The Hockomock League held its annual cross-country championships on Saturday morning at the Wrentham Development Center. Below are the Hockomock Cross-Country Championship team and individual results.
1. Oliver Ames – 39
2. Sharon – 63
3. Taunton – 87
4. Franklin – 136
5. Mansfield – 156
6. King Philip – 163
7. Attleboro – 208
8. Milford – 209
9. Foxboro – 221
10. North Attleboro – 259
11. Canton – 263
12. Stoughton – 359
1. Ryan Sarney, Oliver Ames – 14:58.0
2. Brendan Thomas, Oliver Ames – 15:10.2
3. Aidan Dupill, Oliver Ames – 15:30.0
4. Nate Sylven, King Philip – 16:13.4
5. Brayden Cali, Taunton – 16:30.9
6. Karthik Pisupati, Sharon – 16:33.6
7. Talon Johnson, Mansfield – 16:48.7
8. Andrew Cali, Taunton – 16:55.2
9. Nicholas Yacoub, Sharon – 16:56.3
10. Alexander Blumen, Sharon – 16:57.2
11. Andrew Fletcher, Milford – 17:01.7
12. Tyler Apicella, Franklin – 17:04.2
13. Mark Butters, Milford – 17:08.1
14. Daniel Labunski, Sharon – 17:15.5
15. Landon Sarney, Oliver Ames – 17:18.9
16. Brady King, North Attleboro – 17:19.3
17. Samuel Denis, Taunton – 17:20.8
18. Alex Callahan, Oliver Ames – 17:22.4
19. Chris Proulx, Foxboro – 17:23.4
20. John Sylvain, Mansfield – 17:27.1
21. Steve Haney, Foxboro – 17:32.2
22. Joshua Diehl, Franklin – 17:32.5
23. Max Miller, King Philip – 17:32.9
24. Matthew Lally, Sharon – 17:36.5
25. Luke Darling, Canton – 17:36.9
1. Oliver Ames – 26
2. Franklin – 60
3. Foxboro – 144
4. Sharon – 146
5. King Philip – 146
6. North Attleboro – 180
7. Taunton – 183
8. Milford – 201
9. Canton – 237
10. Mansfield – 240
11. Stoughton – 269
12. Attleboro – 289
1. Katie Sobieraj, Oliver Ames – 17:54.5
2. Sydney Kalil, Milford 18:59.4
3. Alexandra Batla, Franklin19:14.9
4. Braelyn Graham, Oliver Ames 19:27.5
5. Fiona Morrison, Franklin 19:36.2
6. Hannah Dupill, Oliver Ames – 19:46.6
7. Ashley Powers, Oliver Ames – 19:52.1
8. Annie Reilly, Oliver Ames – 19:59.2
9. Emersyn Deponte, Taunton – 19:59.8
10. Taegan Hodges, Oliver Ames – 20:11.3
11. Colby Dunham, Taunton – 20:17.2
12. Katie Galgoczy, North Attleboro – 20:23.5
13. Hailey Goldman, Oliver Ames – 20:33.5
14. Madeleine Stewart, Oliver Ames – 20:43.8
15. Carli Walbert, Franklin – 20:45.3
16. Sara Lessard, Sharon – 20:51.2
17. Kate Buban, King Philip – 20:52.2
18. Lauren Hunt, North Attleboro – 20:57.0
19. Ashley Tighe, Franklin – 21:03.3
20. Brooke Davies, Foxboro – 21:13.3
21. Emma Pruitt, Franklin – 21:20.7
22. Emily Matteson, Franklin2 – 1:21.3
23. Abigail Baker, Franklin – 21:28.0
24. Katie Sweeney, Franklin – 21:33.8
25. Casey Dahl, Foxboro – 21:37.3
Hockomock Cross Country Championship
FRANKLIN, Mass. – When Milford was putting together its game plan for Friday night’s visit to Pisini Stadium, the Hawks thought there were opportunities to attack Franklin’s defense with the passing game, trying to utilize their weapons on the edges. After 24 minutes, the game plan was boiled down to line up behind the big offensive line and let the running game do the work.
