Boston High School: Peter Garrity

D2 South: King Philip 28, Needham 0

November, 7, 2014
WRENTHAM, Mass. - In the opening quarter, Needham ran 20 plays and had the ball for all but 16 seconds, but somehow found itself down 7-0 to top seed King Philip.

It set the tone for a game in which KP (9-0) managed only two first downs, both of them on touchdowns, and only ran five plays in Needham territory prior to the fourth quarter, but came away with a 28-0 victory in Friday night’s Division 2 South semifinal at Macktaz Field.

After the game, Warriors coach Brian Lee embraced the perception that KP knows how to win ugly.

“We’re scrapping it out,” he said. “You take a look at our guys and we’re not much to look at -- that’s what we always talk about -- but we’re finding ways to get it done.” With a chuckle, he added, “Somehow we’re still playing…I don’t know.”

The Rockets (6-3) returned the opening kickoff to the 20. Over the next nine minutes of game time, Needham marched all the way inside the King Philip 10-yard-line on a drive that included two third down conversions and a fourth-down sneak by quarterback Sam Foley (10-26, 86 yards).

Foley, who transferred back to Needham this season from Milton Academy, started with an unusual cadence that seemed to have the Warriors jumping early and off-balance. The junior hit Cliff Kurker three times on the drive and then tight end Ryan Walsh down the middle for 19 yards. Senior running back Jack Roque (nine carries, 75 yards) then ran 28 yards on a quick handoff up the middle.

That carry placed the ball at the KP nine. But the Warriors defensive line settled down and stuffed Jared Sklar for a loss, dropped Kurker for a loss on a shovel pass, and Roque for no gain. With 1:35 left in the opening quarter, Foley’s fourth down pass was incomplete and the Rockets gave the ball to KP.

Sixteen seconds and one play later and it was 7-0. Senior running back Mark Glebus took the hand-off, bounced to the right, and raced 87 yards to put the Warriors ahead.

“We had shots to score and we didn’t execute as well as we needed to,” said Needham coach Dave Duffy. “Our defense kept us in it as long as they could, but we just misfired a little bit and of course King Philip’s defense is so good that you have to capitalize on every opportunity that you get.”

Neither team could get anything going offensively. KP was in control of the line of scrimmage with Chris Winbourne and Peter Garrity, in particular, bottling up the Needham running game and pressuring Foley. The Rockets also played well on the defensive side of the ball with Derek Child and Joe Gowetski standing strong against the KP power rushing attack.

Lee said, “The cadence had us a little off and we were jumping, anxious to get after it, so we got caught a couple of times. After that first series, I thought we really settled down and played ‘D.’ It kept us in the game.”

Duffy praised his defense for keeping the Rockets in the game as long it could. About the Warriors defense, he explained, “They were moving around, blitzing from different angles, and throwing different defenses at you. We had a little trouble getting going, but that was to be expected -- I knew they would be good defensively.”

It stayed 7-0 into the third quarter, when a bad snap over Foley’s head was recovered by Brian Donahue at the Rockets five. On the next play KP quarterback John DeLuca powered in a five-yard sneak to double the lead.

“That was a gift,” said Duffy, “and we could’ve recovered it but they did and then punched it in. They took advantage of our mistakes and we didn’t take advantage of our opportunities.”

Lee added, “We weren’t moving the ball. We couldn’t do anything and all of a sudden we had that momentum, they let down I think a little, and that was the play of the game.”

On its next possession, the Warriors finally put together a sustained drive. A five-yard run by Glebus (16 carries, 158 yards) on the second play of the fourth quarter earned an elusive first down and keep a drive alive that would take 18 plays and cover 85 yards to put the game away. After DeLuca converted a fourth down by the nose of the ball, Glebus finished the drive with a seven-yard score.

Foley was intercepted by Jake Patrick on fourth down on Needham’s next possession. Three plays later, Stephen Eaton (seven carries, 80 yards) went straight up the middle for 66 yards to add some gloss to the final score.

With the victory, King Philip advances to the D3 Southwest final to face No. 2 seed Marshfield, which defeated Natick 55-20 on Friday.

Recap: King Philip 33, North 0

October, 3, 2014
NORTH ATTLEBOROUGH, Mass. - As King Philip's offense was trying to adjust to a wet, muddy Community Field, the Warriors defense did more than enough to keep them in the game.

