stadium in Lowell.

The five players are Nick Morrison of North Attleboro, Kyle Murphy of Attleboro, Jake Ragusa of Canton, Austin Ryan of Foxboro, and Josh Schafer of Mansfield.

The annual all-star game pits graduating high school seniors from teams in the North and the South and raises money for the Shriner’s Hospital in Boston. Through the years, the MHSFCA has donated more than $1 million through its all-star game.

The players were nominated by their coaches and then selected by the coaching staffs that were elected by the MHSFCA to run the game. The South team will be coached by Northbridge head coach Ken LaChapelle, who also coached the team in 1999.

North Attleboro coach Don Johnson said of Morrison, who was named the Kelley-Rex MVP and is planning on raising $2,000 for the Shriners, “Nick Mo had a great senior year for us and was a big part of our championship season. He is the next in line in a long list of Red Rocketeers that have played in the Shriners game…I’m sure there will be a nice contingent of family, friends and teammates who will make the trek to cheer him on.”

Johnson knows all about the Shriners All-Star Classic, as he and Mansfield coach Mike Redding both represented North Attleboro in the first game in 1979, which was held at Boston College.

Redding said of Schafer, “Josh was one of our most dedicated players and a great leader for our team. He improved so much over the course of the last four years and being selected for the Shriner’s is a great reward for his commitment and his great play over the last two years for us.”

Redding added that Schafer was selected for the National Football Foundation Scholar-Athlete award, which recognized his work on the field, in the classroom, and for his community service. Schafer will be joined at the may banquet by Foxboro senior Connor Downs.

Foxboro coach Jack Martinelli praised Ryan for joining the “long line” of Warriors who will play in the Shriners’ game. He added, “he will proudly represent, not only his outstanding skills and gamemanship, but also, his tight-knit fellow Foxboro teammates and the Hockomock League. Austin takes great pride in playing for such a wonderful cause…We are so very proud of him as a student/athlete, but most importantly, as a caring young man.”

Murphy was a three-year starter and a two-year captain for the Bombardiers and Attleboro coach Mike Strachan credited the senior lineman’s work in the off-season and in the weight room for getting him to this point.

Strachan said, “Kyle is truly a gifted athlete and even a better person. Kyle has been a solid leader for us on and off the field the last two years and his leadership will be missed.

Ragusa, a three-year player for Canton, was named the Davenport MVP and the HockomockSports.com Player of the Year for the Bulldogs this past fall and now can add the Shriners’ game to those honors. He will also be continuing a program and a family legacy when he takes the field in June.

Ragusa’s father Doug also played in the Shriners’ game in 1986.

Canton coach Dave Bohane said of Ragusa, “Jake made big plays at big moments for us this season…He is probably our most decorated player with the various awards he has picked up, which include the Hockomock Davenport MVP, as well as being named to the [MHSFCA] Super 26 Team.”

The Shriners All-Star Classic will be held on June 18. For more information, visit http://www.mhsfca.net/shriner-classic.html.

Josh Perry can be contacted at JoshPerry@hockomocksports.com and followed on Twitter at @Josh_Perry10.

Monday’s Schedule & Scoreboard – 04/11/16

Today’s games are listed below.

Baseball
Milford, 1 @ Attleboro, 6 – Final – Senior Tyler Stowe was a spark for the Bombarbiers in the leadoff spot with a pair of hits, a pair of stolen bases and a pair of runs scored. Nate Tellier hit a two run double in the sixth inning to turn a two run lead into a 5-1 lead. Tellier also scored two runs and then pitched the final two innings, striking out five of the six batters he faced. Brent Cook went 2-2 with a pair of RBI for Attleboro. Junior Tyler McGovern made his varsity debut, striking out seven in five innings of work for the win, scattering four hits.

Canton, 1 @ King Philip, 8 – Final – King Philip’s Jake Cavanagh tossed a complete game, scattering four hits while striking out 10 batters. Jack DiCenso and Jon Rolfe each had multiple hits for the Warriors. Ryan Coulter knocked in a pair of runs for KP while Cavanagh, Stephan MacMeans and Leo Munafo each plated one run for the Warriors. 

