It doesn’t get any easier for the Mashpee High School football team this week. Coming off of their first loss of the season a week ago against Abington, the Falcons jump right back into the South Shore League furnace October 11 at 7 PM with a road game against a very good Cohasset team.
The Skippers have flown under the radar a bit this season and have gone about their business, winning three of the four games that they’ve played in relative routs. The lone loss the Skippers have suffered was to a very good Rockland High team, 20-7. CHS opened the year with a 21-7 win at Norwell and then followed up their loss to Rockland by blowing out Nantucket, 48-7, and Carver, 43-7, the last two weeks.
“They’re outstanding defensively,” MHS Coach Matt Triveri said. “They’ve got good speed, they’re athletic everywhere. They’re just really good, and we’re going to have to execute better.”
The Skippers knocked Mashpee out of the postseason last year in a game where both Devaun Ford and Jack Vinitsky suffered season-ending leg injuries. Triveri said that he hasn’t noticed any extra vehemence from his team this week regarding the opponent. For the most part it’s been a business-like approach by the squad.
“They don’t seem overly crazy about it. Some kids take it more personally than others,” he said. “More than anything we need to get into the playoffs and it’s a league game, and we still have a chance at the league, so it’s been in that regard.”
MHS will be without the services of senior Kendall Rose, a two-way starter. Rose has been the team’s best running back this season and is also a key component on defense, where he plays linebacker. Rose suffered an ankle injury against Abington and will miss the next few games at least. He said that he hopes to be back on the field for the postseason, but until the results of an MRI are known his status is up in the air.
“It’s a huge loss for us defensively,” Triveri said. “He’s just really, really good. He’s a tremendous hitter, he squares people up.”
Cam Sweeney will move into the linebacker spot vacated by Rose. Triveri said that Sweeney did a nice job filling in last week and is capable of doing the job well.
As for the loss at running back, the coach said that someone will need to step up and fill the void and become the lead back. Nick Santos is the favorite to get the first shot at getting the number one spot in the backfield, but Jared Barr and Bryce Taplin both will get carries as well.
“We have to come back and find a tailback that’s our guy,” the coach said. “That’s what it comes down to, someone that wants to do the job.”
Cohasset’s go-to back this year has been Danny Nolan, who has done a great job running behind an offensive line consisting of five veteran seniors up front. Nolan inherited the job from the injured Gray Thomas, who has been out with an injury.
“You know that they’re going to be good up front,” Triveri said. “(Nolan) has stepped in for Gray Thomas and they haven’t skipped a beat. They have all of those crossover lacrosse guys that have great footwork and speed and can play.”
This will be the 17th time that the Falcons and Skippers have met on the gridiron. Mashpee holds a 9-7 edge in the all-time series. Cohasset won the most recent meeting, last November in the Division 7 south semifinals. The Falcons won the three games prior to that, and Coho won the three before that.