King Philip's defense forced a turnover in each of North Attleborough's first two drives and then its offense scored on five straight series between the second and third quarters to shutout the Rocketeers, 33-0, in a Hockomock League Kelley-Rex division matchup.

The Warriors didn't even have positive yardage after their first two drives but when senior Kyle Loewen picked off North quarterback Justin Gallagher in the end zone, the Warriors completely took over the game.

"They had some momentum early on, they were making some plays on us," KP head coach Brian Lee said. "We were slipping on the field a little bit and they were having some success passing against us and then the turnover, when we were dealing, was really helpful. The pick later on was huge. After we settled down and were able to get ahead, we were able to make some plays."

After the interception, senior Mark Glebus burst out to the left for a 64-yard gain to the North Attleborough 16-yard line. Three plays later, sophomore quarterback John DeLuca connected with Loewen for a 10-yard touchdown to make it 6-0 with 10:57 left in the first half.

KP's defense forced another quick three and out for North Attleborough and took over at their own 46-yard after the Rocketeers' punt. The Warriors used a mix of runs from Glebus and DeLuca and a 17-yard pass from DeLuca to Loewen to get into the red zone. Facing a third-and-8 at the 18-yard line, DeLuca floated one to the back right corner of the end zone where Loewen was able to reel it in for a touchdown. DeLuca connected with Peter Garrity for the 2-point conversion to make it 14-0.

After another three-and-out for North, KP took over at the North 48-yard line. Four of the first plays were runs from Glebus, totaling 39 yards to set up the Warriors with second and goal from the 4. From there, Glebus busted out to the left and stutter stepped around a defender and into the end zone. Sam Fleck's extra point was good to make it 21-0 with 2:27 left in the first half.

"Before with our offense it was a couple yards here and there," Lee said. "And then with Glebus its two yards, three, two, then boom [he's gone]. And then everybody feels we can start playing."

The Rocketeers tried to get on the board in the final minutes and came out throwing on their next drive. After two incomplete passes, Gallagher was flushed out of the pocket to the right sideline and heaved one up but it was Glebus who came away with the interception around his own 30-yard line and raced back to the North Attleborough 27-yard line. Glebus was rewarded three plays into that drive, taking the ball on third and 2 and rushing in for a 19-yard touchdown. The Warriors went into halftime up 27-0. Glebus finished the game with 162 yards rushing and two touchdowns.

"You can't turn the ball against them," North Attleborough head coach Don Johnson said. "They're opportunistic, they're so aggressive on defense. I give them all the credit in the world, they made all the plays tonight and we made none."

The Warrior defense didn't budge in the second half either, forcing a quick three and out from North Attleborough to start the second half. Just four plays later, Steven Eaton cut to the left and rushed the rest of the way for a 56-yard touchdown to up the score to 33-0. Eaton finished with 99 yards on 14 carries and a touchdown.

Both teams turned the ball over on their next drives but the Warriors' defense was able to force yet another turnover. Facing third and four at their own 38-yard line, K.C. Webster was able to get the strip sack of quarterback Brody Barr and Brian Donahue came up with the loose ball. KP used the ensuing drive to wipe off nearly the rest of the time on the clock.

Dominating Defense: When talking about being aggressive on defense after the game, Lee had a simple answer.

"That's how you're supposed to play, right?"

For the second straight week, the Warriors defense allowed less than 10 points and allowed just a total of 29 points through four games, just 7.25 points per game.

"I couldn't be happier with the defense," Lee said. "I'll look at the film and tomorrow I'll change my mind on that but right now I'm very, very pleased with the effort and the team defense."

The team forced four turnovers against North Attleborough - two interceptions and two fumbles - and were able to turn two of those into touchdowns. In terms of yardage, the Warriors allowed just 124 yards to the Rocketeers – 36 of which came on North's final drive with just over a minute to play.

"I can't say enough," Lee said. "This team is different than other teams that I've had but they have the same KP heart. I couldn't be more proud of how they responded.

Time To Rebound: North Attleborough suffered their second loss of the season, but that might not be a bad thing. After they dropped their opener to Stoughton, Big Red went on to win two straight games with victories over Bishop Feehan (13-0) and the defending D2 state champion Mansfield Hornets (42-22).

