Boston High School: Marshfield

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- Saturday morning, Marshfield routed Longmeadow 45-6 at Gillette Stadium to capture the MIAA Division 2 State Championship, just two years removed from an 0-11 season.

The Rams led 39-0 at the half, catapulted by two unbelievable catches early from two of their softest hands.

First, junior defensive back Kyle Meeken came up with this Odell Beckham-like interception near midfield towards the end of the first quarter:

(Courtesy of Hudl)

Kyle Meeken INT from ESPN Boston on Vimeo.



Then, early in the second, Danny Dalton laid out for this one-handed snag 25 yards down the seam:

(Courtesy of Hudl)

Danny Dalton catch from ESPN Boston on Vimeo.



Marshfield Student Broadcasting passed along these shots of the two catches from angles down on the Rams sideline:

Highlights: Marshfield vs. Longmeadow

December, 6, 2014
Dec 6
10:05
PM ET
FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- Just two years after suffering a winless season, Marshfield claimed the Division 2 state championship Saturday with a 45-6 win over Longmeadow.

ESPN Boston High Schools correspondent Mike Uva has the highlights from Gillette:

(Video by Greg Story)

D2 final: Marshfield 45, Longmeadow 6

December, 6, 2014
Dec 6
5:11
PM ET


FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – Even by the mile-high expectations that the Marshfield Rams had set for themselves this season, Saturday’s 45-6 win over Longmeadow in the Div. 2 Championship was impressive.

The Rams had won 11 straight games following an opening week loss to Boston College High, looking more and more impressive each week. But the Rams saved their best effort for the big stage that Gillette Stadium had to offer, opening up a 39-0 halftime lead and outgaining the Lancers 385-191 on the afternoon to capture their first championship title since 2009.

“It’s been amazing, the work we put into it with the seniors, I think we deserved it,” Rams quarterback Jack Masterson said. “The highs are never to high and the lows are never too low.”

The Lancers couldn’t keep pace with the size and strength of the Rams offensive line and it showed early. Behind center Shane Leonard and offensive linemen Matt Benson and Josh Ramos, Marshfield broke five runs of more than 20 yards in the opening half, and punched in five touchdowns, all on the ground to build a massive first half lead.

“We are very fortunate to have some good kids up front and an excellent offensive line coach and he’s worked very well,” Marshfield coach Lou Silva said. “The kids up front they just want to run the ball and be physical.”

In addition to searching for a way to stop the Rams offense, the Lancers’ first half went from bad to worse. Marshfield forced three turnovers, highlighted by two interceptions from Kyle Meeken, including a catch-of-the-year candidate. With less than three minutes in the first quarter and Meeken in single coverage, the junior leaped up and came down with a one-handed catch for the game’s first turnover.

The combination of turnovers and the dominant Rams rushing attack allowed Marshfield to hold onto the ball for 12:32 in the first half, taking a toll on the Lancers front seven.

“I think we really just dominated them up front, what we are used to just keep pounding,” Leonard said. “We saw some of their kids breathing heavy and constantly changing from going both ways.”

Masterson led the attack, breaking out a pair of 47-yard runs and two touchdowns while Adam McNamara, Jacob Maher and Frank Catanoso also finding pay dirt.

“I cannot give enough credit to the offensive line,” Masterson said. “I owe them something, I need to buy them food or something they have been huge.”

From worst to first: Three years ago, then freshman Jack Masterson was thrown into the starting quarterback position before the offense took the first snap.

Despite their 0-11 record that season, the Rams had a silver lining in Masterson. The freshman broke passing records his first year and led the Rams to a playoff berth his sophomore year entering his junior campaign.

“He had confidence that very first year we threw him into the fire and he showed some sparks last year,” Silva said of his quarterback. “He’s grown a little bit and put on some speed so it’s the whole mental aspect of the game that he’s better at.”

Now three years after that season Marshfield would like to forget, it was Masterson that led the Rams back to glory. In the first half alone, Masterson ran for 107 yards while completing another three passes for 42 yards, all to tight end Danny Dalton.

“Oh he’s scary, I’m just glad he plays for us because I wouldn’t want to play against him,” Silva joked. “He’s developing as not only a good passer but a good runner.”

Emphasis on early scoring: Going up against a solid running team like Longmeadow, the Rams knew the importance on not allowing an early lead.

“That was our goal to start strong because we knew that Longmeadow could grind the clock out,” Dalton said. If they got the lead they wouldn’t give it up so to jump out 39-0 was huge.”

The Rams took the opening drive of the game 72 yards on just six plays, highlighted by a Masterson scramble of 47 yards to take the early lead.

After forcing a fumble on the ensuing Longmeadow drive, the Rams punched in another scoring drive, a one-yard run by Masterson to take a 16-0 lead.

With a large lead in hand, the Rams feasted on the Longmeadow offense. Sean Burger and Fred Allen led a swarming defense that pitched a shutout until the closing minute of the game.

Blessing in disguise: The only blemish on the Rams schedule this season was an opening week loss to B.C. High, a game which Silva believes they had in hand and let slip away.

“Losing that first game to BC High put a real damper because we had that game won and gave it away,” said Silva. “So from that first game the message was don’t give away chances, take advantage and finish.”

From that point on, the Rams tore off 11 straight wins and looked good doing so. Every game during that stretch was won by two-plus possessions until their comeback Thanksgiving Day victory over Duxbury.

“That [B.C. High loss] was huge, looking back at it we wanted the win really bad but we were trying to find our identity what kind of team we were going to be this year and I think we found out,” Masterson said.

Marshfield 45, Longmeadow 6
L0006--6
M162360--45

First Quarter:
M-Jacob Maher 5 rush (Jack Masterson rush, 8:07.
M-Masterson 1 rush (Mitch Bishop pass from Masterson), 3:58

Second Quarter:
M-Adam McNamara 25 rush (Dalton Dalton pass from Masterson), 7:02
M-Masterson 47 rush (Masterson rush), 3:20
M-Frank Catonoso 4 rush (Pat Kielty kick), 1:08

Third Quarter:
M-Maher 25 rush (kick fail), :34

Fourth Quarter:
L- Noah Hurwitz 12 rush (kick fail), 1:04

Marshfield's line powers D2 title win

December, 6, 2014
Dec 6
4:37
PM ET
FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – Marshfield may be called the Rams, but it was the hogs that powered a sterling performance in the Division 2 championship game at Gillette Stadium.

Marshfield's line play, on both sides of the ball, set the tone and drove the point home throughout the game. The Rams used their size to open up holes on offense to let a bevy of backs gash Longmeadow for chunks of yards. Marshfield racked up 330 rushing yards and had five backs with at least 40 yards on the ground.

