Below are the official 2017 Hockomock League Wrestling All Stars, selected by the coaches in the league.
Hockomock League MVP
Matt Kelley, Foxboro
Hockomock League All Stars
Eddie Marinilli, Canton
Anis Chakir, Canton
Matt Kelley, Foxboro
Brian Kelley, Foxboro
Matt Mullally, Foxboro
Phil Dure, Foxboro
Ian Bakalars, Franklin
Jordan Carlucci, Franklin
Mike Racca, Franklin
Dylan Maclean, Franklin
Nick DeGloria, King Philip
Bradley Oliverio, King Philip
Vinnie Holmes, Mansfield
Antonios Sevastos, Mansfield
Ryan Gray, Milford
Brett Kimball, Milford
Nick Gould, North Attleboro
Brad White, North Attleboro
Liston Funai, Oliver Ames
Yosef Ellis-Rech, Sharon
Wilhelm Bolt, Sharon
Lino Azul, Stoughton
Alex Rodriguez, Taunton
Justin Dickie, Canton
Max Dorman, Foxboro
Ed Cropper, Franklin
Cameron Smith, King Philip
Will Stratton, Mansfield
Carlos Terrinha, Milford
Brady Folan, North Attleboro
Dean Pacini, Oliver Ames
Matt Callan, Sharon
Andrew Iverson, Stoughton
Nuno Camara, Taunton
NORTH EASTON, Mass. – Franklin had three individual champions, two second place finishes and four more grapplers finish third or fourth to win the team title at the Hockomock League Wrestling Championships at Oliver Ames on Saturday.
The Panthers registered 218.5 points, edging out North Attleboro (212.5 points) and Foxboro (200.5 points).
Franklin’s Ian Bakalars won the 113 title with a 6-2 decision, Mike Racca notched a first round pin to win the 120 title and Dylan Maclean earned the 145 title with a pin. Jordan Carlucci (106) and Brian Perry (285) had second place finishes, Evan Hernandez (182) and Kyler Colella (195) each came in third and TJ Remillard (126) and Brian Farrell (132) both placed fourth.
The Rocketeers, who have clinched at least a share of the Davenport division dual meet title, only had one winner in the tournament but once again show off its depth with three second place finishes, and nine other wrestlers finishing either third, fourth, fifth or sixth. North Attleboro’s Nick Gould was the team’s only champion, scoring an impressive 14-0 win at 152. It marks the second straight year Gould won a Hockomock title after winning the 145 title a year ago. Dan Cooper (113), Jake Direnzo (120) and Brandon Graveline (132) each placed second for Big Red.
Foxboro’s Matt Kelley was impressive in winning his third straight Hockomock League title. Kelley raced out to a quick 14-0 lead before scoring a pin to earn the Hockomock title at 132. During his sophomore year, Kelley won the 120 title and during his junior year, Kelley scored an 8-0 decision to win the 126 title. Brian Kelley was equally impressive, notching a 10-0 win in a very competitive 138 bracket to win his first Hockomock title. Matt Mullally held on for a 6-5 win to claim the Hock title at 160 – his second straight title at that weight class.
While plenty of veterans claimed titles, there were three freshmen that won Hockomock League titles in their first ever championship event. Mansfield’s Antonios Sevastos, who suffered a first round pin to Franklin’s Jordan Carlucci in a dual meet earlier this week, avenged that loss by scoring a takedown in the final 20 seconds to win the 106 crown. Teammate and classmate Vinnie Holmes continued his stellar freshman campaign, rolling through the bracket and picking up a 14-2 win in the finals. Canton’s Eddie Marinilli made his mark as well, winning four matches on the day, including an 11-2 decision in the 126 final match.
Oliver Ames was fifth on the day, the top finishing team without a champion. Sophomore Anthony Berksza was second at 145 and sophomore Dean Pacini made a run to the finals before falling to Milford’s Ryan Gray (7-1) at 195.
NORTH EASTON, Mass. — Oliver Ames’ match against Stoughton no longer counts in the division standings, but that didn’t stop the Tigers from bringing extra intensity when they hosted their neighbors on Wednesday night.
The Tigers came out flying right out of the gates, building an early lead with five pins before coming away with a 52-27 win over the Black Knights.
