Milford Makes Statement With Big Win Against Foxboro

Milford Football
Junior Isaiah Pantalone (5) made an impressive debut with more than 350 total yards and three touchdowns in Milford’s big win over Foxboro. (Josh Perry/HockomockSports.com)

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MILFORD, Mass. – Milford graduated almost all of its starters from last year’s prolific offense. There were concerns that it may take the Hawks a few weeks to integrate new faces in new positions and start producing close to what they were able to during the Fall II season. It turns out, the new players didn’t need long at all to find their footing.

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Junior Isaiah Pantalone (four receptions, 296 yards) touched the ball six times in the game and accounted for three touchdowns and more than 350 total yards. Junior Evan Cornelius stepped into the quarterback position, replacing UMass quarterback Brady Olson, and threw for two scores and rushed for two other. Senior Tyler Lane took over as the primary back from Carter Scudo (also playing at UMass) and rushed for 116 yards and a pair of scores.

It all amounted to a 49-28 season-opening win for the Hawks against Foxboro, one of the favorites in the Davenport division. The Milford sideline clearly felt that they were underrated coming into the year and they believed this was an emphatic statement to the rest of the league that they shouldn’t be overlooked.

“Losing nine kids on offense from last year’s team, but I knew we had a good core group of kids coming up,” said second-year Milford coach Dale Olson. “Our sub-varsity went undefeated and we had some talented kids. You saw that kid tonight, Isaiah Pantalone, he’s a special kid.

“They struggled to stop our run off tackle and made them put everybody in the box and then you get one-on-one matchups and Evan Cornelius delivered the ball a few times.”

Foxboro coach Jack Martinelli admitted that his team struggled to contain Milford’s balanced attack and was undone by allowing too many big plays. “They were a lot more physical than we were and they deserved to win the game. We didn’t quit, we kept coming back, but just didn’t have the ability to stop them in any way or fashion.”

It took only 13 seconds to show how explosive the new faces on offense could be. Milford turned to a little trickery on the first play from scrimmage, as Matt Girard looked upfield on a halfback pass and saw Pantalone all by himself. It was an 80-yard strike that set the tone for how the Hawks would attack.

Foxboro’s offense answered right back on its first possession. The Warriors marched 64 yards on 10 plays, twice converting third downs thanks to offsides calls against Milford, to tie the game. Tom Marcucella rolled out and threw a strike to Tre Stith for a 10-yard score to bring Foxboro level. Marcucella was impressive throughout, completing 26-of-45 passes for 349 yards and four touchdowns.

“Offensively, we did what we had to do,” Martinelli said. “It was the other end, the defensive end, we had no answers for them. We’d put seven in the box to stop the run and they were good enough to throw the ball.”

On Foxboro’s second possession, Sam Carpenter (4-for-4 on extra points) attempted a 52-yard kick that was short to the left. By rule, Milford took over at the 20. On third and four, Cornelius fired the ball across the middle to Pantalone, who eluded a pair of Warriors and was off to the races again. This time it was a 74-yard touchdown and a 13-7 lead.

The Warriors had a chance to try and tie or take the lead after Cornelius’ fumble was recovered by Dylan Kerrigan at midfield. Milford’s defense came up with a three-and-out to get the ball back. Carpenter did his job in the punting game, pinning the Hawks at their own two.

Milford proved that it also had the ability to put together a long drive. Lane took the first carry for 22 yards to get out from the shadow of his own end zone and the Hawks never looked back, producing a 10-play, 98-yard drive (six carries for Lane and four for Grant Scudo) to extend the lead. Lane finished it with a one-yard plunge and Cornelius ran in the conversion to make it 21-7.

Foxboro answered right back. Three plays later, Marcucella swung the ball to Dylan Gordon (158 total yards), who proceeded to break three tackles on the sideline, somehow staying inbounds, and broke free for a 76-yard touchdown. Pantalone made sure the momentum was short-lived, returning the ensuing kick 61 yards to the Foxboro 37. Lane got the ball to the one and Cornelius punched it in, restoring the two-score lead.

