FOXBORO — Here is a look at some of Saturday's Super Bowls at Gillette Stadium.
Abington 21, Leicester 7
If you want to beat a team that is strong in all phases like Abington, you can't let its superstar back go off.
Unfortunately for Leicester, Will Klein basically does that against everyone, and the senior did it again in a 21-7 victory for the Green Wave to secure the Div. 7 state title.
Klein finished with 207 yards and two touchdowns on 23 carries to cement his spot in Abington lore as one of the top players the program has produced in recent memory.
The Abington defense was also superb, and only allowed 171 yards. The lone Leicester touchdown came on a trick play when Mike Mero threw a 74-yard pass to Jack O'Neil off an option pitch from a jet sweep.
Other than that, it was all Abington (11-2).
Klein put Leicester (12-1) on notice right away on Abington's first drive. The 6-foot, 195-pounder broke free for a 61-yard touchdown to give his team the early 6-0 advantage.
O'Neil and Leicester answered on the next drive to help put the Wolverines up, 7-6. It stayed that way until the second quarter, when Klein punched it in from a yard out and Seamus Schmidt added the two-point conversion rush to give the Green Wave a 14-7 lead.
Although Abington held a pretty significant advantage in yards gained and seemed to be outplaying Leicester, it remained a one-score game for most of the second half.
Still, the Green Wave defense made sure it did not get any closer, as players like two-way lineman Jarae Cole were not letting anything through on the ground, and there wasn't much in the passing game, either.
Gabe Spry ran it in from 4 yards out late in the fourth, and Klein intercepted Daniel Mero to really apply the finishing touch and seal the win.
It marked the fifth Super Bowl title for longtime Abington coach Jim Kelliher.
Ashland 28, Bishop Fenwick 22
Deep into the second half, Bishop Fenwick led Ashland by a point in the Div. 6 state title game.
But if you thought a little adversity on the scoreboard was going to stop Ashland quarterback Dom Cavanagh and Co., you'd be wrong.
The senior signal-caller led two late touchdown drives in a 28-22 win to give the Clockers their first championship since 1995.
For the day, Cavanagh completed 13-of-21 passes for 270 yards and three touchdowns. He also rushed for a score.
Down 14-13 in the fourth quarter, Ashland pulled ahead off a spectacular individual effort from receiver Jake Latessa. After catching a pass from Cavanagh, he broke one tackle, then another, and another, and sped downfield to the Fenwick 1-yard line before he was finally brought down.
Cavanagh snuck it in from there, then hit Brian Gazard on the two-point conversion to give Ashland a 21-14 lead with 7:08 to play.
After the Ashland (12-1) defense held, Cavanagh led a drive that ended with a 5-yard scoring toss to Kevin Russell. Stefano Fabiano's point-after kick made it 28-14 with 2:53 left.
Although Bishop Fenwick (10-3) answered with a Steve Woods touchdown pass to Jason Romans just 43 seconds later, Ashland recovered the ensuing onside kick and got a quick first down to seal it.
Cavanagh was immense, and his receivers displayed excellent hands, as he threw two touchdown passes to Gazard in the first half. The first came on a nicely-executed whip route from 5 yards out, while the other was a drop in the bucket with touch from 31 yards out.
Fenwick came ready, though, as the Crusaders found rhythm in the passing game, too, in the first half. Chrys Wilson hit Angel Martinez for two 15-yard scores. The second was followed by a two-point conversion pass to Stefano Fabiano as Fenwick took that 14-13 lead with 1:04 to go in the half.
Swampscott 21, Amherst 0
Coming into the Div. 5 state title game, many praised the Swampscott offense, and rightly so.
But if people came in to Gillette Stadium talking about that, they left with the Big Blue defense on their minds. Also rightly so.
Amherst tried everything — an onside kick, trick plays, fourth-down conversion attempts, you name it — but never truly threatened to score in a 21-0 Swampscott win.
For the game, Swampscott (9-4) limited the Hurricanes to 53 total yards — and 6 in the second half.
Even though Swampscott only had 185 on its own, the Big Blue parlayed some excellent field position to scoring opportunities.
Players like Thomas Frisoli, Nick Reiser, Tyler Marshall, and Anton Vasquez — among others — were in the backfield consistently, as the big Amherst offensive line had trouble matching bodies.
Amherst (11-1) opened with an onside kick that Swampscott recovered. After a Dylan January run put Swampscott inside the Amherst red zone, Graham Inzana hit Andrew Augustin for a 22-yard touchdown pass on a screen, as the Big Blue grabbed a quick, 7-0 lead less than two minutes in.
Field position played a huge role in the next Swampscott score, as well. An Amherst punt only traveled 3 yards to the Hurricanes' 8-yard line. Inzana then ran it in from 4 yards out and the teams went into the break with the Big Blue leading, 14-0.
The only time Amherst looked to be back in it was in the third quarter, when two personaly foul penalties and a pass interference had the Hurricanes in Swampscott territory. Zack Palmer, though, picked off Amherst quarterback JB Mills to end the threat.
Swampscott had more than enough at that point, but finished it off with 9:08 to play in the fourth quarter when Dylan January took it in from a yard out following a 39-yard jet sweep from Palmer.
Melrose 28, Plymouth South 13
These are not offenses for the faint of heart.
When Melrose and Plymouth South lined up against each other for the Div. 4 state title, they gave everyone watching a quick tutorial in how to run the ball downhill effectively.
In the end, though, the biggest play came on special teams with a William Pesce punt return for a touchdown as Melrose earned a 28-13 win to cap a 12-0 season.
With his team up by eight points, Pesce fielded a punt at his own 38, slipped a tackle, then was gone for a 62-yard score with 9:33 to play in the game.
That, coupled with that punishing ground attack, proved too much for a worthy Panthers squad.
The Melrose offensive line and tight end group of Jared Karelas, Mical Duntin, Micye Duntin, Frank Capaldo, Andrew Norton-Jefferson, and Matthew Dussault paved the way for Pesce, Matthew Hickey, and quarterback Brendan Fennell to do the majority of work on the ground. The Red Raiders finished with 220 yards rushing on 41 attempts. Fennell led the way with 108 yards and a touchdown on 16 carries.
Melrose took the ball on the first possession and methodically drove for the score. Fennell scampered for a 22-yard gain to the Plymouth South 1-yard line. On the next play, he scored by taking it himself again, and Melrose was up 7-0 with 3:46 to play in the opening quarter.
Plymouth South (10-3) answered with a 19-yard scoring run from Nick Siegelman, who finished with 91 yards and two touchdowns on 16 carries.
Hickey put his team ahead at the half 13-7 with a 1-yard run. Again Plymouth South and Siegelman answered in the third quarter when the Panthers put together a long drive of their own and the senior back scored from a yard out to tie it.
From there, though, Melrose grabbed momentum back and never let go. Thanks in part to a questionable pass interference call on Plymouth South earlier in the drive, Melrose pulled ahead for good on a 14-yard play-action pass from Fennell to Pesce with 21 seconds left in the third.
Melrose forced a punt on the next possession, and Pesce was on the receiving end for the dagger of a return.