Boston High School: ISL

Nobles' Wood refocuses after WJC experience

January, 15, 2015
Jan 15
12:01
AM ET
DEDHAM, Mass. – Spend a few of minutes with Miles Wood and you realize how much this kid gets it.

Still a teenager, Wood has already accomplished more than most during this point of his life.The past couple of years alone have been nothing short of a whirlwind adventure for the Noble and Greenough senior hockey star.

In 2013, he was selected in the fourth round by the New Jersey Devils in the NHL Draft. That was soon followed by his commitment to play at Boston College next season, after decommitting from Brown University, his initial choice.

Things continued to flourish for the left winger this past December when it was announced that he had been chosen to play for Team USA in the IIHF World Junior Championships, making him the first prep/high school player to be selected by Team USA to the WJC since Massachusetts native Tom Poti (Cushing Academy) in 1996.

Initially, Wood (6-foot-2, 195 pounds), did not receive an invite to the U.S. National Junior Evaluation Camp this past summer at Lake Placid due in part to him deciding to return Nobles and not leave early for BC. But USA Hockey still continued to monitor his progress. A couple of weeks into his final season at Nobles, Wood was offered a tryout in which he didn't disappoint by earning a roster spot.

Following last year, Wood had planned on moving to The Heights. But on the advice of his parents, Randy and Cheryl, he was strongly urged to remain at Nobles for one more year and graduate, which he will do this spring.

Ironically, his father took a similar path just starting out. Randy Wood played four years at Phillips Andover Academy before spending four years at Yale. He then went on to have a successful 11-year career in the NHL with the Islanders, Sabres, Maple Leafs and Stars.

"When I decommitted from Brown I thought I would head into college a little sooner," said Wood. "But at the end of day, staying here for another year is only going to help me. It is one more year for me to get stronger. My game is not perfect so there are things I can do here that can help my hockey sense that college wouldn't do. It's good to work on the small things here and hopefully next year I'll go to BC with a stronger season then if I had done it a year earlier."

The opportunity to play with and against some of best young hockey talent in the world was a thrill of a lifetime for the 19-year-old, not to mention the learning experience he had gained.

"It was good for me to see what world competition was like," Wood said. "Not just seeing kids from the United States but kids from Sweden, Finland, Canada, et cetera, and to see where your game is as compared to where their game is.

“It was good to see what I need to work on, what my strengths are and just continue building off of that experience. My teammate Jack Eichel told me I was here because the coaches wanted me here. I wasn't here because I was a prep school kid. I'm here because the coaches have a trust in me and that I could help them win a gold medal. It was really good to hear that from someone like him."

At the WJC, the U.S. came up short in its bid for gold, finishing fourth after being eliminated by Russia in the quarterfinal round.

Highly regarded as a superior skater and his ability to put pucks into the back of the net, Wood says he wasn't selected by Team USA to score goals.

"I knew going into the tryouts I had to be more of a defensive player and a person they could trust out on the ice,'' he said. "I had to do the small things during camp because they had the Jack Eichels and Dylan Larkins to score goals. But they didn't really have that person to be tough around the puck or be tough in the corners.

“So I knew in order for me to make the team I needed to switch my role and not be the goal-scorer that I am [at Nobles]. Going into it, the coaches really had no idea who I was so it was good for me to go out and prove something to them."

When Wood came to Nobles in 2012, early reports listed him as an individual type of player. But under the tutelage of 14-year Bulldogs coach Brian Day, Wood has managed to transform his game, becoming more of a multi-faceted player.

"He is a kid who has grown tremendously since he has been with us," said Day. "He was certainly much more of a soloist when he first arrived here. He has always been a great skater and always had a good shot. He generated mostly off of people getting him the puck but now, he has learned to develop on how to incorporate everyone in the offense. He has grown to be a player who makes everyone around him better.

Wood added, "For the three years I have been here, Coach Day has taken my game from being a solo guy to a kid who can compete at the Worlds. A lot of my talent has been built through my three years here. It also shows that it doesn't matter where you play.”

He admits his decision to part ways with Brown was difficult. Had he opted to follow through on his commitment, it would have given him the opportunity to play alongside older brother Tyler, a sophomore defenseman with the Bears.

"I just didn't think it would be the right fit for me school-wise and hockey-wise," Wood explained. "It was obviously tough because Tyler was there. But I didn't want it to have an effect on him. It was good that I decommitted early enough where the Brown coaches could find a new player.

“The draw that I first had in wanting to go there was to play with Tyler. But as it got down to the nuts and bolts I just didn't feel it would be a good fit and I just had to move on from there."

As stellar a player that he is, one would probably have you believe Wood is a rink rat that spends a majority of his time and life on the ice.

On the contrary. Wood says his parents have instilled into him that the world does not revolve around the sport of hockey.

"It is nice to have parents that aren't so one-way with hockey," he said. "My father isn't just a parent to me in the hockey world but he is a parent to me when comes to school and life. It is good to have that person where you can call him up and talk about life and not always about hockey. He always tells me to step away from the game, to have fun and enjoy myself. As long as I'm happy it doesn't matter where I am because I know both of my parents will be happy for me no matter what."

Wood says once the season ends at Nobles, he will not lace up his skates again until he begins fall camp at BC. Wood said he only spends approximately five months out of the year playing hockey for a reason.

"You see some kids that are hockey, hockey, hockey 12 months out of the year," said Wood. "By the time they hit high school they are burnt out. I feel for those kids."

What lies ahead for Wood remains the million dollar question. Without a doubt, he is talented enough to excel at the collegiate level and potentially the pro level. But the work ethic can never falter.

"The opportunities are there for him but he realizes he needs to continue to get better," Day said. "As long as he does that then he'll reach his goals. Where he is right now and having these opportunities in front of him doesn't mean a thing unless he goes out and puts in the time and effort to pursue those goals. I think he is committed in doing that."

But first things first. Right now, the only thing on Wood's mind is helping Nobles try to win a second consecutive ISL title.

Last season, Wood was a prime contributor throughout the Bulldogs' championship run, having scored 29 goals and registering 25 assists. Nobles, which also carries a few other Division 1 commits – including Yale commits Billy Sweezey and Luke Stevens and Brown’s Mike Fahie – is 9-3-1 after Wednesday night’s win over Lawrence Academy.

"If you start looking too far ahead, then you start losing sight in where you are today," Wood added. "I think this whole thing of me staying back for one more year of prep school has taught me how to be patient and that is the best way to go about things. You don't go from point A to point B without enjoying the time between.

“I consider myself very fortunate to have had the chances I have had in hockey but for me it is all about today. For us to win our league again, it has been a goal for the entire team. I think talent-wise we have grown as a team here and this team is very strong. But we are just taking it day-by-day and practice by practice. That's all you can do."

Recap: Lawrence Academy 17, St. Sebastian's 13

November, 1, 2014
11/01/14
9:37
PM ET
NEEDHAM, Mass. -- For three quarters, Lawrence Academy managed to keep just enough distance between itself and St. Sebastian’s to maintain a slim 3-point lead. Despite committing some ill-advised mistakes on offense, the Spartans were still able to fend off the Arrows over the first 36 minutes.

But midway through the fourth quarter, St. Sebs turned the tables by recovering a LA fumble and converting the opportunity into a touchdown to take its first lead on the afternoon.

