Sunday, November 18, 2018

MIAA Football: Top State Semifinal Performances

By Matt Feld (@Mattyfeld612)

At long last, we finally have our eight Super Bowl matchups.

In Division 3, Tewksbury showed that a tough regular season schedule can pay dividends as it defeated highly touted Duxbury to advance to the Super Bowl. The Redmen will face off against Springfield Central who exerted revenge on St. John's from a season ago defeating the defending Super Bowl champions, 52-20.

For the second consecutive season and third time in four years Nashoba is headed to Gillette Stadium. The Chieftains scored 28 unanswered points, including 17 in the second half, to blow past Gloucester and earn a matchup against Dighton-Rehoboth.

The Division 5 matchup was settled as Nipmuc continued its blistering postseason by taking care of Longmeadow while Scitaute showed that its offense is as good as any in the Bay State with a runaway victory over Swampscott.

One season after coming up a game short of a Super Bowl appearance. Stoneham left little doubt in this year's state semifinal game. The Spartans dominated Littleton from the opening kickoff to clinch a showdown with Old Rochester.

Blackstone Valley Tech nearly upset Mashpee in last year's Div. 7 Super Bowl and will have another chance to win a title this year as they outscored Wahoncah 13-0 in the second half yesterday to win their state semifinal matchup. The Beavers will take on a St. Mary's team who suffocated Cohasset defensively, forcing three turnovers and not allowing the Skippers to reach the end zone.

Finally, in Division 8, Pope John showed why they were widely considered the preseason favorites using their speed and athleticism to blow past West Bridgewater. Awaiting the Tigers will be a St. Bernard's team that put an exclamation point on its road to Gillette with a 44-0 win over Hoosac Valley.

A look at all eight Super Bowls to be played across November 30th and December 1st. Dates and times will be listed once they are released by the MIAA:

Division 1: Catholic Memorial vs. St. John's Prep
Division 2: King Philip vs. North Andover
Division 3: Tewksbury vs. Springfield Central
Division 4: Dighton-Rehoboth vs. Nashoba
Division 5: Scituate vs. Nipmuc
Division 6: Old Rochester vs. Stoneham
Division 7: St. Mary's vs. Blackstone Valley Tech
Division 8: Pope John vs. St. Bernard's.

Now, here are our top performances from state semifinal weekend:

Will Sheskey, Jr., RB, Scituate

For the second consecutive week, Sheskey was a standout performer. The rising star rushed for 210 yards on 26 carries and a pair of touchdowns as Scituate defeated Swampscott, 45-14, to reach the Division 5 Super Bowl.

Sam Bolinsky, Sr., QB, Nashoba 

Bolinsky finished with 150 passing yards and four touchdowns as Nashoba scored 24 unanswered points to defeat Gloucester and reach its second consecutive Super Bowl.

Kwame Kyles, Jr., RB, Springfield Central

Kyles dominated on the ground, rushing for 143 yards and two touchdowns to propel the Golden Eagles to a 56-20 win over St. John's and a berth in the Div. 3 Super Bowl.

Seth Russell., Jr., RB/DB, Stoneham

Russell was a force on both sides of the ball rushing for 135 yards and a score while also adding a touchdown reception and a pair of interceptions to lead Stoneham past Littleton, 35-0, in the Div. 6 State Semifinals.

Colby Wilson, Sr., WR/DB, Tewksbury

Going against one of the top offenses in Massachusetts, Tewksbury's defense came up clutch highlighted by the play of Wilson. The senior defensive back had a pair of interceptions, including one at the goal line in the fourth quarter, to guide the Redmen to a 29-21 and a Div. 3 Super Bowl berth.

Richard Broni, Jr., RB/DB, Nipmuc

Broni was all over the field on Saturday night, rushing for 159 yards on 26 carries and two touchdowns as Nipmuc clinched a Super Bowl appearance with a 24-9 win over Longmeadow in the Div. 5 State Semifinals.

John Smith-Howell, So., RB/DB, Pope John

Pope John is headed to its first Super Bowl since 1998 and its largely due to the play of Smith-Howell. The senior two-way star rushed for 140 yards and a touchdown while also adding an interception as Pope John defeated West Bridgewater, 31-14.

Walter Morales Jr., Jr., RB/MLB, St. Bernard's

Morales continued his terrific season, rushing for 100 yards and two touchdowns to lead St. Bernard's back to Gillette Stadium with a 42-0 win over Hoosac Valley.

Jay Brunelle, Jr., WR, St. John's Shrewsbury

Brunelle shined in St. John's season-ending loss to Springfield Central reeling in 13 catches for 160 yards and two touchdowns. The junior wide receiver accounted for two of the Pioneers' three scores.

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