By Ryan Lanigan, Editor-in-Chief
TAUNTON, Mass. – King Philip’s offense scored early and often and built a big lead early and never looked back in 47-22 win over Taunton.
The Warriors brought the pressure early and Chris O’Neil came away with an interception on Taunton’s third play of the game. King Philip used nine plays to cover 57 yards — all on the ground — before junior Sean Garrity burst straight up the middle for a 10 yard touchdown and the Warriors went up 6-0 less than five minutes into the game.
It was more of the same in the first half as King Philip scored on every single possession in the first half. Defensively, the Warriors allowed Taunton to gain just 23 yards on their first five drives and had a pair of takeaways.
Taunton was forced to punt on its second drive and the Warriors took advantage of very favorable field position. Starting at the Taunton 36 yard, it only took KP five plays to find the end zone again. This drive, highlighted again by a long run from quarterback John DeLuca, was capped off when DeLuca hit senior Cory Lombardo out of the backfield. Lombardo caught the ball around the seven yard line and fought his way through three tackles and dove into the end zone. DeLuca’s keeper for the two point conversion made it 14-0 as time expired in the first quarter.
King Philip was able to add to its lead very early in the second quarter. A dropped snap from Taunton was recovered by Brett Mazur at the Taunton 24 yard line and on the first play, DeLuca threw a strike over the middle to junior Mike Mello for a touchdown to make it 20-0.
“I was very pleased with everything we did offensively,” KP head coach Brian Lee said. “I thought everybody played well, I really did, from the O-line to the backs and John too. And we made some good grabs which I was happy to see. Defensively we came up with some turnovers that we were looking for but we left some other ones out there. We’re certainly not happy with everything that happened defensively but in a tough season, we’re happy.”
A quick three and out gave the Warriors the ball back, this time at the Taunton 45 yard line. A four yard rush from Gio Fernandez preceded a 13 keeper from DeLuca and a 24 scamper from Garrity. DeLuca kept it himself and pushed it in from three yards out to make it 27-0 with 8:01 left in the second quarter.
“We tried to get after the quarterbacks as best we can,” Lee said of pressuring Taunton. “Covering the pass has been a little bit of a weak post for us and they saw that and came out with the idea to attack us but I think our guys have been getting better each week. We have a couple sophomores out there and they keep getting better.”
Six minutes later, Gio Fernandez capped an eight play, 59 yard drive with a run from five yards out to make it 34-0 with 1:59 left in the first half.
Taunton put together its best drive on its next series, going 62 yards on 10 plays in exactly 1:59.
Facing third and eight, Jason DaRosa picked up 14 yards to move the chains. Three plays later, sophomore quarterback Collin Hunter hit junior Adam McLaughlin on a hitch route and McLaughlin beat his defender and ran for a 35 yard gain to the 10 yard line. On fourth and goal from the six with just one second left, Hunter rolled away from pressure to the left and fired to an open Tanner Costa for the touchdown to make it 34-06 at halftime.
To start the second half, Taunton was able to limit KP to just three yards on its first two carries and put them in a third down situation. But sophomore Shane Frommer (70 yards) broke out for a 27 yard gain and a first down. On the next play, Brendan Lydon completed an 18 yard pass to Mello for a touchdown to make it 40-6.
Taunton also converted on its first drive of the second half. A third and five was turned into third and 10 after a false start but Hunter found Damion Theodule over the middle for a 20 yard pick up. Two plays later, Hunter connected with Costa on a screen play and he raced all the way for a 47 yard touchdown to make it 40-14.
For the seventh straight drive, KP was able to find the end zone. The Warriors went 12 plays and covered 66 yards, mostly on the back of Michael Conti (eight carries, 33 yards) and Lydon used a keeper to punch it in from a yard out.
“Their offense, they are just bigger, faster and stronger than us,” Taunton head coach Chris Greding said. “Consistently they are gaining six or seven yards on first down and that puts us in a hole. Our special teams just gave them excellent field position all game and I’ll take the blame on that and that’s certainly not taking anything away from KP and their offense. They aren’t going to trick you, they are going to run it right down your throat and that’s what they did. That’s a very tough squad they have over there, my hats off to them.”
Taunton had to punt but was able to get the ball back when Amir Rehim pounced on a fumble. The Tigers took advantage of that as Hunter hit Costa for a 39 yard gain to get to the 12 yard line. Three runs from Lazare Joseph pushed Taunton to the one and Hunter used the QB option to get it in from 1 yard and make it 47-22.
