FRANKLIN, Mass. It’s tough to rank players in terms of importance on the field, but there is certainly no doubting the value in Franklin junior face off specialist Jacob Alexander.
Alexander’s second half dominance at the face off X translated into a big half for the fourth-seeded Panthers, resulting in a 13-7 win #13 Mansfield.
The two Kelley-Rex division rivals were knotted 4-4 at halftime but Franklin dominated time of possession and scoring chances thanks in part to Alexander’s continued success at the ‘X.’ Those possessions and chances resulted in an 8-0 run over the third and fourth quarters.
“It all starts with Jacob, he’s such a key component to our success,” said Franklin head coach Lou Verrochi. “What can you say? He’s winning 86% of his face offs, he’s such a tough draw for any team. He’s so talented, and for a kid his size, he’s got good wheels, he can really play. He’s got great ground ball skills, great dodge skills…he could be an effective first line middie really.”
Mansfield had a strong start, racing out to a 3-1 lead after a quarter of play. But Franklin scored back-to-back goals within a minute span to tie the game. Franklin took its first lead at 4-3 but Mansfield tied it shortly before half.
“We were right in it but Alexander in the face off X, getting them all of those possessions really hurt,” said Mansfield head coach Tim Frias. “[Freshman] Nico [Holmes] is holding his own and he’s done really well but Alexander is a seasoned vet and it shows. I think in that third quarter we had two offensive possessions compared to the first half where it was a lot more back and forth. Franklin did a great job of possessing and making the most of their opportunities.”
Mansfield’s Danny DiGirolamo opened the scoring three minutes into the game and the Hornets nearly doubled it two minutes later but Franklin goalie Connor O’Rourke (12 saves) made a terrific one-on-one save. That save turned into transition for Franklin and senior Eric Civetti buried his shot on the other end to tie it.
The Hornets didn’t flinch though and capitalized on a transition chance of their own when senior Hunter Ferreira came racing down and buried a shot despite being double teamed. Mansfield survived a man-up opportunity from Franklin and drew a penalty in the process.
During the man-up chance, Ferreira went behind the net and then connected on a pass to Brad Grant right in front, who put the Hornets up 3-1 with just over a minute left in the quarter.
Franklin freshman Matt Lazzaro got things going for the Panthers in the second quarter, charging in from a tight angle before bouncing out in front and ripping a shot in. Lazzaro drew a penalty in the process and the Panthers cashed in less than a minute later when Civetti came from behind the net and found just enough space to sneak a shot in to tie the game.
The Panthers capitalized on the momentum and took the lead just over a minute later. Civetti backed his way down and found the slightest of angles to slip his shot inside the post for a 4-3 lead. Mansfield tied the game with three minutes left in the half when Ferreira found Connor Quirk right in front for the tying tally.
Not only did Alexander change the game with his face off wins in the second half, he set the tone early with a goal less than a minute into the second half.
After winning the opening face off, Mansfield nearly forced a turnover but Alexander scooped up the loose ball. He was able to spin between two defenders and fired a bound shot in to put Franklin up 5-4 just 18 seconds into the third quarter.
Mansfield almost had the tying goal in transition but O’Rourke came up with another one-on-one save to preserve the lead. From there, it was all Franklin.
“Connor really came up big for us a couple of times in big moments,” Verrochi said. “If [Mansfield] gets those goals where he came up with brilliant saves, it’s a different game. He made a huge save when it was 3-1 too and if it gets to 4-1, you never know.”
Just 30 seconds after O’Rourke’s save, Franklin cashed in when Chase Tanner ripped a hard shot that bounced just before the goal line and in. Out of a timeout, junior Patrick Morrison found a cutting Ben Greco in front for a 7-4 lead.
With just 12 seconds left in the third, Civetti again worked his way from behind the net in front and found the top corner with his shot for an 8-4 advantage heading into the final quarter.
“I think the offense settled down,” Verrochi said of the second half. “Everything was a little tight in the first half. Once they settled down and looked for good possessions, things started to go our way. We stopped throwing the ball away which we did a couple of times which is uncharacteristic. But it’s a playoff game, emotions are high, but we settled down in the second half. The long possessions helped us and defensively we extended them a bit.”
Alexander continued to win at the X and Franklin’s offense continued to manufacture goals. Lazzaro converted on a breakaway after the Panthers forced turnover near midfield. Mansfield goalie Jack Munroe (13 saves) made a nice stop on a shot but Jonathan O’Glishen cleaned up the rebound for a 10-4 lead.
Sophomore Owen Palmieri made it 11-4 with a goal midway through the quarter and Civetti netted his fifth just a minute later for a 12-4 lead, capping the Panthers’ 8-0 run that started in the third quarter.
Mansfield’s Michael Reed snapped the scoreless drought with a nice individual effort with 4:23 to go. It marked the Hornets’ first goal since the 3:15 mark of the second quarter.
“We felt like we needed to extend on them so we did and I think it kind of took them out of the comfort zone that they were in during the first half,” Verrochi said. “We started to cause some turnovers and did better on the ground balls. We got some nice breaks and some nice finishes from Eric and Matty Lazzaro.”
Tanner answered for Franklin on a nice feed from Kyle McEniry to cap Franklin’s scoring. Joe Cox and DiGirolamo scored in the final two minutes for the Hornets.
Franklin boys lacrosse (16-3) advances to the D1 South quarterfinal round to take on #5 Xaverian (15-4), who beat Marshfield 11-4 in the first round. The game is scheduled for Saturday but a time has yet to be determined. Mansfield finishes the season at 9-9.
2017 Record: 8-10 2017 Finish: Missed playoffs Coach: Kevin Koppy
After coming up just one game shy of the postseason, Attleboro is aiming to make the playoffs for the first time in program history in 2018.
The Bombardiers doubled their victory total from 2016 to 2017, going from four to eight in the win column. Attleboro returns 11 players from last year’s squad and has a total of 12 seniors on the team. Now in its fourth year, interest in the program is growing rapidly with 17 combined freshmen on either varsity or the JV roster.
There will be a lot of experience on the defensive end for Big Blue. Junior captain Trevor Koppy is back for his third year as the Bombardiers’ starting goalie. He turned away 306 shots last year with a 64% save percentage. In front of Koppy, senior captain Dan Perry is back to anchor the defensive unit which features all seniors.
“Dan is a physical defender that has excellent field awareness and leads by example,” said AHS head coach Kevin Koppy. “He’s constantly hustling and fighting hard for loose balls.”
Perry is joined by classmates Jim Nordberg and Chris Reynolds on close defense while Matt Potter will man LSM and Matt Jiminez brins an extra long pole presence to the defensive unit. Another returner is senior Kyle Henry, resuming his role as the team’s primary faceoff man. Henry had a successful 2017 season in that role and Big Blue will rely on him to spark the offense once again.
Seniors Jimmy Burke and Aidan McKenna, junior Cam Littig, and sophomore Thomas Shipman return to the midfield for Attleboro. Big Blue will have some new faces on the attack with seniors TJ Infante, Shane Joubert, and Aidan Downey leading the way. Freshman Mike Strachan and Matt Perry will also be involved in Attleboro’s attack.
2017 Record: 8-10 2017 Finish: Missed playoffs Coach: Bill Bendell
The Bulldogs found themselves in an unfamiliar position at the end of last season: on the outside looking in for the postseason.
Canton is looking to get back into the postseason this year after coming up just one game shy of qualifying. The Bulldogs won three straight to give themselves a chance but fell just short on the road against Abington in the final game of the season.
Using that as motivation, look for the Bulldogs to be right back in the mix this season. Leading the way will be senior captains Kevin Albert, Charlie O’Connor, and Griffin Roach. All three patrolled the midfield last season but could see time in other spots depending on how the lineup comes together.
