Friday, November 17, 2017

Breaking Down the MIAA Eastern Mass Football Finals (Divisions 3, 4 & 7)

Mashpee is hoping for ANOTHER trip to Gillette, but St. Mary's (Lynn) will present the Falcons with their biggest test yet.
By Matt Feld (@mattyfeld612)

Our Matt Feld already previewed Divisions 5, 6 and 8 of the MIAA's North vs South football state semifinals, and now he's back to fill in the gaps.

You can also check out our collaboration with MassLive to preview the four Central vs West state semis, but now here is everything you need to know about Saturday's games in EMass Divisions 3, 4 and 7.

Eastern Mass Division 3

Tewksbury (9-1) vs. North Attleboro (9-1)

The first contest on the docket Saturday showcases the D3 state semifinal between North champion Tewksbury and South champion North Attleboro. Since an opening week loss to King Philip, the Red Rocketeers have won nine games in a row behind the play of quarterback Chad Peterson and a stingy defense.

If the last few weeks of the regular season were not enough evidence, it has all come together for North Attleboro in the tournament. Their defense, led by senior captain Zach DeMattio, has allowed just 26 points so far in the, postseason including a shutout of Duxbury in the sectional final.
Tewksbury claimed their first sectional title since 2014 as the Redmen survived close bouts against Danvers and Lynn English. In the latter of the two contests, senior running back Brandon Winn pounded in a game winning one-yard score with less than two minutes to go to hand the Redmen a 22-18 win.

Winn has been Tewksbury’s staple on offense all season long, while Jay Connolly runs the show under center. Shane Darrigo and Braden Hiltz are threats in the passing game.
North Attleboro is playing as well as it has all season, largely due to the flexibility that Peterson provides their offense as a dual-threat. If Tewksbury wants to have a chance to make it Gillette, Peterson’s final rushing total will have to be less than 50.

Feld’s Prediction: 27-16, North Attleboro

Eastern Mass Division 4

Melrose (10-0) vs. Hopkinton (10-0)

Every week, Isaac Seide seems to one up his previous performance. Seide, the face of Division 4 North champion Melrose, has taken over games in all three phases for the Red Raiders this season.

In Melrose’s sectional final win over Marblehead, Seide ran 245 yards and three scores. The week prior in the Red Raiders’ 28-27 win over North Reading, Seide was also the catalyst, running for 111 yards and three more touchdowns. Colin Kernan and Adam Caffey man the fort on defense for Melrose, while the quarterback tandem of Jack Sullivan and Charlie Stanton continues to be effective.
While Melrose has beaten all three of its opponents by one possession or less so far in the postseason, but the same cannot be said for Hopkinton. The Hillers knocked off Pembroke and Dartmouth by a combined score of 40-0, before defeating Milton 28-19 to win the Division 4 South Sectional title. Connor Herbet has been a rock out of the backfield, as highlighted by his 165 yards on the ground over 25 carries in Hopkinton’s win over Milton.

Will Abbot complements Herbet as a weapon that is both explosive out wide, and dangerous out of the backfield.
Hopkinton’s run defense has been terrific this postseason, but Saturday presents a whole new threat in Seide. If the Hillers can just limit Seide and force Melrose to beat them through the air, they will put themselves in a position to prolong their undefeated season.

Feld’s Prediction:
26-24, Hopkinton

Eastern Mass Division 7

St. Mary’s (Lynn) (10-0) vs. Mashpee (10-0)

Out in Eastern Mass, the most notable state semifinal matchup comes in Division 7, where St. Mary’s (Lynn) is hoping to make it Gillette for a third straight season, while Mashpee is hoping to continue its pursuit of three consecutive state championships.

The Spartans resume up until this point speaks for itself. After scoring 308 points during the regular season, the Spartans have followed that up by simply outscoring their postseason foes by a 132-6 margin. Someone may want to stop Calvin Johnson and Marlon Scott.
Mashpee, meanwhile, finds itself back in the state semifinals behind the play of star running back DeVaun Ford and quarterback Jacob Johnston. Ford has done it all over the Falcons' current era of dominance, and on the season has 11 touchdowns in just six games played.

Johnson, meanwhile, has made it so opponents cannot solely focus on the Falcons’ running game. In Mashpee’s sectional final win over Abington, Johnston was responsible for four touchdowns, two through the air and two more on the ground. Cam Kergo is the top threat in the passing game, while John McNamara and Xavier Gonsalves lead the push up front.

This contest seems destined to result in a shootout, with two high profile offenses clashing with one another. While Mashpee’s run over the last three years has been nothing short of incredible, St. Mary’s may just be too much for the Falcons to handle
Feld’s Pick: 34-23, St. Mary’s (Lynn)

No comments :