North Attleboro, 20 @ Attleboro, 7 – Final 1st Quarter: No scoring.
2nd Quarter: (A) Justin Cote 2-yard run, Colby Briggs XP good.
3rd Quarter: (NA) Tyler DeMattio 85-yard pass to Ryan Gaumond, T. DeMattio XP good.
4th Quarter: (NA) T. DeMattio 7-yard run, T. DeMattio XP good; T. DeMattio 90-yard run, XP no good.
Stoughton, 28 @ Canton, 7 – Final 1st Quarter: No scoring.
2nd Quarter: (C) Johnny Hagan 30-yard pass to Kyle Fitzgerald, Owen Lehane XP good; (S) John Burke 1-yard rush, Josh Cocchi XP good.
3rd Quarter: (S) Jeff Grier 66-yard rush, J. Cocchi XP good; (S) J. Grier 18-yard rush, J. Cocchi XP good.
4th Quarter: (S) J. Grier 72-yard rush, J. Cocchi XP good.
King Philip, 23 @ Franklin, 16 – Final 1st Quarter: (KP) Ryan Halliday 20-yard rush, Cole Baker 2pt pass to Sam Sesay; (F) Parker Chevrant 26-yard field goal;
2nd Quarter: (KP) Robbie Jarest 1-yard rush, R. Jarest 2pt rush.
3rd Quarter: (F) Nick Gordon 11-yard pass to Ryan Driscoll, XP failed.
4th Quarter: (KP) R. Halliday 14-yard rush, C. Baker XP good; (F) N. Gordon 75-yard pass to Owen Pamieri, P. Chevrant XP good.
Sharon, 21 @ Oliver Ames, 7 – Final 1st Quarter: (S) Aaron Strong 3-yard rush, Mitchell Director XP good.
2nd Quarter: No scoring.
3rd Quarter: (S) A. Strong 5-yard rush, M. Director XP good.
4th Quarter: (OA) Billy Tat 2-yard rush, Cam Perron XP good; (S) A. Strong 1-yard rush, M. Director XP good.
Taunton, 34 vs. Coyle & Cassidy, 0 – Final 1st Quarter: (T) Noah Leonard 14-yard rush, 2pt rush failed; (T) N. Leonard 17-yard pass to Cory Pintabone, Danny MacDougall 2pt rush.
2nd Quarter: (T) N. Leonard 29-yard pass to Everett Ferreira, Coby Adams XP good.
3rd Quarter: (T) Tryton Zavala 6-yard rush, XP failed; (T) Damien Manning 5-yard rush, Ethan Tavares XP good.
4th Quarter: No scoring.
Football – Non-Playoffs
Milford, 27 @ Norwood, 23 – Final
Taunton, 12 @ Newton North, 7 – Final 1st Quarter: No scoring.
2nd Quarter: No scoring.
3rd Quarter: (T) Noah Leonard 1-yard rush, XP failed.
4th Quarter: (NN) Newton North pass touchdown, XP good. (T) Tryton Zavala 4-yard rush, 2pt failed.
TAUNTON, Mass. – In the final minute of the first half, Oliver Ames found the end zone to cut Taunton’s lead in half, taking the momentum into the break.
But Taunton stole the momentum back, sandwiching a pair of 60-yard plus drives around an OA three-and-out to begin the second half. The hosts never looked back from that point on, earning a decisive 30-6 victory in the HockomockSports.com Game of the Week, dubbed the “Tiger Bowl.”
“I thought their offense did a good job of mixing it up on us,” said Taunton head coach Brad Sidwell. “I’ve run a no-huddle spread offense before and it’s different for the defense when you haven’t played against it, our guys had to adjust. But coming out in the second half, that first drive was a big deal. And then it was nice to get a stop and do it again on offense.”
Taunton was looking to add onto its 13-0 lead when it stopped Oliver Ames on fourth down just over midfield late in the second quarter. But the host Tigers fumbled just two plays into the series with OA’s Andrew Fraser falling onto the loose ball.
OA took advantage, marching 57 yards on nine plays to end the first half on a high note. Junior quarterback Cam Perron (7/18, 99 yards) scampered for 15 yards to begin the drive and back-to-back carries to junior Nathan Cabral (20 carries, 103 yards, touchdown) moved OA up the field 30 yards. An encroachment penalty on Taunton allowed Cabral to convert a fourth down inside the red zone on a short run, and two plays later, Cabral took a pitch to the left and ran in for a 9 yard touchdown, cutting the deficit to 13-6.
Taunton’s offense was unfazed but its deficit shrinking. Senior Tryton Zavala (18 carries, 117 yards) had four rushes on the drive while senior quarterback Noah Leonard (15/19, 213 yards, three touchdowns) went 3-for-3, hitting Wesner Charles (six receptions, 79 yards two touchdowns) for a 26-yard touchdown over the middle. Coby Adams’ extra point made it 20-6 with 7:45 left in the third quarter.