After nearly hitting a Hail Mary pass to end the half, Foxboro came out and put together another strong drive to start the third quarter. Marcucella was 5-for-5 and found four different receivers on the possession. He picked out Tommy Sharkey on an out-route to the front pylon for an 18-yard touchdown that got the Warriors back within seven.

Lane came up less than a yard short on fourth down at midfield, giving Foxboro the chance to pull even, but again the Hawks were able to make a key defensive stand and force a punt. With Foxboro trying to step up and stop the run, Cornelius hit Pantalone on another slant route. This time it was for 76 yards but Sharkey hustled to delay the touchdown. Two plays later, Lane got his second of the day, barreling over the goal line from four yards out.

Jaden Agnew then came up with a huge play, reading the bounce off the receiver to pick off Marcucella and return it down to the Foxboro 12. Pantalone went 11 yards to the one and then, after Foxboro’s line stuffed two attempts from inside the one, Cornelius started the fourth quarter by getting just into the end zone for a 42-21 lead.

“They’ve got skill all over the place, the quarterback puts the ball on the money, and them coming down and making it a one-score game, but then we answered and then we answered again,” Olson said about going up by more than two scores. “I knew we were going to be alright because they couldn’t stop us off-tackle. It was just over and over, it was no secret we were running over (senior lineman) Marco [Monteiro].”

Following a Foxboro punt, helped by a couple of solid coverage plays by Scudo, Milford effectively sealed the win. No surprise, it was Pantalone again. The Warriors had bunched up at the line expecting the run and the receiver was able to beat his coverage at the line and caught a 66-yard pass from Cornelius for his third score of the night.

To their credit, the Warriors kept fighting despite the big deficit. Marcucella went 6-of-10 on the next drive, including a highlight-reel sidearm toss to Rashaad Way ( nine catches, 121 yards) and a 10-yard touchdown to Gordon. After Agnew was ruled to have fumbled out of the end zone as he dove for the pylon, Foxboro mounted one more drive to try and make it a game, getting all the way to the Milford six with five minutes to play, but the drive stalled.

“They’re a good program, they’re well-coached, but we kind of thought we’d be able to enforce our will,” Olson explained. “We did graduate a lot but we’re good up front, we’ve got some good kids, and I couldn’t be prouder.

“People were writing us off, saying they’re one-and-done, they’re rebuilding, but I think we’ve got one of the better teams in the Hock. We want to keep rising this program.”

Milford (1-0) will travel to Wellesley next Saturday. Foxboro (0-1) will try to bounce back with a trip to Whitman-Hanson on Friday.

Click here for a photo gallery from this game.

2021 Hockomock Football: Players to Watch on Defense

Hockomock Football Players to Watch on Defense

Football
Mansfield senior Mark DeGirolamo, pictured lined up against Milford last season, will be one of the top defensive players in the Hock. (Ryan Lanigan/HockomockSports.com)

By HockomockSports.com Staff

Player are listed alphabetically

Colin Albert, Senior – Canton

Canton graduated some key pieces on defense so the Bulldogs will be relying on experience in both the linebacking and defensive backs corps. Colin Albert is one of the more experienced linebackers for Canton and will be an important leader for the Warriors’ defense. The Davenport Division is as competitive as ever and there won’t be any easy games. Albert will provide stability on defense, making plays against the passing game and also playing a role helping against the run on the outside. The Bulldogs are aiming to make a push for the postseason and if they are to get there, Albert’s leadership on both sides of the ball, and both on and off the field, will likely be a reason why.

Tyler Bannon, Senior – North Attleboro

North’s explosive offense gets a lot of attention, but the Rocketeers were also a strong team on the other side of the ball last season. They allowed only 55 points over six games and only twice did teams reach double digits (the most allowed was 12 against Oliver Ames). Bannon was one of the biggest playmakers on the defensive unit. The senior outside linebacker was a terror on the pass rush and could also set the edge whether lined up at the line of scrimmage or dropped back a few yards. Bannon uses his good size and strength to take on blockers, but his speed and quickness off the ball allowed him to get a step and into the backfield almost at will. With North incorporating several new faces into the mix this season, his leadership will be critical for the Rocketeers to maintain the same level as last year. Whether standing up a runner or chasing someone down from behind, Bannon was able to cover a lot of ground and make plays all over the field. Expectations are for North to be the team to beat in the Davenport again this fall and it can’t rely only on the offense to win the title. Bannon and the defense will need to be at the same high level of play they showed last season.










