FRANKLIN, Mass. – Taunton ran 60 plays to Franklin’s 27. The Tigers had seven drives that reached Franklin territory, including three that reached the red zone, but came away empty on each possession. The Panthers put together only two drives of more than five plays, but they found the end zone four times.
Although it felt closer than the final score, Franklin made the big plays on both sides of the ball and rolled to a comfortable 35-0 win over Taunton on Friday night at Pisini Stadium. The win keeps Franklin unbeaten overall and in a three-way tie for first in the Kelley-Rex.
“They had a ton of chances,” Franklin coach Eian Bain admitted. “[Taunton] put the pressure on us, they did some things that made it hard to do what we wanted. When you play bad football, you can’t win games. The first thing we had to do was get rid of the bad football and once we got rid of bad football, we were able to compete a little better and we made some plays.”
Taunton coach Brad Sidwell was rueing missed opportunities for his offense in each of the past two weeks and a missed opportunity to end his former team’s perfect record. “We’ve got to capitalize when it’s our opportunity and we didn’t do it,” he said. “I knew their offense was pretty potent and their defense is kind of underrated. They’re pretty fast and and they run to the ball and make plays. We’ve got to make sure we punch it in early on.”
The Tigers, helped by two third down penalties, moved the ball near midfield on their first drive before punting. Just two plays later, they were behind. Jared Arone started away from the Franklin sideline then looked back and hit a wide open Mack Gulla (240 total yards),who had leaked out of the backfield, for a 69-yard score.
Nathan Keenan returned the ensuing kick 33 yards out to the 44 to give Taunton good starting field position for its next drive. A 15-yard screen pass from Jacob Leonard to Evan Perrotta and a 19-yard sweep by Jose Touron got the Tigers into Franklin territory. The Panthers clamped down on the ground game and on fourth and three from the 15, Leonard’s pass to Touron fell incomplete.
Mckyen Gonsalves recovered a Gulla fumble two plays later to give Taunton back the ball at the Franklin 35. A sack by Jay Gulla and Nick Quintina pushed the Tigers back, but on fourth down Leonard connected with Touron on a 21 yard catch and run to get the ball to the five. Taunton only managed two more yards and Keenan’s 20-yard field goal slid wide right.
Two personal foul calls ended Franklin’s next drive quickly and Taunton again started in opposition territory. A good tackle on third down by Jack Marino forced a Tigers punt. Nick Lima’s sack of Arone forced a three-and-out and Taunton got the ball at the Franklin 39. This time the Tigers gained six yards but Leonard (14-of-34, 182 yards) couldn’t connect with Touron on fourth and short.
With just over two minutes remaining in the half, Franklin went into its hurry-up offense and put together its best drive of the game. Helped by a face mask call, the Panthers quickly got into Taunton’s end of the field but a touchdown pass to Will Tracey was called back because an ineligible receiver downfield. Arone (8-of-11, 132 yards) would eventually fire a strike down the middle to Shane Kindred, who held on through contact for a 15-yard score with just eight seconds left in the half.
It was the third time in five games that Franklin has put together a drive like that to close out a half.
“That was the backbreaker and then it turned the tide the rest of the way,” Sidwell explained. “I felt like we could keep fighting if we could put one in there but after that it was tough to keep it together. I was worried we were going to have to match their scores and we certainly didn’t.”
Although it felt like Taunton had the ball for the bulk of the first 24 minutes, the Panthers led 14-0. Just 1:13 into the third quarter and the lead grew to 21-0. After another touchdown pass to Tracey was called back by penalty, Gulla (10 carries, 170 yards) took a carry to the left, cut inside the tackle, and then bounced it to the sideline, racing away from Taunton defenders for a 56-yard touchdown.
“Mack really took off in the second half,” Bain said. “We haven’t used him a lot catching the ball but tonight we were like we’re going to get him a ball or two out of the backfield and he caught that one and went with it. Mack is a very powerful kid but he’s very fast. He’s got a lot of breakaway speed so when you give him enough room he can make a big play.”
Taunton tried to mount a scoring drive to stem the home team’s momentum. Leonard found Touron with a nice pass on the run to convert third down and then followed that with a 29-yard pass down the near sideline to Troy Santos. The Tigers got as far as the Franklin 27, but a sack by Jay Gulla set up third and long and two incomplete passes later the drive was over.
On the very next play from scrimmage, the game was effectively over too. Mack Gulla broke through the line and into the secondary where he spun off a hit, cut to this right to the sideline and was gone. The 73-yard score put Franklin up four scores with 18 minutes left to play.
A 39-yard screen pass to Perrotta, who appeared to be dragged down but actually landed on a Franklin player before getting up for an extra 15 yards, gave Taunton first and goal, but Cullen Pek stuffed a run for a loss of one and then Jase Lyons intercepted a pass at the goal line. Lyons would later add his second pick of the night, perfectly reading and undercutting an out-route, and returned it 24 yards for the game’s final score.
Bain praised his team’s ability to not have a letdown after last week’s big win over Mansfield. He said, “There’s something to be said about getting used to people talking about you, having articles about you, we had Homecoming going on, but we talked to the kids about championship mentality. I thought we responded in the second half and that was big.”
Franklin (5-0) will get a rare bye week before traveling to Attleboro. Taunton (3-2) will try to end its two-game skid when it hosts Oliver Ames in the “Tiger Bowl” on Thursday night.
Attleboro, 22 @ King Philip, 30 – Final 1st Quarter: (KP) Rudy Gately, 2-yard rush, Matthew Kelley XP good.
2nd Quarter: (KP) Charlie Grant 7-yard pass to Will Astorino, M. Kelley XP good; (KP) Crawford Cantave 1-yard rush, XP failed.
3rd Quarter: (A) Kaiden Murray 3-yard rush, Anthony Salviati XP good; (KP) M. Kelley 23-yard field goal; (A) Logan Briggs 82-yard rush; Matt Harvie 2pt pass to L. Briggs.
4th Quarter: (KP) C. Grant 35-yard pass to Tom Brewster, M. Kelley XP good; (A) K. Murray 4-yard rush, A. Salviati XP good.
Oliver Ames, 12 @ Canton, 7 – Final 1st Quarter: No scoring.
2nd Quarter: (OA) Jake Grimaldi 2-yard rush, XP failed.
3rd Quarter: No scoring.
4th Quarter: (OA) Collin Williamson 62-yard rush, 2pt failed; (C) Vincent O’Brien rush, Hayden Rose XP good.
Stoughton, 13 @ Foxboro, 49 – Final 1st Quarter: (F) Dylan Gordon 8-yard rush, Sam Carpenter XP good; (F) Tom Marcucella 42-yard pass to Rashaad Way, S. Carpenter XP good; (S) Anthony Girolamo 5-yard rush, Jonah Ly XP good; (F) D. Gordon 2-yard rush, S. Carpenter XP good.
2nd Quarter: (F) D. Gordon 36-yard rush, S. Carpenter XP good; (F) D. Gordon 23-yard rush, S. Carpenter XP good; (F) T. Marcucella 5-yard pass to Nick Medeiros, S. Carpenter XP good.
3rd Quarter: (F) D. Gordon 90-yard rush, S. Carpenter XP good.
4th Quarter: (S) B. Clark 1-yard rush, XP failed.
Taunton, 0 @ Franklin, 35 – Final – Click here for a Recap and Photo Gallery from this game. 1st Quarter: (F) Jared Arone 69-yard pass to Mack Gulla, Garrett Portesi XP good.
2nd Quarter: (F) J. Arone 15-yard pass to Shane Kindred, G. Portesi XP good.
3rd Quarter: (F) M. Gulla 56-yard rush, G. Portesi XP good; (F) M. Gulla 73-yard rush, G. Portesi XP good.
4th Quarter: (F) Jase Lyons 24-yard interception return, G. Portesi XP good.
Milford, 27 @ Mansfield, 24 – Final (OT) 1st Quarter: (Mil) Evan Cornelius 1-yard rush, Nick Araujo XP good.
2nd Quarter: (Mil) Tyler Lane 1-yard rush, N. Araujo XP good; (Mans) Drew Sacco 5-yard rush, James Gilleran XP good; (Mans) Conner Zukowski 1-yard rush, J. Gilleran XP good.
3rd Quarter: (Mans) James Fichera 3-yard rush, J. Gilleran XP good.
4th Quarter: (Mil) E. Cornelius 40-yard pass to Damien Carter, N. Araujo XP good.
Overtime: (Mans) J. Gilleran 30-yard field goal; (Mil) E. Cornelius 9-yard pass to D. Carter.
Sharon, 15 @ Martha’s Vineyard, 7 – Final (OT) 1st Quarter: No scoring.
2nd Quarter: No scoring.
3rd Quarter: (MV) Touchdown, XP good.
4th Quarter: (S) Gabe Korn 5-yard rush, Jace McCarron XP good.
Overtime: (S) G. Korn 3-yard rush, G. Korn 2pt rush good.
Franklin, 1 @ Attleboro, 2 – Final – Esvin Morales set up the tying goal and scored the game-winner just minutes later as the Bombardiers rallied to take a win over Franklin. With the win, Attleboro moves into a first place tie in the Kelley-Rex division with Mansfield. Franklin opened the scoring just before the half hour mark. Tyler Powderly used his speed to get down the right wing and play in a cross. The initial ball was cleared but only as far as junior Max Tobin, who one-timed it into the top corner to put the visitors ahead. Attleboro’s best chance of the first half came in the 17th minute when senior Yianni Skordas forced a turnover and pushed forward, centering to Morales. Morales cut back to evade a defender and the keeper but his shot on goal was denied by Franklin senior midfielder Terry O’Neill. In the second half, Cashel Stuger played the ball to Morales, who turned and played a ball over the top of the defense and sophomore Alex Vecchioli finished the half volley from a step inside the area to bring the hosts level. Four minutes later, after Franklin was whistled for a handball, Morales stepped over the ball and placed a shot on frame while the Panthers were setting up the wall and it just beat the diving keeper for the game-winner.
