Holliston has TVL Large title all to itself
HOLLISTON - Regardless of yesterday’s outcomes, Holliston had already clinched at least a share of the Tri-Valley League Large. But the Panthers were selfish; they wanted the title all to their own.
“In kindergarten they teach you to share, but we’re not very good sharers,” said coach Todd Kiley. “We wanted the TVL all to ourselves, and we got it.”
Holliston claimed its third consecutive title with a 27-0 win over visiting Westwood yesterday at Kamitian Field, and clinched a playoff berth.
The Panthers will meet Concord-Carlisle in the Division 3 semifinals Tuesday.
“The scoreboard says it all,” said Holliston quarterback Dan Barone. “We had a goal of getting a shutout in this game, and we came together as brothers to get it done.”
Both clubs had first-quarter drives stall on fourth down inside the opponent’s 30-yard line.
The Panthers (9-1, 4-0) finally struck on the first play of the second quarter, when Jake Frechette took a sweep and extended the ball across the pylon on a 7-yard run.
A costly turnover by the Wolverines (8-3, 2-2) set up the hosts’ second score. Westwood quarterback Alex Berluti hit his brother Bo with a 3-yard pass, but the receiver coughed up the ball, which was recovered by the Panthers’ Brody Ciarcello at the Holliston 33. On the next play, Barone (14 carries, 146 yards) broke away on a 67-yard scamper to push his team ahead, 13-0, at the half.
“Dan and Jake are two important leaders of our football program,” Kiley said. “It seems they come up with big plays in big games and make us coaches look good.”
The Wolverines tried an onside kick and a fake punt in the opening five minutes of the third quarter, but both surprises were unsuccessful. Barone made it a three-score lead with 2:47 remaining in the third when he took an option pitch from Stephen Hennessy and dived into the end zone for his second TD of the game. Hennessy’s 2-point conversion gave the Panthers a 21-0 edge.
The visitors looked to stage a late rally, but three consecutive Westwood drives ended with failed fourth-down conversion attempts. Barone (9-of-16 passing, 148 yards) put the finishing touch on the victory when he hit Frechette in the back of the end zone for a 30-yard touchdown.
Last season’s Division 3A Super Bowl champions are two wins away from repeating.
“I’m proud of the kids for what they’ve accomplished this year,” Kiley said. “Guys stepped into new roles this season, and the coaches were hard on them to perform. To run the table in this league is quite the accomplishment.”
Westwood leads the series, 24-14-1.