|King Philip outlasted Bridgewater-Raynham on Friday to advance to the first Super Bowl in program history|
By Jason Siegel
WRENTHAM, Mass.- The King Philip Warriors outlasted the Bridgewater-Raynham Trojans, 33-28, in the Division 1A South sectional final game on Friday night in Wrentham.
With the win, King Philip (10-0) advances to the Division 1A state Super Bowl on December 3rd at Gillette Stadium, where it will face Reading, the Division 1A North champion.
The game was headlined by contrasting styles of offense. The Warriors utilize their physical offensive line to run the ball between the hashmarks.
Bridgewater-Raynham (6-4) relied on highlight-reel plays from their athletic backs and receivers to put the ball in the end zone.
And both offensive systems were effective early.
After receiving the opening kickoff, the Warriors moved methodically down the field.
The tailback trio of Shane Frommer, Giovanni Fernandez, and Alex Olsen spearheaded the attack on an 18-play, 80-yard drive that took 9:40 off the clock and culminated when quarterback Brendan Lydon faked the inside handoff and on an outside run and scored on fourth-and-goal from five yards out.
King Philip’s extra point attempt was blocked by B-R senior captain Matt Willis. The Warriors led 6-0 with 1:20 remaining in the first quarter.
King Philip head coach Brian Lee said that the opening-drive touchdown was important in setting the tone for the game.
“Right then and there, I said, worst comes to worst, we’re in the game (after the touchdown). I know we can be in it. I think it just set a tempo for our guys and the offense to know (they) could move the ball,” Lee said.
Bridgewater-Raynham wasted no time responding. Bryce Shaw scored on a 33-yard run up the middle just fourteen seconds into the second quarter and George Lampros’ extra point gave the Trojans a 7-6 lead after their 1-minute, 34-second scoring drive.
The two defenses responded in the second period, as both offenses went three-and-out on their next possessions.
King Philip’s next drive was largely the Shane Frommer Show, as the 5-foot-11 junior rattled off runs of 11, 4, and 34 yards. Senior captain John DeLuca III ran the ball in for a 12-yard touchdown. Frommer’s run up the middle converted the two-point try, giving King Philip a 14-7 lead going into halftime.
While King Philip’s offense killed the clock, Bridgewater-Raynham’s offense conserved the clock. After receiving the second-half kickoff, Shawn Noel Jr. scored on a 62-yard run, capping off a 61-second drive that tied the game at 14 with 9:59 remaining in the third quarter.
The Warriors put together a touchdown drive of their own that took 5:13 off the clock before Frommer scored his first touchdown of the day on a 4-yard run up the middle.
Coach Lee was very happy with Frommer’s performance.
“(Shane Frommer) is such a winner. I mean (he’s got) so much heart,” Lee said of his team’s running back.
B-R’s Noel Jr. kept his team in the game. He scored on a 30-yard scamper with 2:21 remaining in the third period to the tie game at 21.
As the tension built in the stands and the fourth quarter began, KP gave their fans reason to celebrate. Frommer scored his second touchdown of the night on the first play of the final period when he burst up the middle for a 5-yard score.
King Philip clung to a 27-21 lead with nearly an entire quarter remaining, and
on B-R’s ensuing possession, the Warriors managed to contain Shawn Noel Jr., and force a turnover on downs.
With the game on the line, King Philip put the pigskin in the hands of Frommer, and once again, he delivered. Frommer picked up 17 yards on a run to the outside, setting the Warriors up with 1st-and-goal from the Trojans 5-yard line.
Frommer explained what he had seen on the play after the victory.
“I saw that it was all blocked inside, so I ran outside, and I knew that I got (the first down),” Frommer said of his key fourth-down conversion.
Two plays later, Lydon scored his second touchdown of the night, giving KP a 33-21 lead with 3:48 remaining.
KP’s defense looked to close the game out on the next possession. The Warriors stopped the Trojans on 4th-and-8, but a holding penalty on KP kept the drive alive for BR. The Trojans took full advantage, as quarterback Corey Sullivan completed a screen pass on the next play to Noel Jr., who took it the rest of the way for a 21-yard touchdown.
On the ensuing drive, the Trojan defense stepped up and forced a King Philip punt. Bridgewater-Raynham had the ball at its own 32-yard line with 0:54 seconds left.
The drive ended abruptly, however, when Corey Sullivan’s pass was intercepted by Andrew Dittrich, sealing a spot in the Division 1A state Super Bowl for the Warriors.
Bridgewater-Raynham will look to end their successful season on a high note in their annual Thanksgiving game against Brockton.
The Warriors were jubilant as they look forward to playing in the Division 1A state Super Bowl for the first time in school history. Frommer called clinching a spot in the state Super Bowl “the best moment in (his) life.”
Coach Lee called his team is “special,” adding that he is very proud of his team’s ability to find ways to win games.
King Philip is a team that has strong offensive and defensive lines. The Warriors have found a way to win every game they have played this season, and they have been able to win defensive battles as well as offensive shootouts.
If their offensive line can block, and their running backs are chewing up yardage and clock, the Warriors will have a chance to lift a state Super Bowl trophy above their heads on December 3rd at Gillette Stadium.