DeLuca was 2/3 throwing the ball but added 62 yards on the ground on five carries. Frommer, Fernandez and Garrity all were over 50 yards as well. For Taunton, Hunter was 8/23 for 150 yards with a pair of touchdowns while DaRosa had 48 yards on nine carries.
“I think we are very much improved and we continue to improve,” Lee said. “Shane Frommer came in tonight as a sophomore and gave us a little spark and I think he’s someone we might be able to go to more in the future.”
King Philip (3-2, 3-4) finishes in a three way tie in the Kelley-Rex and will make the playoffs in Division 2 South. As of publication of this recap, KP is seeded 5th according to the Boston Herald and would travel to #4 Mansfield. With games still to be played, that could change. Official seedings will be announced on Sunday and we will have an update on the website.
Taunton (0-5, 0-7) misses the playoffs and will match up with another team that missed the playoffs next week.
Ryan Lanigan can be contacted at RyanLanigan@hockomocksports.com and followed on Twitter at @R_Lanigan.
Today’s games are listed below.
Game of the Week – Football
Foxboro, 10 @ Canton, 7 – Final
1st Quarter: (C) Woanyen Mahn 4 yard rush, Thomas Monagle XP good.
2nd Quarter: No scoring.
3rd Quarter: (F) Mark Clagg 43 yard pass to Ronnie Martin, John Cronin XP good; J. Cronin 29 yard field goal.
4th Quarter: No scoring.
Attleboro, 42 @ Taunton, 6 – Final
1st Quarter: (A) Brendan Nunes 14 yard rush, Lewis XP good; (A) John Burns 35 yard rush, Lewis XP good.
2nd Quarter: (A) B. Nunes 51 yard rush, McKenna XP good; (A) J. Burns 4 yard rush, McKenna XP good.
3rd Quarter: (A) Ethan Dubeau 15 yard rush, McKenna XP good.
4th Quarter: (A) Sam Corrado 2 yard rush, XP failed; (T) Jason DaRosa 1 yard rush, 2pt failed.
Mansfield, 7 @ King Philip, 15 – Final
1st Quarter: No scoring.
2nd Quarter: (M) Brian Lynch 40-yard pass to Nick Graham, D. DeSousa XP good; (KP) Giovanni Fernandez 1-yard rush, Z. Boari XP good.
3rd Quarter: No scoring.
4th Quarter: (KP) Alex Olsen 1-yard rush, John DeLuca 2-point rush.
Oliver Ames, 8 @ Milford, 42 – Final
1st Quarter: (M) Zach Lanzetta 19 yard pass to Blake Hill, Sean Lehane XP good.
2nd Quarter: (M) Z. Lanzetta 30 yard pass to B. Hill, S. Lehane XP good; (M) Z. Lanzetta 14 yard pass to Leo Moronta, S. Lehane XP good; (M) Z. Lanzetta 23 yard pass to Jack DeSantis, S. Lehane XP good.
3rd Quarter: No scoring.
4th Quarter: (M) B. Hill 1 yard rush, S. Lehane XP good; (M) Shapel Feaster 45 yard rush, S. Lehane XP good; (OA) Aidan Connly 4 yard rush, Kyle Gagliardi 2pt rush.
Sharon, 14 @ Stoughton, 34 – Final
1st Quarter: (Sto) Christian Hill 4 yard rush, XP failed.
2nd Quarter: (Sto) Ryan Sullivan 7 yard rush, 2pt failed; (Sto) C. Hill 5 yard rush, R. Sullivan 2pt rush.
3rd Quarter: (Sto) Jordan Taylor 1 yard rush, Guy Eddy 2pt rush.
4th Quarter: (Sha) Juvan Elisma 1 yard rush, 2pt failed; (Sto) Nick Hardy 10 yard rush, XP fail; (Sha) J. Elisma 25 yard rush, 2pt good.
Franklin @ North Attleboro – Postponed to 10/3 at 4:00
North Attleboro, 0 @ Attleboro, 3 – Final – Zach Rodrigues scored once in the first half and then again in the second half to pace the Bombardiers over rival North. Junior Coca also scored a first half goal for Attleboro.
Foxboro @ Oliver Ames – Postponed to TBA
Franklin, 2 @ King Philip, 0 – Final – Hatim Brahimi put the visitors in front off an assist from Brian Czuba and Franklin took a 1-0 lead into the break. Senior Nick Parent then iced the game with a late goal in the second half off an assist from senior Austin Kent.