O’Connor will step in to handle faceoffs but could miss some time early along with defensemen Brian Ghostlaw and Brendan Albert. Until Canton gets back to 100%, it will rely on senior Gabe Galeotos, junior George Kent, and sophomores Nick Mackay and Jace Emma to provide protection in front of sophomore goalie Jack Connolly. Connolly had a superb freshman season in the cage for the Bulldogs and will try to build upon that his season.
Junior Mike Shaw is back for his third year on attack for Canton, providing experience and leadership up front. Juniors Matt Martin and Dan Cohen, along with sophomores Chris Lavoie and David Allen will also figure into the Bulldogs’ offense this season.”
“We have a great group of kids this year with a nice blend of experienced players and new faces,” said CHS head coach Bill Bendell.
2017 Record: 11-9 2017 Finish: Reached D2 Central/East First Round Coach: Matt Noone
It’s safe to say Foxboro head coach Matt Noone is optimistic about the 2018 season.
The Warriors graduated just three players total and return their starting goalie, the entire defensive unit, and top three scorers from a season ago. Foxboro’s record was a bit deceiving based on how much talent they had, with five one-goal losses and two two-goal losses. The Warriors were dropped in the opening game of the playoffs by just one goal after holding a multi-goal lead in the second half.
With so much of the line up back, Noone is hoping to turn those close losses into wins.
“We’re going to be a better team than we were last year,” Noone said. “We have to play within our system, and do the simple things…if we do that, we will be very good and very tough to beat. If they don’t, we’ll be losing those one-goal games again.”
It all starts with defense in Foxboro with Jake Addeche returning in the cage for his third season. Addeche (185 saves) is one of the best goalies in the region and will have a very experienced defense in front of him. Senior Pat Kaveny and junior Pat Stapleton will anchor the defense, both with equipped with plenty of skill and experience, while sophomores Ronnie MacLellan and Matt Lathrop each already have a year of varsity experience under their belts.
Junior Brendan Tully (24 goals, 15 assists) will pace the Warriors in the midfield (“His lacrosse IQ is off the charts,” Noone notes). Tully can help transition Foxboro from defense to offense, and his ability to keep possession helps the Warriors control the tempo. Tully is complemented in the middle by seniors Louis Blake and Mike Collins while both Shayne Kerrigan and Bobby Yerardi will be in the mix as well.
Offensively, the Warriors look to be well-balanced with Louis Piccolo (25 goals, 13 assists) back this year along with senior Mike Moses (18 goals, 20 assists), junior Pete Conley (15 goals, 23 assists) and senior Andrew Whalen.
2017 Record: 16-5 2017 Finish: Reached D1 South First Round Coach: Lou Verrochi
Expectations are high for the 2018 season based on the talent the Franklin Panthers boast this year.
“We return a very good team,” said FHS head coach Lou Verrochi. “We have a very good and deep bench too, we’re looking forward to the season.”
The long list of returning talent starts with All-American and 2017 HockomockSports.com Player of the Year Eric Civetti. Civetti (Rutgers commit) has been tormenting opposing defenses since his freshman year. He scored 70 goals and notched 24 assists as a sophomore, and then netted 79 goals and 21 assists last year, totaling 194 points between the two years. The Panthers will also boast senior Zach Alexander and freshman Matt Lazzaro on attack.
The midfield will be loaded with two talented lines available. Captains Kyle McEniry (10 goals, 21 assists) and Chase Tanner (29 goals, 10 assists) will be joined by the speedy Nitin Chaudhury (24 goals, 10 assists) on the Panthers first unit while Jake Davis, Johnny O’Glishen, and Owen Palmieri give Verrochi an incredibly talented second unit.
As if the midfield wasn’t loaded enough, the Panthers have 2017 HockomockSports.com Underclassman of the Year Jacob Alexander back to dominate the faceoff X. Alexander, who is committed to play at Bryant University, has dominated at the X for the past two years and really gives the Panthers an advantage in terms of getting possession. “He’s arguably the best FOGO in Mass,” Verrochi noted.
The defense will be anchored by junior Patrick Morrison (Rutgers commit) along with Trevor Raffin, Jack McGrath and Spencer Briggs. Sean Lazzaro will be our top LSM while the Panthers have plenty of talent as SSDM with Will Harvey, Ben Kolb, and Aaron Mollo in the mix. Backstopping the team in goal will be Colorado commit and captain Connor O’Rourke (169 saves, 64% save percentage).
2017 Record: 13-9 2017 Finish: Reached D1 South Quarterfinals Coach: Hal Bean
The Warriors will be looking to replicate the success they had in the 2016 season again this year.
After finishing 9-2 in league play (second in the Kelley-Rex), the Warriors had an impressive postseason run, competing with top-seeded and eventual sectional champ BC High in the D1 South Quarterfinals.
A big reason why KP has had a lot of experience over the past four years is goalie Paul Macrina. Macrina is now manning the cage at Drexel University, so there are big shoes to fill in the cage this season for KP.
King Philip also has to find replacements for the production lost by LSM Zach D’Amico, attack Tim Watson (56 goals, 28 points – second in the Hockomock League), and defenseman Connor Khung – the first two selected to the 2017 HockomockSports.com First Team and Khung apart of the Second Team.
All is not lost though as the Warriors have junior Colin DeVellis back to spearhead the attack. DeVellis was fourth overall in the Hockomock League in points last season, scoring 22 goals and notching 36 assists (58 points). Another key piece will be senior Nate Minkwitz, who can make an impact on both ends of the field. Minkwitz had 13 goals and five assists last season and will aim to improve on that. Expect LSM Wesley Bishop and midfielder Aidan Bender to factor in this season as well.
2017 Record: 12-7 2017 Finish: Reached D1 South First Round Coach: Tim Frias
Mansfield returns a good amount of talent from last year’s playoff squad so the Hornets will certainly be looking to book a return trip as well as compete for a Kelley-Rex title.
The Hornets return one of the most dangerous attackmen in the area in senior Hunter Ferreira. Ferreira’s combination of size, speed, and strength – as well as finishing ability – make him a must-watch for opposing defenses. Most will dedicate two defensemen his way but Ferreira still finished fifth in the league in points with 34 goals and 19 assists. Ferreira will be joined by returners Aidan Sacco and Mike Reed, giving the Hornets an experienced three-headed monster on offense.
The midfield is also loaded with experience behind returning starters Joe Cox (19 goals, 14 assists) and Danny DeGirolamo (17 goals, 15 assists). Cox, who was named to the 2017 HockomockSports.com Second Team, muscles his way through opponents, while DeGirolamo can use his speed to cause problems. Haig Megerdichian, Brett Kessler, Connor Quirk, and Brad Grant will all see time in the midfield as well.
Tommy Donnelly will anchor the defensive unit but the Hornets will have some new faces in back. Dan Plugis and Chris Copponi will both see a lot of minutes for the Hornets in front of goalie Jack Munroe, who stepped in last season and impressed in the cage.
“Our strength this year will be at the midfield with lots of legs,” said MHS head coach Tim Frias. “We should be good in transition as well.”
2017 Record: 4-13 2017 Finish: Missed playoffs Coach: Jacob Scordato
Milford hasn’t had a ton of success overall since it joined the Hockomock League, but new head coach Jacob Scordato is hoping to change that going forward.
Scordato takes over a team that had just four wins a year ago and is the third coach in the past three years for the program.
“Our players are focused on making our program a successful one,” Scordato said. “Boys lacrosse in the Hockomock is known for being a tough league, and Milford lacrosse is going to be making a lot of noise from here on out.”
Although the Hawks don’t have an incredibly deep roster, the optimism stems from the experience returning on offense. UMass Boston commit and senior captain Andrew Gallagher (16 goals, 7 assists) will be a key weapon up front along with junior captains Ryan Hazard (41 goals, 10 assists) and Josh Ligor.
Scordato also expects junior newcomer Brendan White, who has had successful football and basketball seasons so far this school year, to make a big impact on offense for Milford. Defensively, Milford will rely on senior captain and midfielder Chase Blanchette.