The Hawks rushed for more than 300 yards as a team, all but nine of those yards from running backs Nick Araujo and Romeo Holland and quarterback Evan Cornelius, and five touchdowns. Milford only threw one pass in the second half, even as Franklin’s offense started to click, and rolled to a 43-24 victory that sets up a three-way tie atop the Kelley-Rex division.
“Up front, we were incredible tonight,” said Milford coach Dale Olson about his offensive line of Oliver McKee, Anthony Dew, Ryan O’Connor, Keith Lee, and Tyler Potter. “I looked at the kids at halftime and said we might not throw a forward pass because every time it’s 4, 5, 6 [yards]. That’s a testament to our guys up front. They just dug in and they pushed a good Franklin team around tonight.”
In addition to its big offensive line, Milford boasts three big guys to carry the ball as well and Franklin had problems trying to bring all three of the down all night long.
Olson explained, “It’s a three-headed monster, and they all weigh 230 pounds. That run Romeo had early, every kid on the Franklin team had a shot at him. He’s just a tough kid, Nick’s a tough kid, and eventually we had some options on the outside and I was just like don’t do it.”
The Milford defense forced three-and-outs on each of Franklin’s first two possessions. Milford’s second possession got down to the Franklin 25, but a nice tackle by Bobby Padula stopped Isaiah Pantalone short of the marker on fourth and five and forced a turnover on downs.
On its next drive, starting in Franklin territory for the second time, the Hawks got on the board. Cornelius found Pantalone for seven yards and a personal foul tacked on 15 more. Araujo hit Franklin for 11 yards on a counter to get the ball to the three and he finished the drive on the next snap to make it 7-0.
Franklin’s offense finally found some success on its next possession. Jase Lyons hit Luke Davis for a 30-yard gain, as Davis proved to be as hard to tackle as Milford’s running game. A 14-yard and a 10-yard completion to Grayson Hunter (eight catches, 70 yards) got down to the Milford 32 and Mike Davide (10 carries, 43 yards) went for 17 to get inside the 10. Holland stuffed a run and Damien Carter broke up a pass, forcing the Panthers to settle for a 28-yard Garrett Portesi kick.
Milford answered right back on its next drive. Araujo (12 carries, 81 yards) got it started with an 18-yard burst over a couple of would-be tacklers and the Hawks kept grinding to the red zone. On fourth and one, the Panthers jumped, giving Milford a first down at the 15. Holland for the call and he went through the left side of the line all the way to the end zone.
Things were starting to look bleak for the Panthers, who needed a spark. Davis would provide one. On third and six, Lyons (24-of-34, 299 yards) hit the senior receiver in stride on the right sideline, Davis (nine catches, 176 yards) shrugged off an attempted tackle and raced away for a 69-yard score.
Franklin’s momentum was short-lived. Milford got the ball with a little more than two minutes to play in the half and immediately went to work. A 15-yard pass from Cornelius (9-of-12, 75 yards) to Andrew Rivera (five catches, 42 yards) got the ball to midfield. A personal foul would help get into Franklin territory and a 12-yard pass to Rivera moved it to the 21. After converting on third and two, Cornelius lofted a pass over the middle to Rivera who hauled it in for a 10-yard touchdown and a 21-10 lead at the break.
“I think the play of the game was the drive before half,” Olson said. “That just shows you what kind of kids we have. We had one timeout, went down the field, and we score right before half. That’s a huge, huge thing. The kids just dug in. They knew what type of team Franklin was, that’s a good team.”
The home team looked determined to make it a game coming out of the locker room. Davide broke a 20-yard run to get things going, his longest rush of the night, and Lyons would scramble for 24 yards down the near sideline, lowering his shoulder for some extra yards. He would then throw one to the end zone for Hunter, who managed to lay out and pull in the pass while staying just inbounds.