“Anytime Oliver Ames goes against Stoughton it’s a fun time, the kids get excited,” OA head coach Kahn Lima said. “I think that’s part of the reason the kids were so aggressive tonight. Out of all our crossovers, this was the one they looked forward too, this was the one they cared about.”
It didn’t take long for the Tigers to get on the board. Senior Ryan DeCosta returned from an injury and earned a second round pin at 113. DeCosta used a pair of first period takedowns to build a 7-1 lead before getting the pin with 37 seconds left in the second period.
Cobey Williamson won via forfeit at 120 and just over a minute into the 126 bout, OA’s John Quilla gave the Tigers an 18-0 lead with a first period pin.
Senior Liston Funai stayed undefeated on the year with another first period pin. He took a 2-0 lead during the 132 bout but needed just 43 seconds to earn the pin and a 24-0 advantage for the Tigers.
“The kids went out and attacked,” Lima said. “Liston is undefeated still. I don’t think he’s had a match go out of the first round yet either.”
Brandon Belleton (138) and Chris Belleton (145) scored back to back first round pins to extend Oliver Ames’ lead to 36-0.
“When the kids see each other doing well, the kids they practice with throughout the week, it gets them excited and they build confidence when you get off to a fast start,” Lima said.
Stoughton got on the board during the 152 bout. Leo Freitas trailed 2-0 early after a takedown from OA’s Joey Savino but Freitas cut the deficit in half with an escape and took the lead with a takedown of his own. Freitas went on to get the pin 30 seconds into the second period for six points for the Black Knights.
The Tigers stretched their lead after another pin in the 160 bout. Eric Berardi built a 10-0 lead after the first round, during a pair of takedowns and two near falls. Berardi was able to get the pin with just five seconds left in the second period.
Sean Cosgrove added to OA’s lead with a 9-0 win at 170. Stoughton’s Nick Alves was able to fend off a pin by Cosgrove, who built a 4-0 lead after one round, a 7-0 advantage through two rounds and added two points in the third.
Stoughton’s Bobby Shaughnessy came away with a win at 182 in one of the closest battles of the night against Oliver Ames’ Billy Tat. Shaughnessy and Tat traded takedowns in the first period but a near fall had Stoughton up 5-3 through the first period. Shaughnessy built an 8-5, Tat leveled it at 8-8 but a takedown kept Shaughnessy up 11-8. In the this period, Shaughnessy extended his lead with an escape and a reversal, finishing with a 16-12 win.
In another tight battle, this one at 195, OA’s Dean Pacini emerged with a third round pin over Stoughton’s Ryan Pierre. Pacini built a 5-1 lead in the second round but a takedown, near fall and a reversal had Pierre up. Pacini took a 9-6 lead with a takedown in the third and then just over the minute mark, the sophomore was able to get the pin.
“He wore him out. We talked about wanting to get to the third period to try and wear his opponent down. Dean actually made a mistake in the second period that almost cost him but he got out of it and then took care of business in the third.
Stoughton’s Paul Feeney built a 4-1 lead in the first round of the 220 bout and, after a scoreless second period, he extended his lead to 8-1 in the third for the win.
In the heavyweight round, Lino Azul fell behind 2-0 to Jack Mills on a takedown but bounced back with a takedown of his own and eared the pin with 1:26 to go in the first period.
Oliver Ames wrestling (4-3) returns to action on Friday when they host a quad meet. Stoughton (0-2) will return to action after the holidays when they compete in the Lowell Holiday Tournament.
Stoughton, 2 vs. Pope John Paull II, 1 – Final – Brendan Campbell and Jon Lessa each scored once to pace the Black Knights to their first win of the season.
Scituate Tournament (Canton) – Canton placed second overall as a team at the tournament. First place finishes for the Bulldogs were Eddie Marinilli (126), Anis Chakir (132) and Brandon Lentol (170).
Mt. Hope Tournament (Foxboro, Franklin, Stoughton) – Foxboro finished first at the Mt. Hope Holiday Tournament with 180 points. Franklin’s “A” team finished third with 171 points, Stoughton finished eighth with 91 and Franklin’s “B” team was 16th with 26 points. Foxboro’s Matt Kelley earned his 157th career win, making him the winningest wrestling in Warrior history. Other winner’s included Foxboro’s Brian Kelley (138), Franklin’s Ed Cropper (152) and Stoughton’s Lino Azul (285). Second place finishes included Franklin’s Jordan Carlucci (106), Ian Bakalars (113), Mike Racca (120), Foxboro’s Max Dorman (152), Matt Mullally (160) and Dave Dow (170).
