WRENTHAM – The Medfield High School football team (0-2, 0-0) committed four, first-quarter turnovers en route to a 42-7 loss to King Philip Friday night.
In this battle of Warriors, Medfield fumbled twice, threw an interception and touched a punt that KP recovered on its first four drives.
King Philip (2-0, 0-0) rode an impressive running game — led by senior tailback Charles Ruffin — and an efficient passing game to the early lead. KP led 35-0 at half, and led two clock-killing drives in the second half.
Medfield had a total of six plays on its first three possessions — three runs that accounted for three yards, two fumbles (recovered by Joe Johnson and Tyler Morgan) and an interception by Sam McDonald. To make matters worse for the visiting team, a King Philip punt hit a Medfield player and the home team recovered.
Off the four early miscues, KP was able to score twice to take an early 14-0 lead. Following three Ruffin carries for 10 yards and an 8-yard John Dillon to McDonald pass play, Brett McEvoy pounded the ball in from the one-yard line to give KP a 7-point lead. Dillon (3-of-8 for 54 yards) would hit Joe Cochrane over the middle one play after the Medfield muffed punt for a 26-yard touchdown strike, doubling the KP lead in the first quarter.
“They played opportunity football. We feel that we gave the ball to them a couple of times and they capitalized,” Medfield Coach Erik Ormberg said. “If we had held onto the ball, it may have been a different outcome, but we had some self-imposed situations that hurt us.”
KP Coach Brian Lee agrees with Ormberg that the turnovers set the tone.
“We executed, but certainly turnovers were a big help to getting our offense going tonight,” the KP coach said. “Medfield was definitely physical up front in the beginning, but giving us great field position put them in a bind.”
As the first quarter wound down, King Philip had moved into Medfield territory thanks to a 17-yard Ruffin scamper. The senior running back would get the ball on the first four plays to open the second quarter, the last a one-yard burst into the end zone to put the Warriors up 21-0. Ruffin was far from through.
After both teams could not move the ball on three straight possessions, Medfield was forced to once again punt the ball away. Ruffin fielded the ball on the 50 and preceded to head down the right sideline and into the end zone for yet another KP touchdown.
On the ensuing kickoff, KP would recover the kick. Four plays later, Ruffin (14 carries for 82 yards and 3 touchdowns) would head toward the hole, avoid a tackle and rumble 19 yards for his third score of the evening.
“Charles has done a lot so far, but that punt return was big,” Lee said. “It was one of those things that can give you a little kick start.”
Much like the previous week, the King Philip reserves got to see a lot of second half action. Looking to eat up as much clock as possible, KP called 13 straight running plays that took 7:36 and culminated in Sean Littlefield (8 carries for 48 yards) scampering in from 13 yards out to extend KP's lead to 42-0.
After opening the season with seven scoreless quarters, it looked as though Medfield was finally going to put some points on the board, but the KP defense came up big once again and stopped the visitors at the one yard line. KP would advance the ball away from the goal line, but in doing so would put the ball on the carpet. Medfield graciously accepted the gift and, six yards later, Aaron Cohen was in the end zone, scoring the team's first points of the season.
While the KP offense was putting up the numbers, it was the defense doing all the preliminary work. In fact, the defense held Medfield to no net yards in the first half.
“They’re one of the best-coached teams — you can tell — in all phases — offense, defense, and special teams,” the Medfield coach said. “They knew what their plan was and they executed it. They’re a great group of guys that work hard. It’s an established program, and I have a lot of respect for them.”
Both teams will begin league play next week. KP will take its undefeated record into Sharon on Saturday for a Hockomock League tilt, while Medfield will visit Ashland in a Tri-Valley League matchup.