Attleboro Strikes Early, Rolls to Big Win Over OA

Attleboro football
Attleboro’s Cam Furtado runs the ball as Oliver Ames’ Michael Mulrean (left) and Kyle Gagliardi attempt to tackle him. (Ryan Lanigan/HockomockSports.com)
ByRyanLanigan_2016FollowRyanLanigan_2016
 
 
 
NORTH EASTON, Mass. – It’s cliché to say, but Attleboro head coach Mike Strachan probably couldn’t have scripted a better start for his Bombardiers on Friday night against Oliver Ames.

Less than a minute into the game, Attleboro had already found the end zone twice and by the end of the first quarter, the Bombardiers had a three score lead as the cruised to a 35-8 win over the Tigers at Muscato Stadium.

“I thought we were focused, I thought we were ready to play this week, we had a great week of practice,” Strachan said. “Our athletes took it upon themselves to do the things we practiced all week. I thought we had a pretty good game plan coming in and before the game we talked about the things we can control and I think we did that.

“I think we controlled the line of scrimmage, we gave Tyler [McGovern] some time to throw. And then the combo of Tyler and Cam [Furtado], I think that makes it hard for teams to defend us. I was very happy with the performance.”

Click here for a photo gallery from this game.

On the second play from scrimmage, senior quarterback Tyler McGovern (7/15, 203 yards, 2 touchdowns) hit an open Elvin Sam in stride for a 63 yard touchdown, Paul DeLuca‘s extra point (5/5 XP) putting the visitors up 7-0 just 41 seconds into the game.

The Bombardiers used a set play on the ensuing kickoff, chipping a high kick short of OA’s return men. Attleboro came flying down, forcing a fumble, Josh Therrien recovering it at the Tigers’ 36 yard line. On the first play, just the third play from scrimmage of the game, McGovern once again hooked up with Sam, the senior hitting the wide open junior in the end zone for a 36 yard touchdown.

Attleboro led 14-0 just 56 seconds into the game.

“I think we have six turnovers off that kickoff play, it’s been a good thing for us,” Strachan said. “We spend a lot of time on special teams, we practice it a lot.”

Oliver Ames’ first drive of the game totaled 11 plays as the Tigers moved in Attleboro territory. But Attleboro’s defense held up as OA couldn’t convert a fourth down at the Bombardier 28-yard line.

Attleboro took its next drive 72 yards, this time using eight plays to go the distance. McGovern connected with James Weir for a 30 yard gain and then Cam Furtado for a 21 yard completion. Two plays after Furtado’s reception, McGovern used a sneak for a 1 yard score and a 21-0 lead with 24 seconds left in the first quarter.

“I think you can see Elvin Sam is coming along and Cam is working hard out there and then Tyler is throwing the ball well,” Strachan said. “I think our young kids are starting to play, which is a good thing because we’re really young. Tonight was a really positive night for us.”

Oliver Ames’ had its best drive of the first half when they marched 60 yards on eight plays, highlighted by 43 yard completion on a reverse throw from Travis Campbell to Leandro Moro. On fourth down on Attleboro’s 29-yard line, OA quarterback Kyle Gagliardi‘s pass was just out of the reach of a diving Noah Fitzgerald in the end zone.

Click here for a photo gallery from this game.

McGovern and the Bombardiers cashed in once more before the halftime break. The senior quarterback connected with Steve Hamerski twice for a total of 38 yards and Nathan Barboza burst up the middle for a 20 yard gain. Five plays later, Furtado (13 carries, 91 yards) took a toss to the left and got around the edge for an 8 yard touchdown and a 28-0 lead at halftime.

“We made too many mental mistakes, too many physical mistakes early and we spotted them 14 points,” Oliver Ames head coach Mike Holland said. “We had to play catch up and they’re a good team. It’s hard enough to win when you’re even but if you spot them some points, it’s tough. Attleboro played well tonight, they’re a good team.”

Attleboro’s defense held strong in the second half, forcing a turnover on downs at midfield to start the second half and then Furtado coming away with an interception on OA’s second drive of the third quarter.

“If you look inside, I think it all stemmed from the defensive line,” Strachan said of his defense. “Chris Dam is a little fireplug in there, and then Andrew [Gingras] comes to play, and Nick Evans is really starting to play well for us. We have a lot of young kids on the defensive side and they are starting to understand it a bit more.”