St. John’s Shrewsbury Quad (King Philip), 8:00AM
Lincoln-Sudbury Quad (Mansfield) – Mansfield went 3-1 on the day, picking up wins over Brookline (54-18), Quincy (41-21) and Pentucket (45-15). The Hornets lone loss came to host Lincoln-Sudbury (48-27). Sophomore Shane Cremmen went 3-0 on the day for the Hornets. Freshman Vinnie Holmes bumped up to 182 for the day and went 3-1, with his lone loss coming to the #3 ranked grappler in the state.
Tewksbury Quad (Milford) – Milford picked up a pair of wins at Tewskbury on Saturday. The Scarlet Hawks beat Greater Lawrence (42-26) and Tewksbury (54-24) while falling to Masconomet (46-30). Brett Kimball went 3-0 on the day, winning all three matches via pin. Ryan Gray. Conor Maier and Stanislav Demko also went 3-0 on the day.
North Attleboro Quad (North Attleboro), 9:00AM
Devin Ness Tournament (Oliver Ames), 10:00AM
Plymouth North Quad (Sharon) – Sharon went 2-1 at the Plymouth North quad. The Eagles notched wins over Plymouth North (45-28) and Pembroke (60-21) while falling to Walpole (36-30).
Watertown Quad (Taunton) – Taunton picked up a win over Carver (27-26) but fell to Watertown (42-39) and Wakefield (48-33). Josh Grasso (126), Alex Rodrigues (145), and Nuno Camara (182) each went 3-0 for the Tigers.
Indoor Track (@ Reggie Lewis Center) Boys
Attleboro, 47 vs. King Philip, 53 – Final
Canton, 26 vs. North Attleboro, 72 – Final
Foxboro, 22 vs. Sharon, 78 – Final
Franklin, 46 vs. Oliver Ames, 54 – Final
Mansfield, 73 vs. Taunton, 27 – Final
Milford, 62 vs. Stoughton, 34 – Final
Attleboro, 13.5 vs. King Philip, 86.5 – Final
Canton, 14 vs. North Attleboro, 86 – Final
Foxboro, 39 vs. Sharon, 61 – Final
Franklin, 72 vs. Oliver Ames, 28 – Final
Mansfield, 54 vs. Taunton, 46 – Final
Milford, 79 vs. Stoughton, 20 – Final
King Philip, 2 vs. Norwell, 0 – Final
Stoughton, 2 vs. Nasuet/Cape Tech/Monomy, 9 – Final
Below are the official 2016 Hockomock League Football All Stars, selected by the coaches in the league.
Hockomock League MVP
John DeLuca, King Philip
Bobby Mylod, North Attleboro (Co-MVP)
Ryan Sullivan, Stoughton (Co-MVP)
Hockomock League All Stars
Tyler McGovern, Attleboro
Elvin Sam, Attleboro
Jacob Wolowacki, Franklin
John DeLuca, King Philip
Carl Sanuth, King Philip
Shane Frommer, King Philip
Alex Olsen, King Philip
Giovanni Fernandez, King Philip
Anthony DeGirolamo, Mansfield
Hunter Ferreira, Mansfield
Travis Sjoberg, Mansfield
Julio Arevalo, Mansfield
AJ Gibbs, Mansfield
Liston Funai, Oliver Ames
Adam McLaughlin, Taunton
John Chretien, Taunton
Hockomock League All Stars
Brian Smith, Canton
Joe Bartucca, Foxboro
Trey Guerrini, Foxboro
Riley Burns, Milford
Blake Hill, Milford
Asong Aminmentse, Milford
Thomas Reynolds, North Attleboro
Bobby Mylod, North Attleboro
Nick Rajotte, North Attleboro
Chad Peterson, North Attleboro
Kyle McCarthy, North Attleboro
Juvan Elisma, Sharon
Andrew Iverson, Stoughton
Lino Azul, Stoughton
Izon Swain-Price, Stoughton
Ryan Sullivan, Stoughton
Honorable Mentions were not distributed by the Hockomock League. We will update this post, as well as our History section, when they are made available.