With virtually everything at stake, LA had one final shot to keep its playoff hopes alive. The Spartans successfully completed their mission, driving 80 yards before running back A.J. Dillon capped it off with a 3-yard touchdown run with 1:23 left to edge past the Arrows, 17-13, Saturday afternoon in a battle of Independent School League heavyweights.

"Everything starts with our quarterback (Jake Cassidy)," said Dillon, who finished his day with 146 yards on 29 attempts. "At the beginning we couldn't really throw the ball because we weren't use to the weather. But he came out in the second half and started capitalizing by making big plays for us. Our defense also played great. I've never seen us play better defense than the way we played today."

LA, winners of six straight, improve to 6-1 and are tied with Governor's Academy and Brooks School atop the ISL standings board. Next Saturday, the Spartans will host Brooks in their regular season finale with postseason bowl implications on the line.

Chances are the NEPSAC committee will most-likely select two ISL teams to partake in their annual bowl match-ups, with an outside chance of third team getting in. Should the Spartans beat Brooks next week, they will secure at least a share of the league title. They could win it outright should Govs happen to stumble against Belmont Hill next weekend.

But for any of that to happen, LA first needed to take care of business against the Arrows (5-2).

In a cold, wind-swept rain, the Spartans were able to control the opening half and stake themselves out to a 10-0 lead. St. Sebs, known for its volatile aerial attack, was handcuffed throughout the afternoon due to the unfavorable weather conditions.

On LA's second possession of the game, Dillion provided the offense, touching the ball six times on the drive before finishing it off with a 3-yard blast at 2:21 of the opening quarter to give his team a 7-0 lead.

"I'm not out there playing for myself but playing for my team," Dillon added. "My main goal was to hold onto the ball and get three to four yards on my carries."

The Arrows offense appeared somewhat incapacitated, unable to move the ball against a staunch Spartan defense. Forced to punt the ball away in three of its four first half series, the final one ended up leading to more points for the Spartans, who finished with 343 offensive yards.

With less than three minutes remaining, LA began from its own 27. Junior quarterback Jake Cassidy (7 of 15 for 144 yards) found receiver Tim Preston for an 18-yard completion. Two plays later, the duo hooked up again, this time for 44 yards to move the ball to the St. Sebs 16.

With time winding down, the Spartans attempted one more pass play that fell incomplete. Kicker Chris Garrison was brought in to boot a 29-yard field goal and send LA into the break up by two scores. Garrison, also the Spartans punter and an outstanding receiver, faked two punts during the game, running for first downs on each to sustain drives.

You had to realize the Arrows (327 yards) were too good a team to remain so silent. After receiving the opening kickoff to start the second half, St. Sebs drove 66 yards before sophomore running back Tommy Seidl took a pitch from quarterback Geoff Wade and bolted 33 yards into the end zone to slice the deficit to 10-7. Earlier, Seidl had a 69-yard touchdown run called back due to a holding penalty. The Wellesley native finished with 85 rushing yards.

On the Spartan's ensuing possession, Cassidy made a huge mistake by throwing into double coverage and was picked off by Tyler Wiik. The Arrows offense took over and reached the LA 12 before setting up a field goal try by Charles Gordon. But Spartan lineman Douglas Rodier managed to get a hand on it to preserve the Spartan's three-point advantage.

"This is a team made up of a lot of different guys," LA head coach Paul Zukauskas said. "I think we are talented in a lot of different positions. With us you see different guys making lots of different plays which makes this team pretty special. When you play a great team like this every play is so important. There are no easy plays. Our kids need to focus on every play and they do. This is a very-emotionally invested team that believes in each other cares about each another. That is what I'm most proud of."

Early in the final quarter, and his team driving down field, Dillon was stripped of the ball that was recovered by Seidl on the Arrow 42. Key runs from Seidl and Wade moved St. Sebs to the Spartan 5-yard line.

That set the stage for senior back Edosa Onaiwu to bust into the end zone and move the Arrows in front 13-10 with 5:44 left to be played.

For LA, its next, and most-likely final possession of the day, would prove to be a moment of truth. Knowing an opportunity to win the league, as well as earn a possible bowl bid, weighed heavily on their shoulders. Without question, this final drive would prove to be the Spartans' most important of the season.

They kicked it off with completions of 26 and 11 yards, respectively from Cassidy. Later, facing a fourth and 1 on the Arrow 34, Dillon was given the ball and gained four yards. A Garrison 18 yard catch later during the drive had LA sitting on the St. Sebs 5. Two plays later, Dillon found enough space to sneak over the goal line and give the lead back to the Spartans.

"We had over five minutes left so we knew to just keep running our offense," Zukauskas said. "You don't want to panic and just try and throw the ball all over the place, especially with the weather conditions the way they were. You want to try and run the ball effectively. Once we got the ball down there deep I only had one thought in mind and that was to just hammer it in. When you have a player like A.J. you've got to use him, especially inside the red zone."

With still time remaining, and a plethora of weapons to choose from, the Arrows never panicked. Wade opened by completing a 16-yard pass. Later, upon facing a third and 10, the Needham senior hit Mitchell Heffernan for 13 yards. The drive continued after Wade (9 of 28 for 95 yards) tossed a 22 yard strike to Mark Heffernan, putting the ball on the Spartans' 21. With time left for just two more plays, any hopes for a last-second comeback victory came to rest after Wade threw a pair of incompletions inside the end zone.

"We had our opportunities and we left it all on the field," Arrows head coach Bob Souza said. "We got down into the red zone a couple of times but couldn't finished the job. Lawrence did a good job and played great defense. Credit goes to them. That was a great final drive by them to get it down there and score. We felt we could throw the ball on them but I felt we didn't throw the ball as well as we have all year with a lot of that because of the weather conditions. But overall, they made the plays they had to and we didn't."

Video: Governor's vs. St. Seb's highlights

October, 3, 2014
10/03/14
9:27
PM ET
BYFIELD, Mass. -- ESPN Boston High Schools editor Brendan C. Hall breaks down all the action from this afternoon's much-anticipated ISL showdown between Governor's Academy and St. Sebastian's, a contest won by the Governors 28-19.

(Video by Greg Story)

St. Sebastian's vs. Governor's Recap from ESPN Boston on Vimeo.

Player Perspective: Thayer G Bob McGovern

February, 26, 2014
2/26/14
2:10
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Thayer Academy senior goaltender Bob McGovern has made a name for himself as one of the top netminders in New England the last couple seasons and, as a result, has drawn the interest of NHL scouts.

The imposing 6-foot-4, 245-pounder is an imposing figure in the crease and was ranked 25th among North American netminders in the NHL Central Scouting’s Midterm report. McGovern is a self-described “battler,” who plays an aggressive style, which might have stemmed from his experience as a lineman on Thayer’s football team.

While he gave up the gridiron this year to focus on hockey, playing the Cape Cod Whalers’ U-18 squad in the offseason, McGovern’s mentality transfers to the rink, as we learned when we caught up with him after a recent game at the Canton Sportsplex.

