“They are swinging the bat well, we’re just trying to keep the same approach regardless of what the pitcher is doing out there,” said first-year North Attleboro head coach Mike Hart. “We’re taking it one pitch at a time, one batter at a time. We feel if we take care of ourselves, we can be successful.”
And if the offense wasn’t hot enough, North Attleboro ace Nick Sinacola allowed just two hits and two unearned runs in six innings of work while striking out seven to earn the win.
“I’ll give it to that North Attleboro lineup, they crush the ball,” said Oliver Ames coach Joe Barr. “I’ve never seen a team like that, top to bottom, just go through and square it up. Our guy [Reid Latham] was throwing strikes but I don’t know if the air was a little thin or what but those balls got in the air and kept traveling.”
Once Sinacola set the Tigers down in order in the first inning, North Attleboro’s offense went right to work. Brendan McHugh led off with a double, Zach DeMattio had a one-out walk, and Nate Pearce roped a ground-rule double over the fence for a quick 1-0 lead.
Nick Raneri scored on a fielder’s choice as DeMattio was able to get home before OA’s throw did, and Jeff Gale hit one deep enough that brought Pearce, who was ruled to have tagged up after Mitch Goulet’s spectacular catch in center, home for a 3-0 lead after an inning.
Big Red tacked on four more runs — all with two outs — when it returned to the plate in the bottom of the second inning. McHugh started the rally with a single and moved to third when Sinacola picked up his first hit of the day. DeMattio brought both runners home with a hard hit triple, Pearce knocked a run in with a single, and Raneri drove a run in with a single as well to make it 7-0.
“We’ve all been working together through the winter and the spring and it really just shows how much hard work and coming together as a group can accomplish when you execute,” DeMattio said.
Nick Zwerle reached after forcing an error on his bunt and Sean O’Brien walked to put runners on first and second with one out. Sinacola got the second out but Michael Friel hit a line drive double into the gap in left center to bring both runs in to give the Tigers some life, cutting the deficit to 7-2.
But North Attleboro landed a big counter punch in the form of four runs in the bottom of the third to extend its lead. Aidan Harding walked and pinch runner Kyle Briere took second on a wild pitch and third on a single from McHugh. Briere beat out a throw home on Sinacola’s grounder, DeMattio scored McHugh with a single, Sinacola scored after DeMattio stole second and OA attempted to pick him off, and Pearce doubled in DeMattio for an 11-2 advantage.
“Subconsciously that’s the type of stuff that just creeps into your mind,” Abarr said. “You think you’re back in it — and I think we were in it more most of the game — but that was a deflating experience. I’ve been on that end as a player and a coach, and it’s tough. I tip my cap to North for that, they didn’t let up. They played hard right to the end.”
“I give [OA] a lot of credit, they are an excellent hitting team,” Hart said. “In regards to answering back, I think it just puts us at ease. I think it made it 7-2 then and five runs with these two teams means nothing. So to get those runs back, it helps Nick on the mound.”
Sinacola retired the side in order in each of the first and second innings, and after allowing two runs in the third, only allowed one base runner to reach third base (an error and a wild pitch). It was Sinacola’s second win against OA this year after beating them in his first appearance back in early April.
“I think early in the year, a lot of hitters struggle with the fastball,” Sinacola said. “Once you get to this point in the season, they are a lot better and they have their timing down. So I think we had to change it up and throw a little bit more offspeed then I did the first time and I think it worked.”
Raneri scored on a passed ball and Gale came home on a hard hit ball from Nolan Buckley that was ruled an infield error for the Tigers in the fifth inning.
In the bottom fo the sixth, Sinacola got his second RBI with a single to score McHugh, DeMattio picked up his fourth RBI of the day with a base hit to score Sinacola and at the next at-bat, Pearce launched a two-run home run to cap the scoring.
“We had to pretty much show up and play perfect against that lineup and that pitcher in order to walk out with a win,” Abarr said. “We knew they’d be relentless. But it was an unreal run for us here at the end, with a team that didn’t quite expect to be here. We don’t set hard and fast goals about where a team can get to, we have just shown up and worked on specific things to get better each day. And these guys did a great job doing that.”
North Attleboro’s top four hitters — McHugh, Sinacola, DeMattio, and Pearce — combined for 13 hits, 11 RBI, and 14 runs scored.
“This is definitely the best group I’ve ever coached,” Abarr said of his team. “From top to bottom, the first guy in the lineup to the last guy on the bench to the team manager…they were tight, always behind each other, and regardless who was in the lineup each day, they were ready to play. It was the most reliable, hard-working, and unified group that I’ve coached and those are the three qualities you look for in a high school team.”
North Attleboro (21-2) advances to the D2 State Final to play North champ Beverly (20-4) on Thursday night at 6:30 at LaLacheur Park in Lowell.
Canton, 60 @ Boston Latin, 46 – Final – Canton trailed after eight minutes of play but built a five-point lead at halftime, and doubled that going into the fourth quarter. The Bulldogs qualified for the state tournament with the win. Junior Devin Foster had a team-high 21 points while senior Tony Harris had 18 points.
Foxboro, 1 @ Franklin, 6 – Final – Foxboro trailed by just two goals after two periods but Franklin put the game away with three third period goals. CJ Spillane, TJ Durkin, Dan Magazu, Shane McCaffrey, Joe Lizotte and Scott Elliot each scored once for the Panthers while Josh Bertumen scored for Foxboro in the second period.
Taunton, 1 @ King Philip, 4 – Final – King Philip scored a pair of goals in the first period and had a quick response in the second after Taunton cut it to one to beat the Tigers. Sophomore Jack Coulter buried a rebound on a shot from freshman Rocco Bianculli just under five minutes into the game. Sophomore Joe Boselli doubled the lead five minutes later, firing a low shot after a feed from defenseman Mike Curtin. Taunton’s Will Walsh took a feed from Cam Sneyd, used his first touch to get past the defenseman and then used a nice move, finishing backhand to cut the deficit to 2-1 just two minutes into the second. But less than three minutes later, Curtin drove a hard slap shot through traffic to put KP up 3-1. Luke D’Amico added an empty net goal in the final minute. Taunton sophomore Sean Bunker played well in net with 32 saves while KP goalie Shane Frommer had 19 saves.
Oliver Ames, 3 @ Mansfield, 2 – Final – Oliver Ames stole the momentum with a goal late in the first period and then capitalized on it with two second period goals to beat Mansfield. The Hornets scored first and last, but the Tigers had three straight between the first and second periods. Mansfield sophomore Kevin Belanger tallied his first career goal just over two minutes into the game, getting a tip on Tim Arnold’s shot. Oliver Ames’ Rory Madden tied the game with 30 seconds left in the opening frame, burying a rebound off a shot from Matt McCormack. Just over two minutes into the second, the Tigers took the lead when Brett Williams batted in a rebound off a shot from Ryan Gottwald, with Madden also notching an assist. Six minutes later, solid forechecking from Ross Carroll and Adam Lyons resulted in the puck squirting free to top of the circles where OA senior Michael Nikiciuk stepped into a slapshot for a 3-1 lead. Mansfield sophomore Joseph Troiano recorded his first career goal in the third period, taking a pass from Tyler Oakley before depositing his slap shot into the back of the net.
Canton, 5 vs. Dedham, 0 – Final – Canton’s Lauren Fitzpatrick recorded her 50th career point in the Bulldogs’ big win over Dedham.
