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Holliston Opens It's Bag of Tricks

Posted by Andrea Murphy at Oct 13, 2004 5:00PM PDT ( 0 Comments )
Creativity, old-fashioned work have Panthers at top of their game By James Whitters, Boston Globe Staff HOLLISTON -- First came the basic plays -- the bruising, off-tackle runs that are the cornerstone of every high school offense, from the lush lawns of Weston to the dusty oil fields of West Texas. Then came the fun stuff; the play-action passes, naked bootlegs, and spicy spread formations that have left defensive coordinators in the Tri-Valley League frantically flipping through their playbooks for an answer. For 20 fast and furious minutes last week, Holliston High School head coach Todd Kiley put one of the state's highest-scoring offenses through a rapid-fire series of plays, briefly letting his creative playbook spring to life on the back practice field at Holliston High School. What a show. The Panthers made precise blocks, ran crisp routes, and caught accurate, well-thrown passes. It was clear the Xs were taking it to the Os just as Kiley dreamed they would. When it was over -- when Kiley had finally taken his foot off the accelerator of an offense that's led Holliston to a 4-1 start by averaging 31.5 points per game -- the focused second-year head coach had a simple message. ''They can't stop us if we execute," he shouted. Heading into Saturday's game at Norton, few teams have been able to stop Holliston's multi-dimensional attack. The Panthers can beat you with the pass -- as they did in a 35-0 win over O'Bryant when quarterback Tyler Parrino connected on touchdown strikes of 48 and 59 yards -- or they can beat you with the run -- as they did in a 30-8 win over Medway, when Parrino rushed for 46 yards and two touchdowns and junior running back Dave Menapace lugged the ball for 102 yards and a score. ''It's a lot of fun knowing that every week we could be running a completely different offense from the week before," said Parrino, a wiry 5-foot-9-inch, 150-pound senior who transferred from Xaverian before the start of his junior year. ''We can go from wide-open shotgun to just power. We can do whatever we want, whenever we want." Parrino may not look like the prototypical quarterback, but he's proven to be the perfect conductor for Kiley's amorphous attack. A fast, shifty runner and a quick thinker, Parrino excels as an option quarterback. Put him in the pocket, however, and he can hurt you downfield with his underrated throwing arm. Not surprisingly, Holliston's double threat has found the end zone four times through the air and four more times on the ground. ''I wouldn't be able to do what we've done with 99 percent of the quarterbacks out there," Kiley said. ''We've put a lot of things in [the offense], and he's been able to handle everything we've thrown at him. He's a very heady player." Parrino isn't the only Panther making plays. Menapace, a sturdy 5-foot-9, 160-pound tailback, ran for more than 100 yards in his first two varsity starts. Junior fullback Zach Rodgers has scored three touchdowns, including a pair in Holliston's 34-21 win over Hopkinton two weeks ago. Senior wide receivers Mike Shilalie and Chris Valiant have combined for six touchdown catches. The offensive line, led by 6-foot-1, 265-pound senior Bobby Evers, has also played a big role, consistently opening holes for Menapace and Rodgers and giving Parrino the time he needs to find his receivers. ''Ty and us are on the same page," Shilalie said. ''It's working out well." Holliston's playoff hopes died last year when the Panthers dropped back-to-back 13-6 decisions to Medfield and eventual Super Bowl champion Westwood over the final two weeks of the season. You don't have to tell Kiley that a couple of more well-timed touchdowns could have sent his team to its first postseason appearance since 1991. ''It was close," he said. ''We faced two really good teams in those games." Kiley isn't taking any chances this year. With games still left to play against Medfield, Bellingham, Dover-Sherborn, and Westwood, the Panthers' focused, hard-driving coach is priming his dynamic offense to be at its very best when it matters most. ''Anytime you're undefeated in the league and you have wins over teams like Medway and Hopkinton, that's a good sign," he said. ''But it's still early. We've got a lot of things to work on. There's still six or seven teams fighting for the number one spot and only one gets to move on. Hopefully we'll be the ones left standing."
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Holliston 35 Ashland 6