The Bombardiers’ final touchdown came on their second drive of the third quarter with Furtado taking over at quarterback. Attleboro used nine plays to cover 72 yards, Furtado capping the drive with a 3 yard keeper.

Oliver Ames marched 76 yards on 10 plays in its lone drive of the fourth quarter. Liston Funai (14 carries, 65 yards) carried three straight times for gains of 12, 17 and 18 yards. Gagliardi hit Brandon Timulty on the sideline for a 13 yard gain on third down to keep the drive alive. Four plays later, Funai went up the middle for a 5 yard touchdown. The Tigers used a fake field goal, with the holder, Campbell, hitting Michael Mulrean on a shuffle pass for the two point conversion.

Attleboro football improves to 3-2 overall and 2-1 in the Kelley-Rex division. Oliver Ames falls to 2-3 overall and 1-2 in league play. While the Tigers will travel to Aleixo Stadium next week to take on Taunton, Attleboro will welcome the division leading Warriors of King Philip to Tozier-Cassidy Field.

“King Philip, they’re a physical team, they’re a great football team,” Strachan said. “Coach Lee does a phenomenal job with those guys and they’ve got it going on right now. We’ve got to play our best game next week, no doubt.”

Click here for a photo gallery from this game.

Friday’s Schedule & Scoreboard – 10/07/16

Today’s games are listed below.

Game of the Week – Football
Attleboro, 35 @ Oliver Ames, 8 – Final
1st Quarter: (A) Tyler McGovern 63 yard pass to Elvin Sam, Paul DeLuca XP good; (A) T. McGovern 36 yard pass to E. Sam, P. DeLuca XP good; (A) T. McGovern 1 yard rush, P. DeLuca XP good.
2nd Quarter: (A) Cam Furtado 8 yard rush, P. DeLuca XP good.
3rd Quarter: No scoring.
4th Quarter: (A) C. Furtado 3 yard rush, P. DeLuca XP good; (OA) Liston Funai 5 yard rush, Travis Campbell pass to Michael Mulrean 2pt conversion.

Football
Stoughton, 42 @ Canton, 22 – Final
1st Quarter: (S) Justin Ly 87-yard TD, Josh Cocchi XP good; (C) Tony Harris 65-yard TD, Thomas Monagle XP good; (S) Ryan Sullivan 86-yard punt return, J. Cocchi XP good.
2nd Quarter: (S) Evan Gibb 60-yard pass to Izon Swain-Price, J. Cocchi XP good; R. Sullivan 3-yard rush, J. Cocchi XP good.
3rd Quarter: (S) E. Gibb 19-yard pass to Jack Connelly, David Cellucci 2-point rush; (S) I. Swain-Price 94-yard rush, XP no good.
4th Quarter: (C) Joe Mulkay 8-yard rush, Dan Alice 2-point rush; (C) Dan Dillon 1-yard rush, T. Monagle XP good.

Milford, 41 @ Foxboro, 14 – Final
1st Quarter: (F) Mark Clagg 24 yard pass to Jamaine Few, John Cronin XP good; (M) Blake Hill 58 yard rush, Sean Lehane XP good; (F) Phil Dure 5 yard rush, J. Cronin XP good.
2nd Quarter: (M) B. Hill 5 yard rush, S. Lehane XP good.
3rd Quarter: (M) B. Hill 2 yard rush, S. Lehane XP good; (M) B. Hill 56 yard rush, XP blocked.
4th Quarter: (M) Ryan O’Toole 56 yard rush, S. Lehane XP good; (M) Matt Curran 22 yard pass to Chris Rivera, S. Lehane XP good.

Franklin, 13 @ King Philip, 35 – Final
1st Quarter: (KP) Shane Frommer 62 yard punt return, XP good.
2nd Quarter: (KP) S. Frommer 15 yard rush, XP good.
3rd Quarter: (KP) S. Frommer 11 yard rush, XP good; (KP) Brendan Lydon 1 yard rush, XP good; (F) Jacob Wolowacki 1 yard rush, XP good.
4th Quarter: (KP) B. Lydon 5 yard pass to Brett Mazur, XP good; (F) J. Wolowacki 3 yard rush, XP no good.