Franklin, 1 vs. Westwood, 3 – Final
King Philip, 6 vs. Dover-Sherborn/Hopkinton, 0 – Final – King Philip scored three goals in each the first and second periods to build a big lead over DS/Hopkinton. Nicole Connor scored a pair of goals while Alli Meehan, Allie Wilson, and Katie Crowther each netted one goal apiece. Lilly Potts and Cristina Coleman combined for the shutout in goal.
Canton, 21 @ North Attleboro, 46 – Final – North Attleboro had success with the lower and upper weights in a division win over Canton, clinching at least a share of the Davenport title for the second straight year, and fourth league title overall. “The best part was our execution on our feet,” North head coach Wayne Griffin said. “The team’s take-downs are getting better and better along with other aspects of our wrestling.” Ethan Smith (106), Brady Folan (113), Adam Eberle (160), Brad White (195) and Matteus Kudra (220) had pins for North while Anis Chakir (132), Max Gallagher (138) and Cole Murphy (182) had pins for Canton.
Oliver Ames, 49 @ King Philip, 28 – Final – Oliver Ames picked up some momentum heading into the league championships on Saturday with a division win over King Philip. Remy Creighton (106), Greg Griffin (120), Chris Belleton (160), Jay Fruci (195) and Dean Pacini (220) all won by pins for the Tigers while Casey Bellevue (132) had a major win and Brandon Belleton (138) had a minor win.
Milford, 27 @ Stoughton, 45 – Final
North Attleboro @ Milford, 4:00
King Philip, 127.90 @ Franklin, 133.15 – Final – Franklin junior Mia Lizotte won the All Around with a 35.75 while teammate Liz Traphagen took second with a 34.3 to help the Panthers beat King Philip. Franklin results: Vault – Lizotte 9.35, Traphagen 8.6, Lexi Lupien 8.3, Rachel Cyr 8.2; Bars – Lizotte 8.5, Sadie Rondeau 8.1, Traphagen 7.9, Katelyn Guidi 6.0; Beam – Lizzote/Traphagen 8.7, Rondeau 8.5, Lupien 7.9; Floor – Lizotte 9.2, Traphagen 9.1, Rondeau 8.3, Lupien 7.8.
Attleboro, 4 @ Bourne, 5 – Final – Attleboro senior Jake Parker scored a pair of goals to open the season but the Bombardiers suffered a setback on the road to Bourne. Ryan Morry and Zack Pierce also scored for Attleboro.
Franklin, 4 @ Saint Mary’s, 3 – Final– Franklin rallied from a 2-1 deficit with three goals in the final period to pick up a win over the defending D1 State Champions. Senior Luke Downie scored the tying goal to make it 2-2 shortly before Zac Falvey gave the Panthers a 3-2 lead. Matt Holmes tipped in a shot from Connor Norton with four minutes to play for the game-winner. Brendan O’Rielly had a first-period goal for Franklin.
Oliver Ames, 9 @ King Philip, 5 – Final – Oliver Ames junior Brett Williams and sophomore Hunter Costello both had tremendous offensive outputs in the Tigers’ debut. Both Williams and Costello recorded hat tricks and added two assists each to help OA open the season with a win over KP. Chris Crouch earned his first win in his first varsity start.
Mansfield, 0 vs. Winthrop, 3 – Final
Canton, 5 vs. Ursuline Academy, 1 – Final – Canton freshman Ellie Rae Roberts scored a pair of goals in her varity debut to help the Bulldogs open the season in style, picking up a 5-1 win over visiting Ursuline.
Stoughton, 0 @ Archbishop Williams, 7 – Final
Oliver Ames, 39 @ Canton, 33 – Final – Without one of their top grapplers, Oliver Ames was forced to make some adjustments. Both Jay Fruci and Dean Pacini bumped up a weight class and both came away with victories to help the Tigers edge Canton. Fruci picked up a major win at 195 while Pacini pinned his opponent at 220. Other winners for Oliver Ames included Remy Creighton (106, pin), Nick McGovern (113, major), Cobey Williamson (126, pin), Casey Bellevue (132, pin), Brandon Belleton (145, pin) and Billy Tat (182, major).
Milford, 27 @ Foxboro, 51 – Final – Foxboro’s Phil Dure won his 100th career match in the victory over visiting Milford. Dure picked up a third-round pin at 126 to earn the milestone victory.
Franklin, 68 @ Sharon, 3 – Final
King Philip @ North Attleboro, 7:00
Taunton, 21 @ Mansfield, 60 – Final – Taunton picked up four wins in the loss on the road at Mansfield. Candido Santos (160), Alex Simon (195), Woudanly Danger (22), and Mason Frank (285) each won for the Tigers.
King Philip, 111 @ Milford, 51 – Final – King Philip’s Colby Vieira came in first in four separate events, Tate Duffy and Dean Whyte each won three events and King Philip rolled to a win over Milford. The Warriors took first in all events with Jackson Klein and Derek Whyte each coming in first twice. Tyler Stringfellow anchored both the 200 medley and 200 free relay teams to wins. Vieira was apart of the 200 medley and 400 free relay teams and also took first in the 100 backstroke and the 500 free. Duffy won the 200 Free (2:02.72) and the 100 breaststroke as well as being apart of the 200 medley team along white Whyte, who was also apart of the 400 free relay and won the 100 butterfly. Jacob Desmond had a three second-place finishes for Milford (200 medley relay, 50 free and 100 breaststroke).
North Attleboro @ Stoughton, 7:00
King Philip, 105 @ Milford, 65 – Final – King Philip’s Callie Sullivan placed first in three events and the Warriors took first in all but one race to open the season with a win. Sullivan won the 100 free and the 100 backstroke and was also the lead member of the winning 200 medley relay team. Sam Nasson, Sammy Dewitt, Megan Campbell, and Jess Sullivan also took first in three events – Nasson anchored the 400 free, won the 100 butterfly and was apart of the 200 medley team. Dewitt won two individual races, taking first in the 50 fee and the 500 free and Campbell won the 200 free and was a member of the 200 and 400 free relay teams with Jess Sullivan, who took first in the 200 IM. Milford’s Alexa Lancisi took second in both the 100 fly and 100 backstroke while Amber Stearns took first place in the 100 backstroke for the Hawks.
North Attleboro @ Stoughton, 7:00
King Philip, 131.15 @ Sharon, 125 – Final – King Philip swept the top three spots in the bar, helping the Warriors open the season with a win over Sharon. Sidney Treeful led the way for the Warriors, winning the all-around score with a 34.2, with first places in the bar (8.5), beam (8.7) and floor (8.7). Kailey Abbott (8.0) and Madeline Giesler (7.9) rounded out KP’s sweep of the bar. Sharon’s Ariana Chabot was second all-around with a 32.45, winning the vault (8.8) while placing second in the beam (8.45) and the floor (8.4).
NORTH EASTON, Mass. – Whatever Taunton head coach Brad Sidwell was selling at halftime, his defensive unit was buying.
Taunton posted a second half shutout, limiting Oliver Ames to negative yardage on each of its first two drives and then stopped a late red zone attempt to seal a 13-12 win.
“Our defense hung in there for us in the end,” Sidwell said. “We had to keep them in front of us to make the play. We turned the ball over too much on offense. And even though our defense didn’t force a turnover, they didn’t give up too many big plays.
“I give [Oliver Ames] a lot of credit. The back they have there [Anthony Berksza] is an unbelievably hard runner. They do a good job of getting him the ball and doing some formational things that make it difficult for us on defense.”
Oliver Ames had an ideal start to the game, scoring on each of their first two drives while Taunton had just 10 yards of offense on its first two series of the game.