Taunton, 1 @ Mansfield, 4 – Final – Five minutes into the game, sophomore Sean Lanzillo put the hosts on the board off an assist from Jack Rielly. Just over 15 minutes later, senior Jared Miller doubled the lead for the Hornets off an assist from Charlie Rogers to take a 2-0 lead into the break. Five minutes into the second half, Lanzillo set up Rogers for Mansfield’s third goal and just 10 mintues later Brendan Sullivan finished off a pass from Jareme DiLoranzo to make it 4-0. Austin Botelho scored a late goal for Taunton.
Milford @ Stoughton – Postponed to TBA
North Attleboro, 5 @ Attleboro, 1 – Final – Sophomore Haley Guertin and senior Hana Caster linked up three times for the Rocketeers to get a big win on the road over rival Attleboro. Caster set up Guertin for North Attleboro’s first and third goals while Guertin set up Caster for the Rocketeers’ fourth goal. Leah Jette scored North Attleboro’s second goal off an assist from Felicity Monfils and Caster added her second on a breakaway. Paige Medeiors scored Attleboro’s goal.
Canton @ Sharon – Postponed to TBA
Foxboro @ Oliver Ames – Postponed to TBA
King Philip, 0 @ Franklin, 2 – Final – Bailey Knous and Alexis Stowell each scored goals for the Panthers.
Taunton, 0 @ Mansfield, 2 – Final – Jackie Carchedi had a goal and an assist for the Hornets. Jen Kemp had the second goal and Emily Gaumond made four saves to record her fifth shutout of the season.
Stoughton, 0 @ Milford, 2 – Final – Katie Brown and Kristen Franzini each scored for Milford and Maggie Boyle had her fourth assist of the season. Stoughton goalie Marissa Williams made 12 saves in her first game back from injury. Stoughton head coach Tara Daniels said Samantha Tullis, Sarah Quattrucci, and Sarah Widrow kept Stoughton’s back field strong.
North Attleboro, 3 @ Attleboro, 0 – Final
Oliver Ames, 3 @ Foxboro, 2 – Final – Oliver Ames picked up its third straight win with a 25-20, 20-25, 22-25, 25-17, 15-9 win on the road. Bridget McCarthy led Oliver Ames with 48 assists and Emma Petrillo controlled the offense with 22 kills.
Franklin, 3 @ King Philip, 1 – Final – The Panthers picked up a key Kelley-Rex win with scores of 28-26, 26-24, 19-25, 25-21. Dayna McCue had 30 digs and four aces, Aubrie Kutil and Beth Neal each had 10 kills while Kutil added an ace and Neal had a pair of aces and blocks and 13 assists. Franklin Head coach Kate Horsmann said Caroline Maguire had a huge role defensively at the net with four blocks and three kills. For King Philip, Josie Rowean led the team in attacks and had six service points in game one, Gwen Uyrus added seven service points in game two, Emma Lopez had eight service points in game three, and Amanda Loewen had five digs.
Taunton, 3 @ Mansfield, 2 – Final – In a back and forth affair, Taunton snapped its three game skid with a 11-25, 29-27, 25-20, 16-25, 15-12 win. Tatum Speicher wa the catalyst for the offense with 39 assists, six digs and three kills. Molly Sullivan had 29 serve receives and 16 digs while Meghan Navarro solidified the back row with 15 digs and three aces. Mansfield sophomore Meg Hill had 13 hills, Juliana Newell added eight kills and Jess Haradon had 17 digs.
Milford, 2 @ Stoughton, 3 – Final – Stoughton rallied from a 2-1 deficit to pull off a 13-25, 25-18, 23-25, 25-23, 15-13 win in thrilling fashion. Stoughton senior Bianca DeSousa had 20 assists, 15 digs, 27 service points and 10 aces and sophomore Valerie Whalen had 15 blocks and 6 kills. Stoughton head coach Ken Gay said Elizabeth Slade had outstanding defensive play for the Black Knights. For Milford, Jill Powers had a team-best 12 kills while Kara Halpin, Aleye Momodu and Kayla Antonellis each had seven kills apiece. Lauren Zouranjian and Allie Collins combined for 41 assists.
Taunton @ Mansfield – Postponed to 10/30 at 3:30
Mansfield, 160 @ North Attleboro, 166 – Final
Canton, 171 @ Franklin, 180 – Final – Canton sophomore Jack Goyetch was the match medalist, shooting a 40 for the day. Bryan Woelfel shot a 43 for the Panthers.
Today’s games are listed below.
Game of the Week – Football
North Attleboro, 14 @ Stoughton, 6 – Final
1st Quarter: (NA) Chad Peterson 12 yard pass to Nick Morrison, Connor Flynn XP good.
