Big Plays Sink North Attleboro in D3 Super Bowl

North Attleboro football Tyler Bannon
North Attleboro senior Tyler Bannon rushes for a first down in the second half against Marblehead. (Ryan Lanigan/HockomockSports.com)
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FOXBORO, Mass. – After Tyler DeMattio punched in his third touchdown of the night to bring North Attleboro from 14 points down to tie the game at 28-28 in the fourth quarter of Thursday afternoon’s Div. 3 Super Bowl at Gillette Stadium, it looked like North’s nearly two-decade wait for a state title could be coming to an end.

The momentum was with the Rocketeers when the kickoff return was stuffed at the 14. Three plays later, on third and long, Marblehead’s big-play offense struck again. Josh Robertson his Connor Cronin on a quick slant and the junior took it to the house.

The 83-yard score, Cronin’s third touchdown reception of the game, turned out to be the winner, as Marblehead’s explosive attack proved too much for North Attleboro to handle in a 35-28 win. It was the first state title for the Magicians, who finished 12-0 and extended their win streak to 20 games.

Click here for a photo gallery from this game.

“We just had trouble matching up with all their skill athletes,” admitted North coach Don Johnson. “Just didn’t do enough to get enough stops on defense. I think they had good athletes who made us miss.”

When asked about Cronin in particular, Johnson said, “He’s awesome. We had seen that on film. I was very concerned about our ability to matchup with their guys in the slot. They’re just great playmakers.”

Marblehead showed off its multiple weapons on its first drive. The Magicians marched inside the North 10. Robertson (14-of-18, 290 yards) connected with Cronin (10 catches, 263 yards) for 25 to the 14. Two plays later, the Magicians had third and one at the five but Nathan Shultz twice made good reads at the corner to knock down passes and force a turnover on downs.

North got out to the 34 but then a punt went out of bounds at the 45, giving the Magicians a short field. Marblehead marched to the North four, but DeMattio sacked Robertson after a bad snap to force third and long and Daniel O’Brien made a good read on a swing pass to force a field goal attempt. An offsides call made it fourth and four at the seven and Marblehead decided to go for it, with Robertson hitting Cronin for their first score.

The Rocketeers answered right back with an impressive 11-play, 75-yard drive. A big screen pass from freshman Chase Frisoli (10-of-18, 144 yards) to Tyler Bannon converted on third and long. Frisoli then hit Aidan Conrad in the flat for 11 and had a play action pass to Bannon for 15. Inside the 20, North went back to the ground game and DeMattio punched it in from six yards.

After a good kickoff return, Marblehead started near midfield but Gavin Wells had good coverage on second down and Keysun Wise forced a punt with a third down sack.

Frisoli continued his strong start to the game when he hung in the pocket under pressure to hit Jack Munley for 16 yards into Marblehead territory and dropped a pass into Shultz for 33 down to the seven. Two plays later, DeMattio got into the end zone again, his second, this time from four yards, to take the lead with just 42 seconds left in the half.

The game turned on Marblehead’s next possession. A Kaiden Leary sack forced third and long, but Cronin was able to get behind the coverage, pulled in the pass from Robertson at the North 30 and then beat a pair of defenders to the goal line, tying the game with five seconds on the clock.

Momentum carried through halftime. Liam McIlroy picked off Frisoli on North’s first series and on the first play Robertson hit George Percy on a 20-yard screen for the go-ahead score. North then went three-and-out and James Galante’s punt return set the Magicians up at the North 21. Two plays later, Robertson’s eight-yard keeper made it 28-14.

Three touchdowns in just 4:02 had turned a game that North looked on the verge of breaking open into a solid Marblehead lead.

“I thought that whole little middle switch there when they scored right at the end of the first half and then when we didn’t convert on offense at the start of the second half,” Johnson said. “I thought that’s when the game started to turn in their favor.”

The Rocketeers needed a response and got one with a methodical, 14-play drive. It started back at the North 11, but Frisoli bounced back from his interception to hit Munley for 15 yards to convert third and three. North then put the ball in the hands of Bannon (18 carries, 92 yards) and DeMattio (24 carries, 105 yards). Bannon would cap off the impressive series with a six-yard score.

North finally got a stop on the other side of the ball. After a 30-yard pass to Cronin put the ball at the North 45, DeMattio made a nice tackle in the open field to stuff a screen for a loss of one and Greg Berthiaume sacked Robertson for a loss of four. On fourth and 10, Robertson hit Cronin for 14 yards but Bannon stripped him and Wells recovered.

On fourth and seven with just under eight minutes to go, North elected to go for it. Wells ran a great post corner route and Frisoli tossed a strike for 20 yards out near midfield. North then pounded the ball with its two running back, eating clock and yards. Bannon’s hard run made it first and goal at the three and DeMattio found the end zone on the next play.

DeMattio had at least three touchdowns in all four of the playoff games, finishing the postseason with 15. The strategy of moving him to running back this year and partnering him with Bannon in the backfield paid off for the Rocketeers.

Johnson said of DeMattio, “That’s what we were hoping for. We knew that we would need him, if we were going to get to this point. We probably just needed a few more guys around him.”

Click here for a photo gallery from this game.

He added, “We’ve had that character all year, so I wasn’t surprised that we were able to come back like that. My only concern was scoring too early and giving the ball back to them.”

The comeback was short-lived. Less than a minute later, Cronin broke free for another long touchdown and Marblehead was back in front. Fittingly, it was Cronin who sealed the win, intercepting Frisoli on fourth and long to close out a remarkable Super Bowl performance.

“It’s just what we’ve been doing all year,” said Demattio. “It obviously didn’t go our way today and there are no excuses for that. We played well. We proved to everyone that we should be here.

“We gave it everything we had. Everyone left it out there on the field, that’s all that matters.”

North Attleboro Books Trip To Gillette After Beating Billerica

North Attleboro football Tyler DeMattio
North Attleboro senior Tyler DeMattio breaks free from the Billerica defense for a first quarter touchdown. (Ryan Lanigan/HockomockSports.com)
ByRyanLanigan_2016FollowRyanLanigan_2016
 
 
 QUINCY, Mass. — September 10th sure feels like a distant memory for the North Attleboro football team.

The Rocketeers, who opened the season with a double-digit loss to rival Bishop Feehan, have come a long way from that point.

Now, the Big Red is heading to Gillette Stadium for the Division 3 State Final.

Click here for a photo gallery from this game.

Behind a pair of key defensive stops in the second half, North Attleboro pulled away from a gritty Billerica squad for a 28-10 win in a D3 State Semifinal clash at Veteran’s Memorial Stadium in Quincy.

“That was about exactly what we expected, it was pretty clear that they were going to be a tough team no matter what,” said North Attleboro coach Don Johnson. “I think if we didn’t get those two penalties in the first half, maybe it would have been a different game, but they hurt us. Those would have been stops with good field position. But [Billerica] is tough, they have playmakers…they’re a good football team.”

With its back against the wall, North Attleboro’s defense delivered.

Billerica seemingly had all of the momentum after forcing a rare turnover from the Rocketeers on one end of the field, and now was in position to take the lead after a lengthy, double-digit play drive that put the ball inside North’s 5-yard line.

On the Indians’ 10th play of the drive, a 1st and goal attempt from the four down 14-10, the Rocketeers defense not only stuffed Billerica up the middle, they forced the ball free and recovered to end the drive.

“That was the first time all year that I felt like we got a lucky break,” Johnson said. “Now I mean there are kids working hard that caused that to happen but those are the things that have been happening against us. That was one time where it really worked out for us.”

And even when North wasn’t able to get any points on its ensuing 12-play, 80-yard drive because of a blocked punt, the defense didn’t let Billerica capitalize on that momentum. They forced a quick three-and-out, and from that point on it was all North.