FRANKLIN, Mass. – As Stoughton fought its way through the ups and downs of the 2015 season to finish with a 6-5 record, there were plenty of positives and negatives.
One big positive was the experience the players got, mainly the young offensive line. That experience paid off big time on Friday night as the Black Knights dominated up front behind it’s five-senior offensive line en route to a 58-19 statement win over Franklin.
“They all played last year,” Stoughton head coach Greg Burke said. “We played some tough games last year so having a senior line this year, senior lines usually win. They’re just a little stronger, have a little more experience. Now we have the seniors [on the line] so I’m hoping it carries us. The line is key, offensively and defensively.”
Stoughton opened the game on a seven play, 72 yard drive, capped with a two-yard rushing score from senior Ryan Sullivan (10 carries, 153 yards, four touchdowns, interception). Dave Cellucci’s (4/4, 60 yards) 20 yard pass to Izon Swain-Price and Sullivan’s 23 yard carry just prior to the score were highlights on the drive.
It didn’t take long for the Black Knights to double their lead as senior Jack Connelly ripped the ball free three plays into Franklin’s drive and Marselis Cox scooped the loose ball up and sprinted in from 45 yards out. Cellucci’s keeper for the two point conversion put Stoughton up 14-0 just over four minutes into the game.
The Black Knights forced a punt but were faced with 3rd and 20 on the ensuing drive. Cellucci floated one up and Connelly went up and grabbed it for a 27 yard completion and a first down. Two plays later, Swain-Price got around the edge for an eight yard touchdown, putting Stoughton up 21-0.
Sullivan came away with an interception on Franklin’s next possession and the Black Knights converted quickly. After a 28 yard gain from Sullivan on the ground, junior Justin Ly (11 carries, 137 yards, one touchdown) pounded it up the middle for a 10 yard touchdown, giving Stoughton a 27-0 lead at the end of the first quarter.
After Franklin was unable to convert on fourth down, Ly took the first carry of the next drive 39 yards. Six players later, Sullivan took the toss to the outside for a five yard touchdown run to make it 34-0.
The Panthers were able to get some life back right before halftime, using a couple of screen plays to cut into the lead. Facing 3rd and nine, Franklin QB Jake Noviello (14/33, 215 yards, 2 touchdowns) hit running back Jacob Wolowacki (128 all purpose yards) for a 48 yard completion on the screen. Two plays later, Wolowacki punched it in for the Panthers’ first touchdown.
Franklin got possession back quickly, forcing a fumble that was recovered by Brad Jarosz. On the first play, the Panthers went back to the screen, with Noviello hitting Wolowacki for a 40 yard touchdown to bring the score to 34-12.
Stoughton struck once more in the final minute of the first half, using three straight runs – Sullivan for 24 yards, Ly for 32 yards and then Sullivan for a 10 yard score – to go into the half with a 40-12 lead.
“Just like any year, you want to start off good,” Burke said. “[Franklin] is a young team, I don’t want to see them next year, that’s for sure, they’ll be tough. Our guys have worked really hard. I’m really happy with our seniors. And our strength, that’s all weight room stuff. We have a lot seniors, we have 20 this year and that makes a difference. Seniors win football games, it’s that simple.”
On Stoughton’s first play of their second drive in the second half, Sullivan bust through a hole up the middle and scampered in for a 52 yard touchdown to make it 46-12.
Franklin struck back with Noviello dropping a perfect pass into the hands of Kinley Baird on the sideline and the senior did the rest, sprinting in for a 68 yard touchdown for the Panthers.
Stoughton added a pair of scores in the final quarter with Swain-Price dashing up the middle for a 40 yard touchdown and David Bell getting around the corner for a 34 yard score for the Black Knights.
“Four touchdowns is nice for me but scoring 58 points as a team is better,” Sullivan said. “We like to call it the three-headed monster. Justin goes up the middle, and then me and Izon on the outside. The holes, you could drive a truck through, it was unreal. It’s an all senior line and they stepped up big time. They got a lot of experience last year and now they are ready to go this year.”
“Those two guys [Sullivan and Swain-Price], you have to worry about them but then we did a nice job on the inside on the traps,” Burke said. “We have a line that can block any other line as far as I’m concerned. You have to be able to go inside and you have to be able to go outside, that’s our offense. It might not be high spread, but that’s not who we are.”