Posted by Andrea Murphy at Oct 7, 2004 5:00PM PDT ( 0 Comments )
ASHLAND -- Dave Menapace ran for two scores, Tyler Parrino threw for two touchdowns, and Mike Shilalie also reached the end zone twice as Holliston knocked off host Ashland in Tri-Valley League play. Holliston (5-0) jumped out to a 14-0 lead in the first quarter on a 13-yard touchdown pass from Parrino to Chris Valliant and a 10-yard scoring run by Menapace. Tom DeSalvo scored Ashland's sole touchdown on a 1-yard run to start the second quarter, but Holliston answered with two more scores. Shilalie, who was also perfect on extra points on the night, returned a kickoff 70 yards for a score, and Menapace punched one in from 8 yards out. Ryan Johnson's fumble recovery set up Shilalie's second score, a 35-yard grab from Parrino that put the game away in the fourth quarter.
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Holliston Defensive About Play

Posted by Andrea Murphy at Oct 3, 2004 5:00PM PDT ( 0 Comments )
High School Football Notebook By Ryan Canner-O'Mealy / News Sports Correspondent Tuesday, October 5, 2004 Mike Shilalie has done plenty on the field for Holliston this season, helping guide the team to a 3-1 start (its best since 1993) and a 34-21 win over Hopkinton (its first since 1990). But the foundation for Holliston's great play, and that of Shilalie in particular, can be traced back to a preseason scrimmage. "He's a huge part of our team, he's our quiet leader and a captain," second-year Holliston coach Todd Kiley said. "He's not the biggest guy, but he just brings it. "It goes back to our Franklin scrimmage when he laid a hit on someone, and I saw some of the younger kids really feed off that." Kiley thinks that play set the tone for the season, and while Shilalie won't speak for anyone else, he knows it fired him up. "It was on a swing pass and I came up and read it and the kid had his back turned and I hit him pretty good," Shilalie said. "It got me going and I knew then that we were going to have a good year." So far, he's right. The win over the Hillers was more than just another Tri-Valley League triumph for the Panthers. "Obviously, that's a big confidence boost for our kids," Kiley said. "In the offseason we talked about restoring the tradition and beating teams like Hopkinton is big for the program." While the offense put up 34 points on the Hillers, it was Holliston's defense that made it happen. With the score tied 7-7, linebacker Chris Harris intercepted a pass, setting up a Tyler Parrino 6-yard touchdown run. To start the second half, sophomore Pat Fallon forced a fumble, and the Panthers quickly converted, as Parrino hit Shilalie with a 13-yard score. Shilalie then put the finishing touches on the game with a 45-yard interception return for a touchdown with 9:49 remaining in the contest, giving the Panthers an insurmountable 34-14 lead. "Our defense has done it all year and we believe that our defense is the heart and soul of our team and we will continue to feed off them," Kiley said. "The No. 1 thing we talk about is winning the turnover battle and we've done that every game." Kiley was wary talking about turnovers, because he didn't want to jinx his team's success, but it seems that the takeaways have been more about skill and preparation than luck. Along with Shilalie is an aggressive group, led by junior middle linebacker Derek Wilson, defensive back Chris Vaillant and two-way lineman Bobby Evers. Together, this quartet gives Kiley talent and the attitude that he's looking for. "When we see one person make a great play, we all want to make a great play," Shilalie said. "It's a total team effort, we just swarm to the football and take pride in being a complete team." So far, they are a complete team. And one that beat Hopkinton, something that no Holliston team since 1990 has been able to say.
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Holliston Handles Hopkinton