2017 Record: 16-3 2017 Finish: Reached D2 Central/East Quarterfinals Coach: Kevin Young
North Attleboro graduated a lot of talent from last year’s squad, so it’s no surprise head coach Kevin Young believes this season will be a big challenge for his young squad.
Although he expects it to be a challenge, the Rocketeers have built a strong program and will likely be in the mix for the division title with Foxboro. Big Red will be anchored by defenseman and captain Tom Lockavitch (Roger Williams commit) and senior LSM Max Fontes. Both Lockavitch and Fontes had tremendous junior seasons and were both honored by HockomockSports.com (first and second teams, respectively). Sophomores Brett Labonte and Will Yeomans will round out a strong defensive unit.
One of the biggest tasks will be filling the void left in goal with Hock MVP and long-time starter Dan MacDonald now graduated. The Rocketeers have three goalies in the mix with Young noting all are working hard to claim the starting spot. Junior Jack Puccio and sophomores Nate D’Amico and Jake McNeany will all be in the mix.
Captain Tommy Lindstrom (Springfield commit) will pace the offense with the help of sophomores Jack Connolly and Andy DeMattio. Faceoff specialist Jason McNeany (Cocker College commit) is also back and will be a key piece of the offense. Nick Ward, Damien Curtis, and Dan Conroy should carry the transition in the midfield with help from Ryan Rajotte and Matt McSweeney.
2017 Record: 8-10 2017 Finish: Missed playoffs Coach: Ben Devlin
Oliver Ames nearly made it two straight years in the postseason but came up just one game shy of qualifying in 2017. So the goal is simple for the Tigers in 2018: get back to the tournament.
The Tigers return their top six scorers from last season, and now with a year more experience under their belts, should be ready to take on some of the top defenses in the league.
Assistant coach Ben Devlin takes over the reigns of the program, and the familiarity should help make for a smooth transition. Senior captains Eric LeBlanc (30 goals, 13 assists) and Owen Gallagher will spearhead the attack while senior captain Jack Lang will make an impact on both ends of the field while also handling faceoff duties. Junior Colin Bourne and sophomores Sam Stevens and Shane Kilkelly give the Tigers varsity experience in the midfield. Sophomore Frankie Ireland and freshman Remi Creighton will also figure into the mix on offense.
Devlin will have holes to fill on the defensive end but its excited about the skill that the Tigers have. Shane Murphy, Cullen Gallagher, and Matt Saba will be relied upon to carry the defensive unit while Rory Madden will handle LSM duties after missing last season. Nick Gillis will take over for Sean Cosgrove in net after impressing at the JV level.
“We are a couple years into rebuilding this program, which is difficult while playing in such a tough conference against some of the best players and coaches in the state,” Devlin said. “We’re young and inexperienced, but talented on defense. All I can ask is for my kids to play to their capabilities. If we do that I think we can win enough games this season to reach our goal.”
2017 Record: 7-11 2017 Finish: Missed playoffs Coach: Jon Shocket
New head coach Jon Shocket is excited and optimistic that the 2018 season will be a successful one on the lacrosse field for the Sharon Eagles.
Shocket believes the Eagles have the lacrosse IQ and skill to get back to the postseason after missing out on qualification by two wins. A big reason for the optimism is the senior class.
“I have a really good senior group,” Shocket said. “If everyone buys into the system and trusts the process, this should be a fun season. This year, we have to make better decisions and move the ball around. It’s about working as a team instead of as individuals.”
The Eagles have experience at all positions on the field, starting with returning goalie Johnny Greenberg. Greenberg enters his third year as the starting goalie and will have good size in front of him. Both Sam Spencer and Coleman Loftus stand at 6’2 and look to be key pieces in the Eagles’ defensive unit.
In the midfield, Jimmy Fitzhenry, Chase Waxman, and Spencer Hall give the Eagles a well-balanced and experienced group. The three provide a combination of speed, strength, and skill that will help Sharon transition from defense to offense. Junior Matt Callan will handle faceoff duties while freshman LSM Tyler Freidman will be in the mix as well.
Senior Brett Litner brings a strong shot to the offense and will be tough to stop on the inside. Classmate Kadin Nestler gives the Eagles speed on the outside and makes the move from midfield to attack this year. Freshman Drew Litner rounds out the Eagles’ attacking unit.
2017 Record: 4-12 2017 Finish: Missed playoffs Coach: Pat Healey
After winning four games in its inaugural season at the varsity level, Stoughton boys lacrosse is hoping to continue heading in the right direction this spring.
The Knights picked up wins over Milford twice, Taunton, and Norton and will look to be in competition with those squads again this year. Leading the blue collar group will be captains Justin Ly, Sean Doherty, and Danny Nakhili. Ly is a three-sport athlete that is willing to do the dirty work, Nakhili provides a lot of leadership in the midfield and uses his speed to give the offense a boost, and Doherty will handle the faceoff duties and provide an offensive punch.
Twins Nate and Alex Wilson bring skill to the long poles, Marty Barrett and Josh Cohen will be key pieces on defense, and Charlie Morgan, Luke Bainton, and Mike Tracey will all be in the mix offensively.
“I’m hoping for more wins,” said SHS head coach Pat Healey said in an interview with Stoughton Media Access. “Last year we got four under our belt which is great for a first-year program. We brought up a lot of freshmen this year from the youth program. But baby steps, this is a tough league so we’ll do as best as we can.
Now in its third year as a varsity program, Taunton is aiming to progress day by day to continue to build the program.
The Tigers went without a win last season but bring seven starters back with another year of success on their belts. Junior goalie Ryan Williams returns in cage to give the Tigers a familiar face on the defensive end. Williams has been manning the cage for Taunton since the team moved to a varsity schedule.
In front of Williams will be junior Justin Demoga, a captain, that handles close defense. Head coach Brendan Chambers noted Demoga is great with positioning, takes a great approach, and is willing to learn and improve every day. Chambers noted Demoga will be tasked with menacing opponents’ best attack throughout the season.
In the midfield, junior captain Dylan Nichols provides leadership and experience for the Tigers. Nichols has the speed to make an impact on both ends of the field and Chambers is hoping for some offensive production out of the junior. Nichols will be joined by senior Chris Kanabayashi who will contribute to the offense with his hard shot.
Junior Noah Kuczewski is making the jump from JV to varsity and will be one of the Tigers’ main pieces on attack. Chambers is also relying on junior captain Joel Delgado, who put a lot of time in during the offseason to improve, to be an important part of the offense.
“Our goal this year is to continue to build on what we did last year,” Chambers said. “We want to increase our lacrosse IQ and try to be more competitive in all our games. Ideally, we’ll win a couple games and get better every day.”
ATTLEBORO, Mass. – Before Friday night’s game at Tozier-Cassidy Field, Mansfield was given bad news on the injury front. Having already lost starting linebacker and running back Joe Cox for the season, tailback Danny DeGirolamo and lineman Colbey Eason were both ruled out for the meeting with Attleboro.
Mansfield coach Mike Redding admitted that he was concerned about the matchup with the Bombardiers and said that he knew his team would have to “make plays and win the turnover battle.”
The Hornets did just that. Mansfield forced four Attleboro fumbles, scoring points off all four turnovers, and rolled to a 31-7 road victory that puts the Hornets alone in second place in the division, keeps them just a game back of league-leading King Philip with one regular season game remaining, and gives them a stronger hold on a home game in the playoffs.
“It was kind of our night,” said Redding after the game. “Really gutsy effort.”
He added, “We talked the last 24 hours that we need to step up and fight together. We’re short a few key guys and everybody’s got to rally and…we know that this was a crucial win on the road and may make a big, big difference in where we sit going into the playoffs.”
Attleboro ran only four offensive plays in the opening 11 minutes, but the game was scoreless when the Bombardiers stuffed a Vinnie Holmes run on fourth and one (ending a 13-play drive) and took over at their own 16 with 49 seconds remaining in the first.
