Attleboro @ North Attleboro – Postponed to Wednesday, 5/29 at 6:30.
Foxboro vs. Norton – Postponed to Friday, 5/31 at 3:45.
Mansfield @ St. Peter Marian – Postponed to Saturday, 6/1 at 4:00.
Milford @ King Philip – Postponed to Wednesday, 5/29 at 4:30.
Taunton @ Durfee, 4:00 (@ UMass Dartmouth) – Postponed to Thursday, 5/30 at 4:00.
North Attleboro @ Attleboro – Postponed to Thursday, 5/30 at 3:30.
Canton @ Franklin – Postponed to Friday, 5/31 at 4:00.
King Philip @ Taunton – Postponed to Saturday, 6/1 at 7:00.
Attleboro, 10 @ Norton, 6 – Final – Attleboro closed the season out with a win over Norton with senior Trevor Koppy shinning in net. Koppy made 16 saves to pace the Bombardiers while sophomore Mike Strachan scored a team-high six goals. Junior Thomas Shipman chipped in with three goals and sophomore Matt Perry scored once.
Mansfield, 12 vs. Dartmouth, 11 – Final – The Hornets prevailed in a seesaw affair, netting the game-winning the waning moments of the contest. Junior Brady Kessler scored his team-high sixth goal of the game with just over a minute remaining in the game to give Mansfield a win in its second to last game of the year. Kessler scored on a feed from Nico Holmes for the game winner, the being tied at both halftime (6-6) and after three quarters of play (9-9). Mike Reed added a goal and three assists, Jake Quirk finished with a pair of goals and assists, and Aidan Sacco, Connor Quirk, and Jake DiSangro each scored once.
Milford, 5 vs. Dighton-Rehoboth, 2 – Final
Franklin, 12 @ Cohasset, 11 – Final – Franklin trailed just once in the game, down 2-1 early in the contest, but used a 5-0 run to take a lead that it never surrendered in a back-and-forth contest. The Panthers led 7-5 at halftime before the Skippers knotted the score at 9-9 with 17:20 to play. Franklin was able to outscore the hosts 3-2 over that final span to get the win. Senior Annie Walsh scored five goals and junior Erin Walsh scored a hat trick and had three assists.
Milford, 1 @ Foxboro, 4 – Final
King Philip @ Taunton – Postponed to Thursday, 5/30 at 3:45.
Sharon @ North Attleboro – Postponed to Thursday, 5/30 at 3:45.
Attleboro @ Milford – Postponed to TBD.
North Attleboro @ Sharon – Postponed to Thursday, 5/30 at 3:45.
Oliver Ames, 2 @ Norton, 3 – Final –
Franklin, 7 @ Attleboro, 6 – Final – Franklin battled to a one-run win over Attleboro in a tight-knit affair. Jake Fitzgibbons had two hits for the Panthers along with an RBI while Jack Nally (run, two walks), Cooper Ross (two runs, RBI), and JB Floris (run) each had one hit. Alex Haba added a run and Shane O’Neil scored the game-winning run for the Panthers. Liam Dailey got the win, tossing a complete game with eight hits allowed, three walks, and five earned runs. Tim Callahan and Nick McMahon each had two hits and two runs scored, Alvaro Espinal and Camden Fitzpatrick each drove in two runs, and Lorenzo Wilson had an RBI for the Bombardiers.
Foxboro, 0 @ North Attleboro, 2 – Final – North Attleboro scored one in the first and added another single run in the fourth, while sophomore Dennis Colleran (6IP, 2H, 4BB, 9K) had one of his best performance of the season. With the win the Rocketeers will finish no worse than second place in the Davenport division, which earns the defending D2 State champs a spot in the state tournament this year. Sophomore Jared Penta plated senior Brendan McHugh (single) with a sacrifice fly in the first. In the fifth, Shawn Watters singled and eventually scored on an error. Foxboro threatened with runners on second and third with one out in the sixth but Colleran got a fly ball and a strikeout. Kyle Bolger added two hits for North while Kyle Briere pitched a 1-2-3 seventh for the save. Foxboro’s Michael Devlin was strong in the loss, allowing two runs (one earned) on five hits and no walks in four innings.
King Philip, 6 vs. Bishop Feehan, 5 – Final – King Philip struck for four runs in the fifth inning to earn a win at home over visiting Bishop Feehan. Terry Murray pitched five innings and helped his own cause at the plate with two hits and three RBI. David Morganelli added two hits and an RBI for KP.
Mansfield, 0 vs. Bridgewater-Raynham, 2 – Final (8 Inn.)
Canton, 8 @ Sharon, 10 – Final – Sharon softball closed out its season with a victory against division rival Canton to finish with five wins this year. Sophomore Sneha Kini went 3-for-5 and scored three times for the Eagles and freshman Trinity Payne went 2-for-4 in the game and drove in four with a first inning grand slam. Freshman Savannah Gray and senior Lauren Yaffe each had three hits, while seniors Rebecca Clayman and Alli Small both had a pair of hits and combined for three runs scored. Julia Earley had a hit and two runs scored for Sharon as well.
Foxboro, 4 vs. Medway, 9 – Final
Milford, 0 @ Franklin, 8 – Final – Franklin took an early 2-0 lead and then saw its first four batters come around to score in the fifth on its way to a shutout win over Milford. Ally Shea (walk) and Maddy White (3-for-4, three runs, double) each scored on the first to put the Panthers ahead, and White (error), Sarah Jackson (triple), courtesy runnerKatie Smith (Jackie Cherry single), and Emily Valentino (single) all scored in the fifth. Cherry struck out 13 to earn the win for Franklin, allowing two hits and two walks over six innings.
Attleboro, 6 @ Stoughton, 5 – Final (OT) – Attleboro senior Cam Littig scored with less than a minute to go to lift the Bombardiers to a win on the road over Stoughton. Sophomore Mike Strachan and freshman Ryan Betts each scored twice while junior Thomas Shipman found the back of the net once for the Bombardiers. Senior Trevor Koppy made 14 saves in net to help Attleboro earn the win.