The defense did its part, highlighted by a sack from Taunton senior Max Moitoso on second down. OA ended up without a yard on the drive and had to punt quickly.
After OA’s three and out, the host Tigers once again worked their way down field. Facing a 4th and 7 at the OA 19-yard line, Leonard hit Cam Carroca, who fought his way past the first down maker. On the next play, sophomore Josh Lopes (seven carries, 59 yards) found a big hole on the left side and went in for a 10-yard touchdown and a 27-6 lead with 1:15 left in the third.
“Our guys battled across the board,” said OA head coach Mike Holland. “I thought our guys fought and it was a competitive game at half. Coming out in the second, we had a chance to do a couple of things. We didn’t and they capitalized to pull ahead. They finished strong and we didn’t.
“Football comes down to who can control the line of scrimmage, who can sustain long drives, and who doesn’t come out and go three and out offensively. They came out and drove the field, and offensively we sputtered and had to punt. They got the ball back, ate up some clock with a long drive and finished.”
To start the game, the teams traded punts and then Oliver Ames’ second drive ended on downs. On Taunton’s second drive, the hosts went 76 yards on 10 plays. Danny MacDougall (six catches, 96 yards) had an 11-yard reception and fullback Damian Manning grabbed a 15-yard pass on the drive. Three plays later, Leonard connected with Charles on a fade route for a 7-0 advantage.
Oliver Ames looked to respond, moving the ball into Taunton territory. Perron’s pass to sophomore Jeremy Clark went for 40 yards early in the drive and the junior quarterback also hit Sam Stevens for 12 yards to inch closer to the red zone.
It looked Perron had a man down the left sideline on the ensuing play but Taunton safety Javon Franklin came flying over and made the interception in the end zone.
Taunton took advantage of the turnover, needing just five plays to go 75 yards. MacDougall laid out to haul in a 34-yard pass, OA was hit with a dead ball foul to move the ball half the distance to the goal, and Leonard his Sean Quinlan in the corner of the end zone for a 13-0 lead.
After Taunton went up 27-6, a 39-yard kickoff return from Stevens put Oliver Ames in good position on the ensuing drive. The visiting Tigers got into the red zone when Perron hit Shane Kilkelly (three catches, 30 yards) for 11 yards and a first down. On fourth and goal from the 5 yard line, Taunton brought pressure and Sebastien Celestin came up with a big sack to keep OA out of the end zone.
It marked the third straight game Taunton has allowed just six points.
“We’ve been a little bit bend but don’t break on defense,” Sidwell said. “We got a big turnover in the first half in the end zone. We had a few more man rushes tonight so he couldn’t get comfortable back there. He had some scrambles on us but we were able to get to him a couple of times.”
Adams added a field goal in the fourth, connecting on a 21-yard field goal to cap Taunton’s only drive of the quarter (10 plays, 76 yards).
Taunton football finished with over 400 yards of offense, with 213 coming off the arm of Leonard and 205 yards on the ground. For Sidwell, it was a welcome sight to see after failing to get the ground game going consistently a week prior.
“I was frustrated last game against Durfee because in the second half, we couldn’t run the ball against similar type defense with everybody up in there,” Sidwell said. “You have to find ways to run the ball and I’m pleased with how we did tonight.”
Taunton football (1-0 Hockomock, 3-0 overall) is on the road next week when it visits Attleboro (0-1, 2-1) on Friday night at 7:00. Oliver Ames (0-1, 0-3) will try to bounce back when it visits Franklin.
Attleboro, 21 @ Dartmouth, 7 – Final 1st Quarter: (D) Dylan Pacheco 8-yard pass to Nathan Oliver, XP good.
2nd Quarter: No scoring.
3rd Quarter: (A) Jason Weir 1-yard rush, 2pt failed; (A) Isaac Gudiel 55-yard interception return, Justin Cote 2pt rush.
4th Quarter: (A) J. Cote 4-yard rush, Colby Briggs XP good.
Foxboro, 0 @ King Philip, 17 – Final First Quarter: (KP) Cole Baker 35-yard field goal.
Second Quarter: (KP) Ryan Halliday 1-yard rush, C. Baker XP good.
Third Quarter: No scoring.
Fourth Quarter: (KP) R. Halliday 3-yard rush, C. Baker XP good.
Mansfield, 14 vs. Everett, 41 – Final 1st Quarter: (M) Nick Marciano 4-yard rush, Nico Holmes XP good; (E) Dillon Doherty 2-yard rush, XP good.
2nd Quarter: (E) D. Doherty 37-yard pass to Tyrese Baptiste, XP blocked; (E) D. Doherty 51-yard pass to Mike Sainristil, 2pt conversion good; (E) D. Doherty 36-yard pass to M. Sainristil, 2pt failed.
