CANTON, Mass. – For three and a half quarters, the Canton defense was having its way against the Stoughton offense.
The Bulldogs forced the Black Knights to punt on each of their first seven drives, holding the visitors to negative yards on three of those drives. Stoughton had just one first down early on in the fourth quarter.
But with just under six minutes to go, Stoughton’s offense finally clicked. The Knights cut a 14-point deficit in half with 5:34 to go, and got the ball back down just one score with 1:56 to play.
A big pass play set the Black Knights up in striking distance, but the Bulldogs defense, as it had for the majority of the game, came up with a stop with under 30 seconds to play.
On fourth down, Canton junior Robbie Gallery tracked down Stoughton quarterback John Burke for a sack, preserving a 14-7 win for the Bulldogs.
“I didn’t feel comfortable until Robbie made that play at the end,” said Canton head coach Dave Bohane. “It reminded me of that 2014 game when [Stoughton] drove down the field and won it at the end. Robbie made the play, and he played great. This year, it seems like another kid steps up each game and it was Robbie’s week.”
Canton’s defense did a nice job bottling up Stoughton’s rushing attack. The furthest the Black Knights for prior to its final two drives was 10 yards over midfield — its lone time into Canton territory through three quarters.
A sack from Owen Lehane on first down forced Stoughton starting quarterback George Currier to the sideline. Burke, a sophomore, took over under center and the Knights had one of their biggest plays of the night — a 22-yard reverse from Ajahn Rue — to spark the offense.
After Rue’s run, sophomore Christopher Ais took a sweep and went for 19 yards to get into the red zone. After Canton’s defense stuffed a rush attempt, Burke floated one to the near pylon on the right side and senior Alex Iverson did a nice job fighting through contact and getting a foot down to get the Knights on the board, down 14-7.
Canton’s offense did its best to run time off the block with quarterback Johnny Hagan (5/9, 44 yards; 21 carries 121 yards) converting a third down with his legs. But a sack on the next play from Stoughton’s Jerry Brisson put the Dogs in a long distance scenario. Canton gained eight yards on the next to plays but had to punt with two minutes to go.
Stoughton’s final drive got off to a rocky start when Canton senior Ben Seaman (two sacks) came on a blitz from the blind side, taking Burke down for a loss of 7 yards.
But the Black Knights made things interesting on the next play as Burke lofted one down the left sideline and Rue used his speed to get under it for a 45-yard catch, down to the Canton 30-yard line with 1:09 to play.
But that’s when Canton’s defense came through again. A pass and catch from Burke to Ais was stopped at the line of scrimmage on first down, Burke was forced to throw it away on second down, and a pass over the middle was short on third down.
On fourth down, Burke was able to buy some time by getting out of the pocket but Gallery came flying in to make the tackle.
It was an impressive showing for the Bulldogs defense, which allowed a total of 122 yards while holding the Knights to 0-for-8 on third down. And they did almost all of it without junior linebacker James Murphy, who Bohane called the quarterback of the defense.
“Defense was the story for us,” Bohane said. “Murphy is our linchpin on defense so for our kids to play the bulk of the game without him, they were impressive. All the other key guys really stepped up like Brian Campagna, Brendan Albert, Ben Seaman, and of course Robbie Gallery, who kind of filled into Murphy’s shoes. I’m proud of them to keep plugging away, they are a resilient group.”
Stoughton’s defense also had a strong showing, forcing the Bulldogs to punt on six times and holding off another drive as the first half came to a close.
However, Canton’s offense was able to find the end zone twice — both on eight play, 65-yard drives.
After punting on its first drives, the Dogs moved the sticks when Hagan connected with Jace Emma for 11 yards. Hagan followed that with a 20-yard scramble on a broken play, and Gersom Rivera had runs of 10 and 23-yards, the latter converting a third down and getting the Dogs down to the 1-yard line.
Hagan took it in from there, following his line in for a 1-yard sneak and a 7-0 lead with 7:23 left in the first quarter.
Stoughton’s best drive of the opening half went for 41 yards, all on a run from Iverson. But an incomplete pass and two runs that netted no yards stopped the Black Knights from advancing.
Canton’s defense picked up where it left off, forcing Stoughton backward on its opening drive of the second half. After a three-and-out, Canton took over at its own 35-yard line and orchestrated what turned out to be the winning drive.
Hagan moved the sticks with a run of his own, connected with Ryan Lentol on second down, got a first down on a Stoughton penalty, and then finished the drive with three straight runs from different players: Rivera for 8, Hagan for 12, and Kyle Fitzgerald with a 9-yard touchdown run.
“We’ve been able to shift gears on offense,” Bohane said. “Some teams have been able to take away something we’ve been doing, and no one is better at that than [Stoughton] Coach [Greg] Burke. He’s going to take away what you do well. It was a game of just constantly finding a way.”
Canton football (5-0 overall, 3-0 Hockomock) is back in action on Friday when it hosts Sharon. Stoughton (2-3, 1-2) hits the road to take on North Attleboro at Beaupre Field.
Attleboro, 32 @ Oliver Ames, 6 – Final 1st Quarter: (A) Justin Cote 5-yard rush, 2pt rush failed.
2nd Quarter: (A) J. Cote 1-yard rush, 2pt rush failed; (A) Jason Weir 24-yard rush, J. Weir 2pt rush good.
3rd Quarter: (OA) Cam Perron 1-yard rush, XP blocked; (A) J. Cote 11-yard rush, 2pt pass failed.
4th Quarter: (A) J. Weir 29-yard pass to Jacob Weatherford, XP failed.
North Attleboro, 34 @ Foxboro, 0 – Final 1st Quarter: (NA) Nick Raneri 3-yard rush, XP no good; (NA) Brendan McHugh 2-yard rush, 2pt conversion failed.
2nd Quarter: No scoring.
3rd Quarter: (NA) B. McHugh 11-yard rush, N. Raneri 2pt rush.
4th Quarter: (NA) N. Raneri 13-yard pass to Ryan Gaumond, Tyler DeMattio XP good; (NA) Jacob Silva 3-yard rush, T. DeMattio XP good.
Franklin, 14 @ King Philip, 35 – Final – Click here for a Recap and Photo Gallery from this game. 1st Quarter: (KP) Robbie Jarest 18-yard pass to Timmy Nault, Cole Baker XP good.
2nd Quarter: (KP) R. Jarest 28-yard pass to Deric Casado, C. Baker XP good; (F) Nick Gordon 1-yard rush, Parker Chevrant XP good.
3rd Quarter: (KP) R. Jarest 25-yard pass to David Morganelli, C. Baker XP good; (KP) Ryan Halliday 12-yard rush, C. Baker XP good.