Mansfield, 29 @ Taunton, 27 – Final
1st Quarter: (M) Anthony DeGirolamo 1 yard rush, Diogo DeSousa XP good.
2nd Quarter: (M) Nick Graham 44 yard rush, N. Graham 2pt rush; (T) Noah Leonard 15 yard pass to Adam McLaughlin, 2pt failed; (T) Brevan Walker 5 yard rush, N. Leonard 2pt pass to Mike Fernandez.
3rd Quarter: (M) Travis Sjoberg 55 yard interception return, D. DeSousa XP good; (T) B. Walker 10 yard rush, 2pt failed.
4th Quarter: (M) Joe Cox 5 yard rush, D. DeSousa XP good; (T) B. Walker 3 yard rush, XP good.

Boys Soccer
Milford, 0 @ Attleboro, 0 – Final Milford head coach Brian Edwards said Danny Mendoza played “exceptional defense” for the Scarlet Hawks and added Joey Madden did a great job up front.

Foxboro, 1 @ Oliver Ames, 2 – FinalJames Gillespie scored twice, once in each half, as Oliver Ames rallied from an early deficit. Matt Campbell and Thomas McCormick notched assists for Oliver Ames in the win.

North Attleboro, 0 @ Mansfield, 1 – FinalJames Chotkowski netted the game winning goal with just five minutes to play to lift the Hornets. Max Gurnon’s throw in was headed on by Kevin Bouck to Chotkowski, who finished for the lone tally of the game.

Sharon, 0 @ King Philip, 5 – FinalCam Mullins scored a brace, both off corners, and Connor Mullins recorded three assists for the Warriors. Colby Koch, Tyler Mann (from Larsen Keys) and Cam McGovern also scored for KP.

Stoughton, 3 @ Franklin, 2 – FinalFranklin built a two goal lead in the first half but the Black Knights stormed back with three unanswered goals to grab the win. Farley Asmath and Nitin Chaudury netted goals off assists from Liam Kapples to put the hosts up 2-0. Stoughton answered as Noah Schulze scored on a free kick from 30 yards out and then tied the game before the break on Tyler Melo’s strike from outside the area. The Black Knights netted the game-winner with Melo finishing off a cross from Jordan Asnes. Stoughton head coach Aaron Salter said, “It was an excellent team performance today from every player.” Salter had specific praise for his back line as well as Melo and junior Brian Peoples.

Girls Soccer
Attleboro, 0 @ Milford, 1 – Final – Milford senior Sydney Morrison netted the lone goal of the game off an assist from Kristen Franzini to help the Scarlet Hawks edge Attleboro. Milford head coach Jay Mastaj said Maggie Boyle and Ashleigh Starks both played well for the Scarlet Hawks.

Mansfield, 2 @ North Attleboro, 1 – FinalHannah Reiter scored both goals for the Hornets, including the winner on a header off an Emily Vigeant corner with eight minutes remaining. Stephanie Kemp assisted the first Mansfield goal. Emily Schromm scored North Attleboro’s goal to tie the game at 1-1 in the second half off an assist from Haley Guertin. North interim head coach Bill Wallace said Aine Mendonca played well for the Rocketeers.

King Philip, 2 @ Sharon, 1 – FinalAvery Snead (from Maddie Smith) and Abby Baker scored the goals for the Warriors. Ally Filipkowski scored the goal for the Eagles off an assist by Alex Rabb.

Franklin, 4 @ Stoughton, 0 – Final Meghan Doherty, Miranda Smith, Sara Yelle and Molly Duncan scored the goals for the Panthers, while Calen Frongillo has a pair of assists and Emily Mastaj and Nadia Havens each had one.

Volleyball
Milford, 3 @ Attleboro, 0 – Final

Canton, 3 @ Taunton, 0 – FinalCanton picked up the win 25-13, 25-9, 25-15 in what head coach Pat Cawley called a “great team effort.” Nicole Poole controlled the offense skillfully, dishing out 27 assists and adding two kills and two aces. Hannah Jerrier had a 10 kills with no errors, hitting an impressive .435. Casey Shea added seven kills with just one error, hitting .545. Julia Panico was “outstanding” in the back row according to Cawley, finishing with 20 digs. Erika Lum, Maria Mackie and Emily Lynch combined for 33 digs for the Bulldogs.