Milford, 2 vs. Hopedale, 0 – Final – Milford scored a pair of second half goals to earn a win over local rival Hopedale. John Borges had two assists for the Scarlet Hawks, setting up both goals. First, Borges found Eduardo Santana to put the hosts in front and then Borges assisted on a goal from Chris Tocci.
Attleboro, 1 @ Franklin, 3 – Final – Senior Riley Fitzpatrick scored a pair of goals to lead the Panthers to a win at home over the visiting Bombardiers. Fitzpatrick had a beautiful header off a free kick from Norah Anderson and scored her other goal off a pass from Anya Zub. Zub had two assists in the win, setting up senior Stella Regan for the other Franklin goal.
Foxboro, 1 vs. Bishop Feehan, 1 – Final
Sharon, 4 @ Milford, 5 – Final – Dani Atherton had a hat trick and an assist to lead Milford to a wild win over Sharon. It was Milford’s second win in the past three days. Paige Caldon added her second goal in as many games and Cailyn Paccico had one for the Hawks. The Eagles got two goals apiece from Wendy Wooden and Carly Pinnix. Olivia Soby had two assists and Sofia Goclowski had one for Sharon and Amber Marcus-Blank played well defensively.
Attleboro, 5 @ Mansfield, 1 – Final – Madison Ellis scored a hat trick to pace the Bombardiers to a big win on the road over Mansfield. Attleboro recevied a great defensive effort from Trinity Harrison and the Bombardiers transitioned from defense to offense smoothly due to the strong play of Jordan Croteau. Olivia Hillman had a strong game on the right side for the visitors and scored once.
Foxboro, 0 @ Canton, 1 – Final – Canton’s Ellie Bohane scored late in the fourth quarter to give the Bulldogs a win over Foxboro, stretching their unbeaten streak to eight. Bohane converted a pass from Sierra Abbott for the lone goal of the game while Carolyn Durand made key saves down the stretch to preserve the shutout.
North Attleboro, 2 @ Oliver Ames, 2 – Final – Four different players found the back of the net, two from each team, and Oliver Ames and North Attleboro split the two points in a 2-2 draw. Tyla Delamere and Georgia Costello each scored for the Tigers while Julia Maclaine and Costello each had an assists. Caroline Rolan (from Emily Burnham) and Zoe McKeon scored for the Rocketeers.
Sharon, 0 @ Stoughton, 1 – Final – Zofia Bangs scored the lone goal of the game as Stoughton picked up a win on Senior Night.
Attleboro, 0 @ Mansfield, 3 – Final – Mansfield earned a key division win in the form of a 3-0 sweep (25-15, 25-5, 25-15) over the visiting Bombardiers of Attleboro. Julia Kelly had a big game with 11 kills, five aces, and a pair of digs, Nicole Santos added seven aces and four kills, Lexie Scibilia chipped in with three kills, three blocks, and a pair of aces, and Christina Lydon and Izzy Flint combined for 21 assists. For Attleboro, Julia Leonardo recorded eight kills while Brianna Frissora had a great game at the net.
Foxboro, 0 @ Canton, 3 – Final – Canton bounced back from a tough five-set loss to Westwood with a clean 3-0 sweep (25-8, 25-17, 25-22) over visiting Foxboro. Jess Wright continued to lead the offense for the Bulldogs with 12 kills and added eight digs. Taylor Reynold dished out 22 assists to go with six aces, Syd Gallery added five kills and two aces, and Anna Verille continued to shine defensively with 15 digs and two kills.
Franklin, 2 @ King Philip, 3 – Final – Click here for a Photo Gallery from this match. – The battle between the top two teams in the Hockomock League lived up to the hype as King Philip rallied from a two-game deficit to stun Franklin, 3-2 (23-25, 21-25, 25-18, 25-23, 15-12). Sami Shore, Ahunna James, and Emily Sawyer all played well at the net for KP in the comeback win while Samantha Asprelli and Gianna DeLorenzo anchored the back row in the win. Sofia Riedel had a big day at the service line for KP with 11 service points and three aces. For Franklin, Brigid Earley (two blocks) and Taylor Lacerda (22 digs) each had 14 kills while Lindsey Tarantola added nine kills and eight blocks.
Milford, 3 @ Taunton, 2 – Final – In an incredibly close match, Milford prevailed with a 3-2 win (27-25, 25-22, 18-25, 22-25, 15-11). For Taunton, Hayley Krockta and Mikayla Cleary each had 11 kills while Anna Abouzeid dished out 28 assists.
Oliver Ames, 0 @ North Attleboro, 3 – Final – In a match tighter than the final score shows, North Attleboro secured an important 3-0 win (25-22, 26-24, 25-20) win over Oliver Ames. For the Tigers, junior Maddie Homer recorded 25 digs, senior Hadley Rhodes dished out 26 assists to go along with five kills, sophomore Sarah Hilliard added 14 kills and 10 digs, and sophomore Claire O’Rourke chipped in with eight kills and three aces.
Attleboro vs. Dighton-Rehoboth, 2:30
Foxboro, 157 @ Oliver Ames, 152 – Final – Oliver Ames earned its 10th win of the season by taking down Foxboro in a close match at Pine Oaks. Senior captain Jake Kaplan shot a medalist round of 35 to lead the way for the Tigers. Junior Michael McGinnis and sophomore Aden Ashley each shot a 39 to count for the scoring for the first time in their careers. Sophomore Lucas Riley and junior Daniel Paul both added a 40 in the win.
Sharon, 171 @ Canton, 147 – Final – Sophomore Mekhala Costello capped a tremendous week with another medalist round, this time a one-over par round of 35 to lead the Bulldogs to a big win at home over Sharon. The win clinches at least a share of the Davenport division title for Canton. Mike Loenetti added a 36 in the win, Conor Hunter chipped in with a 37, and Will Gefteas finished with a 39 for Canton. Eric Carter led the way for Sharon with a round of 41, Owen Kevorkian added a 42, and Nathan Daley, Noah Glassman, and James Spoto all shot a 44 for the Eagles.
FRANKLIN, Mass. – It was only seven months ago that Franklin traveled to Alumni Field to open the Fall II season. The Panthers were a young team learning the ropes against a senior-laden, highly-experienced Mansfield squad filled with Super Bowl-winning talent.
When the two teams met on Friday night at Pisini Stadium, the roles were reversed. Now it was the Panthers that had the experience and they took advantage at every opportunity. Jared Arone (9-for-13, 206 yards) tossed four touchdown passes and the Panthers beat Mansfield 28-10. in front of a packed house.
It was Franklin’s first win against the Hornets since going undefeated in the 2009 regular season. It also ended Mansfield’s 19-game win streak, which had been the longest active streak in the state.
“We had a normal summer, a normal weight program, a normal training camp where we could meet and walk through and do all the things that you’re supposed to do and we let our kids just be kids this year finally,” said Franklin coach Eian Bain about the growth of his team over the past few months. “I think they’ve grown a lot as people, as men, as students, as players.”
Despite being 3-0, Mansfield has struggled early in games and had to come from behind in each of the past two weeks. The pattern repeated itself on Friday, as the Hornets hurt themselves with penalties, regularly finding themselves in long-yardage situations, missed a field goal, and were unable to finish drives.
Mansfield coach Mike Redding admitted that was too much to overcome against a team as good as Franklin. He said, “So sloppy and I think tonight was the first time that we played young almost the whole night. Tonight it was like we could never be consistent. We just kind of took a step back in terms of execution on both sides of the ball.”
After forcing a three-and-out, thanks to pass breakups by Jase Lyons and Devine Johnson, Franklin took over for its second possession at its own 32. Two plays and a first down later, Arone went deep right down the middle of the field, hitting Shane Kindred (five catches, 106 yards) in stride for a 54-yard touchdown. Garrett Portesi’s extra point made it 7-0.
“You want to always play with a lead,” said Bain. “It gives you a little flexibility, allows you now to panic, and we hit those big plays early. It also put some pressure on them to get out of their comfort zone.”
Another Mansfield three-and-out gave Franklin a chance to double its lead, but Trevor Foley intercepted Arone at the Hornets 39. Mansfield’s offense finally started to get things going.
Conner Zukowski (13-of-27, 141 yards) hit CJ Bell for 27 yards down the sideline to get into the red zone. A sack by Nick Quintina (one of five Franklin sacks in the game) pushed the Hornets back eight yards and Luke Davis made a nice play on the ball to deny a touchdown pass to Foley. The Hornets were forced to try a 32-yard field goal by James Gilleran, but it slid wide right.
Franklin fed off the defensive stand, putting together a 14-play, 84-yard scoring drive. Three times Arone found Kindred for first downs and Mack Gulla (32 carries, 164 yards) had nine rushes on the drive. On third and goal from the eight, Arone was able to buy time in the pocket, eventually rolling out to his right and spying Grayson Hunter open in the back corner of the end zone.
The visitors needed a spark to try and get something going before halftime. On third and seven, Foley made a nice sliding grab to get a first down. A pass interference call helped get Mansfield to the 24 and then Zukowski hit Bell for 21 more to get inside the five. Drew Sacco would get Mansfield on the board, taking a big hit at the goal line but squeezing across to make it 14-7.
Mansfield got the ball coming out of the break with a chance to tie the game, but once again the Hornets struggled to finish off a drive. Sacco broke an 18-yard run around the left side and a screen pass to Rocco Scarpellini went for 23 down to the Franklin 11. That’s where things stalled. Sacco dove on errant toss for a loss of a couple and on third down Jonathan Martins pressured Zukowski into an incompletion. Gilleran nailed a 30-yarder and the lead was down to four.
A mistake on the ensuing kick pinned Franklin back at its own four. It looked like a turning point in the game where, in the past, Mansfield would suddenly turn things around and find a way to win. Instead, the Panthers went 96 yards and extended the lead.
The drive started with an offsides penalty and then eight straight carries by Gulla. The Panthers were controlling the line of scrimmage, winning the battle in the trenches and marching downfield. After converting on third down into Mansfield territory, Franklin went for the home run. Arone threw a strike to Will Tracey on the far sideline and he hauled in the 41-yard score.