King Philip, 5 @ Franklin, 19 – Final – Franklin played a complete game, building a double-digit lead by halftime and never looking back to beat visiting King Philip in a non-league clash. Annie Walsh led the charge with seven goals and two assists, Erin Walsh added four goals and two helpers, and Kelsey MacCallum added three goals and two assists. Hailey Toolin anchored a strong defensive effort in front of Gianna Cameron (seven saves).
Mansfield, 22 @ Watertown, 20 – Final
Milford, 6 vs. Nipmuc, 15 – Final – Sophia Bucal scored three goals for Milford but the hosts fell to visiting Nipmuc. Emily Haley and Elena Bon Tempo each had a goal and an assist, Stella Amour scored once, and Jill Michelson added an assist.
Sharon, 10 @ Ursuline Academy, 20 – Final
North Attleboro, 5 @ Attleboro. 0 – Final – Click here for a photo gallery of this match. – North Attleboro juniors Will Redding and Isa Siddiq debuted at second singles, earning a straight set win in the Rocketeer’s sweep of rival Attleboro. Redding and Siddiq won 6-2, 6-0 while the first doubles of Tomas Bentley and Vikram Senthilakumaran picked up a 6-1, 6-4 win at first doubles. Sophomore Jonah Manso (first singles), sophomore Sam Gallagher (second singles) and senior Saketh Uppuluri each won 6-0, 6-0 for North.
Franklin, 2 vs. Hopedale, 3 – Final – Franklin’s Liam Marr, Saketh Saripalli, and Vayshnav Malhotra each won but the Panthers fell under the lights to visiting Hopedale. Marr won 6-2, 6-2 at first singles while Saripalli and Malhotra picked up a 6-3, 6-4 win at first doubles.
Stoughton, 5 vs. Brockton, 0 – Final – Stoughton picked up a pair of wins over the Boxers, playing two eight game pro sets and sweeping visiting Brockton. Waseem Sablon won 8-0, 8-0 at first singles, Erik Anderson earned a 8-2, 8-1 win decision at second singles, freshman Anish Sinha took an 8-2, 8-1 win at third singles, and Hassan Khan and LJ Ferrandiz each won 8-2, 8-3, respectively.
Mansfield, 3 vs. Westwood, 2 – Final – Mansfield won all three singles matches to edge Westwood in a non-league clash. Senior Luke Nickerson won 6-0, 6-1 at first singles, senior Luke Devine picked up a 6-3, 6-2 win at second singles, and junior Nilay Pangrekar clinched the win with a 6-3, 6-0 victory at third singles.
King Philip, 3 vs. Bishop Feehan, 2 – Final – King Philip won a pair of singles matches and one more in doubles action to edge non-league rival Bishop Feehan. Nick Putney picked up a 6-0, 6-2 win at second singles while Jack Cannon grabbed a 6-1, 6-0 win at third singles. The team of Nate Ihley and Zak Ryan emerged from first doubles with a 6-1, 6-2 win.
Milford, 3 @ Medway, 2 – Final – Milford senior Riley Lynch prevailed in a three set thriller, pulling out the win to secure the victory for the Scarlet Hawks. Lynch emerged with a 7-5, 6-7 (5-7), 6-4 at second singles while classmate Brendan O’Shaughnessy earned a 6-1, 6-2 win at first singles and senior Cam Doherty picked up a 6-2, 6-4 win at third singles.
Attleboro, 3 @ North Attleboro, 2 – Final – The Bombardiers went on the road and took two wins in singles action and prevailed in three sets at second doubles to secure the win over rival North Attleboro. The team of Jordan Benardo and Rena Danho battled back to earn a 5-7, 6-3, 6-3 win at second doubles to clinch the win. Ella Lynch-Bartek added a 2-6, 6-4, 6-0 comeback win at first and Bri Aronne notched a 6-1, 6-0 win at second singles for Attleboro. North’s Olivia Wills won 6-0, 6-0 at third singles and the team of Haley Strom and Sam Martino prevailed 5-7, 7-6 (7-5), retired/injury.
Franklin, 1 @ Oliver Ames, 4 – Final – Oliver Ames defended home court, sweeping singles action and grabbing one more win in doubles play. Sarah Leger won 6-3, 6-1 at first singles and Maura Kiernan picked up a 6-0, 6-0 win at second singles. The team of Eva Belanger and Morgan Vasiliou emerged with a 6-4, 6-4 win at first doubles. Franklin’s Krissy Stoyonova and Vagmi Kantheti won 7-6 (7-5), 6-1 at second doubles.
Stoughton @ Brockton, 3:45
King Philip, 4 @ Bishop Feehan, 1 – Final
King Philip, 0 @ Taunton, 3 – Final – Taunton avenged a loss to the Warriors from earlier in the season to get a 3-0 sweep (25-10, 25-20, 25-23) on Senior Night and qualify for the state tournament for the third straight season. Senior Gage Kingman had a team-high 13 kills for the Tigers, senior Alex Tavares added nine kills, and senior Jason Khang chipped in with seven digs. King Philip’s Eric Altobello had a team-high nine kills, Jimmy Peterson added five kills, Kyle Desrochers added 14 digs, and Cam Corey dished out 21 assists for the Warriors, who finish their inaugural regular season at 14-3.
Oliver Ames, 9 @ King Philip, 8 – Final – Oliver Ames scored three runs in the top of the sixth inning, punctuated by a two-run double and run scored by Chris Pearsons, who also tossed four scoreless innings in relief, as the Tigers finished a comeback attempt at KP. Pearsons drove in Jared Spillane (HBP) and Kyle O’Connor (single), and then came around to scored on a single from Nick Marks. Pearsons didn’t allow a walk in his relief appearance, allowing the Tigers to claw back into the game. Spillane also had two hits and an RBI while Sean O’Brien had two RBI and a strong game defensively in center.