The Tigers earned the No. 3 seed in the NEPSAC Elite 8 tournament and open with a quarter-final matchup today with No. 6 Berkshire, so we asked McGovern about the team’s pulse heading into the postseason in this Q-and-A:

[+] EnlargeThayer Hockey
Scott Barboza/ESPNThayer Academy goaltender Bob McGovern helped the Tigers reach Salem last year, but the expectations are higher for the NHL Central Scouting Midterm prospect and the team as they begin play in the NEPSAC Elite 8 tournament today.
Q: Do you feel any pressure to perform after being ranked in the Central Scouting Midterm report?

A: “It’s definitely a little bit stressful, but you go into any game looking to win, that’s all you’re looking to do. But I just come to the rink every day to try to prove to people that I belong on that list.”

Q: What are the expectations for this team this year entering the playoffs?

A: “Last year, we had a magical run at the end. We really weren’t expecting to go .500 last year and we ended up in Salem. This year, we definitely had bigger expectations and we’ve done pretty good so far.”

Q: You also have football in your athletics background. How does that experience relate to playing goaltender?

A: “It teaches you to battle. Every shot is a one-on-one battle. In football, I was a lineman, so every snap is that one-on-one battle with the guy across from you. On the ice, every shot that comes at you is a one-on-one battle.”

Q: Which NHL netminder would you most associate you style with?

A: “I’ve always been a fan of Marc-Andre Fleury [points to the Pittsburgh Penguins t-shirt he’s wearing]. He’s always been one my favorites, but recently I’ve really enjoyed watching Mike Smith. I like the way he battles, the way he gets into the game.”

Q: What do you guys to hang out outside the rink?

A: “We don’t have a rink on campus, so the car rides from school to the rink are always fun. A lot of us are in the same classes, the same free periods, so we’re together a lot.”

Q: What is the most important thing your team can do to be successful in the tournament?

A: “We just have to outwork people. We have a great system, as we’ve shown the last two years, but it all comes down to outworking the guy across from you. This year we have a good mixture of skill and work ethic, so I think we’ll be ready to make the jump."

Recap: Thayer Academy 6, St. Sebastian's 3

January, 24, 2014
1/24/14
11:34
PM ET


CANTON, Mass. -- Tony Amonte, the third-year boys’ hockey coach at Thayer Academy, likes to offer up comparisons between the ISL's Keller Division to that of the Southeastern Conference in football. Both present major challenges and nothing ever comes easy.

Friday night, Amonte's Tigers learned that lesson all to well. After jumping out to a four-goal lead, Thayer watched in vain as divisional foe St. Sebastian's mounted a flurry to close to within a goal. But the Tigers had enough ammunition in the end to withstand the onslaught and pull out 6-3 victory in the 17th annual Arthur T. Valicenti Cup game at the Sportsplex.

"In high school hockey there are no guarantees,'' said Amonte, his team improving to 13-3-0. "There are so many swings and ups and downs in every game. St. Sebastian's always brings it and we didn't expect any less than that. In this league every game is battle. You lose one and you could be out of a championship. It's that important every game and it's the team that can maintain that level that always wins the league every year."

Fresh off a loss to St. Paul's School only 24 hours earlier, no one could blame Thayer if they began this tilt a bit flat. But it was quite the opposite. The Tigers opened strong, controlling the opening 18 minutes by working the puck inside the Arrows' zone and keeping St. Sebastian's out of theirs.

For its reward, Thayer scored three times in span of 4:32 during the opening stanza.

Defenseman Steve Cochrane got things started by ripping a shot just a few feet in front of his blue line to give the Tigers a 1-0 lead at 4:20. Less than two minutes later, Kyle Peterson, another defenseman, wristed a rebound to an open right side of the net to make it a two-goal advantage. Thayer had no intentions of slowing down. Catching St. Sebastian's back on its heels a bit, the Tigers continued to instigate their quick up-the-ice strategy. Forward Lincoln Griffin made it a 3-0 game with a re-direct in front of Arrows goaltender Teddy Loughborough (20 saves), coming at 8:52.

The momentum Thayer had enjoyed during the opening frame carried into the second period. At 8:18, Neil Conway scored on a spin-around just to the right of Loughborough, upping the lead to 4-0. With their backs pushed firmly against the wall, the Arrows had a choice to make. They could either wave the towel or come back fighting. They chose the latter and, as a result, made things quite interesting.

"We did not play a good first period," Arrows coach Sean McCann said. "They were all over us and we couldn't do the things we wanted to do. We struggled moving the puck and just couldn't connect the dots going up the ice. In the second period we started to get some momentum and were making better decisions with the puck."

St. Sebastian's caught a huge break after a pair of TIgers were sent to the penalty box, giving them a 5-on-3 power play for 54 seconds. Working the puck inside Thayer's end, the Arrows sent two hard shots towards Tigers netminder Bob McGovern. The second one deflected off of McGovern's leg pad and out to junior forward Will D'Orsi, who quickly flipped a shot just under the crossbar at 13:55, putting the Arrows on the board.

"For a team as young as we are I think this was a great thing to battle like we did and compete the way we did," added McCann, whose team falls to 6-9-1 after starting the year 5-1-1. "We are a team that has to learn a lot. We have a lot of young kids playing crucial minutes for us. It's a good learning experience but I hate to use that term because nobody wants to hear about learning experiences, these kids want to win."

With time winding down in the middle frame, St. Sebastian's capitalize on a Thayer mental breakdown. With the Tigers trying to score another goal before intermission, they forgot to play defense. That allowed senior forward Corey Ronan to break out through the neutral zone and remain a full-step ahead of the defense. Skating in alone on McGovern, who opted to stay in the crease instead of coming out to challenge the puck-handler, Ronan was able to slip a shot past the senior just before the horn sounded and send the Arrows into the second intermission down by only two.

"We had a good first period," said Amonte, who played at Thayer in the late 1980s, prior to spending 16 solid seasons in the NHL. "There was a bit of lull in the second period. There was a coaching error on their second goal. We were thinking offense in the final seconds of the period when we should've been thinking protect that three-goal lead. But you are always looking for more. The way I coach, you really don't think about defense because I played forward and you are always thinking about getting that next goal.

“They made a great play and Corey Ronan is a tremendously fast player and made a great move. We also know you can't get into the box against good teams like St. Sebastian's. You have to be discipline, especially when you are already on the penalty kill and then you take another penalty. That's what hurts you."

Realizing it was now back in the hunt, St. Sebastian's drew a bit closer only a few minutes into the third. Nick Flanagan found the back of the net to cut the deficit to 4-3 at 11:01.

Suddenly, everything Thayer had built early on was now in jeopardy. Momentum had clearly shifted over to the side of the Arrows. Following Flanagan's marker, McGovern managed to fend off a couple more on-line assaults from St. Sebastian's.

But for how long?

"Our team has a good mixture of skill and work ethic," McGovern said. "Last year I don't think we won a game by more than two goals so we were dialed in the whole 54 minutes. This year we have been able to run away with some games so it is actually good for us to be in a tight game like this right up to the very end. Games like this will only help us."

The Tigers were then skating around in desperation mode, attempting to rediscover their scoring edge.

At 14:38, sophomore Christian Simeone provided it. The forward scored off a rebound to give the Tigers a little breathing space. Then, with a little less than three minutes remaining, Griffin sealed this one up with his second goal, slipping a shot between Loughborough's leg pads just before colliding with the senior. Officials awarded the goal to Griffin, stating the puck had crossed the goal line before there was impact.