Redding said, “Gulla was as advertised. He’s a solid kid, but I think he was faster than we expected. We handled him okay but they did enough to set up the pass game and, when they did throw, they got some huge pass plays out of it. They had a good little combination going.”
A Gulla fumble would give Mansfield one last chance to try and get back into the game with 8:24 to play, but the Franklin defense continued to cover well and to pressure Zukowski. A sack by Jack Marino and another pass breakup by Davis helped the Panthers get the ball back at the Hornets 39.
“We’ve got a lot of really good athletes playing on defense,” said Bain. “They run well and they’re aggressive and they’re smart and we’re able to get in and out of a lot of looks and packages and keep the offense off-balance.”
Three plays later, on fourth and four, Franklin caught Mansfield in a blitz. Martins was free down the seam and Arone picked out his wide open tight end for a back-breaking 34-yard score.
“This a huge moment, Mansfield is a great program, but wins are not our goals,” Bain said when asked about staying focused on the schedule ahead. “It’s an elite result but we can’t forget that reaching our goals every day got us this result, so tomorrow and then Sunday and Monday we’ve got to keep achieving greatness every day.”
For Redding and the Hornets, they face undefeated Milford next, knowing that a second loss would effectively end their chances at claiming another league title. He explained, “I don’t know if anyone can run the table. So, next week is do or die. If we bring our ‘A’ game then we have a shot to win. If we stay sloppy, then we’re going to struggle. But I like our kids’ character and I think we’ll be back next Friday.”
Franklin (4-0) will try to keep its perfect season going next week with a visit from Taunton. Mansfield (3-1) will host Milford at Alumni Field.
Milford, 28 @ Attleboro, 0 – Final 1st Quarter: (M) Evan Cornelius 31-yard pass to Damien Carter, Nick Araujo XP good.
2nd Quarter: (M) Tyler Lane 1-yard rush, N. Araujo XP good.
3rd Quarter: (M) E. Cornelis 27-yard pass to Isaiah Pantalone, N. Araujo XP good.
4th Quarter: (M) Jack Veo 2-yard rush, N. Araujo XP good.
Canton, 8 @ North Attleboro, 42 – Final 1st Quarter: (NA) Tyler Bannon 13-yard rush, Tyler DeMattio XP good; (NA) T. DeMattio 44-yard rush, T. DeMattio XP good; (NA) Chase Frisoli 20-yard pass to Joey Perriello, T. DeMattio XP good; (NA) C. Frisoli 35-yard pass to Gavin Wells, T. DeMattio XP good.
2nd Quarter: (NA) C. Frisoli 14-yard pass to Gavin Wells, T. DeMattio XP good.
3rd Quarter: (NA) T. DeMattio 2-yard rush, Connor Rupert XP good.
4th Quarter: (C) Owen Lane 2-yard rush, Owen Lane 2pt rush.
Foxboro, 47 vs. Hopkinton, 12 – Final 1st Quarter: (F) Dylan Gordon 57-yard rush, XP failed; (F) Tom Marcucella 22-yard pass to D. Gordon, T. Marcucella 2pt pass to Rashaad Way; (F) T. Marcucella 80-yard pass to D. Gordon, Sam Carpenter XP good.
2nd Quarter: (F) D.Gordon 63-yard rush, S. Carpenter XP good; (F) S. Carpenter 30-yard field goal; (H) Hopkinton 8-yard pass, XP failed; (F) T. Marcucella 74-yard pass to R. Way, XP failed; (F) S. Carpenter 24-yard field goal.
3rd Quarter: (F) Tyler Prescott 9-yard rush, S. Carpenter XP good; (H) Hopkinton 9-yard pass, XP failed.
4th Quarter: No scoring.
Mansfield, 10 @ Franklin, 28 – Final – Click here for a Recap and Photo Gallery from this game. 1st Quarter: (F) Jared Arone 54-yard pass to Shane Kindred, Garrett Portesi XP good.
2nd Quarter: (F) J. Arone 8-yard pass to Grayson Hunter, G. Portesi XP good; (M) Drew Sacco 1-yard rush, James Gilleran XP good.
3rd Quarter: (M) J. Gilleran 30-yard field goal; (F) J. Arone 41-yard pass to Will Tracey, G. Portesi XP good.
4th Quarter: (F) J. Arone 34-yard pass to Jonathan Martins, G. Portesi XP good.
King Philip, 30 @ Taunton, 21 – Final 1st Quarter: (T) Evan Perrotta 14-yard rush, Nathan Keenan XP good; (KP) William Astorino 1-yard rush, Matthew Kelley XP good; (KP) M. Kelley 31-yard field goal.
2nd Quarter: (T) Jacob Leonard 56-yard pass to Jose Touron, N. Keenan XP good; (KP) Rudy Gately 1-yard rush, M. Kelley XP good; (KP) Charlie Grant 4-yard rush, M. Kelley XP good.
3rd Quarter: (KP) M. Kelley 41-yard field goal.
4th Quarter: (T) E. Perrotta 4-yard rush, N. Keenan XP good; (KP) M. Kelley 29-yard field goal.
Stoughton, 35 @ Oliver Ames, 7 – Final 1st Quarter: No scoring.
2nd Quarter: (S) Jarred Daughtry 49-yard pass to Emmett Pearl, Jonah Ly XP good.
3rd Quarter: (S) J. Ly 1-yard rush, J. Ly XP good.
4th Quarter: (S) Anthony Girolamo 16-yard rush, J. Ly XP good; (OA) Sean Friel 51-yard pass to Jack Morley, XP good; (S) A. Girolamo 45-yard rush, J. Ly XP good; (S) J. Daughtry 11-yard pass to Michael Jardim, J. Ly XP good.
Sharon, 14 @ Fairhaven, 42 – Final
Canton, 5 @ Sharon, 2 – Final – Canton pulled away late to grab a road win. Gabriella Herivaux led the way for the Bulldogs with a brace. Sofia Goclowski scored for Sharon on an assist by Olivia Soby. Amanda Hu also found the back of the net for the Eagles, assisted by Wendy Wooden.
Stoughton, 0 @ Norwood, 3 – Final – Shayla Ford played well in the loss for Stoughton, but couldn’t finish her chances. Mia Rivera also had a decent game in goal for the Black Knights and Sofia Issa continues to impress in the midfield.
Attleboro, 2 @ King Philip, 3 – Final – Attleboro scored a pair of second half goals to level the match but King Philip sophomore Kelly Holmes scored on a beautiful aerial shot with just over two minutes to play to give the Warriors the win. Sophomore Mara Boldy opened the scoring in the first quarter on an assist from Sydney O’Shea and then Holmes scored to make it 2-0. Emma Briggs cut the deficit in half with a third quarter goal and Sarah McMahon tied it with under six to play before Holmes deposited her shot over everyone and into the far corner off of a penalty corner. Senior defenders Haley Izydorczak and Molly Piller both played outstanding in the win.
Canton, 7 @ Sharon, 0 – Final
Foxboro, 2 @ Oliver Ames, 4 – Final – After trading goals in the first half, Oliver Ames’ Erin Cottam scored twice in the second half to give the Tigers a key division win over Foxboro. Junior Tyla Delamere opened the scoring with her first career goal midway through the first quarter but Jenny Gallagher responded with just over a minute left in the period to make it 1-1. Georgia Costello put the hosts ahead just over a minute into the second but Gallagher answered again just over a minute later to send the teams into the halftime break knotted at 2-2. Cottam got her first goal of the game late in the third off a feed from Lily Gaskill. Cottam tacked on a second one with 9:48 to play to secure the win. Both Gaskill and Ava Costello played well in the midfield while Olivia Stevens had a strong game on defense for the Tigers.
Franklin, 8 @ Milford, 0 – Final – Franklin scored twice in each the first and second quarters and put it out of reach with three more in the third in a win on the road at Milford. Kaitlyn Carney scored four goals and had one assist to pace the offense, getting assists from Sophia Cuneo, Ella Aldred, and Ella Mahoney while Kendall Jones scored twice in the win (one assisted by Haley Wernig). Sydney Rogan tacked on a pair of second quarter goals for the Panthers.
Mansfield, 2 @ Taunton, 2 – Final – Taunton built a two-goal lead in the second half but Mansfield struck for a pair of second half goals, including the gaming one with less than a minute to go to grab a point on the road. Jillian Edmond (from Kaysie DeMoura) broke the deadlock with a goal with just over four minutes to play in the third. DeMoura recorded her second assist by finding Caelen O’Leary early in the fourth quarter. Mansfield scored with 20 seconds left to tie the game. Em Gannon had a big game in net with 16 saves while Jasmine Lucier and Kylie Thorpe both played well.
Stoughton @ North Attleboro, 5:15
Attleboro, 0 @ King Philip, 3 – Final – King Philip’s offense was hitting on all cylinders as the Warriors rolled to a 3-0 sweep (25-7, 25-17, 25-9) win at home over the visiting Bombardiers of Attleboro. Middles Sami Shore (11 kills, three blocks) and Emily Sawyer (10 kills) both had strong showings while Ahunna James (seven kills, five digs) played a strong all-around game. Samantha Asprelli added 12 digs and Stella Bailey recorded 18 service points and 26 assists.
Foxboro, 0 @ Oliver Ames, 3 – Final – Oliver Ames took care of business on Friday evening, knocking off division foe Foxboro in straight sets (25-7, 25-13, 25-18). Junior Courtney Raymond played well in the win with eight kills and two blocks, senior Shannon Willard added 14 assists, senior Hadley Rhodes dished out 12 assists and added four kills, and sophomore Sarah Hilliard recorded 10 kills and five aces.
Canton, 3 @ Sharon, 1 – Final – Canton bounced back from a one-set deficit to take three straight on the road for a 3-1 victory (18-25, 25-20, 25-19, 25-15). Sydney Gallery had one of the best performances of her career with 13 kills, seven digs, and three aces to lead the way. Anna Verille anchored the defense for the visitors with 25 digs and added an ace and a kill while Talya DeGraw turned in a strong all-around performance with nine kills, 14 digs, and an ace.