Center Matt Corrado, who also plays on the defensive line, was injured on the fourth down play and there was confusion between senior Cam Furtado and his new center. The ensuing snap was early, surprising the quarterback, and was recovered by Chris Graham at the Attleboro 10.
Again the Attleboro defense came through with a huge stop. Matt Jimenez and Josh Therrien combined to bring down Aidan Sacco four yards short of the goal line on third down. Mansfield settled for a 26-yard field goal by Michael DeBolt to take the lead.
The momentum that the defense gave to the home team was short-lived. A fumble on the second snap of the next drive was corralled by Sacco in front of the Attleboro bench and he took it 27 yards up the sideline for a touchdown to make it 10-0.
“Turnovers…You can’t give them possession, bottom line,” Attleboro coach Mike Strachan mused. “I thought we played pretty well defensively, early, but we gave them short fields and you can’t give them short fields. They’re too experienced to do that and we just couldn’t recover.”
Another mishandled snap led to Mansfield taking over at its own 48. A run and a penalty later and the Hornets faced second and 11. The Bombardiers were crowding the line of scrimmage when Damani Scott (6-8, 156 yards) dropped back to pass. The junior fired a perfect strike over the top to DeBolt, who pulled in his first career catch without breaking stride for a 53-yard score.
“That was a big one,” said Redding. “Funny thing is we were going Hunter [Ferreira] first read on the drag and we weren’t even looking at Mike. I don’t even know how [Damani] saw him. He must have looked back to the drag and saw the post open, but that was a great throw.”
Strachan used the same words to describe the touchdown that put Mansfield ahead 17-0 at the break. He said, “I think that was the big one. Overall, we tried to do a good job on Ferreira, shut him down, and I thought we did a good job on that but at the end of the day you can’t turn the ball over four times. That’s it.”
Mansfield punted to start the second half, but again Attleboro put the ball on the ground. Ferreira was on hand to recover the loose ball and get the Hornets possession on the Bombardiers 23. Facing fourth and 11, Scott used his legs to scramble for 16 yards and keep the drive going. Two plays later he found Ferreira on the far sideline and the senior wideout somehow pulled it in while staying in bounds for an 18-yard touchdown.
“They had to go to other resources,” said Strachan about the defensive effort to try and slow down Ferreira (two catches, 28 yards). “He made a great catch down in the end zone, phenomenal catch, but other than that he had a pretty quiet day, but they’ve got athletes at different spots. You have to defend the whole field against them.”
After stopping Attleboro at midfield on fourth down, the Hornets tacked on another score to ensure a comfortable fourth quarter. The drive started with a flea flicker, as Scott threw another deep strike, this time to Khristian Conner for 44 yards inside the Attleboro five-yard-line. Sacco capped the drive with a two-yard run, spinning his way inside the pylon.
Sophomore Joseph Llanos (nine carries, 88 yards) ensured that Attleboro was not shut out with a 14-yard TD in the final minute of the game, but it was a strong performance by the Mansfield defense. Even without Cox at linebacker, the Hornets limited Furtado to just one completion and 38 yards on 12 carries.
“We’ll never replace him,” said Redding in reference to Cox, “but I think guys are rallying for him at this point and the only good news is that we have depth at the skill positions. We would love to have him, but I think we have enough talent to be a tough out once we get to the playoffs.”
Mansfield (5-1, 3-1) will try to keep the pressure on King Philip and sew up a home playoff game next Friday at Alumni Field against Oliver Ames. Attleboro (2-4, 2-2) will look to make sure of a playoff place when it hosts fellow Div. 1 South hopeful Franklin at Tozier-Cassidy.
WRENTHAM, Mass. – Mansfield had Thursday night’s game in its grasp. It was only the second quarter, but the Hornets were on the verge of capping a dominant first half with another score and building a three-score advantage before the teams headed back into the locker room.
With 1:33 left in the half and the ball at the King Philip 10, Mansfield quarterback Damani Scott dropped deep and fired the ball towards Danny DeGirolamo (11 carries, 51 yards). The senior running back was well covered but almost pulled it in. The ball was deflected into the air and fell right into the hands of KP senior Shane Frommer.
The Yale University-commit hauled in the interception and took off down the suddenly energized KP sideline. He went 96 yards untouched to pull the Warriors back within three points and send the team into the half with a renewed purpose.
“It completely changed momentum for us,” Frommer explained after the game. “We were a little down, but right when I got the pick-six all of us got up again and we knew we had to finish it. We knew we were going to win.”
The interception turned the tide and King Philip never looked back. The Warriors scored 28 unanswered points, 21 of those in the fourth quarter, and pulled out a 28-10 victory over the Hornets at Macktaz Field, running the program’s win streak to 17 games.
Although it was not the game-winning score and it was a full quarter before KP added another point, both coaches highlighted the interception as the turning point in a battle between the two Kelley-Rex division favorites.
“We were up against ropes bad,” KP coach Brian Lee admitted. “We had nothing going and Shane…you have a dude for a reason. Everything was going wrong – pass interference and then we let them get a big run – and we had no answer. Then, bang, we get a play and we’re back in it.”
Mansfield coach Mike Redding said, “They’re good, they’re aggressive, but it’s just so frustrating when you play well for 22 minutes and one play completely flipped things.”
Even without injured senior Joe Cox, Mansfield went with the ground game right from the opening kick. It worked on the opening drive, as the Hornets marched 80 yards, all but nine on the ground, in 14 plays to take an immediate 7-0 lead. DeGirolamo capped the possession with a nine-yard run on a toss to the left.
KP ran only three plays before Brendan Lydon was intercepted by Hunter Ferreira, who returned the ball to the Warriors 30. After a pair of incomplete passes from Scott (4-21, 91 yards), Redding elected to go for the field goal and Mike DeBolt split the uprights from 37 yards.
The Warriors moved the ball on its next possession, but were forced to punt and Mansfield came right back down the field. Aidan Sacco (10 carries, 71 yards) converted one third down and Ferreira drew a pass interference call on a third and 10 to keep the possession alive. After Scott scrambled and found Ferreira for a spectacular 19-yard catch on the sideline, it looked like the Hornets were about to break it open, but Frommer stepped in and changed the storyline.
“Down 10, we knew we had to keep fighting,” he explained. “I knew I had to make a big play for the team. Luckily my teammate tipped it up for me and right when I picked it I knew I was going for six.”
Redding said, “The defense played great for the whole half and at minimum, if we get the field goal, it’s 13-0. It’s just a weird play. We go up and grab it and he ends up with it and we have no one to cover the pick. It’s just a huge flip.”
The second half was all KP. Although the first drive stalled at midfield, the defense held Mansfield to just six offensive plays in the third quarter (and 16 offensive plays in the entire second half). Evan Rice was involved in three sacks of Scott, including a big 15-yard loss in the fourth.
“The kids were just playing a little bit harder, again getting life with the big play,” Lee said. “I’m very pleased with the resiliency of the team.”
Mansfield had bottled up the KP rushing attack, but the Warriors turned to Lydon (8-18, 110 yards) to make plays. Jack Piller came up with a sliding grab for 25 yards and three plays later Lydon scrambled to bide time before hitting Dylan Leonard, who had come all the way across the field, for a 19-yard score and a 14-10 lead.
Following a Luke D’Amico interception, KP added another score. On fourth and 10 from the Mansfield 31, Lydon found Thomas Madden open in the middle of the field and the senior receiver broke tackles on his way to the end zone.
“We have to be more balanced,” said Lee. “We can’t just line up and do what we did last year. Going forward that’s something we’ll have to figure out. We’re still figuring out our pieces.”
Redding added, “They get a little momentum and they fed off it and we battled on ‘D’ but we gave them way too many plays. We couldn’t get any first downs.”
Another interception, this time by Jack Webster, gave KP back the ball at its own 39 with time winding down. The player who changed the game was also the one that ended it. Frommer burst through the middle of the line and broke off a 47-yard run for his second touchdown of the game.
