When Scituate and Canton met in the Division 5 South sectional final last year, the Sailors defense shut out the Bulldogs on the way to a state championship. Senior captain Kyle Fitzgerald and his teammates never forgot about that loss. On Friday, they made amends.
Fitzgerald rushed for 179 yards and three touchdowns, plus had a key third-quarter interception, to spark a 34-14 victory for the top seed over No. 8 Scituate in the first round of the D5 South tournament at Canton.
“This one felt a lot better than walking off that field in Scituate last year,” said Fitzgerald. “Last year we watched them go on to win the state championship, but this year we knew we had to take care of business.
With Canton (8-0) clinging to a 7-0 lead in the third quarter following an interception, Fitzgerald got possession back by picking off Scituate (4-4) senior quarterback Matt Scibilio on a deep pass over the middle.
The senior ran up the gut for a 40-yard TD on the next play.
“Such a momentum swing in that game,” said Scituate coach Herb Devine.
Fitzgerald added two more scores in the fourth quarter. Sailors running back Will Sheskey seldom saw the ball, finishing with eight carries for 11 yards — a product of Canton loading the box defensively and a heavy pass rush.
“We planned on a lot of running to mix it up,” said Devine. “But as the game started, we were just not able to move their defensive tackles. They’re a tough defensive front to run on and we had to go to the air game.”
Division 1 North
St. John’s Prep 42, Lowell 14 — The defending Division 1 champion Eagles (7-1) scored all their points in the first three quarters. Sophomore James Guy burst through the Lowell defense for a 36-yard scoring run on the first play from scrimmage. On the next drive, senior quarterback Matt Crowley lofted a deep ball for Jackson Delaney, who toe-tapped into the end zone for a 25-yard touchdown reception. James Guy added a 3-yard blast, using his speed and size to break tackles constantly throughout the night. Patrick Nistl added two more TDs.
Division 3 North
Danvers 41, Belmont 7 — Rich Canova had 110 yards rushing for the Falcons (8-0), including touchdown runs of 4 and 2 yards, as well as a blocked punt that was recovered for a touchdown by teammate Andrew Chronis.
Division 4 North
Marblehead 27, North Reading 7 — Josh Robertson threw for two touchdowns and ran for a third for the visiting Magicians (6-2) on the way to a 27-0 lead and a meeting with top-ranked Melrose.
Melrose 48, Burlington 9 — Senior Chris Cusolito ran for three touchdowns, caught one, and returned a kickoff for a 72-yard score as the Red Raiders (8-0) rolled.
Division 5 North
Lynnfield 27, Newburyport 3 — Clayton Marengi threw for four touchdown passes to set a new Lynnfield single-season record with 22 for the Pioneers (7-1).
Division 6 North
Bishop Fenwick 35, Ipswich 0 — Junior Chrys Wilson (7-of-11 passing, 102 yards) tossed TD passes of 21 (Stefano Fabiano) and 17 yards (Jake Connolly), and punched in a 1-yard sneak for the host Crusaders (7-1). Jake Connolly had a 60-yard pick-six in the second quarter.
Shawsheen 29, Northeast 16 — The top-seeded Rams (7-0) were paced by sophomore Dylan Timmons (13 carries, 102 yards, 1 touchdown). Junior Diondre Turner had 11 rushes for 128 yards and a touchdown. Senior linebacker Shane Stairs led the defense with nine tackles and one fumble recovery. CAC rival Northeast scored first, but Shawsheen answered back on the opening drive with Josiah Martinez reeling in a 19-yard TD pass from Chris Disciscio. Shawsheen took over in the second quarter and secured the win. ‘‘This was a great way to start off the playoffs, it was a hard-fought win,’’ said coach Albert Costabile. ‘‘I'm proud of our guys.’’
Stoneham 55, Austin Prep 12 — With seniors Deshawn Chase (three touchdowns) and Victor Fernandez (two TDs) delivering stellar performances, defending Division 6 champion Stoneham put 49 points on the board in the first half. Chase had a 60-yard punt return for a TD and also added short runs from 2 and 3 yards out. ‘‘That was one of the best runs I've seen,’’ said coach Bob Almedia, who said Chase broke five tackles on the punt return. Fernandez scored on runs of 60 and 51 yards in the victory. Both played key roles on defense, leading the Spartans (6-2). ‘‘This was a complete team victory, our kids were focused. They worked hard,’’ said Almedia. Stoneham will play at unbeaten Shawsheen in the semifinals next weekend.