Freshman Chase Frisoli converted a third down with a 24-yard pass to junior Jack Munley to move inside the red zone. And despite a false start penalty three plays later that cornered North into a 3rd and 14, Frisoli hit senior Tyler DeMattio for a 17-yard score and the Rocketeers had some breathing room up 21-10 with 6:18 to play.

After just two pass attempts in the first half, Frisoli went 5/8 in the second half for 92 yards and a score.

“We thought going in that we were maybe going to have trouble running the ball and we might have to ask more of him,” Johnson said. “We worked on the pass game a lot and I think he’s just showed tremendous poise for a freshman and he did that tonight.”

Billerica moved into North territory on the ensuing drive in an effort to make it a one-score game but DeMattio and Kaiden Leary combined for a tackle for a loss on second down and the Rocketeers stuffed a fourth down run two plays later to get the ball back.

And just two plays later, DeMattio broke free through the left side for a 72-yard touchdown run, shaking one more defender just before the goal line to ice the win with 1:17 to play — his third rushing score of the game and fourth overall. He also booted all four of North’s extra points.

Billerica’s lone touchdown drive — its second series of the game — had originally ended with a punt but a running into the kicker penalty shortened fourth down and the Indians kept the drive alive. The Indians capitalized on that momentum as junior quarterback Joseph Green scored from 4 yards out to take a 10-7 lead, which was Billerica’s lone advantage of the evening.

“The front seven has played great this year, and our secondary has been awesome,” said senior captain Jared Vacher. “That fumble just completely flipped the game. After that, it was our game and we were able to take over. [Dominic Gird] was quick but we were just trying to mix it up. Their quarterback was pretty good and broke some plays, it was my first time playing against that muddle huddle.

“After our first loss to Feehan, Coach [Paul] Sullivan told us a story about a team from the 2000s that lost their first game but won out the rest of the year and I think that brought us so much hope. We bought in and each we’ve gotten better and better, and that’s what it’s all about. Our goal all along was Gillette and it’s awesome to finally achieve that.”

North opened the game in style, marching 60 yards on seven plays on the first drive of the game to take a 7-0 lead. DeMattio (16 carries, 174 yards) and senior Tyler Bannon (12 carries, 56 yards) split the workload, including back-to-back first down runs early in the drive.

Billerica’s defense forced the Rocketeers into a 4th and 5 situation at the Indians’ 34-yard line. Without hesitation, North kept the offense on the field and DeMattio followed a block from Bannon up the left side for a 34-yard touchdown with 8:13 left in first.

The Indians used a combination of runs from back Joseph Gird (17 carries, 53 yards) and keeper runs from Green (18 carries, 104 yards) — plus a roughing the passer call — to move down the field on its opening drive but the Rocketeers’ defense stood tall in its own territory, getting key tackles from Bannon, DeMattio, Vacher, Greg Berthiaume, and Keysun Wise among others, plus strong coverage in the secondary from Joey Perriello.

Billerica settled for a 40-yard field goal from Shaan Rana to get on the board, down 7-3 with 2:51 left in the first.

Green’s 4-yard touchdown run after the running into the kicker call put Billerica up 10-7 with 8:05 left in the second quarter but North was back ahead less than five minutes later.

Frisoli found Gavin Wells for 35-yards on the second play of the drive, Nathan Shultz had back-to-back carries, and Bannon rumbled his way for 16 yards to move the offense into scoring position. From there, DeMattio took it in from 5 yards out for a 14-10 lead with 3:49 left in the half.

Click here for a photo gallery from this game.

Following its first two scoring drives, Billerica punted on three of its next four drives (fumbling on the other), turned it over on downs, and then ran out of time to end the game on the final drive. The Indians had 219 yards of offense but went just 1-for-5 on third down in the second half.

“That was the other thing, we didn’t give up many big plays,” Johnson said. “We knew they kind of liked to grind it out so we didn’t see them on film making a lot of big plays. Our game plan was to try and stop their run game and force them into passing situations, which I feel like we didn’t do enough.”

North Attleboro (7-3) advances to play at Gillette Stadium (date and time TBA) against top-seeded Marblehead (10-0), who routed Westfield, 40-7, in the other semifinal.

Saturday’s Schedule & Scoreboard – 11/13/21

Today’s games are listed below.

Football
Division 3

#6 Milton, 28 @ #3 North Attleboro, 62 – FinalClick here for a Recap and Photo Gallery from this game.
1st Quarter: (NA) Tyler Bannon 10-yard rush, Tyler DeMattio XP good; (NA) T. Bannon 33-yard rush, T. DeMattio XP good; (NA) Nathan Shultz 65-yard punt return, T. DeMattio XP good; (M) Owen McHugh 37-yard pass to Michael Fulton, XP no good; (NA) Chase Frisoli 57-yard pass to Gavin Wells, T. DeMattio XP good.
2nd Quarter: (NA) T. DeMattio 5-yard rush, T. DeMattio XP good; (NA) T. DeMattio 2-yard rush, T. DeMattio XP good; (M) Chase Vaughan 43-yard pass to M. Fulton, XP good; (M) C. Vaughan 14-yard pass to Dillon Mackenzie, Conversion good; (M) C. Vaughan 5-yard pass to D. Mackenzie, XP good; (NA) C. Frisoli 15-yard pass to G. Wells, T. DeMattio XP good.
3rd Quarter: (NA) T. Bannon 5-yard rush, XP no good.
4th Quarter: (NA) T. DeMattio 25-yard rush, Connor Ruppert XP good.

Division 4
#11 Wilmington, 21 @ #3 Foxboro, 42 – Final
1st Quarter: (W) Wilmington 60-yard pass touchdown, XP good.
2nd Quarter: (F) Dylan Gordon 47-yard rush, Sam Carpenter XP good; (F) Tom Marcucella 38-yard pass to Rashaad Way, S. Carpenter XP good.
3rd Quarter: (F) D. Gordon 31-yard rush, S. Carpenter XP good; (W) Wilmington 14-yard rush, XP blocked.
4th Quarter: (F) D. Gordon 11-yard rush, S. Carpenter XP good; (F) D. Gordon 16-yard rush, S. Carpenter XP good; (F) R. Way 29-yard interception return, S. Carpenter XP good; (W) Wilmington 51-yard rush, two-point rush good.

Non-Playoff
Canton 3 @ New Bedford, 7 – Final
Sharon, 29 @ Brookline, 40 – Final

Boys Soccer
Division 2

#21 Canton, 1 @ #20 Amherst-Pelham, 0 – Final

Girls Soccer
Division 3

#2 Foxboro, 1 vs. #23 Ursuline Academy, 0 – FinalClick here for a Recap and Photo Gallery from this match.

DeMattio Scores Handful, North Rolls Into Quarterfinal

North Attleboro football
North senior Tyler DeMattio proved to be unstoppable in the playoff opener, scoring five touchdowns against Plymouth North. (Josh Perry/HockomockSports.com)

Josh PerryFollowJoshPerry


NORTH ATTLEBORO, Mass. – Three minutes into Friday night’s Div. 3 playoff opener at Community Field, the home crowd was stunned. Plymouth North, the No. 14 seed, took the opening kick and marched straight down the field to score the game’s opening touchdown. Could the visiting team pull an upset over No. 3 seed North Attleboro?

Click here for a photo gallery from this game.

It turned out that moment was only reminder for the North players not to overlook the Eagles. Once the message was received, the Rocketeers found the end zone on four straight possessions and scored 48 unanswered points, picking up a comfortable 48-6 victory that sends them into the state quarterfinal.

“I think it was a good wake up call,” North coach Don Johnson said about that opening drive. “We were concerned about their offense because they run that zone scheme so well and we just can’t duplicate that in practice. I think it really caught our guys off guard.”