Taunton @ Mansfield – Postponed to Saturday, 5/4 at 12:00 at Taunton.
Sharon, 7 @ Stoughton, 13 – Final
Canton, 11 @ Milford, 7 – Final – Canton junior Caroline Hughes had a strong day in the circle and gave the Bulldogs a boost offensively in a road win at Milford. She struck out five and had three hits at the plate, driving in three runs. Jackie Morrissey (3-for-4) hit her first home run and Steph Trendell chipped in with three hits for Canton. Milford junior Megan Hart went 3-for-4 with a double two runs and two RBI while junior Amanda Wenckus (RBI, two runs), freshman Olivia Morelli (run, RBI) and senior Molly Moschilli (three RBI) each had two hits.
King Philip @ Oliver Ames – Postponed to a date and time to be announced.
Mansfield, 1 @ Taunton, 6 – Final – Mansfield took a 1-0 lead in the top of the third but Taunton sophomore Hanna Aldrich connected for a grand slam in the bottom half, highlighting a six-run inning as the Tigers earned a win over the visiting Hornets. Mansfield’s Mary Muldoon singled, advanced to second on a sac bunt and scored on a double from Mady Bendanillo to take the lead. But Aldrich smacked her league-leading seventh home run in the bottom half to help the hosts pull ahead. Aldrich also had three stolen bases and had a stellar day defensively at short, as did McKenzie McAloon at second and Kelsey White in the circle. White allowed five hits total while striking out six. Alexa White added two hits and a run, Rylie Murphy had a hit and an RBI, and McAloon went 1-for-3 with a run scored. Sarah Cahill allowed five hits in the circle for Mansfield, who also got hits from Caty DeMassi, Ella Verheggen, and Emma Roche.
Stoughton, 11 @ Sharon, 0 – Final – Stoughton sophomore Nicole Baker allowed just two hits and walked one, striking out 11 in a strong performance on the road. The Black Knights had 19 hits as a team with Lexi Baptista and Brianna Ferrandiz leading the way with three apiece. Karly Estremera (two RBI), Jordan Lyons (RBI), Nikki Coppola, Julia Driscoll, and Baker (three RBI) each had two hits while Melody Casna and Sydney Menz each contributed one hit for Stoughton.
Stoughton, 2 @ Attleboro, 9 – Final – Attleboro sophomore Mike Strachan scored a hat trick and senior Trevor Koppy made 12 saves behind a stellar defensive performance to lead the Bombardiers to a non-league win over Stoughton. Junior Thomas Shipman added two coals for Attleboro while junior Cam McKenna, sophomore Aidan Diggin, and freshman Keigan Conley each scored once.
Foxboro, 6 @ Newton North, 10 – Final – Foxboro’s Brendan Tully and Bobby Yerardi (assist) each scored twice but the Warriors fell on the road at Newton North. Pete Conley and Shayne Kerrigan each scored once while Ronnie MacLellan had a strong game defensively.
Sharon, 5 @ Shrewsbury, 13 – Final
Canton, 20 @ Quincy, 15 – Final
Foxboro, 9 vs. Notre Dame Academy, 18 – Final
Mansfield vs. Ashland, 4:30
Sharon, 11 vs. Ursuline Academy, 12 – Final (2OT) – Sharon rallied from a four-goal deficit at halftime (9-5) to tie the game at the end of regulation but fell in double overtime to visiting Ursuline Academy. Jenna Goldstein had a team-high six goals, Emma Eberhardt totaled seven points with three goals and four assists, Bridget McManus scored twice, and Mia Lappen had an assist for the Eagles.
Taunton @ New Bedford, 4:00
Canton @ Milford – Postponed to a date and time to be announced.
King Philip @ Oliver Ames – Postponed to a date and time to be announced.
Stoughton @ Sharon – Postponed to Thursday, 5/9 at 3:45.
Mansfield @ Taunton, 3:45
Milford @ Canton – Postponed to a date and time to be announced.
Oliver Ames @ King Philip – Postponed to a date and time to be announced.
Sharon @ Stoughton – Postponed to Thursday, 5/9 at 3:45.
Taunton @ Mansfield, 3:45
King Philip, 3 @ Keefe Tech, 1 – Final – King Philip jumped out to a two game lead and then earned a win in the fourth game to prevent a comeback from Keefe Tech to win 3-1 (25-9, 25-21, 21-25, 25-16). Cam Corey had a strong game for the Warriors, dishing out 39 assists, adding 17 service points and finishing with seven digs. Eric Altobello (13 kills), Jimmy Peterson (10 kills), and Billy Hughes (six kills, block) paced the Warriors’ offense while Kyle Desrochers (10 digs) and Alex Bernhard (four digs) shined defensively.
ATTLEBORO, Mass. – The North Attleboro players looked around for Hilda, the trophy awarded to the winner of this Thanksgiving rivalry, but the trophy was nowhere to be found. So, instead, the Rocketeers lifted freshman kicker and quarterback Tyler DeMattio to celebrate another win in the long-running series with Attleboro.
It was fitting that DeMattio’s teammates would lift him up after the game, since he stepped up in the second half and propelled North to the victory.
In his first snaps as varsity quarterback, DeMattio scored three touchdowns and accounted for all of North’s points on Thursday morning at a bitterly cold Tozier-Cassidy Field, sparking North to a come from behind 20-7 win over the Bombardiers.
“Tyler is a talented player, who has had a great year as a freshman and we’ve been watching him all along and felt like he was the next best available quarterback, so got him ready,” said North coach Don Johnson about DeMattio stepping in for the second half. He joked that DeMattio was North’s “secret weapon” and agreed that he was the “spark” that the Rocketeers needed.