"St. Sebastian's had a lot of momentum in the third period so we knew we needed to come back strong and finish," said Griffin. "The second period was probably our worst period by far. We knew we had to stick to our game plan, work hard and finish off checks. Once we started doing that again, we knew it would work out for us."

All-ISL football team

November, 20, 2013
11/20/13
4:33
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The Independent School League today announced its All-ISL football team for this season

Coaches or league representatives, across all fall sports, are encouraged send their league All-Star lists to editors Scott Barboza (sbarboza@espnboston.com) and Brendan Hall (bhall@espnboston.com):

Belmont Hill
Evan Chaletzky, Jr. WR/K
Eric Gustafson, Sr. DB
Harry Kraft, Jr. QB
Joe LaLiberte, Sr. OL
Greg Plumb, Sr. RB

Brooks
Chris Cervizzi, Jr. RB
Geoff Fulgione, Sr. LB
Andrew Konovalchik, Sr. DB

BB&N
Patrick Champagnie, Sr. DB
Frankie Williams, Sr. RB
Dante Papas, Sr. LB
Matt Bonazzolli, Sr. RB
Connor Coady, Sr. OG
Mike McCaffrey, Sr. WR

Governor's Academy
Jesse Gwozdz, Sr. RB
Bug Carper, Sr. LB
Mark Hoffman, Sr. OL
James Leary, Sr. OL
Tyler Harrington, Jr. OL
Brandon Lopez, Jr. RB
Tommy Vailas, Sr. QB

Groton
Austin Stern, Sr. LB
John Beatty, Soph. RB

Lawrence Academy
Andrew Crane, Sr. DL
Kyle Howes, Sr. FS
Chris Garrison, Jr. WR
Austin Luckey, Jr. FB
Rocco Daigneault, Sr. LB

Middlesex School
Hasani Figueroa, Sr. RB
Charlie Owen, Sr. LB
George Morris, Jr. LB
Sam Carlin, Jr. LB

Milton Academy
Drew Jacobs, Sr. RB
Anthony Scurto, Sr. QB
Matt Morin, Sr. LB
Bobby Gilmore, Jr. OL
Peter Graves, Sr. DL
Luke MacDonald, Sr. LB
Justin Yoon, Jr. K

Noble & Greenough
Alex Beach, Sr. DL
Ryan Vultaggio, Sr. QB
John McCarthy, Sr. DB
Martin Williams, Soph. DT
John Keally, Sr. LB
Teddy Strzetelski, Jr. DE

Roxbuty Latin
Mark Goldstein, Sr. OL
Duncan Finigan, Sr. OL
Sean Lowrie, Jr. WR
Kevin Cohee, Sr. TE

St. George's
Sage Hill, Sr. RB
Jonathan Lumley, Jr. WR

St. Paul's
David Smith, Sr. WR
John Bews, Jr. TE
Colin Sequiera, Sr. QB

St. Sebastian's
Connor Strachan, Sr. LB
Dan Fulham, Sr. DE
Will Kenny, Sr. OL
Joe Kearney, Sr. DB
John McNamara, Sr. DL

Thayer Academy
Quentin Hall, Sr. OL
Jack Becker, Sr. QB

Recap: Lawrence Academy 28, Nobles 0

October, 19, 2013
10/19/13
7:36
PM ET


DEDHAM, Mass. -- In its last three games, all losses, Lawrence Academy has not lived up to the standards that was expected of them from the outset of the season.

Mental breakdowns on both sides the ball, costly turnovers and mindless penalties all played a role as to why the Spartans sit below .500 at the midway point of the ISL season.

Facing unbeaten Noble and Greenough this afternoon, the attempt to reverse course did not look promising, especially when the Spartans' leading ball carrier A.J. Dillon (toe) did not dress. But LA put forth the type of talent everyone had come to expect.

Mixing an even balance of run and pass, the Spartans thwarted the Bulldogs 28-0 at Burr Field.

"It was a good win," said LA coach Paul Zukauskas, his team now 2-3. "The kids have been really persevering. We were 1-3 coming in and playing a 4-0 team. I'm really proud the way our kids came in prepared. Football is all about life lessons and perseverance so I'm really proud of our guys today."

With Dillon sidelined, the brunt of the carries went to junior Nick Schutz. The Brookline, N.H. native was nothing short of solid, bulldozing his way for 182 yards on 21 carries. Schutz has been a starter in the backfield, along with Dillon, all season, but this game was his breakout effort to date.

"I don't think it was any individual who won this game today but the whole team," said Schutz. "It felt good today. Hopefully, I did the team well and we can get another win next week. All of our hard work this week really paid off and I think it is going to be a big mental changer for us the rest of the way."

It has been said that one play can dictate a team's performance. For the Bulldogs (4-1) that may hold true. On the opening kick, LA failed to field the ball that was recovered by Nobles at the LA 22. Facing a third-and-1 at the 13, power back John Keally juked past a couple of defenders on his way into the end zone. But the senior had the ball knocked loose at the 2-yard line and was recovered by LA.

"It's a game of momentum and big plays and we had a chance at the beginning to get a little momentum, but we didn't, and Lawrence capitalized and was able to make some big plays the rest of the way," Bulldogs ninth-year coach Bob Moore said.

Keally's turnover would eventually lead to a 48-yard touchdown reception by Chris Garrison from Kyle Howes and a 7-0 lead. That combination would come up big again with only two minutes remaining before the half, as the senior signal-caller found Garrison, a junior, for a 47-yard pitch-and-catch sending the Spartans into the break on top 14-0.

Garrison had a stellar afternoon, hauling 11 passes for 204 yards.

Howes was equally impressive. The Maynard, Mass. product completed 14-of-23 passes for 227 yards.

As a team, LA finished with 498 yards while holding to Nobles to 198. The Spartans did a nice job holding down quarterback Ryan Vultaggio (6 of 21, 43 yards passing; 9 carries, 77 yards). Keally finished by rushing nine times for 73 yards.

"Our defense did a really good job and our defensive coordinator (Geoff Harlan) put together an excellent game plan," Zukauskas said. "We've been tough on defense all year and we knew Nobles was a very good football team. So for us to come out and play a game like that I can't be more-prouder of our guys."

The Spartans put this one out of reach early in the third. Following a Bulldog punt, Schutz needed just one play to scamper 67 yards to put his club ahead by 21 points.

LA would close out the scoring in the waning minutes of the quarter. After Nobles failed to convert on a fourth-and-6, the Spartans proceeded to drive 98 yards before Howes found Tim Preston for a 17-yard scoring hook-up.

"Lawrence has some athletes that can make some big plays," Moore said. "I was not surprised how good they are. Their record certainly does not reflect how good a football team they are."

Recap: Milton Academy 33, Roxbury Latin 14

October, 12, 2013
10/12/13
11:22
PM ET
DEDHAM, Mass. -- The halfway point of the football season is a perfect time to take stock of what you have accomplished and what you need to continue to improve on.

On Saturday afternoon Milton Academy improved to 4-0 at the midpoint of their season, as they defeated Roxbury Latin, 33-14, on a damp and soggy afternoon in Dedham.