With the wind at its back, Oliver Ames’ defense came out blazing, forcing a three and out. Because of the wind, Taunton’s punt went just eight yards giving the hosts great field position at the Taunton 35-yard line.
OA used eight plays to cover the 35 yards, with junior Anthony Berksza (19 carries, 94 yards, two touchdowns) cutting up the middle for a 4-yard touchdown. A two-point attempt was stuffed in the backfield by Taunton’s Nuno Camara but OA took a 6-0 lead with 4:29 left in the first.
The hosts were back on offense just three plays later. Facing a third down, Taunton went to the air for the first time in the game but OA’s Michael Mulrean came away with the interception, giving the home team a first down at the Taunton 42-yard line.
OA took advantage of good field position once again, using just six plays to double its lead. Highlighted by a 25-yard rush from Noah Fitzgerald on third down, the home-Tigers moved into the red zone. Three plays later, Berksza took the toss to the right and plunged across the goal line inside the pylon. Another two-point attempt was stopped but OA had a 12-0 lead with less than 10 minutes gone in the game.
“Our kids came out strong,” said OA head coach Mike Holland. “The weather definitely impacted both teams, especially with what we were both doing offensively. We played a good first quarter but we just have to be able to put together an entire game. They made two big fourth down conversions and had a huge third down conversion too. They made plays when they needed to.”
Taunton’s offense finally got in gear behind three straight runs from TJ Mendes (16 carries, 41 yards). Facing a fourth down at OA’s 20-yard line, Taunton went back to the air and junior Noah Leonard (4-for-11, 62 yards, two total touchdowns) hit classmate Wesner Charles for an 11 yard gain and a first down.
Three plays later, Leonard used a QB sneak from two yards out to get Taunton on the board. A dropped snap on the extra point try resulted in a failed attempt, cutting the deficit to 12-6 with 4:19 left in the second quarter.
OA received the kickoff to start the second half, but a chop block penalty on second down set the offense back and resulted in a punt into the win for just 16 yards.
Taunton’s offense capitalized on the momentum its defense created and took a shot on the first play. Leonard dropped back and floated a perfect pass down the right sideline to senior Collin Hunter, who hauled in the pass and raced just inside the pylon for a 36-yard touchdown. John Teixeira‘s extra point put Taunton up 13-12 and ended up being the winning kick.
“I thoroughly am enjoying coaching these kids,” Sidwell said. “Each day, we’re coaching hard, the kids are working hard. Tomorrow morning the kids and my coaches will be working on how to get better and it’s awesome for the kids and the city of Taunton.”
The team’s traded punts after OA’s next drive went for negative yards (with big tackles from Edgardo Navarro-Cruz and Coryn Nompleggi) and Taunton’s drive stalled after a key third-and-one stop by OA.
OA moved the ball into Taunton territory on its next drive, highlighted by a 28-yard burst by Berksza. But Taunton’s defense stopped OA for a loss, then a fumble on the handoff went for no gain. On fourth down, Taunton’s defense was able to stop the rush and force a turnover on downs.
Taunton’s next drive didn’t result in points but did take nearly seven minutes off of the clock. Malik Richardson (nine carries, 37 yards) rushed for back-to-back first downs before Mendes took two straight carries for another first.
“In a game when the weather is like this, you have to be stubborn and stick with the run,” Sidwell said. “Even though they were crowding the line, we had to stick with it. There was a drive toward the end that we leaned on [the running backs] heavily and they came through.”
Facing fourth and nine from OA’s 30-yard line, Leonard (six carries, 56 yards) took the carry himself, bolting for 12 yards to move the chains and keep Taunton’s drive alive.
“He had two huge runs for us,” Sidwell said of Leonard. “He’s a real threat. He can really throw the ball but if he can be a dual-threat quarterback by running the ball, that will be huge for us.”
The visitors almost put the game away on a play action play but Leonard’s pass into the wind to senior lineman Alex Simon held up and the pass ended up incomplete despite a diving effort. Taunton tried to throw for the first on fourth down but OA’s Cobey Williamson came up with an interception and returned it to the OA 29-yard line.
With just over five minutes to play, Berksza went for 28 yards on OA’s second play of the drive. Jay Fruci (13 carries, 56 yards) followed it up with a 29-yard dash, putting the ball at Taunton’s 11-yard line.
Taunton’s defense then held OA for runs of four, one and two, setting up fourth down. OA elected to try a 21-yard field goal but it was just wide right with 1:45 to play.
The visitors ran out the rest of the time as OA had no timeouts left.
“We talk to the kids to just live in the week that we’re in, focus on the team we’re playing that week,” Sidwell said. “Right now we just have to get them ready for Attleboro.”
Taunton football (3-0 overall, 1-0 Hockomock) returns home to Aleixo Stadium next week to welcome Attleboro (0-3, 0-1) on Friday night. Oliver Ames (1-2, 0-1) will welcome Franklin (1-2, 0-1) to Muscato Stadium on Thursday night.
The Bombardiers started the season 3-2, but closed with only one win in the final six games, including a pair of losses to league rival and eventual Super Bowl champion King Philip. Injuries piled up for Attleboro in 2016, but it gave a number of players the chance to gain valuable varsity experience and the Bombardiers have high hopes for improvement this fall.
Experience at the skill positions is one of the reasons for optimism at Attleboro. Senior Cam Furtado is slated to start the season at quarterback and has proven to be a dynamic playmaker. Classmate Elvin Sam emerged as a big play weapon last fall, whether in the backfield or split out wide, and tight end James Weir gives Attleboro an option in the middle of the field. Wideout Josh Therrien and running back Justin Cote could also play bigger roles with running back Marcus Blaise adding depth.
Attleboro also has a strong returning core on defense with Furtado, Sam, and Therrien in the secondary and Weir joining senior Nate Barboza and junior Jacob Weatherford at linebacker. Matt Corrado, Matt Jimenez, and Kyle Walsh will give the Bombardiers strength on both sides of the line and junior Nick Evans could be poised for a breakout year after moving from linebacker to defensive end. Sophomore Qualeem Charles is also a player to watch on the line.
“I am extremely excited about our senior group of players,” said Attleboro coach Mike Strachan. “We have some dynamic players in Cam Furtado and Elvin Sam and hopefully they can maximize their athletic talents. We have many returning starters from last season so we hope to build on that experience.”
The first season for the Panthers under new head coach Eian Bain was a struggle at times for a young roster that was adapting to new systems on both sides of the ball, but there is hope that the experience gained last fall will pay dividends in 2017. Franklin will have a number of returning players to count on this season.
Offensively, Franklin will have to find ways to make up for the production of graduated running back Jacob Wolowacki, who was a go-to weapon in the ground and passing games. Senior quarterback Jake Noviello will be counted on to lead the offensive unit after more than 1,700 yards and 15 touchdowns last fall. Junior wideout Sean Leonard started all 11 games last year and will be a tough matchup for defenses along with fellow receivers Jack Nally, Will Davis, and Evan Wendell and running back Sean Hofferty. Three-year starter Brian Kosicki will be the leader of the offensive line and tight end Patrick Morrison will be a weapon in the passing game.
On defense, the Panthers have depth in the secondary, including junior safety Nolan McLaney, who was second on the team in tackles last year. Junior Ryan Driscoll has speed on the corner and Bain called him the “focal point” of the defense. Nick Gordon will hold down the other corner spot. Senior defensive end Jackson Gilbert is coming back from injury that cut short his junior season and will add strength on the edge. Junior Riley Downing gives Franklin size and speed in the middle of the line.