4th Quarter: (KP) Sam Callanan 12-yard rush, C. Baker XP good; (F) N. Gordon 84-yard pass to Ryan Driscoll, P. Chevrant XP good.
Mansfield, 34 @ Taunton, 14 – Final 1st Quarter: (M) Cincere Gill 70-yard rush, 2pt failed; (T) Noah Leonard 1-yard rush, Coby Adams XP good; (M) Aidan Sacco 6-yard rush, C. Gill 2pt rush.
2nd Quarter: (M) Vinnie Holmes 21-yard rush, Michael DeBolt XP good. (T) N. Leonard 14-yard rush, C. Adams XP good.
3rd Quarter: No scoring.
4th Quarter: (M) C. Gill 17-yard rush, 2pt failed; (M) V. Holmes 34-yard rush, M. DeBolt XP good.
Sharon, 7 @ Milford, 42 – Final
Stoughton, 1 @ Norwood, 3 – Final – Stoughton’s Ted Lucas scored his first career goal to cut the deficit to just one late in the game but the Mustangs tacked on an insurance goal to seal the win.
Foxboro, 5 @ Sharon, 0 – Final – Foxboro came out firing on all cylinders, scoring five goals in the first half to earn two points on the road. Jordyn Collins set the tone inside the opening minute, taking a pass from Lizzy Davis and scoring to put the visitors ahead. Kenzi Fraser, Kailee McCabe, Katie Hunter, and Katelyn Mollica (from Kaitryn Franchino) all scored once for the Warriors.
North Attleboro, 1 @ Braintree, 0 – Final – North Attleboro bounced back from a loss to Foxboro with a solid non-league road win. Ashlyn Gaulin scored the game’s only goal when she followed up her own shot that had caromed off the crossbar and she tapped in the rebound. North coach William Wallace praised the play of Kayla Pasquel, Haley Ferrin, Lydia Santos, and Bri Westcott in the middle of the field. Emma Noreck earned the clean sheet in goal.
Stoughton, 0 vs. Norwood, 3 – Final
Franklin, 4 @ Attleboro, 0 – Final – Cassi Ronan set up a pair of goals in the first half and the Panthers scored two more in the second half to beat Attleboro. Ronan assisted on Regan Paterson’s goal that put the Panthers up 1-0, and then set up Victoria Quinn as Franklin took a 2-0 lead into half. Sara Carney and Stephanie Bell each scored unassisted goals in the second half and Anna Jardine made four saves in goal for the shutout.
Canton, 3 @ Milford, 0 – Final
Foxboro, 4 @ North Attleboro, 0 – Final
King Philip, 6 @ Oliver Ames, 1 – Final – Meghan MacDonald, Alli Meehan, and Nicole Connor all scored in the first half, helping the Warriors build a 3-0 lead that it never relinquished in a win over Oliver Ames. Abby Nixon had an assist on MacDonald’s opening goal with 12:49 left in the first half. Meehan set Connor up with 4:41 left in the half, and then switched roles for a 4-0 lead less than three minutes into the second. Meehan finished with three goals and an assist and sophomore Olivia Kulesza added a late goal for KP. Oliver Ames sophomore Brynna Courneen scored her first goal of the season off a penalty corner in the second half.
Mansfield, 0 @ Taunton 0 – Final – Taunton goalie Emma Sheehan made 10 saves to help keep the contest equal.
Stoughton, 2 @ Sharon, 0 – Final – Allie Howe and Haley Nelson each scored once in the second half to lead the Black Knights to a win on the road at Sharon.
Canton, 3 @ Milford, 1 – Final – After splitting the first two sets, Canton won a close third game and went on to finish the match with a 3-1 victory (25-15, 18-25, 25-23, 25-16). Erin Devine has a great night for the Bulldogs, finishing with 12 kills and six blocks. Taylor Harris added nine kills, two blocks and 12 digs, Nicole Brown continued to impress with 22 assists, five kills, three aces and 11 digs, and Emily Morrison and Megan McDonough (five aces) combined for 19 digs.
Foxboro, 1 @ North Attleboro, 3 – Final
King Philip, 3 @ Oliver Ames, 0 – Final – King Philip went on the road and recorded a 3-0 sweep (25-7, 25-21, 25-20) against Oliver Ames. KP middles Catherine Waldeck (12 kills, two blocks) and Nicole Coughlan (seven kills, five blocks, two aces) both had strong games for the Warriors while, Kat Kmetz added 12 digs, two kills, and a pair of aces, and Shayla Weitzman finished with 14 digs, four aces, and 13 service points. For Oliver Ames, senior Jackie Raymond had eight aces, senior Sadie Homer finished with 36 digs, and junior Allie Kemp had 16 assists.
Mansfield, 3 @ Taunton, 2 – Final – Mansfield fell behind 2-1 but battled back to win the fourth set, and went on to win the decisive fifth set for a win over Taunton (16-25, 25-23, 24-26, 25-17, 15-7). For Mansfield, Greenly Kelly had nine kills, four blocks and 14 service points, Sam Sternberg added 15 digs and 10 service points, Olivia McGrath had a nice game with 13 kills and 10 service points, and Katie Dardinski chipped in with nine digs and 13 service points.
Stoughton, 3 @ Sharon, 1 – Final
King Philip, 158 @ Attleboro, 173 – Final
Foxboro, 173 @ Taunton, 174 – Final
Foxboro, 173 @ Oliver Ames, 153 – Final – Oliver Ames picked a pair of wins, including a divisional victory, by beating Foxboro and Taunton in a tri-match at Pine Oaks. Nolan Donze paced Oliver Ames with a 36, Liam Barry shot 38, Ryan Bock carded a round of 39, and Justin Shapiro finished with a 40.
Taunton, 174 @ Oliver Ames, 153 – Final
Franklin, 163 vs. Medway, 178 – Final – Franklin defended its home course against non-league foe Medway on Friday afternoon. Quinten Faro paced the Panthers with a team-low round of 40 while Matt D’Errico and Jack Paterson each shot a 41.
North Attleboro, 191 @ Sharon, 160 – Final – Ethan Skelly shot a 37 and Corey Carter shot a 38 to Sharon to a win at the Cape Club of Sharon. Max Brody carded a 41 and Andrew Glaser shot 44 to contribute to the win.
FOXBORO, Mass. – After losing on a last second field goal and twice in overtime over the last three years, Canton was finally able to end its nearly three-decade-long jinx against Davenport division rival Foxboro and the Bulldogs did it in dominating fashion.
Junior quarterback Johnny Hagan accounted for 285 yards of offense and three touchdowns and Canton pulled away with a pair of fourth quarter scores to record a 43-20 victory over the Warriors on Friday night at Jack Martinelli Field. It was Canton’s first win against Foxboro since 1990 and ended a 25-game losing streak in the series.
