King Philip wins berth
King Philip, ranked No. 12 in Eastern Mass., is headed to the playoffs for the first time in school history.
The Warriors (9-1, 3-1 Hockomock Kelley-Rex) traveled to Franklin (4-7, 0-4) and crushed the Panthers, 42-21, in their 52d Thanksgiving meeting yesterday. But they needed a little help from a league rival, No. 19 North Attleboro, to punch their ticket to the postseason.
With Mansfield atop the Kelley-Rex with a 3-1 record, the best King Philip could do entering yesterday was tie the Hornets. A North Attleboro win over cross-town rival Attleboro would bring about a three-way tie, and this was the only way in for the Warriors.
The procedure for breaking a three-way tie in the Hockomock League is to eliminate the team that has given up the most points to the other two (in this case, Mansfield), and then use head-to-head record.
King Philip beat North Attleboro in Week 6, thereby winning the head-to-head tiebreaker and advancing to the first round of the playoffs against second-ranked Duxbury. An Attleboro win yesterday would have sent Mansfield to the playoffs.
North Attleboro 14, Attleboro 7 - Quarterback Spyro Varetimos punched in the winning touchdown from 1 yard in the fourth quarter. Varetimos also connected with Alex Jette for a 31-yard touchdown in the first quarter.
Merrimack Valley (Division 2)
Methuen 36, Dracut 13 - Eric Lacroix threw three touchdown passes and ran for another score to lead the Rangers.
Woburn 56, Winchester 0 - Chuck Ortiz led the Tanners, rushing for three touchdowns and also returning a punt for a score.
Whitman-Hanson 28, Abington 18 - John Caliri threw two touchdown passes to help the Panthers pull away from the Green Wave.
Arlington Catholic 28, Arlington 7 - Bernard Lynch ran for 150 yards and a touchdown on 14 carries for the Cougars.
Burlington 27, Lexington 6 - Senior captain Kyle Shields rushed 18 times for 104 yards and three scores to pace the Red Devils. Shields surpassed the 3,000-yard rushing mark for his career.
North Quincy 27, Quincy 17 - Marquis Chase ran for three touchdowns to boost the Red Raiders past the Presidents.
Reading 34, Stoneham 14 - The playoff-bound Rockets (8-3) won their seventh straight game, getting two touchdown passes from Drew Belcher and two rushing touchdowns from Anthony DeSimone. Belcher finished the regular season with 13 touchdown passes.
Lawrence 46, Salem (N.H.) 28 - The Lancers (5-6) got touchdowns from six players. Nathan Baez led the offense by accounting for three touchdowns, two passing and one rushing.
Tewksbury 28, Wilmington 21 - Redmen quarterback Kevin Saunders connected with Frank McLaughlin for the winning 32-yard touchdown with 1:31 remaining. John Parsons scored twice for the Wildcats.
Belmont 19, Watertown 14 - Mike Richardson connected on two touchdown passes with John Dillon, including the winning 68-yard score in the third quarter. Giovanni Ortiz had both touchdowns for the Raiders, including an 87-yard kick return in the fourth quarter.