2nd Quarter: (S) Jake Gibb 43 yard pass to Steven Elice, XP fail.
3rd Quarter: No scoring.
4th Quarter: (NA) Kyle Gaumond 49 yard interception return, Connor MacIver XP good.
Attleboro, 55 @ Bishop Feehan, 26 – Final
1st Quarter: (A) Brendan Nunes 6 yard rush, Elijah Lewis XP good; Bishop Feehan 2 yard rush, XP fail; (A) Brendan Nunes 36 yard pass to Alex Silva, E. Lewis XP good.
2nd Quarter: (A) Tyler McGovern 1 yard rush, Lewis XP good; (A) B. Nunes 1 yard rush, E. Lewis XP good; Bishop Feehan 90 yard kickoff return, XP good; (A) T. McGovern 1 yard rush, E. Lewis XP good.
3rd Quarter: (A) T. McGovern 1 yard pass to Jon Dunn, E. Lewis XP good; Bishop Feehan 33 yard pass, 2pt fail; Bishop Feehan 46 yard pass, XP good; (A) B. Nunes 53 yard rush, 2pt fail.
4th Quarter: (A) Cam Furtado 14 yard pass to A. Silva, E. Lewis good.
Canton, 17 @ Rockland, 14 – Final
1st Quarter: No scoring
2nd Quarter: (C) Jake Ragusa 3 yard rush, Thomas Monagle XP good; (C) Joe Bires 3 yard rush, T. Monagle XP good.
3rd Quarter: Rockland 20 yard rush, XP good.
4th Quarter: (C) T. Monagle 25 yard field goal good; Rockland 7 yard pass, XP good.
Foxboro, 25 vs. Westwood, 20 – Final
1st Quarter: Westwood 36 yard pass, 2pt fail; (F) Ronnie Martin 6 yard rush, XP good.
2nd Quarter: Westwood 50 yard pass, XP fail; (F) John Cronin FG good.
3rd Quarter: (F) Daren Kelly 7 yard pass to Connor McNamara, M. Clagg 2pt rush.
4th Quarter: (F) D. Kelly 15 yard pass to Jason Procaccini, XP good; Westwood 2 yard rush, 2pt good.
Franklin, 0 @ Arlington, 21 – Final
King Philip, 0 @ East Bridgewater, 20 – Final
1st Quarter: East Bridgewater 8 yard rush, XP good.
2nd Quarter: East Bridgewater 46 yard pass, XP good.
3rd Quarter: East Bridgewater 80 yard kick return, XP fail.
4th Quarter: No scoring.
Mansfield, 14 vs. St. John’s Prep, 42 – Final
1st Quarter: (M) Brian Lynch 5-yard rush, XP good; St. John’s Prep 22-yard pass, XP good.
2nd Quarter: St. John’s Prep 60-yard rush, XP good.
3rd Quarter: St. John’s Prep 52-yard pass, XP good; (M) B. Lynch 2-yard rush, XP good.
4th Quarter: St. John’s Prep 29-yard pass, XP good; St. John’s Prep 19-yard pass, XP good; St. John’s Prep 13-yard rush, XP good.
Milford, 22 @ Marlborough, 21 – Final
1st Quarter: Marlborough 75 yard kickoff return, XP good; Marlborough 11 yard run, XP good.
2nd Quarter: Zach Lanzetta 21 yard pass to Blake Hill, Sean Lehane XP good; B. Hill 3 yard rush, S. Lehane XP good.
3rd Quarter: Marlborough 6 yard rush, XP good.
4th Quarter: Z. Lanzetta 25 yard pass to Tony Mobilia, 2pt fail; S. Lehane 21-yard FG.
Oliver Ames, 0 vs. Hanover, 27 – Final
Sharon, 0 @ Falmouth, 30 – Final
Taunton, 20 vs. New Bedford, 45 – Final
Taunton scoring only
1st Quarter: No scoring.
2nd Quarter: Jared Tage 13 yard pass to Brian Cherenfant, Jason DaRosa 2pt rush.
3rd Quarter: J. DaRosa 5 yard rush, 2pt fail.
4th Quarter: J. DaRosa 2 yard rush, 2pt fail.
Attleboro, 0 @ Sharon, 1 – Final – Jake Goloboy scores the lone goal of the game three minutes into the second half to give the Eagles their first win of the season. Goloboy’s goal was set up when Matt Lowerre fed Sunny Somdah a through ball and Somdah got to the ball and cross over to Goloboy for the goal.