After going 5-3 in 2012, one would think that an undefeated ISL record at the mid-season mark would create happiness on the Mustang sideline.

“We have to play a lot better than that,” Milton Academy head coach Kevin MacDonald said after the game. “Roxbury Latin played us really tough today. They outplayed us in a lot of ways, especially in the first half, and we have to do a much better job offensively.”

Milton Academy has now outscored its first four opponents by a score of 145-69, and its veteran defensive unit is playing at a very high level.

“None of us are happy with the game today, which is weird because we won 33-14,” Milton Academy senior linebacker Matt Morin said after the game. “I actually think that is why it is clicking this year. We are never satisfied and we are always trying to get better each week, because being champions is the goal, not being 4-0.”

Both teams struggled early on in the game to find any offensive rhythm as the defensive fronts dictated play at the line of scrimmage, thus eliminating any offensive flow.

Milton Academy would get on the board first as freshman defensive back Michael Silva made a nice read and break on a Peter Cahill pass for a 13-yard interception return for a touchdown.

Roxbury Latin (1-3) would answer right back at the eight minute mark in the first quarter, as Cahill would execute a nice play action pass to find a streaking Sean Lowrie (104 receiving yards, one touchdown) down field for an 80-yard touchdown strike.

Lowrie’s touchdown would be the final Roxbury Latin score until the fourth quarter of play, as Milton Academy locked in and ran off 26 straight points.

The Milton Academy defense was led by defensive end Peter Graves, who had a career day and one of the better individual defensive efforts of the young season. The 6-foot-2, 220 pound senior was everywhere for the Mustangs, registering 4.5 sacks along with a key blocked punt, that was returned for a touchdown by teammate Sean Sylva.

“That was just a great play,” MacDonald said. “He was really something today.”

Roxbury Latin, playing without two of their top players in Boston College commit Kevin Cohee and junior Alex Abelite, played solid defense throughout the game despite battling unfavorable field position throughout.

Milton Academy running back Drew Jacobs continued his workhorse efforts for the victors as he gained 101 yards from scrimmage, including a 25-yard third quarter touchdown run.

Milton Academy also received strong games from safety Nelson Thomas, quarterback Anthony Scurto, defensive end William Medina (1.5 sacks) and running back Dom Frazier (45-yard third quarter touchdown run).

Roxbury Latin tight end/ defensive end Steven Daley (3-yard TD reception), defensive tackle Sean Rose, and linebacker Mark Goodstein all played well in the loss.

Impressive Senior Unit: The Milton Academy senior linebacking unit of OLBs Jacobs and Luke MacDonald and MLB Morin continued to show why they are one of the top units in New England.

Jacobs and MacDonald provided speed to the ball and contained the edge, while Morin led the unit from his middle linebacker position, stuffing the run and penetrating the backfield in the mold of run-stuffing Patriots linebacker Brandon Spikes.

“Morin is just an outstanding football player,” Coach MacDonald said. “I think Luke MacDonald played real well today and Drew does it for us game in and game out.”

Morin came up with a big second half sack and made three tackles-for-loss, while MacDonald and Jacobs flew around the ball all afternoon.

“I think we really set the tone because we are all in for this season and we have been since last November,” Morin said of the veteran defensive group. “That mentality is contagious and it trickles down to underclassmen like Bobby Gilmore, Johnny Lawson, Jeff Brown, Mike Silva and Dom Cozier.”

The X-Factor: Despite connecting on just one of three field goal attempts, kicker Justin Yoon proved again why he is such an important factor in Milton Academy’s success.

Playing with a heavy heart, due to the passing of his grandfather on Saturday, Yoon executed 6-of-6 touchbacks on his kickoffs. The touchbacks forced Roxbury Latin to begin their offensive drives 80 yards away from the end zone.

“It is a great weapon for us,” MacDonald said. “It is just terrific when there are no returns, and there were none today."

Recap: Belmont Hill 9, St. Sebastian's 7

October, 12, 2013
10/12/13
7:30
PM ET


NEEDHAM, Mass. – Pregame preparation is always to key to specialists in the kicking game. And, for Belmont Hill junior place kicker Evan Chaletzky, his initial showings before Saturday morning’s duel at St. Sebastian’s didn’t go so well.

“I actually shanked three [kicks] before the game,” Chaletzky said.

The looming clouds threatening rain and an intermittent wind also didn’t bode well for the Hillies’ kicker. Yet, they only count when it’s for real, and Chaletzky was the difference for Belmont Hill, connecting on three field goal opportunities and accounting for the Hillies’ entire offensive output in a grind-it-out 9-7 win over the host Arrows.

“[Holder and quarterback] Harry [Kraft] gave me a lot of confidence out there and I had the confidence of my team and I’m just going to try to put it through the posts,” Chaletzky said. “That’s it.”

Belmont Hill (3-1) trailed until Chaltezky drove home his third 3-point try of the game, from 30 yard out with 9:32 remaining in the fourth quarter. His previous kicks were good from 25 and 32 yards, respectively, but Chalatzky’s last was perhaps his best. It was into the prevailing wind and split the uprights with plenty of distance.

The field goal unit wasn’t the only Hillies special teamers pulling their weight Saturday. At a few key junctures of the second half, Belmont Hill’s punt unit was factor.

The Hillies were also without their typical punter, Lucas Ribeiro (also a starting offensive lineman), who was lost to a leg injury in the first quarter.

In stepped senior Greg Plumb.

Perhaps no kick was finer than Plumb’s 62-yard punt, which was downed without a return, at the 1:28 mark of the third quarter. Hemmed in deep, the Arrows (1-3) went three-and-out. The change in field position was key, allowing Belmont Hill then to take over on the plus-side of the 50. With a short field, starting their final scoring drive at St. Sebastian’s 31-yard line, the Hillies were then able to capitalize on Chaletzky’s third field goal of the game, for their first lead of the game.

“Our field goal unit did an excellent job and I thought our punt unit did a great job,” Belmont Hill head coach Christopher Butler said. “We preach the importance of that play to our team in football because it can really change a game with field position in games like today.”

The Hillies were able to keep it a one-possession game throughout, despite a torrid start by St. Sebastian’s power-I rushing attack. The Arrows took a 7-0 lead with 43 seconds remaining in the first quarter on a 2-yard touchdown plunge by Connor Strachan (17 carries, 90 yards).

“They play a great style of football and they have very tough kids,” Butler said. “Coach [Bob] Souza does an excellent job with them. It’s pretty impressive in terms of what they’re able to do.”

However, despite St. Sebastian’s ability to run the ball at will, at times, Belmont Hill won the turnover battle, recovering three Arrows fumbles.

A takeaway also helped the Hillies seal the victory on St. Sebastian’s Homecoming Day. Belmont Hill senior captain Nolan Brennan pounced on a loose ball with 1:04 remaining, ending the Arrows’ comeback bid spearheaded by quarterback Geoff Wade (14 of 25, 140 yards).

“We had a good week of practice on defense, we did everything right,” Brennan said.

He added, “It’s all intensity. That’s really what it is – you’ve got to want to win more than they want to win.”



 

Season-building win?: Following their opening day loss to BB&N, the Hillies have now rumbled off three straight wins. But Belmont Hill hadn’t encountered a close game since their Week 1 loss, a 16-10 decision at home.

