Boston High School: Brady Shorey

No. 5 Mansfield escapes Big Red's push

October, 30, 2010
10/30/10
3:18
AM ET


NORTH ATTLEBOROUGH, Mass. – At the time, Joe Oram’s tackle looked like a game-saver.

When No. 5 Mansfield added a final-minute touchdown, giving the Hornets their final margin of victory at 24-15, it only distorted the importance of Oram’s stop while providing further clarity to what could have been a photo finish.

“I’m glad I didn’t have to deal with that scenario,” Mansfield head coach Mike Redding said. “If they score and tie up with two minutes to go, then I’m thinking, do we go for it or do you play it safe. I’m glad it didn’t have to come down to that.”

North Attleborough was two points down with 2:07 to play, after Dan Johnson broke left into the flat and hit Ryan Flannery with a 7-yard touchdown pass on a halfback option. Leading up to the ensuing two-point try, both Redding and Red Rocketeers head coach Don Johnson played each other’s bluff in aligning their squads. When No. 10 North Attleborough broke the huddle, the play call was for a run, a keeper for quarterback Paul McCarthy. His lane up the middle collapsed, so he bounced to the outside in an effort to find space.

There he was met by Oram, who drove McCarthy back short of the goal line and, in effect, put the Hornets in control to win the Hockomock League title this season.

“He was running inside on the dive, but Kyle McGuire came down and plugged the hole,” Oram said. “When he bounced it outside, I just met him at the line and drove him back.”

The linebacker continued, “This win is just huge. It means a lot to us.”

Mansfield (7-1, 6-0) still had to finish the win by recovering an on-side kick attempt following the missed two-point play. It looked as though the Red Rocketeers (7-1, 5-1) might force a punt and get the ball back again, holding the Hornets to a third-and-seven. But George Busharis hit Jamel Marshall for a crushing 17-yard pickup on a throw to the flat.

Two plays later, Greg Donahue added a point of emphasis with a 28-yard touchdown run.

“I think the difference was, and it happened in both halves, they won on third down,” the elder Johnson said. “We played great defense on first and 10 and, then beyond that, we struggled.”

Mansfield broke the defensive maelstrom in the second quarter, when Jeff Hill used every inch of his 6-foot-4 frame to come down with an 18-yard score from Busharis. Dave Eberhart added a 23-yard field goal later in the second stanza for a 10-0 Hornet lead.

North Attleborough got back three points just before the half on Zach Horton’ 22-yard field goal as time expired.

Big Red found greater offensive consistency in the second half, when McCarthy tested Mansfield with his arm (11 of 22, 131 yards) and his feet (8 carries, 63 yards).

“I thought we were able to mix it up,” Johnson said of the Red Rocketeers offense in the second half. “We kept finding ourselves in long-yardage situations early. We kind of got stuck where we had to throw a little too much. We were able to run the ball a little inside and then that opened up the outside, then we could pass on other downs.”

McCarthy hit Brady Shorey on a perfectly executed screen pass for a 51-yard touchdown with 44 seconds remaining in the third quarter.

The Hornets answered with a plodding 12-play, 6:40 drive that culminated in a 5-yard touchdown by Marshall, who carried the ball on seven of those plays while finishing the game with 25 carries for 159 yards.

North Attleborough bounced back with a score of its own, on the halfback option play from Dan Johnson. Redding was prepared for trick play, but didn’t quite have the particulars down.

“We’d talked about Donny’s [Johnson] son throwing, [but] we though he was right-handed,” Redding said. “He’s actually left-handed, so going left and throwing, we covered him pretty well, but it was a great catch by Flannery.”

Then, it was left to Oram’s anticipation.

Mansfield was determined not to let McCarthy beat them and wanted to neutralize his top target, Flannery.

“I think when they saw us in that defense, they went to the run,” Redding said, “and fortunately, that weak-side blitz caused some penetration. That made the difference.”