Franklin, 2 @ Foxboro, 0 – Final – Franklin’s Kevin Hall headed home a cross from Austin Kent in the first half and then Kent converted a penalty kick in the second half to give Franklin its first win of the season.
King Philip, 0 @ Milford, 3 – Final– Milford freshman Joey Madden scored his first career goal just over 10 minutes into the game to give the Scarlet Hawks the lead. In the second half, Sttarley Flores found the back of the net after a great feed from Justin Borges. Borges then tacked on the third goal shortly before the final whistle on an assist from Jon Torres. Milford goalie Mike Da Silva made eight saves in net.
North Attleboro, 0 @ Stoughton, 1 – Final – Loubensky Lucas volleyed in a corner from Jordan Asnes in the 30th minute for the lone goal of the game. North Attleboro goalie Rob Heaney played well for the Rocketeers with six saves.
Taunton, 0 @ Oliver Ames, 3 – Final – Oliver Ames seniors Chris Romero and Keegan Nutt and junior Thomas McCormick all scored once and picked up an assist as the Tigers rolled. Jack Carroll made two saves in net to record his second straight shutout. Head coach John Barata said Nathaniel Cardoza and Cam Vella played “extremely well” in the midfield while Jared Mallers, Max Ahearn and Max Bamford guided the Tigers defense to its second straight shutout.
Sharon, 2 @ Attleboro, 3 – Final – Rebekah Entwistle scored two goals in the opening six minutes of the game and Kayla Merritt added the Bombardiers third. Paige Medeiros had two assists for Attleboro.
Foxboro, 0 @ Franklin, 2 – Final – The Panthers got goals from defenders Meghan Dieterle and Nadia Havens to earn their first win of the season.
Milford, 2 @ King Philip, 3 – Final – Nicole Dahlgren scored two minutes into the game for Milford and 13 minutes later KP tied the game on a penalty by Emma Corcoran. Seven minutes later, the Warriors took the lead on a header by freshman Logan Greenburg off a corner by Lauren Hehn. Milford tied the game on a Kristen Franzini penalty in the 28th minute. With nine minutes left, KP found the winner when Elizabeth Cooley found the top corner from 25 yards off an assist by Kelly McSweeney.
Attleboro, 0 @ Sharon, 3 – Final – Sharon grabbed its first win of the season with a 25-14, 25-17, 25-23 win over the Bombardiers.
Mansfield, 0 @ Canton, 3 – Final – Canton moved to 2-0 on the season with a 25-14, 25-20, 25-15 win over the Hornets. Olivia Devoe had another big game at libero with 20 digs, Elizabeth Hamilton had a game-high 15 kills, Rye Verille chipped in with seven kills and three blocks. Head coach Pat Cawley said Sarah Reissfelder and Emma Murphy were strong at the net. For Mansfield, Cathryn Heavey recorded 27 assists and Meg Hill had five kills.
Franklin, 3 @ Foxboro, 2 – Final – Franklin was able to edge the Warriors 21-25, 25-21, 8-25, 29-27, 15-12. Franklin’s Dayna McCue had a match-high 47 serve receives and added 14 digs, Alyssa Shea had 11 kills, Caroline Maguire also had 11 kills and added a pair of blocks and aces while Beth Neal had 27 assists, eight kills and four aces for the Panthers.
King Philip, 3 @ Milford, 0 – Final – King Philip swept by the scores of 28-26, 25-17 and 25-10. Emma Lopez had four aces for the Warriors, Josie Rowean had 12 kills and Micaela Murray had a team-high in digs. King Philip moved to 2-0 on the season.
North Attleboro, 1 @ Stoughton, 3 – Final – Stoughton won the first game 25-19, North Attleboro battled back with a 25-23 win in the second game but Stoughton won out, 25-19 in the third set and 26-24 in the fourth set. Stoughton senior Bianca DeSousa shined for the Black Knights with 19 digs, 11 assists, six aces, six kills and three blocks. Bridgette Whalen had nine blocks, seven kills and 14 digs and Ava Siegel added five kills and 22 digs for Stoughton.
Taunton, 3 @ Oliver Ames, 0 – Final– Taunton swept 25-21, 25-13, 25-21. Tatum Speicher shined with 25 assists and two aces while a pair of Tiger middle hitters played well at the net. Alyssa Gibson had four kills and three blocks and Aimee Kistner had seven kills, three aces and a block.