He said, “It was a 25-power and I was going to be right behind my tackle, Anthony Vahue, he’s always been a leader for us and I knew right when the play was called this is going for six. I followed right behind him, saw him take out the linebacker, and I knew I was going for six.”
With the victory, King Philip (4-0, 2-0) extends its winning streak to 17 games, which is the longest active streak in the state. The Warriors will put it on the line next Friday with a trip to Franklin. Mansfield (3-1, 1-1) will look to bounce back and keep the pressure on KP when it hosts Taunton next week.
Game of the Week – Football
Taunton, 13 @ Oliver Ames, 12 – Final 1st Quarter: (OA) Anthony Berksza 4-yard rush, 2pt rush failed; (OA) A. Berksza 11-yard rush, 2pt rush failed.
2nd Quarter: (T) Noah Leonard 2-yard rush, XP failed.
3rd Quarter: (T) N. Leonard 36-yard pass to Collin Hunter, John Teixeira XP good.
4th Quarter: No scoring.
Attleboro 14 @ King Philip, 42 – Final 1st Quarter: No scoring.
2nd Quarter: (A) Cam Furtado 2 yard rush, XP failed; (KP) Shane Frommer 35-yard rush, Cole Baker XP good; (KP) Nick Kerr 1-yard rush, C. Baker XP good; (KP) S. Frommer 10-yard rush, C. Baker XP good.
3rd Quarter: (KP) Brendan Lydon 1-yard rush, XP failed; (A) Joseph Llanos 15-yard rush, C. Furtado 2pt pass to Mike Strachan; (KP) S. Frommer 59-yard rush, B. Lydon 2pt pass to Andrew Dittrich.
4th Quarter: (KP) B. Lydon 5-yard pass to Tom Madden, C. Baker XP good.
Milford, 21 @ Canton, 19 – Final 1st Quarter: (M) Will Pointer 51-yard rush, Sean Lehane XP good; (C) Alec Ragusa 1-yard rush, XP failed.
2nd Quarter: No scoring.
3rd Quarter: (M) Jack Felander fumble recovery in end zone, S. Lehane XP good; (C) Johnny Hagan 35 yard pass to Tony Harris, 2pt failed.
4th Quarter: (M) Ryan Pearl 1 yard rush, S. Lehane XP good; (C) A. Ragusa 5 yard rush, Owen Lehane XP good.
Stoughton, 12 @ Foxboro, 13 – Final 1st Quarter: No scoring.
2nd Quarter: (F) Devin Hassett 15-yard pass to Phil Dure, XP no good; (S) Ruben Gonzalez 89-yard kickoff return, XP blocked; (F) Mike Henri 14-yard run, Russell Neale XP good.
3rd Quarter: (S) Alex Iverson 52-yard run, 2-point conversion no good.
4th Quarter: No scoring.
Mansfield, 14 @ Franklin, 13 – Final 1st Quarter: (F) Jake Noviello 28-yard pass to Sean Leonard, Matt Zucco XP good.
2nd Quarter: No scoring.
3rd Quarter: (M) Damani Scott 3-yard rush, Mike DeBolt XP good; (M) Joe Cox 8-yard rush, M. DeBolt XP good.
4th Quarter: (F) J. Noviello 67-yard pass to Ryan Driscoll, XP blocked.
Taunton, 10 vs. Coyle & Cassidy, 0 – Final
Attleboro @ Norton – Postponed, TBD.
Taunton, 4 vs. Coyle & Cassidy, 2 – Final – Lexi Faria, Alex Wapenski, Angie Lynch and Kasey Colvin scored the goals for the Tigers, helping Taunton claim its first city championship in 24 years, according to coach Edith Dixon. Amanda Pugh, Meg Mazerolle, and Emily O’Gara had assists for Taunton and Grace Pimenta made eight saves.
Attleboro @ North Attleboro – Postponed, TBD.
Attleboro, 0 @ North Attleboro, 3 – Final – North Attleboro bounced back from its first loss of the season with a 25-14, 25-15, 25-14 win against Attleboro. Amelia Murphy registered 10 kills and two aces while Tori Melanson notched seven kills and two blocks.
Milford, 0 @ Hopedale, 3 – Final
Oliver Ames, 3 @ Bridgewater-Raynham, 0 – Final – Oliver Ames recorded its first win of the season with a 25-20, 25-8, 25-13 decision on the road. Senior Kayla Raymond led OA with nine aces, six kills and two blocks. Junior Sarah Litwack added 22 assists and two aces, junior Sadie Homer had six aces and 10 digs, and senior Emma Petrillo finished with 10 kills and six digs.
Franklin @ King Philip – Postponed, TBD.
Taunton, 203 @ Mansfield, 168 – Final
Game of the Week – Football
Franklin, 28 @ Milford, 10 – Final – Click here for a recap from the Game of the Week. 1st Quarter: (F) Jake Noviello 8-yard pass to Jack Nally, Matt Zucco XP Good; (M) Brendan White 4-yard rush, Sean Lehane XP good; (M) S. Lehane 20-yard field goal.
2nd Quarter: No scoring.
3rd Quarter: (F) J. Noviello 7-yard pass to Evan Wendell, M. Zucco XP good; (F) J. Noviello 6-yard pass to Ryan Driscoll, M. Zucco XP good.
4th Quarter: (F) Sean Hofferty 2-yard rush, M. Zucco XP good.
Attleboro, 0 vs. Dartmouth, 6 – Final 1st Quarter: No scoring.
2nd Quarter: No scoring.
3rd Quarter: (D) Nate Ellis 62 yard rush, XP failed.
4th Quarter: No scoring.
Canton, 16 @ Scituate, 17 – Final 1st Quarter: (S) Scituate 82-yard pass, XP good; (C) Alec Ragusa 31-yard rush, Owen Lehane XP good.
2nd Quarter: (S) Scituate 31-yard field goal; (C) O. Lehane 31-yard field goal.
3rd Quarter: (C) Johnny Hagan 16-yard pass to Tony Harris, XP blocked.
4th Quarter: (S) Scituate 14-yard pass, XP good.
King Philip, 16 @ Foxboro, 7 – Final – Click here for a recap of this game. 1st Quarter: (KP) Cole Baker 31-yard field goal.
2nd Quarter: (KP) Brendan Lydon 25-yard pass to Tom Madden, XP blocked.
3rd Quarter: (F) Devin Hassett 22-yard rush, Russell Neale XP good.
4th Quarter: (KP) Nick Kerr 5-yard rush, C. Baker XP good.
Mansfield, 28 vs. Braintree, 0 – Final 1st Quarter: (M) Danny DeGirolamo 52-yard rush, Mike DeBolt XP good.
2nd Quarter: (M) Damani Scott 24-yard pass to Hunter Ferreira, M. DeBolt XP good; (M) D. Scott 28-yard pass to Aidan Sacco, M. DeBolt XP good.
3rd Quarter: No scoring.
4th Quarter: (M) Joe Cox 10-yard rush, M. DeBolt XP good.
North Attleboro, 34 @ Bishop Feehan, 0 – Final
Oliver Ames, 12 @ Silver Lake, 28 – Final 1st Quarter: (SL) Phil Lashley 37-yard rush, 2pt failed; (OA) Noah Fitzgerald 10 yard rush, 2pt failed.
2nd Quarter: (SL) Tanner Boyd 10 yard rush, 2pt failed.
3rd Quarter: (SL) T. Boyd 6 yard rush, 2pt good.
4th Quarter: (OA) Anthony Berksza 15 yard rush, 2pt failed; (SL) P. Lashley 4 yard rush, 2pt good.
Taunton, 14 @ Durfee, 0 – Final 1st Quarter: No scoring.
2nd Quarter: (T) Noah Leonard 9 yard pass to Wesner Charles, John Teixeira XP good.
3rd Quarter: No scoring.
4th Quarter: (T) Prince Brown 48 yard interception return, J. Teixeira XP good.
