With the Stoughton High football team's 44-21 win at Oliver Ames last Friday on the road, Stoughton Patch will look at some key factors contributing to the win and look ahead to this Friday's home contest against Hockomock League rival Attleboro at 6 p.m. (note the time change).
Stoughton is 7-1 heading into this game (2-1 in the Davenport Division) and Attleboro is 4-4 (0-3 in the Kelly-Rex).
1. Offensive Burst - The second half of the Sharon game in Week 7 and the first half of the OA game in Week 8 was like night and day for the Stoughton offense. Against Sharon the Knights could not seem to find a steady rhythm in the passing or running game, running just 12 plays in three possessions in the second half (minus the final play of the game). But against Oliver Ames last Friday Stoughton was clicking on all cylinders, scoring on its first four possessions, building a 30-7 lead at the half.
Senior quarterback Danny Eckler had his best passing performance of the season connecting on huge passes to Andrew Kelly and Marcus Middleton. In the running game all four Knight running backs (Frankie Morris, Aaron Mack, Malachi Baugh and Marcus Middleton) had 50+ yards on the ground. After the game coach Greg Burke talked about keeping it simple on offense, practicing the same four plays all week and being able to come out and execute them.
2. Momentum - Stoughton will look to feed off the win against Oliver Ames and continue to improve weaknesses in the offense and defense heading towards a possible postseason berth. The Knights finally return home after three straight games on the road. A weak performance by Stoughton could take momentum away from Stoughton heading into the final stretch of the season (vs. Attleboro, at Bridgewater-Raynham, vs. Canton).
3. Attleboro Players To Watch - Star running back Malique Clark did not play against King Philip last Friday so his status for the Stoughton game is unknown. If healthy, Clark would be a huge asset to Attleboro. Two weeks ago Clark rushed for almost 300 yards and 5 touchdowns against a good Franklin defense. Clark has 14 touchdowns on the year so far. Quarterback Tim Walsh is a viable threat in the passing game with 9 passing touchdowns already this season, 4 of which were to tight end Luke Morrison, including a 60-yard strike.
4. Attleboro's Slump - Attleboro comes into the game on a major downhill slump. After starting out a promising 4-0 they have preceded to lose 4 straight games including 3 to Hockomock league Kelly-Rex rivals, eliminating them from the playoff hunt. Attleboro will be desperate to get a win and get back on track against one of the best teams in the League in Stoughton. If Clark is not healthy for Attleboro they will look to use a fast-paced passing attack against the Knights to try and exploit Stoughton's defense.
5. Playoff Hunt - Nothing will change this week in the Davenport Division playoff hunt as all games are non-Davenport match-ups, and the division champion is based on division record. The Davenport will come down to either Sharon (2-0 in the Davenport), Stoughton (2-1 in the Davenport) or Foxboro (2-1 in the Davenport). Sharon is in the driver's seat after a win against Stoughton, but Stoughton gains a little ground having defeated Foxboro. Sharon and Foxboro play on November 10th in a huge game.
Click here for a full recap from the Stoughton/OA game
Click here for a full recap from the Attleboro/King Philip game
Can't make it to Friday's game vs. Attleboro? You can follow all the action right on Stoughton Patch with our live blog.
Stoughton Patch editor Jeffrey Pickette contributed reporting.