3rd Quarter: (E) D. Doherty 10-yard pass to Eli Auguste, XP good.
4th Quarter: (M) Vinnie Holmes 1-yard rush, N. Holmes XP good; (E) Jaden Mahabir 1-yard rush, XP good.
North Attleboro, 19 vs. Bishop Feehan, 23 – Final 1st Quarter: (NA) Nick Raneri 70-yard pass to Ryan Gaumond, Tyler DeMattio XP good; (BF) Safety.
2nd Quarter: (BF) Tim Ambrosia 5-yard rush, XP blocked; (NA) T. DeMattio 25-yard field goal; (NA) T. DeMattio 28-yard field goal.
3rd Quarter: (BF) T. Ambrosia 1-yard rush, T. Ambrosia 2pt pass to Nick Norko.
4th Quarter: (BF) T. Ambrosia 1-yard rush, William Lynch XP good; (NA) Brendan McHugh 8-yard rush, XP no good.
Oliver Ames, 18 vs. Silver Lake, 28 – Final
Sharon, 7 @ Ashland, 14 – Final
Stoughton, 7 vs. Catholic Memorial, 20 – Final 1st Quarter: No scoring.
2nd Quarter: (CM) Darius LeClair 1-yard rush, XP no good.
3rd Quarter: (CM) Owen McGowan 7-yard rush, O. McGowan 2pt rush; (CM) Barrett Pratt 2-yard rush, 2pt failed; (S) Jeff Grier 18-yard rush, Josh Cocchi XP good.
4th Quarter: No scoring.
Taunton, 27 vs. Durfee, 7 – Final 1st Quarter: (T) Noah Leonard 15-yard pass to Brayden Merrill, Coby Adams XP good.
2nd Quarter: (T) Tryton Zavala 11-yard rush, C. Adams XP good; (T) T. Zavala 4-yard rush, C. Adams XP good; (T) N. Leonard 18-yard pass to Wesner Charles, XP failed.
3rd Quarter: No scoring.
4th Quarter: (D) Elijah Concepcion 8-yard rush, XP good.
Attleboro, 4 @ Stoughton, 1 – Final – Attleboro scored three times in the second half to earn a win on the road. The Bombardiers had four different goal scorers on the day. Will Halben opened the scoring on an assist from Mike Russo but Stoughton’s John Neves tied the game going into halftime. Alex Naughton (from Joey Soucy), Justin Lurssen (from Russo), and Hugo Henriquez (from Soucy) scored in the second half for Attleboro.
Franklin, 0 @ Canton, 2 – Final – Canton scored once in each half to secure two points with a win over visiting Franklin. Simon Cruz opened the scoring in the 32nd minute as the Bulldogs took a 1-0 lead into the break. Paul Corcoran made it 2-0 just five minutes into the second half. Alejandro Correal notched his first career shutout.
Taunton, 2 @ Foxboro, 5 – Final
King Philip, 1 @ Milford, 2 – Final – Milford’s Lucas Da Silva scored twice in a two minute span to help the Scarlet Hawks complete the comeback. KP took the lead at the midway point of the second half on a goal from Justin Wilson but Da Silva tied it two minutes later, finishing off a flick from Walisson de Oliveira to make it 1-1. Just two minutes later, Joey Madden’s long throw was flicked on by Leo Coelho and finished by Da Silva to make it 2-1. de Oliveira, Anthony Salvador and Cam Doherty played well for Milford.
Mansfield, 1 @ Sharon, 1 – Final – Mansfield’s Owen Mullahy scored in the final seconds of the game to help the Hornets grab a point on the road. Sharon took the lead in the first half off a free kick but Mansfield cashed in on a long throw to get the tie. Sharon’s Brian Higgins gave the Eagles the lead with a left-footed shot off a free kick. In the final sesconds, Mansfield’s Cam Eddy’s throw was kept in the box by Sam Nugent, and he found Mullahy in close for the tying tally. Nugent, Ethan Brill-Cass, and Colin Caridi had strong games for the Hornets.
Stoughton, 0 @ Attleboro, 3 – Final – Attleboro scored three times in the second half to pull out the win. Isabella Salviati scored a goal and assisted on another and Jess Gates had a pair of assists for the Bombardiers. Briley Harnois opened the scoring off a Salviatie assist. Salviati added the second from Gates and then Sam Fasoldt made it 3-0 with a header off a Gates corner. Attleboro coach Steve Santos is Gates controlled the midfield and Sophia Salviati played well in defense. Ashley Macia earned the clean sheet. Stoughton goalie Brianna Buckley had a strong first half, according to head coach Tara Daniels, to keep the game scoreless. Daniels added that moving Gabi Diaz from midfield to sweeper also helped organize the defense.