Division 7 North
Latin Academy 19, Nashoba Valley Tech 18 — Rafael Cruz delivered a pair of short scoring runs in the second half to carry the Dragons (6-2) past the Vikings (5-3). Following a late rushing touchdown from quarterback Jose Soba, the Vikings went for the 2-point conversion and the win, but they were denied by the Dragon defense. Zach Maffeo connected with Malachi Steele on a 24-yard strike for the first score of the game.
Division 8 North
Lynn Tech 34, Matignon 0 — The Tigers (6-2) cruised behind a strong all-around performance from senior Miguel Soto: Three catches for 78 yards and two touchdowns, along with nine tackles at defensive back. ‘‘He was a force to be reckoned with in a playoff game,’’ coach James Runner said. ‘‘I'm really proud of him.’’ Haidar Bdaiwi added another 100-yard rushing performance.
Division 1 South
Catholic Memorial 42, Needham 0 — Juniors Shiloh White (132 yards rushing, 2 touchdowns) and Darrius LeClair (72 yards, 1 TD) led the top-ranked Knights (8-0) past Needham (2-6) at Jim O'Connor Stadium. Senior Jamall Griffin broke the game open, scoring on a 70-yard TD for a 21-0 first-quarter lead. Griffin also picked off a pass on defense. On a night in which the rushing game dominated, Barrett Pratt connected with junior Tommy Leonard for a 15-yard touchdown in the second quarter to solidify the win.
Division 2 South
Natick 28, Bridgewater-Raynham 7 — B-R struck first, but the sixth-ranked Redhawks (8-0) rode a four-touchdown, 210-yard rushing performance from Jaylen Aponte.
Division 3 South
Duxbury 46, Plymouth North 6 — The second-seeded Dragons (6-2) thumped the seventh-seeded Eagles (3-5), flying out to a 39-0 halftime lead. Senior Will Prouty finished 12-of-19 passing for 190 yards and three passing touchdowns. He also added six carries for 118 yards and a rushing TD. Fellow senior Tim Landolfi added 10 carries for 136 yards and two scores, and senior kicker Brett Souza was 5 for 5 on extra points, drilled a 25-yard field goal, and threw a 2-point pass to Landolfi. “I was worried about our kids showing up motivated to play,” coach Dave Maimaron said. “They proved me wrong, which was beautiful.”
Hingham 26, Bishop Feehan 19 — Owen O'Brien’s second rushing touchdown of the game, a 2-yard keeper with 3:08 to go in the fourth quarter, broke a 19-all tie and helped the top-seeded Harbormen (7-1) avoid an upset at home by the eighth-seed Shamrocks (2-6). CJ Julien had two interceptions and seven tackles defensively for Hingham.
Stoughton 41, Whitman-Hanson 12 — Senior Christian Georges rushed for three touchdowns and 110 yards on 10 carries to lead the Black Knights (7-1).
Division 4 South
Milton 48, Westwood 0 — John Barros scored on a 30-yard fumble return and a 43-yard run to highlight a game-breaking 21-point eruption in the second quarter. The top-seeded Wildcats (8-0) scored on two turnovers and rang up seven sacks in the shut out at Brooks Field.
Nauset 28, Dighton-Rehoboth 21 — Senior Miles Perry rushed for two touchdowns and the Warrior defense made a goal-line stand in the final minute to power third-seeded Warriors (6-2) past No. 6 D-R in a quarterfinal matchup. Senior Henry Blanchard caught two touchdowns from senior quarterback Bobby Joy (10 of 20, 92 yards, 2 TDs) in what was the program’s first playoff victory. Ishmael Christmas caught a TD pass from John Marcille, while Brady Walsh and Miguel Garcia added rushing touchdowns for D-R (2-5).
Plymouth South 42, Hopkinton 6 — Nick Siegelman powered the Panthers’ offense with five rushing touchdowns — four in the first quarter — as Plymouth South (7-1) dominated the Hillers (2-6).
Division 5 South
Foxborough 21, Norton 0 — Shayne Kerrigan rushed for a pair of scores to lead the fourth-seeded Warriors (5-3).
Somerset Berkley 15, Hanover 12 — Robbie Shaker scored the winning touchdown, his second of the day, with two minutes remaining to lead the Raiders (6-2) past visiting Hanover.
Division 7 South
Abington 48, Southeastern 0 — Senior Will Klein put on a show for the Green Wave (6-2), sprinting for touchdowns runs of 64 and 55 yards, in addition to taking back a punt 69 yards for a score. Cedric Lucas-Summers found the end zone twice on the ground, and Gabe Spry rushed for a 33-yard score.
Cohasset 34, Bellingham 8 — The Skippers (6-2) set the tone up front, rushing for 400-plus yards led by Danny Nolan (26 carries, 260 yards, 2 TDs).