Franklin, 3 @ Milford, 1 – Final – Milford fought hard to avoid the sweep with a win in the third set but Franklin proved to be too much as the Panthers secured a 3-1 (25-16, 25-22, 20-25, 25-16) win over the Hawks. Junior Meghan Linkkila anchored the defense with 15 digs and had a strong showing at the service line with seven aces while sophomore Taylor Lacerda was nearly unstoppable at the net with 19 kills to go along with 11 digs and a pair of aces.
Mansfield, 3 @ Taunton, 1 – Final – After dropping the first set, Mansfield rallied to take three straight, including a vital third set, to knock off Taunton, 3-1 (22-25, 25-20, 26-24, 25-12). Christina Lydon dished out 17 assists in the win with Nicole Santos (six kills), Elyssa Buchanan (six kills), and Julia Kelly (five kills) pacing the offense.
Stoughton @ North Attleboro, 5:15
North Attleboro, 201 @ Attleboro, 197 – Final (5 cards) – Attleboro grabbed its sixth win of the season and got back to .500 with its second close win over rival North Attleboro this year. Carter Shelton and Leo Lombardo led the way after both shooting a 37, Brendan Raymond added a 39, and Dane Holske, Parker Sackett, and Jackson Sweeney all came in at 42 for the Bombardiers. Tyson Laviano led the visitors with a medalist round of 36 while Jake Gaskin added a 38.
Mansfield, 161 @ Sharon, 170 – Final – Mansfield finished the week a perfect 4-0, capping it off with a win over Sharon at the Norton Country Club. After a solid showing in his varsity debut, junior Drew Urban had a hole-in-one on the seventh hole to highlight the win. Cian Goulet had a team-low round of 39, Brendan Vokey and Hunter Tang each shot a 40, and Ryan Doherty and Urban both came in with a 42.
Foxboro, 51 vs. Plymouth South, 14 – Final – Click here for a Recap and Photo Gallery from this game. 1st Quarter: (F) Tom Marcucella 18-yard pass to Tommy Sharkey, Sam Carpenter XP good; (F) Safety; (F) Dylan Gordon 14-yard rush, S. Carpenter XP good; (F) T. Marcucella 16-yard pass to Rashaad Way, S. Carpenter XP good.
2nd Quarter: (F) D. Gordon 12-yard rush, S. Carpenter XP good; (PS) Casious Johnson 76-yard rush, Ian Wernik XP good; (F) D. Gordon 5-yard rush, S. Carpenter XP good.
3rd Quarter: (F) T. Marcucella 19-yard pass to R. Way, S. Carpenter XP good; (PS) C. Johnson 80-yard rush, I. Wernik XP good; (F) D. Gordon 59-yard rush, S. Carpenter XP good.
4th Quarter: No scoring.
Franklin, 27 @ Duxbury, 14 – Final 1st Quarter: No scoring.
2nd Quarter: (D) Matt Festa 22-yard pass to Brady Madigan, Dennen Sullivan XP good; (D) M. Festa 26-yard pass to Chris Walsh, D. Sullivan XP good; (F) Jared Arone 15-yard pass to Shane Kindred, XP blocked; (F) J. Arone 35-yard pass to Will Tracey, Garrett Portesi XP good.
3rd Quarter: No scoring.
4th Quarter: (F) J. Arone 30-yard pass to Will Deschenes, J. Arone conversion pass to S. Kindred; (F) Mack Gulla 46-yard rush, XP blocked.
Stoughton, 14 @ Mansfield, 42 – Final – Click here for a Recap and Photo Gallery from this game. 1st Quarter: (S) Jonah Ly 14-yard rush, J. Ly XP good.
2nd Quarter: (S) Jarred Daughtry 50-yard pass to J. Ly, J Ly XP good; (M) Rocco Scarpellini 2-yard rush, James Gilleran XP good; (M) Conner Zukowski 7-yard pass to Brian Butler, J. Gilleran XP good.
3rd Quarter: (M) C. Zukowski 46-yard pass to CJ Bell, J. Gilleran XP good; (M) C. Zukowski 24-yard pass to Trevor Foley, J. Gilleran XP good; (M) R. Scarpellini 50-yard rush, J. Gilleran XP good.
4th Quarter: (M) Connor Curtis 11-yard rush, J. Gilleran XP good.
Oliver Ames, 34 vs. Bedford, 27 – Final
Taunton, 28 @ Middleboro, 8 – Final 1st Quarter: No scoring.
2nd Quarter: (T) Evan Perrotta 8-yard rush, Nathan Keenan XP good.
3rd Quarter: (T) Jacob Leonard 6-yard pass to Jose Touron, N. Keenan XP good; (T) J. Leonard 32-yard pass to Isaiah Williams, N. Keenan XP good.
4th Quarter: (M) Jacob Briggs 5-yard pass to John Chor, J. Briggs conversion pass to Isaiah Furtado; (T) E. Perrotta 34-yard rush, N. Keenan XP good.
Canton, 0 @ North Attleboro, 0 – Final – It was a battle between the boxes for the Bulldogs and the Rocketeers, settling for a scoreless draw and a point apiece. North threatened with a pair of dangerous crosses from Kaden Burns in the second half but couldn’t find the other end of the service. Canton had a pair of dangerous second half corners but couldn’t convert. North head coach Geoff Burgess praised the defensive effort of Brody Rosenberg and Jaad Ismail.
Foxboro, 5 @ Sharon, 2 – Final – Foxboro built a 2-1 lead by halftime and then pumped in three more in the second half to take two points on the road at Gavin Pond against Sharon. Seniors Matt Angelini and Jacob Tessier each scored a pair of goals to pace the attack for the visitors while sophomore defender Ian Foley tacked on another goal in the win.
Franklin, 0 @ Mansfield, 0 – Final – Mansfield senior Jack Lasbury-Casey denied the visiting Panthers on a pair of good goal scoring chances late to preserve a draw and a point for the hosts. The Hornets have yet to concede on the season with Lasbury-Casey notching his sixth straight shutout to start the season.
Oliver Ames, 7 @ Stoughton, 0 – Final – Freshman Casey Milliken scored his first career hat trick and the Tigers rolled on the road for their fourth victory of the season. Milliken opened the scoring off an assist from sophomore Carney, added his second to make it 4-0 on a pass from Clide Neau, and completed the hat trick on a feed from Hector Bucio for a 6-0 lead. Bucio, Neau, Ralph Vache, and senior Sam Schoenfeld all scored for the Tigers while Michael Haikal, Mathias Taylor and John Dobbin all had assists. Sasha Priajinski recored his second shutout of the season.
Taunton, 0 @ Attleboro, 4 – Final – Jamie Davies had a brace and an assist, powering Attleboro to its fourth win of the season. Davies set up Bethany Alves for the opening goal of the game after 14 minutes and then doubled the lead, taking a pass from Ayla Santoro, to make it 2-0 midway through the half. Davies added her second and the team’s third shortly after the break, assisted by Avery Vieira. Emily Khang sealed the win with a goal from an Angelic Duran assist.
North Attleboro, 2 @ Canton, 2 – Final – Canton extended its unbeaten run to four games, securing a point against North Attleboro on senior night. North Attleboro took the lead on a 40-yard blast on a free kick from Haley Sinacola and then salvaged a point with a goal with less than 10 minutes to go. Brayden Rice connected on a volley from just outside the box in the 72nd minute to bring the visitors level. Gabriella Herivaux had a goal and an assist for the Bulldogs, while Emily McCabe added the second. Freshman Paige Sullivan continued her impressive rookie campaign and classmate Emma Cahill had a nice pass leading to McCabe’s goal. North Attleboro head coach Bill Wallace praised the play of Casey Butanowicz, Charlotte Moynihan, Summer Doherty, and Brook Sullivan in front of Maddie Ferrin.
Sharon, 0 @ Foxboro, 2 – Final – Click here for a Photo Gallery from this game. Kailee McCabe continued to be practically unstoppable, scoring both goals to extend Foxboro’s win streak to six games. McCabe scored in the first half off an assist by Grace Riley. In a hard-fought second half, the Warriors were finally able to double the lead when Lauren Miley played a perfect through ball that split the Sharon defenders. McCabe ran onto it and calmly slid the ball past Sharon’s freshman keeper Autumn Simon, who had an impressive game for the Eagles. Amber Marcus-Blank and Jordanna Morris also played well in the Sharon defense, trying to keep track of attackers McCabe and Jordan Carman. Sofia Goclowski had another solid game in the Sharon midfield, battling with Foxboro midfielder Erin Foley, but an injury to forward Wendy Wooden limited the chances that the Eagles were able to create.
Mansfield, 1 @ Franklin, 0 – Final – Abby Jean scored midway through the first half off an assist from Katie Miller to give Mansfield its fourth straight win against Franklin. The Hornets also beat the Panthers three times last fall, and all four games finished 1-0. Mansfield’s back line of Kara Santos, Gabby Smith, Kayla Doherty, and Anna Darlington played great to limit the Panthers, forcing goalie Olivia Salisbury to make only one save to get the clean sheet. Franklin struggled to get into its typical attacking system, but Norah Anderson and Jackie O’Neil both played well in defense and midfielders Stella Regan, Chloe Barca, and Bridget Leo played well in the second half to try and get back into the match.
King Philip @ Milford – Postponed to TBD.
Stoughton, 0 @ Oliver Ames, 9 – Final – Camryn O’Connor proved too hard to stop, as her four goals powered the Tigers to a comfortable win. OA scored all nine goals before halftime. Lucinda Li Cotter, Katie Gibson, Mary Cross, Emma Gavin, and Taylor deVos also found the back of the net, as the Tigers put together and impressive opening 40 minutes to remain in first place in the Davenport. Sofia Issa made her first start for the Black Knights and played well alongside classmate Sivannah Marcy. Mia Rivera played well in the Stoughton goal, despite the score, and freshman Lauren Mitchell had another solid performance.
King Philip, 0 @ Westwood, 4 – Final – Junior Haley Bright turned away eight shots but the Warriors fell for the first time this season, playing in their sixth game in the past two weeks. Seniors Christina Gifun and Margo Reilly played well in the midfield for KP.