Canton, 1 @ Franklin, 3 – Final – Olivia Rodman opened the scoring for the Bulldogs but Franklin responded within five minutes on a tying goal by Halle Atkinson. Freshman Stella Regan gave the Panthers the lead and then late in the game Sydney St. Marie added an insurance goal to seal the win.
Sharon, 0 @ Mansfield, 4 – Final – Steph Kemp had two goals and an assist and Cassidy McMahon had a brace for the Hornets. Melissa Reef, Sydney Mulkern, and Karina Gemiani each had an assist in the win.
Milford, 0 @ King Philip, 3 – Final – Chloe Layne scored twice and Avery Snead had a goal and an assist to keep KP perfect in the league. Snead scored the eventual game-winner with a header off a Faye Veillieux corner after 15 minutes. Nine minutes later, Layne scored from the penalty spot to double the lead before halftime. With 20 minutes left, Layne volleyed in a Snead cross to end the scoring. Taylor Butler made five saves for her third clean sheet of the season.
Attleboro @ Stoughton – Postponed to a date and time to be announced.
Oliver Ames, 3 @ North Attleboro, 1 – Final – The Rocketeers took the lead on a goal by Abby Calistra, but the Tigers scored three straight in the second half to get the win. Hannah Stryke tied the game off a penalty corner, with Maggie Woods picking up the assist. Kayla Lozzi completed a three-on-one break to give OA the lead and Woods added a goal to her earlier assist when she knocked in a rebound off the goalie’s pads. OA coach Sharon Lawrence also praised the midfield play of Meaghan Rockey and Brynna Courneen and the defending of Emily Han. Kara Ostrander made three saves to preserve the win.
King Philip, 5 @ Milford, 0 – Final – King Philip raced out to a 3-0 lead at halftime and never looked back in a win over Milford. Nicole Connor opened the scoring with an unassisted tally (23:51), Dana Truini converted a pass from Kate Lindmark (13:32), and Alli Meehan made it 3-0 off of a pass from Connor (1:39). In the second half, Lindmark scored on an assist from Meehan (16:24) and Meegan capped the scoring with 11:50 on a pass from Olivia Kulesza. Grace May and Mackenzie Manning combined for the shutout in net for KP.
Attleboro, 0 @ Stoughton, 3 – Final – The Black Knights stayed unbeaten with a three-set win (25-10, 25-19, 25-22). Stoughton coach Erica Batchelder said the team “played together and shared the ball.” Mia Bennett had a strong game in the back row and Alexa Quinones had a great overall performance in the win. Attleboro’s Chelsea Calcagni had seven aces and two kills while Hailey Thake added two kills and a block.
Franklin, 3 @ Canton, 1 – Final – Franklin picked up an impressive win over a good Canton team, taking a 3-1 decision (25-21, 13-25, 25-21, 25-9) over the Bulldogs. For Canton, Julia Minichello played great defense with 14 digs and three aces and Nicole Brown was fantastic with 22 assists, 24 digs and four kills.
Taunton, 3 @ Foxboro, 1 – Final – Taunton secured its second win of the season with 3-1 (25-19, 25-20, 19-25, 25-20) win on the road at Foxboro. Jaime Brown paced the offense with 16 assists, five aces and a block while Sam Martin added five kills, an ace and a block for the Tigers. Sam Silveira had a strong all around game with three kills, two blocks, and 11 aces while Mckenzie Lucie solidified the back row with strong serve receive and defensive play (six digs).
King Philip, 3 @ Milford, 1 – Final – King Philip went on the road and picked up a 3-1 win over Milford (25-23, 21-25, 25-9, 25-14). Grace Ely paced the offense with nine kills and two aces while Catherine Waldeck added nine kills and two blocks, Nicole Coughlan chipped in with five kills, three aces four blocks, Emma Brooks added six aces, and Lillian Carlo led the defense with five digs.
Oliver Ames, 2 @ North Attleboro, 3 – Final – The Rocketeers took the final set 15-6 to earn a hard-fought 3-2 (25-17, 15-25, 25-23, 17-25, 15-6) victory. Tatian Sotelo led North with eight kills while Emma Gunn added seven kills. Hayley Gaskin had 15 assists, Joanna Collins-Bilyeu added 12 assists and Lizi Buron anchored the defense with 13 digs. Junior Jordan Bosse led the Tigers with 10 kills and three aces in defeat. OA also got 28 digs and three aces from Sadie Homer and four kills, four blocks, and two aces from Jackie Raymond.
Mansfield, 1 @ Sharon, 3 – Final – Mansfield won the third set to prevent the sweep but Sharon finished off the match to earn a 3-1 (25-23, 25-20, 16-25, 25-22) win. For Mansfield, Greenly Kelly had 14 kills, Emily Dardinski added 10 kills, and Sam Sternberg had 14 digs.