Stoughton football (1-0) will welcome Marshfield to town next Friday in a rematch of week two from a season ago. Franklin (0-1) will look to get its first win of the season with a trip to another Davenport division team, Milford (0-1).
Outlook: After falling victim to the playoff system’s alignment and just missing out on a postseason berth, Canton will be relying on a mix of experience and youth to try and get back to the state tournament under the new alignment.
Davenport division MVP and HockomockSports.com Player of the Year Jake Ragusa is off playing at Merrimack so that will be a major void for Canton to fill. However, the Bulldogs do return some players in key spots that will help them out of the gates. Senior Anthony Ross is back under center and could see an expanded role in 2016. Dan Alice is back after suffering an injury last season and should lead a stable of running backs, led by fullback Alec Ragusa. Joe Mulkay, Dan Pierre, Tony Harris and Mike Marino should all factor into the offense as well for Canton.
Defensively, Canton has some experience on the line in Brian Smith, who also plays as a tackle on offense, as well as Mark Whalen, who saw valuable minutes last year, and Ben Paolillo. Alec Ragusa will be the anchor in the linebacking corps alongside Thomas Monagle (also the team’s kicker) and Marino. Harris, Alice and Mulkay figure to be important pieces in the Bulldogs’ secondary this year.
“The kids have a strong work ethic and had a good offseason and now a good preseason,” head coach Dave Bohane said. “I think we’ll be strong up front on both sides and we have kids in key spots with experience.”
Outlook: Coming off the program’s first league title since 2010, the Foxboro Warriors are hoping to stay near the top of the Davenport division again this year. And with one of the top returning quarterbacks in Mark Clagg under center for another year, the Warriors will likely be in the thick of the division race.
Clagg threw for nine touchdowns last season, third most among returning quarterbacks. After splitting some time with Darren Kelly last year, it looks like it was be Clagg’s spot full time in 2016. Another positive for having Clagg back is the experienced wide receivers he will have to work with. Jamaine Few is a big, experienced target at 6’3 and will be a tough one on one matchup for defensive backs. Trey Guerrini also has experience with Clagg while Phil Dure and John Whitehouse could be viable options as well. Foxboro will have to fill the void at running back, after the stability of Ronnie Martin and Keeyon Neal in previous years. Eseosa Omuemu, Matt Mullally and Anthony Capachietti are all possible choices to start in the backfield.
Defensively, the Warriors will rely upon experience in the linebacking and defensive back corps. Junior Matt Pond and senior Brandon Corey will be key cogs among the linebackers while Paul Darcy and Guerrini will be key pieces in the Warriors’ secondary. Foxboro will look to develop solid options on both the offensive and defensive lines.
“As always, the senior leadership plays a key role in the success of the 2016 campaign,” head coach Jack Martinelli said.
Outlook: The Scarlet Hawks have posted back-to-back 7-4 seasons and are hoping to continue their winning ways in 2016. With 11 starters returning, Milford is on the right track to do so.
It all starts with Yale-commit Blake Hill, who will be a top player on both offense and defense this season. Offensively he can hurt you in many ways, including running with the ball or catching passes. Hill will have some space to run thanks to an experienced offensive line that includes Riley Burns, Ryan Gray and Pat Brogioli. Junior Matt Curran will take over under center for the Scarlet Hawks and will have Jack Cappelletti, Tony Mobilia and Tyler Joyce as pass catching options to work with.
Defensively, Hill is one of the top linebackers in the league. He’ll be flanked by Harrison Bliss, Asong Aminmentse and Joyce. Burns, Gray and Brogioli will all be two-way linemen for the Scarlet Hawks. Shapel Feaster, who will also see touches on offense, will be in the secondary along with Alec Salamone, Mobilia and Cappelletti.
Outlook: As with any defending league champion, the North Attleboro Rocketeers will have some holes they’ll have to fill this year. But Big Red also has a slew of talented, experienced players back as North Attleboro looks to make a splash in its first season in the Davenport division.
Junior Chad Peterson is back under center after a breakout sophomore season in which he tossed 13 touchdowns, second most in the Hockomock League. While Kelley-Rex MVP Nick Morrison has graduated, North Attleboro returns Bobby Mylod and Nick Rajotte, who will give the Rocketeers a variety of attacking options. Thomas Reynolds will anchor the offensive line from the center position while Peterson will look for Hacmoni Cuevas, David Engler, Mario Bresko and Nick Dean to emerge as receiving threats.