Crawford Cantave, Senior – King Philip

King Philip senior Crawford Cantave is one of the best two-way players in the league and has made a lot of plays in all three aspects of the game for the Warriors over the past two seasons. The Warriors have a lot of talent on this year’s roster and they’ll be aiming to try and knock off Mansfield to get back atop of the Kelley-Rex division. KP hung its hat on defense during its run to three straight state finals appearances and if they want to make a deep run again this year, the defense will need to be a top priority. Crawford will play mostly in a safety role but can also play in a corner role if needed. He does a great job of reading the play and uses his speed to react quickly and make the play. When all is said and done this season, expect Cantave to have some highlight-reel plays under his belt.

Mark DeGirolamo, Senior – Mansfield

The first two words that come to mind when thinking of Mansfield senior Mark DeGirolamo are experience and versatility. This is someone that has been making plays for multiple seasons for the three-time defending Kelley-Rex division champion Hornets. Although he’s primarily been a defensively end for most of his career because of the combination of speed and strength he has, he also has the size to slide inside and clog up the middle. Mansfield will primarily line up in a 4-3 but will give teams different looks with 4-4 and 3-4 packages, and DeGirolamo can play in all of them. He will also start at tackle on the offensive end, his speed allows him to protect the quarterback against rushes off the edge. He was second in the team with 33 tackles during the Fall 2 season and led the Hornets in tackles for a loss.




Hockomock Football Players to Watch on Defense

Mack Gulla, Senior – Franklin

Mack Gulla made an immediate impact when he joined the varsity program his sophomore year, scoring in the first game of the season back in 2019. He hasn’t stopped making plays for the Panthers since. Gulla has improved greatly in each of the past two seasons and now has a chance at a breakout senior campaign as the Panthers make a push to compete for the Kelley-Rex division crown and a spot in the postseason. He’s a downhill type player on both sides of the ball; he isn’t afraid to run through the defense when carrying the ball and is tough to tackle when he gets going. And from his middle linebacker spot, he attacks the ball carrier and is tough to get away from when he gets his hands on you.

Hockomock Football Players to Watch on Defense

Tyler Lane, Senior – Milford

There were a lot of eyes on Milford last season because of the weapons they had on the offensive side of the ball, but once you saw the Hawks play it was tough not to talk about how well they played on the defensive side of the ball. One name that always seemed to be in on the play was linebacker Tyler Lane, who will enter his second year as a starter this Fall. Lane has really good speed (something that people will also see when he carries the ball on the offensive side) and does a really good job at reading the play, which allows him to find a way to the ball. Whether it’s coming on a blitz, coming up to stop a run, or dropping off into pass coverage, Lane is a reliable option. Lane has the speed to get around the edge and the strength to make the tackle. If the play is coming up the middle, Lane is no stranger to big hits and can make a play there too. He’s solid in pass coverage and quick to make a play if the pass is completed.

Hockomock Football Players to Watch on Defense

Nick Lima, Senior – Taunton

Whether he lines up at linebacker or drops deeper to play as a safety, Taunton senior Nick Lima is a playmaker for the Tiger’s defense. He can quickly read a play and see where it is headed but has the speed and quickness to hang back for an extra beat before closing on a ball carrier. Lima can also provide the Tigers with an extra rusher when they choose to blitz and on the next play drop deep into coverage downfield. Lima’s versatility and leadership will be key as Taunton tries to figure out the best combination on the defensive side of the ball. The Tigers have a lot of skill and depth on the offensive side but one challenge has been establishing the same on the defensive side of the ball. Having Lima in the mix gives Taunton a good start to solving that problem.