The Eagles ran their offense to perfection on the opening drive. Quarterback Dallas Murphy used the zone read to find seams in the North defense, breaking runs of 25 and 35 yards. Killian Murphy capped the drive with a 4-yard dive. Plymouth North went for two, but Nathan Shultz was through the line in a flash to stuff the conversion attempt. It foreshadowed how North would take control of the line of scrimmage.

North’s first possession was just as effective as the visitors’ drive. The home team went 66 yards in eight plays, with five different players getting carries. Shultz was making plays on offense too, with jet sweeps of 12 and 20 yards. The second carry go the ball down to the 10. Chase Frisoli came up a yard short on a keeper and then Tyler DeMattio’s impressive night got started with a 1-yard plunge.

Johnson said, “We thought going in that we could move the ball on them, so the question was are we going to be able to stop them? It was nice to see us score that first touchdown but at that time I was thinking this isn’t enough. We need to get some stops on defense if we’re going to win this game and we did.”

After a couple of good tackles by Greg Berthiaume, who had a solid night at linebacker, and a full-stretch pass breakup by Danny Curran, Tyler Bannon picked off a pass to give North the ball on the visiting side of the 50.

Shultz again got things going for North with a 31-yard sweep down the sideline, getting the ball to the 15. A holding call wiped out a touchdown for Bannon, but on the next snap DeMattio (10 carries, 143 yards) broke free for a 17-yard touchdown and a 14-6 lead.

North’s defensive line was taking over the game. Keysun Wise and Jared Vacher both made good plays to stop Plymouth North’s next drive. On fourth and three, the Eagles, maybe sensing that they were going to struggle to stop North’s offense, tried a fake punt but the play was stopped for a loss of one.

“We’ve really matured as a group and we’re at the point where kids can make their own adjustments out there,” Johnson said about his defense making adjustments. “Sometimes I’ve got the worst seat in the house over there, so this group now can come over and tell me exactly what happened, why it happened, and what we need to do to prevent it. It’s awesome when you get to that point.”

Three snaps of the ball later, the lead was extended. Frisoli went down the middle of the field to Gavin Wells, who kept his concentration to pull in a juggling catch for 35 yards. DeMattio made it a hat trick, going right up the middle for an 11-yard score.

Another three-and-out, this time facilitated by a Bannon sack on third down, set North up for a chance to make it four straight scoring drives. Frisoli hit Jack Munley in the flat for 15 to midfield. After DeMattio ran for 16 more, Munley made a highlight reel-quality, one-handed grab for nine yards to the 23. On the next play, DeMattio took a carry around the left tackle, turned up the sideline, and found the end zone again. He added his fourth extra point and had all 28 of North’s points.

“I think we’ve made ourselves so much better by alternating those guys, keeping [Tyler] healthy,” Johnson said about the depth in the offense that keeps DeMattio from having to carry the ball every down. “The combination of all those guys has just made us a better team.”

North had the chance to add one more score before halftime. A 15-yard illegal substitution penalty on a punt gave the Rocketeers a first down near midfield. DeMattio then went 44 yards on the next two plays to get it down to the five. After Frisoli was sacked on first down, he threw a pair of incomplete passes and North settled for a 33-yard field goal attempt that fell short.

It was a missed opportunity, but turned out to be inconsequential as Curran took the opening kickoff of the second half and promptly returned it 75 yards to make it 35-6.

Two plays later, Aidan Conrad recovered a Plymouth North fumble. A personal foul call meant the drive started at the Eagles 20. Bannon went for one and then DeMattio again proved unstoppable, scoring from 19 yards for his fifth touchdown of the night. Connor Ruppert was on extra point duties in the second half, but DeMattio accounted for 34 of North’s 48 points.

A long drive for the Eagles ended on a botched pitch attempt that was recovered by Munley. With the bench in the game, North moved upfield again. On fourth and goal, Garrett Inglese went up the middle for 16 yards and the game’s final points.

The win not only moved North onto the next round of the tournament, but was also the 100th career win for Johnson. Understandably he wasn’t thinking too much of the milestone after the game. “Someone just told me, I forgot all about it,” he admitted. “It’s good, but it’s not time to be thinking about any personal milestones at this point. There’s just too much going on.”

North Attleboro (5-3) will have a tough matchup in the D3 quarterfinal, as the Rocketeers host No. 6 seed Milton next Friday at Community Field.

Click here for a photo gallery from this game.

North Battles Back with Second Half Effort at KP

North Attleboro football
North senior Tyler Bannon celebrates the first of his two second half touchdowns that helped the Rocketeers battle back from 13 points down to beat King Philip. (Josh Perry/HockomockSports.com)

Josh PerryFollowJoshPerry


WRENTHAM, Mass. – Last week, North Attleboro was a minute away from pulling off a win against longtime rival Mansfield, but the Hornets rallied to win in double overtime. On Saturday morning at Macktaz Field, against another league rival, the shorthanded Rocketeers turned the tables, coming from behind twice in the second half against King Philip to earn their first win of the season.

Click here for a photo gallery from this game.

Trailing 13-0 at halftime, North came out of the locker room with renewed energy. Even without several players due injuries and COVID protocols, notably star running back Tyler DeMattio, the Rocketeers were able to take control of a game that KP had dominated. Tyler Bannon scored touchdowns on both sides of the ball and freshman Chase Frisoli threw his first career TD pass to Gavin Wells to pull out a dramatic 20-19 victory.

“We actually lit into them a little bit because I felt it was an uninspiring effort in the first half,” North coach Don Johnson said about the halftime team talk. “I think, without DeMattio here, we’ve got a couple kids out with COVID, and it hurt us and I think guys were doubting themselves in the first half.

“It was more about We’re not changing a thing that we’re doing, we just need to do it better and they did it.”

KP coach Brian Lee was understandably frustrated at how the Warriors let the game slip away. “A little bit of panic,” he explained. “I think they had a lot to do with it too. They changed up what they were doing, some of the stuff we were doing earlier took that away. We just couldn’t find a consistent answer after that.”

North’s offense struggled to go anywhere in the opening half. The Rocketeers had the ball four times but managed only one first down. Frisoli, who has had the unenviable task of playing Mansfield and KP in his first two varsity starts, completed only one pass for two yards and Bannon was held to just 18 yards on the ground.

The aggressive KP defense was winning the battle at the line of scrimmage and consistently getting into the backfield. Ryan Gately stuffed Bannon on one play for a loss of three, Crawford Cantave made a nice play on the ball to break up a pass, and Hunter Hastings was able to drag down Nathan Shultz on a jet sweep.

On the other side of the ball, the Warriors were just as dominant up front, allowing the ground game to eat up yards and keep the clock moving.

KP’s opening possession was a 13-play, 56-yard scoring drive. Twice KP was able to convert on fourth down to keep the drive alive. On fourth and six at the North 30, Charlie Grant (9-of-2, 146 yards) hit Danny Clancy (three catches, 84 yards) for 13 and the first down. Four plays later, Grant was able to dive forward for two yards to move the chains on fourth and a foot. The drive was capped by a three-yard pass from Grant to a wide open Gately (17 carries, 92 yards).

The hosts started at midfield on their second possession of the half. On third and 10, Grant was able to find Jonathan Joseph for 28 yards down to the North 9. Two plays later, Grant was able to scramble out of the pocket and swerve through the secondary for a 10-yard score. The XP was just wide but KP led 13-0 at the break.

When the teams came back to the field, there was a noticeable rise in the energy level on the North sideline. Despite being dominated for 24 minutes, the Rocketeers were only down by two scores and still in the game.

KP tried to change that on its opening possession of the third quarter. A pass interference call and a 23-yard pass from Grant to Clancy got the ball to the North 33. Bannon stepped up with a big tackle for loss on Gately and Greg Berthiaume followed with a sack of Grant.