“I think we were really trying to find the run game and there were a couple things there that we liked, maybe we just didn’t execute as well as we could have,” Franklin coach Eain Bain said. “We wanted to compete and the best way for us to compete tonight was to throw the ball and we figured that out pretty quick.”
It was an impressive start to the second half, but again the visitors made sure to immediately quell all the momentum from the touchdown. Holland (20 carries, 141 yards) just barreled his way through the line of scrimmage, into the secondary, and then through the secondary, carrying tacklers along the way. His 53-yard run got the Hawks quickly down to the Franklin three. Two plays later, Cornelius (11 carries, 72 yards) went up the middle for the four-yard TD.
Suddenly, it was a back-and-forth game. Franklin was finding all sorts of room in the passing game. Lyons hit Davis on a deep crossing route and Davis proceeded to weave his way past a couple of Hawks and then lower the shoulder to get 30 yards. After an 11-yard catch for Hunter over the middle, Lyons tossed a strike to Davis, who pulled in an over-the-shoulder grab for the 12-yard score.
The Hawks went right back to work. Holland gained 11 to the 41. On third and four, Araujo took a sweep around the left side and rumbled for 25 yards all the way down to the Franklin 28. Cornelius followed with a 17-yard keeper on the final play of the third quarter. Holland got eight yards on two carries and Cornelius capped it off with a three-yard plunge. Araujo got the handoff to convert the two-point try and give Milford a 36-24 lead.
For the first time in a while, Franklin wasn’t able to respond. On fourth and eight, Lyons was chased out of the pocket by Mason Baldic and lost the ball, which was recovered by Rivera at the Franklin 41. Nine rushing plays later, Holland found the end zone for the second time, this one from a yard out, to seal the win.
“They threw a couple of fine passes but they didn’t have to throw to beat us and we could run the ball either,” said Bain. “That’s your game. We played very poor fundamental football tonight. We played bad football tonight and that shows up in the penalty sheet as well as the yards per carry on both sides of the ball.”
Milford (7-1) entered the night at the top seed in Div. 2 and will await its opponent in the first round of the playoffs. The Hawks will also face Taunton on Thanksgiving Day, knowing that a win will clinch the team’s first Hockomock title.
Franklin (5-2) was the top seed in Div. 1 entering Friday and will now wait to see who they will play in the first round of the tournament. The Panthers will face King Philip on Thanksgiving, looking to repeat as league champ for the first time since they won three straight titles between 1969-71.
MILFORD, Mass. — King Philip senior Matt Kelley’s foot has been a major weapon for the Warriors over the past two seasons as one of the best kickers in the state.
Now he’s a weapon with his hands too.
Kelley made a terrific diving touchdown catch on a 13-yard pass from Tommy McLeish midway through the fourth quarter to help King Philip secure a 19-7 win on the road over Milford in a battle of two of the top teams in not only the Hockomock League but the entire state.
“Unbelievable, that was money,” said King Philip head coach Brian Lee about the catch. “We have a lot of guys playing both ways but [Kelley’s] really stepped up to be a typical Warrior for us and I mean that as a huge compliment: it’s what we want to get out of a kid that just looks like your average Joe but he plays really tough.”
The touchdown came just plays after the Warriors’ defense forced its second turnover of the night. The Hawks were in the midst of driving into KP territory, having picked up two first downs already. But on a second down play, KP sophomore linebacker Will Astorino came flying up the middle untouched and hit Milford quarterback Evan Cornelius as he released his pass.
The pass wobbled away from the intended target and KP junior David Constantine hauled it in and raced the other way, taking it from his own 22-yard line down the sideline to the Milford 28-yard line. A personal foul tacked on 15 more yards.
After no gain on the ground on first down, McLeish targeted the end zone but couldn’t find a receiver. The Warriors went back the same direction and McLeish fired one near the pylon that Kelley laid out for and hauled in for the touchdown.
