BRIDGEWATER — Each week No. 18 Abington has unleashed a rushing attack that offers an array of different looks and running backs, who take turns wreaking havoc. On Tuesday night, in a 29-12 victory over Millis-Hopedale in the Division 4 semifinals, it was Matt Kilmain’s turn to shine.
The three-headed horse of Babila Fonkem, Jack Malafronte, and Kilmain was highlighted by Kilmain’s 252-yard, three-touchdown performance, in front of a well-traveled contingent of Green Wave fans.
“We know he’s a good runner,” said Abington coach Jim Kelliher. “Every week it has been someone different but he was comfortable tonight. He let his instinct take over and showed his talent.”
The Mohawks, dashing through the gaping holes generated by lineman Jon Baker, ran the ball effectively in the first half, but it was a goal-line stand by Abington that turned the momentum to the Green Wave (12-0) .
Trailing, 12-7, the Abington defense stood its ground on its 1-yard line, and the Mohawks elected for points and sent their field goal unit onto the field. With an opportunity to push the lead to 15-7 in the final minute of the half, the Green Wave blocked the attempt.
“It could have been worse,” said Kelliher. “We were fortunate the get into the half down 5 and we were able to do that with a big stop and special teams.”
From that point forward it was all Kilmain.
Abington got the ball to start the second half and Kilmain changed the complexion of the game on the first play.
He burst through a hole, got to the outside and went 55 yards for a TD to give the Green Wave a lead they wouldn’t relinquish.
“It was all about the blocking,” said Kilmain. “Every time I scored the hole was huge. All I did was run through it.”
The 200-yard mark was broken before the third quarter ended. Kilmain took a handoff 42 yards up the middle, pushing the score to 21-12, and after a fourth-quarter Jack Malafronte score, there was no doubt who the victor would be.
“We knew they had size but our O-line just mashed them man-for-man in the second half,” said Fonkem. “They made holes for us and that’s all we need to get going.”
The opening score also came from Kilmain. Primed for big numbers from the first possession, Kilmain took a handoff 72 yards for the score.
Abington will meet St. Mary’s Saturday at Curry College for the Division 4 crown.
As for Millis-Hopedale (8-4), coach Dale Olmsted turned a failing program into a playoff team for the second consecutive season and the future is bright: 32 players return next season, including quarterback Sean Heffernan and tailback Chris Ahl, who scored first-half TDs.