By HockomockSports.com Staff
2021 Davenport Football Preview
2020 Record: 2-5
Coach: Anthony Fallon
Canton was bound to have a rebuilding year in 2020, as the Bulldogs moved on from a historically successful class of players that won back-to-back league titles for the first time since the early 80s. With a second year under head coach Anthony Fallon, Canton will be looking to build on that experience and try to climb back up the standings this fall.
The strength for the Bulldogs will be on defense. Canton has a tough linebacking corps and an experienced secondary to try and slow down opposing offenses. There will be some new faces up front after graduations on the line of scrimmage but there are playmakers in this defensive unit. Senior Colin Albert is a tough tackler and someone who covers a lot of ground at linebacker and he’s joined by classmate Bashor Mahn, who is a leader on that side of the ball. Senior Andy Butler and junior Charlie Cox return at the safety positions and senior Vincent O’Brien is the top cover guy at corner.
Offensively, Canton battled injuries and consistency last year, but there are players capable of making big plays. Albert is a bruising runner, who filled in nicely last season after an injury to starting running back Cam Sanchez. Mahn will add depth and a different dynamic in the backfield. Butler, O’Brien, and Cox are a trio of tough receivers that can be used in various ways. As on defense, there will be some new faces up front but decent size and there is also youth at the quarterback position.
“Our strength will be our defense,” Fallon said. “With a strong core of LBs back and three of our four secondary guys we should be tough to score on. On offense we will be young but big up front and have a couple of guys who can spring some big plays.”
2020 Record: 3-2
Coach: Jack Martinelli
Key/Returning Players: Ryan Addeche, Sr., NT; Steven Bridges, Sr., C/DT; Sam Carpenter, Jr., K; Andrew Finn, Jr., OL/DE; Dylan Gordon, Sr., RB/SS; Aidan Hughes, Sr., OL/DL; Dylan Kerrigan, Sr., G/LB; Eric Kristenson, Sr., G/LB; Omarion Otto-Broomstein, Sr., RB/LB; Tom Sharkey, Sr., WR/CB; Rashaad Way, Sr., WR/CB
Foxboro came as close as anyone to beating North Attleboro last season and nearly forced a three-way tie at the top of the Davenport division. As usual, the Warriors did it with defense, allowing only 48 points in five games with only Stoughton and North reaching double digits. This season, the Warriors should be right in the mix again with experienced skill position players and speed all over the field.
Senior Tom Marcucella is the returning quarterback from last year and he should have a lot of weapons to utilize in the Foxboro offense. Dylan Gordon is stepping in as the primary back this year with dynamic athletes Rashaad Way and Tom Sharkey lining up on the outside. Foxboro should have good balance on that side of the ball. There is also plenty of experience on the line, led by seniors Dylan Kerrigan, Steven Bridges, and Eric Kristenson. Special teams should also chip in with points this year, as junior kicker Sam Carpenter is back after a strong sophomore season and Way will be one of the top return threats in the league.
Defense is something the program prides itself on and the Warriors are looking at a deep, experienced group at linebacker and a playmaking secondary. Senior nose tackle Ryan Addeche, junior defensive end Andrew Finn, and senior Aidan Hughes will add to the strength at the line of scrimmage. Senior Omarion Otto-Broomstein and Kerrigan will be the players to watch at linebacker with their combo of speed and aggressiveness. The secondary is filled with ball-hawks, including Gordon, Sharkey, and Way.
“We are greatly looking forward to a somewhat normal football season even with a very short turnaround period from last year,” said Foxboro coach Jack Martinelli. “The kids are excited, resilient, and appear to be making the focused transition while retaining a great deal of what was taught last year.”
2020 Record: 6-0 (Davenport division champion)
Coach: Don Johnson
Key/Returning Players: Tyler Bannon, Sr., RB/LB; Greg Berthiaume, Jr., WR/LB; Danny Curran, Sr., WR/DB; Tyler DeMattio, Sr., QB; Zach Gallagher, Jr., OL/DL; Joey Perriello, Sr., WR/DB; Nathan Shultz, Jr., WR/DB; Jared Vacher, Sr., OL/DE; Gavin Wells, Sr., WR/DB; Keysun Wise, Sr., OL/DL
North Attleboro has won the league title in five of the past six seasons, including four out of five in the Davenport. The Rocketeers bounced back last year by going unbeaten and regaining the title. Now Big Red returns an experienced crew on both sides of the ball and, as usual, will have the target on its back as the team to beat in the division. North faces Bishop Feehan, Mansfield, and King Philip to start the season so will know right away where it stands.
It starts on offense with senior Tyler DeMattio. North’s quarterback is a playmaker using either his arm or his legs and is just as capable grinding out a long drive as hitting a big play for a touchdown. Keeping DeMattio healthy will be a key and to help give other weapons in the backfield, senior Tyler Bannon will be used as a power back. There is a lot of talent in the slot and out wide with seniors Danny Curran, Gavin Wells, and Joey Perriello among the players who could step in and contribute. Up front, senior Jared Vacher will be the leader of the offensive line, and his versatility allows some flexibility as to where players slot in. Senior Keysun Wise will also be counted on to open holes for DeMattio and the offense.