Emmett Pearl, Senior – Stoughton

Stoughton senior Emmett Pearl got his feet wet during the Fall 2 season and now could be poised for a breakout year with an expanded role on both sides of the ball. Defensively, Stoughton has solid returning experience with its three-down lineman, it will be about the ends and linebackers around them to make plays on the ball. The defense is usually a calling card for Stoughton and the Knights will be going up against some tough competition both in the division (Foxboro, North) and in the non-league games (Mansfield, Milford) so they will certainly need some new players to step up. Against the run, Pearl does a terrific job of clogging up any holes up the middle and can also come from the outside and get into the backfield. Pearl isn’t just all power either, he has great instincts and impressive speed for his size.

Hockomock Football Players to Watch on Defense

Rashaad Way, Senior – Foxboro

Fans of Foxboro football are going to be hearing the name Rashaad Way a lot this season. After a breakout junior campaign, Way is in line for what could be a monster year for the Warriors, especially because he impacts all three parts of the game. Offensively, Way will be one of the go-to options in the passing game and can help take the top off the defense with his speed on deep routes. When it comes to special teams, Way might be the best returner — both on kickoffs and punts — in the league right now. It seemed like almost every time he got the ball, he was close to breaking one for a score. But the focus for here is on Way’s defensive performance at cornerback. He does a nice job reading the play, has the speed to keep with receivers, and has good instincts and timing. With a year already under his belt, Way will be one of the top players in the secondary in the entire league.

Hockomock Football Players to Watch on Defense

Freddy Wheaton, Senior – Attleboro

Attleboro struggled to score points last year, but for the most part, the Bombardiers were consistently tough on the defensive side of the ball. Although all-time leading tackler Michael Strachan graduated, Attleboro’s experience in the linebacking corps should be a strength again this fall. Wheaton is a dynamic presence in the front seven. His high motor and the energy he brings to each play is contagious and he seems to be able to cover ground from sideline to sideline. A player who seems to relish contact, Wheaton is a solid tackler and will need to step up behind Attleboro’s large defensive line to help stop the opponent’s ground game. The Bombardiers are a veteran, athletic group and Wheaton’s presence in the middle of the field will be critical if they are going to build on last season and start to challenge the top teams in the Kelley-Rex.

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.

DeMattio Drives North Attleboro Past Foxboro

North Attleboro football
North Attleboro senior Jacob Silva tries to break free from the grasp of a Foxboro defender in the second half. (Ryan Lanigan/HockomockSports.com)
ByRyanLanigan_2016FollowRyanLanigan_2016
 
 
 FOXBORO, Mass. – Years from now, members of the North Attleboro football team will still be talking about “the drive.”

After the Rocketeer defense stood its ground in the red zone and forced a turnover on downs, the North Attleboro offense put together a methodical drive that will define this year’s Davenport division champions.

Junior Tyler DeMattio (18 carries, 136 yards, two touchdowns) led the Big Red on a 20-play, 92-yard drive that took up 9:52 of game time, culminating in a gutsy 16-yard touchdown run from the quarterback with under three minutes to play, turning a three-point deficit into a 14-10 win for North Attleboro.

North Attleboro football Foxboro football Tyler DeMattio Luis Sulham Rashaad Way

Click here for a photo gallery from this game.

“That last drive was epic,” said North Attleboro head coach Don Johnson. “That’s one you don’t see too often, [a championship drive], I was very proud of them.”

Foxboro denied the Rocketeers a chance at the go-ahead score one drive earlier when junior Rashaad Way took advantage of a rare miscue from DeMattio, intercepting a floated pass right before the goal line with 4:44 to go in the third quarter.

The Warriors used that momentum to march down field, putting themselves in position to increase their lead. Highlighted by back-to-back first down runs from Dylan Gordon (seven carries, 47 yards) and a 27-yard pass and catch from Cam Prescott to Way, the hosts moved across midfield.

Way hauled in a 23-yard pass to convert a third down and get down to the North 5-yard line. From there, North’s defense buckled down, sending the Warriors backward on first and then forced three straight incompletions, the final one knocked away in the end zone by Matt Penta to keep the Rocketeers down just three, 10-7, with 0:31 left in the third.

