Pereira a Central star
Central Catholic quarterback Ayden Pereira was pressured from start to finish against Springfield Central’s sturdy front. But the University of Maine-bound senior put his elusiveness on display throughout in the 22-15 loss, including a dazzling 5-yard touchdown pass late in the third quarter to Ty Cannistraro. Pereira stepped up in the pocket, twirled back to his right to avoid two linemen, and rifled a strike to the back pylon on the run before getting hit.
No stopping CM
Relentless from the start, King Philip was the first team to shut out Catholic Memorial in the first quarter all season, and seized a 3-0 lead on Matt Kelley’s 27-yard field goal. But there was no stopping the explosive Scarlet Knights the final 36 minutes. JC Petrongolo’s 51-yard strike on a deep cross to fleet-footed Kole Osinubi triggered a 42-point blitz as CM cruised to its first Bowl win in 43 years and presented John DiBiaso with his 14th overall championship.
A magical performance
Connor Cronin was unassuming. “The ball found me today, I had to make those plays,” said the junior star after reeling in 10 catches for a whopping 263 yards and a pair of jaw-dropping TDs as Marblehead escaped with a thrilling 35-28 win over North Attleborough. His 83-yard catch-and-run with 3:22 left from Josh Robertson was the decisive blow. But his 73-yarder before the half was a game-changer, too.
The decision for Scituate coach Herb Devine was simple: Go for 2 and the win against Duxbury. With the Sailors trailing, 13-12, with 27 seconds left after Andrew Bossey’s 10-yard blast into the end zone, Keegan Sullivan dismissed his sore ankle and darted in for the conversion and a stunning victory. In Week 2, in the same scenario in Duxbury, Devine had made same call, and Scituate was denied, 27-26. Not so in Foxborough.
Swampscott is stout
Before Cam O’Brien called his own number for 9 yards (no hurdle necessary) and the dynamic Xaviah Bascon (143 hard-charging yards) flipped a 38-yard TD pass to Cole Hamernick on the halfback option, Swampscott needed a pair of early red-zone stops against North Reading in a 14-7 win. First, linebacker Jake Papazoglou burst through the line for an 8-yard sack on fourth and goal from the 9, then corner Jason Codispoti picked off a pass at the 1.
A Bulldog for Rockland
Abington was surging, trailing, 13-7, after a score from Isaiah Ricketson. But PJ Celestino emphatically turned the momentum back in Rockland’s favor. With 2:02 left in the first half, the senior captain bobbled the kickoff at his 1 but then proceeded to weave through a sea of Green Wave defenders for a spectacular 99-yard return. He also tossed an 8-yard TD pass and dived for a 1-yard score, all while donning No. 11 in honor of his late brother.
Cohasset, aye captain
Michael Donahue dislocated an ankle in the Fall II season. But the senior captain (100-plus tackles) spearheaded a Cohasset defense that yielded just 8.4 points per game in a season-closing 10-game win streak. When the Skippers finished off top-seeded Wahconah, it was Donahue who punched in a 2-yard score. It was icing on the cake for Cohasset coach Pete Afanasiw: “That kid deserves everything that comes his way.”
What a run for Randolph
No. 7 in your program, Malik White, seemingly, was everywhere for Randolph. The senior pounded out 110 yards on 24 carries. He hauled in the Blue Devils’ only reception (16 yards). And with 2:43 left in a 14-14 deadlock against South Shore rival Hull, White heard the ball hit the back of a Hull helmet on a punt, looked up, and saw it headed his way. He snared the pigskin and sprinted 20 yards to cap a historic season for coach Jonathan Marshall’s crew.
Globe correspondents Colin Bannen, Trevor Hass, Brendan Kurie, Steven Sousa, and Nate Weitzer contributed to this report.
Division 1: Springfield Central 22, Central Catholic 15 (Game story)
Division 2: Catholic Memorial 42, King Philip 18 (Game story)
Division 3: Marblehead 35, North Attleborough 28 (Game story)
Division 5: Swampscott 14, North Reading 7 (Game story)
Division 7: Cohasset 27, Wahconah 12 (Game story)
Division 8: Randolph 20, Hull 14 (Game story)
Craig Larson can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.