Foxboro, 0 @ Oliver Ames, 3 – Final

North Attleboro, 1 @ Mansfield, 3 – FinalMansfield notched a 25-13, 25-17, 19-25, 25-21 win at home over the Rocketeers. Meg Hill led the Hornets with 10 kills and six blocks, Olivia Broyles had eight blocks and played strong defense. Julia Harrison had seven kills, Jess Haradon added 23 digs and Chloe Peters had 33 assists and 14 service points.

Sharon, 0 @ King Philip, 3 – FinalKing Philip earned the sweep on the road with a 26-24, 25-18, 25-19. Sydney Phillips led KP with 16 kills and 14 service points, Carly Adams added 18 service points and 22 assists, Amanda Loewen chipped in with eight digs, Liv Balduf had four kills and nine service points and Angela Vellante added 15 service points and three digs.

Stoughton, 1 @ Franklin, 3 – Final – Lauren McGrath helped set Franklin up for victory, notching 33 assists along with seven digs and three aces to lead the Panthers. Erin Skidmore had 15 kills and 11 digs, Maddie Kuzio had 21 digs and three aces, Lindsay McGowan contributed with seven kills, four digs, three aces and Meaghan Maguire finished with eight blocks and five kills for Franklin. For Stoughton, Riley Bagley had 43 digs while Val Whalen added 17 kills and sophomore Molly Turner had 20 assists.

Field Hockey
King Philip, 0 @ Stoughton, 1 – Final – Gianna Barbosa stopped 10 shots, earning the shutout as the Black Knights handed King Philip its first loss of the season. Kelli Joyce scored the game winner for Stoughton early in the second half off an assist by Julia Russell.

Mansfield @ Sharon, 3:45

Golf
Mansfield, 173 @ King Philip, 155 – Final King Philip’s Danny McLaughlin earned match medalist honors, shooting a low round of 37 to lead the Warriors. Senior Jack Citarell finished with a 40 for the Warriors but picked up birdies on both the fifth and sixth hole to help KP. Sebastian Ladoulis and Matt Stanton both shot 39 for KP. Jason Hindman led Mansfield with a 39.

Taunton, 256 @ Coyle & Cassidy, 280 – Final

Football: 2016 Kelley-Rex Division Preview

2016 Kelley-Rex Football Preview

By HockomockSports.com Staff

2016 Kelley-Rex Football Preview

Attleboro

2015 Record: 7-4
2015 Finish: Reached D1 South Quarterfinal
Coach: Mike Strachan

Key/Returning Players: Cam Furtado, Jr., QB/DB; Tyler McGovern, Sr., QB; Andrew Gingras, Sr., OL/DL; Sam Corrado, Sr., RB/LB

Outlook:
Attleboro has developed as a program under head coach Mike Strachan and continues to be one of the teams contend with for the Kelley-Rex title even with a number of new faces on the roster heading into this fall. Even with the loss of standout lineman Kyle Murphy, the Bombardiers will have size on both sides of the ball and use that to control the line of scrimmage.

Offensively, senior quarterback Tyler McGovern returns after an injury knocked him out of the starting lineup midway through last season. He gives Attleboro the chance to look downfield, while junior Cam Furtado stepped in at QB last year and proved to be a dynamic athlete who opened up defenses with his legs.

The offense will flow behind senior lineman Andrew Gingras. At 6’5 and 285 pounds, Gingras will be counted on to open holes for senior running back Sam Corrado and also provide a stout run stopper on defense. Corrado will also provide help at linebacker and on special teams.

“The 2016 Bombardiers are a young team with many players that will be competing for time both offensively and defensively,” said Strachan, who is confident that despite the youth on the roster that Attleboro will be a team to watch this fall.

Franklin

2015 Record: 2-9
2015 Finish: Missed playoffs
Coach: Eian Bain

Key/Returning Players:
Jacob Wolowacki, Sr., RB; Packie Watson, Sr., WR/DB; Joey Blasie, Sr., WR/DB; John Fenton, Sr., OL/DL; Jake Noviello, Jr., QB; Jake Lyons, Sr., RB/DB; Brad Jarosz, Sr., FB/DL; Nick Gordon, So., QB/DB; Khyler Colella, Sr., RB/LB

Outlook:
There is a lot of energy in the Franklin camp over the past couple of weeks, as new head coach Eian Bain takes over from longtime coach Brad Sidwell and looks to give the Panthers a boost after three straight one-win seasons in the Kelley-Rex division. Bain said that he expects there to be a “different vibe” from the team this season.