Attleboro, 2 @ King Philip, 3 – Final – Reigning Hockomock League MVP Tyler Mann netted a hat trick to lead the Warriors past Attleboro. Attleboro opened up a 2-0 lead in the first 15 minutes but King Philip rallied to cut the deficit in half before the halftime break and netted two in the second half. Aidan Lancaster converted the opener on an assist from Will Halben in the fourth minute and Mike Russo doubled the lead on a feed from Devin Andre in the 15th minute. Mann opened his 2017 account in the 25th minute on an assist from Tony Bozza. Mann tied the game in the 52nd minute and then finished off a feed from Connor Mullins in the 67th minute for the winner.
Canton, 1 @ North Attleboro, 1 – Final – Canton opened the scoring in the 29th minute when junior Paul Corcoran buried an assist from Griffin Roach to go up 1-0. But North Attleboro responded just a minute later, tying the game when Jeff Gale hammered home a rebound off a shot from Gabe Pinhancos.
Foxboro, 1 @ Sharon, 0 – Final – Foxboro scored the game-winning goal in the final minutes of the game to earn a key division win on the road. Junior Shane VandenBoom finished off a cross from Cam Cass for the winner.
Franklin, 0 @ Oliver Ames, 2 – Final – Oliver Ames senior Brandin Osborne continued his strong start to the season, scoring a pair of second half goals to lift the Tigers over Franklin. After a scoreless first half, Osborne scored twice, assited by Cam Vella and Nathaniel Cardoza. Jack Carroll earned his third shutout of the season and OAHS head coach John Barata said Vella, Mason Galbato, Colin Evin, Matt Campell and Chris Lawrence played great in the back for the Tigers.
Taunton, 1 @ Mansfield, 5 – Final – Mansfield built a 5-0 lead in just over a half hour of play in a big win over visiting Taunton. John Cooney opened the scoring in the 5th minute, converting a throw in from Sam Hyland. Junior Luke Savoie buried a shot from distance to double the score, and two minutes later, Sean Lanzillo nodded home another Hyland throw. Austin Ricker made it 4-0 on a feed from Jake Tuleja and Connor Eames netted his first career goal off an assist from Colin Caridi. Taunton’s Jake DeAndrade picked the upper corner from distance in the 32nd minute to get the Tigers on the board.
Stoughton, 1 @ Milford, 2 – Final – Milford scored once in each half to build a 2-0 lead and held off a late Stoughton push to earn the two points. Wallison Tavares opened the scoring for the Hawks, heading home a corner from sophomore Jordan Borges to put Milford up 1-0. Anthony Salvador doubled the lead in the second half on an assist from Joey Madden. MHS head coach Brian Edwards said Brayan Traya played well in the midfield for the Hawks.
King Philip, 4 @ Attleboro, 1 – Final – KP scored two goals in the second half to break open a one-goal game at the break. Attleboro trailed 2-1 at the half with a goal by freshman Isabella Salviati and head coach Steve Santos said the Bombardiers came out strong to start the second half, but KP was able to get the third goal and extend its perfect start to the season.
North Attleboro, 3 @ Canton, 3 – Final – The Bulldogs rallied from a 3-1 deficit to get the draw. Morgan McCabe scored off an Olivia Rodman cross to cut the lead to one and Sarah Connolly finished off a corner from Sarah Collins with about four minutes to play to earn Canton a point. Canton’s first goal was by Collins from another Rodman cross. North goals were by Leah Jette, Aine Mendonca, and Kayla Pasquel.
Sharon, 1 @ Foxboro, 4 – Final – The Warriors earned their first win of the season and the first win for head coach Katie Stalcup. Foxboro got goals from Jordyn Collins, Lizzy Davis, Shaina Abbott and Grace Ferguson to bring home its first two points. Ally Filipkowski got the lone goal for the Eagles and Lydia Chase had a great game, according to Sharon coach Brad Furnival, making more than a dozen saves in the loss.
Oliver Ames, 1 @ Franklin, 2 – Final – Molly Duncan scored the winner with a long-range shot in the final eight minutes of the game to earn the win for the Panthers. Abby Reardon gave OA the lead seven minutes after halftime, but Anna Balkus tied it for Franklin six minutes later. Regan Benton made seven saves for the Tigers and Cat Robbins made 10 for the Panthers.
Mansfield, 4 @ Taunton, 0 – Final – Emily Vigeant scored a pair of goals, as the Hornets continued their unbeaten start to the season. Sydney Mulkern and Amanda Mangano also scored for Mansfield.
Milford, 3 @ Stoughton, 1 – Final – Cassie Probert, Hannah Martin, Maddie Boyle each scored goals for Milford, which has won back-to-back games. Freshman Mackenzie Manning scored the lone goal for the Black Knights.
Foxboro, 3 @ Hopkinton, 2 – Final
Oliver Ames, 7 vs. West Bridgewater, 1 – Final – West Bridgewater scored first but Oliver Ames scored seven straight goals to rout the visitors. Liz Nuss and Emily Han each scored two goals while Meaghan Rockey, Maura Kiernan and Brenna Woods each found the back of the net once. Sarah Stevens had three assists while Kayla Lozzi, Rockey and Nuss each had one helper.
Stoughton, 7 vs. Brockton, 0 – Final – Allie Howe and Kamryn Oliveira each netted a pair of goals for the Black Knights. Lisa Ramanauskas, Jordan Lyons and Alanna McCormick each scored once in Stoughton’s win.
Attleboro, 0 @ King Philip, 3 – Final – King Philip defended home court with a dominant sweep (25-17, 25-8, 25-4) over the visiting Bombardiers. Kat Kmetz rattled off 21 service points for KP, including two aces. Sydney Phillips (12 kills), Michaela Palumbo (six kills) and Grace Ely (three kills) paced the Warriors’ offense.
Canton, 1 @ North Attleboro, 3 – Final – North Attleboro notched a key division win over visiting Canton, 25-14, 25-12, 23-25, 25-8. Kezie De La Cruz (two aces) and Amelia Murphy (five aces) each had 14 kills in the win for the Rocketeers while Leah Marceau finished with 26 assists. CHS coach Pat Cawley said Nicole Brown had a great night for the Bulldogs, finishing with 21 assists while Hannah Jerrier finished with 13 kills.
Foxboro, 0 @ Sharon, 3 – Final
Franklin, 3 @ Oliver Ames, 0 – Final – Trailing 9-17 in the third set, Franklin’s Lizzie Boynton went on a 10 point serving run, including four aces, to put Franklin ahead and help the Panthers finish the sweep. During the Panthers’ comeback, Emma Clifford played strong defense and added two kills. Ellie Wisniewski finished with nine kills and an ace.
Taunton, 0 @ Mansfield, 3 – Final – Mansfield bounced back from its first loss of the season with a 25-12, 25-19, 25-12 sweep of visiting Taunton. Julia Harrison paced the Hornets’ offense with 13 kills and 13 service points. Meg Hill added 12 kills and Olivia McGrath finished with 17 service points.
Stoughton, 3 @ Milford, 0 – Final – Stoughton notched its fifth straight win to open the season, sweeping Milford 25-11, 25-18, 25-13. SHS junior Molly Turner controlled the offense with 21 service points and 10 assists while senior Val Whalen had a strong game with 15 kills, 12 digs and eight service points. Milford head coach Dan Seaver said Emily Piergustavo and Julia Riordan played well from the setting spot and Sydney Sutton had a good day in the back row.
Attleboro, 187 @ King Philip, 154 – Final – King Philip’s Danny McLoughlin shot a match medalist round of 36 to lead the Warriors to a win over Attleboro.
Mansfield, 173 vs. Bridgewater-Raynham, 168 – Final
Taunton, 174 @ North Attleboro, 154 – Final – North Attleboro’s Dylan Kane carded a one-over-par round of 36 to pace the Rocketeers at the middle course at Heather Hill Country Club. Jillian Barend (38) and Matt Wanless (39) also carded rounds under 40 for Big Red.