“We keep the tempo really quick,” Marshfield offensive lineman Matt Benson said. “Teams don't seem to see it throughout the season and when we end up playing them most teams can't get set up and we're running a play. That's a huge edge that we have when it comes to playing offense and running the football.”

The line went to work early and often as it powered Marshfield to a 39-0 halftime lead. It was an easy go for Marshfield's tailbacks as they piled up 262 yards in the opening 20 minutes behind the line.

“Our offensive line has been solid all year,” Marshfield defensive lineman Thomas Reilly said. “We've got depth as we need it, but we got fantastic starters in Shane [Leonard] and Benson's been an amazing player. [Josh] Ramos is playing through injuries. I'm so impressed with how they played.”

On the defensive side the line was just as good for the Rams. Marshfield held Longmeadow to 191 yards and held the Lancers scoreless until the late in the fourth quarter. The Lancers could only muster 94 yards on the ground against Marshfield's imposing line.

The Rams leaned on Reilly and William Habel on the inside. The defensive tackle tandem (Reilly weighs 310 while Habel tops the scales at 260) caused nightmares throughout for the Lancers.

“It's hard to move us,” Habel said. “We just clog up the holes and make it hard for people to run on us.

“It was just stop the run play. They couldn't throw on us. We knew they run the ball deep a lot, spread it out to the sidelines, and we stopped them.”

Reilly and Habel's interior dominance forced Longmeadow to the outside where they were met by Marshfield's ends, including Matt Armstrong.

“They had some big, strong kids, but we have bigger, stronger kids that beat them every time,” Armstrong said. “It's great because I don't have to worry about anything inside. [The tackles] always there to clean it up. I'm just there to make sure they don't get outside.”

Armstrong said that that cohesion of the line, and the team overall comes from putting in endless hours of practice in offseason that paid off in taking home the trophy.

“Honestly, we watched them all week in film and didn't think they were that good a team; we knew we had to come out strong,” Armstrong said. “All summer we were the ones at practicing sweating and everyone [else] was at the beach. Now, six months later, we're D2 champs.”

Video: Breaking down D2 championship

December, 6, 2014
Dec 6
3:56
PM ET
FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- Marshfield rolled its way to a 45-6 win over Longmeadow in the Division 2 state championship.

ESPN Boston High Schools editor Scott Barboza and John Sarianides break down the action:

Master-ful resurgence for Marshfield

December, 2, 2014
Dec 2
11:02
PM ET
MARSHFIELD, Mass. -- Before the Marshfield Rams' offense took the field in their 2012 season opener against Catholic Memorial, they had a quarterback crisis on their hands. First-string quarterback Ben Joyal went down in a preseason scrimmage and his back up Rick Fidler, a two-way starter, exited the game making a tackle on the opening defensive drive.

With nowhere else to turn, Lou Silva called upon freshman quarterback Jack Masterson.

“My coach told me to warm up and I thought I was just keeping the center warm,” Masterson recalled. “Then he told me I was going in and my heart dropped.”

While the Rams ultimately lost the game, Silva knew he had something special with Masterson. Right before the half he led the Rams on a touchdown drive to tie the game and the following week, tied a school-record for pass completions (17) in a loss at Whitman-Hanson.

While Marshfield ended that season staring at an 0-11 record, there was plenty of room for optimism. Masterson broke three school records as a freshman signal caller as the Rams held high hopes for the future.

[+] EnlargeJack Masterson
Courtesy Robin BurgerThrown into the fire as a freshman two years ago, QB Jack Masterson (2,224 offensive yards, 30 total TD) has Marshfield playing for a state title after an 0-11 season in 2012.
Now, just two seasons removed from that winless campaign, Masterson has the Rams just one win away from a Div. 2 State Championship.

“He’s our Tom Brady and I don’t mean that in the sense of his stats, but his leadership qualities,” Silva said. “They love following him, it’s his leadership and the fact that he’s a good football player. They love him; he’s one of the guys.”

With three years of experience under center and countless school records now in hand, Masterson has developed a confidence in the huddle and leadership on the field.

That leadership was evident in last week’s Thanksgiving Day matchup with Duxbury, a game that had no impact on the Rams' championship run. Trailing by 15 points in the second quarter, Masterson led the Rams to a thrilling 44-43 victory with a last-second touchdown run and subsequent two-point conversion.

While Masterson has only played in one playoff game prior to this season, he is no stranger to the dramatics. Twice during his sophomore season, he tossed last-minute game-winning touchdowns

“I like to think I am one of the most experienced guys out here and use that to my advantage,” Masterson said. “I want to use the leadership because I have been in a lot of these situations that other guys haven’t been.”

Marshfield is typically known for its power running game, but that hasn’t stopped Masterson from posting monster numbers through the air. Entering Saturday’s championship game with Longmeadow, Masterson has thrown for 1,715 yards and 16 touchdowns (both school records), while completing 60 percent of his passes, a far cry from his then-impressive freshman season.

At his disposal, Masterson has a plethora of weapons to choose from but far and away his favorite has been tight end Danny Dalton. The junior is a matchup nightmare for opposing defense, sporting a 6-5 frame, a sure set of hands and wide-receiver speed. Dalton has hauled in 52 passes this season for 721 yards and nine touchdowns (all single-season school records).

“He understands defenses and that is another step he’s taken,” said Silva. “In a lot of his passes, Dalton isn’t his first read, he goes through his progressions. He’s reading the secondary and sometimes Dalton is his fourth choice but he still finds him a lot. Can’t miss that kid.”

In the backfield, the three-headed monster of Frank Catanoso, Jacob Mahar and Chris Lunn highlight the potent Rams running game. The trio has combined for 1829 yards on 284 carries and 22 scores on the ground, but Masterson takes that running threat a step further.

Adding to his record-setting numbers in the passing game, Masterson has totaled over 500 yards on the ground and a team-high 14 scores on the ground.

“This year he’s taken another gigantic leap,” Silva said. “This year he’s been involved more in our rushing attack, he has over 500 rushing yards. Now we don’t have just three backs but four.”

With so many weapons for opposing defenses to line up against, Marshfield likes to exploit those matchups. Keying on Dalton and Catanoso, defenses often forget about Masterson.

If Silva were facing his own team, Masterson would be his highest priority.

“I would key on Jack, I would not let him run the ball and I would try to make him uncomfortable as all heck back there,” Silva said. “Keep him from running the ball then key on Dalton because if you make Jack uncomfortable he’s not going to find his receivers. But teams have tried that and Jack has been able to pick it up.”