North took over on its own 32 and started to go to work with Bannon (19 carries, 92 yards) taking direct snaps. He broke a 17-yard keeper to get into KP territory and another five-yard run on third and one to keep the drive moving. Thomas Brewster pressured Frisoli into an incompletion and then picked off the freshman on fourth and 13 to end the drive, but with the Warriors pinned back at their own four.

Bannon stuffed Cantave for a loss of two and then Kaiden Leary made a nice tackle on William Astorino to force a three-and-out and a KP punt. North had tilted the field and got the ball at the KP 27-yard-line. Bannon again stepped in to make the big plays. He had a seven-yard carry, spun out of a hit in the backfield and dove for a first down on third and short, and then got North on the board with a nine-yard keeper on the final play of the quarter.

“He’s tough as nails,” Johnson said of Bannon. “Those guys don’t care about technique or anything like that, they’re just football players, just snap them the ball and run downhill. He was a big factor.”

The extra point was no good, but the lead was cut to 13-6 and the game was definitely up for grabs with 12 minutes to play.

A holding call negated a huge gain on a pass to Joseph and pushed KP back inside its own 30. On third and 17, KP tried to go deep over the middle, but Bannon was there again. He pulled down a one-handed interception, managed to keep his footing, and then returned it 45 yards for his second touchdown. Frisoli picked out Wells on the conversion play and North had its first lead of the day.

Two possessions later, KP was able to answer. Grant hot Cantave for 14 yards out to the 38 then scrambled for 13 yards and another first down into North territory. On second and nine, he went deep down the near sideline to Clancy, who not only out-jumped the coverage to make the catch but was able to recover his balance and race into the end zone for a 48-yard touchdown.

KP went with a trick play on the conversion but Gately wasn’t able to find Grant in the back corner thanks to pressure from Bannon. The hosts led 19-14 with 4:05 on the clock.

“It’s a good sign,” Lee said about his team’s response to going behind, “but then you’ve got to make plays. You should’ve had an interception, you’ve got to make that play and you shouldn’t intercept the ball down here. All that stuff comes back to me. I think we’re all guilty and I just think North never quit.”

Three plays later, North was back in front, this time for good. Bannon’s 18-yard burst got North to the 43. Frisoli then took a shot deep. Wells managed to jump above two defensive backs right in front of his bench, ripping the ball away, and then having a free run to the end zone for a 57-yard score. Bannon was stopped in the backfield by Gately on the conversion but North was in front 20-19 with just 2:30 remaining.

Johnson said of Frisoli, “He’s got to develop physically but his poise and his football intelligence, he’s a smart kid, how quickly he’s picked it up, very impressive.” It was mentioned that Frisoli had to play Mansfield and KP in his first two starts and Johnson said, “If he can survive that, that’s a good sign.”

The Warriors had one last shot to stay perfect on the season, but four straight incompletions gave North the ball back and Bannon was able to get the one first down the Rocketeers needed so they could take a knee and run out the clock.

“That was our first full-length game really,” Lee said. “I think they were tested, had been in an overtime game, and it served them well. I felt we kind of panicked a little bit.” Asked if he thought the Warriors would be served well having this game under their belts before league play kicks off, Lee joked, “Well, only if we play better!”

Johnson was asked how important it was to his team to avoid going 0-3 with the Hock opener looming next week. He said, “We didn’t play well against Feehan, but we played better and were who we thought we could be against Mansfield. Then we got hit by the injuries and the COVID and I think guys were doubting themselves again. More than ever, this win was needed. We needed to get in the win column.”

North Attleboro (1-2) will try to build on the first win of the season next week when it hosts Canton. King Philip (2-1) will also open league play with a trip to unbeaten Taunton.

Click here for a photo gallery from this game.

Instant Classic: Mansfield Knocks Off North In 2OT

Mansfield sophomore Trevor Foley (26) hauls in a touchdown pass in the first overtime against North Attleboro. (Ryan Lanigan/HockomockSports.com)
ByRyanLanigan_2016FollowRyanLanigan_2016
 
 
 NORTH ATTLEBORO, Mass. – It had been nearly seven years since Mansfield and North Attleboro last met on the gridiron, the longest drought in a rivalry that dates back a century.

It turned out to be worth the wait.

Mansfield football

The Hornets tied the game with under a minute to go and then scored a touchdown and a two-point conversion in both overtime periods to upend the Rocketeers, 31-29, in double overtime at Community Field.

Click here for a photo gallery from this game.

It marked the first time the rivals played one another in overtime.

“It was a special environment here at Community, one of the last old school places. I have such respect for their coaches, we knew they were going to be ready to play,” said Mansfield head coach Mike Redding. “I thought we just hung on in the second half. It wasn’t going our way, we couldn’t get much going. We did just enough.”

North Attleboro was close to putting the game out of reach with just over four minutes to play. Nathan Shultz sliced through the Mansfield defense to the tune of 65 yards to put the Rocketeers in prime position near the red zone. North got a first down but nothing more as Mansfield’s defense held, forcing the Big Red into a field goal attempt.

The Hornets got a second life when the 28-yard attempt went wide, but they had just 4:11 to play with no timeouts and 80 yards to gain.

Junior Conner Zukowski (18-for 29, 302 yards, four touchdowns) led the game-tying drive for the Hornets. After converting a third down early in the drive, the Hornets went on to march 80 yards on 10 plays, finished off when Zukowski floated one to sophomore Trevor Foley (7 catches, 113 yards, three touchdowns) in the corner of the end zone. Zukowski also hit Dana Johnson three times on the drive for 63 yards.










Foley hauled in the two-point conversion pass right at the goal line, was hit back, stayed on his feet, and then stretched out over the line to tie the game, 15-15, with 0:49 seconds to play.

“I felt like we really played young in the first half but in the second half we showed a lot of character, they really stepped up and played like veterans,” Redding said. “Every week I think we’ll make progress but we just have to learn to play for four quarters.”

Mansfield football

Mansfield started on offense for the first overtime and on the first play, Zukowski went right back to Foley, floating one to the back right corner and the 6’4 sophomore did the rest, out-leaping the defender to grab the score. Zukowski found Drew Sacco cutting across the middle for the two-point conversion and the Hornets jumped ahead 23-15.

North got the ball down to the 1-yard line on its first three plays and senior Tyler DeMattio — who made the switch from quarterback to running back this week — bulldozed his way in on fourth down to keep North alive. Freshman quarterback Chase Frisoli (6-for-9, 86 yards) fired a low bullet and Gavin Wells made a nice catch for the two-point conversion to knot it 23-23 and send it to double overtime.

The Rocketeers took their turn on offense first and despite a big push from the Hornet defensive line, DeMattio (19 carries, 65 yards) was able to bounce it outside and scamper into the end zone. A false start pushed North back five yards and the conversion pass was swatted away by Foley at the goal line.

Mansfield football

On Mansfield’s first play, Zukowski backpedaled before dumping off a screen pass to Rocco Scarpellini, who broke free of a pair of tackles to get into the end zone. On the two-point try, Zukowski lofted a pass to the back left of the end zone to Foley for the win.

“It was a great game, both teams played tough and it’s tough for any team to walk away from a game like this with a loss,” said North Attleboro head coach Don Johnson. “We’d rather but on the other side of it but I’m proud of our kids, especially after the disappointing loss last week. I thought our kids worked really hard to bounce back.

“We played better. We didn’t play good enough to win but we played better this week than we did last week so we’re happy about that. And with the new rating system, a two-point loss isn’t so bad anymore.”

Mansfield opened the game with a touchdown on the first drive. The Hornets went 3-for-3 on third down on the drive, moving the ball all the way down to the 2-yard line after Zukowski linked up with Foley for 26 yards. A high snap forced Mansfield into a 3rd and goal from the 24 but Zukowski found Foley in one-on-one coverage on the left side. James Gilleran’s point after put the visitors up 7-0 with 7:16 left in the first quarter.