Foxboro, 0  @ Taunton, 8 – Final – Senior Luke Figueira got it done on the mound and at the plate as the Tigers opened the season with a win. On the mound, Figueira struck out eight batters and allowed just two hits and no walks in five innings of work. At the plate, the senior had a pair of hits and knocked in two runs. Matt Machado and Max Bowden each added a pair of hits and RBI as well. William Emerson had two hits, two runs scored and an RBI and Brendon Mazerolle knocked in one run and had two hits.

Franklin, 14 @ Sharon, 1 – Final – Sophomore Jason Ulrickson came on in the fourth inning in relief and pitched four innings without allowing an earned run to get the win for the Panthers. Ulrickson struck out four and scattered three hits. Sophomore Matt Foley pitched the scoreless innings to start the game for Franklin. Offensively, senior Joe Corsi scored four runs, going 2/4 at the plate with a pair of doubles and an RBI. Jake Lyons went 2/4 with two RBI and a run scored, Tyler Gomes had a double and two runs scored, Josh Macchi went 3/4 with a double and three RBI, Jake Noviello was 2/4 with an RBI and Mike Skaza went 3/4 with an RBI and two runs scored. 

Stoughton, 14 @ Mansfield, 3 – Final

Oliver Ames, 5 @ North Attleboro, 6 – Final – In a game of lead changes, North senior Zach Rofino (2-4, two runs) reached on an infield single to start the bottom of the seventh, advanced to third on a double from senior Brian Poillucci (3-4, RBI, R) and then scored on a base hit up the middle from Brian Kleczkowski (2-3, RBI) as the Rocketeers walked off with the 6-5 win. Ridge Olsen, who was intentionally walked to load the bases in the bottom of the seventh, was 1-3 with an RBI and a run scored while sophomore Zach DeMattio went 2-3 with his second home run in as many games and knocked in three runs. The Rocketeers pitchers didn’t issue a walk all game. Andy Katch went six innings, striking out three while Matt Papineau pitched the top of the seventh to get the win. Oliver Ames tied the game in the top of the sixth when Kevin Geary hit a triple and a single freshman Chris Pearsons. OA senior Chris Romero had three hits in the game and classmate Josh Minuskin had a pair of hits.

Softball
Attleboro, 0 @ Milford, 12 – Final (5 inn.) – Ali Atherton tossed a one hitter, striking out nine batters in five innings of work while issuing just one walk. At the plate, Jess Tomaso went 3/4 in her debut for the Scarlet Hawks with a pair of doubles and three RBI. Emily Piergustavo went 3/4 with a double and two RBI and Sydney Pounds was 3/3 with three runs scored and a pair of stolen bases.

King Philip, 18 @ Canton, 0 – Final (5 inn.) – Elise Pereira, Kali Magane and Jenn Hutnyan combined for one hit ball in the circle for the Warriors. Magane went 2/2 with a triple while Pereira connected for a home run. Freshman Meghan Gorman debuted by going 2/2 with a home run and four RBI while Sydney Phillips also connected for a home run. Senior Christa Wagner scored three runs for KP.

Taunton, 15 @ Foxboro, 0 – Final (5 inn.) – Courtney Fisher struck out 11 batters in five innings of work, scattering three hits without a walk to get the win for the Tigers. Taunton’s offense stayed hot behind four RBI from Aimee Kistner (2-4, double), three RBI from Jordan Wade (3-4, double) and a pair of RBI from Liana Duarte (2-4, double). Kya Enos and Meghan Navarro each added a pair of doubles and an RBI and Jaime Brown went 2-2 with an RBI.

Franklin, 12 @ Sharon, 0 – Final (6 inn.) – Caroline D’Aprile struck out six and allowed two hits to get the win for the Panthers. Maddie Connelly had a pair of hits, a pair of runs and a pair of stolen bases and Alli Shea added three runs scored and two hits. Clara Decarvalho knocked in four runs on three hits while Julia Arms had a three run home run and Rachel Cousineau connected for a solo home run. 

Mansfield, 3 @ Stoughton, 4 – Final – Stoughton’s Shannon Flaherty allowed just one earned run in six innings of work to get the win. Flaherty struck out nine and issued just one walk in the win. Mansfield erased a 2-0 deficit in the top of the sixth inning but the Black Knights scored twice more in the bottom half to regain the lead. Jocelyn Reardon had a pair of hits, including a two RBI single in the sixth while Mady Bendanillo, Megan Letendre, Kara Bendanillo and Amanda Giambanco all had a hit in the game for the Hornets. .

