Five Things We Learned From The Stoughton High Football Season Opener [VIDEO]
Stoughton lost to Holliston 28-15 Friday evening to kick off the season. Here are five things to take away from that game. In the media gallery be sure to check out video highlights from the season opener.
The Stoughton High football team may have lost 28-15 in their first game on Friday night, but not all was lost. There was plenty that can be taken from the game, but here are five things that stand out.
1. No Clear Quarterback – Heading into the game, there was no clear quarterback set, as two juniors and one senior battled for the starting spot.
Junior Dan Eckler started and finished the game for the Knights, but didn’t play throughout. Eckler played the entire first quarter before senior Alex Fernandes took over in the second quarter.
Fernandes started the second half but Eckler came back in at the 6:05 mark in the third after Fernandes suffered a leg injury. Fernandes finished 5/9 for 82 yards while Eckler tossed a fourth quarter touchdown to sophomore Malachi Baugh and converted the two-point conversion after connecting with junior Frankie Morris.
Heading into next week, it appears the two will continue to split time as junior Aaron Calixte, who played some quarterback last year, figures to be in the mix.
2. Turnovers Prove Costly – Despite having five takeaways, the Black Knights ended up even in the turnover department as they turned the ball over five times as well. Stoughton’s turnovers, however, proved to be more costly.
All four touchdowns for the Holliston Panthers came after Stoughton turnovers. Stoughton quarterbacks combined for three interceptions and one fumble, while the offense fumbled another time.
“You can’t fumble and lose it and say it’s OK,” Burke said. “We’re not strong enough defensively to say that’s OK.”
3. Stopping the Run – The Black Knights defense came out sharp, sacking and forcing a fumble on their first series. But soon thereafter, the Holliston Panthers abandoned the pass game and used different packages to run the ball.
Holliston gained 263 yards on the ground on 32 yards, an average of 8.2 yards a carry. The numbers were aided by a 66 yard run by Holliston’s Jake Frechette, good for over 25 percent of the Panther’s running yards. With a solid pass rush, the Black Knights will look to improve the run defense this Friday.
4. Potential – Despite the loss, there was plenty to look forward to. Both Eckler and Fernandes showed the ability to play quarterback fulltime.
Junior Aaron Mack showed promise for the offense, racking up 123 total yards, including a 25-yard touchdown run in the first quarter that gave the Black Knights the lead. Mack almost made a spectacular over the shoulder catch in stride in the second quarter.
Basketball standouts Aaron Calixte and Marcus Middleton, both juniors, each made big interceptions. Middleton took away a touchdown in the first quarter with an interception in the endzone. In the second quarter, Calixte tipped the ball into the air and came down with the pick ending Holliston’s bid for a third consecutive touchdown drive.
Also playing well for the Black Knights were senior Alex Kimball (4 receptions for 31 yards and a fumble recovery) and sophomore Malachi Baugh, who caught a touchdown pass, played well on defense, and had a big kick return.
5. Looking Ahead – Up next for the Black Knights is Somerset High School, who like Holliston, appeared in a Super Bowl last year. Somerset finished last season 12-1 with their only loss coming in that Super Bowl.
However, the Raiders have started off this season the same way as Stoughton – with a loss. Quarterback Cole Stafford and backs Garet Carlos and Mike Garrant lead the Raiders.
The Stoughton defense will have to be ready when they visit Somerset as the Raiders are known for being able to put up big offensive numbers. The game will kick off from Somerset Berkley Regional High School on Friday at 7 p.m.
Video highlight package in the media gallery is by Robert Burke of Burkco Sports Video.