It is time for my inaugural Division 2 Notes. Last week was a wild one for high school football with many great games and a few that came down to the final seconds. There is nothing better than watching a game where the teams are battling it out until the final whistle. The fans are alive and the atmosphere is amazing. With all that said, here are some awards for last week and what to watch for this week.
Games of Last Week
Natick vs. Norwood: The only game that was purely Division 2 was Natick vs. Norwood. Natick kicker Tim DeMaio belted a 42-yard field goal in adverse conditions with 1:30 remaining in the game to win the game for the Red and Blue.
Winchester vs. Swampscott: In a nonleague matchup, Winchester pulled off an upset against the previously 19th-ranked Big Blue with a 3-yard score from Matt Mangano with 17 seconds remaining.
Dartmouth vs. Mansfield: Division 2 power Mansfield took on Division 1 Dartmouth in what may be one of the best games of the year. Dartmouth pulled the game off in the waning seconds of the game on a field goal by Sean Sylvia. The drive was aided by a fourth-down pass interference call on Mansfield in the end zone.
Player of the Week
Paul Connor, Milton: Even though the Wildcats couldn’t upset fifth-ranked Walpole, Connor really showed that he has the talent to be one of the best running backs in the state. Despite his small stature, he ran with vision, power, and quickness. He showed his quickness on his 90-yard touchdown run when he hit the hole in the line and then took the ball outside and outran the defense.
Games of This Week
Billerica vs. Woburn: Billerica, one of the many contenders for the Merrimack Valley title faces off against a re-tooling Woburn team in a nonleague battle. Even though Woburn may not be as frightening as in years past, they are still a team that Billerica can not take for granted.
Marshfield vs. Mansfield: This may be considered a division 1A game, but it is too good not to include. Mansfield barely lost to second-ranked Dartmouth last week and has another tough test against a Marshfield team that always has one of the best defenses in the league.
Players to watch this week
Ryan Izzo, Walpole: Izzo already has 480 yards on the season and gained 222 against Milton despite missing the entire third quarter.
Jhorgy Antoine, Norwood: Antoine is the player I think will surprise a lot of teams in the Bay State Herget. Antoine had 121 yards and two touchdowns in Week 1, and a long touchdown run against a stingy Natick defense this past weekend.
Conor Henry, Coyle & Cassidy: Mr. Everything for Coyle & Cassidy kicked extra points, a field goal, and ran in a score in Coyle’s victory over Middleboro.
Matt Mangano, Winchester: Mangano had 109 rushing yards and 193 passing yards in Winchester’s upset of Super Bowl champion Swampscott.
Kevone Rogers, Mansfield: Rogers has the quickness and speed to be an effective option running the ball for the Hornets. His real value is at corner, where he was instrumental in shutting down a high-flying Dartmouth passing game last Friday.
Coming Soon: Power Rankings. It might be a bit too early to come out with power rankings that are meaningful, so we will wait until teams have played at least a few games.
Several reporters and editors contribute updates, news and analysis to the High School Sports Blog.
- Bob Holmes: A Reading resident (Go Rockets!) and Boston College graduate, Holmes is the Boston Globe High School Sports Editor. We remind you now that his weekly picks are often made in jest so everyone just calm down when he picks against Everett for 11 straight weeks. Contact him at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @GlobeHolmes.
- Craig Larson: A native of West Springfield (Leo Durocher anyone? Tim Daggett?) and Curry College graduate (a proud Colonel!), Larson is the sports editor for the Globe's regional sections: South, West and North, as well as a frequent contributor on the college beat. Abington to Xaverian: it all starts with the schools. Have a compelling story idea? Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @GlobeLars.
- Zuri Berry: Berry attended the same high school as sports legends O.J. Simpson and Joe DiMaggio. (Guess which one is his hero.) He's a South Boston resident (formerly of Eastie) and the editor of the High School Sports blog as well as the go-to-guy for everything high school sports on Boston.com. Contact him at email@example.com and follow him on Twitter @GlobeSchools for all of the latest updates.
Then there are our winter correspondents:
- Emily McCarthy | @EmilyMcCahthy | BPS correspondent
- Jake Fischer | @GlobeFischer | Boys basketball
- Michelle Fenelon | @michfenelon | Girls basketball
- Andrew MacDougall | @Andy_MacDougall | Boys hockey
- Liz Torres | @etorres446 | Girls hockey
To reach the high school sports department, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.