MANSFIELD — The past two seasons Mansfield had its Super Bowls dreams come to an end with defeats against King Philip.
But Friday night, the Hornets put to rest their postseason hex against their Hockomock League rival by receiving a massive boost from Cincere Gill and quarterback Jack Moussette.
Moussette threw three of his four touchdown passes to Gill and Gill added another score on the ground as second-seeded Mansfield throttled No. 3 KP, 34-6, in a Division 2 South semifinal at Alumni Field.
“The playoff thing was like a gorilla on the back,” said Mansfield coach Mike Redding as the Hornets advance to the sectional final against Natick, “and thank God we got this or it would had been another long year.”
Mansfield (8-1) used its aerial attack to pick apart a KP (7-2) defense that hadn’t allowed more than 15 points in a single contest this season.
Moussette, who completed 11-of-16 passes for 227 yards, threw scoring strikes to Gill (five receptions, 106 yards) of nine and 46 yards, respectively, on consecutive offensive plays to open up a 14-0 lead early in the second quarter.
Everett Knowlton then took a screen pass from Moussette 18 yards into the end zone to give the Hornets a commanding 21-0 lead at the break.
“We had a great night throwing. That was the difference,” Redding said. “Jack was on. We had some good matchups with Cincere out as a receiver.”
Gill continued to dazzle in the second half as a Nick Marciano interception set up an 11-yard touchdown run by Gill for a 28-0 lead.
KP, which accumulated just 26 yards of offense in the first half as Mansfield bottled up Ryan Halliday (13 carries, 45 yards), responded with a 19-yard touchdown pass from Robbie Jarest to Andrew McKinney, but the Warriors had no answer for Gill.
Gill got free in the secondary once again and Moussette connected with him on a 23-yard touchdown to take a 34-6 lead with 3:14 left in the third quarter.
“It feels great,” Gill said. “We needed this one. … We were looking forward to this since the beginning of the season.”