Canton, 155 @ North Attleboro, 160 – Final – Four Bulldogs shot sub-40 rounds to earn the Davenport win. Tommy Dimock shot a medalist round of 38 to lead the way, while Chris Lavoie, Mike Gobbi and Thomas Singleton each shot rounds of 39. Marcus Costa had North’s low score of the day with a 39. Jillian Barend and Matt Wanless each shot rounds of 40 and Justin Strom shot a 41 for the Rocketeers.
King Philip, 169 @ Franklin, 166 – Final – Matt D’Errico shot a 38 to lead the way for the Panthers in a close match at Franklin Country Club. Franklin also got a round of 41 from Quintin Faro and a 42 from Jake Blaney. KP was led by Kayla Shuberth, who shot a 40.
Attleboro, 178 @ Oliver Ames, 153 – Final – Thomas Walsh shot a medalist round of 35 in wet conditions to lead the Tigers to their first win of the season. Tate Hadges shot a 38, Liam Barry shot a 39, and James Walsh finished with a 41 for OA. Attleboro’s low round belonged to Ethan Johnson, who shot a 42.
Injuries hampered Attleboro right from the start of the 2017 season, but the 2018 Bombardiers are healthy and hoping for a big turnaround this fall to compete with the top teams in the Kelley-Rex division and make a return to the postseason.
The graduation of quarterback Cam Furtado is a significant loss on offense, but the Bombardiers will hand the ball to junior Jason Weir, who has a big arm and a lot of potential at the QB position. Size and strength won’t be a problem for Weir, who played defensive end as a sophomore. Seniors Justin Cote and Alex Rodriguez will be the primary backs for Attleboro this year and give the Bombardiers dynamic weapons out of the backfield. The offensive line is bolstered by 6-foot-6, 290-pound junior Qualeem Charles and 6-foot-3, 265-pound senior Nick Evans. At 6-foot-3, junior Nolan Jaeger will be a weapon at receiver along with senior Josh Therrien and sophomore tight end Michael Strachan.
Evans battled injuries at the start of last season, but he is one of the top defensive linemen in the league and is drawing Div. I college offers. Attleboro will be a tough team to run against this season with Evans on the end and Charles (who is also getting DI looks) and 6-foot-3, 365-pound senior Eddie Porreca on the inside. Strachan and junior Isaac Gudiel will be starting at inside linebacker, while senior Desmond Woodson will be starting on the outside. Therrien is capable of making plays downfield at his free safety position and will be the leader of the secondary.
“I am looking forward to the 2018 season,” said Attleboro coach Mike Strachan. “We have a strong senior class and we have strong leadership on our football team. Our team worked out hard in the off-season and I am looking forward to that hard work paying off this season.”
Third-year head coach Eian Bain is optimistic about the 2018 season, and the long list of players returning with plenty of experience is a big reason why. The Panthers have over a dozen players back that started or saw significant time on offense and the same goes for the defense, include a very seasoned secondary.
Franklin must replace three-year starter Jake Noviello at quarterback but Bain is confident that a healthy competition between senior Nick Gordon and junior Thomas Gasbarro will result in a strong option starting under center for the opening week. While Franklin has to replace its quarterback, they return a ton of skill players on offense including senior tight end Sean Leonard, who hauled in a league-best eight touchdown passes last season. Ryan Driscoll (five touchdowns), Jack Nally, Will Davis, and Jake Davis will fill out the receiving corps while Sean Hofferty and Owen Palmieri man the backfield. Seniors Riley Downing and Liam Arsenault are experienced and will anchor the offensive line.
Junior Evan Wertz will be a key piece in the middle of the Panthers’ defense after having a breakout campaign last year with nearly 100 tackles from his linebacker spot. Senior Spencer Briggs and sophomore Alex Honor will also see time at linebacker while Downing is joined by Jack Jarosz, Dom Natale, and Keenan Bassma on the defensive line. The Panthers boast a seasoned secondary with Nolan McLaney and Driscoll both back, along with Palmieri, Jake Davis, and both Gasbarro and Gordon.
“We have experience on both sides of the ball,” Bain said. “It is a cohesive group that has been working hard together for our first two years and they are eager to the turn the corner with our program.”
The target on King Philip’s back is bigger than ever as the Warriors pulled off a second straight undefeated season and another state championship.
So how will head coach Brian Lee get this year’s team to focus on 2018 and not the past two seasons?
“The work and preparation have been the same but now it’s up to this season class to leave their legacy,” Lee said. “The previous two classes had their moments, now it’s up to these seniors to make their own moment. This team will go as far as these seniors lead them.”
The seniors will have plenty of opportunities to make their mark because King Philip doesn’t have a returning starter on offense. The Warriors need to replace quarterback Brendan Lydon, who didn’t lose a game as a starter. Junior Robbie Jarest looks poised to take over under center this season. While it isn’t a lot of experience, Jarest took over in the second half of the state final after Lydon got hurt and helped the Warriors finish off Lincoln-Sudbury. The toughest shoes to fill will be those of Shane Frommer, who will go down as one of the best players in KP history.