Canton also improved to 4-0 on the season, despite not yet having play a home game this fall.
Hagan was a menace throughout the game, tossing a pair of touchdown passes in the first half and rushing for 175 yards on 15 carries. Martinelli admitted that his defense had no answer for Canton’s signal caller.
“We had no answers for stopping No. 5 (Hagan) either on the ground or through the air,” Foxboro coach Jack Martinelli said. “We couldn’t stop him. He’s a good player.”
“He’s just a special player,” added Canton coach Dave Bohane about Hagan. “Sometimes he’s so amped up that he calls the wrong formation and then he throws a touchdown. His receiver was on the wrong side of the formation, I’m thinking about calling timeout, instead he runs around a little, throws it, and it’s a touchdown.”
“I thought we had an advantage on the perimeter and some of the skill spots, but I think their line, a lot of them, were back from last year,” Bohane remarked. “I thought maybe getting outside and getting away from those guys, but our line played well. They’ve really worked hard.”
The Bulldogs jumped in front on their first possession. On third and eight, Hagan looked deep down the sideline to Jace Emma. The junior wideout leapt above the Foxboro defensive back and ripped the ball away. He then turned and sped upfield for a 75-yard touchdown that gave the visitors early momentum.
Foxboro answered right back just four plays later. Mike Luong (12 carries, 70 yards) broke a 30-yard run, bouncing out to the right and getting into space on the sideline. Two plays later, Liam Foley looked for Rob Fay in the front corner of the end zone and the senior pulled in a one-hand catch to tie the game.
This time it was Canton that responded. Hagan somehow got to the edge on another third and eight and raced 50 yards up the Foxboro sideline before being brought down at the Warriors 18. After another 12-yard Hagan keeper, Rivera punched it in from six yards out.
David Allen picked off a Foley pass to end Foxboro’s next drive and then returned it 40 yards down to the Warriors 33. Fitzgerald needed only one carry to get the Bulldogs a two-score lead, taking a pitch to the left and finding a seam to the end zone.
It looked like the game may get out of hand, but a special teams mistake by Canton, attempting to field a bouncing punt inside its own 20 only to fumble and have Zachary Jenkins recover, led to Foxboro having a short field. Keyshawn Sanders bullied his way through a bevy of tacklers for a 10-yard score that cut the lead to 21-14.
Canton had one last chance with the ball before halftime. After an intentional grounding call, the Bulldogs faced third and 18 from the Foxboro 36. Emma ran a go-route down the near sideline and Hagan dropped a perfect pass to him in stride for a score with only 36 seconds left until halftime.
Leading 27-14, the Bulldogs came out of the half with an impressive 15-play drive that ate up more than nine minutes off the clock. The Foxboro defense stiffened inside the red zone, but Owen Lehane booted a 27-yard field goal to make it 30-14.
The Warriors didn’t quit and answered with a 75-yard drive. Foley rolled out and threw a dart to Brian Derbafor 27 yards and then a couple plays later ran a perfectly-executed backside screen to Luong for another 24 yards down to the Canton eight. On third and goal, another screen to Luong turned into a touchdown, but the two-point conversion pass was batted down by Allen to keep the lead at two scores with 9:09 remaining.
“When we had to make big plays, we couldn’t, which has kind of been our M.O. all year,” Martinelli explained. “We hung in there, made it a game on the scoreboard…but they were in charge from start to finish.”
After the Bulldogs went three and out, the Canton defense made the play that essentially ended any hopes of a Foxboro comeback. Brendan Albert crushed Foley as he was throwing and Robbie Gallery was on hand to secure the interception. He returned the ball to the one-yard-line where Hagan was able to get six points with a sneak.
“At that moment, offensively, we were sputtering a little bit,” said Bohane. “Robbie Gallery’s pick was when we breathed and thought okay we’re going to beat these guys.” About Albert, Bohane added, “He’s one of the top defensive players in the league and the best thing is he’s playing like it every single week.”
Fitzgerald added a nine-yard touchdown inside the closing two minutes to make the score even more comfortable for the Bulldogs.
Martinelli admitted, “I think they wanted it maybe a little more than we did. We hung in there, but not enough. We couldn’t make enough good plays and they made all of them.”
Canton (4-0, 2-0) will finally head home next week when rival Stoughton pays a visit to WWII Veterans Memorial Field. Foxboro (1-3, 1-1) will try to bounce back at home against two-time defending division champ North Attleboro.
Game of the Week – Football – Click here for a recap and photo gallery from this game.
King Philip, 27 @ Mansfield, 28 – Final 1st Quarter: (KP) Cole Baker 23-yard field goal; (M) Nick Marciano 80-yard rush, Michael DeBolt XP good.
2nd Quarter: (KP) C. Baker 33-yard field goal; (KP) Robbie Jarest 24-yard pass to Tim Nault, 2pt failed; (KP) Safety.
3rd Quarter: (M) Cincere Gill 7-yard rush, M. DeBolt XP good; (M) N. Marciano 31-yard rush, M. DeBolt XP good.
4th Quarter: (M) Aidan Sacco 23-yard rush, M. DeBolt XP good; (KP) R. Jarest 11-yard pass to T. Nault, C. Baker XP good; (KP) R. Jarest 18-yard pass to T. Nault, 2pt failed.
Taunton, 3 @ Attleboro, 28 – Final
Canton, 43 @ Foxboro, 20 – Final – Click here for a Recap and Photo Gallery from this game. 1st Quarter: (C) Johnny Hagan 75-yard pass to Jace Emma, Owen Lehane XP good; (F) Liam Foley 26-yard pass to Rob Fay, Russell Neale XP good; (C) Gersom Rivera 6-yard rush, O. Lehane XP good.
2nd Quarter: (C) Kyle Fitzgerald 33-yard rush, O. Lehane XP good; (F) Keyshawn Sanders 10-yard rush, R. Neale XP good; (C) J. Hagan 36-yard pass to J. Emma, XP no good.
3rd Quarter: (C) O. Lehane 27-yard field goal.
4th Quarter: (F) L. Foley 8-yard pass to Mike Luong, 2-point conversion no good; (C) J. Hagan 1-yard rush, XP no good; K. Fitzgerald 9-yard rush, O. Lehane XP good.
Oliver Ames, 0 @ Franklin, 41 – Final 1st Quarter: (F) Owen Palmieri 4-yard rush, Parker Chevront XP good; (F) O. Palmieri 4-yard rush, P. Chevront XP good; (F) Nick Gordon 32-yard pass to Jake Davis, P. Chevront XP good.