The Panthers have a lot of experience coming back this season starting in the backfield with quarterbacks Jake Noviello (junior) and Alex Cregg (senior), who both saw action last season. Whoever is starting will have a host of experienced receivers to look for with Eddie Scannapieco, Packie Watson, and Joey Blasie on the outside and 6’5 Connor Peterson at tight end. The bulk of the offense will run through senior tailback Jacob Wolowacki, who emerged last year as a go-to back with three touchdown runs.

Defensively, Franklin has a lot of talent returning in the back seven led by senior safety Jake Lyons, who will also help out as a running back on offense. The secondary also includes Kyle McInery and Nick Gordon with Justin O’Callahan, Bruce Johnson and Khyler Colella manning the linebacker positions. Brad Jarosz will add size to the defensive end position.

Bain said, “It has been an uptempo, high energy camp in Franklin. Players have answered the bell every step of the way to learn both new offensive and defensive systems. While still a work in progress, the team is making strides every day.”

King Philip

2015 Record: 5-6
2015 Finish: Reached D2 South Quarterfinal
Coach: Brian Lee

Key/Returning Players:
John DeLuca, Sr., QB; Sean Garrity, Sr., RB/DB; Brett Mazur, Sr., TE/LB; Alex Olsen, Sr., FB/LB; Giovanni Fernandez, Sr., RB/LB; Daniel Loewen, Sr., OL/DL; Michael Sullivan, Sr., OL/DL; Paul Macrina, Sr., OL/DL; Michael Mello, Sr., WR/DB

Outlook:
King Philip got off to a rough start last season, but managed to turn things around with a dramatic victory at Mansfield and won three out of four to get back into the postseason. The Warriors could be inconsistent on the offensive side of the ball in 2015, but with experienced skill position players coming back KP could be ready to challenge for the league title.

It begins in the backfield with senior quarterback John DeLuca, who is ready for his third year as the starter and is one of the toughest signal callers in the league. This season, DeLuca will have a number of weapons to help put points on the board. Senior running back Sean Garrity will add speed to the edge for the Warriors, while his classmate Giovanni Fernandez is a power back to add another dimension inside the red zone. Senior Michael Mello returns to add experience to the receiving corps.

The strength of the Warriors under head coach Brian Lee has been defense and line play and this season should be no different. Seniors Paul Macrina, Michael Sullivan, and Daniel Loewen will be major factors on both sides of the ball. Senior Alex Olsen has the potential to be the defensive MVP this year taking over the role of graduated linebacker Cory Lombardo. Fernandez and fellow senior Brett Mazur will add strength to the linebacker position as well.

Mansfield

2015 Record: 5-6
2015 Finish: Reached D2 South Semifinal
Coach: Michael Redding

Key/Returning Players:
Hunter Ferreira, Jr., WR/DB; Ben Budwey, Sr., WR; Brian Lynch, Sr., RB; Nick Graham, Sr., RB/DB; Anthony DeGirolamo, Sr., QB; AJ Gibbs, Sr., OL/DL; Colin Gibbons, Sr., OL/DL; Travis Sjoberg, Sr., LB; Andrew Ducharme, Sr., OL/DL; Nick Krouskos, Sr., RB/LB; Diogo DeSousa, Sr., K

Outlook:
Mansfield’s defense held teams to 15 or fewer points in all but two games last year. Only St. John’s Prep and Marshfield (two teams ranked in the top five in the state when they faced the Hornets) were able to get any rhythm going offensively against the Hornets. Despite strength on that side of the ball, Mansfield struggled to find consistency on offense and ended up one point short of a share of the Kelley-Rex division title.

This season, the Hornets offense could be a huge strength with a number of playmakers returning. Senior quarterback Anthony DeGirolamo will be the starter for the second season in a row and will have a strong backfield around him with senior Brian Lynch as the power back and Nick Graham giving Mansfield speed to the edges. DeGirolamo will be able to aim for junior Hunter Ferreira, who has emerged as one of the top receivers in the league, and senior Ben Budwey.