North Attleboro football Foxboro football Tyler DeMattio Luis Sulham Rashaad Way

DeMattio had nine carries on the drive for 71 yards, converting a 3rd down very early in the drive, keeping it himself to move the sticks on 4th and 1 from the North 33-yard line, scrambled for 7 yards and a first on 3rd and 5 just over midfield and then converted another 4th and short just before the touchdown. North also got key carries from Jacob Silva (10 carries, 52 yards), Tommy Whalen (nine carries, 36 yards), and Alex McCoy (eight carries, 37 yards) on the drive.










After Luis Sulham and Jon Moses combined for a tackle for loss, North was faced with 2nd and 13 from the 16-yard line. DeMattio brought Whalen in motion to the left and then kept it himself after the play action, sprinting to the left side of the line, following the block of both Silva and senior lineman Harry Bullock. DeMattio then split through two Foxboro defenders and bounced off two more in the secondary, diving across the goal line for the touchdown.

“I’m running out of words for him but that run typifies him,” Johnson said. “He looks exhausted and you wonder if he can do it on the next play, and you try not to give it to him every down but he just finds a way. He had to kick the extra point so I took a timeout just to rest him for a minute. He’s just a phenomenal kid, there aren’t many like him. He’s just so tough and he has the respect of all of his teammates.”

Foxboro’s ensuing drive got off to a strong start with a 9-yard run from Gordon and a 12-yard pass from Prescott to Sulham but two plays later, Bullock and Robbie Donovan came crashing in for a 10-yard sack. Two incompletions later, the final one on 4th and 22 following a false start, turned the ball over on downs to clinch the win and division title for the Rocketeers.

“They left everything they had, every ounce of their ability and then some,” said Foxboro head coach Jack Martinello about his team’s effort. “[North Attleboro] is a good football team, give credit where credit is due. We had our chances to put it away but if you don’t take those opportunities against a good team, you give them a shot.”

After a postgame handshake with Johnson, Martinelli made his way across to the North Attleboro sideline to shake hands with DeMattio.

“I do when I think they are special,” Martinelli said of the postgame meeting with the North QB. “As much we knew when he was going to take it, you still have to stop him and we just weren’t able to. The kid is tough, he’s their best running back, and his ability to throw the ball this year has made it more difficult to defend him.

North Attleboro football Foxboro football Tyler DeMattio Luis Sulham Rashaad Way

“He’s tough and they have other weapons, he has more around him this year than he did last year. So you have to respect all of them. It opens some space up but you have to watch out for their different formations with trips, two receivers, the motion, the whole nine yards. But they are a good team, [DeMattio] is special. We would have liked it to have ended a little differently but the kids left it all on the field.”




North Attleboro got off to a strong start, forcing Foxboro to go three-and-out on its opening drive. Starting at their own 37-line, the Rocketeers used 12 plays to cover 63 yards and took a 7-0 lead when DeMattio kept it himself for a 1-yard touchdown.

Foxboro’s defense forced a three-and-out on North’s second drive and the offense was able to take advantage. On first down, Prescott connected with Way down the left sideline for a 48-yard gain. Two plays later, Prescott fired a laser to Sulham right at the goal line for a 7-yard touchdown, making it 7-7 with 10 minutes left in the second.

North turned it over on downs in Foxboro territory and punted on its other two drives of the first half while Foxboro had its third punt of the game before halftime.

The Rocketeers started on offense in the second half but just two plays in, Foxboro’s Mike Norvish came in with a big hit to knock the ball free and junior Dylan Kerrigan, who had the original tackle, came up with the loose ball.

Click here for a photo gallery from this game.

Helped along by a pass interference and misconduct call, Foxboro moved inside the red zone down to the North 10-yard line. After a pair of runs totaled just two yards and an incomplete pass in the end zone, Foxboro settled for a 25-yard field goal from Sam Carpenter to make it 10-7.

North had two turnovers and Foxboro was able to get inside the 10-yard line off both chances but ended up with just three points total.

North Attleboro (5-0) is taking next week off while Foxboro (3-2) will host Franklin on Friday at 5:30 in a crossover matchup.

North Attleboro football Foxboro football Tyler DeMattio Luis Sulham Rashaad Way

Thursday’s Schedule & Scoreboard – 04/01/21

Today’s games are listed below.