North Attleboro, 6 @ Oliver Ames, 1 – Final – Amelia Murphy allowed just three hits in her Big Red debut, fanning four batters to get the win. Rylie Guthrie, Sam Courtemanche and Liz Morehouse each had an RBI single while Kaylea Sherman had four putouts in center field and also a double play. Oliver Ames’ Victoria Ziner was 1/2 with a run scored, Katie Pursley had an RBI and Lexi Campbell also had a hit. Campbell pitched a complete game, striking out five with just two earned runs allowed.

Boys Lacrosse
Attleboro @ Dartmouth, 4:00

Canton, 5 vs. Scituate, 1 – Final – The Bulldogs were able to accomplish a feat not many are able to: shut down Scituate’s offense. Canton only allowed one goal, coming with six minutes left in the game. Defensemen Jake Ragusa, Dan Nadeau, Gabe Galeotos and Jonathan Sutton combined to limit the Sailor while Chris Albert made 16 saves in net. Ben O’Neill netted a hat trick with one assist while junior Ryan Lodge had a goal and two assists and freshman Mike Shaw scored once.

Taunton, 0 @ Foxboro, 21 – Final – Andrew Whalen led Foxboro with seven points, scoring three goals and added four assists and Louis Piccolo added four goals and two assists. Brendan Tully had three goals and two assists and Colin Spinney chipped in with a pair of goals and a pair of assists for the Warriors. 

King Philip, 10 @ Medway, 9 – Final – Senior Sam Agricola scored King Philip’s first five goals of the game to keep the Warriors close and then scored the game winning goal in the third quarter. Agricola finished with six goals, one assist and five ground balls, helping KP take advantage of the extra man opportunities. KP scored on six of their seven EMO while limiting Medway on their special teams chances. Junior Paul Macrina made 23 saves in the game including seven in the fourth quarter. Head coach Jacob Kravitz called it a great character win and credited Steve Eaton’s switch to LSM in the second as a big turning point in the possession game. Tim Watson and Anthony Truini each scored twice for KP. 

Mansfield, 5 @ St. John’s, 14 – Final
Milford, 1 vs. Plymouth North, 14 – Final
Oliver Ames, 3 @ North Attleboro, 9 – Final
Sharon, 8 @ Bishop Feehan, 16 – Final

Girls Lacrosse
Attleboro, 3 vs. Dartmouth, 9 – Final

Foxboro, 20 @ Taunton, 2 – Final – Caroline McGreary scored four goals and Sophia DiCenso and Lauren Flahive each netted a hat trick to lead Foxboro. Megan Curran and Lily Feeney each chipped in with two goals for the Warriors. Taunton’s Delaney Powell scored both of the Tigers’ goals. 

King Philip, 14 vs. Medway, 9 – Final – Katie Crowther was nearly unstoppable, netting a team high nine goals to lead the Warriors. Jen Lacroix added three goals while Abbey Buchanan and Allie Meehan each found the back of the net once. 

Sharon, 6 @ Oliver Ames, 11 – Final – Oliver Ames senior Hannah Friend made an impact all over the field to lead the Tigers. Friend scored four goals and had one assists while nabbing two draw controls and five groundballs. She also had three intercepted passes for the Tigers. Erin Fitzgerald was another reason for OA’s strong possession game with 10 draw controls. Ariana Waldorf had 12 saves in net while Sofia Masciarelli, Chloe Kikelly and Emalyn Duvall each scored twice. Carly Cidado had a goal and an assist, Abby Duvall had two assists and Kendall Clifford notched an assist for OA.

Boys Tennis
Milford, 2 @ Attleboro, 3 – Final – Attleboro scored wins at first and second singles and sealed the win with a marathon win at second doubles. Timothy Vermilyea won 6-2, 6-2 at first singles and Tyler Letendre picked up a 6-3, 6-1 win at second singles. Khaled Hantash and Ahijah Joseph won the first 7-5 at second doubles but after losing 3-6 in the second, rallied to win 6-4 in the final set. Milford’s Brendan O’Shaunghnessy won 6-2, 7-6 (8-6) at third singles and Tabish Syed and Stephen Donnelly won 6-3, 6-4 at first doubles.