Junior Ryan Halliday will be the feature back while Aidan Bender and Sam Callanan will be in the mix as well. Jack Webster and Jack Collentro will be keys to the offense from the fullback position. Senior Terrell Jacobs Bastons has some experience on both sides of the ball and will likely start at guard while classmate Josh Fice will fill in the other guard spot. Junior Nolan Gunning is likely to get a starting spot as well, either at center or tackle.
Defense has been a staple for the Warriors throughout their successful run over the last couple of years, and that’s what KP will count on again this season. The strength will come from the linebackers with Webster back in an outside spot and Max Armour returning in the middle. Jacobs Bastons will be a big presence in the middle of the defensive line while the secondary will have familiar faces back in Aidan Bender, Timmy Nault, and safety Luke D’Amico.
And as we saw in the state final, having a reliable kicker is priceless. Cole Baker, who booted the winning field goal in the final, is back for his third year. Not only will he be a big help on offense, his kickoffs will be a weapon for the defense.
Mansfield has finished second in the Kelley-Rex in each of the past three seasons and the Hornets will be counting on experience under center and depth at the skill positions to end King Philip’s two-year reign atop the division and return to the top of the league standings for the first time since 2013.
Senior Damani Scott will be the starter at quarterback for the second straight season and he will be backed up by the capable Jack Mousette, giving the Hornets plenty of experience and reliability from their signal caller. Scott will also have a ton of weapons to call on this year with a skill position group that head coach Mike Redding calls one of the best that Mansfield has had in a while. Khristian Conner and Aidan Sacco will be weapons in the passing game while junior Vinnie Holmes is back in the backfield. Juniors Makhi Baskin, Michael DeBolt (who was also an outstanding kicker last year), and Nick Marciano will provide depth in the slot/running back positions. Senior Daenin Walker and junior Jason Comeau will add experience to the offensive line.
Defensively, Holmes will return to the linebacking corps after setting a program record for tackles in a season as a sophomore. Seniors Chris Copponi and Philip Dinov also return and can play as linebackers or as defensive ends depending on matchups. The secondary will be strong for the Hornets this year with Conner and Sacco at the corners and Marciano and Baskin at the safety positions. The only new additions on the defense are Anthony Capece at noseguard and junior Joe Plath at linebacker.
Redding said, “We have an experienced, athletic, aggressive defense that should be tough to score on and we’re young on offense, but have a ton of depth and talent at skill positions. Just need to gain some experience up front with our new guys on OL and DL.”
The 2018 version of the Oliver Ames Tigers have already had to make an audible after star running back Anthony Berksza suffered a season-ending injury over summer. Berksza had a breakout year last season, rushing for over 1,100 yards and finished with 16 total touchdowns, 15 of those rushing.
With Berksza out, Oliver Ames will rely heavily on the rest of its returning starters to carry the load. Junior Cam Perron returns under center after taking over the starting job during the regular season last year. While Perron looks to find some of his options, he has an offensive line protecting him that has some experience but will be looking to form cohesiveness throughout the year. Dean Pacini, Shane Murphy, Billy Tat, Luke Thibeault, and Garrett Wood all return with experience playing on the line. One challenge will be finding someone to step up and be a leader of that group after the graduation of two-time all star Jack Mills.
Nathan Cabral takes over as the feature tailback and OA head coach Mike Holland is confident the junior can get the job done. Holland says Cabral runs hard and is a tough player. Perron will also have the likes of Shane Kilkelly, Jake Erlich, and Evan Craig to work with as targets.
The heart of the defense will be at the linebacker position. Both Pacini, Murphy, and Darnele Ryan return after starting there last year and Holland will count on both senior captains to lead the way for the Tigers. Sam Stevens is back in the secondary at the safety position but OA will need some new faces to emerge alongside him.
“We’re looking forward to the start of the season,” Holland said. “We have a great group across the board. We have some experienced players back and some talented players competing for jobs.”
Taunton started last season with a 3-0 record, one of the program’s best starts in years, but then lost five straight games, including a playoff game against BC High, the top seed in Div. 1 South. The Tigers turned it on again from that point, winning the final three games of the season, including an impressive win against Brockton, to finish with a winning record under second-year head coach Brad Sidwell.
Experience will be a key for the Tigers this season, as Taunton tries to build on that playoff appearance and the momentum from a strong closing stretch. Senior Noah Leonard will be the starting quarterback for the third straight year and is now fluent in Sidwell’s offensive system. Leonard will have familiar targets in senior wideouts Brayden Merrill, Tryton Zavala, and Wesner Charles, while junior Cam Carroca looks to step in as a feature running back and junior Javon Franklin is a new target in the passing game. On the line, Taunton returns plenty of size in 6-foot-3, 337-pound tackle Christian Tourinho and his fellow senior Cam Correiro. Senior Ryan Williams will be the center, while junior Mason Frank, listed at 6-foot-2 and 274 pounds, will be back to battle at the line of scrimmage.