2nd Quarter: (F) N. Gordon 65-yard pass to Ryan Driscoll, P. Chevront XP good; (F) O Palmieri 40-yard fumble return, P. Chevront XP good.
3rd Quarter: No scoring.
4th Quarter: (F) Marcus Quintina 9-yard rush, Cody Trotin XP good.
Milford, 21 @ North Attleboro, 42 – Final 1st Quarter: (NA) Nick Raneri 1-yard rush, Tyler DeMattio XP good; (NA) N. Raseri 11-yard pass to Ethan Friberg, T. DeMattio XP good.
2nd Quarter: (NA) N. Raneri 39-yard pass to Ryan Gaumond, T. DeMattio XP good.
3rd Quarter: (NA) Brendan McHugh 80-yard rush, T. DeMattio XP good; (M) Colby Pires 54-yard pass to Shapel Faster, Sean Lehane XP good.
4th Quarter: (NA) B. McHugh 12-yard rush, T. DeMattio XP good; (M) C. Pires 42-yard pass to S. Feaster, S. Lehane XP good; (NA) N. Raneri 38-yard pass to R. Gaumond, T. DeMattio XP good; (M) C. Pires 52-yard pass to S. Lehane, S. Lehane XP good.
Stoughton, 12 @ Sharon, 6 – Final 1st Quarter: (Sto) Malachi Green-Hightower 8-yard rush, XP blocked.
2nd Quarter: No scoring.
3rd Quarter: No scoring.
4th Quarter: (Sto) Alex Iverson 6-yard rus, 2pt conversion failed (Sha) Jeremy Ruskin 20-yard pass to Chris Gong, XP failed.
Attleboro, 2 @ Taunton, 1 – Final – Attleboro scored a pair of first half goals, including a penalty late to pick up a win on the road at Taunton. Joe Soucy gave the Bombardiers the lead off an assist from Hugo Henriquez before the Tigers came back to tie the game. Nathan LaPlume scored on a penalty kick late in the first for Attleboro’s game-winning goal.
North Attleboro, 1 @ Canton, 3 – Final – Canton scored twice in the second half, breaking open a tie game, to earn two points at home against previously unbeaten North Attleboro. The Bulldogs took a 1-0 lead but North Attleboro’s Joe Hilf tied the game on a cross from Gavin O’Malley. Canton tacked on two goals in the second half, finishing off a throw-in and a cross. Griffin Roach had two goals, TJ McCabe scored once, and Paul Corcoran recorded two assists for Canton.
Sharon @ Foxboro – Postponed to Monday, 10/29.
Franklin, 1 @ Oliver Ames, 2 – Final – Oliver Ames built a 2-0 advantage over the first 40 minutes of play and held on for the rest of the way to earn two points. Sophomores Colin Milliken and Kevin Louhis each scored their third goals of the season while Louhis and Jimmy Keane each had an assist. OA head coach John Barata said his defense had a strong game.
King Philip, 1 @ Mansfield, 2 – Final – Mansfield senior Luke Savoie scored a pair of first half goals to help the Hornets inch closer to a playoff berth. Savoie opened the scoring just two minutes in, finishing off a throw in from Cam Eddy. Savoie then doubled the Hornets’ advantage in the 11th minute, scoring directly off a corner kick to make it 2-0. King Philip cut the deficit in half in the 62nd minute when Ian Zimmerman was able to pounce on a ball in the area after a service from Cam Lawrence. Mansfield goalie Cam Bovey made three saves in the win.
Milford @ Stoughton – Postponed to Monday, 10/29.
Taunton, 0 @ Attleboro, 5 – Final – Isabella Salviati scored a pair of goals and assisted on a third to help the Bombardiers pick up a big divisional win. Julia Reyes scored once and assisted on another, while Jessica Gates had a pair of assists for Attleboro. Ashley Macia and Ashley Dame each scored once and Briley Harnois had an assist. Tayla Drape made three saves to keep the clean sheet.
Canton, 0 @ North Attleboro, 2 – Final – North Attleboro netted a pair of first half goals to defend home turf, picking up two points with a win over Canton. Kayla Pasquel scored from Lydia Santos, and Ashlyn Gaulin scored from sister Emma Gaulin for the Rocketeers. Bri Westcott and Sam Hawkins led the North Attleboro defense in front of Emma Noreck. North head coach Bill Wallace added that Haley Ferrin and Alex Moulson played excellent two way soccer at midfield.
Foxboro @ Sharon – Postponed to Friday, 10/5.
Oliver Ames, 1 @ Franklin, 1 – Final – Erin Holmberg got a breakaway and scored 10 minutes into the game to give the Tigers the lead, but Franklin tied it on an Anna Balkus goal (assisted by Calen Frongillo) with less than five minutes remaining. Franklin coach Tom Geysen said that his team played well in the second half, hitting the bar several times. OA coach Britt Sellmayer noted that Brianna Gibson, Anna Tempesteoso, and Gabrielle McLaughlin all played well for the Tigers.
Sharon, 0 @ Oliver Ames, 5 – Final – Oliver Ames built a 3-0 lead at halftime and added two more in the second half to get a win over Sharon. After 20 minutes of scoreless action, sophomore Hannah Stryke scored three times over the final 10 minutes of the first half to put OA ahead. Stryke’s first two goals were assisted by Kayla Lozzi, and the third, with just under three minutes left, was set up by Georgia Costello. Haley Gilman (from Maggie Woods) and Costello (from Katherine McCarthy) scored in the second half for OA.
King Philip, 0 vs. Walpole, 3 – Final – King Philip hosted Walpole on Friday afternoon but came up short, falling 3-0 to the Rebels (17-25, 18-25, 21-25). Catherine Waldeck led KP with nine kills and two blocks while Nicole Coughlhan had four kills and two blocks.
Mansfield, 1 @ Brockton, 3 – Final – Mansfield grabbed a win in the first set but Brockton rallied to win the next three and the match (25-21, 20-25, 22-25, 16-25). Greenly Kelly had nine kills and nince service points, Katie Dardinski added seven digs and 12 service points, and Olivia McGrath chipped in with eight kills.
Canton, 164 @ Franklin, 167 – Final – Canton’s Thomas Singleton was the lone golfer to shoot under 40 on Friday, carding a medalist round of 39 to help the Bulldogs knock Franklin from the ranks of the unbeaten. Tommy Dimock and Mike Gobbi each shot 41 for Canton while Chris Lavoie chipped in with a 43. Matt D’Errio led the Panthers with a 40, Quinten Faro shot a 41, Gerry Collins carded a 42 and Nolan Norton finished with a 44.
Mansfield vs. Norton – Postponed to Monday, October 1st at 3:00.
North Attleboro @ Sharon – Postponed to Friday, October 5 at 3:15.
