H.S. football Holliston cruises past Ashland to win Tri-Valley Large title
By Boston Herald News Staff
HOLLISTON — With a Tri-Valley Large title hanging in the balance, Holliston’s play up front pushed it over the top.
Centered around Harvard commit Scott Elliott, the offensive line helped pave the way for a rushing attack that totaled over 270 yards as the Panthers defeated Ashland, 48-0 to win the division title at Kamitian Field.
Dylan Ibbitson led Holliston with two touchdowns.
Defensively, the Panthers were relentless. Elliott, Will Crowley and David Harding provided consistent pressure up front while defensive backs Ibbitson and Mitchell Gimblett blitzed off the edge.
“We came out focused and firing,” Elliott said. “Up front and running the ball has been our strength. After last year, this was our goal from day one.”
Holliston (6-0, 5-0) featured a diverse offense over the first three quarters, with six different players contributing on the ground and four players finding the end zone. Tristan Benson led the Panthers with 12 carries for 112 yards.
“To start our season, we knew our guys up front would be the heart and soul of our team,” said Holliston coach Todd Kiley. “Scottie (Elliott’s) up there. His play, his leadership — I’ve never seen anything like it. He’s the guy you want leading this football team.”
Holliston scored on four consecutive drives in the first half to put the game out of reach.
Ibbitson opened the scoring on the Panthers second possession with a 13-yard touchdown.
After a sack by Harding gave Holliston the ball back, its ground attack went back to work. One play after Matt Arvanitis scrambled for 12 yards, Benson received an inside handoff, found a burst of speed and took off for a 55-yard touchdown run to give Holliston a 14-0 advantage.
The Panthers defense, meanwhile, prevented Ashland from picking up any positive yardage on six straight plays.
Holliston’s special teams unit then joined in on the avalanche with a 51-yard punt return form Gimblett to set up Matthew Tomacelli’s 1-yard score and a 21-0 lead.
Ashland had a chance to get on the board late in the second quarter by working down to the Holliston 20-yard line. Three consecutive pass break-ups, including a touchdown-saving swat by Logan Brooks, turned the Clockers over on downs.
Moments later, the Panthers provided the nail in the coffin. After a 20-yard completion from Arvanitis to Ibbitson, Billy Nash took a jet sweep 40 yards down the left sideline for a touchdown to put Holliston on top 28-0 at the half.