One thing was for sure Friday night at King Philip High School: The Warriors came to play.
From beginning to end, the King Philip football team dominated during its 40-14 win over Oliver Ames.
"The guys just came out and they played well," KP head coach Brian Lee said. "They were excited. The seniors: [it was their] last home game at nighttime here so they wanted to do well. It was teacher appreciation night and everyone was fired up and it just kind of translated into the win."
With the victory, KP improved to 8-1 overall and 2-1 in the Kelly-Rex Division of the Hockomock League. OA fell to 5-4 overall and 0-2 in the Davenport Division of the Hockomock League.
Friday night was the third loss in a row for the Tigers, who were unable to generate offense in the first half. OA only had one first down before the break.
"They owned the offensive and defensive ball on the line of scrimmage and when that happens there’s not a lot that they can try to do," OA head coach Jim Artz said. "We knew coming in that we were going to be overmatched in those spots and we tried to come out in a hurry-up style and try to spread them out and try to do some stuff throwing the ball but you have to complete passes and you can’t false start every two seconds because you can’t build any momentum or any drive at all."
KP, however, had no trouble scoring.
The Warriors' first score came with 5:11 remaining in the first quarter when quarterback John Dillon found Joe Cochrane from 30 yards out. A Derek Roschlein extra point made the score 7-0.
Sam McDonald returned a punt for 66 yards in the opening minute of the second quarter. And, after a Joe Johnson 4-yard touchdown run put the Warriors up by 3 scores, Dillon found McDonald from 20 yards out with 55 seconds remaining in the half.
KP went into the break ahead 26-0.
"I think it had a different feel for us knowing that it didn’t seem like they were going to be able to come back from four scores at that point," Lee said. "We felt comfortable at that point."
The Warriors were first to score in the second half, too. A Christian Flaherty 63-yard touchdown run and Roschlein extra point put KP ahead 33-0 before OA's first score.
The Tigers got on the board when Jeremiah Troy caught a deflected pass from quarterback Nick Cidado for a 57-yard touchdown with 7:10 remaining in the third quarter. The Tigers scored again when Cidado broke a 42-yard QB sneak in the fourth quarter.
It wasn't enough to set up a comeback, though. KP put an exclamation point on their night when Flaherty found the endzone from 59-yards out with 9:57 remaining in the game.
Oliver Ames will travel to Canton next week for a Davenport Division battle.
"Three weeks in a row we’ve kind of played inside our helmets a little too much and in a little bit too much of survival mode as opposed to a physical style of football," Artz said.
Still in the fight for a division title, King Philip will travel to North Attleboro in a pivotal Kelly-Rex Division match-up. The Warriors will look to continue with their stingy defense and well-rounded offensive attack.
"I was pleased," Lee said. "Any time you can run the ball it makes pass plays easier to set up. I thought [Dillon] threw the ball well and showed a lot of poise. We just did a nice job offensively all around."