Despite Injury to Key Player, Stoughton High Football Will Look to Soar Against the Sharon Eagles
Stoughton is 6-0 following a 12-7 come from behind win at North Attleboro last Friday. The Black Knights will travel to Sharon (5-1) this Saturday afternoon, looking for a perfect 7-0 start.
With the Stoughton High football team's 12-7 win over North Attleboro last Friday on the road, Stoughton Patch will look at some key factors contributing to the win and look ahead to this Saturday's road contest at Hockomock League rival Sharon (5-1) at 2 p.m. [note the time change]. Stoughton is 6-0 heading into this game.
1. Defense - No matter who the opponent, Stoughton continues to have one of the most dominant defenses in the state. Stoughton allows a sparse 5.5 points a game only trumped by Reading who allows a measly 4 points a game. Stoughton's turnover differential is huge for Black Knights and a product of their bend, but don't break defense. Stoughton continues to have a huge advantage in the turnover battle (20 takeaways through six games vs. six giveaways) and will look to once again stop Sharon drives as a result of the turnovers.
2. Adam Leonard - Speaking of Stoughton's defensive success, Adam Leonard is a big reason why, and the loss of the senior captain with a leg injury will be a huge blow to Stoughton. Leonard was injured late in the fourth quarter of the North Attleboro game. Baring unforeseen circumstances, Leonard will miss this week's game at Sharon (and will likely miss more time). Leonard is the starting middle linebacker and offensive center for the Black Knights and him missing time would create a big void on both sides of the ball. Players such as Tim Porter, Andrew Kelly and Lennox Green will be asked to step up on defense and Lance Beardsworth will be asked to take Leonard's place at center on the offensive line.
3. Playoff Push - This upcoming Saturday's tilt against Sharon is a huge game for playoff positioning since it is a Davenport Division showdown. The winner of the Davenport Division will advance to the Division 3 playoffs. With Sharon also undefeated in the Davenport, a Black Knights win would leap frog Stoughton over Sharon setting up another huge game against Davenport rival Oliver Ames next week.
4. Sharon's Balanced Offense - Sharon's ability to both run and throw the ball will be key for Sharon coming into the game. Sharon quarterback Sean O'Neill is tied for the lead in the Hockomock with 8 passing touchdowns, 5 of which he connected with receiver Brad Kauffman, who leads the Hockomock in receiving touchdowns. Running back Sean Asnes will also be a key contributor in the running game.
5. Fourth Quarter - Stoughton will look to build a strong lead heading into the fourth quarter of this game. But no lead is safe against Sharon, who is outscoring opponents 47-12 in the fourth quarter through six games. Questions arise as to which Sharon team will show up, the resilient never-quit Sharon of the first 5 games this season, or the Sharon who got blown out 43-0 against King Philip last week.
Can't make it to Saturday's game at Sharon? You can follow all the action right on Stoughton Patch with our live blog.
Stoughton Patch editor Jeffrey Pickette contributed reporting.