It will be a lot of the same faces making plays on the defensive side of the ball. Reynolds and senior Tom Kummer are two major pieces and will take up the center of the defensive line. Mylod emerged as one of the top linebackers in the Hockomock and in the state last season and will be complemented at the position by Ryan Kingston, Zach DeMattio and Cuevas. Rajotte and Kyle McCarthy both had solid years in the secondary last season and will be big pieces to the defensive puzzle again this season.
“It’s going to be an interesting year switching to the Davenport division,” head coach Don Johnson said. “It certainly isn’t going to be any easier.”
Outlook: A lot of the players listed as key and returning players for Sharon this season were also on last year’s list, and that’s a good thing for the Eagles, who are looking to take the next step forward in 2016.
Junior Drew Naisuler will step into the starting role at quarterback and will have some weapons at his disposal right away. Running back Juvan Elisma had a stellar 2015 campaign as a junior, rushing for eight touchdowns – tied for fourth most in the Hockomock League and tied for second in the Davenport. Now Elisma will look to cap a strong football career at Sharon by leading an Eagles’ rushing attack that will likely include junior Sam Spencer as well. Naisuler will have an experienced receiver as Josh Rotman is back for another year while junior Austin Dodes figures to be another target this season.
“Our season will be decided by how physical we can be and if our new varsity players can step up and make an impact,” head coach Dave Morse said.
The Eagles will also bring back some experience on both sides of the line. Nate Hirsh has been a key cog of the line on both sides of the ball for the Eagles. Ian Langol-Leonard and Wilhelm Bolt also will likely be key experience pieces up front for Sharon. Defensively, Rotman also is back as a talented defensive back. Xavier Hackett is another name to keep an eye on, as the senior has been able to make plays for Sharon in the past and looks to do more of the same in 2016.
Outlook: No matter what team, it’s always going to be difficult to replace a three year starter at quarterback. But with the talented offensive line Stoughton has back this season and senior Dave Cellucci taking over under center, the Black Knights’ offense is in good shape.
The offensive line returns starters Lino Azul, Ryan Pierre and Andrew Iverson while Harry Kimball and Brendan Walsh – who both started on the defensive line – will play on both sides of the ball now. That experience will help give Cellucci a little more time in the pocket when he’s called upon to throw. Meanwhile, Ryan Sullivan, Izon Swain-Price and Justin Ly all figure to be key pieces in the backfield. Sullivan and Swain-Price caused havoc for defenses last season with a combined 10 rushing touchdowns. Swain-Price will also be a receiving option while Jack Connelly is back for another year at tight end.
Stoughton will look to continue its tradition of having a staunch defense. The Black Knights have depth on the defensive line with Pierre, Azul and Kimball all seeing time there along with junior Jason Joseph. Iverson, Ly and Connelly will all see reps at linebacker and Sullivan and Izon Swain-Price will likely be two of the top defensive backs in the entire league.
“We hope to stay healthy and get into the playoffs,” head coach Greg Burke said. “This has been a great group in the weight room and conditioning, that will have to carry us in the league. We know it will be a tough league this year.”
By Ryan Lanigan, Editor-in-Chief
FOXBORO, Mass. – If there’s one thing that Stoughton football has been able to hang its hat on for the past couple of years, it’s been defense.
If there was a second thing, it’d be running the ball.
With New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft on hand for part of the first half, Stoughton used those two signature traits to pick up a key 14-0 win over previously unbeaten Foxboro on Friday night, keeping their playoff hopes alive and throwing their hat into a three way tie for the lead in the Davenport with the Warriors and Canton.
“It was a great game,” Stoughton head coach Greg Burke said. “We’ve got some tough kids and we finally got our running game going and we went back to our three or four plays, that’s all we need. I don’t know what they had for total offense [yardage]. I think we deserved the win, I really do. The kids played great defense. Foxboro ran around a little bit but we made sure the kids stayed in their zones. We worked on not running around and not losing guys.”
The defense set the tone for the Black Knights, forcing a fumble and recovering on Foxboro’s opening drive only for it to be erased by an offsides call. But just two plays later, Stoughton was stuffing the Warriors on a fourth down rush to force the turnover on downs.
