A pair of Division 7 South unbeatens with dominant offensive fronts may finally meet their match in Mashpee on Friday afternoon — each other.
Mashpee (5-0), the two-time defending Division 4 (now D7) Super Bowl champion, is putting up 39.2 points per game operating behind an massive O-line featuring 6-foot-6-inch, 280-pound center John McNamara, flanked by guards Ben Bohnenberger (6-4, 279) and Roo Garcia (5-11, 290) on the left and right, respectively.
Nantucket (5-0), which prevailed, 31-26, in last year’s thriller on the island, has 6-5, 340-pound senior Nick Correia to anchor both fronts. Correia and his Whaler linemates have controlled the point of attack for an offense averaging 41.4 ppg, creating creases for backs Alex Small, Devonte Usher, and Torane Burton.
“Size will definitely be a factor, but the biggest factor will come down to toughness,” said Mashpee senior QB Jacob Johnston, who, stepping in for graduate Nick Carpenter, has tossed 10 touchdown passes.
“They’re very fast, probably the fastest team we’ll see all year . . . they have a big defensive line, it’ll be tough to move them, but I’m confident in our line to figure it out.”
In a Week 6 slate that is packed with primetime matchups in both the North and South — starting with Marshfield at Dennis-Yarmouth, Middleborough at Norwell, Central Catholic at Lowell, Lynn Classical at Somerville, and St. John’s Prep at BC High — Nantucket-Mashpee is a heavyweight matinee.
“It definitely has implications, for us and for them,” said Mashpee coach Matt Triveri. “We know if they win, they’re going to be number one.”
Nantucket can score and defend (4.0 ppg).
“I think we’re both old-fashioned, smash-mouth football teams, and I know that Mashpee is coached very well,” said Brian Ryder. “It’s a big challenge for us, and we’re looking forward to it . . . you can’t be the best unless you beat the best.”
In a D6 South showdown, top-ranked Norwell (5-0) and No. 2 Middleborough (5-0) battle for the top spot in the South Shore Sullivan Division.
Middleborough coach Pat Kingman says that despite the postseason implications, his squad is treating the game like any other week.
“We’re going to do what we normally do,” said Kingman. “We’ve been in this spot before, dealing with those expectations . . . you can’t put the cart in front of the horse, so we try not to make any game bigger than any other.”
The winner will clinch a share of the league title.
Two weeks ago, Middleborugh rallied for a dramatic 28-21 over East Bridgewater, the go-ahead points coming on a 60-yard kickoff return in the final two minutes.
The Sachems offense has outlasted teams, scoring points in bunches and ripping off more than a dozen touchdowns of 40 yards or more.
But defense will be the theme on Friday night. Both Middleborough (11.6 ppg) and Norwell (11.2 ppg) have kept foes out of the end zone while wearing them down on offense.
“If we can establish the running game early on, it’ll allow us to open up the playbook more and do some different things,” said Norwell coach Jim Connor.
“Defensively, we have to limit the big plays . . . the amount of their plays that go 20 to 30-plus yards is amazing.”
The Norwell ground game has been productive —
“They just pound the ball, take time off the clock,” said Middleborough senior outside linebacker Harry LaPierre.
“Defensively, we can’t allow any easy yards, no first downs. That’s the goal.”
In other games involving teams in the Globe’s Top 20, 19th-ranked Dennis-Yarmouth welcomes in No. 6 Marshfield for a 6 p.m. kickoff. After absorbing its first loss last week to top-ranked Everett, high-scoring Lowell takes on No. 2 Central Catholic. All five Lynn unbeatens are in action: Classical (5-0) traveling to Somerville (3-2), English (5-0) hosting Swampscott (4-1), Lynnfield (5-0) off to Ipswich (3-2), St. Mary’s (5-0) at Archbishop Williams (3-2), and Lynn Tech (5-0) squaring off with Northeast (2-3) on Saturday morning.
THIS WEEKEND’S HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL SCHEDULE
ATLANTIC COAST — Marshfield at Dennis-Yarmouth, 6; Sandwich at Nauset, 7.
BAY STATE — Walpole at Milton, 7.
BIG THREE — Durfee at Brockton, 7.
BOSTON CITY — Brighton at Latin Academy, 3:30; Tech Boston at O’Bryant, 4; Madison Park at Charlestown, 4; New Mission at Boston English, 6; Burke at South Boston, 6.
CAPE ANN — Lynnfield at Ipswich, 7; Amesbury at Triton, 7; Pentucket at Newburyport, 7; Masconomet at North Reading, 7.
CATHOLIC CENTRAL — Matignon at Cathedral, 7; St. Mary’s at Archbishop Williams, 6; Cardinal Spellman at Arlington Catholic, 6:30; Austin Prep at Bishop Fenwick, 7.
CATHOLIC CONFERENCE — St. John’s Prep at BC High, 7.
COMMONWEALTH — Chelsea at Mystic Valley, 7.
DUAL COUNTY — Cambridge at Westford, 7; Newton South at Boston Latin, 7; Concord-Carlisle at Wayland, 7; Lincoln-Sudbury at Acton-Boxborough, 7.
EASTERN ATHLETIC — Martha’s Vineyard at Bishop Stang, 6.
HOCKOMOCK — Foxborough at Milford, 7; Mansfield at Attleboro, 7; Canton at Sharon, 7; Taunton at Franklin, 7; Oliver Ames at King Philip, 7; North Attleborough at Stoughton, 7:30.
MAYFLOWER — West Bridgewater at Holbrook, 4:15; Bishop Connolly at Bristol-Plymouth, 7; Sacred Heart at Monomoy, 7; Tri-County at Diman, 7.