Canton, 1 @ King Philip, 4 – Final – KP sophomore Cole Ginter won 6-4, 6-1 at first singles and freshman Blake Ginter won 6-4, 6-3 at third singles to lead the Warriors. Sam Collela and Ryan Gemelli won 6-1, 6-2 at first doubles and Jake Webster and Justin Rohan won 6-3, 6-2 at second doubles for the Warriors. Canton’s Jake Wolicki won 4-6, 6-3, 6-3 at second singles. 

Foxboro, 4 @ Taunton, 1 – Final – Taunton’s lone win came when Charlie Fiske and Connor Briggs battled back for a 3-6, 6-4, 7-5 win at first doubles. 

Sharon, 5 @ Franklin, 0 – Final – Sharon won all five matches in set straights to start the season with a win. Griffin Fein won 6-2, 6-3 at first singles, Fred Bondar won 6-3, 6-3 at second singles and Han Cui won 6-2, 6-1 at third singles. Adam Dobbin and Alex Romantz picked up a 6-1, 6-3 win at first doubles and Tilak Mehta and Dahujan Thiru won 6-1, 6-4 at second doubles. 

Stoughton, 0 @ Mansfield, 5 – Final – Mansfield junior Benny Lin won 6-0, 6-1 at first singles, freshman Luke Nickerson won 6-0, 6-2 at second singles and junior Gus Daganhardt picked up a 6-3, 6-1 at third singles. Sophomores Danny Radev and Sam Cavicchi won 6-0, 6-2 at first doubles and sophomore Ben Salder and junior Stephen Zenack won 6-2, 6-0 at second doubles. 

Oliver Ames, 1 @ North Attleboro, 4 – Final – North Attleboro got wins from a pair of juniors in singles play and three seniors and one junior in doubles for a 4-1 win. Junior Barsomo Nuay won 6-4, 6-4 at second singles and junior Zack Pfeffer won 6-0, 6-0 at third singles. Seniors Jeff Yao and Nick Lockavitch won 7-5, 6-1 at first doubles and senior Jake Fontes and junior Daniel Zhang won 6-0, 6-1 at second doubles. Oliver Ames’ Thomas O’Leary notched a 6-4, 4-6, 1-0 (10-4) win at first singles. 

Girls Tennis
Attleboro, 1 @ Milford, 4 – Final

King Philip, 4 @ Canton, 1 – Final – Becca Ricci and Meghan Sepich won at first and third singles respectively to lead the Warriors. Ricci picked up a 6-3, 7-6 win and Sepich won 6-0, 6-0. KP’s elly Masse and Megan Davenport won 4-6, 7-6, 6-2 at first singles and Connie Palumbo and Carly Adams won 6-3, 6-0 at second doubles. Canton’s Skyler Jabbour won 6-3, 7-6 at second singles. 

Taunton, 1 @ Foxboro, 4 – Final

Franklin, 2 @ Sharon, 3 – Final – Freshman Nupur Shulka debuted with a 6-0, 6-2 win at second singles to help lead the Eagles to a season opening win. Sharon sophomore Emily Wen won 6-1, 6-2 at third singles and junior Michelle Coo and sophomore Rithica Neti won 6-2, 6-0 at second doubles. Franklin’s Hannah Sweeney won 6-0, 6-0 at first singles and junior Anja Deric and sophomore Katelyn Davenport won 3-6, 7-6 (7-3), 1-0 (10-6) at first doubles. 

Mansfield, 5 @ Stoughton, 0 – Final – Seniors Paulina Martin and Kathleen Giffels won in straight sets in singles play as Mansfield rolled to a sweep. Martin won 6-0, 6-0 at first singles and Giffels won 6-0, 6-0 at second singles. Sophomore Sarah Doyle won 6-0, 6-1 at third singles for the Hornets. Cathryn Heavey and Chloe Peters won 6-3, 6-3 at first doubles and Tessa Garufi and Elizabeth Elsner won 6-0, 7-5 at second doubles. 