Game of the Week – Football – Click here for a recap and photo gallery of this game.
Oliver Ames, 6 @ Taunton, 30 – Final 1st Quarter: No scoring.
2nd Quarter: (T) Noah Leonard 8-yard pass to Wesner Charles, Coby Adams XP good; (T) N. Leonard 14-yard pass to Sean Quinlan, XP failed; (OA) Nathan Cabral 9-yard rush, XP failed.
3rd Quarter: (T) N. Leonard 26-yard pass to W. Charles, C. Adams XP good; (T) Josh Lopes 10-yard rush, C. Adams XP good.
4th Quarter: (T) C. Adams 21-yard field goal.
King Philip, 12 @ Attleboro, 2 – Final 1st Quarter: No scoring.
2nd Quarter: (KP) Ryan Halliday 16-yard rush, XP blocked; (A) Justin Cote XP block, Kevin Kevin Velazquez fumble return for 2pt conversion; (KP) Cole Baker 36-yard field goal.
3rd Quarter: (KP) C. Baker 27-yard field goal.
4th Quarter: No scoring.
Canton, 14 @ Milford, 12 – Final – Canton’s Brendan Albert blocked a field goal attempt as time expired to lift the Bulldogs to a win on the road. It was Albert’s second block of the game after he got his hands on an extra point attempt in the second quarter. 1st Quarter: (C) Johnny Hagan 29-yard pass to Kyle Fitzgerald, Owen Lehane XP good.
2nd Quarter: (M) Colby Pires 22-yard pass to Shapel Feaster, XP blocked.
3rd Quarter: (C) J. Hagan 41-yard pass to Ryan Lentol, O. Lehane XP good; (M) C. Pires 18-yard pass to S. Feaster , 2pt failed.
4th Quarter: No scoring.
Foxboro, 16 @ Stoughton, 13 – Final 1st Quarter: No scoring.
2nd Quarter: (F) Russell Neale 21-yard field goal.
3rd Quarter: (S) Jeff Grier 55-yard rush, Josh Cocchi XP good; (F) Mike Luong 2-yard rush, XP failed.
4th Quarter: (S) J. Grier 92-yard rush, 2pt failed; (F) Liam Foley 25-yard pass to Rob Fay, R. Neale XP good.
Franklin, 6 @ Mansfield, 24 – Final – Click here for a Recap and Photo Gallery from this game. 1st Quarter: (M) Aidan Sacco 14-yard rush, Michael DeBolt XP good.
2nd Quarter: (M) M. DeBolt 35-yard field goal; (M) Vinnie Holmes 2-yard rush, M. DeBolt XP good.
3rd Quarter: No scoring.
4th Quarter: (M) Cincere Gill 46-yard rush, M. DeBolt XP good; (F) Nick Gordon 56-yard pass to Ryan Driscoll, 2-point conversion failed.
Canton, 2 @ King Philip, 1 – Final – King Philip took the lead just over the midway point of the first half but Canton leveled before the break and scored a late winner to grab two points. Good pressure from Owen Teixeira led to chance for Nilaish Sen at the top of the box and he put the Warriors up 1-0. Canton’s Paolo Ruggeri leveled the score with just over five minutes left in the first half and senior Griffin Roach buried a free kick with just two minutes to play for the game-winner.
Foxboro, 0 @ Oliver Ames, 2 – Final – Oliver Ames scored twice in the final 10 minutes to grab two points at home. Sophomore Colin Milliken scored the game-winner in the 72nd minute, finishing off a cross from classmate Jimmy Keane. Minutes later, sophomore Kevin Louhis converted a feed from senior Sean Flaherty. OA coach John Barata credited Matt Nikiciuk, Haendal Louhis, and Adam Freeman for strong play in the midfield and Harry Ahearn, Niko Byron, Aaron MacDonald and Matt Nosalek for their efforts defensively. Jacob Lerman, the OA senior goalie, earned his fourth shutout of the season.
Stoughton, 2 @ Franklin, 3 – Final – Franklin built a 3-0 lead but had to hold off a furious Stoughton rally to beat the Knights. Stoughton used an own goal and a tally from John Neves (from Fabi Ponce de Leon) to get within a goal. The visitors nearly found the equalizer but Franklin’s defense was able to fend the Knights to get the win.
Milford, 0 @ Mansfield, 1 – Final – Mansfield’s Luke Savoie converted a penalty kick in the 73rd minute to lead the Hornets to a win. In a very even game, both defensive units played very well. For Milford, Joey Madden, Zach Browne, Joao Boaventura, and Lucas Caetano kept the Hornets’ attack at bay. Mansfield’s Derek Meuth, Ethan Brill-Cass, Sam Nugent, and Cam Eddy were massive in earning the shutout.
North Attleboro, 0 vs. Hingham, 0 – Final – A Hingham defender cleared the ball off the line, robbing North Attleboro of the best chance of the game as the Rocketeers and Harbormen finished level. Kyle Brier notched his fifth shutout of the season for the Big Red.
King Philip, 8 @ Canton, 1 – Final – Canton took a lead inside the opening three minutes of the game, but the KP offense exploded for four goals before halftime and added four more after the break for a convincing win. Chloe Layne recorded a hat trick and Avery Snead had a brace and an assist to lead the Warriors. Jenny Cullen and Makayla Griffin each had a pair of assists, Ally Stanton scored a pair of goals, and Jaida Caruso scored once for KP.
Oliver Ames, 1 @ Foxboro, 2 – Final – Foxboro scored in the final moments of the first half to tie the game, and found the winner halfway through the second half to beat Oliver Ames. “We battled the entire 80 minutes, I’m so proud of this team,” said Foxboro head coach Katie Stalcup. OA seized the lead in the 26th minute when Maeve Hogan scored off a corner kick from Brianna Gibson. Foxboro freshman Kaitryn Franchino leveled the match with three minutes left in the first half. Warrior sophomore Jordyn Collins scored the game-winner in the 23rd minute, finishing off a feed from Katelyn Mollica. OA head coach Britt Sellmayer added that Abby Hodges, Abby Evin, and Erin Holmberg played well for OA.
Franklin, 9 @ Stoughton, 0 – Final – Emily Landry had two goals and an assist to lead the Panthers in a big win. Sydney St. Marie and Carly Alston each had a brace, Stella Regan added a goal and two assists, Anna Balkus had a goal and an assist, and Erin Quaile had a goal for Franklin. Sam Powderly, Kaylee DeSimone, and Calen Frongillo all had assists in the win. Nicole Weir had a strong game for the Black Knights.
Mansfield, 2 @ Milford, 0 – Final – Steph Kemp and Katy Garvin scored second half goals to keep Mansfield unbeaten in the league. Kemp also had an assist, as did Maria Sevastos.
