MANSFIELD, Mass. -- Just when you think you have everything figured out in the Hockomock League, the curveballs start flying.
Mansfield welcomed No. 11 King Philip to Alumni Field on Homecoming armed with the knowledge that the Warriors defense had given up a scant six points per game while building a perfect 6-0 record. Obviously, the Hornets weren't too bothered by that fact, as they proceeded to run wild on their home turf.
Robbie Rapoza led the way with 205 yards and two touchdowns while Kevin Makie added 157 yards and a pair of scores as Mansfield blew past the Warriors, 46-33.
"We ran well and we hit some big plays passing the ball," Mansfield head coach Mike Redding said. "I just thought we were a little bigger up front and we worked hard on picking up blitzes and getting some push. I just thought all night we had a good push on our zone play, our iso play. And we got the ball outside enough to keep them honest."
The two teams traded punts and turnovers before the Hornets (5-2 overall, 2-0 Hockomock Kelley-Rex) started to pick up steam as Rapoza bounced outside and sprinted 80 yards down the left sideline for the game's first touchdown.
Mansfield captain Antonio Medeiros recovered a fumble on King Philip's (6-1, 1-1) ensuing possession and needed just one play to score again. Quarterback Kyle Wisnieski fired a bullet down the left sideline, and sophomore Brendan HJill leapt high into the air and batted the ball toward teammate Mike Hershman, who caught it and raced the rest of the way for a 55-yard score.
"I actually ran the wrong route on that," Hill admitted. "Me and Hersh [Hershman] were both running streaks and when the ball went up it looked like Kyle was actually throwing it out of bounds. I saw Hersh's guy come to me and saw him wide open and I thought, why not hit it to him and he can walk into the end zone."
More big plays were in store in this contest as Rapoza gave the Hornets an 18-0 lead with a 53-yard jaunt straight down the middle of the field.
King Philip returned the favor two possessions later as Fabio Cherant blocked a punt, which led to a one-yard plunge by quarterback John Dillon (276 yards, 4 TD passes).
Mansfield countered as Wisnieski led Hill beautifully down the right sideline for a 69-yard TD pass, the first of three scores in the final three minutes of the half. The Warriors seemed to gain some momentum following a 57-yard march that ended with a 14-yard scoring pass from Dillon to Sam McDonald, but the Hornets rebounded quickly enough as Wisnieski lofted a perfect fade pass to the 6-foot-5 Hill for a 6-yard score and a 32-12 advantage with three seconds left in the half.
Keeping its foot on the gas pedal, Kyle Hurley intercepted Dillon on KP's first drive of the third and four plays later, Makie broke loose for a 39-yard touchdown.
Dillon tacked on two more TD passes to Christian Vellante and McDonald to shave the deficit to 39-26 midway through the fourth, but Makie produced one more big play, going 61-yards to paydirt on the very next play. KP managed one final score as Dillon found Joe Cohrane for his fourth touchdown pass, but the Hornets were able to kill off the remaining time.
"This definitely means a lot and with them being ranked top 10 in the state it proves a lot," Rapoza said. "Everyone kind of doubted us and said we were going to lose this game by a lot but we came out and proved everyone wrong."
Makie added, "Coming into it we just wanted to be able to get yards every play, just move the chains and get first downs but we ended up getting the big plays and that helped us out.
KING PHILIP (6-1) 0 12 7 14 - 33
MANSFIELD (5-2) 12 20 7 7 - 46
M - Robbie Rapoza 80 run (kick blocked)
M - Mike Hershman 55 pass from Kyle Wisnieski (rush failed)
M - Rapoza 53 run (kick failed)
KP - John Dillon 1 run (kick failed)
M - Brendan Hill 69 pass from Wisnieski (Hershman kick)
KP - Sam McDonald 14 pass from Dillon (pass failed)
M - Hill 6 pass from Wisnieski (Hershman kick)
M - Kevin Makie 39 run (Hershman kick)
KP - Christian Vellante 27 pass from Dillon (kick good)
KP - McDonald 36 pass from Dillon (kick good)
M - Makie 61 run (Hershman kick)
KP - Joe Cochrane 10 pass from Dillon (kick good)