North was forced to punt but DeMattio pinned the Hornets at their own 2-yard line. The ball came free on a handoff attempt and it was ruled DeMattio recovered in the end zone for a touchdown. A scramble on the point after attempt ended up intercepted and Mansfield held its advantage at 7-6 with 4:44 left in the first quarter.

“We had used him last year at back in the Century Game so it’s always been in the package but it gives us the ability to do some different things on offense, and it also lets us play him on defense,” Johnson said of moving DeMattio from quarterback to running back and linebacker. “We haven’t had the luxury to have him play both ways but he’s a senior now, sometimes you have to roll the dice and just get your best players on the field.”




Wells put an end to another Mansfield drive with an interception and the Rocketeers forced a punt on the next series. Tyler Bannon converted a third down with a 12-yard run, and Shultz followed suit with a 12-yard run on his own, followed by a late hit call to get the hosts inside the 10-yard line.

Two plays later, DeMattio ran it in from four yards out to put North Attleboro ahead. Caden Colby and Mark DeGirolamo combined to stuff the two-point rush attempt.

Mansfield football

Mansfield drove into North territory late in the first half, going 65 yards on eight plays but Danny Curran read the pass perfectly and stepped in front for an interception in the end zone to prevent any further damage, keeping a 15-7 lead at halftime.

The defenses were the stars for the majority of the second half. North was forced to punt after a three-and-out to start the second half, fumbled on its second possession, and had to punt again at the end of the third quarter after a big sack from Mansfield’s Aidan Devlin.

Meanwhile, Mansfield had a turnover on downs due to a fourth down sack from Tyler Bannon and had back-to-back punts. On its first three drives of the second half, Mansfield had a total of 62 yards before the final drive of 80 yards to tie the game.

“They didn’t play great against Feehan but we knew they were better than that,” Redding said of the Rocketeers. “They came out with a whole different look with DeMattio at running back and he runs really hard. The quarterback played well for a freshman, they were much better tonight than they were on film. They had us on our heels with their blitzing, with DeMattio coming, with Bannon coming off the edge — he’s a big, fast kid. We’re fortunate Zuk stepped up and had a heck of a night throwing the football, that was the difference.”

Click here for a photo gallery from this game.

Mansfield football

It marked Mansfield’s first win over North since 2013, although the team’s hadn’t played since 2014. It was the first overtime game in the rivalry; games previous ended in a tie at the conclusion of four quarters but that rule was changed about a decade ago.

“That was a classic, just about as good as high school football gets,” Redding said. “I’m glad the rivalry is back and we’ll see them at Alumni next year but maybe we’ll go up to Memorial [Park] and keep playing on the old-school fields.”

Mansfield football (2-0) will have its first home game of the season next week when it welcomes another member of the Hockomock League’s Davenport division in Stoughton. North Attleboro (0-2) hits the road for the first time to take on another Kelley-Rex division foe in King Philip.

Football: 2021 Davenport Division Preview

2021 Davenport Division Preview
Foxboro will be one of the top contenders for the Davenport division title this Fall season.

By HockomockSports.com Staff

2021 Davenport Football Preview

2021 Davenport Division Preview

Canton

2020 Record: 2-5
Coach: Anthony Fallon

Key/Returning Players: Colin Albert, Sr., RB/LB; Andrew Butler, Sr., WR/DB; Charlie Cox, Jr., WR/DB; Bashor Mahn, Sr., RB/LB; Vincent O’Brien, Sr., WR/DB

Outlook:
Canton was bound to have a rebuilding year in 2020, as the Bulldogs moved on from a historically successful class of players that won back-to-back league titles for the first time since the early 80s. With a second year under head coach Anthony Fallon, Canton will be looking to build on that experience and try to climb back up the standings this fall.

The strength for the Bulldogs will be on defense. Canton has a tough linebacking corps and an experienced secondary to try and slow down opposing offenses. There will be some new faces up front after graduations on the line of scrimmage but there are playmakers in this defensive unit. Senior Colin Albert is a tough tackler and someone who covers a lot of ground at linebacker and he’s joined by classmate Bashor Mahn, who is a leader on that side of the ball. Senior Andy Butler and junior Charlie Cox return at the safety positions and senior Vincent O’Brien is the top cover guy at corner.

Offensively, Canton battled injuries and consistency last year, but there are players capable of making big plays. Albert is a bruising runner, who filled in nicely last season after an injury to starting running back Cam Sanchez. Mahn will add depth and a different dynamic in the backfield. Butler, O’Brien, and Cox are a trio of tough receivers that can be used in various ways. As on defense, there will be some new faces up front but decent size and there is also youth at the quarterback position.

“Our strength will be our defense,” Fallon said. “With a strong core of LBs back and three of our four secondary guys we should be tough to score on. On offense we will be young but big up front and have a couple of guys who can spring some big plays.”










2021 Davenport Division Preview

Foxboro

2020 Record: 3-2
Coach: Jack Martinelli

Key/Returning Players: Ryan Addeche, Sr., NT; Steven Bridges, Sr., C/DT; Sam Carpenter, Jr., K; Andrew Finn, Jr., OL/DE; Dylan Gordon, Sr., RB/SS; Aidan Hughes, Sr., OL/DL; Dylan Kerrigan, Sr., G/LB; Eric Kristenson, Sr., G/LB; Omarion Otto-Broomstein, Sr., RB/LB; Tom Sharkey, Sr., WR/CB; Rashaad Way, Sr., WR/CB

Outlook:
Foxboro came as close as anyone to beating North Attleboro last season and nearly forced a three-way tie at the top of the Davenport division. As usual, the Warriors did it with defense, allowing only 48 points in five games with only Stoughton and North reaching double digits. This season, the Warriors should be right in the mix again with experienced skill position players and speed all over the field.

Senior Tom Marcucella is the returning quarterback from last year and he should have a lot of weapons to utilize in the Foxboro offense. Dylan Gordon is stepping in as the primary back this year with dynamic athletes Rashaad Way and Tom Sharkey lining up on the outside. Foxboro should have good balance on that side of the ball. There is also plenty of experience on the line, led by seniors Dylan Kerrigan, Steven Bridges, and Eric Kristenson. Special teams should also chip in with points this year, as junior kicker Sam Carpenter is back after a strong sophomore season and Way will be one of the top return threats in the league.

Defense is something the program prides itself on and the Warriors are looking at a deep, experienced group at linebacker and a playmaking secondary. Senior nose tackle Ryan Addeche, junior defensive end Andrew Finn, and senior Aidan Hughes will add to the strength at the line of scrimmage. Senior Omarion Otto-Broomstein and Kerrigan will be the players to watch at linebacker with their combo of speed and aggressiveness. The secondary is filled with ball-hawks, including Gordon, Sharkey, and Way.

“We are greatly looking forward to a somewhat normal football season even with a very short turnaround period from last year,” said Foxboro coach Jack Martinelli. “The kids are excited, resilient, and appear to be making the focused transition while retaining a great deal of what was taught last year.”




2021 Davenport Division Preview

North Attleboro

2020 Record: 6-0 (Davenport division champion)
Coach: Don Johnson

Key/Returning Players: Tyler Bannon, Sr., RB/LB; Greg Berthiaume, Jr., WR/LB; Danny Curran, Sr., WR/DB; Tyler DeMattio, Sr., QB; Zach Gallagher, Jr., OL/DL; Joey Perriello, Sr., WR/DB; Nathan Shultz, Jr., WR/DB; Jared Vacher, Sr., OL/DE; Gavin Wells, Sr., WR/DB; Keysun Wise, Sr., OL/DL

Outlook:
North Attleboro has won the league title in five of the past six seasons, including four out of five in the Davenport. The Rocketeers bounced back last year by going unbeaten and regaining the title. Now Big Red returns an experienced crew on both sides of the ball and, as usual, will have the target on its back as the team to beat in the division. North faces Bishop Feehan, Mansfield, and King Philip to start the season so will know right away where it stands.

