Weekend Wrap-up (10/24/16)…

With rain, thunder and lightning it was a mess of a weekend for the final regular season high school football games. Let’s take a look at some of the key games, the key performers and some of the divisional playoff scenarios.

It took two days but Xaverian beat BC High 17-0 with a dominating performance on both sides of the line and help from Mekhi Henderson contributing on both offense and defense. The Hawk defense is rolling heading into the D1 South playoffs where they face eighth seeded Franklin who slid into the eight seed with a 41-27 upset win over Attleboro. BC High could not get a consistent running game going and their defense wore down under relentless pressure from the Xaverian running game and RB Devon Piccinin. Xaverian and St. John’s Prep appear to be the two hottest teams in Division 1 heading into the playoffs. BC High gets sixth seeded Braintree and the Wamps are playing excellent football as they just put up over fifty points against Weymouth.

St. John’s Prep came back to beat Bridgewater-Raynham 17-7 with a 34 yard touchdown pass to WR Wes Rockett being the game changing play.  The Eagles offense continues to impress down the stretch and they have a favorable path to the D1 North championship game where they would likely face Everett or Central Catholic…. both teams they have already lost to this season.

Milton managed to score 28 points against Wellesley but that wasn’t enough as the Raiders prevailed by a score of 36-28 and claimed the title in the Bay State Hegert Division. Wellesley now faces seventh seeded Hingham and with a win would get a rematch against Natick or a very tough Bridgewater-Raynham squad.

Tewksbury remained perfect and opened some eyes with a 20-7 win at home against higher ranked and undefeated Billerica to claim the MVC title. Shifty WR Aaron Whitehouse of Tewksbury had a punt return for a 55 yard touchdown and a 48 yard touchdown catch. Junior Blake Hiltz was key in forcing a special teams turnover late in the game which helped to seal the victory. Huge playoff games loom for the Redmen with a potential rematch against Billerica and possibly a D2 Super Bowl date with Duxbury.

Dartmouth remained undefeated at 7-0 with a 23-7 win against Barnstable and sit in the two seed spot behind Duxbury in D2 South. The Indians are led by two seniors in FB Liam Caulfield and QB Cole Jacobsen as they hope to meet up with undefeated Duxbury in the divisional championship.

Players of the week: Franklin RB Jake Wolowacki ran for over 250 yards and four touchdowns as Franklin secured the eighth and final seed in the D1 South playoffs.

QB Jack Tishman ran for two touchdowns and passed for two touchdowns as Wellesley beat Milton to earn the Bay state Hegert title.

Xaverian OL Dom DePaoli dominated the BC High defensive line and led the Hawks to a 17-0 victory and the top seed in D1 South.

Junior RB Ben Quint of Lexington scored two touchdowns on 111 yards rushing and also registered two receiving touchdowns as he led the Minutemen to a 41-27 win over Belmont.

Catholic Memorial’s Jack McGowan, playing on both offense and defense, had over 130 yards receiving and two touchdowns while helping the CM defense shut out Malden Catholic 34-0.

North Attleboro’s QB Chad Peterson completed four touchdowns in adverse weather as they clinched the Hockomock Davenport title.

 

 

Five First Round Playoff Games We Would Like To See…

7th seeded Andover travels to 2nd seeded Lexington on Friday night at 7:00 PM. This features two of the ITHMA local Heisman high school quarterbacks with BC bound QB EJ Perry for Andover throwing the ball and BC bound (for baseball) QB Sal Frelick running the ball. Having two dynamic playmakers going toe to toe this should be a very high scoring and exciting game.

5th seeded Everett at 4th seeded Haverhill on Saturday night at 6:00 PM. University of Connecticut bound and ITHMA Heisman high school QB Jordan McAfee and senior RB Marvens Fedna lead a tough Everett squad against a very good Haverhill team led by senior RB JC Laguerre and senior WR Jukka Morales. This one should be a physical and tough football game.

5th seeded Needham at 4th seeded Catholic Memorial on Friday night at 7:00 PM. Needham brings a tough ground game led by senior RB Jared Sklar up against a CM defense led by Harvard bound MLB Jack McGowan. Senior CM RB Peter Scibilia faces a similar task going up against Needham’s MLB Kevin Bruce. Two similar type teams this should be a good one.

6th seeded Bridgewater-Raynham at 3rd seeded Natick Friday night at 7:00 PM. The winner likely gets Wellesley who already beat Natick earlier this season. The fact that BR gave Xaverian their only loss of the season makes them a very dangerous team capable of slowing down Natick junior RB Amir Mells. BR senior RB Shawn Noel, Jr. will run against a very solid Natick run defense led by senior OLB Gus Ramstrom.