Attleboro, 8 @ Sharon, 0 – Final – Attleboro jumped out to a 3-0 lead at halftime and added five more goals in the second half to move to 2-0 on the season, still yet to surrender a goal. Grace Mayer and Emily Houle each scored twice for the Bombardiers.
Mansfield, 2 @ Canton, 1 – Final – Caroline Maher and Emily Ierardo each scored a goal for the Hornets, who moved to 2-0 on the season. Canton senior Abby Powers scored her first varsity goal on an assist from Caroline Hagan as the Bulldogs suffered their first loss this year.
North Attleboro, 1 @ Stoughton, 3 – Final – Olivia Schlehuber, Erika Paul and Mia Russell each scored a goal to lift Stoughton to 2-0 on the season.
Stoughton, 205 @ Foxboro, 176 – Final
Taunton, 161 @ Franklin, 170 – Final – Taunton’s Mario Wilson shot a match-low 38 to pace Taunton. Ryan O’Berg and Kaynel Gonsalves each shot 40. Franklin’s Matt Dao shot a 40 and Matt Pleshaw shot a 41.
Attleboro, 173 @ Canton, 149 – Final – Sophomore Jack Goyetch shot a match-low 36 to lead the Bulldogs. Senior Steve Gorham shot a 37 while juniors Pat Duggan and Jackson Maffeo both shot 38. Attleboro Senior Keagin Larkin carded a team-low 41.
North Attleboro, 154 @ King Philip, 159 – Final
By HockomockSports.com Staff
2014 Record: 4-7
2014 Finish: Reached D1 South Quarterfinal
Coach: Mike Strachan
Key/Returning Players: Kyle Murphy, Sr., OT/DT, 6-4, 275 lbs.; Brendan Nunes, Sr., WR/CB, 6-0, 175 lbs.; Tyler McGovern, Jr., QB, 6-3, 190 lbs.; John Burns, Sr., FB/OLB, 5-9, 165 lbs.; Alex Silva, Sr., TE/DE, 5-11, 185 lbs.
Outlook: The Bombardiers come into this season hoping to regain some of the magic of their 2013 run to the Div. 1 South final and doing it while replacing last year’s starting backfield and leading receiver. The reason for optimism in Attleboro is the return of senior lineman Kyle Murphy, who has emerged as a legit FBS prospect and one of the top players on the line in the state. Head coach Mike Strachan told ESPNBoston.com, “He’s got very good feet for a kid that big. We’re looking for some great things from him this season.”
In addition, junior quarterback Tyler McGovern is back under center for his second season, after splitting time with Ross Killion in 2014. McGovern has the size at 6-foot-3 and also has the arm to be a major weapon in the offense and try to make up for some of the lost production from the graduating running backs. McGovern’s growth at QB will be crucial for Attleboro. Strachan said, “He’s got a very quick release, and he’s worked on his feet all offseason. We need him to help get us back to that level we were at two years ago.”
Brendan Nunes is one of the receivers that Attleboro is hoping can turn into a primary target along with senior tight end Alex Silva, although there are question marks about who can become the No. 1 back to take pressure off McGovern and the passing game.
Defense should be a strength for the Bombardiers, who bring back almost all of last year’s starters. Murphy can dominate the line of scrimmage and forces double teams and game plans that can open space for his teammates. John Burns and the linebacking corps will be hoping to take advantage of that extra room to make plays.
2014 Record: 5-6
2014 Finish: Missed playoffs
Coach: Brad Sidwell
Key/Returning Players: Ben Riggs SR. 6-3, 300,OL/DL; Joe Giacolone SR 6-2, 270, OL/DL; Nick Yelle SR. 5-9, 180, LB/RB; Luke Gordon SR. 6-1, 175, WR/DB; Sam Harrell SR. 6-0, 180, WR/DB; Jake Lyons JR. 5-10, 190, RB/DB; Tyler Gomes JR. 6-1, 210, FB/DE; Brad Jarosz JR QB; Will O’Reilly SR. WR/DB; Eddie Scannapieco WR/DB
Outlook: The Panthers come into 2015 lacking varsity experience in a lot of places, but with more depth at the skill positions and improved play at the line of scrimmage that has head coach Brad Sidwell entering his 20th season with hopes of getting Franklin into the tournament after back-to-back 5-6 seasons. He said, “Not a lot of experience, but many have been progressing through the sub varsity programs.[We] will play physical football.”