It starts on offense with senior Tyler DeMattio. North’s quarterback is a playmaker using either his arm or his legs and is just as capable grinding out a long drive as hitting a big play for a touchdown. Keeping DeMattio healthy will be a key and to help give other weapons in the backfield, senior Tyler Bannon will be used as a power back. There is a lot of talent in the slot and out wide with seniors Danny Curran, Gavin Wells, and Joey Perriello among the players who could step in and contribute. Up front, senior Jared Vacher will be the leader of the offensive line, and his versatility allows some flexibility as to where players slot in. Senior Keysun Wise will also be counted on to open holes for DeMattio and the offense.

On defense, North will have several positions to fill and players that will be building experience over the course of the season. Linebacker should be a strength. Bannon is a playmaker on the outside, whether he lines up on the end as a pass rusher or drops back into coverage. Junior Greg Berthiaume started as the “mike” last year as a sophomore and has great instincts when reading the play. Vacher and Wise will get help on the line from junior Zach Gallagher, who started on the offensive line as a sophomore. The secondary is athletic, with Nathan Shultz (a three-year varsity player) joined by Wells, Curran, and Perriello.

“On the proverbial ‘paper’ we’ve got some experience coming back that should enable us to be competitive, but every year is a new team that comes with new leadership and a cast of different players that have to find a way to get it done,” said North coach Don Johnson. “We have to develop some quality depth and stay healthy if we want to be in the hunt in the end.”




2021 Davenport Division Preview

Oliver Ames

2020 Record: 1-5
Coach: Ed DeWitt

Key/Returning Players: John Carey, Jr., OL/DL; Sean Friel, Jr., WR/DB; Jake Grimaldi, Sr., QB; Jaden Hinton, Sr., OL/DL; Robert Jenkins, Jr., RB/DB; Jack Morley, Jr., RB/LB; Minh Nguyen, Sr., OL/DL; Onyekachukwu-Obinani Nwadiugwu, Sr., OL/LB; Chad Silva, Jr., RB/LB; Collin Williamson, Sr., RB/DB; Chris Young, Jr., OL/DL

Outlook:
Oliver Ames is in its second year back in the Davenport division and head coach Ed DeWitt is looking for the Tigers to push up the standings and be more competitive with the teams above them. With experienced players coming back, especially at the skill positions, OA will be focused on more consistency on both sides of the ball.

Offensively, the Tigers only scored 46 points in six games last year, and only twice did they score more than 10 points in a game. OA will need more scoring punch to try and make a bigger impact in the league. Junior running back Chad Silva will be the focal point of the attack again this season. A bruising, every down back, Silva is a downhill runner that is hard to tackle. Senior Collin Williamson gives OA a change of pace with his ability to get to the outside and make people miss. Senior quarterback Jake Grimaldi is the leader on that side of the ball with classmate Sean Friel being a top target on the outside.

Up front, OA returns several players who will have key roles on the line of scrimmage on both sides of the ball. Senior Onyekachukwu-Obinani Nwadiugwu will play on the line on offense and drop back to linebacker on defense. Seniors Minh Nguyen and Jaden Hinton and juniors John Carey and Chris Young add to the size at the line. Silva and classmate Jack Morley are both strong linebackers who can cover a lot of ground. Williamson, Friel, and junior Robert Jenkins will give OA playmakers in the secondary. The concern for the Tigers will be depth over the course of a long season.

“We are trying to get to a more competitive level within the league,” DeWitt said. “We need to take that next step of being a team that makes other teams work hard. We want to be a difficult team to play against.”

2021 Davenport Division Preview

Stoughton

2020 Record: 5-2
Coach: Greg Burke

Key/Returning Players: Brady Clark, Sr., QB/DB; Anthony Girolamo, Sr., FB/LB; Liam Joyce, Sr., OG/DL; Jonah Ly, Sr., WB/LB; Emmett Pearl, Sr., WR/SS; Konrad Rogers, Sr., RB/LB

Outlook:
The Black Knights came up just short in the quest for the Davenport division during the Fall 2 season, and there will be plenty of new faces stepping into new roles this season. Stoughton graduated a very talented senior class that featured nearly a dozen players that played at least two years at the varsity level, highlighted by division MVP Christopher Ais, Christian Ais, Christian Georges, and quarterback John Burke among others.

Now there’s a group mixed with some returners and some new faces eager to prove that Stoughton isn’t in a rebuilding year, but just reloaded and looking to battle for the division crown. Senior linebacker and fullback Anthony Girolamo was one of Stoughton’s most impactful players last season before an injury cut his season short. When he’s back in the mix, he’ll be one of the top players on both sides of the ball for the Black Knights. Senior Jonah Ly was a two-way starter last year and will likely see an increased role on the offensive end alongside classmates Emmett Pearl and Konrad Rogers.

Both Pearl and Rogers will be key targets for new senior quarterback Brady Clark, who is eager to take over after the Knights had three seniors at the position last season. After the Knights introduced a handful of new faces to the line for the Fall 2 season, now Stoughton has a good amount of experience helping protect Clark while also paving the way for Stoughton’s ground game, which is always dangerous. Returning starter and senior Liam Joyce will be an anchor the offensive line for Stoughton this season.

Defense is always a calling card for Stoughton and the Knights will be looking to continue that tradition this year. Against division opponents last year, only North Attleboro (14 points) scored more than one touchdown against Stoughton, who allowed just one touchdown to each OA, Foxboro, and Canton. Rogers, who will get snaps at running back on offense, had a breakout year on defense a year ago and will be one of the top linebackers in the league this year.

On top of the always challenging Davenport division, Stoughton has a tough non-league schedule that features a pair of teams from the Kelley-Rex in Mansfield (Week 3) and Milford (Week 7).

“Hopefully we can stay healthy and get through a super tough schedule,” said longtime head coach Greg Burke.

North Comes Out on Top Against Attleboro in Finale

North Attleboro Football
North Attleboro senior Matt Penta rushed for a pair of touchdowns to lead the Rocketeers to a 28-7 win against Attleboro in the Century Game. (Josh Perry/HockomockSports.com)

Josh PerryFollowJoshPerry


NORTH ATTLEBORO, Mass. – The weather was a little warmer and the crowd was a little smaller, but when North Attleboro (6-0) squared off with Attleboro (1-5) on Saturday morning at Community Field the usual emotions of the Thanksgiving Day rivalry were still there.

Click here for a photo gallery from this game.

North capped off an undefeated season and avenged a loss from Thanksgiving 2019, rallying from an early deficit to win 28-7 in the “Century Game” (marking the 100th “holiday” meeting between the programs). Seniors Matt Pentaand Jacob Silva scored two touchdowns apiece for the Rocketeers.

As his team celebrated in the background with “Hilda”, North Attleboro coach Don Johnson explained what the victory, and the chance to play the game at all, meant to his team.

“I think it gives our seniors a sense of completion,” he said. “I think up to this point our seniors have felt a little bit robbed of the usual senior experience and adding this game and the significance of it completes it for them and they can walk away quite satisfied.”

The dynamics of the game changed on Thursday night when, according to Johnson, North’s starting quarterback Tyler DeMattio had a cast put on a wrist injury he suffered in the Davenport title decider against Foxboro. North turned to Penta and fellow senior Dylan Eberle and inevitably the Rocketeers looked a little out of rhythm offensively in the first quarter.

Attleboro took advantage. The Bombardiers stopped North on its first possession and a short punt gave them the ball at the North 34. Attleboro was also on its backup quarterback, as sophomore Aiden Hochwarter started for the second week in a row, but the Bombardiers turned to its power running game.