Attleboro came close to adding to its 7-0 halftime lead on its first possession of the second half. Justin Cote (24 carries, 114 yards) and Jason Weir (14 carries, 95 yards) continued to find seams in the North defense and moved the ball down to the Rocketeers eight, using up almost the entire third quarter in the process.
DeMattio took over from sophomore quarterback Matt Penta (nine carries, 43 yards), who replaced Nick Raneri as the starter following Raneri’s shoulder injury against Duxbury. After a pair of keepers, the freshman dropped back and heaved a ball down field. It avoided a group of Attleboro defenders and fell into the hands of Ryan Gaumond, who raced the rest of the way to the end zone for an 85-yard score that tied the game with just 59 seconds left in the third.
“That was the momentum changer no question,” said Johnson. “That was a pop-up thrown by the freshman but that’s pretty good that your first varsity pass is a touchdown on Thanksgiving. It doesn’t matter what it looks like.”
Attleboro coach Mike Strachan said, “The catch that Gaumond made in the wind, I think that turned the game for us. It really did and DeMattio gave them a spark.”
Attleboro’s next possession ended with a turnover. Brendan McHugh (nine carries, 38 yards) took advantage of a slip by Michael Strachan and picked off Weir’s pass to get the ball back at the Attleboro 30. Three keepers later and DeMattio slipped through the middle of the Bombardiers defense for a seven-yard score and the lead.
The game had turned around for the visitors in just three minutes.
“I’m proud of the way we played,” Strachan said, “we just got away from a few things, fundamentally, in the second half and I think DeMattio did a good job.”
The Bombardiers had a chance to tie the game. After a Strachan carry, Attleboro was as close as the North four-yard-line, but Duane Bryant got into the backfield and stuffed Cote for a six-yard loss on third down. On fourth and nine, Cote’s pass to Ethan Cameron was tipped aside by Bryan Engler.
“A couple turnovers down inside and we just can’t do that,” said Strachan. “I said turnovers would play a big part in this and ended up being a huge part of it in the end.”
North still needed a first down to seal the win. The Rocketeers got that and a lot more, as DeMattio broke through the middle and raced 90 yards for his third touchdown of the game and the cue for the Attleboro crowd to head to its cars.
“They were running Weir on the quarterback follows, so we had trouble with that, and Cote was doing a great job bouncing the powers outside and we weren’t getting good force,” said Johnson about the change North made defensively in the second half. It was mentioned that the defensive line, led by Kummer and Davenport division MVP Ryan Clemente, dominated after the break and Johnson responded, “They did, but I thought the secondary did a good job coming up and making plays in the run game.”
Attleboro was on its heels at the start of the game, as North drove into the wind all the way to the Bombardiers 10. On first and goal, the Rocketeers fumbled the hand-off and Raneri dove on the ball for a loss of two. Penta was stopped by a host of Bombardiers on second down, including Nick Evans, and gained only one. Isaac Guidel pressured Penta into an incomplete pass on third down and then the fourth down pass to McHugh was inches out of the back of the end zone.
“It was disappointing, I think it would’ve changed the complexion of the game,” said Johnson of the first drive. “But, give Attleboro credit, they played good defense and stopped us.”
The Bombardiers flipped the momentum by driving down field and taking the lead. Cote gained 18 yards on a third-down toss to the left and Weir broke free for 44 yards on a pair of keepers to get inside the North five. Cote punched it in from two yards out to make it 7-0.
The teams traded turnovers for the remainder of the half. Desmond Woodson recovered a fumble, but Attleboro went three-and-out to give it back. Then Cameron picked off a Penta pass, only for Engler to intercept a Weir pass inside the 10. Weir got the ball back with a fumble recovery just before halftime to keep the Bombardiers in the lead at the break.
North Attleboro closes the season at 8-3 and won its 61st game in the series, which had its 98th Thanksgiving Day installment on Thursday. Attleboro closes the season at 4-7.
MANSFIELD, Mass. – All the build-up to Friday night’s Kelley-Rex division title showdown at Alumni Field presumed that Mansfield and Attleboro were going to slug it out in a defensive battle with points difficult to come by. It turned out to be the exact opposite.
Senior Khristian Conner scored with 32 seconds remaining in the game to give Mansfield the edge over the Bombardiers 42-35 and clinch the Hornets at least a share of the league title. It is Mansfield’s first division championship since 2013.
“It means everything,” said Conner about getting back on top in the league. “We worked hard over the summer for it. We just kept with it, didn’t let anything stop us and we just got the win. It feels amazing. It feels awesome.
Mansfield coach Mike Redding added, “This was an unbelievable high school football game. They came to play, they answered every time we had the momentum. Thank god we answered when they did.” Redding joked, “So many plays on both sides…it will be a fun one to watch; it was a tough one to coach.”
Attleboro took its only lead of the game with 1:39 remaining in the fourth quarter. Justin Cote (seven carries, 50 yards), who had also caught a 20-yard pass on the go-ahead drive, raced up the middle for a 12-yard score that tied the game at 34-34. Two false starts pushed the extra point attempt back 10 yards but sophomore Colby Briggs was unfazed and split the uprights to put the visitors in front.
The Bombardiers had forced Mansfield to punt just twice on the night, but after Nick Evans sacked Hornets quarterback Aidan Sacco for no gain the hosts faced fourth and 10 from their own 26. Sacco (5-of-8, 111 yards) bought time and hit Cincere Gill for 28 yards over the middle. The sophomore, who rushed for three touchdowns on the night, was covered but managed to pull in the pass to keep the game alive.
Sacco (nine carries, 79 yards) rushed for nine yards and then broke free on a keeper to the left sideline for 26 yards and got out of bounds at the Attleboro 11. On the next play, Conner completed the comeback by finding a seam right up the gut for the score.
“They’re a really good team – good defensive team, good on offense – and they have great players but we just had to fight through it to be the better team,” Conner said.