Size and athleticism will be strengths for Taunton on the defensive side of the ball as well. Tourinho, Correiro, and Frank can bottle up opposing running games and will be joined on the line by seniors Corey Pintabone and John Rockwood. Williams will lead the linebacking corps along with classmates Max Moitoso and Kyle Cuoto. Senior Prince Brown will be back at corner and senior Sebastien Celestin looks to step into the safety position.
“Taunton football is progressing forward,” said Sidwell. “Like all teams, we’d like to gain some confidence early in the season and carry it on. The Kelley-Rex division is challenging with great programs, coaching staffs, and communities. We are happy to be a part of it and want to represent Taunton High well by competing at the high standard set by the other league members.”
Attleboro, 6 @ North Attleboro, 14 – Final
Stoughton, 0 @ Canton, 27 – Final 1st Quarter: (C) Johnny Hagan 22-yard rush, Owen Lehane XP good; (C) Alec Ragusa 45-yard fumble return, O. Lehane XP good.
2nd Quarter: (C) A. Ragusa 4-yard rush, XP failed.
3rd Quarter: (C) J. Hagan 6-yard rush, O. Lehane XP good.
4th Quarter: No scoring.
Mansfield, 28 @ Foxboro, 20 – Final 1st Quarter: (M) Phil Dinov fumble recovery in the end zone, Mike DeBolt XP good; (F) Devin Hassett 2-yard rush, XP good; (M) Danny DeGirolamo 81-yard rush, M. DeBolt XP good.
2nd Quarter: (F) D. Hassett 11-yard rush, XP no good.
3rd Quarter: No scoring.
4th Quarter: (M) Damani Scott 8-yard pass to Chris Copponi, M. DeBolt XP good; (M) Aidan Sacco 5-yard rush, M. DeBolt XP good; (F) D. Hassett 11-yard pass to Jack O’Donnell, XP good.
Franklin, 0 @ King Philip, 28 – Final 1st Quarter: (KP) Brendan Lydon 1-yard rush, Cole Baker XP good.
2nd Quarter: (KP) B. Lydon 12-yard pass to Jack Piller, C. Baker XP good; (KP) B. Lydon 37-yard pass to David Morganelli, C. Baker XP good.
3rd Quarter: (KP) Ryan Halliday 3-yard rush, C. Baker XP good.
4th Quarter: No scoring.
Milford, 42 vs. KIPP Academy Lynn Charter, 20 – Final 1st Quarter: (M) Will Pointer 46-yard rush, Sean Lehane XP good; (M) Ryan O’Toole 53-yard rush, S. Lehane XP good; (M) W. Pointer 43-yard rush, S. Lehane XP good; (M) Patrick Brogioli 8-yard rush, S. Lehane XP good.
2nd Quarter: (K) Jansiel Jimenez rushing touchdown, XP failed; (M) Matt Curran 51-yard rush, S. Lehane XP good.
3rd Quarter: (M) Neil Arquillano 8-yard rush, S. Lehane XP good.
4th Quarter: (K) KIPP 39-yard fumble recovery return, XP failed; (K) KIPP 26-yard pass touchdown, 2pt conversion good.
Oliver Ames, 10 @ Sharon, 0 – Final 1st Quarter: No scoring.
2nd Quarter: No scoring.
3rd Quarter: No scoring.
4th Quarter: (OA) Derick Hanscom 29-yard field goal; (OA) Darnell Ryan 40-yard interception return, D. Hanscom XP good.
Taunton, 42 @ Coyle & Cassidy, 7 – Final 1st Quarter: (T) Noah Leonard 1-yard rush, Everett Ferreira XP good.
2nd Quarter: (T) Malik Richardson 5-yard rush, E. Ferreira XP good.
3rd Quarter: (CC) Jackson Harrison 6-yard rush, Ben Vaas XP good; (T) Vinny Diniz 65-yard kick off return, XP failed.
4th Quarter: (T) N. Leonard 8-yard pass to Brayden Merrill, N. Leonard 2pt rush good; (T) N. Leonard 6-yard pass to B. Merrill, N. Leonard 2pt pass to Alec Simon good; (T) Tryton Zavala 96-yard rush, XP failed.
TAUNTON, Mass. – It had been a rough opening three weeks of the season for the Attleboro football team, losing all three games against strong opposition (two by a combined seven points) and seeing the roster decimated by injuries.
But on Friday night at Aleixo Stadium, the Bombardiers got healthy and got on the board with their first win, beating Taunton 45-21 to end Tigers’ perfect start to the season.
Senior quarterback Cam Furtado led the way for Attleboro once again, running for a pair of touchdowns and throwing for two more while amassing nearly 250 yards of offense. The Bombardiers also showed off an array of skill position players, with seven players getting at least one carry and six players having at least one reception.