Attleboro, 6 vs. Bishop Feehan, 2 – Final – Attleboro junior Anna Beck scored a hat trick to lead the Bombardiers over visiting Bishop Feehan. Alex Compton added a pair of goals and Eliza Sabilla scored once for Attleboro.
Franklin, 1 vs. Needham, 7 – Final – Franklin’s Victoria Quinn scored in the first half on an assist from Cassi Ronan but the Panthers fell at home to Needham. Quinn’s goal had Franklin tied 1-1 at half with the Rockets but Needham’s offense exploded in the second half. Anna Jardine made four saves while Neilee Hess had one stop.
Mansfield, 0 @ Bishop Feehan, 3 – Final – The Hornets pushed the Shamrocks to the brink but ultimately fell on the road 3-0 (17-25, 22-25, 29-31). “It was a great team effort and they worked really hard and played tough from beginning to end. I am really proud of their effort,” said Mansfield head coach Melissa Heeden. Greenly Kelly had 10 kills, Katie Dardinski had 13 service points and eight digs, and Sam Sternberg had 18 digs and eight service points for Mansfield.
North Attleboro, 1 @ Taunton, 3 – Final – Taunton rallied after dropping the first set to the win the next three and get a win over the visiting Rocketeers, 3-1 (19-25, 25-23, 25-21, 25-16). Jaime Brown had a standout game, dishing out 32 assists along with four aces. Michaela Felici had a team-high 11 kills, Kamila Cuevas added nine kills, seven blocks, and three aces, and Sam Silviera chipped in with seven kills and four blocks. “It was a great team effort all around,” said THS head coach Toby Chaperon. For North Attleboro, Hayley Gaskin had 20 assists and Lauren Antonetti put down 10 kills.
Oliver Ames, 3 vs. Brockton, 1 – Final – Oliver Ames defended its home court against the Boxers, taking the final two sets to earn a 3-1 win (25-23, 21-25, 25-22, 25-12). Junior Allison Barth had a strong game for the Tigers, finishing with seven kills. Sadie Homer added 30 digs and three aces, Jordan Bosse notched 13 kills and four assists, Caitlin Cavanaugh added 12 kills, and Allie Kemp (27) and Sarah Litwack (23) combined for 50 assists.
Canton, 270 @ Foxboro, 273 – Final (6 cards) – Tied after four cards, and again after five, Canton prevailed on the sixth card to edge out Foxboro. Tommy Dimock earned match medalist honors, shooting a low round of 40. Thomas Singleton carded a 45 while Mike Gobbi, Mike Leonetti, and Andrew Middleton all shot 46. Conor Hunter’s 47 ended up being the difference for the Bulldogs. Charlie Baughan had the top score for Foxboro, shooting a 43. Matt Lathrop and Jon Dowling each shot 44 for the Warriors.
Franklin, 249 @ Medway, 291 – Final – Franklin earned a win over Medway, who uses six cards for final scoring. Quinten Fero was the medalist, leading the way with a low-round of 38 for the Panthers. Jake Blaney, Matt D’Errico, and Jack Paterson each shot a 40 for Franklin.
Mansfield, 161 @ North Attleboro, 155 – Final – North Attleboro’ Matt Wanless shot an even par round of 35 to pace the Rocketeers to an impressive win over Mansfield. Nathan Morreale had a two-over par round of 37 on the middle course at Heather Hill to lead Mansfield.
Canton, 42 @ Bellingham, 6 – Final 1st Quarter: (C) Gersom Rivera 3-yard rush, XP failed; (C) G. Rivera 49-yard interception return, Johnny Hagan 2pt rush; (C) J. Hagan 48-yard rush, Owen Lehane XP good.
2nd Quarter: (C) J. Hagan 11-yard pass to Kyle Fitzgerald, O. Lehane XP good; (C) J. Hagan 7-yard pass to G. Rivera, O. Lehane XP good; (B) Jim Kilduff 6-yard pass to James Palermo, 2pt failed.
3rd Quarter: (C) J. Hagan 5-yard rush, O. Lehane XP good.
4th Quarter: No scoring.
Foxboro, 5 @ Taunton, 1 – Final
Oliver Ames, 9 @ Stoughton, 2 – Final – Oliver Ames had seven different players score in a big win on the road. Camryn O’Connor led the way with two goals and an assist while Allison Evin also scored a pair of goals. Stoughton sophomore Mackenzie Manning scored the Black Knights’ first goal and then assisted on the second, setting up senior Alanna Richards.
Stoughton, 1 @ Oliver Ames, 3 – Final – Stoughton’s Haley Nelson scored just before halftime to make it a one-goal game, but Oliver Ames scored an insurance goal in the second half. OA went up 2-0 on a pair of goals from sophomore Hannah Stryke (assisted by freshman Georgia Costello and sophomore Bryanna Courneen) before Nelson cut the deficit in half for the Black Knights. In the second half, Stryke returned the favor, setting up Costello to make it 3-1. OA head coach Sharon Lawrence said Emily Han and Ellie Waters played well defensively for the Tigers while Kara Ostrander made four saves.
Outlook: After playing plenty of sophomores last season, the Bulldogs will be looking to boast a balanced, experienced team aiming to compete for the Davenport division title in 2018.
Canton brings back six starters on offense and seven starters back on the defensive side of the ball. The Dogs are one of the few teams with their starting quarterback returning as junior Johnny Hagan continues under center after a solid sophomore season. He showed the ability to pass and run with the ball, and he has almost all of his running back options back to work with. Gersom Rivera had a terrific sophomore year and will be counted on to be a big piece of the offense during 2018. Rivera’s athleticism and speed will be complemented by the hard nose running and blocking of junior Kyle Fitzgerald and senior Brendan Albert.
Junior Jack Connolly will anchor the offensive line and will be joined by senior Brian Campagna and junior Lucas Bryant at the center position. Ryan Lentol, who came on strong at the end of last year, picked up right where he left off and will be a top option at split end.
The strength of Canton’s defense is its linebacker group, which is full of experience and talent. Albert is back at one of the outside spots after earning Hock All Star last year while senior Ben Seaman is back on the other side. Junior James Murphy will fill in the middle after impressing last season and junior Robbie Gallery has impressed early on as the other inside option. Canton will also rely on a seasoned secondary with Fitzgerald and David Allen returning as starters. Ryan Colby should see time in the secondary and Owen Lehane is in the mix for the defensive line.
“We’re very excited for the season,” said Canton head coach Dave Bohane. “The kids have put the work in, we think we can play with anyone in the league but its a very good league so you have to be on your ‘A’ game every night. Every team is well coached and competitive so any time you can win in the Hock, its a success. We have to take it game by game, do the best we can, and keep plugging.
