Saturday, September 8, 2018

Gill Gives Mansfield Second Wind, Helps Hornets Edge out BC High

By Matt Feld (@Mattyfeld612)

Dorchester, Mass. – In a game that seemed destined to come down to its closing moments, Cincere Gill stole the spotlight.

With Mansfield and host BC High tied at seven midway through the fourth, Gill scored a pair of touchdowns over the final seven minutes to lead the Hornets to a 21-7 win over the Eagles on Friday night at James Cotter Field.

Gill highlighted a Mansfield offense that also received productive nights out of two-way star Vinnie Holmes (90 total yards) and Nick Marciano (122 total yards, TD). Hornets quarterback Damani Scott finished with 136 passing yards and a touchdown.

“After (BC High) tied the score, just a great response by our guys in the fourth quarter on the road,” said Mansfield coach Mike Redding. “Cincere (Gill) is a young player, but gives us that element of speed off the edge and big-play capability.”

BC High trailed 7-0 to begin the fourth quarter, but quickly tied the score as Jacob Perez took the hand-off, bounced outside and ran it in from 12 yards out to tie the score at seven.

The Eagles looked like they weer going to have a chance to take the lead with their defense forcing the Hornets into a fourth and 12. Mansfield’s Aiden Sacco, however, turned a botched snap on a punt attempt into a 17-yard pickup down to the BC High 24-yard line.

Two plays later, Gill pushed the Hornets in front taking the handoff on the jet sweep and breaking through the right side for a 21-yard touchdown to give Mansfield a 14-7 lead with 7:01 to play.

BC High had an opportunity to tie the score on its next possession as Brendan Cassamajor rushed four times for 35 yards down to the Mansfield 29. On fourth and one, Holmes made the defensive play of the night sacking a scrambling Joe Brink to force a turnover on downs.

That’s when Mansfield’s ground game pushed the game out of reach. Marciano broke free for a 46 yard pick up to bring the Hornets down into the red zone. Three plays later, Gill put on the finishing touches, splitting the tackles and running it in from four yards out to put Mansfield up 21-7.

“This is a huge win for us,” said Gill. “With Everett coming up next we needed this one, and we got it.”

Redding was impressed with his team’s resolve come the fourth quarter considering the Hornets came up empty on multiple promising drives early in the game.

“Vinnie is just a hard runner and a bruiser,” said Redding. “It allows us to wear some teams down. Marciano is dynamic. I thought we were a little sloppy at times. We had some chances to get that second score to get to 10 or 14 and could not, but I was real proud of our guys for fighting through on the road.”

Mansfield was setup to jump in front late in the first quarter as Holmes bullied his way on a 54-yard carry down inside the BC High 10-yard line. The Eagles defense stood tall with Michael Bennett breaking up a third down pass from Scott and a 27-yard field goal attempt went right to keep the game scoreless.

The Hornets generated another scoring chance for themselves later in the half, but this time took full advantage. Holmes once again set up the opening, turning a screen pass into a 24-yard gain down to the Eagles’ 15. Three players later, Scott rolled right and  connected on the run with a wide open Marciano for an 11-yard touchdown to give Mansfield a 7-0 lead at the half.

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