Attleboro’s offense had found ways to come back all game long, but with only 32 seconds, there just wasn’t enough time to get up the field and a pass to Cote for four yards on fourth and 10 ended the game.
“Our offense played really, really well,” said Attleboro coach Mike Strachan. “Weir played awesome, it was just back-and-forth. We could definitely win the game, we just didn’t give him enough time at the end.”
Both offenses were able to move the ball from the opening kick-off. Mansfield took its opening possession 56 yards on seven plays to get a quick lead. Gill finished off the drive with a seven-yard sweep.
The Bombardiers returned the favor with a 12-play, 75-yard drive on its first possession. Attleboro surprised the Hornets by going to the air with greater frequency than usual and junior Jason Weir (18-29, 251 yards) had a big night, hitting nine different receivers. After catching a halfback pass from Ethan Cameron (five catches, 69 yards), Weir capped the drive with a three-yard toss to Jacob Weatherford.
Mansfield got the lead back late in the second quarter when Sacco threw a 26-yard strike to Conner, who had gotten wide open in the front corner of the end zone. Attleboro answered right back, as Weir connected with sophomore Justin Daniels to make it 14-14 with 2:28 left in the half.
That was plenty of time for Mansfield to add another touchdown. Sacco got the Hornets to the Attleboro 31 and then Gill broke free for his second score of the night. He cut back on a sweep, finding a hole in the middle of the line and exploding through it.
“He’s special and I think we have a very good running back,” Redding said of Gill. “Vinnie [Holmes] had some decent runs, but they were bottling us up inside and Khristian ran hard, Cincere ran hard, Aidan had some nice runs and throws and just doing enough to overcome some injuries.”
Even with just a minute on the clock, Attleboro was able to get the ball into the red zone again and had a touchdown called back when the officials ruled Weir had cross the line of scrimmage before he threw. Makhi Baskin picked off the final throw of the half. Coming out of the break, the Bombardiers got the ball again, but on the first play Weir was stripped of the ball and Holmes recovered for the Hornets at the Attleboro 23.
Mansfield took advantage of the short field and Sacco got on the board with an 11-yard keeper to make it 28-14. It felt like the Hornets were about to break the game wide open. Instead, Attleboro came right back down field and cut the lead to one score. A 13-play, 75 yard drive ended on a one-yard sneak by Weir to make it 28-21.
The track meet continued on Mansfield’s next possession. Sacco hit Conner for a 26-yard completion to get into Attleboro territory. Four plays later, on fourth and two from the 21, Gill took another sweep around the end and broke free, adding his third touchdown of the night. Attleboro would give itself a lifeline by blocking Michael DeBolt’s extra point attempt, but it was a 13-point Mansfield lead.
Attleboro made it a quick response. Weir got the ball out to the sideline to Kevin Velazquez-Rivera, who then turned up field and showed off his speed for a 45-yard touchdown. Evans made a huge stop on third and five, stuffing Sacco for a four-yard loss and forcing a rare Mansfield punt.
The Bombardiers came right back, with Weir connecting with Cameron on a fourth down pass to the near sideline that kept the drive going. After a 20-yard completion to Cote, the senior running back took it himself, going straight up the middle for the 12-yard TD. Briggs held his nerve to put Attleboro in front and on the verge of arguably the program’s biggest win since its move to the Hock.
But, Mansfield showed that it has some grit as well. The Hornets found a way to pull out the victory and will go into the final week of the regular season with a chance to clinch the title outright.
“These games just always seem to go back-and-forth,” Strachan said. “We’ve just got to bounce back against Franklin and play well. I thought we did a good job; they’ve got athletes everywhere, you’ve got to defend everything.”
Redding noted that the Hornets lost a pair of seniors, Chris Copponi and Daenin Walker, to injuries. He said, “We’ve had adversity every week but still find a way to beat an awfully good football team.”
Mansfield (5-1, 4-0) will travel to Oliver Ames next week to try and close out a perfect league campaign and potentially take the top spot in Div. 2 South. Attleboro (4-2, 2-2) will try to bounce back and possibly secure a first round home game in the Div. 1 South tournament with a trip to Franklin.
ATTLEBORO, Mass. – The combination of Attleboro quarterback Jason Weir and running back Justin Cote is going to be a handful for opposing teams this season. Milford found that out firsthand on Friday night.
Weir and Cote combined for over 200 yards on the ground, helping the Bombardiers open their season with a 21-7 win over the visiting Scarlet Hawks.
“We want to run the ball first,” said Attleboro head coach Mike Strachan. “Jason is big and tough and Justin is a dynamic running back. We’re able to move some things around and we’re still trying to find our identity a bit but I think what you saw tonight is what we’re going to be.”
The Bombardiers had 28 rushing plays in the second half compared to just one passing attempt.
Weir accounted for 139 yards of offense, going 6-for-8 for 41 yards and one passing touchdown while picking up 98 yards and one rushing touchdown on 17 carries. Meanwhile, Cote had 125 rushing yards on 15 carries and scored once.
Both defenses stood tall to start the game but a mistake of special teams opened the door for Attleboro to cash in. A punt from Attleboro’s Nolan Jaeger was dropped at the 10-yard line and Bombardier Isaac Guidel pounced on the loose ball to get possession back for the hosts.
Milford’s defense stood tall for the first three plays, including dropping Cote for a loss on third down but Attleboro decided to go for it. On the first play of the second quarter, Weir hit junior Ethan Cameron as he faded to the corner of the end zone for a 16-yard touchdown.
Colby Briggs’ extra point put Attleboro up 7-0 with 10:54 left in the second quarter.
Milford’s offense stalled at its own 28-yard line but senior punter Sean Lehane drilled a deep kick that just rolled into the end zone for a touchback, forcing Attleboro to drive 80 yards.
