Mansfield Leans On Defense To Deny Scarlet Hawks

Mansfield football Cincere Gill
Mansfield’s Cincere Gill tries to break free from the grasp of Milford’s Tyler Lane in the first half. (Ryan Lanigan/HockomockSports.com)
ByRyanLanigan_2016FollowRyanLanigan_2016
 
 
 MILFORD, Mass. – In last week’s season-opening win, Mansfield’s explosive offense was on full display with five touchdowns.

In week two, it was all about the Hornets’ defense.

Going up a powerful Milford offense that put up 34 points in their first game of the season, Mansfield’s defensive group was near perfect. The Hornets forced four turnovers, limited the Hawks to under 200 yards of offense, and pitched a shutout for the final three quarters to earn a 20-7 win on the road.

Click here for a photo gallery from this game.

It marked the first meeting between the two squads since Milford joined the Hockomock League for football in 2013 with the Hawks making the switch to the Kelley-Rex division at the start of the 2020 school year.

“Story of the day, the defense played lights out,” said Mansfield head coach Mike Redding. “Scoring a touchdown for us, which in this game, was huge. Instead of just a six-point lead, it’s 13. The defense did a great job against a very good collection of receivers and [Brady] Olson can throw the ball. We gave them a few but nothing big, they popped the one run but after that, we were lights out, and thank goodness because this was really one of our sloppiest offensive performances in a long time.”

Mansfield football Milford football Anthony Comer Cincere Gill Brady Olson

Mansfield forced a turnover on Milford’s first possession of the game, Anthony Comer grabbed back-to-back interceptions with the first returned for a touchdown, and Hornets added another pick in the early moments of the fourth quarter.

The Hornets opened the game in style with freshman CJ Bel giving the visitors good field position at midfield after a good return. From there, Mansfield needed just six plays to find the end zone. Cincere Gill (20 carries, 117 yards) broke free for a 16-yard run on third down (his longest carry of the game), and three plays later, Gill — out of the wildcat — handed it off to Comer on a sweep to the left for an 18-yard touchdown and a 7-0 lead less than four minutes in.

Milford completed a third down pass on its opening drive but Mansfield corner Nick Bertolino punched the ball free and recovered the fumble, giving the Hornets the ball back at the Hawks’ 20-yard line. But as good as Mansfield’s defense was throughout, the Milford defense had a strong outing as well.

Hampered by a fumble and a holding call (Mansfield was flagged 10 times in the game), the Hornets offense stalled and Milford forced an incompletion on fourth to get the ball back. The momentum carried over to the offensive side of the ball and the Hawks cashed in just two plays later. With the offense spread out with four receivers, Milford handed it off to senior Dom Schofield up the middle and he found a hole and went the distance for a 69-yard touchdown, tying the game 7-7 with 3:45 left in the first quarter.

From that point, there weren’t many offensive highlights for either squad.










Mansfield had to punt on its next two possessions, but the second one off the foot of Gill took a favorable bounce for the Hornets and was downed at the Milford 5-yard line. On second down, Mansfield’s Caden Colby and Mark DeGirolamo came flying in at Milford quarterback Brady Olson (9/28, 91 yards), who fired a short pass to the right side. Comer read the play, stepped in front and intercepted the pass, and sprinted into the end zone for a 14-yard return.

“It was a hard game, it was hard with our penalties, and they have a very good offense but we just executed on defense,” Comer said. “We held our guys to short-yardage and covered our guys. On the pick-six, I saw green. I was just running for the hills, I wanted the touchdown. We watched a lot of film, watching how they execute so we were ready.”

Mansfield football Milford football Anthony Comer Cincere Gill Brady Olson

Milford started to orchestrate a response as Olson hit Max Martin for 13 yards on first down, and then a late hit on the Hornets moved the ball 15 more yards to the Mansfield 39-yard line. TJ Guy stopped the Hawks for a loss in the backfield but a holding call in the secondary once again moved the chains for the hosts, getting to the Mansfield 24-yard line.

Guy helped stuff another Milford run on first down, and on second down Olson’s pass hit off a receiver’s hands and Comer was able to come down with the deflection for his second straight interception, putting an end to another Milford drive.

Mansfield football Milford football Anthony Comer Cincere Gill Brady Olson

“Anthony played a great two-way game for us,” Redding said. “We felt we really needed him on defense today to cover, he’s one of our quicker guys and made some big plays for us. We’ve played two good spread teams and held them each to 7. We still have to get sharper on offense but the next couple of weeks it will be more about defending the running game. Taunton and KP are big, they’re going to try and bang, run the ball.”

Mansfield capitalized on the interception with its best drive of the game. The Hornets traveled 82 yards on 10 plays, taking off five minutes of game clock, and cashed in with another touchdown with under a minute to play in the half.