“He had great poise tonight,” Attleboro coach Mike Strachan said of Furtado. “He handled things, getting guys lined up, and I thought that was really important for him. He’s a had a good year for us and he’s done it with really not the full cast of characters, so hopefully we can build off this.”
Penalties killed Attleboro’s first possession of the game, which got as far as the Taunton 15 before stalling and ending in a punt. The Tigers immediately took advantage and took the lead. T.J. Mendes gave warning with an 11-yard draw up the middle and then broke through the line again on the next play, racing 53 yards for the opening score.
Attleboro bounced right back with a 73-yard drive, keeping the ball on the ground almost the entire way. Junior Alex Rodriguez (eight carries, 73 yards) had three rushes on the drive, senior Marcus Blaise had three and Furtado (16 carries, 86 yards) had back-to-back keepers that totaled 31 yards.
He capped the drive by hitting senior tight end James Weir (just back from injury) for a seven-yard score. Furtado then completed a pass to Justin Cote for the conversion.
Nathan Barboza picked off Leonard on the first play of Taunton’s next possession and returned it to the Tigers eight-yard-line. Two plays later, Furtado’s six-yard keeper and ensuing two-point conversion made it 16-7.
Taunton was not going away in the first half and answered right back. A 55-yard kick-off return by Tryton Zavala gave the Tigers ideal field position at the Attleboro 20. On fourth and 11, Leonard threw a receiver screen to Collin Hunter on the near sideline and the senior wideout broke tackles on his way to the end zone.
The game changed on Attleboro’s last possession of the half. Starting in Taunton territory, it looked like the Bombardiers were going three-and-out, but a running into the punter penalty on fourth and four kept the drive alive. On fourth and six from the 22, Furtado and Barboza hooked up for a seven-yard completion.
Again the Taunton defense held and had the Bombardiers on the edge. Senior Billy DeRosa sacked Furtado on third down for a 12-yard loss pushing the visitors back to the 26 and facing fourth and 21. Attleboro tried a trick play with wideout Elvin Sam tossing a pass, but it was incomplete. Taunton celebrated and both teams walked to the sidelines thinking the drive was over. No one noticed the flag sitting next to the Tigers sideline.
The call was unsportsmanlike conduct on the Taunton bench. The official explained later during a timeout that he had warned the Taunton coaches to give him room on the sideline, but during the fourth down play he ran into a coach and gave a penalty. Taunton was stunned and Attleboro made it worse on the next play as Furtado threaded the needle to Sam (three catches, 68 yards) for a 13-yard score and a 24-14 lead.
“That was a difficult call,” said Taunton coach Brad Sidwell. “On a fourth down, when we’re getting the ball back…but even that, the roughing the punter we had before that was killer.”
Strachan said, “I don’t know what happened, I just know that we had opportunities all half and we just kept getting a penalty here and a penalty there. We just couldn’t seem to get going and then we settled in and that gave us a lot of momentum. That was a huge moment for us.”
Attleboro came out of the locker room fired up and took control of the line of scrimmage on both sides of the ball. Sophomore Qualeem Charles (also back from an injury) blocked a Taunton punt to give the Bombardiers the ball at the Tigers 29. After a 20-yard screen pass from Furtado to Cote, Rodriguez went up the middle for a seven-yard touchdown.
Taunton scored on its next possession with Leonard (4-11, 78 yards) finding Brayden Merrill underneath the coverage and the junior breaking it for a 41-yard touchdown. But that renewed energy was short-lived, as the Tigers had no answer for Furtado.
The senior signal caller kept a third and nine play alive, scrambling to his left, and then firing a perfect deep ball to Josh Therrien for a 50-yard completion. Cote punched it in from a yard out. Barboza added a one-yard run on the next Attleboro possession and Nolan Jaeger added an interception in a dominating second half for the Bombardiers.
“Attleboro is a good team,” said Sidwell. “They had a couple games that they should’ve won and they’re a big, strong team and they took it to us in the second half. We’ll keep working.”
Strachan was happy to welcome a few of his key players back, including junior Nick Evans who had a cast on his arm, and also to have players that could make plays and take some of the pressure off Furtado.
“We’re getting some kids healthy in the backfield,” he explained, “and it takes a lot of pressure off him and we’re throwing the ball and getting Elvin on the outside. We just had to be patient. It’s been a frustrating three weeks but this was good for us.”
When asked if this might be a turning point for the season, Strachan replied, “I just told the seniors that it gets the monkey off our backs. We just have to keep working hard. There’s a good team every single week.”
Attleboro (1-3, 1-1) will try to build on the first win of the season when it hosts Oliver Ames next Friday. Taunton (3-1, 1-1) will look to get back on track next Friday when it travels to Alumni Field to take on Mansfield.