The Longmeadow defense will have its hands full on Saturday with Masterson and company. With the Lancers putting so many two-way starters on the field, the Rams will try to establish the pace of the game.

“I don’t think they have faced anything out there that runs the offense as quick as we do,” said Silva. ”We don’t want them to get comfortable in what they are trying to do.”
NORTHBRIDGE, Mass. -- Northbridge football will be making a second straight appearance at Gillette Stadium in the Division 5 state championship game with junior quarterback Koby Schofer running the offense again.

Schofer combined for more than 400 all-purpose yards in the Rams' 58-25 win over Pittsfield in Saturday's Central/West semifinal while accounting for six touchdowns (four passing, two rushing).

ESPN Boston High Schools editor Brendan C. Hall caught up with our Player of the Week, presented by New England Dairy, for this interview Monday:



Top 5 performances from state semifinals weekend:

Connor Bassett, Jr. QB, Littleton – Threw for 151 yards on 5 of 10 passing with a touchdown while running for 79 yards on nine carries with a touchdown in a 46-20 win over McCann Tech.

Danny Dalton, Jr. TE, Marshfield – Hauled in five catches for 90 yards and two touchdowns in the Rams’ 34-15 win over North Andover.

Shawn Donovan, Sr. RB, Abington – Ran for 192 yards and two touchdowns in the Green Wave’s 29-14 win over Bishop Fenwick.

Jack Hickey, Sr. RB, Melrose – Ran for 104 yards and a touchdown on 15 carries in the Red Raiders’ 14-7 win over Tewksbury.

Koby Schofer, Jr. QB, Northbridge – Completed 14 of 25 pass attempts for 243 yards and four touchdowns while running for 166 yards and two touchdowns in the the Rams’ 58-25 win over Pittsfield.

Highlights: Recapping Saturday's action at Marciano

November, 23, 2014
Nov 23
1:09
PM ET
BROKTON, Mass. -- Three spots at Gillette Stadium for state championship Saturday were on the line yesterday at Brockton High School's Marciano Stadium.

ESPN Boston High Schools editor Scott Barboza recaps the day's action with highlights from Dartmouth's shocking fourth-quarter comeback against Walpole in the Division 3 South final in addition to Marshfield's mastery of North Andover in the Division 2 state semifinal. Also, Bishop Fenwick's state-best 27-winning streak was interrupted as the Crusaders were looking for a second straight trip to Gillette, as Abington is moving on to the Division 5 state championship game:

(Video by Greg Story)

D2 EMass final: Marshfield 34, North Andover 15

November, 23, 2014
Nov 23
12:07
AM ET


BROCKTON, Mass. – It has been two years in the making, but Marshfield has ascended back to the top of the football world.

It is no secret that the Rams’ defensive front seven has been a recipe for success this season. Their monster offensive line has been imperative. And don’t forget about their downhill running game. But perhaps the most important and unique element of this season’s Rams squad is their “it just doesn’t matter” mentality.

Moments after Marshfield walked off the field with a 34-15 win and its ticket punched back to Gillette, chants of “it just doesn’t matter” rang around the Marshfield huddle.

The Rams don’t care what the opposition is, and they aren’t shy about letting it be known.

“Coach Noble, credit to him, he pulled up a video with all the hype about other teams and it just doesn’t matter because it’s about what we do and how we come out and play our game,” Rams quarterback Jack Masterson said after the game. “It doesn’t matter what anyone else does, it’s about what we do.”

North Andover entered Saturday’s Div. 2 Eastern Mass. title game allowing an average 10 points per game while giving up a combined 13 points in the postseason.

But that didn’t matter to Marshfield as they stuck to what they do best, unleashing Frank Catanoso, Neal Parry and Jacob Maher on the rushing attack and mixing in Masterson through the air. When it was all said and done, the Rams torched the defensive-minded Scarlet Knights for 386 total yards and 34 points.

“These kids, they have an awful lot of confidence in their ability,” Rams coach Lou Silva said. “They work so well together, they trust each other and they are a running team that works in the passes. Running teams wins championships.”

Firing out of the gate: From the opening drive, it was apparent that Marshfield wasn’t going to be denied a trip to Gillette Stadium.

The Rams defense held North Andover to one first down and just 23 yards on their first three drives, forcing three punts into the wind.

With the wind at their back, Marshfield fell into an early offensive rhythm. Starting their opening drive at their own 28-yard line, Masterson drove the Rams 72 yards on just four plays to give the Rams a 8-0 lead just over two minutes into the game. Catanoso and Masterson hooked up for a 33-yard pass on the drive, and Catanoso broke loose around the left-tackle on the next play for a 24-yard score.

“To start off the game we had the wind and we took advantage of it,” Masterson said of the early success.

Dalton breaking loose: With so many defenses keyed in on Marshfield big offensive line and potent rushing attack, Masterson and Dalton have thrived in the passing game.

In the first quarter alone, Dalton came down with five passes for 90 yards and a pair of scores.

“I’ve been throwing with him since third grade this is nothing new,” Masterson said of his chemistry with Dalton. “I couldn’t have asked to do it with a better kid just one of my best friends.”

With Marshfield leading 8-0 midway through the first quarter, Masterson had the Rams threatening again at the North Andover 34-yard line. Off a play-action fake, Masterson hit Dalton on an inside seam route over the top to give the Rams a 14-0 lead.

On the ensuing drive, Masterson hit Dalton again on a five-yard drag route in the end zone, threatening to run the Scarlet Knights out of the building.

“They were playing single coverage on the outside so we thought we could pick them apart with a couple short routes,” Dalton said. “That long one over the middle that was all designed by coach and it was a great play call. Jack and me were just on the same wavelength.”

Masterson joins the scoring party: The Scarlet Knights got exactly what they needed before the end of the half when Breyin Nichols plunged into the end zone with five seconds left to cut the Marshfield lead to 20-7 at the half.

But Masterson dashed all the hopes with two big fourth down plays. Facing fourth and goal from the one, he called his own number on a quarterback sneak to put Marshfield up 28-7.

After Jukka Morales returned the following kickoff 79 yards for a score, Masterson again had his team in position to put the game away. On fourth and goal from the four, Masterson broke a tackle at the line of scrimmage and dove into the end zone for 34-13 lead.

“He’s a good player, that touchdown he scores down there that was totally his own effort,” Silva said. “That wasn’t the play that was called and he made something happen out of nothing.”

Climb back to the top: The current seniors were sophomores during the Rams shocking winless campaign two seasons ago. Those players are now the life of this state championship-bound Rams team.

“The seniors were sophomores then and they vowed to never go thought another season like that,” Silva said. “They elevated their play and they elevated everyone else around them.”

Dalton was a freshman on that struggling team, but knows first hand what is expected from the Marshfield football program.

“2012 was a down year for the program and Marshfield has a storied tradition,” Dalton said. “This is where we belong, Marshfield belongs in the Super Bowl every year.”

Marshfield 34, North Andover 15
NA 0 7 8 0 -- 15
M 14 6 14 0 -- 34

First Quarter:
M-Frank Catanoso 24 rush (Neal Parry rush), 8:55.
M-Danny Dalton 34 pass from Jack Masterson (kick fail), 3:05

Second Quarter:
M-Dalton 5 pass from Masterson (pass fail), 9:51
NA-Breyin Nichols 1 rush (John Boudreau kick), 0:05

Third Quarter:
M-Masterson 1 rush (Dalton pass from Masterson), 6:40
NA_-Jukka Morales 79 kick return (kick fail), 6:31
M-Masterson 4 rush (kick blocked), 3:48
NA-Robert Shkliew 97 PAT return, 3:48.
In this week's edition of "The Telstrator", ESPN Boston High Schools editor Brendan C. Hall and correspondent Mike Uva take a look at key matchups in two of the most-anticipated games of this weekend's slate of MIAA State Semifinals.

In the Division 2 Eastern Mass. Final, North Andover will have to figure out a way to slow down Marshfield's 6-foot-5 junior Danny Dalton, who plays a garden variety of roles on both sides of the ball. Out west in the Division 4 Central/West Final, Wahconah will be in for a whale of a time matching up Shepherd Hill's two Division 1 caliber bookends, junior Sean McKeon and Boston College commit Chris Lindstrom.

(Video by Greg Story)

The Telestrator - MIAA Playoffs State Semi-Finals from ESPN Boston on Vimeo.

In Marshfield's resurgence, Dalton a big chip

November, 7, 2014
Nov 7
10:18
AM ET
MARSHFIELD, Mass. -- Every coach dreams of having a true game-changer. A player who not only demands special attention on the field, but is also skilled enough to make plays when covered by multiple players. A weapon so deadly, opposing coaches lose sleep during the week leading up to the game as they try to formulate a plan to possibly contain them once the ball is kicked off.

These players are limited—though the few who exist tend to make significant impacts.

Just ask Lou Silva.

The longtime Marshfield coach has seen his fair share of players with the skills necessary to change a game, but few have compared to junior Danny Dalton, the 6-foot-5, 230-pound two-way player who helped the Rams’ football program return to prominence.

Playing on both sides of the ball, Dalton has been one of the many constant contributors which has helped Marshfield reach its first sectional semifinal since the 2009 team went on to beat Masconomet 13-12 in the Division 2A Super Bowl. While Dalton has visibly helped the Rams’ offense – his 31 receptions, 407 receiving yards, and four touchdown catches all lead the team – Silva knows the junior’s impact extends farther than the eye can see.

“Every time he steps on the field there’s always got to be two or three guys who keep an eye on him,” the coach said. “That frees up the other guys. Whether he’s catching the ball or doing something else to help us out, he’s always helping us out because people have to pay attention to him and they forget about some of the other guys.”

It’s true. Dalton hasn’t been the only reliable target for junior quarterback Jack Masterson. Four different Marshfield players have accounted for more than 100 yards receiving, including senior running back Frank Catanoso (218 yards) and senior wide receiver Mitch Bishop (116 yards), who have also each caught a touchdown. Another senior running back, Jacob Maher, has also escaped the backfield to haul in passes, totaling 151 yards on his 15 catches.

Although Dalton’s stealthy stature demands major respect from defenses, the junior somehow still manages to make plays. Just last week, in the second-seeded Rams’ matchup against No. 7 Mansfield in the quarterfinals of the Division 2 South tournament, Silva dialed up some trickery which allowed his tight end to demonstrate one of his talents which had previously been hidden to opponents.

“We ran a reverse-pass and the Mansfield defender came up on me like I was going to run the ball,” recalls Dalton. “I stopped and popped up to throw it to my friend Frank (Catanoso) for a touchdown. It was supposed to go to (Masterson) but he was covered, so I saw Frank out of the corner of my eye.”

The tight end’s 15-yard touchdown pass to Catanoso gave Marshfield (7-1) a comfortable 28-7 first half lead before the team eventually went on to eliminate the defending Super Bowl champions 42-14. The win set up tonight’s battle between the Rams and No. 3 Natick, who defeated sixth-seeded Duxbury 48-22 last Friday.

Stopping the Redhawks’ formidable offense led by the school’s all-time leading receiver Brian Dunlap will be no easy task for Marshfield, but the Rams’ stout defense will look to add to the 21 turnovers they’ve already created this season. Dalton primarily plays defensive end, but has found himself scattered around the defense like a thunderstorm over the South Shore; he has intercepted two passes while also forcing a fumble.

The versatility of not only Dalton but the rest of the Rams’ defense gives Silva and Marshfield defensive coordinator, Mike Napoleone, a lot of freedom to put their unit in a position where it can flourish.

“On defense I play a lot of different positions,” Dalton said. “Defensive end, outside linebacker, I even lined up at cornerback a couple of times. The coaches do a good job putting all of us in the best place to succeed no matter where it is. It doesn’t really matter how big we are, if we can play the position they’re going to put us there.”

With 28 tackles and two and a half sacks, Dalton has helped the Rams’ defense limit opposing offenses to a mere 10 points per game. The most points Marshfield surrendered came in its only hiccup of the season, a heart-wrenching 18-12 loss to BC High in the season-opener.

Still, Dalton and the defense rebounded. And while the loss to BC High brought added motivation to the junior’s already stellar work ethic, the talented two-way player has used another source of inspiration to help push him to improve.

“Playing at the next level has always been a dream of mine since I was a little kid,” said Dalton, who is yet to receive any formal scholarship offers from colleges. “I don’t really let it get to my head that much. But when I see or hear about kids getting offers that are my age and tight ends, it kind of makes me want to work a little harder, stay a little later after practice, and do those extra reps in the weight room during the season. It’s definitely a motivation factor for me.”

While not receiving the respect he’s earned from college coaches drives Dalton to put in the extra effort, the junior’s aspirations extend far beyond his own well-being. Dalton’s primary focus is to help Marshfield’s football program continue the upward trend it has been on as of late.

“Marshfield has had great tradition, ever since the 1990s and the Kalapinski era and even up to 2009 with Souza and all of them,” the junior said. “We kind of had the decline in 2011 and 2012 when we went 0-11, but (the junior) class has always been a good class since we were little kids. We took pride in bringing Marshfield football back to where it used to be and I think we’ve done a pretty good job. We still have a long way to go--which starts (tonight) -- to prove how good we really are.”

ESPN Boston state football championship predictions

September, 4, 2014
Sep 4
12:53
AM ET
Before the MIAA football season kicks off this weekend, ESPN Boston editors Scott Barboza and Brendan C. Hall give their state championship predictions for the season:

Scott Barboza, ESPNBoston.com High Schools Editor

Division 1: Xaverian
The Division 1 field could look a lot as it did last year; I think there’s a real potential for Central Catholic vs. Everett and Attleboro vs. Xaverian rematches in the North and South districts, respectively. But this race all comes down to depth, and the Hawks have plenty of it across all positions. This time, Xaverian will not be denied at Gillette Stadium.

Division 2: Mansfield
Once again, Division 2 South should prove one of the most tightly contested sectional races across the state this year, but I see the Hornets moving through. With a defensive core that returns starters such as Curtis Boisvert, Connor Finerty, Q’Ra Guichard and Brendan Hill, the Hornets are built for the postseason. That bodes well if they are to meet St. John’s (Shrewsbury) in the state final again, as the Pioneers are primed for another Gillette visit.

Division 3: Marblehead
The Magicians ran into a loaded and experience Tewksbury squad in the North final last year, but this is their year. The Southern districts will be extremely competitive – particularly with many of the Hockomock League’s Davenport Division’ s entrants (Oliver Ames, Stoughton) loading up for this season. However, with Brooks Tyrrell running behind a hulking offensive line, including UMass commit Derek Dumais and Dan Marino, Marblehead is running all the way to the hardware.

Division 4: Dennis-Yarmouth
The Dolphins were denied of the title last year by a talented Doherty squad in the game of the day during championship Saturday. They won’t get fooled again. D-Y is likely to see another challenger from the Central district again – perhaps Doherty once again, or Shepherd Hill – but the Dolphins will come away champions behind Mr. Football candidate Michael Dunn, just as they did a few years back with his cousin Matt Montalto under center.

Division 5: Auburn
The Rockets are a few years off their historic winning streak, but they’ll climb back to the top of the hill with another impressive rushing attack led by preseason All-State Mark Wright. Watch out for Bishop Fenwick to again make a run at Gillette behind returning All-State Rufus Rushins, but Auburn wins out.

Division 6: Pope John Paul II
Had the Lions made the cut in the South sectional playoffs, they might have been the favorite last year. The one-two punch of Ryan Barabe and Diego Meritus will propel one of the state’s top offensive units – regardless of division – to a championship. Of course, PJP will not be without challengers, however, particularly in their own sectional playoff, where challengers Diman, Mashpee and Millis lurk.

*****

Brendan C. Hall, ESPNBoston.com High Schools Editor

Division 1: Xaverian
Hard to pick against the Hawks and their loaded crop of scholarship-caliber talent as they seek to avenge last year’s state final loss. When the smoke clears, this could be one of Charlie Stevenson’s best defenses in a long time, led by Damion Wood and defending ESPNBoston Defensive Player of the Year Joe Gaziano. The North bracket should be a tough battle, but I think Everett has enough talent to outlast that field.

Division 2: St. John’s (Shrewsbury)
Going with the vengeance theme here again in D2, as one of the state’s most feared hitters, Boston College-bound safety Davon Jones, looks for another swing at it. Mansfield should be the prohibitive favorite in Eastern Mass., but once again the power is in the South portion and it’s a cauldron. Don’t be surprised if Natick or Marshfield makes it out of the bracket.

Division 3: Marblehead
Jim Rudloff loves to play the underdog card, but there’s no way the Magicians aren’t the lead dog in this race, with returning All-State tailback Brooks Tyrrell once again running behind an offensive line with Division 1 scholarship talent. This race gets interesting in the southern districts, where a number of teams have a good shot at reaching Gillette, and I have no idea who to pick. Walpole? Oliver Ames? Stoughton? Plymouth North?

Division 4: Shepherd Hill
Plain and simple, this is a Division 1-sized offensive line playing in Division 4, led by one of the state’s best hoggies in Chris Lindstrom, with an impressive blend of power and speed at the skill positions. They should get a tough battle from Doherty in the Central district. Once again, it could come down to Holliston and Dennis-Yarmouth in the East, but I like D-Y’s chances of returning to Gillette.

Division 5: Auburn
I picked the Rockets to win last year, and that sputtered. But on the heels of an explosive breakout campaign from Mark Wright, here’s hoping second time’s a charm. A number of Catholic Central teams could stake their claim in the East, led by St. Mary’s and Bishop Fenwick, but keep an eye on Northbridge out of the Central district as well.

Division 6: Pope John Paul II
A year after getting left out of the inaugural South football playoffs, Lions come back roaring with an even more explosive offense, triggered under center by Ryan Barabe and led in the backfield by workhorse Diego Meritus. Wouldn’t be surprised to see Millis come out of the South either, and Boston English is my favorite in the North with slippery dual-threat QB Emmanuel Almonte.

Top 25 Countdown: Nos. 25-21

August, 19, 2014
Aug 19
12:21
PM ET
On Monday, we unveiled our statewide MIAA Top 25 preseason football poll. Today, we begin our annual countdown of the poll with Nos. 25 through 21.

NO. 25 NATICK
Head Coach: Mark Mortarelli (5th season, 35-11)
2013: 10-1, lost to Barnstable in D2 South semifinal
Returning Starters: Five offensive; Six defensive.
Key Players: Jared Abbruzzese, Jr. WR/LB/DB, 5-8, 160 lbs.; T.J. Collins, Sr. LB, 5-11, 185 lbs.; Brian Dunlap, Sr. WR/CB, 6-0, 175 lbs.; Chad Kidd, Jr. RB/LB, 5-6, 190; Trenton Wright, Sr. DE/TE, 6-2, 205 lbs.; Anthony Natarelli, Sr. OL/DL; Nick Olson, Sr. QB/FS; Tommy Ranucci, Sr. WR/DB.
Strengths: Passing game; defensive secondary; linebackers.
Weaknesses: Depth and experience on offensive line; size on defense.

Outlook: Even without last year’s Mr. Football winner, Troy Flutie, the Redhawks will still be able to air it out with the best of them, as senior Nick Olson gets his first crack at playing varsity quarterback. A returning starter at safety, Natick head coach Mark Mortarelli isn’t concerned about how the first-year signal-caller will fit in. “He’s used to the spotlight,” Mortarelli said of Olson. “He started every game for us at safety. He was a tremendous safety for us, he was all-league. He’s a varsity basketball player, too, so I think all of things in combination, this isn’t the first time for him under the lights.” Olson’s transition will be advantage by the return of a healthy Brian Dunlap. The Harvard commit was forced to sit out his junior year with a Lisfranc injury, but Mortarelli is happy to report he’s back at 100 percent. While defensive coverage schemes will naturally set around Dunlap, the Redhawks should be able to expose a soft underbelly as second-year starting running back Chad Kidd can provide tough yards in between the tackles. “I think we’ll run the ball a little more [this year],” Mortarelli said. “Coach [Matt] Brenneman, our offensive coordinator, likes to the throw the ball around a little, but we have a great running back in Chad Kidd. He’s a big, strong kid; he can handle the workload.” Meanwhile, Mortarelli is counting on junior Jared Abbruzzese among others to create complementary options in the passing game. On defense, Natick’s athleticism shines again. With a ball-hawking secondary last year, the Redhawks were routinely able to win the turnover battle. Natick graduated the leader of that group – Mike Abbruzzese -- but returns a few starters in Olson and Tommy Ranucci. The strength of Natick’s defense runs up the middle, with returning all-league selection T.J. Collins quarterbacking the group. While the Redhawks will not be the biggest defense in the state, they should be able to gain consistent pressure off the edge with returning three-year starter Trenton Wright. “We’re going to need to generate some pressure up front with a four-man rush,” Mortarelli said. “We can’t be blitzing all the time, so Trenton’s going to be a big part of that. He can create some havoc; he’s a rangy kid. We’re going to rely on him a lot for that.”
-SCOTT BARBOZA

NO. 24 MARSHFIELD
Coach: Lou Silva (34th season, 205-139-7)
Last Season: 5-6 (4-2 ACL), lost in Div. 2 South Quarterfinals.
Returning starters: 16 (8 offense, 6 defense)
Key Returnees: Jack Masterson, Jr. QB, 6-1, 190 lbs.; Dan Dalton, Jr. TE/LB, 6-5, 235 lbs.; Frank Catanoso, Sr. RB/DB, 5-8, 160 lbs.; Jason Darcy, Jr. WR/DB, 6-2, 185 lbs.; Matt Armstrong, Jr. TE/DE, 6-1, 180 lbs.; Shane Leonard, Jr. C, 6-2, 230 lbs.; Pat Kielty, Jr. OL, 5-11, 200 lbs.; Ian Duffy, Jr. LB, 5-8, 160 lbs.; Chris Lunn, Jr. RB/DE, 6-0, 185 lbs.; Fred Allen, Jr. MLB, 6-1, 210 lbs.; Josh Ramos, Jr. OL/DL, 6-3, 240 lbs.
Strengths: Quarterback, tight ends, offensive line, linebackers.
Weaknesses: Pass defense, experience at running back.
Outlook: The Rams offense found their identity down the stretch of the 2013 campaign and that was largely based on the superb play of quarterback Jack Masterson. As a sophomore, Masterson broke three school passing records and has many more in his sights for his junior season. Masterson’s favorite target, Dan Dalton also returns for his junior year and will present mismatches in the passing and running game. Dalton can lineup anywhere on the field and has all the tools for a monster season with his large frame (6-foot-5, 235 pounds), sure-hands and quick speed. Protecting the junior signal caller, center Shane Leonard anchors an experienced offensive line that also returns Pat Kielty and Josh Ramos. The Rams defense had difficulty taming high-powered offenses last season, allowing 40 or more points four times. Looking to this season, the Rams will have a talented front seven returning, led by MLB Fred Allen and Dalton at defensive end, but their defensive backfield remains a question mark with the loss of a handful of defensive backs. Offensively, the Rams running game took a big hit, losing their three top tailbacks to graduation in the offseason. Junior Chris Lunn is the favorite to take the brunt of the carries this season, while the search continues to another tailback to compliment him with. It has taken two years for the Rams to climb back to their perennial power status, but their talent-laden junior class will make Marshfield a team to watch out for this season. An experienced offensive line and the ability to stretch the field will give their young running game an added boost. With the Atlantic Coast League shrinking down to five teams this season, circle their September 26th matchup at No. 12 Dennis-Yarmouth to likely decide the ACL title.
-PHIL GARCEAU

No. 23 BARNSTABLE
Coach: Chris Whidden (Fourth season, 28-8-0)
Last season: 9-2 (3-0 OCL), lost in Div. 2 South Finals.
Returning starters: 4 (2 offense, 2 defense)
Key Players: Owen Murray, Sr. OL/DL, 6-4, 250 lbs; Clyde Perry, Sr. MLB, 5-11, 225 lbs; Colton Bergal, Sr. LB, 6-1, 225 lbs; Bo Delaney, Sr. WR, 5-11, 165 lbs.
Strengths: Linebackers, offensive line, coaching staff.
Weaknesses: Overall experience, defensive secondary, offensive backfield.
Overview: The Red Raiders have many holes to fill at the skill positions on both sides of the ball after losing 30 players to graduation, but Barnstable has the tendency to reload rather than rebuild. Of the 307 points scored in Barnstable’s 2013 campaign, only 16 points hit the scoreboard from non-seniors, meaning there will be plenty of position battles when the Red Raiders open camp. Head coach Chris Whidden praised his roster, citing their work ethic and coach-abillity as strengths for the team. Senior Owen Murray will bolster the offensive line from his position at right tackle, diverting the pressure from first-year starting quarterback Griffin Burke and carving holes for the running back-by-committee system in the backfield. MLB Clyde Perry is also one of the few returning starters on the Red Raiders defense and with Murray on the defensive line, Barnstable has a strong core up the middle to build around. It will be a trail by fire for this young Red Raiders team to begin the season. The first four weeks consist of No. 12 Dennis-Yarmouth, at No. 24 Marshfield, No. 15 BC High and at top-seeded Xaverian which will put Barnstable to the test early and often. Barnstable doesn’t begin Old Colony League play until mid-October, which gives them plenty of time to get their game on-track to defend their three-consecutive OCL titles and perhaps more importantly, an automatic bid to the Div. 2 South playoffs. Entering his fourth year at the helm, Whidden has never had a losing season and has shown that he can lead his troops into battle while getting the most out of each player on the field.
-PHIL GARCEAU

NO. 22 AUBURN
Coach: Jeff Cormier (16th season, 136-43 overall)
Last Season: 8-3, lost in Division 5 Central Quarterfinals
Returning Starters: 10 (5 offense, 5 defense)
Key Returnees: Mark Wright, Sr. RB/DB, 5-8, 180 lbs.; Dillon Bruso, Sr. OL/DL, 6-2, 250 lbs.; Josh Furmanick, Sr. FB/DL, 5-8, 195 lbs.; Nick Thomas, Sr. LB, 5-6, 160 lbs.
Strengths: Running game, receivers, competitiveness in camp.
Weaknesses: Depth.
Outlook: After going 63-2 with five Super Bowl titles from 2008-12, with a 41-game win streak sandwiched in between, the Rockets were as green as any point in Cormier's tenure last fall, returning just one starter on either side of the ball. It showed early, and again late when they were one of just four home seeds in Massachusetts to lose their first round playoff game, taking one on the chin to SWCL rival Bartlett in D5 Central. But it was quite the revelation for Wright, who led CMass in carries (258), rushing yards (2,111) and rushing TDs (25) in his first year starting with the varsity. "Once we get five yards, Mark will make his one cut and explode through the hole. As long as we get some decent blocking, he'll be able to make a play," said Bruso. Still, there's a bitter taste in the Rockets' mouths about the way things ended in 2013. "Everywhere we had to hear about it. Even kids from our own town were telling us we were done," Furmanick said. The Rockets are most known for their power running scheme, deploying two-back, double-tight personnel and seeking to outweigh their opponents at the point of attack. This year, with a giant target on Wright's back and a good grouping of perimeter skill players, the Rockets may throw more. Cormier is not ready to name a starting quarterback yet, with several players in the mix, but keep an eye on sophomore Steve Saucier. The undersized signal-caller puts good zip on the ball for a player of his frame, and showed some great flashes as a freshman last fall.
-BRENDAN C. HALL

NO. 21 TEWKSBURY
Coach: Brian Alyward (17th year, 102-82-1)
2013: 13-0, Division 3 State Champions
Returning Starters: Six (2 offense, 4 defense)
Key Returnees: James Sullivan, Sr. RB/SS, 5-11’ 215 lbs; Tom Casey, Sr. FB/MLB, 5-9 190 lbs; Ryan Bednarek, Sr. S, 5-9 160 lbs; Ethan Eloi Sr. DT/NG, 5-9 226 lbs.; Alex Schelfhaudt, Sr. T/DE, 6-0 195 lbs; Brendan O’Connor Sr. WR/CB 5-7 145 lbs; Mitchell Miskell, Sr. K, 5-10 160 lbs; Jimmy Hurtle, Sr. RB/CB 5-9 167 lbs; Jimmy Doran, Sr. OG/DT, 5-11, 215 lbs; Ryan Carey, Sr. RB/DB, 5-6 143 lbs.
Strengths: Physicality, running game.
Weaknesses: Inexperience at offensive line.
Outlook: Tewksbury will never be confused for its Merrimack Valley Conference neighbors that run spread offenses and like to throw the ball all over the field. The hallmark of Tewksbury has been its continuous physicality. Its run to last year’s Division 3 state championship was predicated on (no pun intended) its ability to run the ball and outmuscle teams on both sides of the ball. While it lost some linemen to graduation, impact players like Eloi and Casey return to anchor the middle of the defense. Sullivan will play behind them at strong safety, flanked by other skilled defenders. Offensively, the team will continue its multiple-running back approach that brought it so much success last season. “We feel pretty confident in all our backs,” said Alyward. “We’ve got a lot of guys that can contribute. We’re not going to have a need for a one-man show, nor do I think that would be effective. We’re going to try to stay as multiple as we can and try to use the same format as we do every year.” The starting offensive linemen on last year’s Super Bowl-winning team were lost to graduation, leaving spots open for players to try and create running lanes for Sullivan and others. Last year’s line continuity helped the team steamroll through D3 and allowed Sullivan to score over 20 touchdowns. “We have about 10 kids that are vying of those spots that have been good kids in our program,” said Alyward. “We’ll work with them and learn more about what we can do and what we can’t with them.” John Aylward, the quarterback of that undefeated team, also graduated, so the Redmen will have someone new under center to go along with that new offensive line. Juniors Brett Morris and Steve Hamel are in the running to take over for Aylward, with Morris the early odds-on favorite to win the job. On top of all that, as a defending state champion, the team now has a target on its back. It has not lost a game since November 2012, so it will get its opponent’s best game every week as they try to dethrone the champion. How the team reacts and responds to that pressure will determine whether the Redmen can duplicate last year’s success. “I told the kids at the start of our first practice, ‘Hey guys, you had such a special experience last year and a state championship under your belt and that’s money in the bank that no one can ever take away from you,’’ said the coach. “But now you just have to put it aside and understand that doesn’t buy us anything but a little more attention than in years before. So now we’ve gotta get ready to fight.”
-ANDY SMITH

Four hockey coaches get MSHCA hall call

May, 5, 2014
May 5
1:42
AM ET
STONEHAM, Mass. -- It was a grand night for the Mass. State Hockey Coaches Association (MSHCA). The well-established organization inducted four head coaches into its Hall of Fame, Sunday evening.

Before a capacity crowd inside Montvale Plaza filled with past and present coaches, family and friends, Mike Nanartowich (Hudson), Brian Murphy (St. John's of Shrewsbury), Dan Mark (Stoughton) and John Maguire (Waltham) became the latest members of the fraternity. Combined, the four coaches have spent a total of 112 years behind the bench.

Also inducted was Arlington Catholic long-time assistant coach Jim Hunt. Coach of the Year accolades went to John Devany (St. Joseph's Prep) in the boys’ category while Arlington Catholic's Maggie Taverna received the honor as girls’ coach. Tim Hooton was given the Brian “Trooper” Sullivan award for officials and UMass-Dartmouth coach John Rolli was awarded the William J. Stewart, Jr. Award for outstanding service and contribution to Massachusetts Secondary Schoolboy hockey.

Included in the festivities, the MSHCA recognized six high school players for their athletic and academic excellence. They included, Luke Amato (Arlington Catholic), Ian Lapham (Reading), Kevin Dober (Newton South), Alex Tepper (Nashoba Regional), Ryan McKennedy (Lowell) and Colin MacDonald (Marshfield).

“All of these student-athlete's academic distinctions are off the charts,” said former Lincoln-Sudbury coach and 2010 inductee Dan Doyle.

MSHCA secretary and 2003 inductee Charlie Driscoll, who spent 16 season guiding Medford as well as stints at Archbishop Williams, Malden Catholic, Wakefield and Reading, served as emcee.

Nanartowich, who won a Division 3 state title in 2012, was introduced by former Marlborough coach and 2012 inductee John Butler along with 20-year assistant coach Mike Correa.

“Mike Nanartowich was one who was always prepared for every game he coached,” Butler said. “He helped bring a lot of credibility and entusiasm to Central Mass. Hockey. Mike has always been a student of the game and is always looking to learn new things constantly.”

Added Correa, "Mike wrote the script on how to run a successful hockey team," he said. "Players at Hudson have succeeded because they had a meaningful relationship with their head coach.”

Nanartowich, who was named Mass. State High School Coach of the Year in 2012, expressed humility of the honor bestowed on to him.
“I think the best word that describes what hockey means to me and what Hudson High School means to me is the word blessed. I've been blessed with great players and great assistant coaches. For me, it's not about numbers, it's about the players.”

Murphy, who stepped down as Pioneers coach at the end of the 2013 season, having earned seven Super 8 appearances along the way, was introduced by former Shrewsbury coach and Class of 2004 member Phil Irving.

“To be here, it takes a tremendous amount of support from a large number of people over a long period of time,” Murphy said. “I had a wonderful experience coaching at St. John's and enjoyed every minute of it. As any coach will admit, you are only as good as your players so I would be remissed if I didn't offer my sincerest thanks to all of my players over the years.”

Former Bridgewater State coach Bob Carpenter spoke on behalf of Mark, who served as a team captain under Carpenter his senior year there.

Mark offered a special thank you to former Stoughton coach Jim Gormley, who coached Mark for four seasons at the varsity level and later brought him on as an assistant coach.

“Probably the biggest influence of my life is Jim Gormley,” said Mark. “I cannot thank him enough for everything he taught me. I really want to thank MSHCA for inducting me. When I look at the number of people inducted into this Hall of Fame it's pretty over-whelming and now my name will be there with theirs and is greatly-appreciated.”

Doyle introduced Maguire and began saying, “Coach Maguire's moral compass is always in order yet he is his own man. His teams have always achieved above the level of their talents because John coaches them the right way.”

Maguire, who is closing in on 350 victories with the Hawks and took home a Division 1 state title in 2002, had nearly half of the banquet hall filled with family and friends in recognition of his honor.

“In my first three years the Hawks were 3-15 three years in a row and I remember our mailbox being run over by a disgruntled player,” laughed Maguire. “I am certainly humbled by this introduction.”

The event ended with the news that Marshfield coach Dan Connolly will be stepping down as MSHCA president this year.

“It has been extremely humbling being president of this organization,” Connolly said. “As coaches, we don't coach for the money, but for the love of the game and the kids.”

Memorable weekend for CM at Chowda Cup

April, 20, 2014
Apr 20
2:09
PM ET
SCITUATE, Mass. -- Midway through Saturday afternoon’s Chowda Cup Championship game between Catholic Memorial and Scituate, the question wasn’t who as going to hoist the trophy after the game, but which Knights player would be awarded the tournament MVP.

Catholic Memorial opened up an 8-2 halftime lead over the Sailors, en route to a 14-8 victory and their first Chowda Cup title. For the Knights it was their fourth appearance in the title game since they joined the annual tournament five years ago.

Senior attackman Zach O’Brien scored six goals in the win and found the net 10 times during the duration of the tournament and seemed like a lock for the MVP award. But the superb play of Joe Zegarelli between the pipes earned him the award given to the top player in the two-day tournament.

“I wasn’t expecting to get the award,” Zegarelli said. “I thought it was going to go to Zach O’Brien, he really deserves it with all the goals he scored.”

Zegarelli didn’t see the quantity of shots that he did Thursday evening in the semifinal win over Cohasset, but for the sophomore goalie it was quality over quantity.

In the third quarter, Zegarelli robbed Scituate’s Frankie Ragge from deep down low in the zone to highlight to phenomenal day.

“We were focused on playing good solid one-on-one defense and I thought Zegs made the saves when he need to, really a team defense approach,” CM head coach Kevin Lynch said.

The Knights owned a heavily lopsided possession battle throughout the game and Colin Casey was the reason why. The freshman was 17-for-23 on faceoffs, giving his team a big possession advantage.

The beneficiaries of Casey’s big day on the faceoffs were O’Brien and Frank Cosolito, who combined for 10 of the Knights 14 goals.

“It really started with Colin Casey our freshman,” O’Brien said. “He was getting the ball to us on offense and constantly getting the win on faceoffs and getting the looks we needed and finishing.”

Scituate struggled throughout the game, looking like a shell of the team that took the field in Thursday night’s overtime win over Marshfield. The Sailors were sloppy with the ball, turning it over and airmailing passes through the zone.

“As good as we played against Marshfield, we just couldn’t get that same level of energy up,” Scituate head coach Mark Puzzangara said. “You can just tell when we needed that big play, it’s a dropped pass or a lost stick or throwing the ball out of bounds, we were just getting caught up in the moment.”

Thursday Thriller: The headliner of the Chowda cup semifinals was the matchup between No. 14 Catholic Memorial and No. 18 Cohasset. But it was the second game of the evening between No. 22 Marshfield and Scituate that stole the show.

With the Rams holding a 5-3 lead with less than two minutes remaining and Marshfield goalie Trevor Scollins pitching a shutout in the second half, the Rams were in prime position to advance to the title game.

But the Sailors’ Trevor Ciessau scored two goals in the final 1:45 of the game, including the equalizer with just two seconds left on the clock to force overtime.

Less than a minute into the extra period, Ragge netted the game winner from the right wing to advance the Sailors into the title game.

“We showed tremendous heart and courage and they really rebounded and rallied around each other and put together an effort we all knew they could,” Puzzangara said after Thursday’s game.

A coaching milestone: Lost in the wild finish of Scituate’s overtime winner was the milestone hit by Sailor coach Puzzangara. The win was No. 200 of his career was achieved in dramatic fashion.

“I think winning a state championship is pretty big but that was a heck of a game to get it in overtime against a team like that, its pretty sweet,” Puzzangara said.

Pair of heavyweights: The premier matchup of the day got the seventh annual Chowda Cup underway with the Knights pulling past Cohasset 10-8.

CM went on a 4-0 run in the third quarter to separate from the Sailors and advance to the title game.

Zack O’Brien was the star of the game, netting four goals in the win, but nearly missed out on the game, showing up right before the game started.

“I put Scituate High School in my phone and didn’t look at what state it was in, drove all the way to Rhode Island and saw the sign and had to turn around and showed up late,” O’Brien said of his blunder.

Cosolito scored three times and Gunnar McKenzie added two more goals in the win for Catholic Memorial.

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