The road will be a little tougher this time around as North will return to action next Friday when they host their biggest rivals – Attleboro.

The Bombardiers are 2-1 heading into Saturday's contest against Mansfield and swept the Rocketeers last year. The last time that North Attleborough picked up a win against their rivals was Thanksgiving 2012.

Recap: No. 1 Mansfield 20, No. 14 KP 7

October, 18, 2013
WRENTHAM, Mass. -- With all of the focus locked in on Mansfield's high power offense and King Philip's stout defense before the game, it was the Hornet defense that stood tall after it.

No. 1 Mansfield scored two fourth-quarter touchdowns on their way to a 20-7 win over Hockomock rival No. 14 King Philip.

"I think the story of the night was our defense," said Mansfield head coach Mike Redding. "We gave up one early and then settled down and played great run defense against a very physical team that can run the ball. All week that was what we were preaching. Everyone was going to talk about our offense against the defense but the story of the game is going to be our defense playing against their run game and if we could stop them we have a chance to win."

The Warriors gained the momentum early as their defense forced three straight incompletions from Mansfield QB Kyle Wisnieski and their offense took the ball 63 yards on six plays -- helped by a 15-yard face mask penalty -- and scored first on a Mark Glebus 4-yard touchdown run. But that would be all the Warrior offense would be able to muster up the entire game.

"That was just good old fashioned Hockomock league football," Redding said. "A dirt field, two teams physically hitting each other hard. They were as advertised on defense -- very, very good. They're athletic and they're physical. I just thank God we have some playmakers that made some things happen."

After the teams traded punts three times each, the last being a Christian Flaherty punt that pinned Mansfield at their own 12, the Hornets found their first playmaker. Senior running back Miguel Villar-Perez came in motion and took the hand off and headed right before meeting a host of King Philip defenders. He quickly cut back left through a whole before turning on the jets, running it 88 yards for a touchdown and the extra point made it 7-7 with 5:55 left in the second quarter.

The play was a hint of luck for Mansfield, as Redding admitted after the game that it wasn't exactly run correctly.

"We had nothing going and I couldn't come up with the call," he said. "We actually lined up wrong and blocked it wrong but we adjusted and Miguel made a great cut back. He's been a clutch guy all year. That was definitely a big play. You don't want to go into halftime shutout and have them feeding off that."

The score would remain 7-7 through the rest of the first half and all through the third quarter as the two squads both were unable to get anything going offensive.

Neither King Philip's rushing attack or Mansfield's passing game found a rhythm until early in the fourth quarter, when Mansfield came up with a new simple strategy: get the ball to junior Brendan Hill. On their last play of the third quarter they started doing so, finding Hill for his first catch on a short 7-yard pass. That then opened the door for other Mansfield receivers.

On a first-and-10 from their own 42, Wisnieski's play-action pass over the middle looked like it was going to be broken up but Kyle Hurley made a move back to the ball, tipping it up before catching it and completing a 26 yard gain. On the next play, Wisnieski mishandled the ball but quickly picked it up and tossed it to a wide open Hurley, who ran it in for a 22-yard touchdown play, giving the Hornets a 14-7 lead with 9:20 left in the game.

King Philip looked to strike back quickly and almost did when quarterback J.J. Dillon heaved one to Peter Garrity downfield, but the ball slipped through his hands and the Warriors settled with a three and out and a punt.

The Hornets continued with their strategy of getting the ball to Hill, who was held without a catch in the first half. Facing third and 10 in their own half, Wisnieski threw one towards the sideline but a King Philip defender jumped the route, getting his hands on it but it slipped through and Hill was able to catch it while falling down. Three plays later, another play-action led to a 21-yard catch for Hill, at the KP 5-yard line. Villar-Perez was able to just get across the goal line and the extra point missed as Mansfield led 20-7 with 4:20 left in the game.

"He's just unbelievable," Redding said of Hill. "We kind of just got to the point were we said just throw it to him, I don't care if he's covered, just throw it and get a little height on it and he's going to make the catch. He's a clutch guy and they were all over him with the double coverage, banging under and the safety over the top and they did a great job of trying to take him out but it got to the point where we said just get him the ball and let him make plays."

Hill was there again on KP's last ditch effort drive, as a high snap forced a fumble and Hill pounced on it to get the ball back for the Hornets.

