Boston High School: Jeff Cavanaro
June, 15, 2011
By Tom Layman | ESPNBoston.com
LYNN, Mass. -- Cohasset escaped potential damage in the top of the fifth and proceeded to unleash some of its own in the late stages to roll home with a second straight Div. 4 state championship in tow with a 6-1 victory over Georgetown (10-15), on Wednesday at Fraser Field.
Jamie Faber, who pitched a complete-game two-hitter, wiggled out of a tight, bases-loaded jam in the Skippers’ half of the fifth and the offense tacked on all their runs after the defensive stand.
“It was a huge momentum swing,” said Skippers head coach Peter Afanasiw. “I think the kids started to believe. They had a couple of hits prior to that where they started to get the bats going.”
Faber issued a leadoff walk and then threw the ball away when he tried to put out Ryan Browner at first after a bunt attempt. Mark Berkland worked a walk to set the Royals with the bases full with the heart of the order coming up.
Third baseman Jeff Cavanaro recorded the next two outs on force plays to the plate. Will Ingraham worked a 3-2 count, but he rolled over a routine grounder to second and the Skippers were out of the inning unscathed.
“That was 100 percent my fault,” said Faber, who finished with five strikeouts and four walks. “I put my team in a bad position and I just had to get out of it for them because they had been fighting hard for me the whole game.
“I was trying to keep it low and away,” he continued. “Especially on those ground balls where they would have to reach out for it.”
Cohasset (19-6) immediately got going in its half of the fifth inning. Shane Haggerty hit a sinking line drive that couldn’t be handled on a tough play to the right-fielder. Anders Goetz walked and the three-hole hitter Cavanaro sacrificed both players into scoring position.
Faber walked to load the bases and the Skippers capitalized on an crucial Royals’ error when the attempted throw home from the first baseman skirted away from the catcher allowing two runs to come in.
“We made a lot of nice plays in the field and it was tough when it comes down to execution,” said a disappointed Georgetown head coach Mark Rowe. “When the stuff that you practice doesn’t come through in a game.”
In the bottom of the sixth, the Skippers got the first two men on in the inning and Goetz rocketed a two-run double down the diving third baseman.
“I was just trying to put the ball in play and see what could happen,” said Goetz, who finished 2-for-3 on the night. “I just wanted to make up for my mistake in the field and it felt good to get it in there.”
October, 16, 2010
By Scott Barboza | ESPNBoston.com
COHASSET, Mass. – Mike Driscoll was strewn out across the field with the crown of his helmet touching the goal line, his facemask planted into the turf. It was as though the air had slowly been let out of a balloon.
It was only the second quarter, but with Friday night’s South Shore League duel of unbeatens between Driscoll’s Rockland Bulldogs and the Cohasset Skippers shaping up to be a low-scoring struggle, he knew failing to get in on the two-point play could be costly.
“I was hoping it wasn’t going to come down to that. Thankfully, our kicker, Ricky Witt, put that kick through.”
Down 8-6 at halftime, after Driscoll fell an inch short of tying the game in the second quarter, the Bulldogs emerged from the locker room refocused and intent on taking it to the Skippers. Rockland embarked on an Odyssean 15-play drive that spanned nearly eight minutes of the third quarter, led by the bruising runs and blocks of Driscoll.
The result of that drive — a 20-yard field goal by Ricky Witt — coupled with Driscoll’s 117 yards on 23 carries and the persistence of Rockland’s defensive front would make the difference in the Bulldogs’ 9-8 win to remain undefeated at 6-0 and 3-0 in the South Shore.
“I have to give the kids a lot of credit for overcoming a lot of early mistakes in the first half,” Rockland head coach Ken Owen said. “We were only down two points at halftime and I think we felt fortunate to be in that situation the way we played early.
“We kept telling our kicker Ricky Witt that [he was] going to have to win a game for us, whether it be in overtime, It happened to be earlier in the game here, but I credit him for putting the ball through the uprights on a windy night.”
The Bulldogs had great field position to start the game, after Cohasset (5-1, 2-1) fumbled on the opening kickoff. Rockland’s offense took over at the Skippers’ 23-yard line. The Bulldogs were poised to score before Cohasset defensive lineman Kyrel Jaundoo scooped up a fumble by Bulldogs running back Tim Fitzgerald (13 carries, 53 yards) at the Skippers’ 3-yard line and returned it 61 yards to set up his team with good field position.
Three plays later, Thomas Flibotte (18 carries, 91 yards) hit paydirt on a 3-yard run. The following two-point try was successful with quarterback Jeff Cavanaro (8 of 14, 75 yards) hitting Robbie Mahoney in the end zone.
Rockland continued to be their worst enemy on the ensuing drive when Driscoll fumbled the ball into the hands of junior linebacker Sean McKenna.
However, the ensuing Cohasset drive stalled when the defensive struggle between the two teams began in earnest. Three times the Skippers were stopped with a yard-to-go and Rockland regained the ball via a turnover on downs.
The teams traded punts before Rockland gained its first legitimate offensive traction of the game. Driscoll capped a 17-play, 78-yard drive with a 6-yard touchdown run. But his two-point conversion run fell short.
“We killed ourselves in the first half, we killed ourselves with two fumbles, both me and Timmy [Fitzgerald],” Driscoll said. “We messed up, but you can’t do anything about those. But, as we say, halftime is not our enemy, so we just came out in the second half and mowed them.”
It was then the Bulldogs made their game-changing charge with Witt’s kick proving the difference.
Then, it was just a matter of not giving the Skippers anything back.
“Our defensive interior and, in particular, Steven Copeland, they just had a great, great second half,” Owen said. “Of course, Brian Harrington plays well at defensive end, he had some nice stops on them, too. We were able to put a little bit of pressure on the quarterback and on the bootleg in the second half and I think that helped us in our pass coverage.”
Having survived another week unscathed, Rockland has the pleasure of looking forward to yet another matchup next week with an undefeated team atop of the South Shore standings — Abington.
“We knew it was going to come down to Abington and one of us,” Driscoll said. “Now, next week, we have the two of us.”
Rockland 0 6 3 0 -- 9
Cohasset 8 0 0 0 -- 8
Cohasset Thomas Flibotte 3-yard run (Robbie Mahoney pass from Jeff Cavanaro)
Rockland Mike Driscoll 6-yard run (rush failed)
Rockland Ricky Witt 20-yard field goal