Posted by Andrea Murphy at Oct 1, 2004 5:00PM PDT ( 0 Comments )
Holliston handles Hopkinton: Panthers' first win over Hillers since 1990 By Sean Jacquet / News Sports Correspondent Saturday, October 2, 2004 HOLLISTON -- As the final seconds ticked off the clock in Holliston's 34-21 victory over Hopkinton, a horde of jubilant youngsters clad in Panther red stormed the field in celebration, congratulating the victors. Minutes later, coach Todd Kiley gathered his team in the end zone to deliver a rousing speech. This was a moment 14 years in the waiting. For the first time since 1990, Holliston knocked off Hopkinton, while also avenging a 31-6 loss to the Hillers last year. Senior receiver Mike Shilalie hauled in a 13-yard touchdown pass and returned an interception 45 yards for a score, as the Panthers moved to 3-1 (2-0 Tri-Valley League), their best start since 1993. Junior fullback Zach Rodgers also scored on a pair of rushes, while quarterback Tyler Parrino threw for one score and ran for another as the Panthers topped 30 points for the third time this season. All told, Parrino ran 10 times for 76 yards and a score, while completing three of seven passes for 34 yards and a TD. "I've never beaten Hopkinton in my three years, so this feels great," said Shilalie, who also kicked four extra points. "I play baseball with a lot of the Hopkinton kids, so it's nice to get bragging rights." Still plagued by an injured hamstring, Hopkinton senior running back Ryan Schiloski played a solid game, catching a touchdown pass and running for another score. Freshman tight end Paul Ostrander caught a scoring strike, the first of Andrew Tarca's two touchdown passes. "We gave a great effort," said Hopkinton coach Dave Hughes. "Holliston, particularly Parrino, was outstanding." But it was the Hillers who struck the first blow, scoring with 5:14 left in the first quarter. Tarca hit Ostrander from 15 yards out on a wide-open play-action to cap a 57-yard drive. The Panthers then scored touchdowns on their next three possessions, beginning with Rodgers' first touchdown, a 4-yard plunge up the middle 14 seconds into the second quarter. After Panther linebacker Chris Harris made a leaping interception of a Tarca pass at midfield on the ensuing drive, Holliston scored 13 plays later with Parrino scampering in from 6 yards out. On the opening kickoff of the second half, Panther sophomore Pat Fallon forced a Hopkinton fumble, setting Holliston up at its own 39. Holliston quickly took advantage of the prime field position, finding paydirt six plays later on a 13-yard Parrino to Shilalie connection. Hopkinton responded on its next drive, with Tarca connecting with Schiloski on a 32-yard chair route to punctuate a five-play, 59-yard drive. The Panthers answered two minutes later, with a 25-yard Parrino dash to the Hiller 2 set up Rodgers' second touchdown of the game. Shilalie tacked on six more points with 9:49 in the fourth when he stepped in front of a Tarca pass and charged 45 yards down the left sideline for Holliston's final score. Schiloski added another touchdown on a 1-yard dive, but the Hillers would get no closer. "You talk about a team win," said Kiley. "This was the definition of one. Our staff was so well prepared. (Defensive coordinator) Dave DiGioralamo put together a great scheme. The kids are working so hard, and it was great to see it come to fruition." For Shilalie, this was the biggest win of his Panther career. "This is huge," said the senior captain. "This is just what we needed. The momentum will keep going and we'll take that to Ashland and beyond."
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Holliston's Surges to Win over Medway

Posted by Andrea Murphy at Sep 23, 2004 5:00PM PDT ( 0 Comments )
By Sean Jacquet / News Sports Correspondent Friday, September 24, 2004 HOLLISTON -- Sipping an energy drink after the game, Holliston senior quarterback Tyler Parrino pondered the significance of his squad's 30-8 Tri-Valley League win over visiting Medway. After all, this was the same team that intercepted Parrino three times en route to a 13-7 win last year, denying the Panthers a shot at a share of the Tri-Valley League title. What a difference a year makes. Parrino ran for two scores and threw for another, leading a slew of offensive stars for the Panthers. All told, Parrino carried the ball 11 times for 46 yards, while completing four of eight passes for 56 yards. Running back Dave Menapace crested the century mark, toting the rock 17 times for 102 yards and a touchdown. Menapace also had a 62-yard kickoff return, setting up a Mike Shilalie field goal. Shilalie also got into the act, catching Parrino's touchdown pass, while fellow receiver Chris Valiant hauled in three passes for 45 yards. "It feels great after last year," said Parrino. "We thought we deserved to win that game, and it left a bitter taste in our mouths all offseason. We definitely had it in our sights to get back what we thought we deserved from last year." The Panthers, who moved to 2-1 (1-0 TVL) also dominated defensively, allowing only 4 yards and no first downs in the first half. Senior safety Matt Casserly caused a fumble and intercepted a pass, while Chris Harrington caused a fumble of his own.