Gill had three straight runs that combined for over 20 yards early in the drive, and when the Hornets were backed up by a delay of game call, Gill hauled in a 21-yard pass from quarterback Matt Boen, just eluding the Milford defender along the sideline.

Comer turned a broken play into 18 yards, Nico Holmes burst up the middle for 7 yards, and on second and goal from the three, Boen sold the option and kept it himself, leaping across the goal line for a touchdown, giving Mansfield a 20-7 lead with 0:49 left in the first half.

Mansfield football Milford football Anthony Comer Cincere Gill Brady Olson

“That was big, I thought we wasted [an opportunity] before that…we came down and scored, got the ball back but we didn’t convert and they come down and tie the game,” Redding said. “We fortunately got a couple of more before half, and I thought the one right before halftime was a big turning point.

“When we do things right, we’re good but we didn’t do things right very often today. We’re getting way too many penalties and we just really have to work hard on offense getting sharper and executing because we’re too good not to score in a half no matter who we’re playing.”




Carter Scudo had a big return to the Mansfield 33-yard line to give the hosts a final shot before the break, but the Hornets forced four straight incompletions.

“All we ask for today is for them to give us 48 minutes and I thought they did that,” said first-year Milford head coach Dale Olson. “A couple of plays didn’t go our way today, that should have been 7-7 game in the fourth quarter and anybody’s game. But you live and you learn. But this is what Milford football is going to be from here on out, we’re going to contend. We have to get back on the horse because we have to play a very good KP team next week.”

Olson connected with Keithly Sutton on a bubble screen to move the chains on Milford’s first drive of the second half but the Hawks couldn’t capitalize as the Hornets shut the hosts down on the next three plays, including a perfectly-timed pass breakup by Bertolino.

“We feel Milford is as talented as anybody in the Kelley-Rex so if we didn’t beat them here today, they were going to run the table so, for us, it was basically a must-win game,” Redding said. “We want to be in the league race when we’re playing KP and Attleboro so you have to win today. I don’t Milford loses again moving forward, they have good linemen, I think the best QB in the league, great receivers. We’ve won [the Kelley-Rex division] a couple of times in a row but we felt pressure that it was a must-win for us against them on their field.”

Milford’s defense continued to do its part as Mansfield managed just two total yards on its first two drives, both resulting in punts including a third down kick to try and flip field position. The Hawks did a good job bottling up the Mansfield rushing attack, getting key tackles and pushes up front from the likes of Schofield, Scudo, Evan Cornelius, Grant Scudo, Alex McColl, Evan Hazard, Nick Yohn, Mario Lee, and Tyler Lane.

“I think we struggled a little bit today getting off jams at the wide receiver spot, I thought [Brady] pressed a little bit today,” Olson said. “Instead of standing in there a few times, he got out of the pocket when he didn’t need to. But listen, that’s a great football team we just played. I couldn’t be prouder of how our kids handled themselves today.

Mansfield football Milford football Anthony Comer Cincere Gill Brady Olson

“Realistically, I look up at the scoreboard and it should have been 7-7. We had our opportunities, could have had 1st and goal but instead, it was an interception. They ball-controlled us but our defense was outstanding today. All of the film I’ve watched, I haven’t seen a team hold Gill like that. They didn’t really hurt us today with their offense, I thought it was more a matter of our offense couldn’t get going.”

Click here for a photo gallery from this game.

However, the Hawks’ offense just could never get going, punting twice to start the second half and then had its third drive of the second half come to a sudden stop when Gill intercepted a pass at his own 30-yard line.

Mansfield was able to move the ball enough to kill a lot of clock in the fourth quarter and Milford’s final drive ended on downs.

Mansfield football (2-0) is on the road for the second straight week when it travels to Taunton for a 4:30 kickoff on Friday. Milford (1-1) will face another stiff test next week when it hosts King Philip (2-0) on Saturday at 1:00.

Mansfield football Milford football Anthony Comer Cincere Gill Brady Olson

Friday’s Schedule & Scoreboard – 12/13/19

Today’s games are listed below.

Boys Basketball
Attleboro, 63 @ Canton, 55 – FinalAfter trailing at the end of the first and second quarters, Attleboro limited the host Bulldogs to just seven points in the third to jump ahead and went on to pick up its first win of the season. Canton led 15-6 after eight minutes and took a 28-27 advantage into halftime as senior Robbie Gallery scored 13 of his career-high 22 points in the opening half. Senior Bryant Ciccio scored 13 of his team-best 22 points after the break while Justin Daniels dropped eight points in the second quarter to help the Bombardiers get back in the game. Qualeem Charles scored 12 of his 14 points in the second half for the Bombardiers.