“We are in year two of our process,” said Bain. “We are in a different place than we were a year ago…Fans should expect to see a better team in 2017. We have a roster full of experience and had great participation through the Franklin speed and conditioning program. In a league this good we have to bring our best every week.”
What will the Warriors do for an encore? King Philip won its third league title in the past five years, second outright Kelley-Rex title in the past three seasons, and completed an unbeaten season with a win over Reading in the Div. 1A Super Bowl at Gillette Stadium.
Despite losing a large and influential senior class, the Warriors are being picked by some to repeat at champs this fall. One reason for continued belief is the return of senior quarterback Brendan Lydon, who showed poise in the pocket and the ability to make accurate passes downfield in his first year under center in 2016. Yale-commit Shane Frommer is also back for his senior season and will be the feature back for the Warriors in a system that prides itself on pushing teams around on the ground. Beyond that, it will be up to a group of rookies to make an impact. KP will boast an entire new offensive line, anchored by senior Anthony Vahue, and all new receivers. Junior David Morganelli will be one of the options for Lydon.
The Warriors boast a bit more experience on the defensive side of the ball. Even though a good chunk of starters are gone, KP’s rotation last year allowed for players like Evan Rice (defensive end), Jack Webster (linebacker) and Dylan Leonard (safety) to see action. Frommer will be back opposite Webster while Vahue will also play on the defensive line. Andrew Dittrich returns as a starting corner back to anchor the secondary.
Although there are a lot of new faces on this year’s roster and a lot of leadership missing from last season’s championship squad, head coach Brian Lee has instilled a toughness that permeates the program and expectations are that KP will have a decent chance at lifting a trophy again this fall.
“We don’t get any points for last year, we don’t get spotted a touchdown because we went undefeated last year,” Lee said. “When it comes to high school football, it’s about taking those rookies and getting them ready for varsity speed, they have to be able to handle the bright lights on Friday nights. If we can get them up to speed, we should be okay.”
The Hornets finished second in the Kelley-Rex division last year, with the only Hock loss coming by three points to league champ King Philip. Mansfield was stunned in a playoff thriller against Marshfield, but then bounced back to beat Div. 1 playoff teams Needham and Newton North and will enter 2017 with typically high expectations, as the Hornets look to win their first league title since 2013.
A strength for Mansfield this fall will be the experience it returns at the skill positions led by senior wideout Hunter Ferreira, who has emerged as one of the area’s top receivers. The backfield will once again be loaded for the Hornets, who will count on seniors Danny DeGirolamo and Joe Cox and juniors Khristian Conner and Aidan Sacco. New quarterback Damani Scott will try to make use of that talent and the 6-foot-3 junior has a big arm to make plays downfield.
Cox and Ferreira will add strength and speed to the linebacking corps, while seniors Mike Shannon and Jareme DiLorenzo will provide a pass rush at the defensive end positions. Conner, Sacco, and DeGirolamo will all return in the secondary. If there are questions for the Hornets, it will be at the line of scrimmage; senior Will Shield and junior Colbey Eason have returned and will be the players to build around on the offensive and defensive lines.
“After one week, we are happy with work ethic and development of linemen,” said Mansfield coach Mike Redding, who is in his 30th season with the Hornets. “If we can get pieces of the puzzle sorted out up front on OL and DL, we’ll be a tough out. We have a very good collection of playmakers that can run and catch and we should score some points this year.”
The Tigers got off to a promising start to 2016, winning two of the opening three games including a dramatic one-point win over Franklin, but Oliver Ames struggled down the stretch against a difficult schedule. Now entering his third year, head coach Mike Holland is confident the program is heading in the right direction this fall.
According to Holland, the Tigers’ strength on the offensive side of the ball is the experience of playing in the system for several seasons and a greater understanding of the concepts. Senior Curtis Cann will lead the attack after taking over as the starting quarterback last season and he has several talented weapons on the outside in seniors Michael Mulrean and Noah Fitzgerald. Jay Fruci will be one of the returning players in the backfield, lining up behind a big offensive line.
Jack Mills will be a mainstay in the middle on both sides of the ball and is one of the top lineman in the league. He will be paired with fellow senior John-Michael Cole on the line, giving the Tigers depth in the trenches. Fitzgerald and Mulrean will also be important contributors in the secondary, while Fruci will bring athleticism to the linebacking corps. Holland wants his defensive scheme to take advantage of the team’s speed.
“Looking forward to the start of a new season. Our guys’ preparation and approach leading up to the season has been excellent,” Holland said. “We have guys with experience that need to play big, as well as some new guys that are in the mix to compete for spots.”
The Tigers narrowly missed out on a winning record in their first season under head coach Brad Sidwell and showed signs of improvement, including a narrow, three-point loss to Mansfield. In year two, Sidwell is hoping for even more and Taunton has potential on the roster to be a tough out in the league.
Losing wide receiver Adam McLaughlin to graduation will certainly impact the offensive attack, but junior quarterback Noah Leonard returns for his second season under center and will look to build on the experience he gained last fall. With a number of athletes at the skill positions, including senior Collin Hunter and junior Brayden Merrill at wideout and T.J. Mendes in the backfield, Taunton will use a number of formations and styles to cause matchup problems. Sidwell expects the passing game to be a major strength for the Tigers.
Defensively, Taunton will have a number of new faces, but has size and experience at the line of scrimmage. Seniors Paul Corrao and Zakim Harrow and junior Cam Correiro will all make a significant impact on the battle in the trenches. Senior Nuno Camara provides experience to the linebacking corps, while Merrill and Hunter will be important in the secondary.
“Moving into the second year, the players, coaches and fans are excited for the season but there is lots of work to be done,” Sidwell said. “Hopefully we can get off to a good start and provide some confidence to gain momentum into the difficult Hockomock League season.”
NORTH EASTON, Mass. – It’s been nearly a year since Oliver Ames pulled out a stunning two-out ray to beat Mansfield at Frothingham Park.
But it was fresh in the minds of many Mansfield players as they returned to North Easton in the Hornets first matchup with the Tigers this season. And this time, they made sure to finish the game off.
Mansfield took the lead with a four run fifth inning, Oliver Ames cut the deficit to one in the sixth but the Hornets tacked on two more in the seventh to pick up a key 6-3 division win over OA.
“OA plays hard and you knew they weren’t going away,” said Mansfield head coach Joe Breen. “We brought it late in the game and talked about how OA would keep fighting to the end so we need to get at least one more to get some breathing room. The guys responded and had a nice inning there to cap it off.
“[OA] is certainly a very strong team, there’s really not a whole lot of weaknesses on that team. We knew we’d have our hands full with OA, especially with the way they’ve played this season. Coach Abarr has done a great job with those guys, they obviously play very hard for him. But our guys played hard today too. I think we had last year’s late inning loss in the back of our minds, a lot of our returners remembered and had a little extra incentive to get a win today.”
Both teams put a runner in scoring position in the first inning, with Mansfield’s Matt Farragher (fielder’s choice, stolen base) getting to second and Oliver Ames’ Matt Muir (double, stolen base) reaching third but neither crossed the plate.
Oliver Ames sophomore and left handed pitcher Tom Parker retired the side in order in the second inning while his counterpart, Mansfield junior Kevin Dow did the same.
Mansfield threatened in the third when Dow walked, stole second, advanced to third on a single from Anthony DeGirolamo but Parker escaped, getting a fly ball to right and a line drive to short.