North Attleboro, 5 @ Oliver Ames, 0 – Final – North Attleboro’s Julia Mark picked up a 6-3, 6-1 at first singles, Jordan Willis won 6-2, 6-2 at second singles and Allie Grinavic didn’t lose a set in a 6-0, 6-0 win at third singles. Jhanavi Kapadia and Emily Chiasson won 6-0, 6-3 at first doubles and Gabby Duva and Katie Demontigny won 6-3, 7-6 (7-3) at second doubles for the Rocketeers.

Boys Volleyball
Milford, 1 vs. Millis, 3 – Final – Milford won the third game but couldn’t overcome the 2-0 hole. Senior Mike Haver led Milford with 11 kills and added three blocks. Senior Ryan White had 16 assists, eight kills, four digs, two blocks and an ace while Juan Ruelas had 13 assists, seven kills and three digs and blocks. 

Boys Lacrosse: Davenport Division Preview 2016

Canton senior attack Ben O'Neill is one reason that the Bulldogs have a chance to repeat as Davenport champs. (Ryan Lanigan/HockomockSports.com)
Canton senior attack Ben O’Neill is one reason that the Bulldogs have a chance to repeat as Davenport champs. (Ryan Lanigan/HockomockSports.com)

By HockomockSports.com Staff

CANTON

2015 Record: 11-7
2015 Finish: Reached D2 South Quarterfinals
Coach: Bill Bendell
The Bulldogs have won two Davenport division titles in the last three years and will be looking for a third in 2016. With a beefed up non-league schedule, Canton will be looking to make a deep run in the D2 South tournament this season.
“I really like this team and I think we will be very difficult to beat once we figure things out,” head coach Bill Bendell said. “Our goal this year is to trust the process…ignore the scoreboard and instead focus on doing your job to the best of your ability and the wins will follow.”
Canton will be relying on an experienced defense this season. Senior Chris Albert returns to the cage while senior Jake Ragusa and junior LSM Michael Pigeon will anchor the backline. Senior Dan Nadeau, junior Jonathan Sutton and sophomore Gabe Galeotos all saw time on defense last season and will fit in nicely again this year.
On offense, Ben O’Neill – one of the best offensive players in Canton history – enters the season with 125 career points. He’s got a high lacrosse IQ and can battle through defenses to find the net. Shaun Kirby, Dan Dillon, Bobby Mullaney and Eddie McCabe will all chip in with O’Neill offensively.

FOXBORO

2015 Record: 12-8
2015 Finish: Reached D2 Central/East Quarterfinals
Coach: Matt Noone
Foxboro graduated a handful of talented players last season but the biggest loss might be losing last year’s leading scorer Pat McCarthy to a knee injury this year. But with five seniors and plethora of youth, Warriors will look to try and claim their first Davenport title since 2011.
“You can’t replace Pat McCarthy, thankfully we still have his leadership, he will help the young guys,” Foxboro head coach Matt Noone said.
Connor McNamara and Brian Buckner are both entering their third year on varsity and will be relied upon heavily. McNamara is a factor at both sends of the field, Noone adding “He can carry us at times.” Buckner, a defenseman, possess great speed and positions himself well, Noone saying “His athleticism and IQ make him tough to beat on and off the ball.”
Foxboro will rely on Andrew Whalen, Louis Piccolo and James Silveria – all sophomores – on attack. McNamara will be complemented in the midfield by senior Austin Ryan and juniors Colin Spinney and Trey Guerrini. Noone called all three great athletes. Defensively, two year starters Tom Piccolo and Bobby Kierce will work alongside Buckner while sophomore Pat Kaveny has improved his game as well.
Expect sophomore Jake Addeche and junior Tyler Silveria to battle for the starting goalie job.

MILFORD

2015 Record: 2-17
2015 Finish: Missed playoffs
Coach: Ralph Bono
Milford will be looking to try and improve after recording just two wins in the 2015 season. New head coach Ralph Bono will try to turn things around in his first year at the helm.
The Scarlet Hawks graduated their two top scorers from last season in Nick Mobilia (30 points) and Spencer Lawson (19 points) so there will be some questions to answer up front.
In midfield, junior Alex Salamone registered 10 points last season and had 12 grounds balls while sophomore Andrew Gallagher made an impact with nine points in his rookie campaign. Jack Boyle, Nick Lurie and Ian Bucal all factored into the scoring last year as well.
Defensively, Harrison Bliss led the Scarlet Hawks defensemen in grounds balls as a sophomore while Andrew Palaria and Riley Burns also saw time. In goal, Pietro Bon Tempo made 123 saves last year in 17 games played and should provide some experience in the back.