Franklin, 56 @ Milford, 34 – FinalFranklin raced out to a 35-11 lead by halftime and never looked back in a win on the road over Milford. The Panthers’ held the Scarlet Hawks to eight points in the opening quarter and just one field goal in the second quarter to take a commanding lead. Senior Chris Edgehill scored 19 of his game-high 23 points in the second half to lead the way. Edgehill, Steve Karayan (two), and Brayden Sullivan each hit hit from downtown in the second to help Franklin pull away.

King Philip, 86 @ Sharon, 84 – FinalAfter letting a 21-point lead slip away in the fourth quarter, King Philip saved the win when senior Alex Fritz nailed a baseline jumper at the buzzer, capping an incredible 36-point effort. The Warriors held a 66-45 advantage after three quarters but the Eagles mounted a comeback, pouring in 39 points in the fourth quarter, even taking the lead inside the final minute. Sharon senior Andrew Burton scored 11 of his career-high 26 points in the final frame, connecting on a shot in the lane to put Sharon up 84-83 with under a minute to play. Fritz answered with a free throw to tie the game and the Warriors forced a turnover to get the ball back. With 5.2 seconds left, Fritz took the ball the length of the court and pulled up for the baseline shot, sinking it as time expired to give KP the win. Fritz scored 10 points in each of the first three quarters, finishing with 11 two-point field goals made. Senior Andrew McKinney added a career-high 22 points, including 10 in the fourth quarter while Sharon senior Aidan Kane scored a career-high 24 points.

Taunton, 55 @ North Attleboro, 57 – FinalNorth Attleboro junior Edan Kelley drained the go-ahead three with less than 30 seconds to play and the Rocketeers got a final defensive stop to complete a comeback win over visiting Taunton. After trailing for three quarters, North Attleboro battled back to take a fourth quarter lead but Taunton junior Tyler Stewart (career-high 20 points) scored with just under two minutes to play to go ahead 55-54. After the teams traded empty possessions, North junior George Ladd (team-high 14 points) hauled in a big defensive rebound with 27 seconds left to give the hosts possession. Sophomore Brady Rosenberg, who scored half of his career-best 10 points in the final quarter, found Kelley (13 points) open for a three with just under 10 seconds left to put North ahead 57-54. North’s strategic fouling in the final seconds helped prevent Taunton from getting a good look at the end to secure the win. Taunton junior Josh Lopes had a career-high 18 points.

Oliver Ames, 64 @ Stoughton, 41 – FinalClick here for a Recap and Photo Gallery from this game.

Girls Basketball
Canton, 48 @ Attleboro, 44 – FinalClick here for a Recap and Photo Gallery from this game.

Foxboro, 65 @ Mansfield, 34 – FinalKatelyn Mollica scored 25 points to lead the Warriors to a season-opening road win. Shakirah Ketant added 12 for Foxboro, which jumped out to an 18-point lead by halftime and led by 26 going into the fourth. Ashley Santos was the top scorer for the Hornets with eight and freshman Ally Wager scored six on her varsity debut.

Milford, 25 @ Franklin, 81 – FinalAll 12 Panthers scored, as they started their title defense with a convincing win. Ali Brigham led the way with 25 points and Olivia Quinn added 17. Emma Lawrence paced the Hawks with eight.

Sharon, 33 @ King Philip, 62 – FinalKP hit 13 threes as a team, including eight from junior Courtney Keswick to earn a big win in head coach Dan Nagle’s debut. The Warriors were also tough on defense, forcing a number of turnovers to get the break started. Faye Veilleux added 15 points for KP. Telishya Herbert scored a dozen points in the loss and Leah Fandel added nine for the Eagles.

North Attleboro, 36 @ Taunton, 42 – FinalFreshman Kameron St. Pierre scored a team-high 12 points in her first varsity game to help Amy Siggens earn a win on her Taunton coaching debut. Kelsey White added 10 points, while Jaelyn Fernandez chipped in with eight and Sonya Fernandez added seven for the Tigers.

Stoughton, 23 @ Oliver Ames, 71 – FinalOliver Ames scored 40 points in the opening half to build a big lead and never looked back to pick up a win at home. Sophomore Carline Peper poured in a game-high 24 points to lead the way for the Tigers. Tate Hadges and Caroline Flynn (15 rebounds) each added 11 points in the win. Stoughton’s Shyanne Trinh had a team-high nine points.

Boys Swimming
Canton, 75 @ Sharon, 92 – Final

Girls Swimming
Canton, 101 @ Sharon, 69 – Final

Boys Indoor Track
King Philip vs. Attleboro, 7:30

Canton, 47 vs. Sharon, 52 – FinalSharon took first place in seven of the 12 events, and earned key points by taking first and second in the 55M hurdles to earn a close win over Canton. Senior Isaiah Stessman won the 55M hurdles in 8.31 and junior Patrick McManus took second for the Eagles in 8.40. The Eagles also picked up wins from Mark Starovoytov (600M, 1:30.64), Jordan Saks (1 Mile, 4:53.18), Ike Ogbonnanze (shot put, 41-00.50), McManus (high jump, 5-08.00) and its two relay teams. Canton’s Jonathan Chery won the 55M dash, setting a new school record in 6.68. Other winners for the Bulldogs included Zachary Goldstein (300M, 37.74), Elias Jabbour (1000M, 2:59.75 – a 15-second PR), Kyle Downing (2 Mile , 10:56.02), and Junior Sainvil (long jump, 20-07.00).