That’s when Stoughton’s second signature – the running game – came into play. Of the 50 plays that Stoughton ran on offense (minus a pair of QB kneels), 46 if them were either counters, sweeps or bursts right up the middle.
The first 11 of those plays were all rushing plays with Ryan Sullivan, Jake Gibb, Jordan Taylor and Izon Swain-Price all contrubting. On the 11th play of Stoughton’s opening series, Swain-Price broke a tackle up the left side and ran in for a 19 yard touchdown. Gibb’s extra point was good the Stoughton took a 7-0 lead.
The Warriors moved the ball some to start their next drive but eventually stalled at the start of the second quarter near midfield and were forced to punt. Quarterback Mark Clagg started in shotgun before dropping all the way back to punt formation. He took the snap and then took off running but Stoughton’s defense was alert and made the stop to get the ball back on downs.
Once again Stoughton went to the ground and moved the ball, highlighted by a 15 yard run from Taylor (13 carries, 60 yards). The Black Knights faced 3rd and 2 from the Foxboro nine yard line but a false start pushed them back five yards and a tipped pass on third down went incomplete. Gibb attempted a 31 yard field goal but it was just wide to the right.
Stoughton’s defense forced Foxboro into a punt six plays later but the Black Knights would be forced to kick it back. With under a minute to play, Stoughton attempted to punt but Jamaine Few came flying in for the block to give the ball to Foxboro at the Black Knights’ 32 yard line.
The Black Knights’ defense came up with a play right away though as Xzavian Marrero used good vision on the first play to get an interception and put an end to any hope of the Warriors scoring in the first half.
Coming out at halftime the Black Knights were able to double the lead on the opening drive. Nine yards from Sullivan on first down was followed two plays later by a sneak from Gibb to move the chains. Sullivan ran for seven more then Guy Eddy added four. Swain-Price’s (10 carries 97 yards) speed was key on the next play as he raced 55 yards to get inside the Foxboro five yard line, only stopped by a great hustle play from Austin Ryan.
Two plays later, Sullivan (15 carries, 61 yards) dove into the end zone to make it 14-0 Stoughton with 7:13 left in the third quarter.
“We just couldn’t establish any rhythm,” Foxboro coach Jack Martinelli said. “It was 7-0 at half and we’ve been there before. They came out and did what every coach wants his team to do. If you have the ball you want to score and make it a two score game and they did that. Give them a lot of credit.”
It was a much improved look for Stoughton’s offensive line, who had struggled in the opening game of the season weeks ago. Now with some changes, Matt Soto, Matt Medina, Brendan Walsh, Donnie Foley, Lino Azul and tight end Jack Connelly stood tall and helped Stoughton rack up 245 yards on the ground.
“It’s a whole new line and they’re strong kids,” Burke said. “They are tough and blood and guts and they don’t quit. They’ve done great and they’re getting better. We’re back in the hunt for the league title now but the big goal, our first goal is to get into the playoffs. We have to win next week. I’m just so proud of the Stoughton kids, we’re never going to quit. They are as tough as they come. They could have packed it in after last week but they didn’t, they worked harder.”
oxboro put together it’s longest drive of the game next, moving into Stoughton territory to the 36 yard line but an incompletion on second down was followed by a sack from Stoughton senior Devlin Carroll and the Warriors had to punt again. The Black Knights, who didn’t complete a pass on three attempts, were able to kill more of the clock on six running plays before having to punt.
Marrero was at it again just two plays later as he leaped up to haul in his second interception and gave the ball back to the Black Knights.
“Terrific, he had two huge interceptions,” Burke said.
With the win, Stoughton improves to 3-3 overall but more importantly, 3-1 in the Hockomock League’s Davenport Division. Foxboro suffered its first loss and missed out on a chance to clinch at least a share of the division title. The Warriors now sit at 5-1 overall and 3-1 in the division. Canton, a team that beat Stoughton but lost to Foxboro, is also 5-1 and 3-1 in the Davenport, meaning there could be a three-way tie for the title if all three teams win next week.
Stoughton will travel to Milford and Canton will take a trip to Sharon on Saturday the 24th while Foxboro travels to Oliver Ames on Friday the 23rd. Ryan Lanigan can be contacted at RyanLanigan@hockomocksports.com and followed on Twitter at @R_Lanigan.