Michael Strachan gained five yards on fourth and two to keep the drive moving and then Alexander Bakowski found a seam on a counter for a 16-yard touchdown and a 7-0 lead.

North went three-and-out on its next possession but Nathan Shultz recovered a muffed punt to give the Rocketeers a second chance. Again, Attleboro’s defense held. Ryan Betts and Kaiden Murray both made nice plays to break up passes and turn North over on downs.

The game changed early in the second quarter. After Attleboro went three-and-out, North blocked a Colby Briggs punt and took over at the Bombardiers 13. It was the momentum and field position shift that the North offense needed.

“It just changed the feel of the game,” Attleboro coach Mike Strachan explained. “It was a big play for them and they were able to capitalize and they have a bunch of good kids over there. We’ll learn from this.”

Two plays later, Penta saw a hole and burst up the middle on an 8-yard keeper to tie the game.

Attleboro’s issues on offense have been a familiar theme this season. The Bombardiers have only scored touchdowns in two of their six games and they recorded only four first downs on Saturday.

“They have a good football team,” Strachan said. “I thought we did a good job in the first half, but we had a couple mishaps on special teams that turned the momentum a bit and we just weren’t able to regain it.”

After a tough start, the North offense started to click into gear. On the first play of its next drive, Eberle hit Silva right in front of the North bench and the running back broke a couple of tackles, stayed inbounds and broke free for a 46-yard score, putting North ahead for good.

The Rocketeers had a chance to break the game open before halftime. A short punt gave them the ball at the Attleboro 26 and they marched down inside the 10. With time running out, Attleboro’s defense was able to stop three plays from inside its own three to keep it a one-score game.

That only lasted until North’s first drive of the second half. The Rocketeers went 60 yards on 12 plays, eating the clock and grinding out a touchdown drive that gave them a little cushion. Penta ( 13 carries, 113 yards) was making big plays with his legs and DeMattio (13 carries, 48 yards), cast and all, was able to give North a change of pace. Silva capped the drive with a one-yard plunge.

Johnson said, “In our three biggest games, Stoughton, Foxboro, and Attleboro, we failed to get that third touchdown at an opportune time that would’ve made you relax and maybe put the game away. That’s all we talked about [at halftime], not how we screwed up at the end of the first half but what are we going to do in the first drive.”

Attleboro was looking for a spark and thought it might have one in the fourth quarter when Freddy Wheaton recovered a Penta fumble to stop North’s drive with 6:14 to play. The Bombardiers got one first down, but North’s defense was flying, particularly Tyler Bannon and Greg Berthiaume, who snuffed out a screen to force a punt.

Penta left no doubt about the winner when he took off on yet another keeper, broke it to the outside, stayed on his feet, and found the end zone from 39 yards out, making it 28-7 with only 1:16 to play.

“Our special teams were good and our defense was good and I think that was enough to give our offense the field position we needed,” said Johnson. “The plays that Penta was running, he’s good at, and the things Eberle was doing, he’s pretty good at, so it worked out okay…two seniors who stepped up.”

When asked what it meant for his team, result aside, to finish up this unusual season with a game against North, Strachan replied, “At the end of the day, to be out here, with what these kids have been through this year, it’s unbelievable. That’s what it’s about. For the communities to come together at Community Field, this is what it’s about.”

Click here for a photo gallery from this game.

Football: 2020 (Fall II) Davenport Division Preview

2020 (Fall II) Davenport Division Preview
North Attleboro quarterback Tyler DeMattio (6) runs away from the Foxboro defense during the 2019 season. (Ryan Lanigan/HockomockSports.com)

By HockomockSports.com Staff

2019 Davenport Football Preview

Canton

2019 Record: 10-1 (Davenport division champions)
2019 Finish: Reached D5 South Final (Davenport Division Champions)
Coach: Anthony Fallon

Key/Returning Players: Matt Connolly, Sr., OL/DL; Cam Sanchez, Sr., RB/DB; Jack Albert, Sr., WR/DB; Carson Campbell, Sr., OL/DE;

Outlook:
It’s a new era in Canton as Anthony Fallon takes over for longtime head coach Dave Bohane, who stepped down from his second stint in charge of the Bulldogs at the end of last season.

While it’s a new era, all of the players and coaches are hoping that the success from the past two seasons continues going forward. If that success is going to continue, it’s going to be by a host of new faces. The Bulldogs graduated a historic class that won back-to-back Davenport division titles and reached the D5 South Sectional final in 2019. While competing for the Davenport division title this year, Canton will lean heavily on its few returners while new players take advantage of the new opportunities.

Senior Matt Connolly is a force on both sides of the ball, protecting the quarterback on the offensive line and leading the way for the ground game with his blocking. And defensively, the 6-foot-2, 300-pound senior who is committed to play at Assumption College, is an absolute handful and requires a lot of attention. Cam Sanchez is another experienced player back for the Bulldogs and will be involved in the running game offensively and apart of the secondary defensively. Carson Campbell started all 11 games for Canton last year at right tackle and will add defensive line duties this season. Jack Albert should see an expanded role on both sides of the ball and will be one of the main targets in the receiving game.

“Our team has great speed in our secondary, we are big and strong upfront and our linebackers are tough and fast,” Fallon said. “We have a solid mix on our varsity of juniors and seniors. I am also excited with our numbers on the sub-varsity level with 30-plus players. With a tough-minded defense and a fast offense, I know we will compete in every game.”

2020 (Fall II) Davenport Division Preview

Foxboro

2019 Record: 5-6
2019 Finish: Reached D5 South Semifinal
Coach: Jack Martinelli

Key/Returning Players: Jon Moses, Sr., DE; Sean Ferguson, Sr., OC; Mike Norvish, Sr., LB; Chris McNamara, Sr., RB; Luis Sulham, Sr., WR; Dylan Kerrigan, Sr., OG; James Stamatos, Sr., OLB; James Kraus, Sr., SS; Rashaad Way, Jr., WR/CB;

Outlook:
There is a lot of optimism in Foxboro for the Fall II season, and with a strong group of returning starters in different spots all over the field, there is good reason for it.

The Warriors seem to be in the mix for the Davenport division title each season, coming in third in 2019 and 2017. With talent back in key spots, Foxboro could be a serious contender for their first crown since 2015. The offense starts with the line and Foxboro has some experience and size to work with. Senior Sean Ferguson is a towering presence at 6’5, 315-pounds and anchors the line from the center position and he will be joined by junior Dylan Kerrigan (6’0, 205) at tackle. Senior Cam Prescott will start under center and will have a bevy of options to work with including playmaker Luis Sulham and junior Rashaad Way. Look for Chris McNamara to pick up where he left off carrying the ball.

Foxboro has an equal amount of playmakers on the defensive side of the ball with the strength of the team coming from the linebackers and the secondary. Seniors Mike Norvish and James Stamatos return with plenty of varsity experience under their belts and will anchor the linebacker position while senior James Kraus will start at safety and will be accompanied in the secondary by Way and Tom Sharkey, both juniors. One player to keep an eye out for is senior Jon Moses, a 6’4 defensive end that really improved over the course of last season and could be a handful for opposing offenses to deal with.

“The heart and soul of team this year is the senior leadership and experience along with a strong and talented junior class,” said Foxboro head coach Jack Martinelli.