Milford, 55 vs. Foxboro, 44 – FinalMilford swept both relay races and won five more individual events to earn a win over Foxboro. The Hawks earned big points by taking first and second in the 55M dash, the 600M, and the 1 Mile race. Junior Keithley Sutton (6.93) and senior Anthony Ghalbouni (6.99) took the top two spots in the 55M dash, Ghalbouni (1:32.30) and senior Samuel Vilt (1:35.10) had the top two spots in the 600M, and senior Max Manor (4:59.30) and sophomore James Comisky (5:11.14) finished first and second in the 1 Mile. Milford senior Lucas Rosa added on a pair of wins, taking first in the shot put (36-10.00) and the long jump (18-07.50). Foxboro picked up first place finishes from junior Adam Connolly (300M, 39.12), senior Joe Cusack (1000M, 2:58.57), senior Ryan Proulx (2 Mile, 10:12.91), senior Ali Nasri (55M hurdles, 8.82), and senior Tyler Hagan (5-02.00).

Franklin vs. Taunton, 7:30

North Attleboro vs. Stoughton, 7:30

Mansfield, 63 vs. Oliver Ames, 37 – FinalMansfield earned a sweep in the 600M race and took first and second in the high jump to pick up key points in a win over Oliver Ames. Junior Caden Riley crossed first in the 600M in 1:32.20 with classmate Jack Taylor (1:32.68) right behind for second. Senior Cam Eddy was third in 1:33.61. Senior Andrew Williams had a meet-best jump of 6-04.00 (PR) to take first in the high jump and Ethan Thevenot was second at 5-08.00. Williams also set a PR in the long jump (21’1) while Owen Mullahy added a meet-best time of 10:10.68 in the 2 Mile. Oliver Ames junior Kyle Sarney was the top runner in the entire meet in the 1 Mile at 4:37.22 while senior Rory McLaughlin was second overall in 4:37.27.

Girls Indoor Track
King Philip, 64.5 vs. Attleboro, 35.5 – FinalKing Philip swept both the high jump and the 600M to earn a win over Attleboro in the season opener. Paige Berdos won the high jump at 4-10.00 while Grace Mattaliano (4-06.00) and Isabelle Watson (4-04.00) took second and third, respectively. Senior Brianna Quirke was the first to cross in the 600M at 1:52:00, junior Charlotte Majer was right behind at 1:52.08, and senior Liliana Rolfe took third overall in 1:53.53. In her first season doing winter track, Attleboro junior Cassondra Stuger won the 300M (44.73) and the long jump (13-10.25), and took second in the 55M dash (7.90). Other winners for the Bombardiers included junior Kelly Neuendorf (1 Mile, 5:45.22), junior Kimberly Esteban (2 Mile, 12:59.42), and junior Kamsi Igbobi (shot put, 31-04.00).

Canton, 35 vs. Sharon, 64 – FinalThe Eagles opened the season in style, taking first place in 10 of the 12 events to knock off Canton. Senior Jada Johnson won a pair of individual events, taking first in the 55M hurdles in 8.89 and earning the top spot in the high jump in 5-04.00. Sharon sophomore Simone Dunbar also had a pair of wins, recording a first-place jump of 15-05.75 in the long jump and taking first in the 55M dash in 7.94. Canton’s Bronwyn Mahoney took first in the shot put, with a personal-best and a meet-best throw of 33-03.25. The Bulldogs’ 4×200 relay team of Rosana Cho, Leah Murphy, Gabby Herivaux, and Kiley Hanlon won in 2:01.63.

Milford, 66 vs. Foxboro, 33 – FinalMilford senior Sara Comisky and junior Kerry O’Connor each won a pair of individual events to lead the Scarlet Hawks to a big win. Comisky won both the 1 Mile (6:03.47) and the 2 Mile (13:31.51) while O’Connor took first in the 300M in 42.58 (meet-best) and recorded a jump of 15-08.00 in the long jump. The Hawks also swept the 55M hurdles with junior Catherine Madden (9.82), senior Bella Gonzalez (10.22), and junior Emma Kingkade (10.24) went 1-2-3 in the event. Foxboro junior Meaghan Christie won the shot put (25-03.25) and junior Emma Dahl crossed first in the 1000M (3:31.92).

Franklin vs. Taunton, 7:30

North Attleboro vs. Stoughton, 7:30

Mansfield vs. Oliver Ames, 7:30