On defense, the front seven will once again be a strong feature for the Hornets. A.J. Gibbs, Colin Gibbons, and Andrew Ducharme add size and strength on both sides of the ball, while senior linebacker Travis Sjoberg is a leader with the potential for hitting triple digits in tackles this fall. Senior placekicker Diogo DeSousa is a weapon in special teams after being recognized at kicking camps over the summer.

“We are a senior team (30 seniors),” said Mansfield head coach Mike Redding, “but we have some very talented juniors and sophomores that will help us win this year and give us some great depth”

Oliver Ames

2015 Record: 2-9
2015 Finish: Missed playoffs
Coach: Mike Holland

Key/Returning Players:
Liston Funai, Sr., RB; Jack Mills, Sr., OL/DL; Travis Campbell, Sr., QB/LB; Kyle Gagliardi, Sr., QB/DB; Leandro Moro, Sr., TE/LB; Jay Fruci, Jr., LB; Noah Fitzgerald, Jr., DB; Michael Mulrean, Jr., DB

Outlook:
Oliver Ames head coach Mike Holland is entering his second season in charge of the Tigers and will also be managing the program’s first fall in the Kelley-Rex division. In the last three games of 2015, OA beat Norwell and North Quincy and battled Sharon in a three-point loss on Thanksgiving Day, building momentum heading into this season.

The Tigers are excited about the potential of the offense with two quarterbacks who can make plays with their feet or their arms. Kyle Gagliardi and Travis Campbell are in the mix to be the starter and Holland expressed confidence in both of his seniors. OA also has a strong running game with senior Liston Funai leading the way for a group of backs that provide the Tigers with toughness and the ability to find open space.

OA has a lot of experience returning on the defensive side of the ball. Jack Mills will be a force on both the offensive and defensive line, while Jay Fruci and Leandro Moro will provide a spark from the linebacker spot. The secondary has also been boosted by Noah Fitzgerald and Michael Mulrean. “[We] have an excellent group of seniors and younger guys,” said Holland. “Kids are working hard and putting in strong efforts in all phases.”

Taunton

2015 Record: 1-10
2015 Finish: Missed playoffs
Coach: Brad Sidwell

Key/Returning Players:
Adam Mclaughlin, Sr., WR/DB; Andrew Welington, Sr., TE/LB; Collin Hunter, Jr., QB; Khoury Simmons, Sr., OL/DL; Jake Norberto, Sr., OL/DL; Khoury Simmons, Sr., OL/DL; Paul Corrao, Jr., OL/DL; Zakim Harrow, Sr., OL/DL; Sylvester English, Sr., OL/DL; Mike Fernandez, Sr., TE/LB; Brevan Walker, Sr., RB/DB

Outlook:
The Tigers have a new coaching staff this fall, but it will be one that is very familiar to fans of the Hockomock League. Brad Sidwell moved to Taunton after 20 years in charge of the Franklin program. Sidwell comes into his new position with plenty of experience in the league and an experienced roster that has 14 returning starters, but the Tigers enter 2016 without a Kelley-Rex win since 2012.

There is optimism in the camp this preseason because of the large number of returning players and because of the size that Taunton boasts on the front line. Senior Zakim Harrow checks in at 6’2 and 335 pounds, his classmate Sylvester English is 6’1 and 290 pounds and junior Paul Carrao is 6’3 and 270 pounds. Those players will open holes on both sides of the ball and create space for playmakers such as senior linebacker Mike Fernandez and senior running back Brevan Walker.

There is a battle for the quarterback position this season. Junior Collin Hunter threw 11 touchdown passes last fall but sophomore Noah Leonard has impressed in camp and could snag the starting spot for Friday night’s opener at New Bedford. Whoever is under center will have a couple of strong targets to aim for with senior receivers Adam McLaughlin and Sam Krajewski and senior tight end Andrew Wellington all back.

“We’re just looking for improvement everyday,” Sidwell said. “Hopefully with a little confidence we can get off to a good start.”