No. 5 Mansfield 0 10 0 14 -- 24
No. 10 North Attleborough 0 3 6 6 -- 15

Second quarter

Mansfield Jeff Hill 18-yard pass from George Busharis (Dave Eberhart kick)
Mansfield Dave Eberhart 23-yard field goal
North Attleborough Zach Horton 22-yard field goal

Third quarter
North Attleborough Brady Shorey 51-yard pass from Paul McCarthy (kick blocked)

Fourth quarter

Mansfield Jamel Marshall 5-yard run (Eberhart kick)
North Attleborough Ryan Flannery 7-yard pass from Dan Johnson (rush failed)
Mansfield Greg Donahue 28-yard run (Eberhart kick)

Red Rocketeers blast off at No. 23

August, 31, 2010
8/31/10
12:12
AM ET
NORTH ATTLEBOROUGH, Mass. – The Red Rocketeers are never usually the biggest players on the field. They are fast, but they might not always be the fastest. There’s just something about North Attleborough that year-in and year-out allows its football team to hang around the top of the standings in the ultra-competitive Hockomock League.

“I think there are more good teams every year in the Hockomock than almost any league out there,” Red Rocketeers second-year head coach Don Johnson said. “King Philip has a lot of quality players coming back. Mansfield always has a great team. Franklin lost a lot from last year’s team, but they always work hard and come to play. You can go on and on down the line.”

That crowded house will be more cramped this year as Thanksgiving rival Attleboro enters the fray in The Hock. But there is one reason why the Red Rocketeers — ranked No. 23 in ESPNBoston.com High Schools preseason MIAA Top 25 poll — remain strong through the years.

In not so many words, they are football players.

Take for instance, defensive lineman, offensive lineman, tight end, fullback, et cetera, et cetera, Bob Richman.

The 6-foot, 250-pound senior is something of a Dan Klecko-sort: a bruising running back living in a lineman’s frame. Johnson knows that Richman’s skill and versatility are the keys to his 4-3 defense up front. Richman can play anywhere along the line and play well. He had three sacks last year, a number that wasn’t so accurate to his level of play. Richman was battling a knee injury all season long and missed four games, but still earned All-Hockomock honors.

This year, Richman will also play on offense, most likely at tackle, because of North Attleborough’s inexperience on the line. The Red Rocketeers lost 13 lettermen to graduation from last year’s squad.

“I like playing defense better,” said Richman, who played some at running back in his freshman year. “I really enjoy getting after the quarterback. But I’ll do whatever I need to do to help the team win. We lost so many guys from last year, I need to be more of a leader to the line.

“Anyone can say they want to touch the ball, but I know where I belong.”

Richman has been looking at schools like Bryant University, whose coaching staff sees him a potential fullback.

“I know he loves the idea of that,” Johnson said.

But, for the time being, he’s looking around, weighing his options. He’s considered the military academies. For sure, someone’s going to end up with a good football player, another in the Long Red Line, which in recent years has yielded talents such as Robbie Vaughn and Anthony Sherman.

“He does everything for us,” Johnson said of Richman.

He’s a football player.

NORTH ATTLEBOROUGH AT A GLANCE
2009 record: 8-3 (5-3 Hockomock)
Head Coach: Don Johnson (second year, 8-3)
Players to watch: Ryan Flannery, Sr., SE/DB, 6-3, 185 lbs.; Bob Richman, Sr., OL/DL, 6-0, 250 lbs.; Paul McCarthy, Sr., QB/DB, 6-0, 160 lbs.; Dan Johnson, Sr., RB/DB 6-1, 163 lbs.; Brady Shorey, Sr., RB/DB, 5-7, 168 lbs.
Strengths: Overall team speed, depth at running back.
Weaknesses: For whatever “Big Red” might lack in stature, the Red Rocketeers make up in speed. Dan Johnson will lead the rushing attack, but opponents will get a healthy dose of traps and counter runs from tailback Brady Shorey, who operates out of North Attleborough’s shotgun sets. Under center, Paul McCarthy takes over for Joe Kummer and is equally adept with the pass as he is running the ball. McCarthy’s primary target will be a big one in Ryan Flannery (7 touchdowns in ’09). “He’s tough to defend because he has height (6-3) and has a great pair of hands,” Johnson said. The areas for concern on defense are evident and Johnson is hoping that several from a group of senior linebackers, including Joe DeGirolamo, will step up to fill the voids in the second tier of his 4-3 defense. However, the Red Rocketeers will also throw in a steady mix of Cover-2 and Cover-4 looks. “Overall, we’re going to have to show that we can move the football, and can control the game and control the line of scrimmage,” Johnson said. “We’ll also have to prove we can stop the power run game.”

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