HOLLISTON — Last season, Holliston’s 20-0 victory over Hopkinton ended up being the difference in the Tri-Valley Large as the Panthers won the league title. After a 49-14 blowout of Hopkinton on Friday at Kamitian Field, the Panthers look like the team to beat again as they scored on their first seven possessions.
“Our kids went out and executed what we practiced all week. On Friday nights it doesn’t always work out to be that way but that’s a great football team that we just beat so I am so proud of our staff,” said Holliston coach Todd Kiley.
Holliston’s running attack — Max Athy and Joe Bellomo —combined for 270 rushing yards and four touchdowns to fuel the offense.
But it was such a team effort that the game ball was given to the entire squad.
“Our motto has been ‘we are one group’ and tonight was a perfect example of that,” said Kiley.
On the Panthers’ first drive, facing fourth and 2 from the Hopkinton 11, quarterback Matt Jeye rolled to his left and lofted a pass to the back of the end zone, finding Bobby Kiley for a touchdown.
Holliston went 81 yards on its next drive, with Bellomo running for a 5-yard touchdown. Bellomo added another score in the second quarter, rushing 4 yards up the gut to make it 28-0.
Athy used his speed to beat the Hopkinton defense. On the second play of the second quarter, he received a handoff and went to the left sideline, outrunning two defenders for a 39-yard score.
On Holliston’s first drive of the third quarter, Athy took a handoff from the Panthers 19 and found a hole up the middle, blowing by defenders as he went 81 yards for the score.
Athy finished with 180 yards rushing on 13 carries.
“He’s the heart and soul of the team. He just doesn’t stop. I try to give him a breather on offense and he just doesn’t come off the field,” said Kiley. “It just goes to show he is a refuse-to-lose kid and our team feeds off that.”
The Holliston offensive line made the job easy for the running backs, creating gigantic lanes. In the third quarter, Grant Slattery went untouched on a 33-yard scoring run.
Holliston’s defense was also great. The Panthers picked off two passes, including an interception by Slattery on Hopkinton’s first drive.
“The defense was phenomenal. They were aggressive. Our kids read their keys and we flew around and played great team defense. You can’t really single out one kid tonight. As a coach it doesn’t get any more gratifying when you put it together with a team effort like this,” said Kiley.
The win improved Holliston (5-2) to 2-0 in league play while the Hillers (6-1) fell to 1-1.