2020 (Fall II) Davenport Division Preview

North Attleboro

2019 Record: 4-7 (Davenport Division Champions)
2019 Finish: Missed playoffs
Coach: Don Johnson

Key/Returning Players: Jared Penta, Sr., SLOT/DB/PR; Jacob Silva, Sr., TE/LB; Harry Bullock, Sr., OG/DE; Matt Penta, Sr., SE/DB; Tyler DeMattio, Jr., QB/K; Robbie Donovan, Sr., TE/DE; Alex McCoy, Sr., SLOT/DB; Jared Vacher, Jr., OG/DE; Danny Hayes, Sr., OT/DT; Colby Feid, Sr., SE/DB; Tommy Whalen, Sr., SLOT/LB;

Outlook:
North Attleboro was ravished by injuries during the 2019 season and the result was the program’s first sub-.500 season in 27 years. It speaks volumes to how consistent the Rocketeers are year in and year out that it had been that long but the Big Red are ready to turn the page and begin a new streak.

The Rocketeers are getting a lot of players back that missed time last year and also have a bunch of players back that were thrown into the fire last year and now have varsity experience. With that combination, North Attleboro is hoping the end result is the Davenport division title. Junior Tyler DeMattio is back under center for his second year as the starter after making a big splash on Thanksgiving his freshman season. DeMattio can get it done with both his arm and his legs (and his foot in the kicking game). He has a lot of weapons at his disposal this year with Jared Penta and Alex McCoy in the slots, Coby Feid and Matt Penta at split end, and 6-foot-5 Endicott-commit Robbie Donovan at tight end. Jacob Silva returns at tailback and will be complemented by senior Tommy Whalen while sophomores Nathan Shultz and Greg Berthiaume could be in the mix as well. Harry Bullock will anchor the offensive line alongside classmates Danny Hayes and Justin Vecchiarelli and juniors Jared Vacher and Keysun Wise.

On top of the eight returning starters on offense, the Rocketeers boast eight returners on the defensive side of the ball as well. North Attleboro has a lot of depth at the linebacker position with Silva, a team captain, being a key part of the group. He’ll be joined by Berthiaume, Vecchiarelli, Whalen, senior Dylan Eberle, and junior Tyler Bannon. Jared and Matt Penta are both very experienced safeties while McCoy and Feid return at corner, so the secondary will certainly be a strength for the Big Red. The Rocketeers don’t have the biggest defensive line but the likes of Donovan, Vacher, and Bullock provide speed from the edge.

“The extended off season has provided extra time for tremendous growth in the weight room,” said North Attleboro head coach Don Johnson. “The depth at the skill positions on both sides of the ball will be the strength of this team. The key will be how quickly and effectively we can put together our offensive and defensive lines.”

Oliver Ames

2019 Record: 4-7
2019 Finish: Missed playoffs
Coach: Ed DeWitt

Key/Returning Players: Jadon Ricci, Sr., RB/DB; Gavin Morrison, Sr., OL/DL; Max Tower, Sr., OL/LB; Dante Cocivera, Sr.,OL/DL; Jaden Krowski, Sr., DB; Colin Williamson, Jr., RB/DB; Chad Silva, Soph., RB/LB;

Outlook:
Oliver Ames is back in the Davenport division and is looking to make a splash in its first season back.

The Tigers had a lot of success when the league first split into two divisions, winning the Davenport title in 2011 and 2013 before making the jump up to the Kelley-Rex. With a strong group of players back, OA is looking to take the next step forward during the Fall II 2020 season. Senior captain Gavin Morrison is a two-way lineman and will anchor the offensive group from the center spot. He’ll be joined by senior Dante Cocivera and Max Tower, both returning players from last season. Junior Collin Williamson burst onto the scene last year and should see an expanded role in the backfield during this abbreviated season while sophomore Chad Silva should be in the mix as well.

Speed will be a strength on the defensive side of the ball for the Tigers, who boast a lot of the same faces on the defensive line as their offensive line. Tower anchors the linebackers and will be one to keep an eye on, using his speed and strength to make plays, and he’ll be joined by the sophomore Silva. Senior captain Jaden Ricci is one of the best defensive players on the team, a fast, physical player with a nose for the ball that will start at corner. He’ll be joined by senior Jaden Krowski in the secondary.

2020 (Fall II) Davenport Division Preview

“We are excited about where our program is heading and are really ecstatic and thankful to get an opportunity to play this season,” said head coach Ed DeWitt.




2020 (Fall II) Davenport Division Preview

Sharon

2019 Record: 0-11
2019 Finish: Missed playoffs
Coach: Dave Morse

Key/Returning Players: Nico Marrero, Sr., RB/LB; Ike Ogbonnanze, Sr., WR/LB; Kiran Chandrasekaran, Sr., QB; Owen Conway, Sr., WR/DB; Shea Letendre, Sr., C/MLB; PJ McManus, Sr., WR/DB/K; Conor McLaughlin, Sr., WR;

Outlook:
Sharon had a very young squad a season ago and went through plenty of growing pains. The Eagles are hoping to turn some of that experience into success on the field this season.

Not only do the Eagles have their quarterback and top receivers back, but they are also getting a big boost with a return from injury. Senior Kiran Chandrasekaran returns under center and has weapons in PJ McManus, Owen Conway, and Conor McLaughlin in the passing game. Nico Marrero, who showed flashes of great play as a sophomore, had to miss all of last year due to injury but is back this year and will be a key two-way player for the Eagles. Marrero is a powerful runner that will look to find space created by an improved offensive line. The Eagles’ offensive line is anchored by senior center Shea Letendre while junior Jack Murphy and sophomores Miles Clay and Daniel Davis help round out Sharon’s line.

Defensive the Eagles are always a competitive group, the challenge will be doing so for four quarters against some top offenses in the Davenport. Ike Ogbonnanze, who is also a big receiving target on offense, will start at linebacker alongside Marrero and Letendre, giving the Eagles a very experienced group in the heart of the defense. McManus and Conway will play on both sides of the ball, starting in the secondary defensively.

“Our kids know our numbers are not strong but they have a great attitude and are playing like their backs are against the wall,” said Sharon head coach Dave Morse.

Stoughton

2019 Record: 8-3
2019 Finish: Reached D3 South Quarterfinals
Coach: Greg Burke

Key/Returning Players: Christopher Ais, Sr., RB/LB; Christian Ais, Sr., RB/DB; Christian Georges, Sr., HB/DE; John Burke, Sr., QB/DB; Jake Queeney, Sr., WR/DB; Sproul Derolus, Sr., OL/DL;

Outlook:
Stoughton head coach Greg Burke always leans heavily on his senior class and he has a real talented group this year.

The Black Knights have a handful of very talented and experienced seniors that have played a lot of snaps over the past two seasons and that has Stoughton primed for a run a the Davenport division title. Senior John Burke is back under center at quarterback for the Knights and it’s likely we’ll see Brady Conlin take some snaps similar to how Burke split with Clayton Rahaman last season. Both quarterbacks will have plenty of options to work with, especially on the ground. The Knights have a “home run” type offense with any given handoff capable to break off a big run. Senior brothers Christopher and Christian Ais recently committed to the University of New Haven and both bring speed and power when running the ball. Christian Georges is another workhorse out of the backfield while juniors Anthony Girolamo and Jonah Ly could see some carries as well. What makes Stoughton’s run game so dangerous is all of the backs do a great job of blocking when they don’t get carries. Jake Queeney will be the main target in the passing game for the Knights. Sproul Derolus is one of the few returners on the offensive line so Stoughton will need some players to step up there.

Defense is always a staple for the Knights and that looks to be the case again this year. A lot of the same faces that make plays on the offensive side will be the ones making plays on the defensive side. Georges is an absolute monster coming off the edge and uses his speed and strength to cause havoc in the backfield. Christopher Ais will be joined by Ly and Girolamo at linebacker while Christian Ais, Queeney, and Burke are all returners in the secondary for the Knights.

“Hopefully without a ton of injuries we can have a good year,” Burke said. “We have some experience and the kids have worked hard in the clubs for weight training. We need the juniors to step up and contribute fast while still learning varsity speed. The league is always tough and hopefully, we can survive tough crossover games.”

2020 (Fall II) Davenport Division Preview