MERRIMACK VALLEY — Haverhill at Andover, 7; Lawrence at Methuen, 7; Dracut at North Andover, 7; Central Catholic at Lowell, 7.
MIDDLESEX — Lexington at Belmont, 6; Watertown at Stoneham, 6:30; Arlington at Reading, 7; Woburn at Wakefield, 7; Winchester at Melrose, 7; Burlington at Wilmington, 7.
NORTHEASTERN — Lynn Classical at Somerville, 7; Gloucester at Marblehead, 7; Peabody at Malden, 7; Swampscott at Revere, 7; Salem at Lynn English, 7.
OLD COLONY — Barnstable at Bridgewater-Raynham, 7.
PATRIOT — North Quincy at Plymouth South, 7; Silver Lake at Plymouth North, 7; Hingham at Whitman-Hanson, 7; Pembroke at Hanover, 7; Quincy at Duxbury, 7.
SOUTH COAST — Apponequet at Somerset Berkley, 7; Wareham at Case, 7; Old Rochester at Fairhaven, 7; Seekonk at Bourne, 7; Greater New Bedford at Dighton-Rehoboth, 7.
SOUTH SHORE — Middleborough at Norwell, 7; Rockland at Randolph, 7; Carver at Hull, 7.
TRI-VALLEY — Westwood at Medfield, 7; Dover-Sherborn at Millis, 7; Ashland at Medway, 7; Hopkinton at Norton, 7; Bellingham at Dedham, 7.
NONLEAGUE — Nantucket at Mashpee, 4; Atlantis Charter at Bedford, 6:30; Catholic Memorial at Falmouth, 7; Medford at Everett, 7; Weston at Southeastern, 7; Marian at Georgetown, 7; Dartmouth at New Bedford, 7; East Bridgewater at Scituate, 7; .
ISL — Groton at Middlesex, 2; Rivers at St. George’s, 7.
COLONIAL — Worcester Tech at Assabet, 7; Monty Tech at Abby Kelley Foster, 7.
INTER-HIGH — Doherty at Worcester South, 6.
MID-WACH — Ayer Shirley at Lunenburg, 7; Shrewsbury at Algonquin, 7; Littleton at Clinton, 7; Westborough at Fitchburg, 7; Hudson at Oakmont, 7; Leominster at Wachusett, 7; Tyngsborough at Quabbin, 7; Groton-Dunstable at Marlborough, 7.
SWCL — Southbridge at Tantasqua, 7; Northbridge at Auburn, 7; Uxbridge at Grafton, 7; Bartlett at Quaboag, 7; Millbury at Leicester, 7; Oxford at David Prouty, 7:15.
NONLEAGUE — Murdock at Maynard, 7; North Middlesex at Nashoba, 7; Gardner at West Boylston, 7;
AA — Springfield Central at Westfield, 7.
INTERCOUNTY — Frontier at Turners Falls, 7.
SUBURBAN — Putnam at East Longmeadow, 7; West Springfield at Minnechaug, 7.
TRI-COUNTY — Palmer at Smith Voc., 7; McCann Tech at Mohawk Trail, 7; Pioneer Valley Regional at Pathfinder, 7.
NONLEAGUE — Belchertown at Lee, 7; Hoosac Valley at Chicopee, 7; Chicopee Comprehensive at Longmeadow, 7; Easthampton at Ware, 7; South Hadley at Pittsfield, 7; Amherst-Pelham at Monument Mtn., 7; Ludlow at Mt. Greylock, 7; Commerce at Taconic, 7; Agawam at Holyoke, 7; Wahconah at Northampton, 7.
BAY STATE — Brookline at Newton North, 1; Needham at Braintree, 1:30; Norwood at Wellesley, 3.
CAPE ANN — Manchester Essex at Hamilton-Wenham, 2.
CATHOLIC CONFERENCE — Malden Catholic at Xaverian, 2.
COMMONWEALTH — Lynn Tech at Northeast, 10:30 a.m.; Essex Tech at Whittier, 10:30 a.m.; Minuteman at Greater Lowell, 1; Greater Lawrence at Shawsheen, 4.
EASTERN ATHLETIC — Bishop Feehan at Coyle & Cassidy, 1.
MAYFLOWER — Blue Hills at South Shore Voc-Tech, 11 a.m.; Upper Cape at Old Colony, 1.
MERRIMACK VALLEY — Chelmsford at Tewksbury, 1:30.
NORTHEASTERN — Danvers at Beverly, 1; Winthrop at Saugus, 1.
NONLEAGUE — KIPP Academy at Nashoba Valley Tech, 7.
EVERGREEN — Portsmouth Abbey at Hyde (Maine), 1:30; Holderness at Hebron (Maine), 4; Pingree at New Hampton, 6; Tilton at Proctor, 6.
ISL — Governor’s Academy at St. Sebastian’s, 11:30 a.m.; Nobles at Roxbury Latin, 1; Belmont Hill at Milton Academy, 2; Brooks at Thayer, 3; Lawrence Academy at St. Mark’s, 3.
OTHER — St. Thomas More at Worcester Academy, 1; Suffield at Phillips Exeter, 4:45.
NONLEAGUE — Kents Hill at Cushing, 2; Dexter Southfield at St. Paul’s, 2:30; Tabor at BB&N, 3.
COLONIAL — Bay Path at Blackstone Valley, 1.
DUAL VALLEY — Blackstone-Millville at Nipmuc, 2:30; St. Bernard’s at Sutton, 3.
NONLEAGUE — Worcester North at Holy Name, 12; St. Peter-Marian at Burncoat, 12; Shepherd Hill at St. John’s, Shrewsbury, 1;
NONLEAGUE — Athol at Franklin County Tech, 11.Henry Brechter can be reached at email@example.com.