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What a rush for Menapace: Piles up 124 yards in 1st Start

Posted by Andrea Murphy on Sep 10 2004 at 05:00PM PDT
Metrowest Daily News, September 11, 2004 by News Sports Correspondant Sean Jacquet HOLLISTON -- Holliston's Dave Menapace served as backup to 1,400-yard rusher John Burke last year, seeing only limited time. Last night, in his first varsity start, Menapace enjoyed his own coming-out party. Despite suffered from some early jitters, Menapace made sure the season opener was a festive occasion, rushing for 124 yards and two touchdowns on only 12 carries in the Panthers' 35-0 win over visiting non-league foe O'Bryant. "This whole week, I've been nervous, especially in school. I just couldn't pay attention. But by game time I started feeling better, and after the first hit, it felt awesome." Senior quarterback Tyler Parrino also joined the party, completing 3-of-5 passes for 112 yards and two touchdowns. A Parrino-to-Chris Valiant hookup started the scoring, as Parrino dropped one over Valiant's left shoulder on a fade route for a 44-yard scoring strike with 4:59 to go in the first half. After the Panthers forced a three-and-out, Parrino led the Panthers on a four-play, 72-yard drive, highlighted by a 58-yard touchdown pass to Mike Shilalie. Menapace then went to work in the second quarter, scoring on runs of 24 and 2 yards. Junior fullback Zach Rodgers added a 25-yard run on a guard trap in the third quarter to round out the Panther scoring. "We've been working hard in practice, and we knew what would be open today, so we just went out and executed," said Parrino. "Even though I only got to throw five passes, it felt great to hit it right off the bat." Both Kiley and Menapace sung the praises of the offensive line, which owned the line of scrimmage all night. The quintet of Brandon Shea, Mike Ghiloni, Chris Harrington, Bobby Evers and Dick Bell, along with Rodgers, paved the way for Menapace's big night. "That's our strength," said Kiley of the offensive line. "We knew that going in, and we stuck to that. You gotta put your faith in the guys who have been working year round to get it done, and we did tonight. The Panther defense also played well, allowing only 27 total yards and two first downs, while pitching the shutout. Senior safety Matt Casserly picked off a pass, while Mark Petercuskie recovered a fumble. "We played well defensively, but we can get better," said Panther head coach Todd Kiley. "We feel that defense is our strong point. Even though we got the shutout, there were times when we could have played better, but you've got to be happy when you win 35-0." As evidenced by the raucous crowd, all those departing Kamitian Filed were happy last night, but Kiley and the Panthers consider this a good warm-up for next week's tilt with Wayland, and the competitive Tri-Valley League schedule. "It's a great feeling," said Kiley. "It's a good confidence booster for our kids, we'll continue to improve because we need to. We all know that the TVL is a tough league."

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