The Panthers will be starting a new quarterback this season with junior Brad Jarosz expected to take over under center and he will have plenty of weapons to use in Franklin’s typically up-tempo offense. Nick Yelle will be in the backfield along with Jake Lyons, while Sam Harrell, Will O’Reilly, Luke Gordon and Eddie Scannapieco are all back on the outside. The offensive line is improved, according to Sidwell, although it may lack depth in case of injuries. Ben Riggs and Joe Giacolone are two-way linemen that can be dominant on both sides of the ball.
Defensively, Franklin will hope that the skill position players continue to develop into strong players in the secondary, while counting on junior defensive end Tyler Gomes to continue his emergence as a strong presence in the pass rush. Franklin will be counting on the opening games against Arlington and Milford to prepare it for the battles to come in the Kelley-Rex Division.
Sidwell said, “Looking forward to working with this group, hard working and great attitude. Getting off to a good start and gaining confidence will be important.”
2014 Record: 10-1
2014 Finish: Reached D2 South final
Coach: Brian Lee
Key/Returning Players: John DeLuca, Jr. QB; Bill Dittrich, Sr. OL/DL; James Cooke, Sr. OL/DL; Cory Lombardo, Sr. LB; Nick Bernier Garzon, Sr. DL; Steven Eaton, Sr. RB; R.J. McCarthy, Sr. WR/DB, Giovanni Fernandez, Jr. RB
Outlook: King Philip is coming off its first outright league title and a trip to the Div. 2 South final where it gave eventual state champion Marshfield one of its toughest games of the season. The Warriors are a team based on ball control offense and hard-nosed defense and despite losing a strong core from last year’s squad, head coach Brian Lee will ensure that KP remains a tough team to play against even with a host of young players.
Quarterback John Deluca returns for his junior season, but without some of the weapons that were so prolific from last year including HockomockSports.com Player of the Year Mark Glebus and wideout Kyle Loewen. Senior running back Steven Eaton will take most of the carries and is hoping to develop some of the explosiveness that made Glebus such a weapon last year. Junior Gio Fernandez also saw some carries last year and is a load at running back, especially in short-yardage situations. Senior R.J. McCarthy is a player to watch at receiver.
The offensive and defensive lines remain a strength for KP with Bill Dittrich and James Cooke returning. Nick Bernier Garzon will also help out on the line, but the key to the defense is senior middle linebacker Cory Lombardo who will be the leader and continues the pattern of strong linebackers at KP.
If the offense can find a groove and the young players develop quickly, KP will have its sights set on a second straight Hockomock title. But, as Lee said, there are “a lot of rookies out there.”
2014 Record: 6-5
2014 Finish: Reached D2 South Quarterfinal
Coach: Mike Redding
Key/Returning Players: Diogo Desousa, Jr. K/DE, 5-11, 182 lbs.; Connor Finerty, Sr. RB/LB, 5-11, 200 lbs.; Anthony DeGirolamo, Jr. QB/DB, 5-11, 165 lbs.; Ben Wisnieski, Sr. RB/DB, 5-10, 160 lbs.; Hunter Ferreira, Jr. WR/DB, 6-1, 185 lbs.; Brian Lynch, Jr. RB/DB, 5-8, 170 lbs.; Nick Krouskos, Jr. FB/LB, 5-9, 175 lbs.; Mike Arnold, Sr. TE/DE, 6-1, 205 lbs.; Josh Schafer, Jr. OL/DL, 6-2, 230 lbs.; Matt Kashtan, Sr. OG/NG, 5-8 195 lbs.; Joe Bukuras, Jr. RB/DB, 5-9, 160 lbs.; A.J. Gibbs, Jr. OL/DL, 5-11, 270 lbs.
Outlook: Mansfield enters the season with plenty of depth on both sides of the ball, as the Hornets try to regain the Kelley-Rex Division crown they lost to King Philip in an injury-plagued 2014 season. Head coach Mike Redding, entering his 28th year in charge, is expecting to learn quite a bit about his team with St. John’s Prep, Haverhill, KP, and Attleboro to start the season. Redding noted, “We will need to be hitting on all cylinders for those key games early.”
“Overall, we’re on the young side and a little undersized, but very talented at skill positions and we have very good overall team strength and good team chemistry and leadership,” said Redding.
Mansfield will be making a change under center with junior Anthony Girolamo taking over and his task will be made a little easier by the talented backfield of senior Connor Finerty and junior Brian Lynch, who is coming off a breakout sophomore campaign that saw him rush for eight touchdowns and more than 800 yards. In addition, the Hornets have talent on the edges with receivers Ben Budwey and Hunter Ferreira and athletic tight end Mike Arnold. Junior Josh Schafer will be a player to watch on the line.
