Editor's note: The Globe’s Michael Grossi recaps the weekend that was in Division 2 and 2A football.
Dime Package – this segment delves deeper into the games I covered this weekend.
Mansfield 28-King Philip 0: On Friday, I made the trip down to Mansfield to take in its game against King Philip. Going into the game, I thought it would be a slugfest. Both teams have strong defenses and explosive yet steady running games. However, by the end of the game, it was clear that Mansfield was more polished.
Along with its ground attack, Mansfield showed that it can beat you through the air. King Philip was intent on stopping the run in the first half. The Warriors were able to do that, but it left their secondary in one-on-one match-ups. That ended up hurting them. Mansfield has maybe the best receiver that no one has heard about in Jeff Hill. Hill is tall, fast and has great hands. He is a target at any area on the field and quarterback George Busharis was able to find him with ease.
Once King Philip adjusted to the pass, the Mansfield rushing attack took over. Jamel Marshall tore up the Warriors’ defense for 127 yards in the second half. With all that said, the King Philip defense was still pretty impressive. They made a bunch of stops behind the line of scrimmage including at least three sacks.
Mansfield also showed that its trademark defense was as solid as ever. The Hornets never allowed King Philip to get running backs Chris Cacciola and Charles Ruffin going. It also helped that the King Philip passing attack was nonexistent. That allowed the Hornets to key on the running backs without worry. Even if the Warriors had a passing attack, the secondary for Mansfield, led by Mark Bowser, is very strong as well.
Mansfield now has the inside lane to a Hockomock League title. However, they still have to face a North Attleboro team that matches up very well with them.
Mansfield plays Attleboro 7 p.m. Friday.
Billerica 20-Tewksbury 15: On Saturday afternoon, I saw Billerica beat Tewksbury in a Merrimack Valley crossover game. This game really showed me a few things that could come into play later in the season.
Although Billerica is in Division 1, I wanted to add my thoughts on the team's performance. The Indians' defense decided to come to play. The Indians allowed just over 100 yards rushing and fewer than 100 passing in the game. Their ability to bottle up the run game was very impressive. They never allowed the Tewksbury backs to get to the second level of the defense.
Also, with Nick LaSpada now at one of the corner back spots, passing will be a lot harder.
One thing that may have helped Billerica was that Tewksbury was without starting quarterback Sean Connolly. Kevin Saunders played admirably in his absence, but you can’t help but wonder what the outcome would have been with the starter at the helm.
I was really impressed by Tewksbury as well. Its defense was able to hold LaSpada to under 100 yards passing. LaSpada's 230 yards of offense (he had 140 rushing and 90 passing) was well below his normal average of over 350 yards per game. The secondary, led by Anthony Arcari, blanketed the Indians’ receivers all day. Arcari and his mates were also aided by some dropped passes and overthrown balls.
Although Tewksbury sits at 2-3, they could make some noise in the MVC Small, starting this week when they play Dracut.
Other games that stood out
Dracut 45-Lowell 35: The protégé took down the master. The Jason Houston-led Middies toppled Lowell and ex-coach Jeff Moore. Although the score seems close, Dracut led 35-6 heading into the final frame of the game. After two losses to open the season, Dracut has found its stride. The offense is firing on all cylinders, especially quarterback Matt Silva, who rushed for 213 yards and passed for 171 in the win.
Attleboro 26-Foxboro 24: Attleboro is this year’s version of the cardiac kids. Against Foxboro, Nate Robitaille found Tyler Lindsey for the game winning touchdown as time expired. This is the second time the Blue Bombardiers have won a game while trailing in the fourth quarter.
Methuen 31-Chelmsford 21: Methuen proved to the rest of Eastern Mass. that it is a force to be reckoned with. The Rangers punished what was one of the best defenses in the state through four games. Ryan Savastano led the way with over 200 yards rushing. Quarterback Cal Carroll has a hairline fracture on his left (non-throwing) hand. It will be interesting to see if that affects him in any way as the season rolls along.
Plymouth North 20-Bridgewater-Raynham 7: The Eagles beat Bridgewater-Raynham behind the running ability of quarterback Cody Merritt. Merritt rushed for three touchdowns in the win. This week the Eagles face perennial Atlantic Coast League favorite, Marshfield.
Players of the Week
Matt Silva, Dracut – I said last week to keep an eye on him. Silva accounted for nearly 400 yards of offense in a victory over Lowell.
Kenny Woods, Walpole – Woods rushed for over 200 yards and two touchdowns in a win over Braintree.
Joe Gizzi, Oliver Ames – Gizzi recorded 12 tackles, intercepted two passes – returning one for a touchdown – and rushed for the game winning touchdown against Stoughton.
Brian Bourque, Reading – Bourque passed for two touchdowns, rushed for two touchdowns and accounted for over 180 yards of offense in a 42-0 pasting of Wakefield.
Peter George, Concord-Carlisle – George was and efficient 8-of-10 for 145 yards and a touchdown in a win over Lincoln-Sudbury.
Seyi Adesuyan, North Quincy – Adesuyan’s two touchdown runs helped the Red Raiders topple Malden.
Matt Montalto, Dennis-Yarmouth – Montalto recorded over 260 yards of offense, passed for three touchdowns and rushed for another in a victory.
Ben Panunzio, Masconomet – Panunzio’s touchdown pass with just under 2 minutes remaining against Newburyport gave the Chieftains their first victory of the season.
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 fall correspondents:
- Anthony Gulizia | @gulizia_a | Div. 1 football
- Eric Russo | @erusso22 | Div. 2 football
- Stephen Sellner | @stephen_sellner | Div. 3 football
- Andrew MacDougall | @Andy_MacDougall | Div. 4 football
- Greg Joyce | @GJoyce9 | Div. 5 football
- Lorenzo Recupero | @LorenzoRecupero | Div. 6 football
- Liz Torres | @etorres446 | Girls volleyball
To reach the high school sports department, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.