WRENTHAM, Mass. -– Want to stop No. 18 King Philip from running the football?
Want to try scoring against the Warriors defense?
Double good luck.
Franklin could have used all the luck in New England and it wouldn’t have been enough to prevent the Warriors from blanking the Panthers, 27-0, in a Hockomock League Kelly-Rex Division game Friday night.
Of the 302 total offensive yards amassed by the Warriors, 275 came on the ground -– due in large part to Mark Glebus (9 carries for 130 yards and three touchdowns) and Joe Johnston (18 carries for 75 yards and one score).
On the flip side of the ball, King Philip held Franklin to 42 yards of total offense and made life miserable for the Panthers’ talented quarterback, Nick Zucco.
Zucco, who was under relentless pressure all night, completed only 6-of-23 passes for 53 yards and was intercepted by Brett McEvoy and Jason Wholley.
In addition, he was sacked three times and forced into at least five “hurries.”
Glebus flashed his speed twice.
On his team’s first possession, he burst through the left side and sprinted 47 yards -– untouched -– for the first of his three scores.
Then, after Wholley’s pick in the fourth quarter, Glebus turned the left corner and dashed 58 yards for the capper.
Earning trust: “We have a lot of faith in Mark now and it’s growing,” KP coach Brian Lee said. “I told him at the beginning of the year we trust Joey and we trust Christian (Flaherty). When we get that trust in you, we’re going to give you the ball, too.
“He’s earned that trust now. He’s maximizing his playing time. He’s playing hard. He’s been playing great for us on defense (cornerback). And now he’s really stepped up to give us another dimension on offense.”
As the Panthers saw, much to their chagrin, that dimension is speed.
“Our other backs wear on you and pound on you and pound on you, and he’s our changeup,” Lee said. “It’s nice to have all of them. Most people would be happy with one of them and we have three good ones.”
At the risk of stating the obvious, King Philip has a host of “good ones” on defense.
In fact, the Warriors defense was so good that the Panthers never entered the red zone once. Their deepest penetration was to the King Philip 34.
“ ‘Mac’ (McEvoy) is the heart and soul of our defense,” Lee said. “He makes all of our checks and gets everybody where they need to be.
“I thought the ‘D line’ played real well tonight. I can’t say enough about the seniors on that defense. This is Mac’s third year. It’s Joey Johnston’s third year starting on our defense. You kind of start with those two guys and trickle down to everybody else.”
“We’re all one team and it takes one team to win,” said McEvoy, a linebacker. “As a unit we pulled through together to get the ‘W’.”
Bad breaks bite Panthers: After Glebus’ first score, the Warriors caught the first of two huge breaks in that opening quarter.
Following the ensuing kickoff, Franklin went three-and-out. But when Danny McDermott dropped back to punt, the snap sailed over his head and Zucco smothered it on Franklin’s 30.
Four plays later, Johnston busted three yards off right tackle for a 14-0 lead.
Then, after the Panthers notched their initial first down of the game, they again were forced to punt. And, again, the snap from center sailed over the punter’s head and Zucco smothered the ball on Franklin’s 37.
That miscue led to Glebus’ second score, a two-yard run for a 21-0 lead at halftime.
Despite what was a comfortable lead, McEvoy was adamant that the Warriors weren’t about to relax and give Franklin a chance to climb back into the game.
“It’s always comfortable when there’s a nice lead,” he said. “But you still have that thought in the back of your head that they can score at any moment and the momentum could change.
“We wanted to keep the momentum down for them and we kept it down for the whole game.”
KING PHILIP 27, FRANKLIN 0
FR (2-3, 0-2) 0 - 0 - 0 - 0 --- 0
KP (5-0, 3-0) 14 - 7 - 0 - 6 --- 27
Mark Glebus 47 run (Derek Rochstein kick)
Joe Johnston 3 run (Rochstein kick)
K – Glebus 2 run (Rochstein kick)
K – Glebus 58 run (kick failed)