Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Lydon and Frommer Both Instrumental in King Philip Winning Streak

King Philip senior quarterback Brendan Lydon and running back Shane Frommer (25) in last year's Division 1A Super Bowl at Gillette Stadium.
By Matt Feld (@mattyfeld612)

- Holding on to a 16-game winning streak, King Philip was on the ropes.

Already down 10-0, the Warriors were teetering as rival Mansfield motored down to the 10-yard line, looking to create an insurmountable lead right before the half.

Then, in an instant, the complexion of the evening changed.

A tipped ball, a Shane Frommer 91-yard interception return, two fourth quarter touchdowns passes courtesy of Brendan Lydon, a game-sealing 48-yard touchdown run by Frommer, 28 unanswered points and a game that ended just like the previous 16.

“Coach (Brian Lee) has made it so we don’t stop grinding until the game's over,” Frommer said after the win. “Us Warriors pride ourselves on fighting.”

The staples of the comeback versus Mansfield were nothing new for the fans in Wrentham.

Frommer and Lydon have become the faces of a King Philip program that has emerged as one of the best in Massachusetts over the last three years.

For the last 17 weekends, the Warriors have walked back into their locker room fresh off a win.

None of those wins was bigger than last their victory last December against Reading at Gillette Stadium, claiming the Division 1A state championship – the first title in program history.

Last year, as juniors, the dynamic running back-quarterback duo got their first crack together at the varsity level. The results spoke for themselves.

The Warriors won all seven of their regular season games in eye-opening fashion, highlighted by an opening night win on the road against North Attleboro, in which Lydon threw the go-ahead touchdown pass.

Still, in the eyes of many, King Philip’s 7-0 start was simply one of good fortune that certainly would come to an end against the likes of Marshfield or Bridgewater-Raynahm in a stout Division 1A South bracket.

As has become routine, the Warriors proved everyone wrong.

A stout defensive effort, spearheaded by Frommer’s play at linebacker, propelled the Warriors to a win over the Rams. One week later, Frommer’s game-changing ability on offense stole the show as he ran for 188 yards and two touchdowns to send the Warriors to the state championship.

While Frommer plays all three phases of the game, Lydon has a knack for fourth quarter heroics.

The senior quarterback stayed relatively quiet throughout most of the 2016 playoffs, before breaking out against Reading in the state title game.

Going up against a physical Rocket front seven, the Warriors and offensive coordinator John Sarianides adjusted to put the fate of a ring on their quarterback's shoulders.

Lydon delivered, throwing two touchdown passes, while amassing 258 yards through the air - a season high.

“We wanted to show King Philip that all the waiting was worth it,” Frommer said. “That, as a program, this was a new start. From having no locker rooms, to no field to play on, to that final whistle. That feeling – I don’t know if I’ll ever get it again.”

While the two cornerstones of the Warriors’ success showcase their competitive drives under the lights, they could not be more polar opposites off the field.

Frommer has established himself as a mainstay in the King Philip weight room, gaining close to 15 pounds during the offseason. While his classmates were out enjoying their summer, Frommer was leading the way as a captain at the Warriors’ passing league.

A rigorous student, he has enamored himself with the classroom, developing an interest in mathematics and physics. Once football is over, he has his eyes set on becoming an engineer.

After a relatively short recruiting period, Frommer knew right away that an Ivy League opportunity would be a dream come true. So, when Yale came calling, there was no question about where Frommer was going to spend his college years.

“Even going through the application process was kind of amazing,” Frommer said jokingly. “I want to be an engineer after school, but this also allows me to get to play the game my dad got me into when I was younger.”

Lydon, meanwhile, mostly keeps to himself away from the field, forming friendships outside the team.

Due to his relaxed state, Lydon is able to keep the Warriors’ huddle at ease before delivering one of his deep balls over the middle.

An accomplished student in his own right, he has yet to commit to playing football once high school is over. The steward of the Warriors’ offense also works year round.

Nothing more clearly portrays the relationship between the two than their lack of interaction in the classroom.

Despite the fact that Frommer and Lydon sit behind one another in history, there is minimal communication between the two.

“It’s kind of bizarre,” Frommer said laughing. “He sits behind me in class and we don’t even speak. He does his thing, I do my thing. Once we get on the field, though, it all clicks.

For Lydon, the winning streak goes well beyond his 17-0 start at the varsity level.

Lydon has never lost a high school game over the course of his four years, going 21-0 during his two years as part of the program’s lower levels.

Originally, such an accomplishment was kept quiet in an effort to not give opposing teams any increased motivation.

As the number in the win column rises, however, that slowly became a moot point.

Warrior senior captain and offensive lineman Andrew Dittrich even tweeted out “38-0” after the win over Mansfield Thursday night to signal the accomplishment.

“We try to keep it fairly quiet,” Sarianides said. “It’s pretty incredible though. The game starts and you don’t know what you’re going to get, but (Lydon) is just always there when you need him in the second half.”

To begin the 2017 season, King Philip is once again defying expectations.

After losing standout John DeLuca and a veteran offensive line to graduation, along with Sean Garrity to injury, the Warriors appeared destined for a setback.

Going up against North Attleboro, Foxboro, Attleboro, and Mansfield to begin the season, a 2-2 start would have been adequate.

Instead, Lydon and Frommer have picked up right up where the Warriors finished to close the 2016 season.

Frommer has six total touchdowns through the first four games, while Lydon has five through the air.

Defensively, meanwhile, Frommer is powering a unit that has allowed just 45 total points, and shut out a lethal Hornets’ ground attack in the second half.

The Division 2 South bracket is filled with heavyweights. Marshfield, Bridgewater-Raynham, Natick, and the aforementioned Hornets have all shown that they have what is necessary to raise a banner come December.

If the recent past is any indication, however, the Warriors hope to be picked against once again, only for Frommer and Lydon to let the scoreboard speak for itself.