Category Archives: Abington

#9 Abington starts fast and defeats #1 Amesbury 12-3 in D4 state quarterfinals

Abington reaches the Division 4 Final Four

(Amesbury) These tournament games can be tense. 

Last inning.

Last batter.

Last pitch.

Not this one.

#9 Abington took over the game from the get-go and never let up.

Aidan O’Donnell

#1 Amesbury was on the other end of things and lost 12-3 on Sunday afternoon in the Division 4 state quarterfinals.

“The well ran dry,” said Amesbury coach Joel Brierley afterwards.  “When we’ve been going well, we’ve been able to set the tone early.  Today was the complete opposite.”

Amesbury ace Drew MacDonald opened the first allowing two walks.  Stephen Madden and Spencer Merrick followed immediately with RBI doubles.  Before the first inning was over, AJ Nash added a sacrifice fly and the home team was down, 4-0.

Those early runs changed the whole complexion of the game. 

“Getting the run support right away really got a weight lifted off,” said Abington’s complete-game winner Aidan O’Donnell post-game.

“We came out in the first inning and scored some runs and took the pressure right off,” said Abington coach Steve Perakslis afterwards.

Amesbury coach Joel Brierley and Abington coach Steve Perakslis

The relaxed Green Wave had runners on in every inning and collected ten hits.

Amesbury home run celebration

Amesbury (18-5) did finish with seven hits, but they couldn’t package them into any multiple-run innings.

Amesbury’s hardest hit of the day was a long homer to left off the bat of St. Anselm’s commit Drew MacDonald in the second inning.

Aidan O’Donnell (UMass Dartmouth commit) had plenty of help from his defense.  The Green Wave (18-5) turned three double plays.  One was a standard 5-4-3 while the other two involved catches with Amesbury runners getting caught off first base afterwards.

1B AJ Nash puts the tag on Cam Stanley

Abington catcher Spencer Merrick also picked an Amesbury runner off first base.

You add good pitching to that kind of defense and the opponent is in for a long game.

“I tried to keep us in the game,” said pitcher Aidan O’Donnell.  “I was just trying to get outs.  I had full faith in the boys behind me.”

The Green Wave now moves on to the D4 state semi-finals against Manchester-Essex on Tuesday night (7PM) at Fraser Field in Lynn.

The Hornets won the state title in 2019.

Ryan Tobin scored three times

Eight different players from the Green Wave scored runs, with leadoff batter Ryan Tobin doing it three times.

Stephen Madden and Spencer Merrick led Abington in RBI’s with three each.

Drew MacDonald and Will Arsenault paced Amesbury with two hits apiece.  Drew also scored twice.

“We knew that we needed to play a good defensive game against a team like Amesbury,” said Coach Perakslis.  “We always know that we’re going to be in the game when Aidan O’Donnell is pitching.”

“Our offense had been a little stagnant for a while,” he added, “but we’ve been taking good swings in practice and in our two previous games.”

Stephen Madden had three RBI, two hits, and scored a run

Drew MacDonald, Aiden Donovan, and Josh Sorgini pitched for Amesbury.

Abington had five doubles.

Brady Burnham doubled off first

Besides the Drew MacDonald homer, Amesbury got RBI’s from Drew Scialdone and Will Arsenault.

Plenty of banter from both benches all game long.  It made it feel like an indoor event.

“There’s no reason to hold our heads down,” said Coach Brierley.  “Amesbury hasn’t had a season like this in a while.  I’m very proud of what the kids have done.”

The weather was perfect and the crowd, including many from Abington, was good-sized.

  Abington   4   0   2   2   3   1   0   =   12

Amesbury   0   1   1   0   0   1   0   =   3

Unofficial Abington box

Unofficial Amesbury box

Jake Harring leads off first base

Reaching for a runner

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Will Klein does it all……Abington defeats Leicester 21-7 in D7 Super Bowl

Senior Will Klein rushed for over 200 yards including two touchdowns

Will Klein post-game

(Foxboro MA) Will Klein was in the bleachers when Abington won their last football title (2014).

Unfortunately for the undefeated Leicester Wolverines, Will was on the field today for Abington.

The result? A 21-7 win and a Division 7 title for the Green Wave.

“Will had an unbelievable day today,” said dampened Abington head coach Jim Kelliher post-game.

And who could argue.

Will was even responsible for giving Coach Kelliher an icy bath as the celebrating started along the victorious Abington sidelines.

Abington post-game interviews

Will rushed for two touchdowns and finished with 207 yards on twenty-three carries.

On the Green Wave’s first possession, Will ran for a first down. On his second carry he disappeared off left tackle for a 61-yard score.  Looked like a long morning in the making for Leicester.

But the Wolverines (12-1) kept Will from getting the two-point conversion.

