Halliday, Jarest help KP get back
MANSFIELD — After suffering a heartbreaking defeat on the same field just weeks ago, King Philip hoisted a third consecutive sectional championship trophy last night.
With the Warriors trailing by four points entering the fourth quarter, running back Ryan Halliday led them on an 11-play, 51-yard drive capped off by a Robert Jarest touchdown run as King Philip claimed the Division 2 South championship with a 10-7 win over Hockomck League rival Mansfield at Alumni Field.
The win advances twotime defending Super Bowl champion King Philip to Gillette Stadium, where it will play North Andover for the Div.ision 2 Super Bowl title on Nov. 30 or Dec. 1.
“There’s playing teams, and then there is playing Mansfield,” King Philip coach Brian Lee said. “Robert gave us just enough, that’s what we do at King Philip. Just do enough.”
Mansfield (9-1) edged the Warriors, 28-27, on Sept. 29 on a missed two-point conversion. Behind its stout defensive line, it looked for most of last night that the Hornets would stave off their rivals once more.
Halliday and Jarest, however, combined to put together one of the signature drives that has become a King Philip staple over its three-year run.
Beginning on its 49-yard line, Halliday (26 carries, 87 yards) marched King Philip to the Mansfield 36 with five consecutive rushes. Jarest then took over, scrambling twice for a combined 19 yards before completing a 12-yard pass to David Morganelli inside the 2. Moments later, Jarest pushed across the goal line to give KP a 10-7 lead with 5:38 left.
Mansfield had a chance to win the game on its ensuing drive, but Deric Casado intercepted Aidan Sacco, allowing the Warriors to run out the clock.
“It’s good to be back here, but hopefully we have yet to play our best game and that comes in a couple weeks,” Jarest said.
Sacco scored the only touchdown of the opening half, running straight up the gut for a 16-yard touchdown to put Mansfield up 7-0.
King Philip got on the board early in the second on a 38-yard field goal by Cole Baker to trim the deficit to 7-3.
RIVALS REUNITE: King Philip’s Ryan Halliday tries to gain some yardage during last night’s 10-7 victory against Mansfield in a rematch of Hockomock League foes for the Division 2 South championship.
RISING TO CHALLENGE AGAIN: King Philip players celebrate their 10-7 victory against Mansfield in last night’s Division 2 South championship game.