Seekonk 13, Case 7 — Quarterback J.T. Moran was the hero for the Warriors (6-3), connecting with Jack Murphy for a game-tying 87-yard touchdown in the third quarter before punching in the winning 9-yard rush in overtime to oust Case (6-2).
Archbishop Williams 23, Millis 14 — Senior Joe Krochko two second-half touchdowns — including a 65-yard kickoff return to lead the Bishops (4-4).
Arlington Catholic 47, Salem 6 — Junior Paul Hammond had three touchdowns — one rushing and two passing — to lead the Cougars (1-7).
Billerica 30, Lawrence 28 — Junior tailback Brian Hamilton had 227 yards rushing and three touchdowns, including the game-winning 52-yard score in the fourth quarter, to lift the Indians (4-4) over the Lancers (2-6).
Braintree 15, Quincy 14 — Michael Teller’s second touchdown of the night, a 4-yarder in the fourth quarter, cut the deficit to one. A two-point conversion rush from Joseph Roopan gave the Wamps the lead for good against the Presidents (1-7).
Brooks 40, Lawrence Academy 18 — Quarterback Michael Wolfendale combined for three touchdowns (2 passing, 1 rushing) to lead the Bishops (3-4).
Dennis-Yarmouth 39, North Attleborough 14 — Senior Mark Pawlina threw for 307 yards and five touchdowns as the Dolphins (5-3) rolled. Junior Geoff Jamiel (nine catches, 146 yards) was on the receiving end of three TDs.
Dexter Southfield 42, Albany Academy 7 — Senior Luke MacPhail of Winthrop completed 28 of 32 passes for 262 yards and five touchdowns as DS (7-0) remained unbeaten with the victory on the road. Receivers Danny Donato (8 receptions, 95 yards, 3 touchdowns) and Jacob Kraft (9 receptions, 70 yards, 2 touchdowns) were consistent open targets for their quarterback.
Governor’s Academy 35, Nobles 14 — The Governors (7-1) surged to a 28-0 cushion early in the fourth quarter on the legs of Jordan Fuller, who punctuated his 250-yard rushing performances with TDs of 68 and 73 yards, and the quarterback play of Shane O'Leary, who had a 26-yard TD pass and a 16-yard run. The strong defensive performance was led by middle linebacker Sean Ryan, who had 12 solo tackles.
Middlesex 39, Rivers 8 — Colin Cunningham opened the scoring with a 22-yard TD run, added a 31-yard touchdown rush in the second quarter and Cole Cleary connected on scoring strikes of 54 and 49 yards for the Zebras (4-2-1).
Milton Academy 42, BB&N 21 — Senior Kalel Mullings racked up three touchdowns — including a 65-yard punt return — as the Mustangs (7-0) clinched the ISL6 title outright.
Mystic Valley 16, Brighton 6 — Haleytom Chataigne scored on runs of 1 and 13 yards in the win for the Eagles (3-5).
North Quincy 12, Oliver Ames 7 — Sophomore Cooper Hansen was 15-of-27 passing for two touchdowns and 179 yards. Cooper tossed the winning 13-yard pass to junior Brendan Hines with under a minute remaining for North Quincy (3-5).
Roxbury Latin 12, St. George’s 6 — Javi Rios scored on a 15-yard keeper and connected with James Gillespie on a 60-yard TD pass in the third quarter to lead the Foxes (2-4-1).
St. Sebastian’s 17, Belmont Hill 16 — Senior Matty Joyce booted a 16-yard field goal as time expired to lift the visiting Arrows (4-3) over ISL rival Belmont Hill (5-2). ‘‘I was totally confident in him,’’ first-year coach Dan Burke said. ‘‘We knew that anytime we needed him, he'd be ready to go. I saw he was calm, cool and collected on the sideline, so I knew he would put it through the uprights. And he nailed it.’’ Joyce had his opportunity after Belmont Hill scored a touchdown, but failed to convert the point-after, with a minute remaining. St. Sebastian’s quarterback Mike Phelps then led his team down the field to set up Joyce’s winner. The Arrows will close out the regular season next week against Thayer.
Thayer 28, Groton 14 — Quarterback Quinn McConnaughey tossed TD passes in the second and fourth quarters, and also scored on a 7-yard keeper to power the host Tigers (3-4). Groton senior Caleb Coleman, who entered the game with 12 touchdowns in his previous two games, had a 1-yard scoring run.
Watertown 21, Triton 19 — David Manoukian scored two touchdowns for the Raiders (3-5) to help snap a five-game losing skid.
Wilmington 14, Saugus 8 — Joseph McCauley tossed a pair of TD passes — a 10-yarder to Christian Robarge and a 29-yarder Gavin Erickson — as the Wildcats (3-5) defeated the Sachems (1-7).