While one of the Hockomock League's divisions has a somewhat clear playoff picture, the other is chaotic and wide-open, of course setting up what should be a thrilling final three weeks of the season.
After week 8, Sharon, Stoughton and Foxborough have the most realistic path to a Davenport Division (small schools) title and with it a Division 3 playoff berth. The division title is based on a team's four-game division record at season's end. At 2-0 in division play, Sharon is in the driver's seat and Stoughton and Foxborough, both at 2-1, are right behind. Sharon has a head to head win over Stoughton and Stoughton has a head to head win over Foxborough. Sharon and Foxborough play Nov. 10.
With Mansfield and Franklin both losing in week 8, there are now four teams tied atop at 2-1 in the Kelly-Rex Division (large schools) - King Philip, Franklin, North Attleboro and Mansfield. Taunton is at 1-2. All Kelly-Rex teams have two division games left, so since we are in the midst of campaign season, let's borrow a phrase from the world of politics and say this one is too close to call. The eventual winner, likely not determined until after the Thanksgiving games, will advance to the Division 2 playoffs.
Below is a week 8 recap, star players, standings, and a week 9 schedule.
Week 8 Recap
Stoughton 44, Oliver Ames 21
- Stoughton scored on its first four possessions en route to a convincing win over OA Friday night in Easton. The turning point of the game came when OA's Matt Berksza scored to cut the Stoughton lead to 14-7 in the second quarter, but on Stoughton's first offensive play of the ensuing drive, Dan Eckler connected with Andrew Kelly for a 62-yard touchdown pass. OA went three and out on its next possession and Stoughton answered with another touchdown to build a 30-7 lead at the half. Four Stoughton backs had more than 50 yards rushing - Malachi Baugh (146), Aaron Mack (95), Frankie Morris (89) and Marcus Middleton (52). Click here for a full recap.
Foxborough 28, Canton 22
- Foxborough running back Kiivone Howard ran for over 200 yards and scored three more rushing touchdowns Friday to give him 18 on the season and the Warriors' defense forced three Canton turnovers, including a fumble late in the fourth quarter to seal a victory over the Bulldogs Friday night. Foxborough led Canton, 7-6 at halftime and 28-14 with just over two minutes to play in the fourth quarter. In addition to Howard's three touchdowns – two coming on 63 and 40-yard runs - Foxborough's Alex Pacitti scored on a 17-yard pass from quarterback Mike Slaby. Canton's running backs Dexter Green and Elias Camacho and quarterback Ian Flavin each scored a rushing touchdown in the loss. Click here for a full recap.
King Philip 35, Attleboro 7
- King Philip dominated on both sides of the ball in a road game against Kelly-Rex Division rival Attleboro. The Warriors scored five touchdowns and sacked Attleboro quarterback Tim Walsh five times. King Philip scored a touchdown on the first possession and never looked back. Attleboro dropped its fourth in a row after starting the season with four-straight wins. Click here for a full recap.
North Attleboro 36, Mansfield 21
- Despite trailing at North Attleboro 20-7 at the half, Mansfield stormed back Friday night with two third quarter touchdowns (Kevin Makie and Kyle Wisnieski runs) to take a 21-20 lead going into the fourth. However, NA answered with a pair of fourth quarter touchdowns to earn the win over the Hornets. Click here for a full recap.
Sharon 27, Randolph 8
- Sharon built a 20-0 lead at the half at Randolph Friday night en route to a non-league rout. Evantz Elisma (run), Eric Lesser (run) and Brad Kaufman (two touchdown catches from quarterback Sean O'Neill) scored for Sharon. Click here for a full recap.
Taunton 28, Franklin 27
- Franklin built a 14-0 lead and led 27-22 heading into the fourth quarter of Friday's game in Taunton, but the Tigers came back and shocked the Panthers, who entered the game heavy favorites. This is Taunton's first Hockomock League win. Click here for a full scoring recap.
Week 8 Stars
- There were plenty of Stoughton stars to choose from in a lopsided win over OA, but Marcus Middleton had 52 yards rushing, 50 yards receiving and 2 TDs (one catching and one rushing) and quarterback Dan Eckler had two passing touchdowns and a rushing touchdown.
- Oliver Ames running back Matt Berksza added 20 yards on the ground, but most importantly, scored two of OA's three touchdowns.
- Kiivone Howard, Foxborough’s star running back, recorded over 200 yards rushing Friday and scored three more touchdowns to give him 18 on the season – through eight games. He was easily the most dominant player on the field Friday vs. Canton.
- Sharon's Brad Kaufman had two touchdown receptions from quarterback Sean O'Neil. 25 and 46 yards, finishing the night with five receptions for 86 yards as the Eagles rolled to a victory.
- King Philip's Joe Johnston ran through the Attleboro defense with ease, scoring two touchdowns.
- Canton's Elias Camacho scored on a 1-yard rushing touchdown and converted two 2-point conversions but it is what he did on a kickoff return in the fourth quarter that showed what type of competitor he is. Camacho, fuming from Kiivone Howard’s 40-yard touchdown run to give Foxborough a 28-14 lead, angrily fielded the ensuing kick off right around Canton’s 30 yard line and exploded for nearly 70 yards to Foxborough’s 8-yard line, which led to a Flavin touchdown.
- Attleboro tight end Luke Morrison made some key catches in a losing effort and scored the team's only touchdown on a 49-yard play.
- Mansfield running backs Robert Rapoza and Kevin Makie combined for almost 200 yards rushing, scoring a touchdown apiece.
- North Attleboro quarterback Ryan Perron had two passing touchdowns and two rushing touchdowns in the win over Mansfield.
- Taunton's Domingo Jenkins scored the Tigers' final two touchdowns in an upset win over Franklin.
- Franklin quarterback Nick Zucco had two passing touchdowns and a rushing touchdown.
Standings (based on division record)
Team (overall rec)
(division games in bold)
@Franklin, Foxborough, @OA
Stoughton (7-1)2-1 W1
Attleboro, @Bridgewater-Raynham, Canton
Foxborough (6-2)2-1 W3
East Bridgewater, @Sharon, @Mansfield
Oliver Ames (5-3)0-2 L2
King Philip, @Canton, Sharon
Canton (1-5)0-2 L5
@NA, OA, Stoughton
Team (overall rec)
(division games in bold)King Philip (7-1) 2-1 W1
OA, @NA, FranklinFranklin (6-2)
2-1 L1 Sharon, @Mansfield, @KP North Attleboro (5-3) 2-1 W2 Canton, KP, @Attleboro Mansfield (5-3) 2-1 L1 @Taunton, Franklin, Foxborough Taunton (2-6) 1-2 W1 Mansfield, @Attleboro, Coyle Cassidy Attleboro (4-4) 0-3 L4 @Stoughton, Taunton, NA
Week 9 Schedule
Friday, Nov. 2:
- Attleboro at Stoughton, 6 p.m.
- Oliver Ames at King Philip, 7 p.m.
- Mansfield at Taunton, 7 p.m.
- