Boston High School: Michael Hershman

Mr. Football Watch: Playoffs, Week 3

November, 20, 2013
11/20/13
2:21
AM ET
Here is our latest "Mr. Football Watch", following the third weekend of MIAA State Championship Playoffs. As always, coaches and/or statisticians are encouraged to send statistics to editors Brendan Hall (bhall@espnboston.com) and/or Scott Barboza (sbarboza@espnboston.com)

EDITOR'S NOTE: This will be the final "Mr. Football Watch" of the 2013 season. The five finalists for our Mr. Football Award will be announced on Monday, Nov. 25, with the winner announced on Dec. 9.

***

THE CONTENDERS

Luke Brennan, Sr. QB, Doherty
Threw for 191 yards and three touchdowns, but most importantly delivered the game-winning touchdown pass to Isaac Yiadom with five seconds left, as the Highlanders captured their first Central Mass. title since 1980 with a thrilling win over Shepherd Hill.

Davon Jones, Jr. FS, St. John's (Shrewsbury)
Totaled 10 tackles and an interception, in the Pioneers' 51-42 thriller over Leominster for the D2 Central title. He leads the team in tackles (91) and interceptions (5).

Neil O'Connor, Sr. QB, Leominster
Totaled 289 passing yards and two touchdowns, in a 51-42 loss to St. John's in the D2 Central Final.

Dylan Oxsen, Sr. RB, Plymouth South
Carried a career-high 39 times for 160 yards and a touchdown in the Panthers' 7-6 win over rival Plymouth North for the D3 Southeast title. He is the state's leader in playoff rushing yardage, with 737.

Andrew Smiley, Sr. QB, St. John's (Shrewsbury)
Completed 14 of 22 passes for 250 yards and three scores, and added 201 yards rushing and three more scores on 20 carries, in the win over Leominster. That puts him over the 2,000-yard passing mark for the second straight season; he currently has 2,787 yards of offense with 38 touchdowns.

Cody Williams, Sr. QB, Springfield Central
Completed 15 of 22 passes for 344 yards and four touchdowns in the Golden Eagles' win over Westfield in the D2 West Final.

Ju'an Williams, Sr. WR, Springfield Central
Made five catches for 119 yards in the Golden Eagles' 48-22 dismantling of Westfield in the D2 West Final.

Kyle Wisnieski, Sr. QB, Mansfield
Completed 20 of 27 passes for 284 yards and four touchdowns in the Hornets' 41-16 win over Barnstable in the D2 South Final. He is completing 70 percent of his passes in the playoffs.

FIVE ON THE RISE

Olan Abner, Sr. RB, Bedford
Ran for 139 yards and a touchdown in the Buccaneers' overtime win over Pentucket for the D4 North title, his third straight week going over 100 yards rushing.

Jahkari Carpenter, Jr. RB, Doherty
Ran for 119 yards and two touchdowns to help lead the Highlanders past Shepherd Hill for the D4 Central title. He has 230 yards rushing and four touchdowns in the last two weeks.

Michael Dunn, Jr. CB, Dennis-Yarmouth
Held Holliston's top target Zach Elkinson without a catch, and made an interception for his own cause -- his sixth of the season -- as the Dolphins captured the D4 South title.

Michael Hershman, Sr. WR, Mansfield
Exploded for seven catches for 132 yards in the Hornets' 41-16 win over Barnstable, for the D2 South title.

Shayne Kaminski, Sr. RB, Xaverian
Ran for 200 yards and two scores to help rally the Hawks past Attleboro for the D1 South title, his second 200-yard rushing game in three playoff games.

PLAYOFF STATISTICAL LEADERS

Passing
Kyle Wisnieski, Sr., Mansfield – 689 yards, 9 TD
Matthew Jeye, Sr., Holliston – 647 yards, 5 TD
Luke Brennan, Sr., Doherty - 607 yards, 11 TD
Drew Smiley, Sr., St. John’s (Shrewsbury) – 588 yards, 10 TD
Neil O’Connor, Sr., Leominster – 575 yards, 5 TD
Mike Milano, Sr., Central Catholic – 516 yards, 4 TD
Troy Flutie, Sr., Natick – 504 yards, 6 TD
Dana Parello, Sr., Waltham – 494 yards, 6 TD
Tim Walsh, Sr., Attleboro - 469 yards, 8 TD
Cody Williams, Sr., Springfield Central – 417 yards, 5 TD

Rushing
Dylan Oxsen, Sr., Plymouth South – 737 yards, 8 TD
Alex Givins-Perry, Sr., Bartlett – 710 yards, 5 TD
Christian Carr, Jr., Plymouth North – 618 yards, 8 TD
Brooks Tyrrell, Jr., Marblehead – 512 yards, 6 TD
Koby Schofer, Soph., Northbridge – 466 yards, 8 TD
Malik Garrett, Sr., Melrose – 466 yards, 7 TD
Shayne Kaminski, Sr., Xaverian – 447 yards, 5 TD
Mike Panepinto, Sr., Needham – 418 yards, 6 TD
Olan Abner, Sr., Bedford – 395 yards, 3 TD
Shane Combs, Jr., St. John’s (Shrewsbury) – 386 yards, 5 TD

Quick hits from last weekend, looking ahead

November, 12, 2013
11/12/13
1:13
AM ET
Some quick thoughts from last weekend’s second round of MIAA State Championship football playoffs, and looking ahead to this week’s sectional finals:

1a. Springfield Central’s Valdamar Brower and Leominster’s Dave Palazzi were my two front-runners for Coach of the Year headed into Friday, but Barnstable’s Chris Whidden has to be firmly in any discussion from herein, following Friday’s impressive stifling of Natick. At the beginning of the year, Whidden righted the ship before it even began to sink, making conditioning a high point of emphasis following their season-opening 37-9 whupping at the hands of archrival Dennis-Yarmouth. The Red Raiders came out of their bye week and proceeded to take down two Catholic Conference teams, BC High and Xaverian, in back to back weeks.

Last week, Whidden installed a Cover 2 defense –- a look they’ve never run all season long –- in three days to combat the wizardry of Troy Flutie. In what some would consider a shrewd move, Whidden opted not to match up his top defensive back (Derek Estes) with Natick’s most dangerous target (Alex Hilger), instead sticking a linebacker on Hilger and sagging the corners into zones. Whidden is a smart, smart coach, who knows how to quickly evaluate his opponent’s strengths and weaknesses and devise a flexible gameplan to counter. This was a team that some thought would not compete as well as they did a year ago, when they reached the D1A Super Bowl, yet here they are, two wins away from a return to Gillette Stadium.

We’re three years into the Whidden era, and I’ve already lost count of how many wins the Raiders have had over Top 10 opponents. By now, this is no fluke. The guy can flat out coach.

1b. All that said, this Friday’s D2 South Final could be Whidden’s best challenge yet. Long-time Mansfield coach Mike Redding is a chess grand master, but he’s never had a king piece quite like Brendan Hill. The 6-foot-6 junior already holds a Division 1 FBS offer (UMass), leads the Hornets in receiving (43 catches, 631 yards, 7 TD) and lines up everywhere on the perimeter, from tight end to slot receiver to split end. Back in Week 6, King Philip held Hill to his lowest receiving total of the season (3 catches, 43 yards) in a 20-7 loss to the Hornets, and they mixed up their coverage quite a bit on him – rolling coverages, pressing, bumping and passing him along to another zone.

But here’s the thing. If they decide to deploy special coverage on Hill, I think the Hornets are that kind of team that would use him as a decoy to open up other parts of the field for two of their other most dangerous targets, Michael Hershman and Miguel Villar-Perez. Just a great matchup here between two of the best schemers across the state. Expect some funky stuff.

2. Crazy stat line of the week, singles division: In two playoff games, Doherty wide receiver Alfred Adarkwah has four catches for 122 yards and four touchdowns. That’s right, literally every touch this postseason for the lanky 6-foot-4 senior has been for a score.

During the summer, coaches and players over on Highland St. hinted that the Highlanders had been experimenting Boston College-bound athlete Isaac YIadom and Adarkwah on the same side of formations during passing leagues, to positive results. For the most part, that hasn’t been the case. Rather, leaving Adarkwah on an island opposite Yiadom’s side of the formation has yielded dramatic results (see: Quabbin, first round). And here’s the dilemma: the moment you shade off of Yiadom, the threat of him ripping off a big gain increases threefold.

Monday film sessions at Doherty are called “Moss Monday” for a reason. When talking about players who have elevated their stock for All-State consideration with their playoff performances, Adarkwah is certainly in the discussion.

3. Crazy stat line of the week, pairs division: In two playoff games, Plymouth South’s Dylan Oxsen and Plymouth North’s Christian Carr have combined for 1,128 rushing yards and 14 touchdowns. Apart, they are the state’s two top playoff rushing leaders, with both scoring seven times and Oxsen holding a 26-yard edge. That alone should be reason enough to go see these two teams square off. Now put the Division 3 Southeast title on the line, and factor in the intensity of his heated cross-town rivalry (Romano Field was over capacity in the first meeting in September, a 4 p.m. start), and this has the makings of something special.

4. Leominster is going for an unprecedented sixth straight win over rival St. John’s of Shrewsbury, dating back to the start of 2011, when the two teams meet on Friday at Doyle Field for the D2 Central title, but I don’t think this is such a shoe-in for the Blue Devils. How quickly people forget that, after a dismal first half, quarterback Andrew Smiley lit up the Leominster defense in the second half with a slew of screen passes, with Mike McGillicuddy the primary benefactor. If they get off to a good start in the screen game, and stay committed to it, I think an upset is in play here for the Pioneers.

5. Another reason to love the new playoff format: four teams from the Hockomock League and three from the Atlantic Coast Leagues are playing for district titles this weekend. Under the former system, Hockomock Kelley-Rex runner-up Attleboro would not be playing for a D1 South title on Friday night, nor would Davenport runner-up Stoughton (D3 Southwest), while Kelley-Rex champ Mansfield (D2 South) and Oliver Ames (D3 Southwest) would be still in play. Meanwhile, ACL champ Plymouth South (D3 Southeast) would be playing while Plymouth North (D3 Southeast) and Dennis-Yarmouth (D4 South) would be sitting at home. Up North, we have an All-DCL D2 Final (Lincoln-Sudbury vs. Waltham) and an All-Middlesex D3 Northwest Final (Woburn vs. Melrose). Honestly, what’s not to like about that?

6a. I’ve asked to several coaches playing non-playoff games about their approach, and whether they try to get underclassmen experience or let the seniors finish out their glory. Most of them said the same thing –- you have to balance the two. But the overarching theme I sensed with their talks was that, like a lower-tier college bowl game, there isn’t a lot of pressure so you might as well have some fun.

There’s still some interesting storylines to be played out there. For a football junkie like me, I actually look forward to some of these unique matchups, such as last weekend’s matchup between Somerset-Berkley’s “double wing” scheme and Nauset’s unique “Notre Dame Box” variation of the Single Wing, complete with spinning fullbacks. Elsewhere, Natick’s Troy Flutie needs one touchdown pass to tie the state’s all-time mark, and assuming he’s healthy enough to play, he could very well do it Friday against Needham.

6b. Which brings us to our final crazy stat line of the week, non-playoff division: In two post-qualification games, Pope John Paul II junior quarterback Ryan Barabe is completing 86 percent of his passes (31-of-36) for 488 yards and six touchdowns. That’s right, 86 percent, or 18 points higher than his regular season percentage. I’m on record saying the Lions were snubbed in D6 South, an unfair casualty of second league automatic qualifiers, and I’m wondering if this non-playoff run will help build a case for detractors.

D2 South: Mansfield 31, Wellesley 14

November, 1, 2013
11/01/13
11:34
PM ET
MANSFIELD, Mass. -- When it looked like Wellesley's defense found a way to limit Mansfield's high-power offense, the Hornets displayed yet another weapon.

Quarterback Kyle Wisnieski ran for a team-high 80 yards helping to spark Mansfield to a 31-14 win over Wellesley in an MIAA Division 2 South Quarterfinal game.

Wisnieski is known for his accurate passing to weapons like Brendan Hill, Michael Hershman, and Kyle Hurley and the Hornets have even established a strong run game this season behind Miguel Villar-Perez and Chris Buchanon, but it was Wisnieski's legs that did the trick Friday night.

After punting on their first offensive series, the Raiders' defense held Mansfield to a 35-yard field goal from senior Alex Thompson. On just their second play of the next drive after recovering a surprise onside kick attempt, Wellesley quarterback John Fadule took it 54 yards for a touchdown to give Wellesley a 7-3 lead, but that would be their only one of the night.

"We tried to steal the onside kick and it backfired," said Mansfield head coach Mike Redding. "We gave them a short field and they made us pay. After that I thought we settled down on defense. We gave them some hitches and slants but nothing big. Defense just played great."

Mansfield responded in a fashion they have used all season, mixing in runs and counters with big gain passes. Starting at their own 14-yard line, Villar-Perez and Buchanon combined for 16 yards on three rushes before Wisnieski hit Hurley over the middle for 18 yards and then Hill on the sideline for 33 more. Villar-Perez then went 19 yards almost untouched to give Mansfield the lead back at 10-7.

A quick three-and-out from Wellesley gave Mansfield the ball back at their own 31. Wisnieski dropped back to pass twice in a run but on both occasions, the Raiders had strong coverage and Wisnieski took off running, picking up 21 yards and then 15 yards. With the defense forced to respect Wisnieski's mobility, he connects with a wide-open Hurley on the left side for a 19-yard touchdown to put Mansfield up 17-7.

"They were dropping a lot of guys in coverage so it kind of opened it up," said Wisnieski. "The pass rushers got past me and there was a lot of room to run so I just took advantage of that."

Redding credited both Wellesley for their coverage scheme as well as Wisnieski for being able to make a play.

"They did a good job of covering and had a good scheme in the secondary and kind of clogged things up on Mike Hershman, Brendan Hill, and Kyle Hurley but they did give us some running lanes," he said. "Kyle [Wisnieski] is well respected for throwing the ball to those guys but he's a very good athlete. If he wasn't a quarterback, he'd be a heck of a receiver and defensive back. He makes a lot of bad calls into good ones by getting out and running for some yardage."

The Hornet defense again came up strong, forcing another three-and-out from the Raider offense and their punt was partially blocked by Hill, setting the Hornets up at their own 37. Wisnieski elected to stay in the pocket this time, hitting Villar-Perez over the middle on back to back passes to gain 30 yards. A pass interference call put the Hornets at the Raiders 5-yard line and two plays later, Buchanon punched it in from less than a yard out.

Mansfield almost tacked on another score but Wisnieski was picked off in the end zone, only his third interception thrown all season, and Mansfield took a 24-7 lead into halftime.

Mansfield went three-and-out to start the second half and Wellesley ate up a lot of clock on their first drive but it was ended when Aurian Dawkins came away with his second pick of Fadule. The Hornets then used eight rushing plays and one pass completion to get to the Wellesley 3-yard line as the third quarter ended.

On the first play of the final quarter, Buchanon took the toss to the right before cutting back in and scoring his second touchdown of the game to make it 31-7 with 10:55 left. Wellesley's final touchdown came with just 28 seconds left in the game with back ups from both sides in. Sophomore Myles Cole rushed to the left for a 19-yard touchdown for the Raiders.

"On offense we're pretty explosive at times," Redding said. "We didn't have to punt a whole lot which is good in the playoffs. Kyle was a little dinged up and we really didn't want him running much. He ended up running more than he has in the last month. Brendan made some big, big catches for us."

The top-seeded Hornets will now continue in the playoffs and will host No. 4 Needham, who defeated Duxbury 42-28 on Friday night.

"I like were we are," said Redding. "We're playing good defense and we're balanced on offense but the next round gets even tougher whether its Duxbury or Needham, the level just gets tougher and tougher. You have to bring your A game every Friday if you want to move on."

Scrimmage Slants: BC High at Mansfield

August, 28, 2013
8/28/13
12:18
AM ET
MANSFIELD, Mass. -- Late this afternoon, No. 4 Mansfield hosted No. 19 Boston College High in their annual preseason scrimmage. In three alternating 10-play series of varsity on varsity, Mansfield scored once, while BC High failed to reach the end zone.

Some notes and observations from this afternoon's scrimmage:

The Whole Nine Yards: The spread offense is a wide spectrum, and today we saw a cornucopia of different elements of it from Mansfield. Expect senior quarterback Kyle Wisnieski to throw the ball close to 30 times a game, with such a talented target as junior tight end Brendan Hill to work with.

The two connected for the afternoon's lone varsity touchdown in the second series, a 70-yard fade in which Hill was left on an island opposite the strength of the formation, read tight coverage and beat his man off the line of scrimmage with a move to the outside. Wisnieski delivered a perfectly-threaded dart deep down the right sideline, in stride, allowing Hill to scamper the final 35 yards easily.

Mansfield operated primarily with trips formations, with Hill away from the strength, but also experimented with him lined up tight with his hand in the ground. The Hornets did a lot of funky stuff, from zone read triple options to even some shovel options; considering Hill's unique versatility, and the fact the Hornets were missing a number of key bodies such as receiver Michael Hershman (more on that later), it will be interesting to see what direction head coach Mike Redding ultimately goes with this talented offense.

"Obviously Brendan is a big part of what we do, we're gonna run him wide away from trips. We're gonna bring him in as tight end and run some drag, short routes," Redding said. "We'll balance up when we get Hershman back, we'll go Hershman and Hill on opposite sides and see how people want to play us. A lot of it is personnel. Miguel [Villar-Perez] has had a great preseason -- he didn't play tonight, but he's a great counter, bubble guy, and he's a great receiver. I think when we get the full package in there, it'll be pretty tough to defend. I just think right now, we're in flux with injuries and waiting on guys to be back."

King of the Hill: It's no secret that Hill will line up in a variety of spots in the passing game, both tight and split wide, to utilize his strengths. Last season as a sophomore, Hill led the Hornets in all major receiving categories (48 catches, 849 yards, 17.7 yards per catch, 11 TD), knifing through the middle of coverage with crisp vertical routes and also making some great catches along the sidelines.

Currently the 6-foot-5, 205-pound Hill holds one Division 1 FBS offer, from UMass, but the list of suitors should grow. His athleticism speaks for itself -- last year, he was named the Hockomock League's MVP in basketball -- and Redding makes no effort to hide how involved the kid will be in the offense.

"The game plan has about 12 highlighted sets and plays, and they're all for him, how do we get him in a position to get a bad matchup for the defense," Redding said. "He's a franchise guy, so we've got a lot of different ways to get him in spots where we can have this or that, and if he's double-covered, we've got a run call to take advantage of the double. He's an integral part of what we do with the spread, he's got to be the one guy in a balanced look, away from trips, make him a receiver and then we've got the ways to make him an inside guy on the trips, trade to the other. There's a lot of creativity to move him around formation-wise."

Eagles stuff the run: Try as they might, Mansfield simply could not establish any sort of running game, as the BC High front seven routinely overmatched them. They attacked and filled the inside gaps with tackles Rory Keohane and Yacoub Dobieb, preventing any cutback lanes from forming. When the play spilled to the outside, ends Darren Amado and Chris Solis were there to greet them for a minimal gain. In the second level, linebackers Steve DiCienzo and Mitch Laferriere shed blocks well and were aggressive in sideline pursuit.

"They've had a great offseason working, getting themselves into great shape," Eagles head coach Joe Gaff said of Amado and Solis. "They've been great for us all preseason. And then Steve DiCienzo, and Mitch Laferriere has really... [he's] healthy for once, and we've got Roy and Doubs in the middle, we like what we've got there."

For most of the afternoon, BC's front seven controlled the edge, which should help them out early in the season when they face similar-minded spread teams like Andover, North Attleborough and Barnstable.

"That's something we've really been working on, setting the edge, because we're going to see a lot of that jet stuff, spread," Gaff said. "It's been a big camp push for us, juust to know our roles, every kid knows his role on D. We're like the no-names, you know? We don't have those big guys this year. They understand that. What I liked today is when someone made a play on the ball, there were four or five jerseys flying to the ball, and that's what our defense is about."

Hershman finally in the clear: For much of the last year, Hershman has been nagged by injury. He missed most of basketball season, which made some of us wonder what could have been, with the Hornets losing to Springfield Putnam in an overtime thriller of the MIAA Division 1 State Championship.

It looked as if things were going to persist into this fall, his senior season. But doctors have recently concluded that what was believed to be a groin injury all this time is actually a sports hernia. Hershman was cleared for contact today, and will finally suit up for practice on Wednesday.

"Literally, all the time he rested, the only thing that allowed the doctors to do is diagnose it as a sports hernia," Redding said. "So he's cleared today to do football, basketball, he'll have a little discomfort but it won't get worse and he'll have surgery after basketball season. If we had figured it out in March, he could have had the surgery then [and] he'd be good now, but it actually took the months of resting to realize it was a hernia and not a groin pull.

"He's been out running routes, covering, just not been allowed contact, so now finally he'll be allowed to join us as a football player, and he's very anxious to play some football."

Battle at QB: Junior Sean Holleran got the start at quarterback this afternoon, and he has been the frontrunner for the position through most of camp. The spunky Holleran gives them a certain toughness under center that seems to trickle down to other players. When he scrambled, Holleran was unafraid to lower his head and invite contact. On a quarterback sneak in the third series, Holleran tucked behind his center and followed him up the middle, making a violent collision at the end of the play.

"He's a funny kid. He is a tough kid, and the kids lead after that," Gaff said. "It's just one of those things that, if your leader's tough, you're gonna go through a wall. He's got that nice presecne about him there, and he's enjoying what he's doing."

Still, Gaff is not yet ready to declare Holleran the starter for Week 1. Keep an eye on sophomore Marco King, who has been impressive as of late.

"Marco King's pretty good, behind him, we've got some guys competing for spots, so it's nice to have that," Gaff said.

Eagles run well: Operating primarily out of the I-Formation with either two-receiver or two-tight end personnel, BC's running game was fluid, with tailbacks Rob Harnais and Brendan Smith showing flashes of high potential.

The Eagles' best run came in the third series, when Smith took a toss left and was sprung loose by the left tackle Solis, who sealed off his man away from the play, for a 40-yard gain.

"Chris is hungry, some of these seniors are hungry," Gaff said. "They've been waiting after that nice class we had last year. They've been waiting to get up there, so they've been really biting to get in. I just like this group, I think you saw some energy today. I thought we got after the ball pretty good today."

D1 Boys Final: Putnam 50, Mansfield 48 (OT)

March, 17, 2013
3/17/13
1:35
AM ET


WORCESTER, Mass. –- Putnam sophomore Ty Nichols stepped to the line and calmly sank both of his free throws with just 7.5 seconds left in overtime.

Those two simple free throws ended as the difference in a wild, thrilling game, giving Putnam a 50-48 win over Mansfield and the Beaver’s their first ever D1 State Championship.

“I stepped to the line and my team had confidence in me,” Nichols said. “My coaches had confidence in me. I’ve been hitting free throws all year and I just took them as regular free throws and they went in.”

Mansfield’s Rocky DeAndrade sprinted up the court, but his jumper was short and Putnam celebrated their first state title in school history.

“It definitely feels great,” Putnam’s Kayjuan Bynum said. “We expected to be here, we expected to play our hearts out and try to come out with a state championship, which we did.”

The Beavers looked like they were ready to win in regulation, up 40-33 with just over 2 minutes left in the fourth quarter, but Mansfield’s Michael Boen came up with a big offensive board and put back while being fouled. His free throw pulled the Hornets within 4. Both teams traded empty trips before Boen hit a corner three to pull within one at 40-39 with 35.7 seconds left.

After Bynum sank two free throws to put Putnam up 42-39, Mansfield’s Ryan Boulter was fouled while shooting a three with just 5.5 seconds left. The sophomore sank all three shots and Putnam wasn’t able to get a shot off before the buzzer.

In overtime, Bynum sank two free throws only to have Boulter answer with a three to give Mansfield a 45-44 lead. Two more free throws from Bynum followed by a layup from Nichols put Putnam up 48-45.

Mansfield answered yet again, this time with 19.9 seconds left when Boulter again drained a three.

But as time ticked away in overtime, it was Nichols’ drive to the basket that drew the foul that ended as the difference.

Mansfield was just 6-of-29 from downtown, but had 19 turnovers, due in large part to a tough Putnam defense.

“At halftime, we spoke about not having hit our stride yet defensively,” Putnam head coach William Shepard said. “We’ve held teams to single digit scoring in a quarter consistently all year. When they came out and held them to 7 points in the third quarter, I could see our guys take a collective breath and say ‘OK, we can do this.’”

Bynum finished with a game-high 15 points, including a perfect 8-8 performance from the free throw line in the fourth quarter and overtime. Boulter finished with 14 for Mansfield, nine of which came in the fourth quarter and overtime.

“Hats off to Putnam with their defensive effort,” Mansfield head coach Mike Vaughan said. “They did a great job, they took things away.”

Putnam finished the season 24-1 with their first ever D1 State Championship. Mansfield finishes 25-3.

“I almost cried, but I stopped myself from crying,” Nichols said. “This feels good, Putnam’s first state championship, this feels good.”

A BRIGHT FUTURE FOR BOTH
Although both Putnam and Mansfield will be losing key seniors to graduation, it’s not out of the question that either team could make a return trip next season.

The 2013 D1 State Champions will only lose one starter, Bynum, and will graduate three others. Mansfield will lose five seniors, but none bigger than senior captain Greg Romanko.

For the Beavers, Dizel Wright and David Murrell (13 and 11 points respectively) will look to lead Putnam to a return trip. Sophomore starters Jonathan Garcia and Ki-shawn Monroe will join classmate Ty Nichols again next year.

The Hornets return a solid core, with sophomores Brendan Hill, the reigning Hockomock League MVP, and Ryan Boulter joining a slew of juniors –- Michael Boen, Kyle Wisnieski, Rocky DeAndrade, Kevin Conner, and Michael Hershman -– ready to take over the reigns of this team.

“This is going to sting for a few days,” Vaugahan said. ”After we wake up in a couple of days, we can make this motivation for next season to get back here. As we said, this isn’t easy. We hope we have an opportunity to represent the South again next year.

"It’s not an easy road and there are a lot of good teams coming back next year. We’re going to show up three days after Thanksgiving and get ready to do this all over again."

Recap: Mansfield 28, Franklin 21

November, 10, 2012
11/10/12
9:31
PM ET


MANSFIELD, Mass. -- Mansfield had its 1,000 yard rusher sidelined, lost their starting center and tackle during the game, and faced a second half deficit to a strong Franklin Panther team.

No big deal, right?

The Hornets overcame it all behind a strong rushing performance from senior Kevin Makie (28 rushes, 133 yards, 3 TD) and forced three interceptions to rally past the Panthers, 28-21, and clinched the Hockomock League’s Kelley-Rex Division.

“I’ve been here 23 years,” Mansfield head coach Mike Redding said. “It was one of the best second-half performances I’ve ever seen by a football team.”

Despite drawing first blood on Makie’s first score –- a six yard run -– the Hornets found themselves behind at the break.

After Mansfield’s scoring drive, Franklin responded with a six-play drive that ended with Panther quarterback Nick Zucco finding a wide open Brandon Eccher over the middle for a 41-yard score.

Momentum swung back and forth as Mansfield went three-and-out but the Hornet defense responded with an Aurian Dawkins interception. But Mansfield’s drive stalled and the momentum swung back to Franklin as Jeff Gray blocked a Mansfield punt.

After three straight rushes from senior Kyle Finamore (102 yards, TD), Zucco went over the middle again, this time to Robert Dellorco for an 18-yard touchdown to give Franklin a 14-6 lead at half.

“I thought the big thing in the second half was that we avoided penalties,” Redding said. “No turnovers, very few offensive penalties, we executed great.

“The defense came to play in the second half, that was the critical piece, getting the ball back to our offense.”

The defense started off right away, forcing a three-and-out from Franklin on their first drive. The Hornets then took the ensuing drive 10 plays, capped off by a Chris Buchanon run from 14-yards out. Quarterback Kyle Wisnieski found sophomore Brendan Hill in the back of the end zone for the successful two-point conversion to tie the game at 14.

It was a déjà vu performance from the Mansfield defense on the next drive, again forcing a three-and-out that led to more points o the ensuing Hornets possession. Senior James Comer, a 260 pound defensive lineman who had an interception in the first half, came up with the key stop on third down.

The Panthers used eight rushing plays –- a combination of Makie, Buchanon, and Alexander Rudy –- and one pass play to take their second lead of the game. On fourth and goal from the one-yard line, Makie took it to the right and into the end zone for the first play of the fourth quarter.

Franklin looked to respond on their next drive, getting into Mansfield territory behind the legs of Zucco, but their drive came to abrupt halt when Zucco was picked off by Michael Barressi.

Mansfield’s next drive was the knockout punch.

The Hornets went 62 yards, including two huge third down conversion passes from Wisnieski (one to Michael Hershman for 14 yards, the other to Makie for 18) and a division-clinching fourth-down conversion from Mike Cunningham at the Franklin 11.

After the fourth down conversion, it was announced at Alumni Field that Hockomock rival King Philip had taken down North Attleboro 16-14, meaning if Mansfield won, they would clinch the Kelley-Rex.

Two plays later, Makie found the end zone for the third time on a three-yard burst to give the Hornets a 28-14 lead.

The Panthers didn’t go quietly though, as Zucco orchestrated a 69-yard drive finished off by a 14-yard touchdown run from Finamore. With just 35 seconds left and no timeouts, Franklin attempted an onside kick but Barressi was able to recover for the Hornets, giving them the Kelley-Rex Division.

“It feels great,” Makie said. “Everyone came in doubting us and we proved everyone wrong. KP got the big win and we’re going to the playoffs.”

Mansfield now has a date with Patriot League Keenan champ Duxbury, ranked No. 6 in ESPN Boston's latest statewide poll, on Nov. 27. The time and location are to be determined.

Big-Makie: With leading rusher Robbie Rapoza (1,067 yards, nine touchdowns) sidelined with an injury, the focus of Mansfield’s offense turned to Kevin Makie.

Makie, who came in with 730 yards and eight touchdowns, took full advantage of his opportunity, racking up 133 yards and scoring the winning touchdown with just 2:28 left in the game.

“We just wanted to put up points, we knew that they had a good offense,” Makie said.

Redding made it a point to note that Makie isn’t playing at 100% either.

“Makie’s been tough,” Redding said. “Kevin has really stepped up and he’s playing at about 90 percent with a high ankle sprain. We’ve got some tough cookies here.”

Not much to be thankful for: When the ball is kicked off on Thanksgiving, there will be no playoff implications at stake in the Hockomock league. Entering this week, it looked as though it was going to come down to Turkey Day to decide who would represent the league in the playoffs, but Saturday changed that.

Earlier in the day, Sharon was able to edge out Foxboro to clinch the Davenport Division and earn a date with Pembroke, leaving 9-1 Stoughton on the outside looking in.

On the large side, it will be 9-1 King Philip left out of the playoffs. Ironically enough, it was KP’s win over North Attleboro that allowed Mansfield to clinch with a win.

With no playoff implications, all teams will be playing for pride, including King Philip and Franklin who will play each other.

MANSFIELD 28, FRANKLIN 21
Franklin (7-3) 0 – 14 – 0 – 7 --- 21
Mansfield (7-3) 0 – 6 – 8 – 14 --- 28


Second Quarter
M – Kevin Makie 6 yard run (2 point failed)
F – Brandon Eccher 41 yard pass from Nick Zucco (Mike Carden kick)
F – Robert Dellorco 18 yard pass from Zucco (Carden kick)

Third Quarter
M – Chris Buchanon 14 yard run (Brendan Hill pass from Kyle Wisnieski)

Fourth Quarter
M – Makie 1 yard run (Michael Hershman kick)
M – Makie 3 yard run (Hershman kick)
F – Kyle Finamore 14 yard run (Carden kick)

Behold the Future: MIAA hoop teams to watch

March, 28, 2012
3/28/12
6:49
PM ET
With the unveiling of our MIAA All-State Teams for Boys and Girls late last week, the 2011-12 basketball season has come to close. But before we officially slam the book on another exciting season of hoop, and move on to spring sports, I wanted to get out a few thoughts on the landscape for next season.

To whet your appetite for the 2012-13 season, here are my early projections on the state's must-see teams to watch:

BOYS

Central Catholic - Plenty of talent returning with this squad, which captured the No. 1 overall spot in Division 1 North despite missing Luis Puello (ankle) for most of the season. ESPN Boston All-State guard Tyler Nelson returns as one of the state’s top shooters, but the Raiders also return all three of their regular bigs in Joel Berroa, Doug Gemmell and Nick Cambio.

New Mission – Apparently it’s never too early for bulletin board fodder, because head coach Cory McCarthy is already making some barnstorming rounds, telling ESPNBoston.com this afternoon that if the Titans don’t win the Division 2 state title next year, “I should be fired.” Bold, yes, but it’s hard not to like a lineup of Isshiah Coleman, Nate Anderson, Greg Bridges, Damion Smith and Shaquan Murray. There is some promising talent in those ranks.

Mansfield – Folks are talking about the Hornets being one of the South region’s top teams in two years’ time, between promising freshman Brendan Hill and sophomore Michael Hershman. I’m of the camp that believes with those two versatile parts, paired with a terrific coach in Mike Vaughan, the future is now.

Taunton – Shaquille O’Neal Davis. That’s legitimately his full name, and one you certainly will not forget by this time next year, for reasons that have nothing to do with The Big Aristotle.

West Springfield – Terriers return virtually everyone, including Chris Lipscomb, Paul Bessette, Andy McNulty, Dewey King, and leading scorer Riyadh Asad. West Side is the early favorite next year in Division 1 West.

St. John’s (Shrewsbury) – Junior transfer Tarik Octave was one of the nice surprises of the playoffs, and freshman Davon Jones has shades of former Pioneers great David White all over him (Doesn’t hurt that Jones was also the Pioneers’ starter at safety last fall, too). A boat load of underclassmen return, including Ken Harrington and T.J. Kelley, which should more than make up for the graduation of Matt Palecki.

Danvers – Falcons graduate 6-foot-7 center George Merry, an ESPN Boston All-State selection, but return some terrific guards. Nick McKenna, Nick Bates, Eric Martin and Dan Connors can all shoot the ball, and are perfectly-suited for John Walsh’s four-out offensive system. My early pick to repeat at D3 champs.

BC High – Eagles return what ought to be one of the state’s best backcourts in point guard Charles Collins and ESPN Boston All-State swingman Jameilen Jones. Throw into the mix one of the region’s best basketball minds in Bill Loughnane (he of four state titles) and it’s hard to think of the Eagles as anything but a favorite in the South.

Springfield Central – A plethora of talent graduates, including Chris Prophet, Lee Turner, Jevaughn McMilian, and ESPN Boston Super Teamer Tyrell Springer. But All-State forward Kamari Robinson should have another terrific season, and the way Cornelius Tyson exploded onto the scene in the Division 1 state final makes us all wonder if he’s about to realize the potential that many in the Springfield area have been talking about for so long.

Stoughton – Super Teamer Aaron Calixte and Defensive Player of the Year Marcus Middleton formed the state’s best backcourt in 2011-12. If all goes as planned, they’ll be well-equipped to defend that notion next season.

Wareham – Vikings might not endure an unbeaten regular season again next year. But another year of All-State point guard Darien Fernandez means they’re not going anywhere.

GIRLS

Braintree – Wamps started three freshmen this year: Ashley Russell, Bridget Herlihy, and 6-foot-1 center Molly Reagan. Expect them in conversation for state title contention from now until their time runs out in 2015.

Archbishop Williams – Ditto the Bishops, who have two 6-foot freshmen to look forward to the next three seasons. Add in sophomores Olivia Conrad and Leah Spencer, and their fiery mouthpiece Sara Ryan, and this could be another top-five team come December 2012.

Reading – The Rockets made a flawless run through the Division 2 gauntlet, winning their first Division 2 state title in school history as one of two final unbeaten squads in Massachusetts. Two-time Middlesex MVP and ESPN Boston All-State Olivia Healy returns, as does guard Morgan O’Brien.

Andover – Golden Warriors are expected to come down to Earth with the graduation of two-time ESPN Boston Miss Basketball, Nicole Boudreau, and UConn lacrosse commit Ally Fazio. What might be overlooked amidst Andover’s unprecedented run to a third straight state title is that there were plenty of terrific complimentary backcourt pieces in the underclass.

Central Catholic – Raiders treaded water after some injuries early on. But once junior forward Casey McLaughlin was back to full strength, they made a run all the way to the Division 1 North semifinals. Have to imagine they’ll be in conversation again next year.

Div. 1 Boys: Mansfield 69, Weymouth 66

March, 2, 2012
3/02/12
12:03
AM ET
WEYMOUTH, Mass. --- Despite a valiant fourth quarter Weymouth comeback the visiting No. 14 seed Mansfield Hornets held on to win a hard-fought 69-66 victory in the first round of the Division 1 South sectionals.

Mansfield held a 56-36 lead over the No. 3 seed Wildcats heading into the fourth quarter. Mansfield built their lead by dominating the rebounding edge through the first three quarters and knocking down key 3-point shots in the middle quarters of the game.

“We needed every single point of that 20-point lead,” said Mansfield head coach Mike Vaughan. “Weymouth is senior lead group and they were not going to go down without a fight.”

The host Wildcats, playing with their backs up against the wall and down by 20 points in the fourth quarter, came out firing and applied a full-court man-to-man press that gave Mansfield problems down the stretch.

Weymouth senior guard Colyn Ahola came off the bench to score 20 points, with 10 coming in the final quarter, to help lead the comeback. Sophomore forward Ryan Jones also added a physical post presence for the Wildcats to help combat some of Mansfield’s height and rebounding advantage.

The Wildcats scored 30 fourth quarter points but it was not enough as Mansfield freshman forward Brendan Hill hit three important foul shots down the stretch to help seal the three point victory for the Hornets.

The 6-foot-3 Hill scored nine of his 18 points in the fourth quarter to go along seven rebounds, two assists and two steals on the night.

Weymouth was led by 6-foot-4 senior forward Terrance O’Mara who scored 20 points (15 in the first half), pulled down six rebounds and dished out four assists to help pace the Green Hornets offense. The senior also provided a defensive post presence in Mansfield’s zone that helped keep the Wildcats out of the paint.

“I think we did a good job of clogging up the paint and neutralizing a lot of their athleticism,” said Vaughn. “It helped put us in a position that we could get the rebounding edge.”

Mansfield led 33-25 at the half and built their largest lead in third quarter as they outscored the Wildcats 43-25 during the two middle quarters. They also held an 18-8 rebounding edge during those two quarters.

“We worked real hard to get position and box out,” said O’Mara. “It is a tribute to coach and how hard we work in practice. He works us really hard and it is all for the best.”

Youthful experience: Mansfield has a balanced roster of youth and experience and they got big contributions on Thursday night from their young players in Hill, sophomore point guard Ryan DeAndrade (8 points), and sophomore guard Michael Hershman (10 points).

“They having been doing it for us all year,” said Vaughan. “Sometimes they hit the freshman and sophomore walls but at the end of the day they are very skilled and very talented basketball players and overall they came up with some real big plays for us tonight.

O’Mara echoed his coach’s thoughts.

“These young guys are so talented," said O’Mara. “They are going to have a real bright future. That being said this is the best team chemistry of any team I have ever played on.”

Lugay Goes Out Scoring: Weymouth senior guard Damian Lugay did not score until midway through the second quarter but the senior lit the basket on fire from that point on, scoring a team-high 23 points with six 3-pointers.

Lugay and his 10 senior teammates finish their careers with impressive winning resumes. They finish the 2011-2012 season with a 17-4 record after going 18-4 last season.

Next up… Franklin: It is only fitting that Franklin defeated BC High on Thursday night as the two Hockomock League rivals will meet for a third time in the D1 South sectional quarter-finals on Saturday in Franklin.

“I am friends with almost everyone on Franklin’s team,” said O’Mara after hearing of their impending re-match. “It should be real fun and we are looking forward to playing them again.”

Franklin defeated Mansfield in both of their prior match-ups this season. Franklin won their most recent contest by 18 points, 60-42, on February 14 when the teams last played in Mansfield.
Franklin head coach Dean O'Connor passes along this year's boys basketball All-Stars for the Hockomock League.

Any all-star lists can be sent to either Brendan Hall (bhall@espnboston.com) or Scott Barboza (sbarboza@espnboston.com)



MVP - Jake Layman, Sr., King Philip
J.J. Jolaoso, Sr., Attleboro
Joe McCabe, Sr., Canton
Sam Bohmiller, Jr., Franklin
Joe Palazini, Sr., Franklin
John Mullane, Sr., King Philip
Brian Hershman, Sr., Mansfield
Michael Hershman, Soph., Mansfield
Nick Bruha, Sr., Oliver Ames
Andrew Reardon, Jr., Oliver Ames
Brian Mukasa, Soph., Sharon
Aaron Calixte, Jr., Stoughton
Marcus Middleton, Jr., Stoughton


Recap: No. 11 Mansfield 73, No. 2 Stoughton 66

January, 10, 2012
1/10/12
11:13
PM ET


STOUGHTON, Mass. -- During the preseason, much of the talk within the Hockomock League circles surrounded two teams boasting talented individuals players -- King Philip and Maryland-bound stretch forward Jake Layman, along with Stoughton and their electric junior point guard Aaron Calixte.

All this, in spite of Mansfield's resume -- a Division 1 South title last March, some of the state's best coaching, and overall supremacy over the league the last few seasons.

Suffice it to say, after tonight there are no questions about who still reigns supreme in one of the MIAA's most competitive conferences. The Hornets dispatched KP to start the season; tonight, they knocked off recently-anointed No. 2 Stoughton, 73-66, after trailing by 13 headed into the final frame.

With the win, the Hornets run their league winning streak to 26 games, dating back to a loss to North Attleborough on Jan. 15, 2010.

"I told my guys, we're not going down without a fight," Hornets head coach Mike Vaughan said. "That's a great team. We had to play a lot of outstanding basketball for a lot of time, just to get ourselves back in the game.

"I like that team a lot. They compete, they play hard. We had to make some big plays down the stretch, and we weren't going down without a fight."

Down 58-45 headed into the final frame, the Hornets (5-3) strung together a series of big plays for an impressive 21-0 run that put the clamps on any Stoughton comeback, after the Black Knights (6-1) led for the first 24 minutes.

It started with some terrific play around the glass from freshman forward Brendan Hill (16 points, six rebounds, two blocks), and stiff defense on the perimeter from Ryan DeAndrade and Michael Hershman. The Hornets seized the lead with some heady play by senior captain Brian Hershman (15 points). First, the guard stole a loose ball near midcourt that had Calixte (28 points, eight assists) initially lost control of, driving in for an easy layup to tie it at 58 apiece.

The next trip down, Mansfield took the lead for good with a perfectly-executed backdoor play right through the heart of Stoughton's 3-2 zone. A high entry pass was dumped into the elbow to Hill, who took one touch and immediately slapped it back out to the three-point line on the right wing. From there, Brian immediately fired a diagonal pass to the opposite post, where Greg Romanko cut down the baseline for a wide-open layup and 60-58 score.

The Hornets never trailed again.

"Every day in practice, we go through a zone," Brian said. "We run a certain play, we swing it, then look for back cuts, anything that's open, take a layup."

Interestingly enough, Brian threw the same pass two possessions earlier, only to have it stolen by Calixte.

"I'd throw that pass 10 times, make it nine times," Brian said.

From there, the Hornets were able to make all their requisite late free throws to ice this one. In all, they made 13 of 15 free throws in the fourth quarter; and in total, they outscored the Black Knights 28-8 in the final frame.

"It's kind of an age-old story of we gave in, in a lot of different ways, to pressure, mentally and physically," Stoughton head coach John Gallivan said. "We just had an internal collapse across the board. We didn't want to do the things we normally do. We had guys hiding from the ball, just dying to get rid of it, and we missed some shots we didn't hit, and all of a sudden we haven't scored in five minutes. You can't do that against a Mansfield team."

Hill 'the real deal': Coaches and players both within the Hornets program and around the Hockomock are already speaking highly of the freshman Hill, who came off the bench and provided the needed spark in the fourth quarter. When they speak of his potential, they're talking about plays like the one he made early in the fourth quarter, a block of the physical Calixte as he crossed up his defender and drove to his right towards the basket -- a clean block but one that nonetheless planted the Division 1 guard prospect square on his behind on the floor.

"He's gonna be a special player," Vaughan said. "He's still learning varsity basketball, and what it takes to play at this level. He got beat up pretty early for a couple of quarter there, and I called him out at halftime. To start the fourth, he showed what kind of a special player he's going to be the next four years and the type of plays he can make for this team."

Brian Hershman takes the praise just a tad further.

"He's gonna be the deal," Brian said. "Give him another two years, he's gonna be one of the best players in the state. He's already showing it right now. He's dominating.

"He sees the floor tremendous. You see his passes, no-look passes, he finishes down low, [he can] do it all."

Chess match: Vaughan showered praise upon Calixte, calling the electric junior "fun to watch", even admitting that sometimes, "I get caught up watching on the sidelines."

Asked about devising a game plan to slow him -- the junior sizzled slightly in the second half, finishing 10 of 23 from the field -- Vaughan chuckled.

"Throw the house at him?" he asked rhetorically, with a laugh. "The house, the garage, the cars, everything. I mean, we did everything we could to neutralize him, and he's...just special. He made big play after big play, and that's the way he'll do it all year, and that's how he's done it up to this point."

Lately, Gallivan has been adding a new ripple to the Black Knights' offense when opponents key on Calixte. Last Friday night against Oliver Ames, a 63-44 win, Calixte went to the blocks and posted up whenever the Tigers came out in a box-and-one defense. Tonight, a similar strategy played out, with Calixte drawing fouls on the floor against DeAndrade when he went to the blocks.

On the other end, Gallivan has been experimenting with putting Antonio Ferreira at the top when in zone defenses. The sparky Ferreira -- whose one-handed slam lifted the crowd to end the third quarter -- could be a nuisance in this look, with his long arms able to disrupt the passing lanes while hustling back quick enough to crash the boards.

When we last checked in with the tattooed one (nicknamed "Nuke", and equipped with his own special chant from the student section) during the preseason, Gallivan told ESPNBoston.com, "He’s playing with unbelievable passion and confidence...He’s about 6-2, but he plays like he’s 6-6."

"We'll throw stuff against the wall and see [what sticks]," Gallivan said of the strategies with Calixte and Ferreira. "In a game like this -- especially with Mike Vaughan coaching the other team -- if you stay in anything too long, they're eventually going to rip you to pieces. You've got to mix things up."

Recap: No. 14 Mansfield 59, No. 6 KP 50

December, 20, 2011
12/20/11
10:59
PM ET



WRENTHAM, Mass. -- Mansfield entered last night's showdown against Hockomock League Kelley-Rex Division rival King Philip with a clear focus -- control the boards, or else.

The Hornets did precisely that, executing coach Mike Vaughan's gameplan to near perfection. The margin wasn't huge but eight offensive boards helped a ton as No. 14 Mansfield held off the sixth-ranked Warriors for a 59-50 victory Tuesday night.

"We came into the game and said the one focus point was rebounding," said Vaughan. "If we didn’t rebound we were going to lose the game. I thought early on we set a huge tone that we were going to rebound the basketball."

That rebounding played a major role in the first half. Mansfield (2-0, 2-0 Hockomock Kelley-Rex) struggled to an 0-for-8 shooting start and watched the Warriors (1-1, 1-1) build a quick 6-0 lead before Greg Romanko knocked down a 3-pointer to get the Hornets on the board.

KP would extend its lead to 12-6 before the Hornets' board work sparked a 12-0 run, highlighted by three-pointers from senior captains Terence O'Mara (12 points, nine rebounds) and Brian Hershman (12 points, seven boards). The Warriors fought back, retaking the lead at 21-20 on a triple by Maryland-bound senior Jake Layman (game high 28 points, 10 rebounds). But sophomore Michael Hershman (nine points) answered with a three of his own, and Mansfield scored the final eight points of the half to go into the break with a 28-21 advantage.




With a talented player such as the 6-foot-8 Layman on the floor, Mansfield figured they were going to have to withstand a run at some point; and the future Terrapin found his stroke in the third. He scored all 14 of the Warriors' points in the frame, on a pair of three's, three more buckets and two free throws. The last foul shot cut the gap to one point (36-35) and the Hornets appeared to be in trouble.

"We just have to keep playing hard and sticking with our game," O'Mara said when asked about weathering the storm. "If that's what gets us in the lead then thats whats going to keep us there."

About dealing with Layman when he's in a rhythm, O'Mara added, "You just have to try and do the best you can. He's going to win some of the battles so you have to try to win the ones you can, instead of outplaying him."

Mansfield indeed held firm against what Vaughan referred to as "The Layman Show," regained its composure, and closed out the third with hoops by Brendan Hill and O'Mara sandwiched around a big 3-pointer from Brian Hershman.

"I thought in the third quarter when we got a little tired and a little foul trouble, I thought that they might get over the hump and we were going to have to fight from behind a little bit just because at that point it was the Layman show," admitted Vaughan. "We stuck with the gameplan and got a few defensive stops and that was the difference.

KP got no closer than four points from that point on as the Hornets hit most of their free throws and forced several bad possessions to walk away victorious.

"I think they outworked us. I think it's plain and simple," surmised KP coach Sean McInnis. "They just play good hardnosed basketball and they outworked us. Some of our bigs took a beating from little guards tonight. They did a nice job We had a little bit of a problem matching up here and there with them but I just think, give Mansfield all the credit on this one."


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