Finerty headlines the defensive unit as the outside linebacker and leader on that side of the ball. He will be joined by Ferreira and Anthony Keefe on the outside with Nick Krouskos, Travis Sjoberg, and Nick Martin in the middle. The real strength of the defense could lie in the secondary with all four starters returning and plenty of depth behind them. Joe Bukuras and Connor Driscoll are the corners with Ben Budwey and Ben Wisnieski at safety. Special teams will also be strong with returning kicker Diogo DeSousa, who Redding calls “one of the best kickers” he has had in his time with the Hornets.
2014 Record: 8-3
2014 Finish: Reached D3 Southwest Quarterfinal
Coach: Don Johnson
Key/Returning Players: Connor Flynn, Sr. K/RB/LB; Nick Morrison, Sr. RB/LB; Bobby Mylod, Jr. RB/LB; Nick Rajotte, Jr. RB/DB; Brodey Barr, Sr. QB/DB; Kyle McCarthy, Jr. QB/DB; Ridge Olsen, Sr. WR/DB; Kyle Gaumond, Sr. WR/DB; Patrick Johnson, Sr. RB/WR/DB; Andy Katch, Sr. OL/DL; Joe Flaherty, Sr. OL; Brendan Nally, Jr. OL; Alex Dion, Sr. OL; Josh Morrison, Sr. OL/DL; Sam Morrison, Sr. OL/DL; Tom Reynolds, Jr. OL/DL; Davon Andrade, Sr. TE/DL
Outlook: After a stunning home loss to Medfield in the opening round of the Div. 3 Southwest playoffs last fall, North Attleboro returns a number of skill position players with hopes of making a run at the Kelley-Rex Division title.
The backfield is loaded with seniors Connor Flynn, who averaged 12.1 yards per carry until a wrist injury kept him out, and Nick Morrison providing steady hands and downhill running while being pushed by the explosive duo of juniors Nick Rajotte and Bobby Mylod, who combined for 13 touchdowns last season. Head coach Don Johnson said of his running backs, “All four backs are versatile and can play multiple positions.” On the outside, North boasts plenty of size at wideout with 6-foot-5 senior Ridge Olsen on one side and Kyle Gaumond on the other.
The biggest question mark is who will be getting the ball to those skill position players? There has been a three-way battle at quarterback during the preseason between senior Brodey Barr, who saw some time under center last year and was primarily a runner, athletic junior Kyle McCarthy, and sophomore Chad Peterson. Johnson explained, “We could use them all, but it might depend more upon how things shake out at other positions, particularly on defense. All three are competitive athletes that can help us in other spots.”
Defensively, North has loads of depth on the line if not loads of experience. Senior twins Josh and Sam Morrison will split time along with senior Davon Andrade and senior defensive tackle Andy Katch, The linebacking corps features Mylod in the middle with Flynn and Nick Morrison on the outside. In the secondary, Gaumond, Barr, Rajotte, Olsen, McCarthy, and Patrick Johnson will all be in the mix depending on match-ups.
2014 Record: 2-9
2014 Finish: Missed playoffs
Coach: Chris Greding
Key/Returning Players: Brian Cherenfant, RB/DB; Jake Norberto, OL; Santiago Lopez, OL; Jason DaRosa, RB; Damion Theodule, DB; Matt Grey, LB; Jared Williams, DL; Tanner Costa, RB/DB; Lazare Joseph, RB; Adam McLaughlin, WR; Connor Briggs, OL; Nick Brown, DL; Sylvester English, DL; Zakeem Harrow, DL; John Chretien, LB; Breven Walker, DB; Amir Rehim, LB
Outlook: The Tigers are coming off a 2-9 season and will have a new quarterback under center, but head coach Chris Greding is counting on his depth on the line and at the skill positions and overall team speed to get Taunton in the mix in the division.
Senior Brain Cherenfant is one of the fastest players in the league and gives the Tigers a weapon both on offense and in special teams. He will be joined in the backfield by Jason DeRosa, Lazare Joseph and Coyle transfer Tanner Costa, giving Taunton a number of weapons. Adam McLaughlin will be a player to watch at wideout.
The line has also been strengthened with Jake Norberto and Santiago Lopez coming back on the offensive side of the ball and Jared Williams on defense. Connor Briggs will be another player to keep an eye on opening holes for the backs, while the defensive line is bolstered by Florida transfer Sylvester English, Texas transfer Nick Brown, and Boston transfer Zakeem Harrow. The linebacking corps includes Matt Grey and John Chretien, while Breven Walker, Cherenfant and Costa will all play bog roles in the secondary.