OA finally broke through in the third inning, with sophomore Reid Latham reaching on an error and moving to second on a base hit from Muir. Muir was forced out on a fielder’s choice but Latham moved to third but OA loaded the bases with a steal from Michael Friel and a walk to Mitch Goulet.
Senior Kyle Gagliardi delivered, driving a 1-0 pitch to the outfield for a two-run single.
Parker cruised through the top of the fourth with the help of a double play while Dow put the Tigers down in order to keep the deficit at two.
Mansfield’s offense finally came to life in the top of the fifth to take the lead. Cullin Anastasia set things up with a lead off single and Dow helped his own cause with a deep double. The throw home was high, allowing Anastasia to cross and Dow to take third, cutting OA’s lead to 2-1. DeGirolamo drew a walk and stole second with one out. With a 3-1 count, OA elected to intentionally walk Farragher to load the bases.
Mansfield senior Aidan Cahill came through, taking a 1-0 pitch for a ride with a line drive for a two RBI single that pushed Farragher to third. The Hornets weren’t done in the inning as sophomore Kyle Moran singled off OA reliever Jay Fruci to bring Farragher home for a 4-2 lead.
“He’s come up big for us all year,” Breen said of Cahill. “He started off in the two-hole because he’s a very good situational hitter and can go gap to gap. We moved him back to the three hole because he couldn’t stop hitting. He had a huge two-run homer to win a game against Feehan, he’s been on fire this season. He’s a super hard working kid and I love seeing guys work as hard as he does reap the benefits of it.”
Oliver Ames’ offense had its response in the bottom of the sixth inning. Sophomore Chris Pearsons was hit by a pitch by Mansfield reliever Kyle Moran to start the bottom half and advanced to second on a dropped third strike. Pearsons took third on a fielder’s choice and then scored on a wild pitch to make it 4-3.
Farragher was hit by a pitch to lead off the top of the seventh to get Mansfield’s offense in gear. He went to second on a passed ball and Cahill came through one again with an RBI double. Pearsons got two outs in relief for OA but Cahill took third on a wild pitch. Colin Gibbons looped a hit into shallow center field to bring Gibbons home.
“We’ve been preaching to our guys to be aggressive as much as possible and get up there and swing the bat and try to drive the ball as much as possible,” Breen said. “I think early on we were probably too aggressive swinging at balls outside the zone but we made a little bit of an adjustment and started to swing at better pitches. Our guys, one though nine, anyone can do the job right now and that’s kind of where things turned around for us offensively.”
Moran closed the game with a 1-2-3 inning to earn the save. Dow earned the win in 4.1 innings of work, allowing four hits with one strikeout. The Hornets lost their #2 pitcher Tyler Dalton for the season, so Breen was looking for someone to step up.
“We knew we needed guys to step up,” Breen said. “Both Kevin and Kyle have pitched well in relief for us. We knew going into today it would be a combo effort and I think they split the game pretty well and got their jobs done. Kevin set the table for us and Kyle got some big pressure outs in the late innings.”
Attleboro, 59 @ Taunton, 68 – Final – Tommy MacLean scored 18 points for the Tigers and Lou Vendrell chipped in with 17. Taunton held Attleboro to six points in the fourth quarter to pull out the victory.
Stoughton, 65 @ Canton, 70 – Final – Sophomore Devin Foster paced the Bulldogs with 17 points and Tony Harris scored 15 points and pulled down nine boards, as Canton held off a “furious” rally by the Black Knights. Jake Verille scored a career-high 14 in the win. Cam Andrews had a game-high 24 points for Stoughton.
King Philip, 49 @ Franklin, 64 – Final – Freshman Chris Edgehill scored a career-high 16 points for the Panthers and Josh Macchi had 14 in the win.
Mansfield, 72 @ Oliver Ames, 42 – Final – The Hornets broke the game open with an 18-7 second quarter to take a 20-point lead by halftime. Christian Weber led the way for Mansfield with 17 points and Tyler Boulter added 15. Phil Vigeant (11 points) and Sam Goldberg (10) each reached double-digits for the Hornets.
Milford, 65 @ Sharon, 42 – Final – Zack Tamagni scored 22 points to lead the Hawks to the division win. Anthony Arcudi added 15 points and Kayden Kelly scored eight points and pulled in 18 rebounds. Sharon was led by Jimmy Fitzhenry with 11 points.
Taunton, 28 @ Attleboro, 66 – Final
Canton, 41 @ Stoughton, 54 – Final – Val Whalen had another strong game for the Black Knights, scoring 19 points and pulling down 11 rebounds. Freshman Aliyah Wright added 10 points for Stoughton. Hannah Jerrier had a team-high 11 points for the Bulldogs.
Foxboro, 47 @ North Attleboro, 53 – Final – Ashley Ahern had a team-high 16 points for the second straight game to help North Attleboro take a two-game lead on the Warriors in the Davenport division. Samantha Taggart also scored 16 for North. Ashley Sampson had a game-high 21 for the Warriors and Lauren Flahive added nine fourth quarter points and pulled in nine rebounds in the loss that ended a six-game win streak for Foxboro.
Franklin, 67 @ King Philip, 36 – Final – Kate Morse was the top scorer for the Panthers with 15 points. Megan O’Connell added 11 for Franklin, while Ali Brigham and Erin Skidmore each scored 10 and Carli Koffinke had nine points. KP was led by Shannon O’Connor with 14.
Sharon, 37 @ Milford, 48 – Final – The Eagles battled back to cut the lead to eight points in the fourth quarter, but Milford’s Kate Irwin scored eight of her 15 points in the quarter, including 5-of-6 from the line, to seal the win for the Hawks. Emma Eberhardt led the Eagles with a team-high 13 points and pulled in 12 rebounds, while Shira Stoller scored eight and grabbed seven rebounds.
Stoughton, 1 @ Attleboro, 2 – Final – P.J. Elliott scored a power play goal in the second period that turned out to be the game-winner. Jake Parker had the other goal for Attleboro. Ryan Chipman had the Stoughton goal. All three of the game’s goals were scored in the second period.
Masconomet Quad (Oliver Ames) – Oliver Ames went 1-2 on the day, beating Burlington 47-24 but falling to Arlington (37-31) and to Masconomet (40-39). Anthony Berksza (145), Jay Fruci (220) and Dean Pacini (195) each went 3-0 on the day for the Tigers.
Canton, 87 @ Ashland, 89 – Final
Oliver Ames, 75 @ Franklin, 94 – Final
Milford, 106 @ Sharon, 62 – Final
Canton, 82 @ Ashland, 93 – Final
Oliver Ames, 57 @ Franklin, 113 – Final
Milford, 90 @ Sharon, 80 – Final
Game of the Week – Football
Foxboro, 0 @ King Philip, 21 – Final 1st Quarter: No scoring.
2nd Quarter: (KP) Brendan Lydon 2 yard rush, Cole Baker XP good.
3rd Quarter: (KP) B. Lydon 1 yard rush, C. Baker XP good.
4th Quarter: (KP) B. Lydon 1 yard rush, C. Baker XP good.
Attleboro, 7 @ Dartmouth, 31 – Final
Canton, 12 vs. Scituate, 30 – Final 1st Quarter: (S) Touchdown pass, XP good; (C) Alec Ragusa 5 yard rush, 2pt failed.
2nd Quarter: (S) Touchdown pass, XP good; (C) Dennis Ross 68 yard rush, 2pt failed, Scituate converts 2pt.
3rd Quarter: No scoring.
4th Quarter: (S) Touchdown pass, XP good.
Franklin, 7 @ Milford, 35 – Final 1st Quarter: No scoring.