Oliver Ames Has The Answers In Win Against Taunton

Oliver Ames baseball
Oliver Ames sophomore Matt Muir earned the win with six innings of work against Taunton. (Ryan Lanigan/HockomockSports.com)

ByRyanLanigan_2016FollowRyanLanigan_2016
 
 
NORTH EASTON, Mass. – Any time that Taunton made a move on Saturday, Oliver Ames had an answer.

OA had an answer for both times that Taunton scored and added two late insurance runs to pick up a 7-4 win at Frothingham Park.

Taunton had an idea start with junior Matt Machado battling through a 10 pitch at-bat to earn a leadoff walk and senior Kevin Griffin followed suit with a walk. Sophomore Christian Simoes hammered a one-out double to score both Machado and Luke Figueira, who had reached on a fielder’s choice. It looked like the Tigers would add some more but a nice catch in right field by Matt Mancini turned into a double play to end the inning.

It didn’t take long for Oliver Ames to answer, rallying to tie the game and then take the lead in the bottom of the first. Chris Romero and Matt Muir started off with back to back doubles. Josh Minuskin flew out to right but an errant throw to third trying to catch Romero on the tag sailed out of play allowing a run to come home. Ryan Adams walked and with runners on the corners, Kyle Gagliardi connected for an RBI double. Mitch Goulet followed up at the next at-bat with an RBI single to plate Adams and senior Kevin Geary hit a two-out RBI single up the middle to make it 4-2.

“Offensively, we executed pretty well today,” Oliver Ames head coach Leo Duggan said. “That first inning was big for us to come back. Then we went into a little funk for a bit. We told them it wasn’t going to end a 4-2 game. It took us three innings until we got it going again. We had a chance in the fourth but we couldn’t anything. These remaining three games are going to be like tournament games and we have to act like they are.”

Both starters settled down after the opening inning. OA’s Matt Muir needed just 10 pitches to retire the side in order in the top half of the second and punctuated a 1-2-3 inning in the third with a strikeout for the third out. Taunton’s Charles Hearrold III induced three straight pop ups to get through the bottom of the second and got a strikeout in 1-2-3 bottom half of the third.

“That first at bat, that was a great at bat, and I think [Muir] was a little rattled after that because he walked the next guy,” Duggan said. “But after that, he was dominating. We tried to stay away from Figueira, we didn’t want him to get going. And then Mancini made a nice catch in the first inning, a really good catch and we might have been down more if he didn’t.”

Oliver Ames threatened in the bottom of the fourth inning when Chris Pearsons singled and Geary walked. Taunton’s Danny Keogh came in to pitch in relief and induced two straight pop ups to get out of the inning.

After Muir got the bottom of Taunton’s lineup in order on three straight groundouts, OA was able to tack on another run in the bottom of the fifth. Adams launched a one-out shot into deep center field for a triple and scored on a wild pitch with Gagliardi up at bat to make it 5-2.

Taunton’s offense was able to roar back to life in the top of the sixth. Machado was the catalyst, leading off by getting hit by a pitch and Griffin followed with a walk. Simoes picked up his third RBI of the game, a ground out to short to bring Machado in from third. Max Bowden followed with an RBI single to score Griffin from second and the Tigers cut into the deficit, making it 5-4.

But once again, Oliver Ames had an answer. Travis Campbell drew a lead off walk against new Taunton pitcher Tyler Medeiros. A single from Matt Muir put runners on first and second but Medeiros got the second out with a strikeout. Adams came through with two outs though with an RBI single to score Campbell and then on a hit and run, Gagliardi’s grounder got through on the left side and brought Muir home to make it 7-4. Taunton’s Owen O’Gara came in with the bases loaded to get the final out.

“Ryan came up with that big, big triple and then the RBI single the next inning,” Duggan said. “Gagliardi continues to get better. He was in a slump but he’s doing much better now. Give Taunton credit, they came back. After our start of 1-6, I think we’re playing pretty good baseball. It’s been much better, the kids are much more together.”

Taunton tried to rally again in the top of the seventh inning against OA reliever Zach Sato with sophomore Jacob Crawford reaching on a one out single and Machado walking again. But Sato was able to induce a ground ball to third and Pearsons tagged the bag and fired to first for the game ending double play.

“Credit goes to OA, every time we scored they seemed to respond very well,” Taunton head coach Jeff Sylvia said. “We came out flat, I don’t think we were prepared well for today.”

