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Behind Parrino, Holliston stays perfect in TVL

Posted by Andrea Murphy on Nov 05 2004 at 04:00PM PST
Passing the Test: Behind Parrino, Holliston stays perfect in TVL By Ryan Canner-O'Mealy / Metrowest News Sports Correspondent DOVER -- On its first drive of the game, Holliston ran the ball three straight times and didn't gain a single yard. Yes, the same Panther squad defined by its vertical passing game and its throw-the-ball-in-any-situation mentality. So on its next possession, Holliston went away from the zero yards and a cloud of dust and put the ball in the air. And while Dover-Sherborn mounted a furious rally late in the game to nearly erase a 21-point deficit, the Raiders could not stop Holliston's big-play offense, as the Panthers stayed undefeated in Tri-Valley League play with a 34-28 win. In total, Holliston senior quarterback Tyler Parrino completed eight-of-10 passes for 167 yards and three touchdowns and his squad withstood a tough challenge from the host Raiders to maintain control of the TVL. Holliston (8-1, 7-0 TVL) remains the league's lone unbeaten and is now two games ahead of D-S (7-2, 5-2 TVL). Westwood (6-1, 5-1 TVL), which plays Hopkinton tomorrow, and Medfield (8-1, 6-1 TVL), which beat Medway last night, remain in the TVL title hunt. Thanksgiving Day should be an interesting one, as Holliston will battle Westwood and D-S takes on Medfield On the first play of the Panthers' second drive, Parrino faked a handoff, rolled right and found Chris Vaillant for a 27-yard completion. The pair then hooked up on the same play for 23 yards, giving the Panthers first-and-goal from the 10. On the next snap, the senior captain found tight end Jon Neal in the end zone, giving Holliston a lead it would never relinquish. "That play worked a lot in the first half," Parrino said of the play- action rollout. "We'll find one that works and stick with it until they stop it." Parrino added touchdown throws of 23 yards to Vaillant and 47 yards to Neal, as the Panthers built up a 34-13 lead with 9:30 to play in the game. But then Dover-Sherborn made its move. Quarterback Andrew Derr provided the spark for his team by finding Dane Dudman on a 47-yard pass that brought the Raiders inside the Holliston 10. Alex Nagle then scored for the second time, plunging in from 5 yards out. D-S' defense responded by forcing a three-and-out, and Derr led the offense down the field, but the drive came to a halt when Pat Moriarty fumbled an option pitch from Derr. The game looked to be over at that point, but the D-S defense came up big again, forcing another punt and getting the ball back with 2:58 at the Holliston 44. "I'm proud of the way the defense played," D-S coach Steve Ryan said. "It was just those big plays that hurt us." It was the Raiders that had one more big play in them, as Moriarty scored on an 8-yard run, trimming the deficit to 34-28 with 2:20 left. Holliston, however, recovered the pooch kick and with D-S out of timeouts was able to run out the clock. And while Holliston's high-powered offense was in gear for most of the night, it was a defensive stand by the Panthers that got it all started. On Dover-Sherborn's first drive, the Raiders moved the ball inside Holliston's 5, but Todd Kiley's defense stood tall, denying P.J. Papi on a fourth-and-goal from the 3, giving the ball back to its offense. "That goal-line stand was huge," Parrino said. "It set the tone for the rest of the game, that we weren't going to give them anything easy."

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