2nd Quarter: (M) Blake Hill 13-yard rush, Sean Lehane XP good; (F) Jake Noviello 9-yard pass to Kinley Baird, K. Baird XP good.
3rd Quarter: (M) B. Hill 31-yard rush, S. Lehane XP good; (M) Asong Aminmentse 1-yard rush, S. Lehane XP good.
4th Quarter: (M) Matt Curran 11-yard pass to Tyler Joyce, S. Lehane XP good; (M) B. Hill 14-yard rush, S. Lehane XP good.
Mansfield, 34 @ Braintree, 10 – Final 1st Quarter: (M) Joe Cox 2 yard rush, Diogo DeSousa XP good.
2nd Quarter: (M) Anthony DeGirolamo 1 yard rush, D. DeSousa XP good; (M) A. DeGirolamo 15 yard pass to Hunter Ferreira; XP blocked, Braintree converts 2pt.
3rd Quarter: (M) A. DeGirolamo 1 yard rush, D. DeSousa XP good; (M) J. Cox 4 yard rush, D. DeSousa XP good.
4th Quarter: (B) Braintree 25 yard rush, 2pt rush good.
North Attleboro, 34 @ Bishop Feehan, 0 – Final 1st Quarter: (NA) Chad Peterson 6 yard rush, Geoff Wilson XP good; (NA) C. Peterson 52 yard pass to Bobby Mylod, G. Wilson XP good.
2nd Quarter: (NA) C. Peterson 7 yard pass to B. Mylod, XP no good; (NA) Nick Rajotte 27 yard rush, G. Wilson XP good.
3rd Quarter: (NA) Nick Raneri 4 yard rush, G. Wilson XP good.
4th Quarter: No scoring.
Oliver Ames, 21 vs. Silver Lake, 34 – Final 1st Quarter: (SL) Silver Lake 2 yard rush, XP good; (SL) Silver Lake 6 yard pass, XP no good.
2nd Quarter: (OA) Jay Fruci 1 yard rush, Anthony Berksza XP good.
3rd Quarter: (SL) Silver Lake 1 yard rush, 2pt failed; (SL) Silver Lake 25 yard pass, XP no good.
4th Quarter: (SL) Silver Lake 3 yard rush, XP good; (OA) Liston Funai 15 yard rush, Kyle Gagliardi 2pt pass to Brandon Timulty; (OA) L. Funai 3 yard rush, 2pt failed.
Sharon, 12 @ Cardinal Spellman, 7 – Final 1st Quarter: No scoring.
2nd Quarter: (CS) Cardinal Spellman 30 yard pass, XP good; (S) Drew Naisuler 56 yard pass to Austin Dodes, 2pt failed.
3rd Quarter: (S) Juvan Elisma 10 yard rush, 2pt failed
4th Quarter: No scoring.
Stoughton, 13 vs. Marshfield, 21 – Final 1st Quarter: (S) Justin Ly 1 yard rush, XP good.
2nd Quarter: (M) Brendan Ward 62 yard rush, XP good; (M) Jack McNeil 35 yard rush, XP no good.
3rd Quarter: (M) J. McNeil 32 yard rush, 2pt pass good.
4th Quarter: (S) Dave Cellucci 4 yard rush, 2pt failed.
Taunton, 0 vs. Durfee, 18 – Final 1st Quarter: No scoring.
2nd Quarter: No scoring.
3rd Quarter: (D) Durfee 20 yard rush, XP no good; (D) Durfee 7 yard rush, XP no good.
4th Quarter: (D) Durfee 20 yard fumble return off blocked punt, XP no good.
Sharon, 3 @ Attleboro, 1 – Final
Canton, 0 @ King Philip, 2 – Final – After a back and forth first half, King Philip assumed control in the second half. Thomas Lugten needed just three minutes to give the Warriors the lead early in the second half. Michael Rowe was tripped up in the area to draw a PK and junior Connor Mullins converted with less than 10 minutes to play to double the Warriors’ lead.
Foxboro, 1 @ Franklin, 2 – Final – Click here for a recap of the game.
Stoughton, 0 @ Mansfield, 2 – Final– Mansfield converted on a pair of first half chances to pick up the win over the visiting Black Knights. Brendan Sullivan put the home side in front in the 13th minute, converting a cross from Kevin Bouck. Sullivan then drew a penalty in the 39th minute and James Chotkowski buried it to make it 2-0. Jed Tolbert made six saves, recording his first career shutout. Head coach Steve Sheridan applauded the play of defenders Max Gurnon, Harry Braidt, Nick Hyland and Ethan Brill-Cass. Stoughton’s Brian Peoples had a strong performance, making his return for the Black Knights after an injury last season.
North Attleboro, 0 @ Oliver Ames, 0 – Final– Oliver Ames hit the post three times and North Attleboro cleared two more chances off the line as the two teams battled to a scoreless tie at Muscato Stadium.
Attleboro, 1 @ Sharon, 6 – Final – Ally Filipkowski and Alex Rabb both had hat tricks for the Eagles. Ally Steinberg and Anna Crosby both played well in midfield, according to Sharon coach Brad Furnival. Ashley Dame scored the goal for the Bombardiers.
Mansfield, 7 @ Stoughton, 1 – Final – Hannah Reiter scored three goals and added an assist for the Hornets. Mansfield also got two goals from Emma Oldow, while Emma Goulet and Sydney Mulkern each scored once. Emily Vigeant had a pair of assists in the win. Stoughton’s goal was scored by freshman Chinazo Odunze off of an assist from sophomore Cintia Khouzami. Stoughton head coach Tara Daniels also made note of the defensive play of Sarina Hutchinson and Emerson Sprague.
Oliver Ames, 3 @ North Attleboro, 0 – Final – Click here for a full recap of the game.
Foxboro, 0 @ Norton, 3 – Final
Mansfield, 0 @ Bishop Feehan, 3 – Final – Mansfield was unable to overcome a slow start, falling to Feehan 10-25, 20-25, 22-25. Jess Haradon had 18 digs, Meg hill had seven kills and five blocks and Julia Harrison had six kills and 10 digs for the Hornets.
Stoughton, 1 vs. Cardinal Spellman, 3 – Final– Stoughton senior captains Christina Gelin and Riley Bagley worked with Sophomore Mia Bennett to combine for over 70 digs.
King Philip, 2 @ Attleboro, 0 – Final– King Philip had 14 corners and 13 shots on goal in a dominate effort, scoring once in each half. Alli Meehan scored the game winner just over midway through the first half. Nicole Conner iced the game with just 3:30 left, scoring off a corner from Christina Hathaway. KP allowed just one corner in the game and didn’t allow a shot on net.
North Attleboro, 0 @ Canton, 3 – Final – Emily Campbell, Andrea McNeil and Maggie Wade each scored once in Canton’s win over North Attleboro.
Sharon, 0 @ Foxboro, 10 – Final – This was the 150th career win for Foxboro coach Melissa Bordieri.
Oliver Ames, 3 @ Franklin, 3 – Final– Franklin put up a pair of goals to go into halftime with a 2-0 lead but Oliver Ames came storming back in the second half. Brayden Downing opened the scoring off an assist from Cassie Ronan and Maddie Hinckley netted her first goal off a feed from Kayla Marshall to give the Panthers a 2-0 lead. Dimitra Efremidis brought OA back within one eight minutes into the second half and Kendall Clifford scored off a corner to tie the game. Dana Lewandowski put the Panthers back ahead midway through the second half off an assist from Maeve Ledwith but OA had an answer again. Liz Nuss scored on a breakaway with just over eight minutes to play to tie the game. Christina Lucini had four saves in net for Franklin while Katie Vamosi had a strong day in the cage for OA.
