FOXBORO — Foxboro High football coach Jack Martinelli has game-changers in kick returners Luis Sulham and Rashaad Way, as well as kicker Sam Carpenter.
The Warriors have bulk and drive on the lines in the presence of 315-pound senior Sean Ferguson, 265-pound junior Aidan Hughes and 230-pound senior Ethan Tran. The Warriors also have game-changers on defense in 6-foot-4, 215-pound Hockomock League All-Star senior Jon Moses and senior linebackers in Mike Norvish and Trent Rennie.
Foxboro is clinging to the hope that North Attleboro can beat Stoughton on Saturday. If so, the Warriors then would have to upend the Rocketeers on April 9 at Sam Berns Field to create a three-way tie for the Davenport Division title in the Hockomock League.
“I think we’re a good football team,” Martinelli said as prepared the Warriors to face Oliver Ames High at Val Muscato Stadium Thursday for a 5 p.m. kickoff in a Hockomock League game.
With a short week of practice, the Warriors begin their four days of preparation on Sunday this week.
“OA has some weapons, they present some problems to us so we have to make sure that we take care of what we have to do,” Martinelli said.
Foxboro shut out Canton last week 37-0 as Sulham (97 punt return yards) and Way (74 punt return yards) presented the Warriors with prime field position.
In addition, junior linebacker Dylan Gordon had a 44-yard return of an interception to the Bulldogs’ 13-yard line to set up Foxboro’s go-ahead TD, and junior cornerback Tom Sharkey’s interception on the Bulldogs’ first series of the second half and return to the Bulldogs’ 34-yard line set up the Warriors’ third TD.
“It’s always nice to have some kids with talents that aren’t teachable,” Martinelli said of the Warriors’ speed and size. “Kids like, you just let them play and see what they do best.
“Our defense has played well all season, we hope to continue that and get some things moving on offense,” Martinelli added. “We’ll be fine.”
Bishop Fenwick at Bishop Feehan
A product of the Catholic Central League coaching fraternity, former Malden Catholic High coach Bryan Pinabell is now riding herd with the Shamrocks and is well aware of the tradition of success at Bishop Fenwick High.
The Crusaders arrive at McGrath Stadium Thursday for a 6 p.m. kickoff in the Shamrocks’ home debut with the Crusaders having scored 78 points in two games while allowing merely six to Dracut.
“They have a very powerful offense, a three-year starting quarterback and they’re pretty physical up front,” Pinabell said of the Shamrocks’ assignment. “We’re probably similar physically speaking, but they have some really good skill guys.”
The Shamrocks are coming off of a victory at Austin Prep and Pinabell feels his team has responded to a short week of preparation. The key for the Shamrocks will be to not allow the Crusaders on the field for offense.
“They’re very aggressive on defense, they run an attacking 4-4 defense,” Pinabell said. “We’re going to try to get that 4-4 spread out and see if we can create some running room inside. It’ll be a good game, it’ll be a good challenge for us.”
Dighton-Rehoboth at Bourne
Falcons coach Dave Moura knew of the potential of senior tailback Jaren Ramos and had faith in the experience of his offensive line. He just didn’t expect 440 yards of offense, 376 of which was on the ground, and 204 of which was gained by Ramos, en route to a four-TD performance in the Falcons’ season-opening route of Old Rochester Regional.
“What I was impressed in was the kids’ stamina, not having played a game in over a year,” Moura said. “After that initial shock of the first quarter and playing a game, there was no noticeable difference.”
After surrendering a TD on its first series, D-R scored on five straight offensive sets in taking a 35-7 halftime lead as Brady Walsh (87 yards, TD), Aidan O’Connor (43 yards, TD), QB John Marcille (three completions, 65 yards) and kicker Connor Bain (six PAT’s) all flourished.
The Falcons travel to Bourne Friday for a 4 p.m. kickoff in a South Coast Conference game.
“You can’t duplicate the speed of a game in practice,” Moura said. “We still have some things to clean up, the holding calls, an unnecessary roughness call, but all in all, we’re looking forward to playing again.”
Seekonk at Case
Seekonk coach Vernon Crawford admits that the Warriors’ season-opening loss to Somerset Berkley was more of a dress rehearsal after being unable to play a preseason scrimmage.
“We made a lot of mistakes out there,” Crawford said. “With so many new kids, not knowing where to line up in different formations, the quarterback should have thrown to an open receiver and he threw it somewhere else — everything was off.”
The Warriors are hoping to amend their ways in a South Coast Conference game Friday at 4 p.m. at Case.
“We have to clean up our mistakes,” Crawford said, “We showed that we were young. We have to move on and produce on the field.”
Crawford knew that in this COVID-19 season, having players available to play and being able to play games would be a challenge.
“We knew it would be tough, we’ve missed some kids for practice,” he said. “If we had a scrimmage or two, we would have known some things.”
Tri-County at Blue Hills
The Cougars may be depleted by injury and illness, but there is no less determination to win their Mayflower League game against the Warriors.
Behind quarterback Angel Velez and running back T.J. Sedam and a defense that has not allowed more than two TDs this season, the Cougars have found ways to win on both sides of the line of scrimmage.
“We had like nine kids who had not played before or were in new positions,” coach Kahn Chace said of a 14-9 win over Southeastern Regional.
The Cougars have a 3:30 p.m. kickoff Friday in Canton against Blue Hills.
The Cougars forced three takeways (two fumble recoveries, one fumble) in beating the Hawks. The Cougar offense was limited to 120 net yards, was unable to convert five third down situations and owned possession of the ball for seven less minutes, but Tri-County took advantage of 95 yards in assessed penalties against Southeastern.