ABINGTON, Mass. –- In a matchup that was heralded to be a clash of the South Shore titans, the Green Wave crashed the Falcons’ chance to make it a joust early on, finishing with a final score of 34-7, the sole Mashpee score coming with less than two minutes to go in the match.
“I thought tonight’s defensive pressure was the best we had all year,” said Abington coach Jim Kelliher.
“I thought our defense picked up our intensity three-fold...The bad thing about that is that we’ll expect that for the next game and the next three games after that,” added Kelliher.
After winning the coin toss and getting a break on a short kick and penalty on Abington (7-0, 4-0 South Shore), Mashpee (4-3, 3-1) started from the Abington 42, but on the second play from scrimmage, a bad exchange led to a fumble which was covered by Abington’s Pat Dwyer at the Abington 44. Taking nearly four minutes to march 56 yards, Abington passed once, a 30-yard hookup from Brandon Cawley to Joe Buckley. The final play of the drive was a 2-yard bullying from Babila Fonkem with 5:26 left in the first quarter.
“I know that they’re (linemen) fighting hard so I just try to fight hard every time I get the ball,” said Fonkem. “They get me the initial yard so I just try to get what I can every time.”
Abington’s David Manzo recovered the kickoff after a fumble by Mashpee on its own 33. A flea flicker to Tim Ferguson became Ferguson’s first career touchdown for the Green Wave, with just 18 seconds ticked off the clock since first score.
The Falcons got good field position on the ensuing kickoff, but turned the ball over with 1:28 left in the quarter, producing only 2 plays with positive yardage on the drive. Abington slow-danced for the next seven minutes, driving 77 yards with only two passes -– the second a five-yard touchdown pass pulled in by Buckley over a Falcon defensive back.
“Nothing better than getting a pass from this kid,” Ferguson relayed motioning with his body towards Cawley. “You just got to go up and get it.”
Mashpee’s next possession lasted nearly three minutes and ended with a punt that was deflected by Manzo, going only 29 yards. Abington put on a two-minute drill, ending with Ferguson’s second TD of the game, a catch in the middle of the field and a foot race to the left pylon. He won, and made the game 26-0, where the score stood until Buckley made the final Abington score of the evening -- a 12-yard pass from Cawley with 5:25 left in the third.
Mashpee looked like they were making a march on the goal line late in the third, but a Ferguson interception at the two thwarted that effort, although Cody Bingham-Hendricks finally scatted 24 yards in the waning minutes to avoid the haunting of a scoreless game that he and his compatriots were favored to win based on previously defeated team’s schedules.
More Than a Game: With her sizeable winning from tonight’s 50/50 raffle, Suzanne Djusberg decided to divvy up her winnings between the Green Wave Booster Club and Abington assistant coach Matt Chirokas.
Chirokas, who suffers from leukemia, was released from the hospital just hours before kickoff; yet, he donned his surgical mask behind the end zone to watch his players, where he also participated under Kelliher’s tutelage. After the game was over, the Green Wave waded over to Chirokas and chanted around him.
“For this being the first game he actually attends [this year], I think it’s very fitting that we take control in first place of the league by ourselves,” said fullback and senior captain Jack Malafronte.
For the field to be in the condition that it was in today (playable), numerous folks from Abington came down to the Frolio Middle School field to ensure player safety.
“Over the past couple of days, people from the community came down to set the tarps up [on the field] and this morning they took them off. It’s just people like that make this football program great,” added Cawley.
ABINGTON 34, MASHPEE 7
MHS 0 0 0 7 --- 7
AHS 14 12 8 0 --- 34
A – Babila Fonkem 2 run (Joe Buckley pass from Tom Dwyer)
A – Tim Ferguson 33 pass from Brandon Cawley (Rush failed)
A – Joe Buckley 5 pass from Cawley (Pass failed)
A – Ferguson 29 pass from Cawley (Rush failed)
A – Buckley 12 pass from Cawley (Cawley rush)
M – Cody Bingham-Hendricks 24 run (Chris Costa kick)