One minute later Leicester showed the Gillette Stadium gathering why they were undefeated and why they were in the championship game.

Jack O’Neil gets behind Will Klein as Leicester scores on a trick play.

Advertised as a team capable, and unafraid, of using trick plays, the Wolverines pulled one off against Abington.  The play started left and suddenly there was a pass to the right to sophomore Mike Mero.  But that wasn’t the end of it.  Mike then passed downfield to a wide-open Jack O’Neil and Leicester was immediately back in the game on the 74-yard touchdown.

Devon Gillis (26) up to stop a Will Klein two-point conversion attempt.

By the way, the pass over to Mike Mero drew up the Abington safety on that side which enabled Jack O’Neill to be by himself for the catch and score.  The defender?  Will Klein.

Nolan Power kicked the extra point and Leicester was ahead 7-6 with 6:52 left in the first quarter.

Now it looked as if a lot of points would be scored by both teams on this chilly/sunny morning, but they weren’t.  Leicester’s point production ended for the morning…….Abington’s didn’t.

“Their offense was complicated, but I credit my defensive coaches for figuring it out,” said Coach Kelliher.  “They did get one at the start, but we stopped everything else.  We did have some extra time to prepare for them and it helped.”

Gabe Spry (42) flies to Bryce Gosselin

The Green Wave (11-2) picked up a second touchdown in the second quarter (4:34).  Twice the team from the South Shore League converted fourth-down plays.  Once it was with a Will Klein rush.  Later it was a 4th-and-7 pass to junior Matt Maguire.  Will powered the final yard to the end zone and Seamus Schmidt swept left for the two-point conversion.  Abington had a 14-7 lead at half-time.

More Will Klein in the third quarter.  Abington looked to be in a punt setup, but Will Klein had the ball.  He could have punted but when he saw an opening, he ran for a first down.  Later in the quarter, with Leicester in possession, senior Bryce Gosselin found daylight down the right sideline, but over came Will to push Bryce out after an eighteen-yard game possibly saving a tying touchdown.

Daniel Mero (12) hands off to Bryce Gosselin (8)

Into the final quarter Leicester only trailed by one touchdown.  Did they have another trick play that could even the score?  Not on this morning.

They got into Abington territory (49) but the Green Wave defense forced them into a fourth down.  Daniel Mero’s pass attempt was then knocked down by defender Cedric Lucas with 3:31 left.

“I was glad to get in front of that ball and end that drive,” said Cedric afterwards.

“Abington had a really good defense,” explained Leicester QB Daniel Mero.  “They filled the holes when they needed to.  It was tough for us to execute.”

Bryce Gosselin (8) pushed out by Will Klein (4)

Will Klein sent Abington on their way to a final touchdown.  He swept right, dodged one tackler and put the Green Wave in business at the Leicester 20.  Senior Gabe Spry covered the final four yards for the score.  Tom Fanara kicked the extra point pushing the Abington lead to 21-7 with 1:42 remaining.

Will Klein follows blockers

Leicester went all-air on their last possession.  What a surprise, Will Klein ended Leicester’s last hope for points with an interception.

“The touchdowns and the other good things that happened were nice,” explained Will, “but I’m happier that the team won the game.”

“Will is one of those guys that every coach dreams of having,” said Coach Kelliher.  “It’s like, ‘Thank you, Lord!’”

Jarib Cole (55) and Cedric Lucas (14) elevate at the end

“It’s the second state championship game I’ve been in this year,” recalled Will.  He was part of Abington’s basketball team that lost in the title game in Division 4 to Worcester Tech in March.

The Green Wave won eleven straight games after starting with losses to Hingham and Rockland.  “That was a long time to be winless,” said Will.

Both Leicester and Abington lost in the regional finals the last two seasons.

Leicester plays in the South Worcester County League.

The sun may have been out for the 9AM start but most of the field was in shadows.

I greatly appreciated the stats provided by the MIAA before and after the game.

Game stats

(All of the pictures above and below will enlarge considerably if you click on them.)

MIAA banner

Abington banner

Green Wave cheerleaders

Chris Miranda (53) about to tack Will Klein (4)

Colby Augusta (2) ready to run a play near the goal line

Colby Augusta (2) swarmed by Wolverines

Abington’s Colby Augusta (2) with great protection

Daniel Mero (12) chased by Cedric Lucas (14), Shea McClellan (53) and Jarae Cole (52)

Daniel Mero (12) passes to Jamison Metcalf (3)

Gabe Spry (42) had a 23-yard reception for Abington

Will Klein (4) plows into the line

Michael Worden with the D7 championship trophy

Ryan Wessling (60) and Drew Donovan (7) cheer the outcome

Will Klein (4) cuts past Jeff Puchalski (15)

Will Klein at the end of a 61-yard touchdown run in the first quarter











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