6th seeded Braintree at 3rd seeded BC High on Friday night at 7:00 PM. Braintree could pull the upset behind a dynamic running game led by senior QB Mitchell Nevins and senior RB Drew Caruso. BC High tries to bounce back from a tough loss at Xaverian as the Hawks’ defense kept BC High senior QB Connor Cady and junior RB Danny Abraham in check for most of the game.

Hopefully, people will let us know which game they will be attending (you can DM us @IThuddleMA ) and will Tweet out updates from the games. This is going to be fun.

 

Friday’s Five To Watch…

In a top ten showdown, look for Xaverian linebacker AJ Ryan to try and stuff the BC High run game of RB Danny Abraham and QB Connor Cady. Forcing BC High into third and long situations will allow DE Cal Flanders to go after the quarterback and for DB Mekhi Henderson to try and make a game changing play in the secondary.

QB Bret Edwards and the Central Catholic Raiders will try and outscore an Andover offense that puts up big numbers on the scoreboard. Edwards will look for WRs David Onyemem and Johandy Gonzalez as he tries and keep up with Andover QB EJ Perry and his favorite target WR Dan Gemmell.

Can QB Mike Yarin and the St. John’s Prep offense generate 35 points for a fourth week in a row against DT Matt Willis, LB Bryce Shaw and a tough Bridgewater-Raynham squad?

LB Grant Chryssicas and the Wellesley defense have pitched three shutouts this season and never allowed more than seven points in a game. RB Koby Osazee will lead the charge on offense as Milton looks to win what should be a low scoring game.

QB Zac Burns and FB Derek Laundry will look to ruin Tewksbury’s perfect season in a clash of unbeaten teams with FS Masyn Lorick leading the way for the Tewksbury defense.

Massachusetts High School Heisman….

Every season college football players emerge as Heisman Trophy favorites based on their play during the first half of the season. This year five players have separated themselves from the pack with Lamar Jackson, Deshaun Watson, JT Barrett, Jake Browning and Jabrill Peppers all in the discussion as the top player in college football. Let’s take a look locally at some of the dominant high school football players in Massachusetts as we get set to enter into divisional playoff games next weekend:

Lamar Jackson / Sal Frelick – Lexington’s Frelick is an extremely gifted athlete who is lightning in a bottle. He Has led his team with 15 passing TDs and 14 rushing TDs and can score in a hurry. A Boston College baseball commit, Frelick can run or throw out of the spread option and creates big plays just like Jackson.

Deshaun Watson / Bobby Maimaron – Duxbury’s Maimaron routinely produces huge offensive numbers just like Watson to the point we expect this type of performance every week. Maimaron has 27 touchdowns and will likely eclipse Troy Flutie’s state record for total touchdown passes this season. Maimaron and Watson both lead undefeated teams with both expecting to end up as champions at the end of their seasons.

JT Barrett / Jordan McAfee – Everett’s McAfee has been starting since his sophomore year and led his team to a Division 1 Super Bowl. Both of these QBs lost their starting job due to illness or injury and were able to battle their way back into the starting role. Also in common, both of these QBs expect to lead their teams back into championship games at the end of this season.

Jake Browning / Mike Yarin and John Grady – Yarin and Grady are both junior QBs who will frequently be in the headlines over the next two years. Both are also top baseball players and three sport varsity athletes (Yarin also plays basketball while Grady also plays hockey) and both are capable of running and passing to put up scores in a hurry. While Browning has led Washington to a great start, St. John’s Prep’s Yarin has his team in contention in the Catholic Conference while Newton North’s Grady has already wrapped up the Bay State Carey Conference and is tied with Xaverian at the top of the Division 1 South standings.

Jabrill Peppers / Coby Tippett – Both talented athletes that find ways to get the football in their hands. Like Peppers at Michigan, Cheshire Academy’s Tippett can be found lining up under center in a wildcat formation. Both also play defense and are a “pick six” threat every time the ball is thrown in their general direction. Both are also dynamic special team players who have to be accounted for at all times.

Locks of the Week (10/20/16)…

Went 7-2 last week as we missed the St. John’s Prep upset of BC High and didn’t think Haverhill would hang 56 on Andover to win that game.

Xaverian defense has given up a total of 13 points in their last four games. BC High has to go on the road so look for Xaverian to win in a close game between these two top ten teams. This game will have a huge impact on the final D1 South playoff standings.

Duxbury plays a solid 4-2 Hingham team at home but no team has been able to keep up with Duxbury’s offense so we think they remain undefeated.