Football
Sharon, 6 @ Canton, 17 – FinalClick here for a Recap and Photo Gallery from this game.
1st Quarter: (C) Robert Botelho 33-yard pass to Vincent O’Brien, Will Keefe XP good.
2nd Quarter: (C) W. Keefe 33-yard field goal; (S) Kiran Chandrasekaran 20-yard pass to PJ McManus, XP blocked; (C) Jack Albert 32-yard pass to Andrew Butler, W. Keefe XP good.
3rd Quarter: No scoring.
4th Quarter: No scoring.

Foxboro, 40 @ Oliver Ames, 6 – FinalClick here for a Photo Gallery from this game.
1st Quarter: (OA) Collin Williamson 17-yard rush, 2pt rush failed.
2nd Quarter: (F) Cam Prescott 29-yard pass to Luis Sulham, Sam Carpenter XP good; (F) Dylan Gordon 10-yard rush, XP blocked; (F) C. Prescott 12-yard pass to L. Sulham, 2pt rush failed; (F) C. Prescott 57-yard pass to Tom Sharkey, S. Carpenter XP good.
3rd Quarter: (F) Rashaad Way 92-yard kickoff return, S. Carpenter XP good; (F) Mike Norvish 2-yard rush, S. Carpenter XP good.
4th Quarter: No scoring.

Volleyball
Mansfield, 1 @ Franklin, 3 – FinalAfter splitting the first two sets, Franklin win two in a row to complete a 3-1 (25-18, 19-25, 25-18, 25-10) win over the visiting Hornets. Cailyn Mackintosh dished out 26 assists in the win while Ally Bonnet-Eymard (eight kills, 11 digs), Lindsey Tarantola (seven kills), and Emma Chase (six kills, two blocks, two aces) paced the attack for Franklin. Alina Nowakowski (nine kills, eight digs) led the charge offensively for Mansfield while Olivia McGrath (five kills, eight aces) and Julia Kelly each registered 18 digs apiece.

Foxboro Bounces Back With Shutout of Canton

Foxboro Football
Foxboro senior Luis Sulham returned a first quarter punt for a touchdown, helping the Warriors to a 37-0 victory against Canton. (Josh Perry/HockomockSports.com)

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FOXBORO, Mass. – Coming off its first loss of the season (to league-leading Stoughton), Foxboro was looking for a reaction when it hosted Canton on Friday night at Sam Berns Community Field. Thanks to a dominant defense and big plays on special teams, the Warriors answered the challenge and got right back on track.

Click here for a photo gallery from this game.

Foxboro picked off a pair of passes, allowed only three first downs in the first half, scored on a punt return, and kicked three field goals, beating Canton 37-0 to stay within one game of the Black Knights (and North Attleboro, which plays on Saturday) in the Davenport division.

“I can’t say enough about the kids tonight,” said Foxboro coach Jack Martinelli. “They did a great job in a game they had to win. I always told them that I don’t judge them after a loss or a win, it’s when you get knocked down can you come back like they did tonight. That’s the true test of character.”

It was always going to be a tough road trip for the Bulldogs, but the task got considerably tougher when leading rusher Cam Sanchez was injured on the opening possession and didn’t return.

“Cam can go at any time and we didn’t have ability to have that weapon for us this week. We’ll find out if he’s healthy or not,” said Canton coach Anthony Fallon. Martinelli added, “Would’ve been a different kind of game. [Sanchez is] a home run hitter.”

Canton’s defense was looking tough to beat in the first quarter too, Jack Albert had a pair of sacks on Foxboro’s second possession, but the Warriors took advantage of a turnover to grab the lead. Dylan Gordon intercepted a Robert Botelho pass and returned it down to the Canton 13. Two plays later, Gordon took a counter 10 yards into the end zone. The conversion was no good after a bad snap, but the Warriors were up 6-0.

The Bulldogs went three-and-out on their next possession. Luis Sulham stepped up to receive the punt at his own 46 and weaved his way through the Canton cover team, reversing field twice on his way to the end zone. Gordon was able to punch in the conversion and Foxboro led 14-0 after one.

