For the third straight year, the Nipmuc (9-1) football team is Division 5 Central champions.
The No. 2 Warriors exacted revenge on top-seeded Northbridge, who gave Nipmuc their only loss of the season back in September with a 14-6 win.
Junior wide receiver Nate Gould caught the go-ahead 55-yard touchdown pass early in the first quarter and the Warriors never looked back.
Junior quarterback Judah Dishington scored two touchdowns, the aforementioned 55-yard bomb and then ran it in himself from four yards out with 4:50 left to go in the first half to give Nipmuc some breathing room. The defense was able to stay strong and kept Northbridge out of the end zone the rest of the way.
Richie Broni had 30 carries for 172 yards to help the Warriors control the clock.
Nipmuc will face Western Mass. Champion Longmeadow in the state semifinals on Saturday at a time and place to be determined.
LITTLETON 34, BMR-HOPEDALE 0: A week after stunning top-seeded Maynard, BMR-Hopedale team couldn’t quite pull off another upset.
Littleton, the second seed and defending sectional champion, defeated the Chargers in the MIAA Division 6 Central semifinal on Saturday, Nov. 10, at Doyle Field in Leominster.
BMR-Hopedale threatened early in the second quarter when it drove to the Tigers 22 while trailing 7-0. Quarterback Robbie Siefring had runs of 26 and eight yards and an 11-yard completion to Alex Luccini in the series.
The threat ended, however, when Littleton’s Austin Lynn picked off a pass from Siefring on the right sideline and raced 82 yards to the end zone. Kicker Cody Shearer’s second of four successful extra point attempts gave the Tigers a 14-0 lead with 10:01 left in the first half.
“That was a big play,” said Blackstone-Millville/Hopedale coach Josh Euglow. “They obviously scouted that play and they had a good game plan.”
The Chargers’ Dylan Ayotte picked off a pass in the end zone on the final play of the half to keep the score 14-0 Tigers heading into the half.
Siefring gained 65 yards on 11 carries. He also made seven tackles on defense.
BMR-Hopedale (5-5) plays Sutton-Douglas on Thanksgiving Day.
MILFORD 27, NORWOOD 23: Milford got back to .500 with their fifth win of the season as they took down Norwood in non-playoff action.
The Scarlet Hawks host Maynard on Thanksgiving.
NATICK 4, HINGHAM 1: Abby Gerdes scored three and added an assist as No. 10 Natick (13-2-5) defeated sixth-seeded Hingham in the Division 1 South semifinals.
The game was scoreless at halftime before the Redhawks exploded for four goals in the second half.
Alex Campana had two assists and Molly Burnes had an assist as well, while Laney Ross scored a goal, too.
Natick plays top-seed Newton South at 2:30 p.m. on Monday in the Division 1 South finals at Hingham High School.
MILLIS 1, COHASSET 0 (PKs): Millis defeated seventh-seeded Cohasset in PKs to advance to the Division 4 South finals.
The sixth seeded Mohawks will take on No. 5 Hull at Holbrook High School on Monday at noon.
NOTRE DAME ACADEMY (HINGHAM) 3, HOLLISTON 0: Holliston’s postseason run came to an end in the Division 2 South semifinals.
LINCOLN-SUDBURY 2, ST. JOHN’S PREP 1: Juniors Joe Akisik and Joe Mepham each scored a goal as No. 3 Lincoln-Sudbury (17-2-1) beat ninth-seeded St. John’s Prep in the Division 1 North final.
“It’s a bit surreal,” Warriors coach David Hosford said. “You always hope that things would play out that way and winning the D1 North isn’t easy.
“We were there two years ago and we lost so it feels great to win and I’m so proud of the boys. They’ve worked so hard and we will continue to work hard this season moving forward.”
The Warriors jumped out to a 2-0 lead at halftime. The Eagles got on the board with 18 minutes left in regulation, scoring on a PK to cut the deficit to 2-1.
“It was a quite nerve-wracking final 18 minutes,” Hosford said. “But I’m glad that we were able to gut it out.
“One of the signatures for the team is to be there for each other. There was an unfortunate hand ball in the box and they picked him up and they play for each other and work for each other, and I think that just makes this team really special.”
Lincoln-Sudbury advances to the state semifinals that will be played on Wednesday at Manning Field in Lynn. Time and opponent are yet to be determined.
WELLESELEY 3, SILVER LAKE 0: Fifth-seeded Wellesley (13-3-2) shut out top-seeded Silver Lake to advance to the Division 1 South finals.
The Raiders will take on No. 10 B.C. High in the finals on Monday at noon.
BELLINGHAM WINS SECOND STRAIGHT EMASS DIVISION 6 CHAMPIONSHIP: Brandon Williams paced Bellingham who finished second overall with a time of 17:03 as he led the Blackhawks to their second straight Eastern Mass. Championship.
Ethan Carr finished seventh overall with a time of 17:27 and Cam Hasselbaum finished 10th overall with a time of 17:38 to round out the top 10 for Bellingham.
The Blackhawks scored a total of 49 points to earn the win.
Bellingham will compete at the Division 6 All-States meet next Sunday at Stanley Park in Westfield.
HOPEDALE COMES IN SECOND IN CMASS DIVISION 2 MEET: Despite not having a single runner finish in the top 10, and being without their top runner, Colin Black who was out with an illness, the Hopedale boys cross country team finished second overall in the Division 2 Central Mass. meet.
Matt Marchionni paced the Blue Raiders, coming in 11th overall with a time of 17:10. Brody Dobbs (24th, 17:35) and Kyle Murray (29th, 17:46) rounded out the top three runners for Hopedale.
Since the Blue Raiders finished second overall as a team, and the top three teams advance, Hopedale will be going back to Stanley Park in Westfield next Sunday in the All-States Meet.
It is their ninth straight trip to the state final and their 12th trip overall.
“For Hopedale cross country being what it is, I can say that I am truly proud of how they competed,” said Blue Raiders coach Joe Drugan.
FRANKLIN 3, SHREWSBURY 2: Franklin (20-0) defeated No. 4 Shrewsbury in an epic five-set battle 25-22, 25-21, 17-25, 15-25, 15-5 to advance to the state semifinals.
The Panthers took a two set to none lead before the Colonials battled back to force a fifth set.
Franklin hosts south champion Barnstable in the state semifinals on Tuesday at a time to be announced.