In a battle of undefeated teams, look for a very balanced Billerica team to prevail over Tewksbury.

The St. John’s Prep offense has looked much improved in consecutive wins over Catholic Memorial and BC High so look for them to continue their winning ways against a tough Bridgewater-Raynham team who earlier this season upset Xaverian.

Look for Wellesley and their defense to go on the road and beat a good Milton team in a low scoring game.

Andover’s defense has struggled against top teams so look for Central Catholic to outlast Andover in a high scoring game.

Natick stays in the chase for a top spot in their conference and in their division with a win over Norwood.

King Phillip remains perfect with a win over Taunton and looks to lock in a top spot in the playoffs next weekend.

Wachusett just moved into the ITHMA power rankings and will remain undefeated with a win at home over Groton-Dunstable.

 

 

ITHMA Power Rankings (10/19/16)…

  1. Duxbury (6-0) – Another game, another big victory as QB Bobby Maimaron was 10-14 for 176 yards and five TDs as Duxbury beat Quincy 52-7 and remain on top of the D2 South standings. This week the Dragons face 4-2 Hingham on Friday night. Next up: Hingham at home Friday night at 7:00 PM.
  2. Xaverian (5-1) – Versatile AJ Ryan scored twice as Xaverian cruised to a 35-6 win over Malden Catholic to remain tied with Newton North at the top of D1 South. This week they get a visit from BC High as the Hawks try and lock up a top seed in a very competitive D1 South playoff race. Next up: Home against BC High Friday night at 7:00 PM.
  3. Billerica (6-0) – FB Derek Laundry and the Indians beat Groton-Dunstable 42-14 and now face a huge D2 North challenge against undefeated Tewksbury for the top seed in the divisional playoffs. Next up: At 6-0 Tewksbury Saturday at 1:30 PM.
  4. Dartmouth (6-0) – QB Cole Jacobson led the Indians over New Bedford 32-0 to stay tied with Duxbury on top of the D2 South standings. Next up: Home on Friday night at 7:00 PM vs 2-4 Barnstable
  5. King Phillip (6-0) – Remain on top of the D1A South standings with a big 36-13 win on the road at Attleboro.  The Warriors and playmaker Shane Frommer will try and stay a step ahead of Natick and Wellesley in their division when Taunton visits on Friday night. Next up: Home vs 2-4 Taunton Friday night at 7:00 PM.
  6. St. John’s Prep (4-2) – Pulled off the home upset over BC High by a convincing 35-17 margin. QB Mike Yarin threw for two TDs and ran for two TDs in the win as they stay in the hunt in D1 North. Next up: At Bridgewater-Raynham Friday night at 7:00 PM.
  7. Bridgewater-Raynham (4-2) – Won on the road at Barnstable 42-13 as they fight for home field in the D1A South division. RB Shawn Noel, Jr. will look to carry B-R in their big game against St. John’s Prep. Next up: Home vs St. John’s Prep Friday night at 7:00 PM
  8. BC High (4-1) – Went on the road and lost to a very strong St. John’s Prep team and now LB TJ Rothman and the Eagles have to go on the road to face Xaverian in a huge D1 South clash Friday night. Next up: At Xaverian Friday night at 7:00 PM.
  9. Falmouth (6-0) – Won at home over a high scoring Scituate team 42-26 and stay on top of the D2A South standings. Next up: On the road vs a 3-3 Nauset team Friday night at 7:00 PM.
  10. Lexington (6-0) – WR Spencer Kendall and the Minutemen look to stay in the hunt in D1 North race following a 30-0 win at Arlington. Next up: Home vs Belmont Saturday at 1:30 PM.
  11. Central Catholic (5-1) – QB Brett Edwards and the Raiders remain on top of the D1 North division with a 49-13 victory over Lowell and now face QB EJ Perry and an Andover team hanging on to the seventh seed in D1 North. Next up: Vs Andover Saturday at 2:30 PM.
  12. Haverhill (5-1) – Pull out a big 56-34 win over Andover and maintain their spot in the rankings This week QB Broghean McGovern and crew try and prevail against winless Lawrence to stay in the hunt for the top seed in Division 1 North. Next up: Home vs Lawrence Friday night at 7:00 PM.
  13. Everett (4-2) – QB Jordan McAfee helped them beat Somerville 49-14 as they try and stay near the top of the D2 North Standings. Next up: Home versus 2-4 Malden Friday night at 7:00 PM.
  14. Hanover (6-0) – Went on the road and beat Pembroke 37-0 to stay on top of the Division 3 South standings. Next up: Do not play this week.
  15. Marblehead (6-0) – Beat Lynn Classical 34-6 as the Magicians and RB Jaason Lopez stay on top of the D2A North standings. Next up: Home vs Lynn English on Friday night at 7:00 PM.
  16. Newton North (5-1) – North QB John Grady once again threw for four touchdowns as the Tigers beat Weymouth 34-21 and remain a top seed in the D1 South standings. Next up: At Framingham Friday night at 7:00 PM.
  17. Holliston (5-1) – QB Jack Barrett and the Panthers stay in the D3 South chase with a 28-7 win on the road against Norton. Next up: at winless Medway Friday night at 7:00 PM.
  18. Tewksbury (6-0) – Held on to beat Chelmsford 27-13 and remain undefeated with QB Jay Connolly leading the way . This week they have a huge home game against third ranked Billerica.. Next up: Home vs Billerica Saturday at 1:30 PM.
  19. North Attleboro (5-1) – QB Chad Peterson continues to play well as they beat Canton 35-7. Next up: Home vs 2-4 Foxborough Friday night at 7:00 PM.
  20. Wellesley (6-0) – The Raiders defense shined once again beating Norwood 27-0.  Wellesley goes on the road against a Milton team that can put points on the board. Next up: At Milton Friday night at 7:00 PM.
  21. Natick (5-1) – Hopes to clinch a share of the Bay State Hegert Conference title with a win and a Wellesley loss as they look to clinch home field for the first round of the D1A South playoffs. Next up: Home vs Norwood Friday night at 7:00 PM.
  22. Catholic Memorial (3-3) – RB Peter Scibilia and company took care of business against Malden with an impressive 35-0 win. They now get Malden Catholic at home. Next up: At home vs Malden Catholic Friday night at 7:00 PM.
  23. Wachusett (6-0) OT Patrick Walsh led the running game in a huge 25-13 home victory over St. John’s Shrewsbury that propels the Mountaineers into the ITHMA power rankings for the first time this season. Next up: Home vs Groton-Dunstable Friday night at 7:00 PM.
  24. Milton (5-1) – RB Koby Osazee and the Wildcats look to crack a tough Wellesley defense at home Friday night. Next up: Home vs Wellesley on Friday night at 7:00 PM.
  25. Andover (3-3) – Lost to a very strong Haverhill team and now WR Cedric Gillette and the Golden Warriors have to go on the road to face highly ranked Central Catholic. Next up: At Central Catholic Saturday at 2:30 PM.