On defense, North will have several positions to fill and players that will be building experience over the course of the season. Linebacker should be a strength. Bannon is a playmaker on the outside, whether he lines up on the end as a pass rusher or drops back into coverage. Junior Greg Berthiaume started as the “mike” last year as a sophomore and has great instincts when reading the play. Vacher and Wise will get help on the line from junior Zach Gallagher, who started on the offensive line as a sophomore. The secondary is athletic, with Nathan Shultz (a three-year varsity player) joined by Wells, Curran, and Perriello.
“On the proverbial ‘paper’ we’ve got some experience coming back that should enable us to be competitive, but every year is a new team that comes with new leadership and a cast of different players that have to find a way to get it done,” said North coach Don Johnson. “We have to develop some quality depth and stay healthy if we want to be in the hunt in the end.”
2020 Record: 1-5
Coach: Ed DeWitt
Key/Returning Players: John Carey, Jr., OL/DL; Sean Friel, Jr., WR/DB; Jake Grimaldi, Sr., QB; Jaden Hinton, Sr., OL/DL; Robert Jenkins, Jr., RB/DB; Jack Morley, Jr., RB/LB; Minh Nguyen, Sr., OL/DL; Onyekachukwu-Obinani Nwadiugwu, Sr., OL/LB; Chad Silva, Jr., RB/LB; Collin Williamson, Sr., RB/DB; Chris Young, Jr., OL/DL
Oliver Ames is in its second year back in the Davenport division and head coach Ed DeWitt is looking for the Tigers to push up the standings and be more competitive with the teams above them. With experienced players coming back, especially at the skill positions, OA will be focused on more consistency on both sides of the ball.
Offensively, the Tigers only scored 46 points in six games last year, and only twice did they score more than 10 points in a game. OA will need more scoring punch to try and make a bigger impact in the league. Junior running back Chad Silva will be the focal point of the attack again this season. A bruising, every down back, Silva is a downhill runner that is hard to tackle. Senior Collin Williamson gives OA a change of pace with his ability to get to the outside and make people miss. Senior quarterback Jake Grimaldi is the leader on that side of the ball with classmate Sean Friel being a top target on the outside.
Up front, OA returns several players who will have key roles on the line of scrimmage on both sides of the ball. Senior Onyekachukwu-Obinani Nwadiugwu will play on the line on offense and drop back to linebacker on defense. Seniors Minh Nguyen and Jaden Hinton and juniors John Carey and Chris Young add to the size at the line. Silva and classmate Jack Morley are both strong linebackers who can cover a lot of ground. Williamson, Friel, and junior Robert Jenkins will give OA playmakers in the secondary. The concern for the Tigers will be depth over the course of a long season.
“We are trying to get to a more competitive level within the league,” DeWitt said. “We need to take that next step of being a team that makes other teams work hard. We want to be a difficult team to play against.”
2020 Record: 5-2
Coach: Greg Burke
The Black Knights came up just short in the quest for the Davenport division during the Fall 2 season, and there will be plenty of new faces stepping into new roles this season. Stoughton graduated a very talented senior class that featured nearly a dozen players that played at least two years at the varsity level, highlighted by division MVP Christopher Ais, Christian Ais, Christian Georges, and quarterback John Burke among others.
Now there’s a group mixed with some returners and some new faces eager to prove that Stoughton isn’t in a rebuilding year, but just reloaded and looking to battle for the division crown. Senior linebacker and fullback Anthony Girolamo was one of Stoughton’s most impactful players last season before an injury cut his season short. When he’s back in the mix, he’ll be one of the top players on both sides of the ball for the Black Knights. Senior Jonah Ly was a two-way starter last year and will likely see an increased role on the offensive end alongside classmates Emmett Pearl and Konrad Rogers.
Both Pearl and Rogers will be key targets for new senior quarterback Brady Clark, who is eager to take over after the Knights had three seniors at the position last season. After the Knights introduced a handful of new faces to the line for the Fall 2 season, now Stoughton has a good amount of experience helping protect Clark while also paving the way for Stoughton’s ground game, which is always dangerous. Returning starter and senior Liam Joyce will be an anchor the offensive line for Stoughton this season.
Defense is always a calling card for Stoughton and the Knights will be looking to continue that tradition this year. Against division opponents last year, only North Attleboro (14 points) scored more than one touchdown against Stoughton, who allowed just one touchdown to each OA, Foxboro, and Canton. Rogers, who will get snaps at running back on offense, had a breakout year on defense a year ago and will be one of the top linebackers in the league this year.
On top of the always challenging Davenport division, Stoughton has a tough non-league schedule that features a pair of teams from the Kelley-Rex in Mansfield (Week 3) and Milford (Week 7).
“Hopefully we can stay healthy and get through a super tough schedule,” said longtime head coach Greg Burke.