“The play right before it we ran a very similar play and I had the same route and I saw an opening,” Kelley said. “I told our coach that was open the way they were covering and he had trust in us, [McLeish] threw a great ball where only I can get it and I was able to make a play.”
It was typical King Philip football — the Warriors played tough defense all game long, holding the Hawks to 2-for-8 on third down and 0-for-2 on fourth down. And they had a pair of takeaways, a strip sack in the first half from Kyle Abbott plus Constantine’s fourth quarter interception that turned into a key touchdown.
“It felt like KP football, that’s what I told the guys after the game,” Lee said. “We don’t win pretty, the uglier the game can be, it behooves us.
“They’re very good, they’re very talented so you’re trying to hang in there and capitalize when you can.”
While Kelley’s catch helped the Warriors ice the game, his leg gave the visitors key points early on.
After driving 79 yards on nine plays — including a 26-yard pass from McLeish to Thomas Brewster and a 36-yard completion to Daniel Silveria — the Warriors had to settle for a 25-yard field goal from Kelley.
KP couldn’t cash in on Abbott’s strip sack because the Milford defense stood tall in its own half with Andrew Rivera coming up with a key third down tackle for a loss followed by a fourth down incompletion.
But the defense quickly got them the ball back and the offense moved up the field as Abbott (22 carries, 88 yards) followed a nice block from Chris Sesay, who pulled from his right tackle spot to open up a gap for 22 yards. Isaiah Pantalone made a terrific play defensively on second down and the Warriors once again turned to Kelley, who blasted a 42-yard field goal through the uprights — and then some.
Milford put together its best drive of the game to end the first. After a pair of punts, a fumble, and a blocked field goal, the Hawks marched down the field to find the end zone.
Cornelius (15-for-27, 236 yards) hit Pantalone for 16 yards then Damien Carter for 11 more yards and another first down. After an incomplete, Cornelius went back to Carter for 18 yards and Romeo Holland advanced the ball with a first down carry. On second down, Cornelius dropped a perfect pass to Pantalone in stride down the right sideline for a 32-yard touchdown. Nick Araujo’s point after put Milford ahead, 7-6, with 1:35 left in the first half.
KP’s opening drive of the second half crossed midfield but Kelley’s field goal attempt was short. A sack from Nathan Kearney on third down quickly ended Milford’s ensuing drive though.
The Warriors mainly focused on the ground game on their second drive of the second half. Abbott burst through for 15 yards, Will Astorino pushed the pile for six yards, and after a couple of short runs, McLeish connected with senior Will Laplante, who went down and made a great catch to move the sticks at the end of the third quarter.
On third and goal from the 1-yard line, Will Astorino got across the goal line for a touchdown and a 12-7 lead following a failed 2-point attempt.
Milford ran 24 plays in the second half total but their second drive ended with an interception and the next series was slowed by a big sack from Abbott, with help from Will Astorino and Carson Meier.
“Week in and week out, coach Wass draws up a great game plan,” Kelley said of the defensive game plan. “They have that spread offense where they can air it out but they can power it through on the ground so it’s a tough offense to defend. We were able to control the run and force them to pass more. They’re a good team so they were able to make plays but we were able to defend it for the most part.”
“I think we have a lot of guys that can help out so when they’re getting an opportunity, they are doing some things for us,” Lee said, also noting the strong play of senior lineman Robert Casper, who had a first quarter sack. “It’s not always perfect but we don’t want to ask them to do something they can’t do. It’s a credit to the type of kids we have…when it’s their turn, they step up. Whatever it takes to play your best…whether you need to be mad at somebody, want to play for your buddy, want to play for your grandma… I don’t care, just find something that makes you play better than you did last week and I think we did.”
King Philip (3-0 Hockomock Kelley-Rex, 6-0 overall) now has a week off before it hits the road again with a trip to Community Field to take on North Attleboro. Milford (2-1, 5-1) is in action next week with a visit from Barnstable for a non-league clash.