The Elephant(s) In The Room….

Let’s take a look at some of the state’s best football players that don’t get enough recognition playing on the offensive and defensive lines. Many times you will know of a team with a good record and good skill players but not know the guys up front leading the way.

Jake Guidone – Xaverian Brothers HS – RG/DT – Guidone is a 6’4″ and 280 pound senior lineman who is committed to Dartmouth. He is a dominant force in the Xaverian run game and will be leaned on heavily on Friday night against BC High and in the upcoming divisional playoffs.

Cory Ryder – Nantucket HS – C/LS – Ryder is in the discussion as one of the state’s best lineman and one of the country’s best long snappers. At 6’4″ and 295 pounds, this Holy Cross commit has dominated opponents as the Whalers maintain a perfect 6-0 record.

Trumayne Guy – Braintree HS – T/DT – While Bryant bound teammate Greg Wood gets most of the attention, Guy at 6’7″ and 285 pounds is a junior lineman who will be receiving a lot of interest from schools over the remainder of his high school career.

Mark Mulvaney – Holliston HS – T/DT – This 6’2 and 265 pound lineman leads the way for QB Jack Barrett and the Panthers. Has been offered by Columbia with other schools still interested.

Patrick Flynn – Hanover HS – G/DT – At 6’4″ and 275 pounds Flynn has led the Indians to a perfect record so far this season. A recent UNH commit he looks to lead Hanover deep into the Divisional playoffs.

Ben Murphy – Newton North HS, Bridgton Academy – DT – A good athlete as he also played basketball and is relatively new to football. Murphy is 6’2″ and 287 pounds and has received interest from several schools around the Northeast.

Alec Lindstrom – Shepard Hill HS – G/DE – This Boston College commit leads the way for RBs Kevin Mensah and Brendan McKeon. At 6’4″ and 240 pounds this senior lineman is one of the best in the state.

Quinn Murphy – Duxbury HS – T/DT – Murphy is 6’6″ and 300 pound sophomore for the undefeated Dragons. With two full years of high school left he could become one of the top prospects in the state of Massachusetts.