Attleboro got halfway there before having to punt. The Bombardier defense came up with a big stop again, forcing Milford to punt from its own 33-yard line. Lehane once again came up big as his punt was downed at the Attleboro 12-yard line.
With little time left in the half, Attleboro couldn’t get much further than midfield and a strip sack from Ryan Hazard ended the drive as time expired on the first half.
The Bombardiers’ offense set the tone for the second half with its first drive, going 80 yards on 10 plays.
Cameron had a 9-yard rush, Weir had a 12-yard run and Cote rattled off a 28-yard rush during the drive. A 9-yard rush from Cote got Attleboro to the 1-yard line and Weir did the rest from there, using a sneak to squeeze up the middle for a score and a 14-0 advantage with 5:42 left in the third quarter.
Milford ran its only three plays of the quarter but Attleboro’s defense came up with a stop on third and short and had to punt.
“Defensively we’re pretty physical up front, the front four is a pretty good group,” Strachan said. “I’m proud of our kids and we just have to build on this one and now we have Dartmouth next week and that’s where the focus has to be on.”
Starting at its own 28-yard line, Attleboro used 13 plays — all rushing — to cover 72 yards. Weir converted the first three third downs on the drive before the Bombardiers were faced with fourth from the 33-yard line.
Cote burst out to his right, hesitated to fake out a defender, and then took off again, racing through defenders for a 33-yard score and a 21-0 lead with 7:02 in the fourth quarter.
“The defense was on the field far too long,” said Milford head coach Anthony Vizakis. “We had a couple of missed opportunities but we’ll work on them and try to get better tomorrow. Attleboro is a big, strong, and physical team and they use it to their advantage.”
Milford put together its best drive of the game in response to Attleboro’s third touchdown. Junior Colby Pires (16-for-23, 101 yards) hit Lehane and Hugo Lopes on back-to-back nine yard completions, earning Milford’s first first-down of the second half.
Brendan White (six catches, 60 yards) hauled in an eight yard pass, and one play later, went for 23 yards on fourth down. Four plays later, Luke Rosa broke through two tackles in the backfield and plunged through the defense for a 1-yard touchdown.
Lehane hit the extra point and then used a perfect chip that allowed Dylan Ortiz to go up and catch the onside kick. Milford began to move the ball again, picking up back-to-back first downs but Pires was hit as he threw on the next play and Cameron hauled in the pass for an interception.
Although Milford’s defense stopped Attleboro on three straight plays, Attleboro’s defense got the ball right back when Jaeger intercepted the Hawks’ first play of the next drive.
“[Milford] played us really tough, they did a good job defensively,” Strachan said. “That’s a good football team with a lot of good players, I think they’re going to do well in their division.
Attleboro football (1-0) is back in action on Friday when it travels to Dartmouth. Milford (0-1) has its home opener next week when it hosts Franklin.
Injuries hampered Attleboro right from the start of the 2017 season, but the 2018 Bombardiers are healthy and hoping for a big turnaround this fall to compete with the top teams in the Kelley-Rex division and make a return to the postseason.
The graduation of quarterback Cam Furtado is a significant loss on offense, but the Bombardiers will hand the ball to junior Jason Weir, who has a big arm and a lot of potential at the QB position. Size and strength won’t be a problem for Weir, who played defensive end as a sophomore. Seniors Justin Cote and Alex Rodriguez will be the primary backs for Attleboro this year and give the Bombardiers dynamic weapons out of the backfield. The offensive line is bolstered by 6-foot-6, 290-pound junior Qualeem Charles and 6-foot-3, 265-pound senior Nick Evans. At 6-foot-3, junior Nolan Jaeger will be a weapon at receiver along with senior Josh Therrien and sophomore tight end Michael Strachan.
Evans battled injuries at the start of last season, but he is one of the top defensive linemen in the league and is drawing Div. I college offers. Attleboro will be a tough team to run against this season with Evans on the end and Charles (who is also getting DI looks) and 6-foot-3, 365-pound senior Eddie Porreca on the inside. Strachan and junior Isaac Gudiel will be starting at inside linebacker, while senior Desmond Woodson will be starting on the outside. Therrien is capable of making plays downfield at his free safety position and will be the leader of the secondary.
“I am looking forward to the 2018 season,” said Attleboro coach Mike Strachan. “We have a strong senior class and we have strong leadership on our football team. Our team worked out hard in the off-season and I am looking forward to that hard work paying off this season.”
Third-year head coach Eian Bain is optimistic about the 2018 season, and the long list of players returning with plenty of experience is a big reason why. The Panthers have over a dozen players back that started or saw significant time on offense and the same goes for the defense, include a very seasoned secondary.
Franklin must replace three-year starter Jake Noviello at quarterback but Bain is confident that a healthy competition between senior Nick Gordon and junior Thomas Gasbarro will result in a strong option starting under center for the opening week. While Franklin has to replace its quarterback, they return a ton of skill players on offense including senior tight end Sean Leonard, who hauled in a league-best eight touchdown passes last season. Ryan Driscoll (five touchdowns), Jack Nally, Will Davis, and Jake Davis will fill out the receiving corps while Sean Hofferty and Owen Palmieri man the backfield. Seniors Riley Downing and Liam Arsenault are experienced and will anchor the offensive line.
Junior Evan Wertz will be a key piece in the middle of the Panthers’ defense after having a breakout campaign last year with nearly 100 tackles from his linebacker spot. Senior Spencer Briggs and sophomore Alex Honor will also see time at linebacker while Downing is joined by Jack Jarosz, Dom Natale, and Keenan Bassma on the defensive line. The Panthers boast a seasoned secondary with Nolan McLaney and Driscoll both back, along with Palmieri, Jake Davis, and both Gasbarro and Gordon.
“We have experience on both sides of the ball,” Bain said. “It is a cohesive group that has been working hard together for our first two years and they are eager to the turn the corner with our program.”
The target on King Philip’s back is bigger than ever as the Warriors pulled off a second straight undefeated season and another state championship.