Milford, 0 @ Stoughton, 1 – Final – Jackie Evangelista scored the lone goal of the game for Stoughton off an assist by Mia Russell. Gianna Barbosa had the shutout in goal in her first varsity start.
Mansfield, 156 @ Canton, 146 – Final – Canton senior Matt Minichiello continued his strong start to 2016, earning match medalist honors at Blue Hills by carding a 34. Jack Goyetch shot 36, Danny Powers carded a 37 and Joey Vaughan chipped in with a 39 for the Bulldogs. Jason Hindman led Mansfield with a 35 while Brett Kessler added a 39 for the Hornets.
Franklin, 158 @ Medway, 169 – Final
Sharon, 173 @ King Philip, 160 – Final – Sebastian Ladoulis earned medalist honors, carding a low round of 38 for the Warriors. Jack Citarell shot a career-best 39 while freshman Nate Ihley impressed by carding a 40 on the day.
North Attleboro, 146 @ Oliver Ames, 139 – Final – In a one of the best matchups of the season, Oliver Ames edged North with the top eight players all coming in under 40. Junior Matt Kelley was the match medalist, carding a two-under pass round of 32 at Pine Oaks in Easton. Thomas Walsh shot one over par at 35 while Brady Allbritton and Ryan McGarry each had a round of 36. North Attleboro’s Robbie Congdon carded a one-under round of 33 while Dylan Kane and Thomas Puccio each shot 37 and David Colsanti finished with a round of 39.
Attleboro, 28 vs. Cumberland, 14 – Final 1st Quarter: (C) Leonard 2 yard rush, Albetal XP good; (C) Hayes 5 yard rush, Albetal XP good. 2nd Quarter: (A) Sam Corrado 18 yard rush, XP no good; (A) Tyler McGovern 8 yard rush, T. McGovern 2pt pass to James Weir; (A) T. McGovern 1 yard rush, XP no good. 3rd Quarter: No scoring. 4th Quarter: (A) T. McGovern 37 yard pass to J. Weir, T. McGovern 2pt pass to J. Weir.
Foxboro, 27 vs. Hingham, 16 – Final 1st Quarter: No Foxboro scoring, two Hingham touchdowns. 2nd Quarter: (F) Mark Clagg 9 yard pass to Paul Darcy, John Whitehouse 2pt conversion; (F) M. Clagg 13 yard pass to J. Whitehouse, XP no good. 3rd Quarter: No scoring. 4th Quarter: (F) M. Clagg 21 yard pass to J. Whitehouse, XP no good; (F) Anthony Capachietti 61 yard rush, XP good.
Stoughton, 58 @ Franklin, 19 – Final 1st Quarter: (S) Ryan Sullivan 2 yard rush, XP no good; (S) Marselis Cox 45 yard fumble return, Dave Cellucci 2pt rush; (S) Izon Swain-Price 8 yard rush, Antonio Amado XP good; (S) Justin Ly 10 yard rush, XP no good. 2nd Quarter: (S) R. Sullivan 5 yard rush, A. Amado XP good; (F) Jake Wolowacki 1 yard rush, XP no good; (F) Jake Noviello 40 yard pass to J. Wolowacki, 2pt no good; (S) R. Sullivan 10 yard rush, XP no good. 3rd Quarter: (S) R. Sullivan 52 yard rush, XP no good; (F) J. Noviello 68 yard pass to Kinley Baird, XP no good. 4th Quarter: (S) I. Swain-Price 40 yard rush, XP blocked; (S) David Bell 34 yard rush, XP no good.
King Philip, 19 @ North Attleboro, 7 – Final 1st Quarter: (NA) Chad Peterson 15 yard pass to Bobby Mylod, Geoff Wilson XP good. 2nd Quarter: (KP) Sean Garrity 26 yard rush, Matt Franz XP good. 3rd Quarter: (KP) Brendan Lydon 48 yard pass to Mike Mello, XP no good. 4th Quarter: (KP) S. Garrity 12 yard rush, XP no good.
Mansfield, 3 @ Calvert Hall (MD), 44 – Final 1st Quarter: (M) Diogo DeSousa 38 yard field goal good. 2nd Quarter: No Mansfield scoring. 3rd Quarter: No Mansfield scoring. 4th Quarter: No Mansfield scoring.
Milford, 5 vs. Marlborough, 13 – Final 1st Quarter: No Milford scoring. 2nd Quarter: (M) Sean Lehane 36 yard field goal good. 3rd Quarter: No Milford scoring. 4th Quarter: Marlboro safety.
Oliver Ames, 35 @ Bedford, 20 – Final 1st Quarter: (OA) Kyle Gagliardi 1 yard rush, 2pt no good; (OA) K. Gagliardi 20 yard pass to Ralph Delorus, Liston Funai 2pt rush; (OA) Jay Fruci 3 yard rush, L. Funai 2pt rush. 2nd Quarter: No Oliver Ames scoring. 3rd Quarter: No Oliver Ames scoring. 4th Quarter: (OA) K. Gagliardi 12 yard run, Anthony Berksza XP good; (OA) Michael Mulrean 50 yard interception return, XP no good.
Sharon, 22 @ Randolph, 12 – Final 1st Quarter: (S) Xavier Hackett 75 yard kick return, 2pt no good. 2nd Quarter: (S) X. Hackett 65 yard interception return, 2pt no good. 3rd Quarter: No Sharon scoring. 4th Quarter: (S) Drew Naisuler 2 yard rush, Aaron Strong 2pt rush good.
Taunton, 28 @ New Bedford, 6 – Final 1st Quarter: (T) Noah Leonard 11 yard pass to Max Moitoso, XP no good. 2nd Quarter: (T) TJ Mendes 4 yard rush, N. Leonard 2pt pass to Adam McLaughlin; (T) N. Leonard 20 yard pass to A. McLaughlin, John Teixeira XP good. 3rd Quarter: No scoring. 4th Quarter: (NB) Nigel Palmer 68 yard rush, 2pt not good; (T) T. Mendes 4 yard rush, J. Teixeira XP good.
North Attleboro, 0 @ Franklin, 2 – Final– Sophomore Nitin Chaudhury played the role of playmaker on Friday afternoon, assisting both of Franklin’s goals. Farley Asmath put the Panthers ahead and Kevin Hall doubled the lead for Franklin, both off of assists from Chaudhury.
Milford, 0 @ King Philip, 2 – Final – Click here for a full recap of the game.
Attleboro, 0 @ Canton, 2 – Final – Hannah Link and Sarah Collins each scored goals for the Bulldogs.
Franklin, 1 @ North Attleboro, 2 – Final – Nadia Havens opened the scoring for Franklin with a header off a pass by Ellie Teixeira. Haley Guertin scored an unassisted goal to tie it for North eight minutes later. With eight minutes remaining, Kayla Pasquel won the game for the Rocketeers with an unassisted goal.
King Philip, 3 @ Milford, 0 – Final – Milford coach Jay Mastaj credited Rachel LeBlanc with a solid game on defense for the Hawks.