With a strong performance from Mansfield's defense came disappointment from KP head coach Brian Lee about his offense.

"I think our offense needed to help our defense out in the second half a little bit," Lee said. "You know, if you leave them out there and leave them out there, eventually those caliber of dudes are going to make plays and thats what happened. When you're playing a team like that, you know they're going to make their plays We said 20 all week long was what we wanted to hold them to so offensively we just didn't do the job but defensively I'm pretty proud of how we played."

Mansfield improves to 6-0 overall and 4-0 and clinches at least a share of the Hockomock Kelley-Rex division and KP falls to 5-1 and 3-1 in the division. The Hornets will look to sweep their league games with a trip to Franklin next week while KP will host Attleboro, fresh off a 45-0 beating of Taunton.

Normally when it comes to the Hock, you see a team once and whoever comes out on top keeps bragging rights for a year. But with the new playoff system in place, a rematch between these two is not just possible, it's likely.

With both teams in Division 2 South and both teams top quality squads, a playoff rematch looks promising. Mansfield will continue to be at the top of the ratings while KP won't drop much because of this loss. If you ask Mike Redding what he think's of a rematch, he's pretty clear.

"Mark my words, we'll play again," he said. "I hope its in the sectional championship but these two teams are going to meet up again and it should be a heck of a game because we're both going to make some progress in the Division 2 playoffs, I just hope its the last round."

Recap: No. 23 KP 35, Middleborough 13

September, 7, 2013

MIDDLEBOROUGH, Mass. – It all started with a “Pop!”

After a lack-luster first half, No. 23 King Philip trailed Middleborough, 7-6, at Battis Field on Saturday. Then, Warriors linebacker Brett McEvoy set the tone for what was to come.

McEvoy, who also handles kick-off duties for KP, booted the opening kick downfield, wove through the return block like pylons and met the ball carrier with loud thud. The ball popped loose and the game was never the same.

The Warriors forced four turnovers in the second half and ran away with a 35-13 win over the Sachems.

“It’s nice when you have your kicker who can run down, lays somebody out and forces a turnover for you,” KP head coach Brian Lee said of McEvoy’s thunderous special teams play.

The Warriors (1-0) utilized a short field to set up several scores in the second half.

Andrew Hayward recovered the fumble McEvoy forced and, six plays later, KP had its first lead of the game on Christian Flaherty’s second rushing touchdown of the game.

On the ensuing Sachems (0-1) possession, Kyle Loewen grabbed the first of three Warriors interceptions. Again setting up shop on the plus-side of the 50-yard line, KP needed just two plays before Joe Johnston (13 carries, 110 yards) found the end zone for his first of two rushing touchdowns.

Owen Galvin then pocketed the Warriors’ second interception, taking back a pick-six 23 yards.

Finally, after collecting an interception of his own, Johnston capped another scoring drive with a 3-yard touchdown run two minutes into the fourth quarter for a 35-7 Warriors’ lead.

Sophomore running back Eddie Hart added a 39-yard touchdown run with a nice cut-back move in the open field to cap scoring for the Sachems.

“The beginning, the first half, we came out real soft,” Johnston said. “I don’t know why the first game of the year we weren’t ready for it.”

Then, that changed. Thanks to McEvoy.

“[The hit] just sparked us. Everybody got going and we fed off of that.”

Undaunted: The Warriors were able to wear down Middleborough in the second half thanks to a relentless edge rush from junior defensive end Peter Garrity.

The 6-foot, 175-pounder registered a pass defended in the first half, batting down a pass at the line of scrimmage. He also tallied two tackles that went for no gain or a loss.

“He’s a kid that we have high expectations for,” Lee said of Garrity. “He has a big job to do for us and he was able to do it today.”

Building blocks: While the Sachems offense sputtered in the second half, there were plenty of positives to take away from a rough afternoon.

Middleborough, coming off its first winning season since 2005, under Patrick Kingman, has a core strength on the defensive line. The Sachems more than held their own for the better part of three quarters against a relentless KP rushing attack.

They also got penetration. Senior defensive tackle Vasili Papathanasiou finished with 1.5 tackles for loss.

Also, look out for senior two-way tackle Jeremy Hernandez. The 6-foot-4, 255-pounder recently won the heavyweight wrestling title at the Bay State Games.