After another three-and-out, the Foxboro offense finally clicked into gear a little but Sulham was ruled to have lost the ball just before he was able to stretch it across the line for another score. He would step up on Canton’s next punt, again coming up with a big return to give Foxboro the ball at the Bulldogs 11.

“You either have it or you don’t,” Martinelli said about the speed he has on the roster. “You can coach quickness but you can’t coach speed and we have some speed.”

Although Foxboro went nowhere, sophomore Sam Carpenter came in and drilled a 27-yard field goal to make it 17-0. A Trent Rennie sack ended Canton’s next possession and then Rashaad Way returned the punt 50 yards to get it back down to the 24. Again, the Warriors went nowhere, but Carpenter split the uprights from 40 yards.

“I have all the confidence in that kid,” said Martinelli. “Thank god for the double season,” he added, referencing Carpenter’s ability to play soccer and football this year. “He wanted to give it a try and we watched two kicks and just kind of said you’re in. I was looking at the list and said, who’s Sam Carpenter? Well, now I know who he is.”

Carpenter was a difference maker for the Warriors. Foxboro started the second half with the ball and, after a 38-yard pass from Cam Prescott (6-of-15, 98 yards) to Way moved the Warriors into the red zone. Instead of leaving without points, Carpenter stepped up again and nailed one from 31 yards.

The Bulldogs were seeking answers on the offensive end. Colin Albert took over from Sanchez as the primary running back and finished with 100 yards on 17 carries, continuing to fight for extra yards even as the Warriors started to pull away.

“Colin did a great job filling in, running the inside zone,” said Fallon. “Colin’s a tough kid going both ways and grinding it out like that, especially against a good team like that who’s going to hit you on every play.”

Trying to make something happen, Canton called for a halfback pass but Tom Sharkey stepped in the way of Andrew Butler’s throw. On the first play of the drive, Prescott hit Sharkey for 30 yards down to the Canton four. On the next play, Mike Norvish burst up the middle for the touchdown.

In the fourth quarter, Foxboro added one more score. Tom Marcucella took over at quarterback and broke a 23-yard run on third down. He had his pass to the end zone picked off by Vincent O’Brien, but a roughing the passer call negated the turnover and moved Foxboro to the 10. Four carries later Steven Petrillo was able to find a little seam on the right side of the line for a one-yard score.

“It killed us,” Fallon said about the struggles on special teams. “Our coverage was lacking tonight for sure and we’ll have to see if we can sharpen that up. Short turnaround, so we’ll put a game plan together and turn around and play on Thursday.”

Foxboro (2-1) will be on the road next week to face Oliver Ames. Canton (1-2) will have a short week to prepare for a home game against Sharon.

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

Foxboro Beats Milford in Must-Win League Finale

Foxboro football
Foxboro quarterback Shayne Kerrigan rushed for a pair of touchdowns and tossed one, leading the Warriors to a win at Milford that seals a postseason berth. (Josh Perry/HockomockSports.com)

Josh PerryFollowJoshPerry


MILFORD, Mass. – Trailing by three points at halftime of a road game that it had to win in order to reach the state tournament, Foxboro came out of the break with the mission of taking control of the game at the line of scrimmage. Mission accomplished.

Click here for a photo gallery from this game.

The Warriors dominated up front on both sides of the ball in the second half on Friday night, putting pressure on quarterback Colby Pires to disrupt the Milford offense and opening holes for senior quarterback Shayne Kerrigan to exploit on his way to 141 second half yards and a pair of scores. Foxboro turned the game on its head and won 21-10.

“As you get as old as I am, you get a little philosophical and I just said there’s not too many chances in life that you can control your own destiny and this is one of them,” said Foxboro coach Jack Martinelli, who earned his 275th career win on Friday. “They took the cue and I couldn’t ask anything more of them.”

He added, “We played better in the second half. The kids came to play and I’m so proud of them. I’m pretty sure that puts us in. I don’t really care where, just as long as we’re in.”

Foxboro came out of the break and marched right down field. Kerrigan (22 carries, 169 yards) called his own number eight times, helping the Warriors get all the way down to the Milford 26, but on third down he tried to go to the end zone and was picked off by Grant Scudo. On second down, the Hawks gave the ball right back when Luke Rosa (14 carries, 65 yards) lost the ball when fighting for extra yards and it was scooped up by Rashaad Way.

