Thanksgiving Football Final: Stoughton Falls to Canton 28-26 in Overtime
Stoughton lost to Canton on Thanksgiving for the first time since 2004, with the Bulldogs earning a shocking victory in overtime.
For the first time since 2004, the Canton High football team beat Stoughton on Thanksgiving, with the Bulldogs shocking the heavily-favored Black Knights, 28-26, Thursday in Stoughton.
And for the first time in the 87-year history of the Thanksgiving rivalry, the game was decided in overtime.
After Frankie Morris got Stoughton on the board first in overtime with a two-yard touchdown run, giving the Black Knights a 26-20 lead after the two point conversion attempt was fumbled, Canton responded with a five-yard touchdown run by Shane Nordgren to tie the game.
Canton then won on Dexter Green's successful two-point conversion run.
The Bulldog players stormed the field as Stoughton players, dejected, walked towards their sideline - a successful, yet emotionally trying season ending on a sour note.
"The seniors played very hard out there. We had a great season. It's just one of those things," Stoughton coach Greg Burke said after the Thanksgiving loss.
"Thought today would have been our final, best game against a good [Canton] team...We stopped them, but not enough unfortunately," Burke continued. "9-2 I'll take. We were hoping to get that 10th but I guess that wasn't meant to be."
With the win, Canton finishes the season at 3-6 and 2-2 in the Hockomock League's Davenport Division. Stoughton came into the game looking to get its 10th win, which would have set a single-season school record, but instead finishes at 9-2 and 2-2 in the Davenport.
Despite the fact Stoughton ends the season with the best overall record in the Davenport Division, Sharon advances to the Division 3 playoffs as Davenport champion because the Eagles finished with a better division record (3-1).
Even though Canton is 3-6 the Bulldogs have played teams tough, particularly Davenport teams. All of Canton's four division games have been decided by a single possession and three have gone into overtime.
"To beat that team [Stoughton], wow," Canton coach Dave Bohane said. "Look at what they've accomplished this year. Face the adversity they've faced and to beat North Attleboro and Mansfield and Bridgewater-Raynham. That is just a super team. To say that we beat them is just incredible for our program. I'm really excited for the seniors."
After Canton took a 14-8 lead at the half, regulation ended tied at 20.
Stoughton tied the game at 14 four mnutes into the third quarter on a 30-yard touchdown run by Malachi Baugh, the first play from scrimmage after Stoughton took over following an 8-yard Canton punt. The two-point conversion attempt failed, however.
But Elias Camacho put Canton back up by 6 with a touchdown run two-minutes into the fourth quarter.
With Stoughton trailing 20-14 in the fourth quarter, quarterback Dan Eckler hit Marcus Middleton for a 30-yard touchdown pass, tying the game with 6:50 left to play. The two-point conversion attempt was no good as Eckler was sacked.
Canton proceeded to drive down the field. Facing a fourth and 1 at the Stoughton 21 with 1:27 left in the fourth, Camacho picked up the first down, but fumbled at the Stoughton 2-yard line, with Lance Beardsworth recovering the fumble.
Stoughton ran out the clock sending the game into overtime, where the teams traded touchdowns, but the Canton two-point conversion made the difference.
Stoughton was just 1/4 on two point conversion attempts Thursday. Burke said his team needed to do a better job converting, but elected to go for two because the team has not made a high percentage of its extra points this season.
Penalties also hurt Stoughton. After scoring on its first possession, the next three Stoughton drives in the first half were derailed because of penalties, which set up second-and-long and third-and-long situations, with Stoughton unable to convert and forced to punt each time. Canton turned an 8-0 deficit into a 14-8 lead during this stretch.
Morris had two touchdowns for Stoughton, while Baugh and Middleton added one each.
Baugh paced the Black Knights with 112 yards rushing, while Morris added 37 and Mack had 23. Eckler had 81 yards passing and a touchdown. Middleton had 50 yards receiving.
Mike Connelly led the way on defense at defensive end, forcing a fumble on Canton's first drive, which set up Stoughton's first touchdown (a Morris run), and making a number of plays behind the line of scrimmage. Joey Wilder also provided pressure from the other defensive end position.
For Canton, Camacho had two touchdowns, while Green and Nordgren had one each.
Camacho led Canton with 146 yards rushing (and added a two point conversion); Green had 70 yards on the ground (and the game-winning two-point conversion); and Nordgren added 51 yards.
In the 87-year history of the series, there had been ties in 1934, 1965, 1975 and 1992, but this was the first game played with the new overtime rules in place.
Stoughton had outscored Canton 229-35 during its seven-game winning streak from 2005-2011, but now Canton will take possession of the Thanksgiving trophy, and earns bragging rights for the year.
Stoughton still leads the all-time series, 43-40-4.