Game of the Week – Football
North Attleboro, 14 @ King Philip, 24 – Final – Click here for a recap of the Game of the Week. 1st Quarter: (KP) Cole Baker 22-yard field goal.
2nd Quarter: (NA) Chad Peterson 21-yard pass to Nolan Buckley, Geoff Wilson XP good; (KP) Brendan Lydon 71-yard pass to Aidan Bender, C. Baker XP good; (KP) B. Lydon 13-yard pass to David Morganelli, C. Baker XP good.
3rd Quarter: No scoring.
4th Quarter: (NA) C. Peterson 27-yard pass to Marion Bresko, G. Wilson XP good; Shane Frommer 57-yard rush, C. Baker XP good.
Football Attleboro, 32 @ Cumberland (RI), 33 – Final
1st Quarter: (C) Joe Leonard 31 yard pass to Jack Andrews, XP good; (A) Cam Furtado 1 yard rush, XP failed.
2nd Quarter: (A) C. Furtado 6 yard rush, XP failed. (C) Hayden Lacroix 8 yard rush, XP good; (A) C. Furtado 16 yard pass to Elvin Sam, 2pt failed; (A) C. Furtado 29 yard pass to Jeremy Haas, XP failed.
3rd Quarter: (C) H. Lacroix 37 yard rush, XP failed. (C) J. Leonard 14 yard pass to H. Lacroix, XP failed.
4th Quarter: (A) C. Furtado 32 yard pass to Justin Cote, C. Furtado 2pt rush. (C) J. Leonard 31 yard pass to Mason Matos, XP good.
Canton, 42 vs. Pentucket, 7 – Final 1st Quarter: (C) Alec Ragusa 3 yard rush, Owen Lehane XP good; (C) A. Ragusa 4 yard rush, O. Lehane XP good; (C) Gersom Rivera 4 yard rush, O. Lehane XP good.
2nd Quarter: (C) A. Ragusa 4 yard rush, O. Lehane XP good; (C) G. Rivera 14 yard rush, O. Lehane XP good.
3rd Quarter: No scoring.
4th Quarter: (5) Pentucket 5 yard pass, XP good; (C) Alain Jean 62 yard rush, O. Lehane XP good.
Foxboro, 7 @ Hingham, 3 – Final 1st Quarter: (H) Matt Lahiff 32-yard field goal good; (F) Liam Foley 9 yard pass to Mike Luong, Russell Neale XP good.
2nd Quarter: No scoring.
3rd Quarter: No scoring.
4th Quarter: No scoring.
Stoughton, 28 vs. Franklin, 14 – Final – Click here for a recap of this game. 1st Quarter: (F) Jake Noviello 8 yard pass to Sean Leonard, Matt Zucco XP good. (S) Evan Gibb 15 yard pass to Ajahn Rue, Josh Cocchi XP good.
2nd Quarter: (S) E. Gibb 35 yard pass to Ruben Gonzalez, J. Cocchi XP good.
3rd Quarter: (S) E. Gibb 35 yard pass to R. Gonzalez, J. Cocchi XP good.
4th Quarter: (F) Even Wendell 13 yard pass to Jack Nally, M. Zucco XP good. (S) E. Gibb 1 yard rush, J. Cocchi XP good.
Mansfield, 34 vs. Walpole, 13 – Final 1st Quarter: (M) Damani Scott 38 yard pass to Joe Cox, XP failed. (W) Brett Lavanchy 5 yard pass to Chase Conrad, XP good; (M) Danny DeGirolamo 27 yard rush, Hunter Ferreira 2pt rush good.
2nd Quarter: (W) B. Lavanchy 5 yard rush, XP failed; (M) J. Cox 12 yard rush, Mike Debolt XP good; (M) D. Scott 36 yard pass to D. DeGirolamo, 2pt failed.
3rd Quarter: (M) D. Scott 36 yard pass to Mike Shannon, M. Debolt XP good.
4th Quarter: No scoring.
Milford, 7 @ Scituate, 34 – Final 3rd Quarter: (M) Will Pointer 19 yard rush, Sean Lehane XP good.
Oliver Ames, 32 vs. Bedford, 21 – Final 1st Quarter: (B) Bedford 30 yard pass, XP good; (OA) Anthony Berksza 35 yard rush, XP failed.
2nd Quarter: (OA) Curtis Cann 15 yard pass to Ethan Eckstrom, 2pt failed; (OA) Safety; (OA) A. Berksza 10 yard rush, XP failed.
3rd Quarter: (OA) A. Berksza 5 yard rush, XP no good.
4th Quarter: (OA) A. Berksza 30 yard rush, 2pt failed; (B) Bedford 25 yard pass, 2pt good.
Taunton, 25 vs. New Bedford, 15 – Final 1st Quarter: (T) Noah Leonard 8 yard pass to Jahmeir Lewis, John Teixeira XP good; (T) Woudanly Danger 4 yard rush, XP failed.
2nd Quarter: (T) TJ Mendes 5 yard rush, XP failed; (T) T. Mendes 4 yard rush, XP failed.
3rd Quarter: (NB) Tru Williams 39 yard rush, XP good.
4th Quarter: (NB) T. Williams 14 yard pass to Jeremy DaCruz, T. Williams 2pt pass to Edgar Semedo.
Franklin, 0 @ Xaverian, 1 – Final – Franklin head coach Fran Bositis noted improvement from the Panthers’ opening game and said his side played hard, but couldn’t find the back of the net.
Oliver Ames, 5 @ Stoughton, 0 – Final – Oliver Ames used three different goal scorers to race out to a 3-0 lead through the first 40 minutes and added a pair of second half strikes to open 2017 with a win. Senior Brandin Osborne netted a goal in each half while Matt Alvarado, Jack Sheldon, and Michael Nikiciuk each scored once. Sheldon, Nathaniel Cardoza, James Gillespie, Josh Melnick and freshman Matt Nikiciuk each registered an assist.
Stoughton, 3 @ Attleboro, 4 – Final – Attleboro scored a pair of goals in each have and senior goalie Katie Pelletier turned aside nine shots to help the Bombardiers edge Stoughton. Grace Mayer scored a pair of goals for Attleboro in the first half, the latter on an assist from Eliza Sabilla. Alex Compton netted both goals in the second half for Big Blue, converting assists from Mayer and Abigail Boudreau. Allie Howe found the back of the net twice for Stoughton while Alanna McCormick scored once.
Canton, 4 @ Mansfield, 1 – Final – Canton junior Maggie Malloy scored a hat trick to lead the Bulldogs to a win on the road at Mansfield.
Foxboro, 1 @ King Philip, 4 – Final – After a scoreless first half, King Philip exploded for four goals in the second half. Nicole Connor opened the scoring off an assist from Alli Meehan just under three minutes into the second half and six minutes later, Meehan doubled the lead with an unassisted goal. Liz Furfari scored back-to-back goals four-minute span, the first off a feed from Christina Hathaway, the second from Meehan. Foxboro tallied with just under three minutes to play when Lily Daly finished a pass from Jackie Brion. KP finished with 19 shots and 14 corners.
Milford, 1 @ Franklin, 4 – Final – Franklin junior Cassi Ronan registered her first hat trick of the season, including scoring on a penalty stroke, to lead Franklin over Milford. Freshman Victoria Quinn scored for the second straight game, finishing off an assist from sophomore Elizabeth Clark. FHS head coach Lisa Cropper also noted junior Emily Valentino had a strong game for the Panthers.
North Attleboro, 0 @ Taunton, 1 – Final – Taunton senior Kya Enos scored the lone goal of the game just over midway through the first half. Enos converted the lone tally on an assist from Liana Duarte. Taunton goalie Emma Sheehan turned away nine saves to record the shutout. THS head coach Liz Hathaway said Kathryn Robinson and Lauren Torres both had strong games for the Tigers.