So how will head coach Brian Lee get this year’s team to focus on 2018 and not the past two seasons?
“The work and preparation have been the same but now it’s up to this season class to leave their legacy,” Lee said. “The previous two classes had their moments, now it’s up to these seniors to make their own moment. This team will go as far as these seniors lead them.”
The seniors will have plenty of opportunities to make their mark because King Philip doesn’t have a returning starter on offense. The Warriors need to replace quarterback Brendan Lydon, who didn’t lose a game as a starter. Junior Robbie Jarest looks poised to take over under center this season. While it isn’t a lot of experience, Jarest took over in the second half of the state final after Lydon got hurt and helped the Warriors finish off Lincoln-Sudbury. The toughest shoes to fill will be those of Shane Frommer, who will go down as one of the best players in KP history.
Junior Ryan Halliday will be the feature back while Aidan Bender and Sam Callanan will be in the mix as well. Jack Webster and Jack Collentro will be keys to the offense from the fullback position. Senior Terrell Jacobs Bastons has some experience on both sides of the ball and will likely start at guard while classmate Josh Fice will fill in the other guard spot. Junior Nolan Gunning is likely to get a starting spot as well, either at center or tackle.
Defense has been a staple for the Warriors throughout their successful run over the last couple of years, and that’s what KP will count on again this season. The strength will come from the linebackers with Webster back in an outside spot and Max Armour returning in the middle. Jacobs Bastons will be a big presence in the middle of the defensive line while the secondary will have familiar faces back in Aidan Bender, Timmy Nault, and safety Luke D’Amico.
And as we saw in the state final, having a reliable kicker is priceless. Cole Baker, who booted the winning field goal in the final, is back for his third year. Not only will he be a big help on offense, his kickoffs will be a weapon for the defense.
Mansfield has finished second in the Kelley-Rex in each of the past three seasons and the Hornets will be counting on experience under center and depth at the skill positions to end King Philip’s two-year reign atop the division and return to the top of the league standings for the first time since 2013.
Senior Damani Scott will be the starter at quarterback for the second straight season and he will be backed up by the capable Jack Mousette, giving the Hornets plenty of experience and reliability from their signal caller. Scott will also have a ton of weapons to call on this year with a skill position group that head coach Mike Redding calls one of the best that Mansfield has had in a while. Khristian Conner and Aidan Sacco will be weapons in the passing game while junior Vinnie Holmes is back in the backfield. Juniors Makhi Baskin, Michael DeBolt (who was also an outstanding kicker last year), and Nick Marciano will provide depth in the slot/running back positions. Senior Daenin Walker and junior Jason Comeau will add experience to the offensive line.
Defensively, Holmes will return to the linebacking corps after setting a program record for tackles in a season as a sophomore. Seniors Chris Copponi and Philip Dinov also return and can play as linebackers or as defensive ends depending on matchups. The secondary will be strong for the Hornets this year with Conner and Sacco at the corners and Marciano and Baskin at the safety positions. The only new additions on the defense are Anthony Capece at noseguard and junior Joe Plath at linebacker.
Redding said, “We have an experienced, athletic, aggressive defense that should be tough to score on and we’re young on offense, but have a ton of depth and talent at skill positions. Just need to gain some experience up front with our new guys on OL and DL.”
The 2018 version of the Oliver Ames Tigers have already had to make an audible after star running back Anthony Berksza suffered a season-ending injury over summer. Berksza had a breakout year last season, rushing for over 1,100 yards and finished with 16 total touchdowns, 15 of those rushing.
With Berksza out, Oliver Ames will rely heavily on the rest of its returning starters to carry the load. Junior Cam Perron returns under center after taking over the starting job during the regular season last year. While Perron looks to find some of his options, he has an offensive line protecting him that has some experience but will be looking to form cohesiveness throughout the year. Dean Pacini, Shane Murphy, Billy Tat, Luke Thibeault, and Garrett Wood all return with experience playing on the line. One challenge will be finding someone to step up and be a leader of that group after the graduation of two-time all star Jack Mills.
Nathan Cabral takes over as the feature tailback and OA head coach Mike Holland is confident the junior can get the job done. Holland says Cabral runs hard and is a tough player. Perron will also have the likes of Shane Kilkelly, Jake Erlich, and Evan Craig to work with as targets.
The heart of the defense will be at the linebacker position. Both Pacini, Murphy, and Darnele Ryan return after starting there last year and Holland will count on both senior captains to lead the way for the Tigers. Sam Stevens is back in the secondary at the safety position but OA will need some new faces to emerge alongside him.
“We’re looking forward to the start of the season,” Holland said. “We have a great group across the board. We have some experienced players back and some talented players competing for jobs.”
Taunton started last season with a 3-0 record, one of the program’s best starts in years, but then lost five straight games, including a playoff game against BC High, the top seed in Div. 1 South. The Tigers turned it on again from that point, winning the final three games of the season, including an impressive win against Brockton, to finish with a winning record under second-year head coach Brad Sidwell.
Experience will be a key for the Tigers this season, as Taunton tries to build on that playoff appearance and the momentum from a strong closing stretch. Senior Noah Leonard will be the starting quarterback for the third straight year and is now fluent in Sidwell’s offensive system. Leonard will have familiar targets in senior wideouts Brayden Merrill, Tryton Zavala, and Wesner Charles, while junior Cam Carroca looks to step in as a feature running back and junior Javon Franklin is a new target in the passing game. On the line, Taunton returns plenty of size in 6-foot-3, 337-pound tackle Christian Tourinho and his fellow senior Cam Correiro. Senior Ryan Williams will be the center, while junior Mason Frank, listed at 6-foot-2 and 274 pounds, will be back to battle at the line of scrimmage.