North Attleboro, 0 @ King Philip, 3 – Final – King Philip earned another sweep, this time knocking off North Attleboro in a non-league clash, 3-0 (25-13, 25-3, 25-18). Junior middle Sami Shore had a strong all-around showing (six kills), but really shined at the service line with 21 service points and five aces. Emily Sawyer put down 8 kills and Ahunna James added seven kills in the win. Sofia Riedel had 13 service points, including two aces, and Stella Bailey recorded four aces.
Taunton, 3 @ Durfee, 0 – Final
King Philip, 150 @ Attleboro, 152 – Final – King Philip’s depth was on display as all four of the Warriors’ scorers came in under 40 to squeak out a victory over an upset-minded Attleboro squad. Pat Reardon had birdies on both 10 and 12, finishing with a team-low round of 36. Mike Matheson, Jared Curran, and Tim Hartwell all shot 38 to round out the scoring. Attleboro’s Brendan Raymond continued his stellar play with four birdies — on 10, 13, 14, and 17 — to finish with a match medalist round of 34. Dane Holske and Leo Lombardo each shot 39 and Carter Shelton came in with a 40.
Foxboro, 173 @ Franklin, 165 – Final – Sophomore Tyler O’Brien shared match medalist honors, shooting a team-low round of 39 to pace the Panthers to a win over Foxboro. Sophomore CJ Steel added a 41 in the win, freshman Ben Paterson came in with a 42, and sophomore Brendan Collins shot a 43 in the win. Foxboro’s Jack Rounds was the other co-medalist with a round of 39.
Franklin, 37 @ Brockton, 7 – Final 1st Quarter: (F) Mack Gulla 2-yard rush, Garrett Portesi XP good; (B) Jason Wonodi 10-yard pass to Cameron Monteiro, XP good.
2nd Quarter: (F) Safety; (F) Jared Arone 7-yard pass to Will Deschenes, G. Portesi XP good; (F) J. Arone 27-yard pass to Shane Kindred, G. Portesi XP good.
3rd Quarter: (F) M. Gulla 77-yard rush, G. Portesi XP good.
4th Quarter: (F) Mike Davide, G. Portesi XP good.
King Philip, 30 @ Needham, 6 – Final
Mansfield, 31 @ North Attleboro, 29 – Final (2 OT) – Click here for a recap and photo gallery of this game. 1st Quarter: (M) Conner Zukowski 24-yard pass to Trevor Foley, James Gilleran XP good; (NA) Tyler DeMattio fumble recovery, XP no good.
2nd Quarter: (NA) T. DeMattio 4-yard rush, Conversion no good; (NA) T. DeMattio 18-yard field goal.
3rd Quarter: No scoring.
4th Quarter: (M) C. Zukowski 4-yard pass to T. Foley, C. Zukowski conversion pass to T. Foley.
1st OT: (M) C. Zukowski 10-yard pass to T. Foley, C. Zukowski conversion pass to Drew Sacco; (NA) T. DeMattio 1-yard rush, Chase Frisoli conversion pass to Gavin Wells.
2nd OT: (NA) T. DeMattio 10-yard rush, Conversion no good; (M) C. Zukowski 10-yard pass to Rocco Scarpellini, C. Zukowski conversion pass to T. Foley.
Oliver Ames, 13 @ Quincy, 21 – Final
Stoughton, 27 vs. Braintree, 26 – Final
Taunton, 26 @ Durfee, 20 – Final 1st Quarter: No scoring.
2nd Quarter: (D) Jevon Holley 61-yard rush, XP good.
3rd Quarter: (T) Jacob Leonard 54-yard pass to Trent Santos, Nathan Keenan XP good; (T) J. Leonard 8-yard pass to Jose Touron, 2pt rush failed; (T) Evan Perrotta 6-yard rush, N. Keenan XP good; (D) Isaiyah Thomas 43-yard rush, XP good.
4th Quarter: (D) I. Thomas 14-yard pass to Jayden Lewis, XP failed; (T) J. Leonard 3-yard pass to T. Santos, XP failed.
Sharon, 0 @ Seekonk, 28 – Final
Canton, 0 @ Milford, 2 – Final – Milford scored once in each half to down the Bulldogs for their first victory of the season. Arthur Tome put the hosts ahead, converting a pass from David Desa to make it 1-0. In the second half, junior Nick Ribeiro iced the game with a goal with just over two minutes to go.
Foxboro, 2 vs. Norton, 1 – Final – Foxboro senior Matt Angelini set up a goal in each half to help the Warriors claim a win against non-league foe Norton. Angelini blasted a low shot from atop the area that was saved, pushed off the post and out but junior Alex Penders was first to the loose ball and touched it in for a 1-0 lead in the 36th minute. Just after halftime, Angelini intercepted a pass in the attacking third and laid off a pass for Jacob Tessier, who beat the keeper from distance to make it 2-0 in the 48th minute.
Oliver Ames, 1 @ Franklin, 2 – Final – Franklin scored back-to-back goals in a short span to earn a win over Oliver Ames, the first victory of the young season for the Panthers. Terry O’Neill was first to a loose ball in the box, pouncing on it to make it 1-0, and shortly after, Tyler Powderly found the back of the net. OA cut the deficit in half on a goal from senior Michael Haikal off an assist from Clide Neau.
King Philip, 0 @ North Attleboro, 1 – Final – Carson Dameron scored the only goal of the game to lift North to the win. The sophomore pressured the KP center back, stole the ball, and scored on the break for his first career goal. Givany Carney also played well up top for North, keeping the KP defense on its toes. Brody Rosenberg and Joe Shephard played well on defense to help the Rocketeers keep a clean sheet.
North Attleboro, 1 @ Braintree, 0 – Final – North closed out a three-game week with a hard-fought non-league road win. Steph McKenna scored the lone goal of the game early in the second half. She took a pass from Autumn Hewitt and found the back of the net from 15 yards out. Haley Sinacola also came close when she hit a 35-yard free kick off the bar. Maddie Ferrin recorded her second clean sheet of the week and North’s defense of Lily Adams, Charlotte Moynihan, Caroline Ferrin, and Summer Doherty all played well.
Stoughton, 1 vs. Norwood, 2 – Final – Morgan Cook scored off an Isabella Rodrigues assist for Stoughton’s lone goal of the game. Emma Tran also played well in multiple positions for the Black Knights, who were missing a few players for the non-league game.
King Philip, 1 vs. Bishop Feehan, 6 – Final
Sharon, 3 vs. Milton, 3 – Final – Amanda Hu scored a late equalizer to earn a point for the Eagles, who twice came from a goal down in the draw. Olivia Soby opened the scoring for Sharon. After Milton scored twice to take the lead, Wendy Wooden leveled the scores. The Wildcats regained the lead but Hu fired in a shot from distance to tie it up in the closing minutes. Sofia Goclowski had a pair of assists.
Milford, 0 @ Canton, 4 – Final – Ellie Bohane scored twice to lift Canton to the victory. Erin Lane and Maggie McCready each scored once for the Bulldogs.
Franklin, 5 @ Oliver Ames, 0 – Final – Franklin built a three-goal advantage by halftime and tacked on one more in each of the third and fourth quarters to secure a win on the road over OA. Kaitlyn Carney scored a pair of goals while Shaw Downing, Payten Crandall, and Haley Wernig also scored, which was the first varsity goal for Wernig. Wernig and Crandall also had assists while Megan Sullivan had five saves for the shutout.
North Attleboro, 0 @ King Philip, 4 – Final – KP’s defense was dominant throughout, allowing only one shot on goal. Seniors Lily Brown and Molly Piller stood out for the Warriors on the defensive end of the field. Mara Boldy got the winner, scoring in the second quarter off an assist from Makenzie McDevitt. Boldy then added an assist, setting up Margo Reilly. Kelly Holmes added a third, assisted by Christina Gifun, and freshman Abby MacDonald closed out the scoring with her first career goal. Boldy added her second assist of the game on KP’s fourth.
Stoughton, 5 vs. Brockton, 0 – Final – Zofia Bangs scored a hat trick to power the Black Knights to their first win of the season. Mia Allie and Isabella Iacobucci also scored once apiece.
Milford, 1 @ Canton, 3 – Final – Canton bounced back from a tough second set and got its first win of the season, 25-22, 12-25, 25-16, 25-17. Taylor Reynolds ran the offense for the Bulldogs, dishing out 27 assists, while also chipping in with four aces and nine digs. Anna Verille had a big game defensively, recording 17 digs and also had four aces. Jess Wright sparked the attack with 14 kills (and added seven digs), while Sydney Gallery had a solid all-around game on the outside with eight kills and five digs.
Franklin, 3 @ Oliver Ames, 1 – Final – OA won a close first set, 27-25, but then Franklin rolled over the next three sets (25-12, 25-13, 25-12) to pull out the win and stay perfect on the season. Cailyn Mackintosh dished out 21 assists and added eight kills. She also chipped in with four aces and 27 digs. Taylor Lacerda also had eight kills for the Panther and Brigid Earley had four kills and seven blocks. Addyson Smock had a pair of blocks for the Tigers and gave them an aggressive presence at the net. Hadley Rhodes led OA with 20 assists and five kills and Maddie Homer was strong in serve-receive and on defense with 27 digs and 32 receptions.
King Philip, 3 vs. Walpole, 0 – Final – King Philip continued its strong start to the season with a 3-0 sweep (25-13, 25-8, 25-10) at home over non-league foe Walpole. It was a strong all-around effort from the hosts with Sami Shore (10 kills, two aces), Liz Carey (four kills, 10 service points), and Emily Sawyer (five kills) pacing the offense. Stella Bailey (five aces, 17 service points) and Kiera Hagen (five aces) both performed well at the service line while Samantha Asprelli (six digs) was strong defensively.
Taunton @ Sharon, 5:15
Mansfield, 168 @ Franklin, 166 – Final – Franklin defended its home course to hand Mansfield its first loss of the season. Sophomore CJ Steel show the low round of the afternoon, carding a 38. That was one stroke better than Mansfield’s Cian Goulet. Caden Sullivan added a round of 42 and Ben Paterson and Caroline Woelfel each shot 43s for the Panthers. Cody Nieratko shot a 40 for the Hornets, who also got a round of 43 from Jordan Tavares and a 46 from Brendan Vokey.