Now showing that they are able to win a road game in the clutch, the Hillies could have some momentum rolling into the critical second half of their schedule, which includes ISL heavyweights Lawrence Academy and Governor’s Academy.

“This is the best kind of win that we can have,” Chaletzky said. “We’re coming off of two big victories against Roxbury Latin and Groton, and we put up a lot of points. But we really had to work for it [today].”

Recap: BB&N 14, Lawrence Academy 13

October, 12, 2013
10/12/13
6:23
PM ET
GROTON, Mass. -- Don't look now but Buckingham Browne & Nichols is starting to make a case for itself within the ISL.

Under a steady drizzle, the Knights overcame a six-point fourth quarter deficit to pull out a 14-13 defensive-battle triumph over Lawrence Academy this afternoon.

With just 7:43 remaining, the Knights began their decisive drive. Starting from its own 24-yard line, BB&N senior back Matt Bonazzoli got things going with a 35-yard jaunt. Later in the drive, junior quarterback Cole O'Connor, on a flea-flicker, found eighth-grade receiver Jay Symonds for a 33-yard completion, putting the ball on the Spartans’ 9-yard line.

O'Connor finished by throwing for 105 yards on 6 of 9 passing.

Moments following the gadget play, Bonazzoli ran into the end zone untouched for his second touchdown of the afternoon with 5:40 remaining. Jimmy Cochran's PAT put the Knights (4-0), who came in a bit short-handed due to injuries, ahead to stay.

"We never use injuries as an excuse but we have some key guys who have been down," said BB&N coach John Pappas, his team mustering 260 yards of offense, with 179 coming in the final half. "Our guys just battled today and made plays. We've been able to wear teams down and I cannot say enough about the effort of our guys today."

Averaging 31.6 points-per-game in its three previous outings, BB&N's offense struggle for much of the afternoon against a vaunted LA defense.

However, the Knights managed to show enough fortitude to pull this one out.

After the BB&N score, the Spartans (1-3) had two more opportunities to reclaim the lead. The first one resulted in a punt and the final chance ended with an incomplete pass at the Knights' 20 on fourth down.

"Our kids played very hard and it was a great game," Spartans coach Paul Zukauskas said. "Give credit to (BB&N). They are a really tough team and really aggressive. My hat's off to them. We've played some very good teams and our kids are getting better. They really care about football and we're going to continue to keep going after teams."

After the first 12 minutes, in which neither team could get on the scoreboard, LA fired the first salvo midway through the second quarter.

Quarterback Kyle Howes (9-of-18 for 129 yards) hooked up with Timothy Preston for a 45-yard pitch-and-catch to give the Spartans a 7-0 lead. Throughout the opening half, the Knights offense found the terrain rough going. When they weren't being tackled in the backfield for losses or committing dumb penalties, BB&N failed to sustain any kind of consistent rushing attack. But things started to change after the intermission.

BB&N took the second half kickoff and set out on a mission to seize ball control and eat up as much time as possible off the clock. The strategy worked to perfection as the Knights marched 65 yards on 14 plays, taking 9:30 off the clock, before Bonazzoli barreled in from a yard out to deadlock the game at 7-all with 2:30 left in the third quarter.

"This was a very big game for us and we knew we had to get it," said Bonazzoli, a Swampscott native who finished with 156 yards on 21 carries. "Lawrence is always a tough game for us but this is a great win. In the first half we didn't execute as well as we wanted to but in the second half we were able to execute much better. After the half we tried to line up in different formations and get their defense off-set so we could run the plays we normally run and we were able to do so."

The Spartans, who finished with 248 yards, had their issues moving the ball as well. However, following the Knights’ score, Howes was able to take his club down field, completing three passes in the process, before the senior sprinted into the end zone from 16 yards out just one minute into the final quarter to give the lead back to LA.

A bad snap on the ensuing PAT try resulted in the Spartans having to settle for a 13-6 advantage. The missed boot seemed to light a fire under the Knights, who realized they were just a touchdown and PAT away from jumping ahead.

After failing to execute on its possession following the LA score, the Knights didn't disappoint the next time they had the ball. A methodical 84-yard drive was capped off by Bonazzoli's game-winning score and the defense did their job the rest of the way.

"We just keep on pounding away at opponents," Pappas said. "We keep pounding that sledgehammer against the rock and eventually we know it will break. Coming in, we knew Lawrence Academy was a very good and well-coached team but I am so proud of our guys for continuing to pound away at them and eventually wear them down.

“I thought Bonazzoli was huge for us today. He has the heart of a lion and is just a great player. We're a team of no superstars. We're short and stout but we play with a lot of heart and that's what I love about our guys."

Recap: Governor's 27, St. Sebastian's 14

October, 6, 2013
10/06/13
12:13
AM ET
NEEDHAM – Governor's Academy did not lead for the first 43 minutes of it's game last night against St. Sebastian's.

No matter.

The undefeated Governors scored three fourth-quarter touchdowns to power past the Arrows, 27-14, and improve its winning streak to 21 games, the best such streak in ISL football.

“We really scrapped it; we knew what we were in for,” Governor's coach Jim O'Leary said. “This team's a tough team. We know they're physical so we said 'we're coming after you.'”

The game was owned by Brandon Lopez. The Governor's tailback rushed 33 times for 210 yards and a pair of touchdowns, the second of which iced the victory in the final minute. Along with a committee of other tailbacks, Lopez and the Governor's were able to wear down St. Sebastian's.

“We just knew that after a while we would wear them down,” O'Leary said. “We were focused and we knew what he had to do in the second half. I think we caught them a little off guard.

In the early going, it was St. Sebastian's who dictated the terms of engagement. The Arrows only ran 18 offensive plays in the first 24 minutes, but held a 7-6 lead at the break. The defense was able to slow down Governor's triple option.

On Geoff Wade's first pass of the game he found Matt Daniel for a 43-yard touchdown down the St. Sebastian’s sideline the Arrows up 7-0 midway through the first. The duo also connected on a 41-yard score in the third quarter.

The Arrow defense turned Governor's over twice on downs in the first half and, along with a missed Governor's field goal, went into the half up 7-6.

In the second half St. Sebastian's were unable to convert on key plays on turned the ball over twice.

“We had a couple of big scores but we felt we could do some things that our kids couldn't do as well,” St. Sebastian's coach Bob Souza said. “We were moving the ball; we just didn't execute.”

TOTAL CONTROL: It took a while for Lopez and the triple option attack to get going, but once it did it was suffocating. Govenor's ran 29 more plays than St. Sebastian's and used drives of 7:53 and 5:24 in the second half to soften up the Arrows.

Souza said that once the waves start coming it's hard to stop.

“They run an offense we haven't seen so it's hard to prepare for, and they run it well,” Souza said. “It's hard to simulate; that's a tough offense to stop.”

Lopez touched the ball on nearly half of Governor's plays (33 of 67), but it was players like Edward Bettencourt and Tom Vailas who were the X-factors. Vailas rushed 16 times for 46 yards and a touchdown, and Bettencourt touched the ball five times and scored Governor's opening touchdown.