OLIVER AMES

2016 Record: 6-10
2016 Finish: Missed playoffs
Coach: Chris DiGiacomo
After missing out on the playoffs last season, second year skipper Chris DiGiacomo will be relying on a large senior class to try to get back to the postseason.
“There is a lot of positive energy surrounding the program currently,” head coach Chris DiGiacomo said. “The boys have been working very hard, and we are very excited to get started.”
Senior attack Matt Gilson is back for his fourth year on varsity to pace the offense while senior Jake Aronson returns to man the goal for the Tigers. Senior captain middie Aidan Connly will be relied upon to take care of both ends of the field.
Connly will be joined by classmates Mike Sullivan, Jack Long, Connor Howe and Max Bamford so the Tigers will boast a very experienced midfield. On defense, senior Max Sheldon will anchor the backline in front of Aronson.

Sharon

2015 Record: 10-9
2015 Finish: Reached D2 Central/East First Round
Coach: Peter DeSisto
The Eagles are looking to get back to the top of the Davenport mountain and are hoping former Canton player Peter DeSisto will lead them there in his first year at the helm.
“I am really excited for this season, we are a young team but the captains and upperclassmen have really set the tone for this season,” DeSisto said. “They’re showing the newer players what it takes to be successful at this level. We’ve set high expectations for ourselves, but we know that if we come together as a unit and work hard we are completely capable of reaching our goals.”
After coming up just short in the division race last year, Sharon has a strong returning core to try to win the division for the second time in three years. Senior captains Mark Bloom and Craig Titus will be the focus of the attack again this year while sophomore Jon Greenberg will be back in goal after a terrific freshman campaign in 2015.
UMass commit Josh Rotman will be paired with senior captain Matt Cancian in the midfield to provide a power 1-2 punch while sophomores Spencer Hall and Chase Waxman will also see a lot of time in the middle of the field. Sharon will have to fill some holes defensively but expect junior Jared Zunenshine and sophomore Zach Reingold to step in.

HockomockSports.com 2015 Football Awards

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Gibb, Eddy Guide Stoughton to Third Straight T-Day Win

Stoughton seniors celebrate with the trophy after their 26-13 win over Canton. (Ryan Lanigan/HockomockSports.com)
Stoughton seniors celebrate with the trophy after their 26-13 win over Canton. (Ryan Lanigan/HockomockSports.com)