Size and athleticism will be strengths for Taunton on the defensive side of the ball as well. Tourinho, Correiro, and Frank can bottle up opposing running games and will be joined on the line by seniors Corey Pintabone and John Rockwood. Williams will lead the linebacking corps along with classmates Max Moitoso and Kyle Cuoto. Senior Prince Brown will be back at corner and senior Sebastien Celestin looks to step into the safety position.
“Taunton football is progressing forward,” said Sidwell. “Like all teams, we’d like to gain some confidence early in the season and carry it on. The Kelley-Rex division is challenging with great programs, coaching staffs, and communities. We are happy to be a part of it and want to represent Taunton High well by competing at the high standard set by the other league members.”
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. – Not every game can be summed up by just one quarter, but the third quarter of Friday’s contest between Attleboro and Franklin essentially told the story.
The Bombardiers ran twice as many plays as the visiting Panthers over the first 10 minutes of the frame, and found the end zone three times, turning a close game into a 37-18 runaway win and securing Big Blue a playoff berth.
“We made the plays,” said Attleboro head coach Mike Strachan. “We made some adjustments at halftime that worked for us. And just overall I thought we played physical. I think that wore them down a little bit by the end.
“We came to win. We had a good week of practice and now we have to build off that. I’m proud of our team – I’m proud of the special team, proud of the offense, proud of our defense. We just have to build off of it and see where the chips fall now.”
After going three and out in its first drive, Attleboro’s defense went on a tear over its next three series. Meanwhile, the Panthers were forced into three and out on each of their first three drives of the second half.
“That’s the difference, [our defense] was on the field for a long time, and they played as well as they could,” said Franklin head coach Eian Bain. “Offensively we just didn’t execute. It wasn’t that the kids weren’t prepared, we didn’t take Attleboro lightly. We executed great to start. Then we couldn’t run the ball, then we missed open guys. We missed some running lanes.
“The scoreboard is going to say we gave up 37 points but I don’t think it speaks at all to how our defense played and executed.”
Attleboro’s second drive of the second half almost didn’t get going at all. A bad snap on third down looked like it was going to end the drive, but senior quarterback Cam Furtado (12 carries, 119 yards, two total touchdowns) bought some time and hit Elvin Sam on the sideline, who was ruled in bounds, for an eight-yard gain. Then Furtado’s sneak on fourth down moved the chains.
Big Blue committed to the ground game from there, running out of its “tank” formation for the majority of the drive. Justin Cote (16 carries, 94 yards, three total touchdowns) had two carries for a total of 15 yards, Furtado converted a second down with a six-yard run and Cote capped the drive with a seven-yard score. Furtado’s two-point rush made it 16-6 with 5:27 left in the quarter.
Another quick stop got the ball back for Attleboro at their own 26-yard line. On the second play of the drive, Furtado went play action but had to escape a pair of rushers in the backfield. He juked past another would-be tackler at the line of scrimmage, found a hole and raced his way for a 73-yard touchdown and a 23-6 lead with 3:56 left in the third quarter.
Franklin didn’t gain a yard on its next drive, and was forced to punt from its own 23-yard line. But Attleboro junior Nick Evans broke free and blocked the punt with Myles Haynes jumping on the loose ball.
Four plays later, sophomore Joseph Llanos powered his way for a three-yard touchdown, and Tyler Evans‘ extra point made it 30-6 with 1:24 left in the game.
Attleboro turned a two-point lead (8-6) into a 24-point advantage in just a matter of four minutes.
“Midway through the third quarter, we committed to the run,” Strachan said. Attleboro racked up 234 rushing yards. “We went with what we call our tank. We just felt like we were wearing them down in the second half. We just settled into it, so it was really a good win for us.”
Franklin took the lead in the first quarter. After its first drive got down to the Attleboro three-yard line, the Panthers’ offense couldn’t punch it in. However, they forced a quick three and out to get the ball out. A 22-yard completion from Jake Noviello (19/40, 228 yards, two touchdowns) to Ryan Driscoll put the Panthers inside the 10-yard line.
Three plays later, Noviello linked up with Driscoll again for a four-yard touchdown and 6-0 lead.
Attleboro’s defense set the offense up for its go-ahead score. On the eighth play of Franklin’s drive, Furtado – playing safety – picked off Noviello and brought it back to the Franklin 15-yard line.
On the third play, Furtado hit Cote for his only other completion of the game for an 11-yard touchdown. Furtado kept it himself for the two-point rush and an 8-6 lead in the second quarter.
Attleboro thought it had added to its lead twice late in the second quarter, but penalties erased a pair of touchdowns. First, Furtado hit Cote for an 88-yard touchdown, but a holding penalty at the line of scrimmage and a block in the back down field took the score off the board. Two plays later, Sam got behind the secondary and Furtado hit him for an 89-yard score, but another holding penalty took points off the board.
“[Franklin] is a good football team, [Noviello] is one of the best quarterbacks in the league,” Strachan said. “I just think we settled down. The offense needed some time to get going, the defense hung in there. We had two big turnovers, two picks, that came at the right time for us.
“It was a must-win for us.”
Franklin tried to orchestrate a second half comeback, scoring a pair of touchdowns. First, Noviello kept it himself for a one-yard touchdown. The Panthers got the ball and needed just three plays to cover 56 yards, with Noviello hitting Evan Wendell on back-to-back 22-yard gains, the latter for six points.
Attleboro iced the game when Furtado converted a fourth down run. On the next play, Cote sprinted his way for a 30-yard touchdown to cap the scoring.
Attleboro football (3-4 overall, 3-2 Hockomock) will likely be the sixth seed in the D1 South bracket, according to The Boston Herald’s rankings. If that stands, the Bombardiers could be traveling to visit a familiar playoff foe in Xaverian.
Franklin (2-5, 1-4) is currently in the ninth spot in the Herald’s rankings, just 0.06 points out of the final playoff spot. However, there are still games to be played Saturday and nothing is official until the MIAA releases its rankings on Sunday or Monday.
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.