AIN'T NO STOPPING US NOW: After the clock reached zero the Governor's bench, and sizable student section, spilled onto the field to celebrate the win. After 21 consecutive victories O'Leary said that he won't let his team get complacent.

“We don't take days off; we don't take plays off,” O'Leary said. “We go to work every day.”

Recap: Milton Academy 38, Lawrence Academy 20

October, 5, 2013
10/05/13
10:03
PM ET
Milton, Mass. -- It can now be said that Milton Academy belongs in the conversation.

When the pundits started the discussion as to which teams were the front-runners in the ISL during the preseason, few, if any, spoke of the Mustangs. Following a pedestrian 5-3 season a year ago, that was to be expected.

But three weeks into the regular season and lo-and-behold Milton Academy sits atop the league standings at 3-0, following tonight's 38-20 triumph over Lawrence Academy at Stokinger Field. In just three weeks, the Mustangs have already attained signature wins over two of the ISL power programs in St. Sebastian's and Lawrence Academy.

"As a team we knew we had the potential to be a good team," said Milton Academy senior running back Drew Jacobs. "We all worked very hard during the summer and believed in ourselves. We used the newspapers not saying much about us as motivation."

Jacobs, who is listed at 5-10,190 pounds, proved to be the catalyst behind this victory. The Marblehead native tore through the Spartans defense for 175 yards on 25 carries, finding the end zone three times.

It was his 22-yard gallop with 9:26 remaining in the third quarter which finally set the gears in motion, as it put the Mustangs, which finished with 356 yards offensively, ahead 17-7. But to Lawrence Academy's credit, it did not go down without a fight.

Minutes after the Jacobs' score, Spartan defensive back Tim Preston stepped in front of a Anthony Scurto pass and returned it 48 yards helping set up a 20-yard scoring strike from Kyle Howes to Chris Garrison and slicing the deficit to 17-14.

But the Spartans failed in their opportunity to seize the moment. On its next possession, Milton Academy drove 62 yards before Jacobs barreled in from 10 yards out to open the final quarter to push the Mustangs' advantage to 24-14. Once again, the Spartans (1-2) stormed back. After Austin Luckey secured a Scurto fumble, Lawrence Academy turned that into points as freshman A.J. Dillon scored on a 4-yard run to make it a 24-20 contest with 6:46 on the clock.

Despite their efforts to hang with Milton Academy, the Spartans defense failed to come up with a big play when they needed to. On the Mustangs' ensuing possession, Scurto, who finished with 123 yards on 8-of-10 passing, found receiver John Cahill for a key 38-yard reception on third-and-11. Jacobs, who finished with 175 yards on 25 attempts, busted up the middle for 24 yards, setting up his own 1-yard keeper over the goal line with 2:40 showing and increased Milton Academy's lead to 31-20.

"Drew is just a great football player and he's all football," said Milton Academy head coach and recently-inducted Massachusetts High School Football Coaches Hall-of-Famer Kevin MacDonald. "He's just a great football player."

Now in desperation mode, the Spartans needed to rectify their passing game in a hurry.

It seemed to be effective once Howe connected with Preston on a 60-yard pitch-and-catch, moving the ball to the Mustangs' 25. But on the next play, Howe (11-of-25 passing for 152 yards) was picked off by Cahill, who returned it 78 yards untouched to advance Milton Academy's margin to 18 points with just over a minute remaining, and, in the process, close the book on Lawrence Academy, which gained 261 yards.

"Our goal is to get better every week and I think we are," MacDonald said. "We need to get over a few things. We seem to come out at the beginning of games and don't play much defense and then later in the game we start to tighten things up. We need to smarten up and play defense right off the bat. We have good resiliency and we don't quit so I do like that about our team. I don't think we'll ever give up. We're always going to be a good offensive team but sometimes we don't play the type of defense I would like to see us play."

That defense was nowhere to be found early. On their first possession, the Spartans grabbed the early lead. Following a Mustangs’ fumble on their opening drive, Lawrence Academy marched 65 yards before Dillon (60 yards on 17 carries) capped it off with a 1-yard touchdown run. Unable to sustain any momentum in the early going, Milton Academy finally settled for a Justin Yoon 48-yard field goal midway into the second quarter to make it 7-3.

A few minutes later, senior linebacker Matt Morin pounced on a Howes’ fumble giving the Mustangs the ball at the Spartans’ 33. That would eventually lead to a Scurto 3-yard touchdown run to put Milton Academy in front, 10-7, with just 27 seconds to go before halftime. Fortunate to take the lead heading into the break, Milton Academy was able to parlay its momentum off of that late score into 28 second half points and roll on to victory.

"Our kids played OK but we're not a very good tackling team right now," Lawrence Academy head coach Paul Zukauskas said. "Today that was the difference. We have some very good players on our team but they didn't tackle well. Both teams worked really hard but for us, it comes down to blocking and tackling and tonight that was the difference."

Recap: St. Sebastian's 37, Roxbury Latin 7

September, 28, 2013
9/28/13
8:05
PM ET
WEST ROXBURY, Mass. -- Following last week's season-opening loss to Milton Academy, St. Sebastian's knew one slipped through its fingers — due, in part, to some costly turnovers which led to their demise.

On Saturday, the Arrows saw things from a different perspective — bearing witness to advantages one can have when they are on the receiving end of turnovers. Roxbury Latin was the gracious gift giver, coughing up the ball on its first three possessions. That led to three touchdowns for the Arrows as they went on to roll, 37-7, in an ISL contest held at Schoolhouse Field.

Still stinging from Milton Academy defeat, St. Sebastian's, who finished 9-0 a year ago and took home the Arthur Valicenti Bowl trophy, set a precedent all week that its season begins now.

Such attitude appeared to work. The Arrows (1-1) proved highly-effective on both sides of the ball against the Foxes. They limited Roxbury Latin's offense to 153 yards, just 49 in the opening half. Offensively, they finished with 290 yards — much of that coming from its strong ground attack consisting of Connor Strachan, Blake Gallagher and Edosa Onaiwu.

"Last week, we made three big mistakes and it costs us," Arrows longtime coach Bob Souza said. "This time, Roxbury Latin made the mistakes. We did a lot of good things against Milton and our kids knew it. I told the kids this league is still up for grabs and we still have our destiny under our control. I think we'll be in the hunt for a title throughout the year."

After shutting out St. Paul's last week, the Foxes (1-1) were feeling good about their chances entering this one. But confidence suddenly turned to panic after a pair of miscues in the opening minutes gave the Arrows a short field to work with.

The first mistake came after punter John Baron couldn't handle the snap, losing control of the ball that was recovered by Miles Hunter, allowing St. Sebastian's to set up shop on the Roxbury Latin 20. Four plays later, Strachan (52 yards on 8 carries) scored from a yard out giving the Arrows a 7-0 lead. On the ensuing kickoff, Foxes returner Parker Kent failed to field the ball cleanly, allowing an alert John McNamara to pounce on it.

Standing the at the Foxes' 15-yard line, St. Sebastian's needed only one play to go up by two scores as Strachan busted through for the score with 4:11 still left in the initial quarter.

"We knew coming off our loss last week that we needed to be firing for this game," said Strachan, a Boston College commit. "We have a bunch of kids on this team playing both ways so we need to go heavy in the first half like we did today and set the pace for ourselves."

