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Holliston is pushed by Rogers

Posted by Andrea Murphy on Oct 22 2004 at 05:00PM PDT
HOLLISTON 26, MEDFIELD 8 By Jason Dunbar, Boston Globe Correspondent HOLLISTON -- Coming into last night's showdown with undefeated Tri-Valley League rival Holliston, the Medfield Warriors had reason to be confident. They had been averaging more than 30 points per game, and they had the league's leading scorer in halfback Bryan Lee. But no one told Holliston (6-1, 5-0 TVL) about the potency of the Warrior offense. Holliston put on a clinic in ball-control offense, holding Medfield to a meaningless late touchdown en route to a 26-8 victory. Fullback Zach Rogers contributed to that 18-point margin of victory, his name repeated over the public address system as he took advantage of the yawning gaps his offensive line opened, gaining 172 yards on 23 carries with a pair of touchdowns. Medfield's night started promisingly enough, as they sustained a drive that ate up the first five minutes of the first quarter. But that promise quickly faded when a missed field goal attempt handed the ball to Rogers and Holliston on downs. Four minutes later, the elusive back had his first touchdown on a 7-yard run. On the ensuing drive, Medfield managed to break into Panther territory, only to be denied when linebacker Mark Petercuskie corralled a loose ball following a Medfield fumble. With nine minutes to go in the half, Holliston's offense converted Petercuskie's recovery into a 13-0 lead when halfback Dave Menapace scampered into the end zone from 17 yards. Petercuskie wasn't finished. He came up big again in the final moments of the second quarter, sacking Medfield quarterback Kevin Lynch on the Panther 21, and causing the ball to squirt loose. Rogers scooped it up and returned the ball 55 yards for what appeared to be a 19-0 lead. But a clipping penalty called on the return brought the ball back to the Warrior 35-yard line. The offense was unable to capitalize on the turnover, but Holliston maintained a 13-point advantage heading into the half. Holliston's offense put together a drive that ate up the initial four minutes of the third. With 7:03 remaining in the quarter, Rogers found the end zone for the second time on a 17-yard pass from Tyler Parrino. A failed rush on the 2-point conversion attempt left Holliston with a 19-point cushion. The Warriors took the ball deep into Panther territory, standing at the 36. But Panther defensive back Matt Casserly snuffed another Warrior threat with an interception inside the 10. Holliston used four ballcarriers to eat up almost nine minutes. Holliston failed to score but left the Warriors pinned inside their 10 following a Petercuskie punt. Lynch and Lee, the Warriors' offensive standouts, carried Medfield within 1 inch of the goal line. But the heart of the Panther defense stopped Lynch on three consecutive plays. Finally, Lee broke the shutout with a 1-yard touchdown, adding a 2-point conversion rush to make it 19-8. The Panthers answered with a 37-yard touchdown pass from Parrino to Chris Vaillant on their final drive.

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