Canton, 145 @ Oliver Ames, 152 – Final – Canton pulled out a win in the battle of unbeaten division rivals. Mike Leonetti was the medalist at Pine Oaks, shooting a 2-under round of 32. Will Gefteas had the second lowest round of the day, finishing with a 35. Conor Hunter added a 38 and Mekhala Costello and Charlie Cohen both shot a 40. OA was led by David Rodgers with a round of 37. Lucas Riley and Jake Kaplan both shot 38s and Carter Allbritton added a 39.
Attleboro struggled on the offensive side of the ball last year, scoring only 44 points in six games and not scoring a touchdown until the fifth game of the season. The Bombardiers will need to improve on that side of the ball to try and move up the standings and challenge the top teams in the Kelley-Rex. With eight returning starters on both sides of the ball, Attleboro can rely on an experienced roster to try and turn things around this fall.
It will be obvious where Attleboro’s strength lies. The Bombardiers run 6’3 285, 6’3 255, 6’2 285, and 6’3 305 at the guard and tackle positions. They are going to try and overpower teams. The leader of that group is senior Chris Leonardo, who is a force on both sides of the ball. Seniors Alvin Harrison, Jacob Struminski, and Isaac Pereira are a formidable front and junior Isaiah Miranda will be back at center. Experience and size are important, but the Bombardiers will need its array of running backs to take advantage. Seniors Ryan Betts, Freddy Wheaton, Keigan Conley, and Kaiden Murray will all get the chance to carry the ball. Junior Aiden Hochwarter returns under center after taking over midway through last year and he will have classmate Anthony Salviati to throw to out wide and senior tight end Christian Dame.
The Attleboro defense will also rely on its strength up front with Leonardo and Harrison controlling the middle. The linebackers have plenty of experience, with Dame, Wheaton, Betts, Conley, and senior Hayden Hegarty all coming back after seeing significant time last year. The secondary has a lot of athleticism. Junior Ethan Lako, Salviati, and Murray are all capable of making big plays and forcing turnovers.
“It is great to have some normalcy back this fall,” said Attleboro coach Mike Strachan. “We have eight returning starters on each side of the ball this season and we have great senior leadership. We are looking to a great fall season.”
All eyes are on Mansfield and King Philip as the favorites in the Kelley-Rex and that’s how coach Eian Bain likes it. The Panthers are certainly flying under the radar a bit but that might not last very long, especially after their success during the preseason has turned some heads.
Having a lot of familiar faces in key positions will be an early advantage for the Panthers, who have a strong non-league schedule that starts with Wachusett and features perennial state powerhouse Duxbury. Senior Jared Arone gained a lot of experience at quarterback during the Fall 2 season and could be poised for a big year with a full schedule on tap. Part of the reason why is because of all the weapons around him. Both Shane Kindred and Will Tracey developed a lot of chemistry with the QB in the abbreviated season and will be his main two targets this year.
And while the Panthers have developed a reputation for a pass-heavy offense, we saw a much more balanced approach during the spring and with senior running back Mack Gulla ready for a breakout season, it’s likely that balance continues. Gulla is a tough runner that will keep defenses honest; he isn’t just going to help set up the passing game, he’s a true threat to run all over defenses. It will all start up front and the Panthers have center Ethan Aeillo and tackle Jack Porkorny back in starting roles.
Senior Joe Tirrell and junior Luke Davis give the Panthers a veteran presence in the secondary. Franklin allowed over 20 points per game last season but will be looking to bring that number down some this year as they try and establish themselves as a contender in the division. Senior Jonathan Martins impressed last season and will be a key piece on the defensive line while the linebackers will be anchored by senior Cullen Pek.
“The Panthers return many familiar faces but face a tough task of replacing some key positions,” Bain said. “Many players have stepped up but there is still a lot to be answered before the home opener against Wachusett.”
King Philip has a strong core of returning players set to compete for the Kelley-Rex crown this Fall season but the Warriors are hoping to develop some depth along the way as they navigate through one of the state’s toughest schedules.
KP is still hurting from the Fall 2 season, when they lost six players to season-ending surgery, four of which were starters. With a quick turnaround to this season, the Warriors will still be without those players but there is still lots of excitement around those who will be on the field this year. Senior Charlie Grant returns as the starter at quarterback and has some weapons to utilize around them, starting with receivers Danny Clancy, Nick Viscusi, and Jonathan Joseph. All three have varsity experience and are seniors. Junior Rudy Gately and senior Crawford Cantave give the Warriors a thunder and lightning running back combination. Senior Drew Danson was set to be one of the top tight ends in the league but is out due to injury. Sophomore Thomas McLeish will also be in the mix to play at quarterback and Grant could see time at receiver.
Hunter Hastings and Chris Sesay are the returners on the offensive line and will start at the tackle positions while Dan Nineve will be the center and Amro Ismail and Sean King man the guard positions. It will be a lot of the same names on the other side of the ball with Hastings, King, and Sesay all playing both ways. Junior Nate Kearney will also be in the mix as a pass rusher.
The veteran group on defense will be the KP secondary, which features a lot of familiar faces. Both Cantave (safety) and Viscusi (corner) had really strong junior seasons and will lead the way alongside junior Thomas Brewster, senior Eli Reed, and Joseph, who has really impressed so far this preseason. There will be a little inexperience at linebacker but the Warriors have Gately back in the fold alongside senior Jake Sullivan and junior Will Astorino. Matt Kelley is back as the starting kicker.
“I love my team, great kids,” said KP head coach Brian Lee. “We just have to make sure ready to go every single week. It’s been kind of a burn, playing in the Spring. It feels like we’ve been going, going, going, but now we have to focus on staying healthy and getting through Thanksgiving. It’s been fun to be around them, they are good kids that work hard. Hopefully, we can turn that into being successful.”
Mansfield won the 2019 state title, is riding a 16-game win streak, hasn’t lost a game in league play since September 2017, and hasn’t lost an in-state game since a triple-OT thriller against Foxboro at Fenway to close out 2018, so the Hornets have earned the target that is on their backs this fall. Everyone will be aiming to be the first Hock team to hand the Hornets a loss and try to end a three-year run as the top team in the Kelley-Rex. Although there are some guys in new spots, especially at the skill positions, Mansfield returns 10 starters and several players who saw significant action off the bench last year.
The offense will be powered by an experienced line. Four of five starters return from last year with only junior center Colton Johnson added. Seniors Mark DeGirolamo, Joe Forte, and James Gilleran, and junior Jephte Jean are all back and should give the Hornets an edge up front. Junior Conner Zukowski will be the new starting quarterback and he will have several new weapons to call on. Juniors Drew Sacco and Rocco Scarpellini are new starters in the backfield, but both were called on plenty last season. Senior Dana Johnson and sophomore Trevor Foley will get the start out wide.
Defense has been Mansfield’s calling card during its run, as the Hornets allowed only 23 points in six games last year. DeGirolamo and classmate Braeden Veno are back on the defensive line along with Jean and senior Pedro Cruz. All three starting linebackers returned, as seniors Zander Holmes and James Fichera are paired with Scarpellini. Junior safety Ryan DeGirolamo is the only starter back in the secondary and will need to provide leadership for sophomores Foley and CJ Bell. Senior Jared Fraone will start at the other corner spot.
Mansfield coach Mike Redding is counting on a tough preseason, against state powers Everett and Central Catholic, to help the Hornets prepare. He is also excited about the new statewide playoff system that could pair Mansfield with a new set of tournament opponents as they seek to make it a three-peat in Div. 2.
Milford made a successful move into the Kelley-Rex last season. Under first-year coach Dale Olson, the Hawks earned a first-ever win over perennial league power King Philip and finished second in the division. This year, the Hawks will try to make another title challenge despite having several new faces stepping into important roles.
On offense, the Hawks will be transitioning from the pass-first offense that Brady Olson ran last year. Junior Evan Cornelius is a very different quarterback, who will bring a lot of size and strength to the position (which makes sense, since he also plays defensive end). Graduation took away a lot of dynamic playmakers from last year’s offense but seniors Tyler Lane, Angelo Romero, and Grant Scudo will give Milford a deep backfield and last year senior Jaden Agnew emerged as a major threat in the passing game.
The Hawks will be tough up front again this year on both sides of the ball. Seniors Alex McColl and Marco Monteiro are big and tough and will open holes on offense while clogging running lanes on the other side. Cornelius will add a threat on the edge defensively and the linebacking corps continues to be a factor, led by Lane and Romero. Scudo seeks out the ball at safety and is always a threat to force a turnover.
Olson admits that his team lacks experience at the skill positions, but he added, “Having three scrimmages will help prepare the first-year varsity kids to play week one.”
Taunton didn’t have the best record during the Fall 2 season but the opportunity to just get on the field and play was incredibly valuable for the Tigers. There are less than a dozen seniors (eight) on the roster for the Tigers this season so head coach Brad Sidwell will be looking for a strong class of juniors, as well as some sophomores, to make up the majority of the lineup this Fall.
A good chunk of those juniors were inserted into the starting lineup or played a large number of snaps just five months ago when the Tigers played six games. That allowed the Tigers to build some depth for the upcoming season, especially on the offensive side of the ball. Junior Jake Leonard got a jump start to his career when he took over for an injured Danny MacDougall. That experience will be key as he begins his first full season as the starter under center. Leonard will have three veteran options to work with in senior captains Trent Santos and Nate Keenan — two receivers — and tight end Nick Lima. Senior Faisal Mass will be a big target as a tight end, also providing key blocking on the line, while seniors Jon Castillo (receiver), Jack Moitiso (offensive line) and Evan Perrota (running back) will be in the mix as well.