The two turnovers left Roxbury Latin deflated, as it could never get anything going thereafter. The Foxes’ run game was held in check throughout and quarterback Peter Cahill (8-of-16, 91 yards, 1 TD) was under constant pressure throughout by the Arrows' massive front line.

Things didn't get much better for Roxbury Latin to start the second quarter. Cahill was picked off by Strachan, which led to a 74-yard, 11-play drive culminated in Matt Daniel hauling in a 27-yard scoring pass from quarterback Geoff Wade and go up by 20.

"We told the kids all week leading up to this game that we needed to start fast," said Souza, who was inducted into the Massachusetts High School Coaches Hall of Fame in 2010. "We can't let up and not give Roxbury Latin any kind of an opportunity to gain momentum. Now we just need to build on this win and continue to get better."

With under two minutes remaining before the half, St. Sebastian's offense was back at it. Following a Foxes punt, the Arrows drove 65 yards behind Gallagher (9 carries, 86 yards) and Onaiwu (64 yards on 10 rushes) before Strachan was given the ball from the 1-yard line and dove across for his third touchdown to send St. Sebastian's into the break well in-command at 27-0.

"Anytime the defense can come out and do what they did and put the offense in good positions to score that's huge," said Wade. "We aren't looking to gain 500 yards a game, we just want to put the ball into the end zone."

With this contest in his control, Souza began substituting other players in. But the Arrows never lost a beat. Running back James Fiore scored on a 3-yard run to begin St. Sebastian's first drive of the second half, pushing the margin to 34 points.

The Arrows added three more early in the fourth on Kevin Ginns' 27 yard field goal.

Roxbury Latin avoided the shutout in the closing minutes as Cahill connected with receiver Sean Lowrie in the back corner of the end zone.

"That's a tough team to come back against," Foxes coach Pat Ross said. "I dreaded all week in hoping we wouldn't give up something quick to them but after our first one things began to snowball. But our guys never quit and fought the entire game. We know we aren't as big as St. Sebastian's and we knew we needed to play near-perfect football against them and unfortunately it didn't work out."

Frozen Fenway MIAA, ISL hockey dates announced

September, 26, 2013
9/26/13
4:32
PM ET
On Thursday, we found out which MIAA and ISL hockey teams will be playing during this winter's Frozen Fenway event.

The Fenway Sports Group unveiled a MIAA tripleheader for New Year's Eve that will kick off with Boston Latin boys' hockey playing DCL/MVC rival Lincoln-Sudbury at 10:15 a.m. South Shore girls' hockey rivals Duxbury and Hingham will square off at 12:15 p.m.

That all leads to the premiere matchup in which three-time defending Super 8 champion Malden Catholic will tangle with Catholic Conference rival St. John's Prep at 2:30 p.m.

On Jan. 8, the focus shifts to ISL hockey with a full slate of four games.

St. Paul's and Governor's Academy girls will skate at 1:30 p.m. followed by three boys' games.

Brooks School and BB&N face off at 3:15 p.m., followed by Groton School and St. Mark's at 5:30 before Belmont Hill and St. Sebastian's close out the night at 7:45.

Recap: Milton Academy 31, St. Seb's 27

September, 21, 2013
9/21/13
10:56
PM ET
MILTON, Mass. –- If St. Sebastian’s and Milton Academy had played five minutes longer on Saturday afternoon, we could very well have seen a different result. In a fast-paced offensive game that was back-and-forth the whole second half, Milton was able to pull out the victory over the visiting Arrows, 31-27.

Drew Jacobs anchored the Mustangs’ (1-0) offensive attack with 139 yards, making his presence felt during Milton’s furious second half comeback.

St. Sebastian’s (0-1) Boston College-bound two-way star Connor Strachan (13 carries, 110 yards, TD) made his presence felt right off the bat on the Arrows’ first two drives. St. Sebastian’s finished with two touchdowns on the opening drives to show for their effort. Strachan ran in a three-yard touchdown, while quarterback Geoff Wade (8-10, 118 yards, 3 TD, INT) threw a touchdown pass to Matt Daniel (4 rec, 53 yards, 3 TD) to put the Arrows up 14-3 early on.

Enter Jacobs.

Playing hurt and with his team in desperate need of a big play, Jacobs came up with just that, bringing a kick return back 74 yards, setting up the Mustangs in prime position at the Arrows' six yardline. On the next play, Jacobs ran in a touchdown to bring the score to 14-10.

“The guys blocked for me well, I was able to keep my feet. I’m too slow so I couldn’t get in the endzone,” he joked.

Minutes later, St. Sebastian’s extended the lead once again, on Matt Daniels’ second touchdown catch of the day. The play was made possible by tight end Tyson Mattox, who laid down a big block to open up a hole for Daniels. The Mustangs were able to answer before the end of the half though, on a beautifully thrown ball by Anthony Scurto to receiver Domenic Cozier. Cozier, a re-classified sophomore who came to Milton by way of Milford High School, made an awe-inspiring catch in the back of the endzone to bring the lead down to four right before halftime.

“He’s gonna be good, he’s a 4.5 40 guy; he’s got wheels," Milton coach Kevin MacDonald said. "He’s fast, he’s a good player. He’s a repeat sophomore from Milford High, but he was a running back there, and we’ve got him playing receiver and a little defense too. He’s a very good player."

The Mustangs made a couple slight defensive adjustments at halftime, and the changes paid dividends immediately, as freshman defensive back Michael Silva picked up a St. Sebastian’s fumble and brought it back 45 yards to the end zone, giving Milton their first lead of the ballgame.

“We did a horrible job in the first half, but we did a nice job in the second half," MacDonald said. "We switched a couple guys from defensive end to tackle, that helped, and we went to a four-point stance and we got under them. That second half defense was great."

Wade found Daniel once again minutes later. It was their third hookup of the day, giving the Arrows back the lead at the beginning of the fourth quarter. Milton’s offense answered one last time though, as Scurto threw an 18-yard touchdown pass with 9:16 left in the fourth quarter, giving Milton a 31-27 lead.

“The offense played well the whole game, we didn’t get stopped too many times," MacDonald said. "Our running game was good the offensive line did a great job, and our quarterback is a veteran -- he’s a good player and he made plays when he had to."

It was Milton’s defense though, that gave the Mustangs possession with just over three minutes to go, following an interception by Luke MacDonald. Thereafter, Milton fed Jacobs the ball in hope that a few more first downs would help them seal the win.

Once again, the senior answered the call, breaking off for three straight first downs.

“Drew Jacobs was terrific. He was not 100 percent we didn’t know if he was going to play, but he did a great job,” Maconald said. “He’s a great player, he’s been a great player for three years. He’s arguably the best player in the league, so it’s not a shock. What was shocking is that he wasn’t able to practice all week, he was banged up, but it didn’t seem to affect him much.”

Jacobs said the emotion of playing a St. Sebastian’s team which has beaten Milton two years in a row was all the motivation he needed to step on the field.

“It was all adrenaline. We’ve been talking about this game all summer, we lost to them the last two years in close games, so this is the greatest win ever, this is awesome,” Jacobs said, with a bottle of ibuprofen in hand. “We’ve got St. George’s next week, so we’ll enjoy it tonight and get back to work Monday.”

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