By Ryan Lanigan, Editor-in-Chief
CANTON, Mass. – For the third straight year, the Thanksgiving trophy is headed back to 232 Pearl Street. Stoughton scored a pair of touchdowns in each half to pick up a 26-13 win over Canton on Thursday morning in the 90th annual holiday meeting between the two neighboring rivals.
Stoughton senior Jake Gibb capped a tremendous career for the Black Knights, throwing three touchdowns, including two in the second half.
Gibb tossed a touchdown to Izon Swain-Price on the opening drive of the game and linked up with the junior again late in the fourth quarter to secure the Black Knights’ third straight win on the holiday and avenge an overtime loss to the Bulldogs in the regular season.
“I was really happy with the line, I think we moved the ball when we had to and we had a couple of nice passes,” Stoughton head coach Greg Burke said. “Canton’s tough, they come at you hard. [Jake Ragusa] is one hell of a player, I’m glad I don’t have to see him again that’s for darn sure. Hats off to them. All I know is that the turkey will taste good today.
“We knew it would be a tough game, they’re a good team. There’s a reason they have won six games. I know the turkey will taste good today. Everybody talks about having to play the same team twice but I think it adds to the second game. I don’t care what anybody says, it really does. You get good crowds and the games are close.”
A squib kick to start the game set the Black Knights up at their own 41 yard line and five plays later, the Black Knights took the lead. Facing 4th and 8 from the 35 yard line, Gibb connected with Swain-Price on the right sideline and he was able to turn up field and get into the end zone for a 7-0 lead.
“We worked on the pass plays all week,” Burke said. “They come at you but we pass blocked. I think Gibb only got sacked once so I’m happy with that. We had some good runs, we’re a different team with Swain-Price and [Ryan] Sullivan.”
Both defenses stood tall for the rest of the first quarter. The Bulldogs were forced to punt on each of their first three drives thanks to two big third down sacks from Guy Eddy. Canton’s defense was stout though as Stoughton sandwiched two punts around a lost fumble on their next three possessions.
Thomas Monagle’s punt pinned Stoughton at their own five yard line and after Canton’s defense held up, they took over at the Stoughton 40 yard line after a Black Knight punt. The Bulldogs took just five plays to find the end zone when Woanyen Mahn (13 carries, 68 yards) burst through a gap up the middle, shred a tackle and raced into the end zone to make it 7-7 with just over a minute to play in the first half.
Despite little time to work with and starting at their own five yard line, the Black Knights got some life right before the halftime break. On the first play, Christian Hill got around the edge on the left side and sprinted 87 yards to get to the Canton eight yard line. Two plays later, Eddy took the toss to the left and broke the plain while diving into the end zone to make it 14-7 with just 30 seconds left in the half.
Neither team was able to add points to the scoreboard in the third quarter. Stoughton turned it over on downs and had a punt while Canton punted and turned it over on a fumble.
The Black Knights took advantage of another turnover, this time when Steven Elice picked off Dennis Ross late in the third quarter. Gibb found Elice for a 24 yard gain on the first play of the drive to set up first and goal. On the first play of the fourth quarter, Gibb connected with Eddy out of the backfield for an 8 yard touchdown to go up 20-7.
Canton put together its best drive of the game and answered right way. The Bulldogs went 54 yards over 10 plays to pull within one score. Behind a strong rushing attack from Hockomock League Davenport MVP Jake Ragusa (24 carries, 126 yards), the Bulldogs found themselves facing a 4th down at the Stoughton two yard line. Canton coach Dave Bohane called Ragusa’s number and the senior muscled his way up the middle for a touchdown. Canton went for two but the Black Knights were able to make the stop, bringing the score to 20-13.
“We had a couple of big stops, fourth and one and third and two, we worked on that a lot. We knew they would give the ball to [Ragusa], why wouldn’t you? I’m just happy for the kids to finish with a winning record and to win the league this year. We’re very, very excited were we are.”
But Stoughton quickly answered again. On 2nd and 3rd from the Canton 37 yard line, Gibb went play action and floated a pass along the left sideline. Swain-Price, who came out of the backfield, turned on the jets and got underneath it and raced in untouched to make it 26-13 with just over four minutes to play.
“The linebacker blitzed on the outside and I’m just told to make the quick read and just get the ball out there and just let the running back make the play,” Gibb said. “We did that and got a nice score out of it. We have a bunch of athletes on this team that can make plays so you have respect all of them. When you fake with the play action, they have to step up and respect it and that opens up the passing game.”
It was a fitting way for Gibb, who has started under center for the black and orange since his sophomore year, to finish his career. Over three years, Gibb tossed 29 touchdowns, including nine his senior year. He almost didn’t have a chance to compete his senior season after suffering a shoulder injury in the first half of the first game against North Attleboro. After missing a couple of games, Gibb returned and each week has been able to do more.
“It’s been a rollercoaster ride,” Gibb said. “From thinking I was done for the season with a shoulder injury but guys picked me up the whole way. It’s great to be back and beat Canton today.”
“If you give him time, he can throw the ball,” Burke said. “He overcame a serious shoulder injury too. His arm is just coming back these last two weeks. He can throw as well as anyone in the state. We had a lot of play action and he’s very accurate. I’m happy for him, he’s a great kid and I hope he plays next year.”
Canton pushed to try and get within a score again but a host of Black Knights stuffed a fourth down attempt from the Stoughton 26 yard line to get the ball back.
“We got outhit the first game, absolutely,” Burke said of Canton’s overtime win during the regular season. “Canton pushed us around. We have a saying to be the hammer not the nail and we were the nail and we lost in overtime. Today I think we were more of the hammer. The kids played hard and we kept the trophy, which is exciting for the kids. Hats off to Canton too.”
Both the Black Knights and the Bulldogs finish the season with 6-5 records. Stoughton now has a 46-40-4 lead in the Thanksgiving series.