Junior Ryan MacDougall started on the offensive line last season and will be joined by classmates Nate Laplante, William Guachiculca-Torres, and Logan Frank while sophomore Bryan Joanis will also be in the mix so some playing time. Keenan could also get some carries out of the backfield while junior Bryan Batista could emerge as a go-to option carrying the ball. Juniors Tyler Wynn, Isaiah Williams, and McKyen Gonsalves are three names to watch as receiving options for Leonard.
Taunton has a lot of experience in its secondary with both Santos and Keenan playing on both sides of the ball, and that experience will be a big strength for the Tigers. There is also a lot of depth in the linebackers, starting with Lima, who uses his speed to attack the ball. He can also step out and play in coverage or drop back into a safety role if needed. Lima will be joined by Frank, MacDougall, and Perrota as linebackers. On the line, Laplante had a strong sophomore season and could be poised for a breakout year.
Taunton will prepare for the ever-challenging division slate with non-league games against New Bedford, Durfee, and Middleboro in its first three weeks. It also marks the first year of its new Thanksgiving rivalry with Milford.
“We’re excited to begin the season with this group after productive preseason practices and scrimmages,” said head coach Brad Sidwell. “Although we only have eight seniors, many of our players gained experience in the spring season. We need to improve through the non-league start of the season as the Hockomock Kelley-Rex is always a challenge for any of the teams involved.”
Playing quarterback in an up-tempo, pass-heavy offensive set against the defenses in the Kelley-Rex division is a difficult task for an experienced signal-caller. Arone stepped behind center for the Panthers last year and got his first taste of varsity action. Now, a few months later, Arone will try to build on that experience to make the Franklin offense even more potent. From the opening game, against a loaded Mansfield defense, Arone showed that he has the accuracy to make the offense tick and the willingness to stand in the pocket and make throws down field. He developed a better rapport with his also relatively inexperienced receivers over the course of the season and there is potential for the Panthers to be prolific in the passing game this fall. In a division that continues to be loaded with talent, Franklin will hope that Arone can continue his growth and help the Panthers challenge perennial powers Mansfield and KP for the Kelley-Rex crown.
Milford junior Evan Cornelius worked his way onto the field during the abbreviated Fall 2 season as a sophomore, emerging as a dangerous threat at defensive end. Now, Cornelius will see a new role on the offensive side of the ball as the new quarterback, taking over for Brady Olson, who is now at UMass. Cornelius isn’t a stranger to the position having started under center on sub-varsity his freshman year. Coming in at 6’3, 235-pounds, Cornelius doesn’t look like your prototypical high school quarterback but it’s a position he’s comfortable in, has a strong arm, and is athletic enough to make plays with his feet. It will be interesting to see if the Hawks change their offense up much as Olson was a pocket passer that spread the ball all over the field. Cornelius and the Hawks will get a stiff test right away as they host Davenport contender Foxboro on opening night.
It was a big spring for King Philip’s Rudy Gately, both on the gridiron and on the diamond for the Warrior baseball team. That upward trend will likely continue this Fall with Gately poised for a possible breakout season at running back and linebacker for King Philip. The Warriors have one of the best backfields in the league with senior Crawford Cantave alongside Gately. King Philip has a reputation for pounding the rock and having two viable options, along with an improved passing game, should make the Warriors tough to stop on offense. Gately is tough as they come and will have no problem running right at the defense. He’s not all power and strength either as he showed he’s got the wheels to breakaway from the defense.
Opposing defenses are going to have their hands full trying to contain and tackle Foxboro senior Dylan Gordon this season. At 6’3, 200-pounds, Gordon is not the size of your average running back but he certainly has the skillset of one. He has shown good patience in waiting for space to develop and he has a really strong line in front of him that is going to create holes for him. Once he finds the space, he has no problem running right at the defense. It’s probably going to take more than one person to tackle him most of the time and when he gets into open space, he can turn on the jets and pull away. He has good hands out of the backfield too so he will be an option in the passing game on swing passes and wheel routes. Given his size, he will be a good option to help protect the quarterback on passing plays as well.
DeMattio was a force to be reckoned with last season, leading North Attleboro to an unbeaten record and the Davenport division title. Capable of beating teams with his arm or his legs, DeMattio was nearly unstoppable for much of the fall, as the Rocketeers scored 40-plus points in each of the first three games and recorded a league-high 186 points in six games. His ability to grind out tough yards up the middle, coupled with the speed to break a big play and the arm strength to stretch the defense vertically, made DeMattio a unique weapon for the North offense. Teams couldn’t bunch the line of scrimmage for fear of giving up the home run pass over the top, but DeMattio could also grind out drives taking the small yardage plays right up the middle. His toughness was emphasized by lining up at tailback against Attleboro in the season finale despite a cast on his wrist. Expectations are always high for North and defending the Davenport crown is the goal this fall. If they can keep DeMattio upright and healthy, then North will have one of the league’s most dynamic playmakers to make another title run.
Attleboro has rarely lacked for size on the line of scrimmage and this fall will be no different as the Bombardiers will roll out an offensive line that averages 6’3, 280 pounds. Harrison and Leonardo are both returning starters on both sides of the line and will be critical to Attleboro finding its offensive footing after a tough Fall II season that saw the Bombardiers score a league-low 44 points. Attleboro likes to keep the ball on the ground, especially with a relatively inexperienced quarterback, so Harrison and Leonardo will be called upon often to open up holes and give their backs the chance to get to the second level. Both players have the size and strength to take on multiple defenders and they are going to be leaders on offense, making sure everyone has the right assignments against defenses that like to move around and throw numerous looks on each snap. Linemen tend not to get the acclaim of the guys they block for, but Attleboro is going to be counting on its line to be its foundation as it tries to climb up the standings and make a push for the playoffs.
Over the past three seasons, brothers Christopher Ais and Christian Ais as well as Christian Georges combined to score nearly all of Stoughton’s touchdowns. Now those three are gone to graduation so there will be a lot of opportunities for new faces to step up. Senior Jonah Ly is in his third year on the varsity team and should see an expanded role inside the Stoughton offense. Ly knows the Stoughton offense well and has a good combination of strength and speed. He will be relied upon for his blocking too inside the Wing-T. Ly has the ability to get to the edge, changing the point of attack for the run-first Stoughton offense, and can break big plays. The Knights will be hoping that his development can help the offense put points on the board.
Mansfield comes into the season with inexperience at the skill positions, but that doesn’t mean the Hornets lack for talent. Sacco is one of several players who saw significant time during the abbreviated Fall II season and will be counted on to step into a bigger role this year. Quick and strong, Sacco showed flashes of his ability to make big plays last year and should get more carries this fall after the graduation of Cincere Gill. The Hornets like to spread the ball around and expect classmate Rocco Scarpellini, sophomore CJ Bell, and others to get plenty of touches as well. Sacco could get the nod as the primary ball carrier at the start and behind an experienced line has the chance to keep the Hornets’ ground game piling up the yards. Mansfield continues to be the team to beat in the Kelley-Rex and Sacco will be one of the players looking to keep the win streak alive for the Hornets and try to add yet another league title to the record book.
Taunton has a lot of speed and depth on the offensive side of the ball and the Tigers are hoping that translates into points although it won’t be easy against a very talented Kelley-Rex division, which features a lot of good defenses. Senior Trent Santos is in his third year starting and this will be his second season at wide receiver after starting at quarterback as a sophomore. The Tigers will feature a new starter in Jake Leonard, who did get some reps last season so there is already some chemistry between the two. Not only does Santos have a firm grip on the playbook, he knows what it takes to beat the tough secondaries he goes against. He has really good speed and can go up and get it downfield on deep passes. He can really stretch the defense out but isn’t afraid to go across the middle and run with the ball after the catch. Taunton has a lot of weapons so it will be tough for defenses to double him.
Hockomock Football Players to Watch on Offense Photos
Oliver Ames has struggled to put up points in the past couple of seasons, scoring 46 in six games last year, but Silva has emerged as a go-to, every down back that could be a spark for the Tigers on the offensive side of the ball. A big, strong back, Silva has shown that he is capable of carrying a heavy load, even against the top defenses in the Hock. Never shying away from contact, Silva can run over smaller defenders, and also has the agility and quickness to get the edge and create some running room. Still just a junior, Silva continues to grow and get stronger, which will be a problem for opposing defenses. OA moved the ball well at times last season, but couldn’t finish drives on a regular basis. The Tigers will be looking to Silva to carry the bulk of the offense this fall and try to find the end zone more consistently to compete with the top teams in the Davenport.
WRENTHAM, Mass. – For three quarters, Franklin and King Philip were locked in a rock fight on Mactaz Field.
Then came the fourth quarter fireworks.
After neither team found the end zone in any of the first three quarters, there were three touchdowns in the final period including two in the final five minutes. Franklin took the lead with just over three minutes to go but King Philip answered with a game-winning drive, scoring with just over a minute to go to secure a 14-10 win.
“I don’t know [how we won it], there were so many ups and downs in that one,” said King Philip head coach Brian Lee. “It was the type of game that we’ve had success in the past, the type of game we’ve competed in but this group, we’re very young and we don’t have many seniors out there, and throughout this year we were having trouble in the close games. But they kept coming back, it was just awesome to see.
“It wasn’t a beautiful game but I’m proud of the kids. We got seven games, I’m not sure I like this season but I like tonight. I saw a little bit of Warrior of football for the first time.”
Neither team scored in the first half and the only points of the third quarter came off the foot of Franklin senior Parker Cheuvront as the Panthers carried a 3-0 led into the final 12 minutes of action. King Philip took the lead with a touchdown early in the fourth quarter and was in position to close it out with just over five minutes to go.
But a penalty and an incomplete pass on third down forced KP to punt, and a low snap forced a scramble. Franklin was able to track the punter down, eventually forcing the ball free and senior Damon Carmignani, who had the initial pressure on the punter, came away with the ball and the Panthers were suddenly in business with the ball at the KP 34-yard line with just over five minutes to play.
King Philip football
Five plays later, including one of five hookups between quarterback Jared Arone (11/19, 102 yards) and receiver Jake O’Brien (five catches, 58 yards), the Panthers went to the ground and Mack Gulla (17 carries, 69 yards) burst up the middle, going airborne before falling on the goal line for a touchdown. Cheuvront’s point after gave the hosts a 10-7 lead with 3:17 to play.