Outlook: The Warriors are aiming to make it two straight years in the postseason and will use a mix of returning players and new faces to try and get it done.
Foxboro graduated 35 seniors last year so there are some spots that need to be filled, but the Warriors are off to a good start with Liam Foley back in the fold at quarterback. The senior saw time under center last season along with Devin Hassett. And Foley will be in good shape as the Warriors have a lot of experience on the offensive line. Senior Tom Cullen is back in the middle of the line as the center, senior Andrew Longa and sophomore Sean Ferguson take on the tackle positions, and senior Hunter Williams and junior Aidan Dow will fill out the interior of the line.
Mike Luong got touches as a junior out of the backfield last season and will be a main part of the offense this season. Pat Stapleton is a returning split end, classmate Rob Fay will step into the same role, and junior Shayne Kerrigan will a top target for Foley.
The Warriors have experience and good size up front on defense, led by returning starting tackles Shawn Teixeira (6’4, 260) and Bill McNeil (6’0, 265). Senior William Ogbebor and Anton George will be called upon to fill out the defensive line on the ends while Williams and Martin McElroy will be joined by Mike Sheehan at linebacker. Russell Neale is back as the place kicker after a strong junior season.
Outlook: After reaching the quarterfinals last season, the 2018 version of the Scarlet Hawks are aiming for a deeper run into the postseason. And not just that, the Hawks are looking to be serious contenders for the Davenport crown.
Milford has a strong core of returning players back, a group of eager new faces looking to make an impression, and big new piece on the line. Kevin Pyne (6’8, 280) transferred to his hometown high school and will anchor what looks to be a big, physical line. Pyne is rated as the top recruit for his class and holds D1 offers from over a dozen schools including Notre Dame and Michigan. Senior Josh Ligor returns as a starter on the line while sophomore Nick Yohn will also be a two-way lineman.
The Hawks bring back both their quarterbacks: senior Ryan Pearl handled the team’s ‘WAR’ package while junior Colby Pires stepped in when Milford spread it out. Junior Luke Rosa will step in as an option at halfback along with sophomore Dominic Schofield. Brendan White (WR/S) brings toughness to both sides of the ball for the Hawks.
Shapel Feaster is one of the most experienced defensive backs in the Hockomock League and should be an important piece of the 2018 Hawks’ defense. Junior CJ Cerella will step in to anchor the linebacking group. On special teams, Sean Lehane is one of the strongest kickers in the area and will try to give Milford a spark at wide receiver this season.
“The goal of the 2018 football season for the Milford Scarlet Hawks is simple: start fast, play physical, and be the toughest team on the field on Friday nights,” said Milford head coach Anthony Vizakis.
Outlook: The target on North Attleboro’s back continues to grow. Coming off their third straight league title, including two straight Davenport titles, the Rocketeers made it all the way to the D3 State Final before falling, 35-33, to St. John’s Shrewsbury.
Big Red is hopeful it can continue its string of success but knows it will be tested with a difficult schedule, including a non-league game with two-time defending state champion King Philip. The biggest challenge will be finding a replacement for three-year starter Chad Peterson, who graduated with a handful of program records and three Hock titles as the starter. Seniors Nick Raneri and Luke LaBonte are both in the mix, and both saw time last year throughout the season. Raneri started all 13 games at tailback but also filled in at QB at times.
Whoever ends up getting the nod at quarterback will have one of the best offensive linemen in the entire state with senior Ryan Clemente anchoring the protection unit. Clemente is joined by senior Jack Puccio as returning starters on the line while seniors Joe Larkin and John Nally, and juniors John Kummer, Ethan Friberg, Trevor Hewitt, Montrel Jackson, and Ethan Mottinger are all competing for time. The Rocketeers also have solid skill options back with senior Brendan McHugh (14 total touchdowns) back at the starting slot back. Omar Jasseh offers size and speed at split end while Ryan Gaumond’s quickness gives the Rocketeers another option down field.
North Attleboro returns six starters on the defensive end, including McHugh, Gaumond, and Jasseh in the secondary. Clemente will be a big piece of the defensive line while Raneri and captain Jonathan James, who will also see time at tight end, will lead the linebacker unit. Russell Dunlap, Puccio, Mike Carty, Friberg and Jackson are all in the mix for defensive end spots while Ryan Boyle, Tom O’Neill, Duane Bryant, and Owen Harding are competing for time at linebacker.
“We expect a very challenging schedule, opening with KP on our new turf field and then an improved Bishop Feehan team in Week 2,” said North Attleboro head coach Don Johnson. “The Davenport division will be extremely competitive this year, with several teams able to beat anyone on any given night. We have a nice core, but if we are going to compete at a championship level, then we are going to need several new faces to mature very quickly. There’s a lot of work still to be done, and not a lot of time to do it.”
Outlook: For the first time in Sharon, there will be football on Friday nights.
With the installation of lights at the high school field, the Eagles will be hosting teams on Friday nights instead of Saturday afternoons. And the 2018 Eagles are hoping to put a show under those lights. Sharon brings back a handful of key returning starters on both sides of the ball, and with one more year experience under their belts, will be looking to compete in what is shaping up to be one of the most competitive seasons top to bottom in the Davenport.
Sharon averaged nearly 20 points per game in its six non-league games last year and is hoping to carry that over into Davenport play this season. Senior quarterback Jeremy Ruskin (six total touchdowns) is back under center to lead the offense and last year’s starting running back Aaron Strong (three touchdowns) also returns to give the Eagles a solid 1-2 punch on offense right away. Coleman Loftus’ size and strength will be a vital part of the line on both sides of the ball while Chris Gong and Alec Filipkowski return as Ruskin’s main two targets.
Not only goes Gong give Sharon options on offense because of his speed, he is one of the most dangerous kick returners in the state. He had an 80-yard punt return touchdown and a 99-yard kickoff return last season so opposing special team units will have to pay a lot of attention.
Despite the numbers, the Eagles had a strong defense last season. This season, Sharon boasts a lot of speed (on both sides of the ball) and is looking to use that to be more aggressive. Juniors Kiran Chandrasekaran will step in to be a big part of the secondary while classmate Nic Marrero will be relied on to anchor the linebackers.
“With a lot of returning starters and a sprinkle of new talent, I am expecting this team to take a huge step forward from last year’s inexperienced team,” said Sharon head coach Dave Morse.
Outlook: It feels like a fresh start for the Black Knights after graduating a bunch of players that had multiple seasons of experience under their belts.