Oliver Ames (9-9, 9-5), which is postseason bound regardless of the results of the last two games due to a second place finish in the Davenport, will close out league play at home against Foxboro on Monday and Attleboro on Tuesday. Taunton (13-4, 11-4) will wrap up league play on Monday against Mansfield. A win against the Hornets will clinch at least a share of the Kelley-Rex title.

Ryan Lanigan can be contacted at RyanLanigan@hockomocksports.com and followed on Twitter at @R_Lanigan.

Tigers Dominate Second Half to Upend North Quincy

Oliver Ames quarterback Charlie Ryan carries the ball in the first half against North Quincy. (Ryan Lanigan/HockomockSports.com)
Oliver Ames quarterback Charlie Ryan carries the ball in the first half against North Quincy. (Ryan Lanigan/HockomockSports.com)

By Ryan Lanigan, Editor-in-Chief
QUINCY, Mass – Just as the final seconds of the first half ticked away, Oliver Ames came up a yard short of taking a lead into the break.
With North Quincy getting the first possession of the second half the Red Raiders had a chance to capitalize on the momentum it gained from its big stop to end to first frame.
Instead, Oliver Ames stole that momentum back when senior Kevin Geary made the first of two huge plays in the second half. North Quincy elected to go for it on 4th and 1 on their own 35 but Geary ended up in the backfield and with the help of a host of Tigers, brought quarterback Joe Fallon down for a turnover on downs.
Four plays later, Oliver Ames found the back of the end zone to take the lead and never looked back in a 26-15 win over North Quincy.
“That was huge,” Oliver Ames first year head coach Mike Holland said. “It was a battle in the first half and we went in and talked about some things we needed to improve on like tackling and eliminating penalties. The kids came out and responded, set the tone for the second half and change the momentum to a big credit to our kids.”
After the turnover on downs, Liston Funai (14 carries, 144 yards, 3 touchdowns) scampered up the middle for 13 and then four more. After quarterback Charlie Ryan (4/10, 45 yards, 14 carries, 90 yards, 1 touchdown) took an option run for five yards, Funai burst up the middle for a nine yard touchdown on third down to put OA up 12-7 midway through the third quarter.
The Tigers had to punt on their first drive but the defense came up big when senior Connor Maroney picked off Fallon and ran it back 30 yards. OA used just four plays to cover the distance when Ryan used the option to take it in himself for a nine yard score.
“It’s terrific, both of those guys have worked hard all year and they’re getting better and better,” Holland said of Ryan and Funai. “The scheme from the line, they’re understanding the concepts and working together to open up holes. Charlie can run the ball and pass the ball effectively and Liston is a young kid that’s getting more and more confident as he gets experience.”
North Quincy tied the game in the second quarter taking advantage of a short field. It took just five plays to move 31 yards before Aidan Brown (25 carries, 130 yards) punched it in from a yard out.
Oliver Ames kept the pressure on in the second half, forcing punts on the next two drives from the Red Raiders following the turnover on downs. Funai ran 12 yards to end the third quarter and then on the first play of the fourth quarter, he dashed 45 yards with a score and ran it in for a two point conversion to make it 20-7.
Three straight incompletions from Fallon meant another punt from the Red Raiders but OA gifted possession right back with a fumble. However, Geary came up with his second big play of the half on third down. Fallon dropped back to pass but didn’t have many options and Geary came from the blind side and laid a huge hit, forcing the ball free that senior Shawn Cardoza pounded on.
“That was huge,” Holland said. “We talk all the time about plus/minus and creating turnovers. Those set the offense up in a good predicament. On that fumble, Travis [Campbell] played it excellent to make the quarterback step up and [Shawn] Cardoza contained him and Geary came in and had a heck of a hit.”
One play later, Funai went up the middle for a 14 yard touchdown and Oliver Ames extended its lead to 26-7. With mostly second string in, North Quincy added a touchdown in the final minute.
After starting the season winless, the Tigers have now won back to back games heading into Thanksgiving, when they’ll travel to rival Sharon to conclude the season.
“These guys have been awesome, the coaching staff has been plugging away trying to finish on a positive note and send the seniors out the right way,” Holland said. “We want to lead into the offseason on a positive note and the kids have been great.”