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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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Holliston 34 Dover-Sherborn 28

Posted by Andrea Murphy at Nov 5, 2004 4:00PM PST ( 0 Comments )
Boston Globe HOLLISTON 34, DOVER-SHERBORN 28 Friday, Nov. 5, at Dover Holliston (8-1) 0 14 14 6 34 Dover-Sherborn (7-2) 0 7 0 21 28 H -- Jon Neal 9 pass from Tyler Parrino (rush failed) H -- Dave Menapace 26 run (Parrino rush) DS -- Alex Nagle 11 run (Jamie Thorndike kick) H -- Chris Valliant 22 pass from Parrino (pass failed) H -- Zach Rogers 1 run (Menapace rush) DS -- Pat Moriarty 54 pass from Andrew Derr (kick failed) H -- Neal 47 pass from Parrino (rush failed) DS -- Nagle 5 run (Moriarty rush) DS -- Moriarty 7 run (Thorndike kick)
with title hopes on line By T.D. Pointer Metrowest Daily News T.D. doesn't know where to begin. His head is spinning. His cell phone is ringing. Two-Point is prying. Pointer is puzzled. Not as confused as when he watches "Desperate Housewives," -- who thinks of this stuff? -- but darn close. Somehow, some way, a Week 9 Tri-Valley League matchup between Holliston and Dover-Sherborn is important. Somebody pinch me. Holliston's last postseason appearance came when T.D. entered the senior citizen circuit (1991). D-S hasn't been to the postseason during Pointer's lifetime or anyone else's for that matter. The Raiders have never, ever, been to the playoffs. But, this is their best chance. D-S is 5-1 in the league and 7-1 overall. That's the same number of wins the Raiders had in the last three years combined. Quarterback Andrew Derr is one of T.D.'s favorites and is sure to get some recognition for league MVP. Still, Holliston might be the most dominant TVL team in recent memory. Allow T.D. to digress before his buddy at the Daily News, and longtime Bellingham resident, Rick Smith, cries blasphemy. Yes, the Ricky Santos Blackhawks were thrilling. No doubt. But Santos was The Show. Take him off that team, and we're talking about a .500-squad at best. Not so with this Holliston bunch. The Panthers have a star in quarterback Tyler Parrino and numerous options in the backfield, including back Zach Rogers. On defense, the corners can cover, the line can get to the quarterback and the linebackers can tackle. Head coach Todd Kiley exudes confidence and, right now, has the best offense in the league. Pointer can't see the Panthers losing this one. Pick: Holliston.
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Top of the Tri-Valley League in Focus

Posted by Andrea Murphy at Nov 1, 2004 4:00PM PST ( 0 Comments )
By Ryan Canner-O'Mealy Metrowest News Sports Correspondent Vin Joseph hears it in the supermarket, at church and pretty much all over town. Wherever the Medfield coach goes, people want to talk about his Warriors. They want to talk about the impressive 33-21 win over defending league champion Westwood. Most of all, they want to talk about how the standings in the Tri-Valley League got flipped upside-down. "What surprises me is that the have-nots are suddenly the haves," Joseph said. "The TVL is made up of small towns and the focus most likely is on the kids and on athletics. "When you run into parents that's what they want to talk about and that rubs off on the kids." It's true. Just look at the standings and you'll see traditional league powers like Hopkinton and Bellingham struggling just to reach .500. And like football's version of "The Swan," teams like Medfield (7-1, 5-1 TVL) and Dover-Sherborn (7-1, 5-1 TVL) are near the top. Both teams, along with Westwood (7-1, 5-1 TVL), are chasing the league's lone unbeaten, Holliston, which is 7-1 overall, but 6-0 in the league. The Panthers have used an explosive offense to vault to the TVL penthouse, coming off a 40-6 win against Bellingham, following a 26-8 win over Medfield. This week, Holliston takes its high-powered act to Dover-Sherborn, where the Raiders need to win to keep their league title hopes alive. When D-S takes the field it will see a familiar face on the other sideline, as Holliston's defensive coordinator Dave DiGirolamo was the Raiders' head man last year. "Holliston controls its own destiny, if they win out, they go (to the playoffs), while the rest of us with one loss need to win out and maybe get some help," said D-S coach Steve Ryan, who ironically was a Medfield assistant last year. Expect to see some points when D-S and Holliston get together on Friday. The Raiders are coming off a 46-36 win over Hopkinton, a game that made the Colts-Chiefs matchup look like a defensive struggle. In that contest, the Raiders rushed for 294 yards, led by Alex Nagle's 109 yards and Pat Moriarty's three touchdowns. D-S has a powerful offensive line that has been punishing people all season and will need to do so again to beat the Panthers. Holliston is led by quarterback Tyler Parrino, who was 7-for-7 throwing against Bellingham, good for 162 yards and two touchdowns. The senior also ran one in. Meanwhile, Medfield, which was coming off the disappointing loss to Holliston, rebounded nicely, forcing five turnovers as it jumped out to a 33-0 lead over Westwood on Saturday. The Warriors host 4-4 Medway this week. All this means that Thanksgiving could be a pretty special time in TVL country, and not just because of cranberry sauce and pumpkin pie. Turkey Day matchups between Westwood and Holliston, as well as D-S and Medfield, mean that the league's champion won't be crowned until the final day -- and possibly not until after a series of complicated tie-breakers. But regardless of how it all shakes out, for now, Joseph is just happy to be in the mix. "We had a staff meeting today and I said to my staff, 'When's the last time we were still talking about this kind of stuff this late in the season?,"' Joseph said. "It's a terrific confidence booster for the kids and they feed off that. "Playing a high school sport is a lot of fun and when you add this in, it's double the fun." Good times are abundant in the TVL right now, especially for a few teams that haven't had much to cheer about in the past. "It's like with the Big 10 no longer being just Ohio State and Michigan," the Medfield coach said. "Every year someone else is challenging, whether it's Wisconsin, Purdue or Minnesota. "And I think that's a great thing for the league."
Teams rated by News staff with first place team receiving 10 points second place 9 and so on.

Team                                    Prev   Points
1. Acton-Boxboro (8-0)        1       (120)
2. Concord-Carlisle (7-1)      3       (105)
3. Holliston (7-1)                 4        ( 91)
4T. Lincoln-Sudbury (5-2)    7       ( 67)
4T. Medfield (7-1)               9       ( 67)
6. Dover-Sherborn (7-1)       8       ( 61)
7. Natick (6-2)                     6      ( 59)
8. Wellesley (6-2)                 2      ( 40)
9. Franklin (5-2)                   10     ( 31)
10. Uxbridge (6-2)                5       ( 11)