But the focus remains the same for the Black Knights, who are aiming to be in contention for the Davenport title and make another appearance in the state tournament. Similar to previous seasons, Stoughton will have talent in the backfield and that will be the focal point of the offense. Jeff Grier is one of the fastest players in the league and will make defenses pay when there is space. Alex Iverson is a shifty option out of the backfield, Malachi Green-Hightower brings power to the run game, and sophomore Chris Ais could emerge as a playmaker for the Black Knights.
Junior George Currier and sophomore John Burke will battle it out for the starting quarterback position while Matt Piana, Ali Awad, and Evan Jackman have solidified spots on the offensive line. Frank Derbes will factor into the offense as a tight end and junior Ajahn Rue is back as a receiver.
Defensively, Iverson and Green-Hightower will be right in the heart of the lineup as linebackers while Grier will help as a member of the secondary. Cian Swierzewski has impressed throughout the offseason and the preseason and will be a key piece of the defense from the safety spot. Stoughton is looking for other names to step up and help anchor its hard nose defense.
Canton, 2 @ Wellesley, 4 – Final – The Raiders scored once in the first and three runs in the second to take a 4-0 lead that they never relinquished thanks to a strong pitching performance that included 10 strikeouts as a team. The Bulldogs cut the lead in half on a pair of RBI singles from Matt Casemento (3-for-3) in the third and the fifth. Owen Lehane also went 2-for-3 with two runs scored for Canton, which out-hit Wellesley 6-to-4 in the loss. Canton starter Niko Donovan allowed only three hits in his three innings of work and Matt Connolly allowed only one hit in three scoreless innings of relief. Canton coach Greg Digirolamo said, “We competed hard against a good Wellesely squad today! If we continue to put in effort like that, the results will come.”
Franklin vs. Bridgewater-Raynham – Postponed to TBD.
Milford, 11 vs. Bellingham, 6 – Final – Brendan White had a big game for the Hawks, figuring in eight of the team’s 11 goals. He scored six times and assisted on two others. Andrew Gallagher chipped in with a pair of goals and an assist. The defense was led by Ryan Donnelson with five ground balls. Freshman Jack LeBlanc won eight face-offs and Ryan Hazard won 6-of-7 that he took.
That’s what it felt like for the Canton High boys hockey team on Thursday evening. The Bulldogs had just scored their third straight goal, erasing an early three-goal deficit to tie the game with just 1:53 left to in the third period.
But just 14 seconds after Canton completed its comeback, Plymouth South senior Joey Van Winkle saw his slap shot somehow find its way through a crowd in front and into the back of the net. The Panthers added an empty-net goal in the final minute to notch a 5-3 victory in the D2 South Semifinals.
“That’s what it felt like,” Shuman said. “We were bad off of the faceoff on two goals…off that center ice faceoff, they got two goals against us. It’s tough, we played hard, I’m proud of the guys for battling back like they did. That’s this team. We haven’t been down three goals all year and they fight back and made it 3-3… but [Plymouth South] just found a way to get a shot through at the end.”
The game couldn’t have started worse for the Bulldogs or any better for the third-seeded Panthers. Plymouth South scored on its first shot of the game, just 13 seconds into the game when defenseman Jack Worrick fired a shot that found its way between a defenseman’s legs and right into the top corner.
The momentum stayed with the Panthers as they doubled the lead before a minute had expired on the game clock. A turnover in the neutral zone allowed South’s Sean Colbert to skate into the zone and his low wrist shot found its way in at the far post to make it 2-0.
It looked as though Canton might be able to get one back quickly when Plymouth South was whistled for too many men on the ice, but even the power play couldn’t help the Bulldogs.
Forty seconds into the man advantage, a miscommunication on a pass allowed South to skate out of its zone, coming down on a 2-on-1. Panthers senior Daniel Lincoln elected to shoot, hitting the crossbar and in for a 3-0 advantage.
Though down 3-0 midway through the first period, the Bulldogs started to get their legs underneath them and started to plant the seeds of the comeback.
The best chance in the first came with four minutes to play when Bubba McNeice tossed a pass in front that was deflected into the air. Senior Jack Goyetch got a good chunk of it by batting it out of the air but somehow South goalie Cam McPhee kept it out. The rebound found its way around before Mike Dadasis sent it in front again but McPhee covered the puck as Goyetch tried to bury it.
The second period was completely different than the first as the Bulldogs dominated from the opening faceoff. Canton outshot South 16-1 in the fame, scoring a pair of goals to right back into the game.
Despite having to kill a pair of power plays, the Dogs were on the front foot throughout. Shortly after a 21-second power play of their own, Canton finally got on the board.
Junior Joe Robinson read a clearance attempt from the Panthers, knocking it down with his glove. He skated towards goal, and despite having his stick lifted, his was able to slide a pass over to sophomore Chris Lavoie who buried his chance from in close with 5:13 left in the second.
Constant pressure in the offensive zone led to a tripping call on the Panthers, and Canton made sure to cash in. Junior Ryan Nolte picked up a loose puck after a face-off, skated towards behind the goal but dropped the puck off to sophomore Johnny Hagan. Hagan tossed the puck on goal, and despite having a tough angle, the puck hit off the post and in to bring Canton within one with 1:03 to go in the second.
The third period was a bit more even with the early edge to South. But Canton continued to push to tie the game. Hagan had another tough angle shot bang off the crossbar just over three minutes into the frame.
As the clock ticked under six minutes to play, Canton amped up its pressure. McNeice came flying into the zone only for his shot to whistle just wide of the post. And then with 1:53 to play, the Dogs scored their third.
Sophomore Owen Lehane alertly pinched on a clearance attempt and then skated behind the goal to draw the attention of the defense. With all eyes on Lehane, he slid the puck through the crease to the waiting stick of Hagan, who roofed his shot to tie the game.
“This group was special, they really were,” Shuman said. “They showed all kinds of resiliency all year long. I think that’s a credit to the seniors, all 14 of them. They embraced every role we asked of them and they couldn’t be better teammates. The guys on the bench were rooting them on all the way and the guys on the ice fought like hell. It’s just a testament to this team, they were a really great team. It’s always tough to lose at the end of the year like that but I’m still proud of them nonetheless.”
Unfortunately, Plymouth South stole all of the momentum back just 14 seconds later. South gained possession down low, and as Canton’s defense collapse, the puck was sent back out to the defense and Van Winkle somehow got the puck to find its way through traffic.
Canton finished with a 36-19 advantage in shots on goal but it could have been much higher. South’s defense blocked at least a dozen more attempts in front of McPhee.
“I think blocking shots was the key to that game,” Shuman said. “They blocked a lot of our shots, and blocking shots is an art form. I give all the credit in the world to Plymouth South, they wanted that game. And a lot of times you can tell how badly you want to game by how well you block shots. They blocked more of them and a couple of their shots from the points snuck through and that was the difference”