Once the brand new MIAA soccer alignments got here out, all eyes have been on Div. 2 to see if a sure powerhouse squad was listed there.
Sure sufficient, Catholic Memorial was one among 22 groups.
That definitely irritated many faculties who believed the Knights ought to have moved as much as Div. 1 after dominating the Div. 2 scene the earlier two seasons. Catholic Memorial captured the earlier two state titles and received every of these eight postseason contests by a minimum of 20 factors, one of many eight victims being Marshfield.
Thus when the event pairings got here out this yr, Marshfield discovered itself on the identical facet of the draw as Catholic Memorial. Few gave the Rams any probability of ending the Knights’ reign of terror, however they didn’t depend on a bunch of younger males from Marshfield rising to the problem and beautiful Catholic Memorial 52-40 to advance to the Div. 2 title sport in opposition to King Philip.
“Our kids deserve all the credit for this,” stated Marshfield coach Chris Arouca. “They played really hard and believed in themselves. They looked at this game as a challenge — they said they didn’t know how good they could be until they played the best.”
When the groups met two years in the past, Catholic Memorial rolled to a 41-0 win. It took Marshfield about 10 seconds to let everybody know that it is a new yr, a brand new staff. Giovanni Joseph took the opening kickoff and returned it 87 yards for a landing to offer the Rams some confidence.
“They were just so much bigger, faster and stronger than us two years ago. To gain four yards on a play was big for us,” Arouca stated. “To see Gio take the kickoff and really run away from them on the return was huge for us.”
Some could have thought making an attempt to match Catholic Memorial point-for-point could be a recipe for catastrophe, however don’t depend Arouca amongst that group.
“We knew there was no way anyone was going to stop that offense,” Arouca stated. “Our mindset was that we have a good quarterback (Tor Maas), a good running back (Davin True) and some good receivers, so we were going to take our best shots and see what happened.”
Marshfield stored delivering pictures for the whole 48 minutes, rendering Catholic Memorial defenseless within the second half. The Rams stored the pedal to the metallic and by no means stopped till the decision was in hand.
Normally, a win of this magnitude could be trigger for a ticker tape parade in Marshfield. The actuality of the state of affairs is that the Rams nonetheless have lots of work to do, beginning with a Thanksgiving Day matchup with a 9-1 Duxbury staff competing within the Div. 4 state championship sport, adopted by the state last contest in opposition to undefeated King Philip.
“It’s really a grind, we played a physical Bishop Feehan team then Catholic Memorial,” Arouca stated. “Now we get Duxbury and King Philip next week. It’s hard and we’re obviously beaten up after a game like Catholic Memorial, so we’ll get another chance to see how good we are.”
1. St. John’s Prep (11-0): Time for the fan-appealing two-step with Xaverian over the subsequent week.
2. Xaverian (9-2): Hawks overcame some accidents and a tricky Needham squad to achieve the Div. 1 finals.
3. King Philip (11-0): Warriors have been so spectacular in placing away Barnstable.
4. Marshfield (9-2): Never thoughts the phrase the Rams are coming. They are clearly right here as Catholic Memorial can attest.
5. Catholic Memorial (7-3): Rarely have the Knights been put able the place they couldn’t match the opposition on the scoreboard, however Saturday was a kind of situations.
6. Needham (9-2): Rockets left every little thing on the sphere in opposition to Xaverian and did themselves proud within the course of.
7. Hanover (11-0): Hawks have been pushed to the restrict by an unsung Danvers staff earlier than advancing.
8. Duxbury (9-1): Defense stepped up huge time in slowing down Tewksbury.
9. Foxboro (10-1): Warriors actually clicked in handing a great Shawsheen staff its first loss.
10. Walpole (8-3): The Noah Mackenzie-Jamal Abdal-Khallaq passing mixture has been deadly within the postseason.
11. Milford (9-2): Shorthanded Scarlet Hawks put up a valiant effort in opposition to Walpole earlier than succumbing.
12. Andover (9-2); Golden Warriors had no solutions for the highest seeds from St. John’s Prep.
13. Milton (8-3): Wildcats get a second shot at Walpole for all of the marbles.
14. Methuen (7-3): Final hurrah for standout quarterback Drew Eason in opposition to Dracut/Innovation.
15. Mansfield (6-4): Should be one of many higher Thanksgiving Day tilts in opposition to Foxboro.
16. Scituate (8-3): Year in and yr out. Herb Devine has the Sailors peaking on the proper time.
ON THE BENCH: BC High (6-4), Barnstable (9-2), Central Catholic (4-6), Weymouth (7-3), Everett (8-2), Shawsheen (9-1), Peabody (9-1), Billerica (8-2), Dartmouth (9-1), Bishop Feehan (7-2)