With the ball back in their hands, the Warriors went back to the ground game. Kerrigan, Brian Derba, and Luis Sulham all got touches to get inside the 10-yard-line. Chris McNamara pushed the ball to the goal line and on the next play Kerrigan broke the plane on a QB sneak for a 14-10 lead with just 1:24 left in the third quarter.

“Up front I think they physically beat us in the second half,” said Milford coach Anthony Vizakis. “They wanted it and they physically pushed us around. Our kids fought, I thought they did well, but it just wasn’t good enough.”

After a Milford punt, Foxboro’s offense went back to work and got the ball to the Milford 18 after a 45-yard run by Kerrigan, but on third and eight his pass to the end zone was picked off by Carter Scudo.

The visitors’ defense was equally strong up front. Nick Cherry was dominating up the middle with Anton George controlling the edge. Cherry tipped a pass at the line that was nearly intercepted and Jon Moses got pressure on Pires (14-of-33, 106 yards) and batted a pass down.

Despite there being six minutes left, Vizakis decided to go for it on fourth and 10 from his own 29. The pass fell incomplete and Foxboro had the short field only for a bad snap and a 20-yard loss derail the chance to put the game away. Again, the Foxboro defense shut things down. George tipped a first down pass and, following an 18-yard completion to Maxwell Martin, Pires was forced into four straight incompletions, Mike Sheehan’s pressure forcing another turnover on downs.

“They put us in position,” Vizakis said of his defense. “They gave us two shots to win it, but we just didn’t execute, we didn’t capitalize on those opportunities, and we’ve just got a lot of correcting to do.”

This time the Warriors took advantage, as Kerrigan burst through a hole on the right side of the line and raced 44 yards to pay dirt to seal the win.

“He was better than advertised,” Martinelli said about Kerrigan. “He just has that knack, he’s not that big, he’s not overly fast, but he has great vision and a quiet confidence in his abilities and you can’t coach any of those things. We’re lucky to have him.”

Foxboro drew first blood on its second possession of the game. Kerrigan pump-faked towards a receiver screen, caught the Milford defense jumping forward, and then hit Elijah Lewis in stride for a 55-yard touchdown to grab a 7-0 lead.

Milford went three-and-out on its first possession but the Hawks, who had only scored one touchdown in two games coming into Friday night, put together an eight-play, 65-yard drive to answer immediately. Rosa got the ball on the first five plays and, with the help of a face mask call, got the Hawks to the Foxboro 13. After a penalty and then a 17-yard completion to Danny Farrelll to round out the first quarter, Rosa punched it in from two yards out on the opening play of the second.

“It was two teams that were 3-3, each beat the same two teams, and each lost to the same two teams [in the league], so I knew it was going to be a game like that, back-and-forth,” Martinelli said.

The Hawks have had trouble finishing drives in recent weeks and that was no different on Friday. Pires finally got some rhythm in the passing game on the next possession, connecting with Scudo, Farrell, and Matt Varteresian to get down to the Foxboro 11, but a delay of game forced third and long and CJ Cerrella’s 30-yard kick slipped wide of the left upright.

Cerrella put an end to Foxboro’s next drive with a sack of Kerrigan and Milford once again got into the red zone, but a drop and then pressure by Sheehan forced another field goal attempt. This time, Cerrella was on target from 37 yards on the final play of the half to send the Hawks into the locker room up 10-7.

Milford (3-4) had already sealed its spot in the tournament and could still end up with a home game in Div. 3 South, but they will have to find renewed momentum after suffering a third straight defeat.

Vizakis explained, “It’s almost like a brand-new season. I just asked them, which Milford team is going to show up for this new season. We’re in the playoffs, we’re most likely going to be on the road, and the goal we set at the beginning of the year is still there, but we need to execute and tackle and make plays.”

Foxboro (4-3) got the win it needed to seal a playoff spot and now awaits its seed to see who it will face in Div. 5.

Click here for a photo gallery from this game.