Finn Dirstine – Acton-Boxborough HS, Lawrence Academy – T/DT – This 6’5″ and 320 pound junior has terrorized the ISL as he paves the way for RB AJ Dillion.  With another year of high school football left, Dirstine has received interest from many top programs and has offers from Boston College, Miami, Illinois and U Mass. He also recently visited Notre Dame and Alabama.

Patrick Watson – BC High – T/DT – A 6’5″ and 300 pound force who clears the way for RB Danny Abraham, QB Connor Cady and the Eagles’ potent running attack.  A senior who has received interest from around the Northeast.

Patrick Bien-Aime – Medford HS – T/DT – At 6’3″ and 330 pounds this is a large force who plays both ways for Medford. We think you will agree after watching this… http://www.hudl.com/video/3/4395355/57e1ee17688ec446a49107f9

 

Kevin Mensah Upgraded in Top 50 Database….

With his very impressive performance on the field this season we have upgraded senior RB Kevin Mensah of Shepard Hill High School to #19 in our class of 2017 Top 50 Database. This classifies him as the second rated running back in the 2017 class. Great to see Kevin back on the field and drawing interest from top college programs around the country. ITHMA.

Class of 2018 Top Recruits Coming Soon…

ITHMA is actively working on our 2018 Massachusetts High School Recruit Database so if any readers have players for consideration please DM us on our Twitter page @IThuddleMA. We are aiming to have a complete and thorough list so we encourage readers to participate. This free and public database will be a huge resource for local players to get noticed and recognized by college coaches across the country. A huge thank you to the thousands of readers that have visited our web site and Twitter page since we launched less than two weeks ago. ITHMA.

Mass HS Football Weekend Wrap Up (10/16/16)…

Top 6 Performances of Week 6:

* Mike Yarin – QB – St. John’s Prep – Ran for two touchdowns and threw for two touchdowns as the #15 Eagles upset #2 BC High.

* John Grady – QB – Newton North – For the second week in a row Grady threw for four TDs (all in the first half) as #17 North beat Weymouth.

* AJ Dillon – RB – Lawrence Academy – Ran for three touchdowns and 179 yards in their last minute win over St. Sebastian’s.

* Jack McGowan – RB/LB – Catholic Memorial – Had a touchdown catch and numerous tackles in their win over Malden.

* J.C. Laguerre – RB – Haverhill – Rushed for over two hundred yards as he led #12 Haverhill in their big win over #18 Andover.

* Nate Hall – QB – Brighton – Hall threw for three TDs and ran for one TD as the Bengals beat Martha’s Vineyard 42-14. It was a long boat ride home for the Vineyarders.

 

With one game left before divisional playoffs begin, we take a look at this past weekend’s results and top performances. The biggest surprise of the weekend was junior QB Mike Yarin (a U Conn baseball commit) scoring four touchdowns (two rushing and two throwing) in St. John’s Prep’s huge upset win over BC High on Saturday afternoon. ITHMA noted in a previous post that Yarin would have to lead SJP through the toughest part of their schedule and he is doing just that. The Division 1 South showdown featuring BC High at Xaverian Friday night will likely determine who is the number one seed heading into the playoffs. Catholic Memorial had a huge night from RB/LB and Harvard commit Jack McGowan as he caught a TD pass from QB Matt Marcantano and helped hold Malden QB Jared Martino to zero points.  CM and Needham appear headed for a collision in the first round of the D1 South playoffs. QB Broghean McGovern and Haverhill remain in second place behind Central Catholic in Division 1 North with a big win 56-34 over QB EJ Perry and Andover. Central Catholic can wrap up the top spot in D1 North with a win in their final game against Andover on Friday night. For the second week in a row, Newton North QB John Grady went off as he was 15-23 for 264 yards and four TDs in the FIRST HALF in their win over Weymouth 34-21 as North remains in the hunt for a home playoff game in D1 South. King Phillip remains on top of D1A South with their 36-13 win at Attleboro. Wellesley remains undefeated at 6-0 and in second place as they travel to Milton. Lincoln-Sudbury beat a solid Waltham team 21-7 to remain on top of the D1A North standings. Division 2 is heading for major showdowns in both the North and South divisions. Billerica and Tewksbury in the North, who face off this coming Saturday, are both 6-0 while Dartmouth and Duxbury both remain 6-0 in the South. The playoff games in Division 2 could be terrific. Wachusett remains unbeaten at 6-0 with their 25-13 win over St. John’s Shrewsbury. Shawsheen remained perfect at 6-0 and they look to close out their regular season this coming Saturday at Greater Lawrence Tech. Lineman Cory Ryder helped the Nantucket Whalers stay undefeated and QB Nate Hall helped the Brighton Bengals stay a perfect 6-0.