As quickly as the momentum swung in favor of the visitors, it came right back for the hosts. Sophomore Rudy Gately (31 carries, 157 yards), who had the majority of carries with senior back Crawford Cantave out injured, moved the sticks with a 10-yard gain.
Facing 3rd and 7, junior quarterback Charlie Grant found senior Michael Zagordny as he fell out of bounds but it was ruled he got a foot down for a complete catch. The Panthers were also whistled for a personal foul for a late hit, moving the 38 yards (23 on the catch, 15 on the penalty) all the way down to the Franklin 19-yard line with 1:33 to play.
Franklin’s Jay Gulla and Xander Honor stopped Gately for a loss on first down so the Warriors went to the air on second down. Grant floated one to the corner of the end zone and junior Danny Clancy used his size to go up and get it despite good positioning from the defensive back, getting his feet inbounds for a 10-yard touchdown and a 14-10 lead with 1:08 to go.
“Those guys have been doing that a long time together, we just really haven’t been able to maximize it this year,” Lee said. “I’ve been jabbing at Clancy, asking when he was going to make the big plays we saw him make on JV on varsity. The kid had position on him and he was still able to pull it down, it was unreal.
“I thought Charlie played well for us and showed a lot of poise and leadership for us when we needed it.”
The Panthers didn’t get a chance at a final drive after fumbling on the ensuing kickoff with KP’s Nick Viscusi coming away with the loose ball.
“As a coach, you want to see competition and you want to see your guys compete to the end and I think we did that,” said Franklin head coach Eian Bain. “We certainly didn’t help ourselves tonight with penalties, miscues, putting the ball on the ground even if we got it back. End of the day, I thought we were our own worst enemy. King Philip is a good program, they played a really good game don’t get me wrong. This year felt like four years ago when we were in a lot of close games, learning how to win.
King Philip football
“You never want to let that adversity go to waste, hopefully, we learned a little bit about what it takes to close games in the Hockomock League. They are young too so hopefully both our programs are rising together and next year, when we see them on Thanksgiving, hopefully we’ll be right back here battling it out with them.”
There was a total of six drives in the first half, each team getting the ball three times. Franklin got the ball from the opening kickoff and moved the chains once but had to punt, which happened again on its next drive. The Panthers’ final drive of the opening half resulted in a turnover on downs. Franklin nearly had a touchdown on a pass from Arone into the end zone but Viscuti made a great play to knock the ball free and prevent six.
Things didn’t go much better for the Warriors on the offensive side of the ball. KP’s first drive went 15 plays and covered 74 yards but stalled in the red zone. The Warriors tried a fake field goal but Franklin was ready and junior Joseph Tirrell forced a fumble and classmate Jonathan Martins grabbed the loose ball. KP’s second and third drive combined for just seven yards on eight plays, taking the game to halftime.
The Warriors started to move the ball on its first possession of the second half but it came to a halt on a fumble, recovered by Franklin’s Jacob Briggs. The turnover resulted in points for the Panthers, who moved 31 yards on 8 plays. Cheuvront split the uprights from 32-yards out for a 3-0 advantage.
King Philip responded with a 9-play, 66-yard drive to take its first lead of the game less than two minutes into the fourth. Lining up with two fullbacks — senior Mike Malatesta and sophomore William Astorino — and with a tight end on either side of the line — Nathan Kearney and Harry Brown — the Warriors continued to pound the ball on the ground.
KP mixed things up on the next play as Grant dropped a perfect pass into Clancy’s hands down the right sideline for a 38-yard gain. Four plays later, Malatesta went up the middle on fourth down for a 2-yard touchdown, and Matthew Kelley’s point after made it 7-3, setting up the wild finish.
“[Gulla] is a dude so I was very pleased with the overall effort and the battle,” Lee said of the KP defensive effort, which held Franklin to 1-of-7 on third and 1-of-3 on fourth down and under 200 total yards of offense. “I was nervous, Crawford is our safety and has been playing really well on defense and now we’re going against a pretty good passing attack without him. But I was happy with the effort from the guys.”
King Philip finishes the year at 4-3 while Franklin closes out the Fall II season at 3-4.
FRANKLIN, Mass. – Considering Milford’s track record in this long-running series against neighboring Franklin, it should be no surprise that if the Hawks were going to pull out just their second win against the Panthers since 1990 that it was going come right down to the final play.
Evan Hazard’s interception in the end zone sealed a wild, 34-27 victory for the Hawks on Saturday afternoon at Pisini Stadium, ending a wait of more than three decades for a road win against Franklin.
The Milford defense, which had recorded two shutouts in its three games so far this season, was given a stern test by Franklin’s spread offense but forced four turnovers and scored a pair of touchdowns, including Kevin O’Connor’s late interception return that proved to be the game-winner.
“I’ll take a win,” said first-year Milford coach Dale Olson. “I knew this rivalry had been one-sided in the past, I didn’t know it was that one-sided. I’m happy for our kids and we’ve just got to keep getting better. That’s it.”
He added, “The pick-six was huge by Kevin. They’d been hitting us all day in the flat…We knew it was going to be a challenge, facing a quality team in Franklin.”
It was 27-20 after first half in which both teams were able to move the ball at will. Things settled down in the third and fourth quarters and the score remained the same until O’Connor sat on the short out route, intercepting the Jared Arone pass and returning it 60 yards for the touchdown with 3:33 left to play.
Although that pushed the lead to two scores with time quickly running out, it was hardly the end of the action.
Franklin came right back on its next possession to cut the lead in half. Keith Nally returned the kick 27 yards out to the 40 to give the Panthers good starting field position. A 10-yard completion from Arone (24-of-35 for 292 yards) to Jake O’Brien (five catches for 57 yards) converted a third and nine to keep the drive alive. After a 28-yard pass to Mack Gulla, Arone hit O’Brien in the front corner of the end zone for a seven-yard touchdown.
With just 1:35 left, Milford was able to recover Parker Cheuvront’s onside kick attempt and took over at its 48. Carter Scudo (23 carries for 174 yards) got a first down in Franklin territory and the Panthers started to use their timeouts. On fourth and four, Matt Varteresian’s jet sweep was stopped short of the marker and the Panthers took back over on their own 30 with just 19 seconds on the clock.
Arone went to work on the far sideline, hooking up with Will Tracey (nine catches for 161 yards) on gains of 14, 12, and 10 to get to the Milford 34 with seven seconds left. Franklin tried to take a shot at the end zone, but the Hail Mary attempt was intercepted by Hazard as the clock ran out.
Franklin coach Eain Bain said, “Having a young team, it’s not as easy as saying okay veteran you know what to do, you’ve seen this a million times, but when you look at what we put in for today and what we were trying to do, I’m happy with the execution for about 90% of the game plan. We made some mistakes but we’ll learn from them. We know the talent we have.”
The hosts opened the scoring in the first quarter. Kyle Palmieri caught a blocked punt to start the Panthers in Milford territory. A holding call forced Franklin into a third and 23, but Arone was able to find Tracey deep down the far sideline for a 44-yard completion down to the two. Gulla (27 carries for 114 yards) punched it in from there for a 6-0 lead.
Milford responded on its next drive. On third and five from the Franklin 37-yard-line, Brady Olson (5-of-15, 83 yards) had his swing pass tipped but fortuitously it fell into the hands of Jayden Agnew who weaved his way for 27 yards inside the Franklin 10. Scudo took a sweep to the left and found the corner from eight yards out to put the visitors in front.
“They came out in a five-man box and that dictates you have to run the football,” Olson said. “I thought Carter did a great job. We’ve got to get better in general at our pass game. We’re too good Monday through Friday passing the ball and then Saturday comes and we’re not great.”
Now it was Franklin’s turn to answer. The Panthers put together a nine-play, 67-yard drive to regain the lead. After Gulla was able to get two yards on fourth and inches, Arone again looked deep down the sideline to Tracey and he was able to pull in the 32-yard touchdown pass.
“I thought we threw the ball well and ran the ball well,” said Bain. “[Jared’s] grown a ton, the receivers have grown a ton, our line, I think we run the ball as well as we have in four years here. I thought they had to gear up to stop our run and that almost never happens.”
The lead didn’t last long and Milford was able to take control with two scores in just 28 seconds. Scudo’s 38 yard, winding run through the Franklin defense set up Milford inside the 10. Olson (nine carries for 23 yards) capped the drive with a one-yard sneak. Two plays into Franklin’s next drive, Milford was able to force a fumble right in front of its bench and the ball was scooped by Hazard, who raced 35 yards for a 21-13 advantage.
After Jonathan Martins recovered a fumble, Franklin cut the lead back to just one. Despite being surrounded by the Milford pass rush on third and 11, Arone again went deep to Tracey, this time for 31 yards. Gulla bounced left for 24 on the next play down to the Milford seven. Two plays later, Arone hit Tracey on a three-yard slant for the score.
“We knew we needed to defend the whole field today against a good spread team and they got us on a couple long passes,” Olson explained. “That just can’t happen. At times I thought we did it well today and two big plays that turned into scores for them we had them behind the chains. Third and  and third and  and they scored touchdowns. That hurt.”
That was not the end of the first-half scoring. Milford took over with little more than two minutes left in the half. Olson was able to find Keithley Sutton down the far sideline, after the pass slipped through the hands of a Franklin defensive back, for 35 yards into the red zone. A Scudo draw got the Hawks to the four but the Panthers stuffed back-to-back plays. Olson spiked the ball, bringing up fourth and goal.
The Milford QB was able to push forward for the one-yard sneak with 17 seconds left in the second quarter. The XP was no good and the Hawks went into the break up 27-20.
Bain said, “We’re not huge up front. We put a lot on their plates to try and stop the run and that [Milford] line, that’s a really, really good offensive line and I thought our guys played so well. I’m so proud of them.”
Milford (3-1) will travel to Stoughton next week, the first of two crossover games against two of the top teams in the Davenport division (league-leading North Attleboro being the other). Franklin (2-2) will try to bounce back when it hosts Oliver Ames on Saturday.