Can the Mashpee High School football team get back to another Super Bowl? That’s the question that everyone in town is wondering about. The answer will be known sometime tonight as the Falcons head to Carver High School in the same position they were at last Friday night at Amesbury: a lower-seeded team that is looking to score a big upset.
The difference this time around is familiarity. Mashpee knows exactly what it is going up against, and what it is facing is a red hot Cohasset High School Skippers team that has won seven straight games—including its two playoff wins—and a squad that blew out MHS on October 15, 42-6.
“They’re good. They’re very good. They’ve got playmakers and we’re going to have to play our best to find a way,” MHS Head Coach Matt Triveri said.
While MHS did suffer its worst regular season loss of the last eight years that night a little over a month ago, a lot has happened since that time. Mashpee is also riding hot, winning all of its games since that day. Both teams went on the road and scored upsets last week to get to the final four, with Coho winning at No. 3 Hamilton-Wenham, 21-7, and Mashpee scoring a 26-22 comeback win at No. 2 Amesbury. Cohasset is now 7-2 on the season, Mashpee is 8-2.
For Mashpee to win they’ll definitely need to play better than they did the last time they were at Cohasset. That game got off to a horrible start, and never got better. A three-and-out followed by a botched snap on fourth down set the tone for the game. MHS nearly got a stop on defense, but then blew a coverage on fourth-and-long and gave up a touchdown pass of 21 yards. By the end of the first quarter it was 21-0 and MHS never rebounded.
Cohasset has several playmakers, led by quarterback Will Baker. The dual threat QB is always a threat to take off and run. Last week, though, he rushed only twice after suffering a big hit in the first round win over Nantucket. If Baker is still limited in the running game, and one dimensional, that would be a big plus for the Mashpee defense in the game. If he is able to play his typical game then things will be far more difficult.
For MHS to win they will need to limit the big plays that Cohasset has feasted on all season long. The Skippers love to stretch the field through the passing game, and have home run hitters in the run game. As it does every week for MHS, it will probably come down to line play on both sides of the ball. If the MHS defensive line can get a push and make plays, the team will be in good shape. Chris Dostilio will be one player that MHS will count on to lead the way there.
On offense, the line has been the key to getting this far. Last week Amesbury had no answers for the Falcons’ running game, and that was because the group up front dominated. If they continue to play at that high level the Falcons have a legitimate shot to get back to Gillette Stadium for the fifth time in 11 seasons.