Mansfield, 2 @ Canton, 3 – Final– In a battle between defending division champions, the match went the full distance. Canton emerged with a 25-23, 20-25, 12-25, 25-22, 15-9 win over the Hornets. Hannah Jerrier led the Bulldogs’ attack with 12 kills while Erika Lum and Cassie Loftus combined for 13 kills from the weak side. Nicole Poole put Canton’s offense in motion with 32 assists while Emma Murphy had an outstanding night defensively at the net with nine blocks. Head coach Pat Cawley also noted the strong defensive games from Maria Mackie and Emily Lynch. For Mansfield, Emily Kleber had seven kills, Julia Harrison has 11 kills and 12 digs and Meg Hill had 14 kills and six blocks.
Foxboro, 178 @ King Philip, 168 – Final– Sebastian Ladoulis of KP was the low round of the match shooting a 41. Foxboro’s Logan Sloan was a co-medalist, also shooting a 41 on the day.
North Attleboro, 156 @ Sharon, 160 – Final– Sharon’s Max Avratin had the low round of the match with an even par 36. David Colasanti led North with a 37.
Attleboro has developed as a program under head coach Mike Strachan and continues to be one of the teams contend with for the Kelley-Rex title even with a number of new faces on the roster heading into this fall. Even with the loss of standout lineman Kyle Murphy, the Bombardiers will have size on both sides of the ball and use that to control the line of scrimmage.
Offensively, senior quarterback Tyler McGovern returns after an injury knocked him out of the starting lineup midway through last season. He gives Attleboro the chance to look downfield, while junior Cam Furtado stepped in at QB last year and proved to be a dynamic athlete who opened up defenses with his legs.
The offense will flow behind senior lineman Andrew Gingras. At 6’5 and 285 pounds, Gingras will be counted on to open holes for senior running back Sam Corrado and also provide a stout run stopper on defense. Corrado will also provide help at linebacker and on special teams.
“The 2016 Bombardiers are a young team with many players that will be competing for time both offensively and defensively,” said Strachan, who is confident that despite the youth on the roster that Attleboro will be a team to watch this fall.
There is a lot of energy in the Franklin camp over the past couple of weeks, as new head coach Eian Bain takes over from longtime coach Brad Sidwell and looks to give the Panthers a boost after three straight one-win seasons in the Kelley-Rex division. Bain said that he expects there to be a “different vibe” from the team this season.
The Panthers have a lot of experience coming back this season starting in the backfield with quarterbacks Jake Noviello (junior) and Alex Cregg (senior), who both saw action last season. Whoever is starting will have a host of experienced receivers to look for with Eddie Scannapieco, Packie Watson, and Joey Blasie on the outside and 6’5 Connor Peterson at tight end. The bulk of the offense will run through senior tailback Jacob Wolowacki, who emerged last year as a go-to back with three touchdown runs.
Defensively, Franklin has a lot of talent returning in the back seven led by senior safety Jake Lyons, who will also help out as a running back on offense. The secondary also includes Kyle McInery and Nick Gordon with Justin O’Callahan, Bruce Johnson and Khyler Colella manning the linebacker positions. Brad Jarosz will add size to the defensive end position.
Bain said, “It has been an uptempo, high energy camp in Franklin. Players have answered the bell every step of the way to learn both new offensive and defensive systems. While still a work in progress, the team is making strides every day.”
King Philip got off to a rough start last season, but managed to turn things around with a dramatic victory at Mansfield and won three out of four to get back into the postseason. The Warriors could be inconsistent on the offensive side of the ball in 2015, but with experienced skill position players coming back KP could be ready to challenge for the league title.
It begins in the backfield with senior quarterback John DeLuca, who is ready for his third year as the starter and is one of the toughest signal callers in the league. This season, DeLuca will have a number of weapons to help put points on the board. Senior running back Sean Garrity will add speed to the edge for the Warriors, while his classmate Giovanni Fernandez is a power back to add another dimension inside the red zone. Senior Michael Mello returns to add experience to the receiving corps.
The strength of the Warriors under head coach Brian Lee has been defense and line play and this season should be no different. Seniors Paul Macrina, Michael Sullivan, and Daniel Loewen will be major factors on both sides of the ball. Senior Alex Olsen has the potential to be the defensive MVP this year taking over the role of graduated linebacker Cory Lombardo. Fernandez and fellow senior Brett Mazur will add strength to the linebacker position as well.
Mansfield’s defense held teams to 15 or fewer points in all but two games last year. Only St. John’s Prep and Marshfield (two teams ranked in the top five in the state when they faced the Hornets) were able to get any rhythm going offensively against the Hornets. Despite strength on that side of the ball, Mansfield struggled to find consistency on offense and ended up one point short of a share of the Kelley-Rex division title.
This season, the Hornets offense could be a huge strength with a number of playmakers returning. Senior quarterback Anthony DeGirolamo will be the starter for the second season in a row and will have a strong backfield around him with senior Brian Lynch as the power back and Nick Graham giving Mansfield speed to the edges. DeGirolamo will be able to aim for junior Hunter Ferreira, who has emerged as one of the top receivers in the league, and senior Ben Budwey.
On defense, the front seven will once again be a strong feature for the Hornets. A.J. Gibbs, Colin Gibbons, and Andrew Ducharme add size and strength on both sides of the ball, while senior linebacker Travis Sjoberg is a leader with the potential for hitting triple digits in tackles this fall. Senior placekicker Diogo DeSousa is a weapon in special teams after being recognized at kicking camps over the summer.
“We are a senior team (30 seniors),” said Mansfield head coach Mike Redding, “but we have some very talented juniors and sophomores that will help us win this year and give us some great depth”
Oliver Ames head coach Mike Holland is entering his second season in charge of the Tigers and will also be managing the program’s first fall in the Kelley-Rex division. In the last three games of 2015, OA beat Norwell and North Quincy and battled Sharon in a three-point loss on Thanksgiving Day, building momentum heading into this season.
The Tigers are excited about the potential of the offense with two quarterbacks who can make plays with their feet or their arms. Kyle Gagliardi and Travis Campbell are in the mix to be the starter and Holland expressed confidence in both of his seniors. OA also has a strong running game with senior Liston Funai leading the way for a group of backs that provide the Tigers with toughness and the ability to find open space.
OA has a lot of experience returning on the defensive side of the ball. Jack Mills will be a force on both the offensive and defensive line, while Jay Fruci and Leandro Moro will provide a spark from the linebacker spot. The secondary has also been boosted by Noah Fitzgerald and Michael Mulrean. “[We] have an excellent group of seniors and younger guys,” said Holland. “Kids are working hard and putting in strong efforts in all phases.”
The Tigers have a new coaching staff this fall, but it will be one that is very familiar to fans of the Hockomock League. Brad Sidwell moved to Taunton after 20 years in charge of the Franklin program. Sidwell comes into his new position with plenty of experience in the league and an experienced roster that has 14 returning starters, but the Tigers enter 2016 without a Kelley-Rex win since 2012.
There is optimism in the camp this preseason because of the large number of returning players and because of the size that Taunton boasts on the front line. Senior Zakim Harrow checks in at 6’2 and 335 pounds, his classmate Sylvester English is 6’1 and 290 pounds and junior Paul Carrao is 6’3 and 270 pounds. Those players will open holes on both sides of the ball and create space for playmakers such as senior linebacker Mike Fernandez and senior running back Brevan Walker.
There is a battle for the quarterback position this season. Junior Collin Hunter threw 11 touchdown passes last fall but sophomore Noah Leonard has impressed in camp and could snag the starting spot for Friday night’s opener at New Bedford. Whoever is under center will have a couple of strong targets to aim for with senior receivers Adam McLaughlin and Sam Krajewski and senior tight end Andrew Wellington all back.
“We’re just looking for improvement everyday,” Sidwell said. “Hopefully with a little confidence we can get off to a good start.”