Sharon, 0 @ Oliver Ames, 8 – Final – Oliver Ames had seven different players find the back of the net in the win, with Liz Nuss registering a pair of goals.
Attleboro, 0 @ Canton, 3 – Final – Canton’s Nicole Brown (15 assists) did a great job running the offense in her debut as starting setting according to head coach Pat Cawley as the Bulldogs registered a 25-17, 25-23, 25-16 sweep of Attleboro. Megan McDonough led the defense with 12 digs and was “a strong leader on the court,” according to Cawley. Cawley added Sofia Connor and Hannah Jerrier played strong all around games, combining for 10 kills.
Mansfield, 3 @ Foxboro, 0 – Final – Mansfield opened its 2017 campaign with a 25-23, 25-16, 25-23 sweep on the road at Foxboro. Senior Meg Hill led the offense with 13 kills and senior Lexi Gardner chipped in with seven kills. Senior Emma Ascoli finished the game with 25 assists for Mansfield.
Franklin, 1 @ North Attleboro, 3 – Final – Franklin fought off the sweep but North Attleboro finished the match in four sets, 25-20, 25-18, 25-27, 25-20. Kezia De La Cruz led the Rocketeers with 12 kills and a pair of aces while Katie DeMontigny had nine kills and two aces in the win. For Franklin, Meaghan Maguire had eight total blocks (six solo) and five kills, Hailey Sanders added three blocks (one solo) and five kills and Lauren McGrath had 19 assists and four aces.
King Philip, 3 @ Milford, 0 – Final – King Philip slammed the door shutout on its sweep of Milford with senior Michaela Palumbo accounting for 16 service points in the third set alone in a 25-20, 25-11, 25-7 win. Palumbo also had five kills and five aces in the win while Sydney Phillips had 11 kills and Grace Ely notched three kills.
Oliver Ames, 1 @ Stoughton, 3 – Final – Stoughton senior Val Whalen had a very strong game in a 3-1 (25-16, 20-25, 25-9, 25-21) win over visiting Oliver Ames. Whalen led the way with 19 kills, 13 digs and six blocks while juniors Molly Turner and Hanna Holden combined for over 30 assists. OA’s Emma Petrillo had seven kills and four aces, sophomore Allie Kemp had 22 assists and Sadie Homer notched 10 digs and two aces.
Taunton, 2 @ Sharon, 3 – Final – In a back and forth match, Sharon emerged with a 22-25, 25-20, 25-16, 20-25, 15-11 win over visiting Taunton. For the Tigers, Sam Reaume had 10 kills and an ace, Kayli Fagan notched 26 assists, five aces and four kills and McKenzie Lucie played well in the back row according to head coach Toby Chaperon.
Mansfield, 165 @ King Philip, 167 – Final – Mansfield freshman Ryan Dow had shot a team-low round of 38 to lead the Hornets to their first win. Freshman Brian See added a 41 in the win.
The Bulldogs will have a young squad this year, but one spot they have some experience is at linebacker, with senior Jude Albert leading the way. Starting at outside linebacker last season, Albert was a big time playmaker for Canton. Whether it was using his speed to get around the edge or through the gap up the middle to pressure the quarterback or stuff a runner, or it was reading the play and dropping back in coverage to matchup with a back, Albert is able to do it. Often times, it will take more than one blocker to take Albert out of the play and he showed last year that he won’t give up on a play either. If the defense fails to put someone in the way, opposing quarterbacks need to be on the lookout for Albert coming their way.
Standing at 6’4, its no surprise that Mario Bresko will be one of the top receiving options in the league this year, especially with Chad Peterson at quarterback. But Bresko will also be one of the top corner backs in the league as well. After starting last season and playing in some high pressure games, Bresko will bring experience to a secondary that might have some new faces this season. The speed that he shows on the offensive side of the ball is also a reason he can cover opponents defensively. And when it comes to a jump ball, you’re going to want to pick Bresko, who stars for Big Red’s track and field team in the high jump, placing first in the event at Hock Championships in both winter and spring.
Mansfield has plenty of experience returning in its front seven and that group will be led by Cox, a tenacious linebacker who should be involved in plenty of action for the Hornets defense this fall. Cox is coming off an all-star season on the lacrosse field and his speed and ability to read the game translates to football as well, where he can make plays from his outside position against both the ground game and in the pass rush. His quickness also allows him to drop into coverage when needed to cover tight ends or running backs downfield. The Hornets have high expectations for this season and Cox’s leadership on defense will be a big key to achieving their goals.
North Attleboro graduated a handful of all-league players on the defensive side of the ball from last season, but one of the key returning pieces is senior Zach DeMattio at the inside linebacker spot. While DeMattio will also see time on the offensive side of the ball in the backfield, he will be one of the anchors for the front seven on defense. Strength is certainly not a question for DeMattio, who is committed to play baseball at Wheaton College and is one of the top power hitters in the league. On top of his strength, he’s shown the ability to read the play and attack. His ability to make the tackle in one-on-one situations makes him one of the best linebackers in the Hock.
On a team blessed with depth and talent on the defensive side of the ball, Dittrich stood out for last year’s Div. 1A Super Bowl and Kelley-Rex champions. A ball-hawking defensive back, he seemed to always come through in the clutch for the Warriors. Three times – twice in the playoffs – he sealed a KP victory with an interception, including the D1A South sectional final. While the Warriors are known as a team that can bottle up a running game, Dittrich also gave them a playmaker in the secondary. In addition to his coverage skills, he can also help out in the running game and rush the passer from the edge.
Driscoll stepped into the lineup as a sophomore and started all 11 games at cornerback for the Panthers in 2016. He demonstrated the natural speed and instincts to be a top cover corner and second-year head coach Eian Bain said this his improvement from day one means that Driscoll will be one of the focal points of the Franklin defense this fall. With Driscoll and junior safety Nolan McLaney, the Panthers secondary should be a strength of the team for the next couple of seasons, as they try to shut down high-powered passing attacks like Mansfield, Taunton, and Attleboro.
Consistency was an issue at times for the Bombardiers defense last season, but they also showed flashes of versatility and talent. One of the players that emerged as a force for Attleboro was Evans, who played linebacker as a sophomore and was a constant presence around the ball. This year, he is listed as a defensive end, where he can use his speed to get around the edge on the pass rush, but he is also big enough to set the edge on running plays that head his way. There is a lot of optimism about Attleboro this preseason and Evans is a player who opponents will have to plan for in order to have success against a deep Bombardiers squad.
When it comes to the top two-way players in the league, Stoughton senior Justin Ly has to be near the top of the list. He showed off his speed and power running game last year and will certainly be one of the top backs again this season. But more importantly, Ly will relied upon to anchor Stoughton’s front seven after the Black Knights graduated so many starters. The combination of speed and strength that makes him a successful back are also the reasons he’s one of the top linebackers. Whether it’s in pass coverage, or in pursuit of a quarterback or running back, Ly shows great instincts to make the right play.
Mills is entering his third fall as a starter for the Tigers and has been an anchor for both the offensive and defensive lines. Last season, he was named a league all-star for OA and was named a HockomockSports.com Hock 5 Defensive Lineman. He made 30 tackles and used his imposing size and quickness off the ball to disrupt the opposition. Even when he did not make the play himself, Mills regularly draws double teams and holds up blocker to open lanes for teammates. It has been a difficult stretch for OA over the past two years, but Mills has earned his place as one of the top linemen in the league.
Anytime you have a player that lines up at both linebacker and fullback you know one thing is for sure: they like to hit. Matt Pond will see time at both positions this year but his main role will be as Foxboro’s starting inside linebacker. And because of his combination of football IQ and speed, expect Pond to be among the leaders of tackles in each game. The Warriors didn’t have a ton of experience on defense a year ago, but Pond stepped up to be a leader. Not only is Pond strong in the pass game, but when a blitz is called, he’s one of most dangerous linebackers in league because of his speed and ability to tackle in the open field.
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.”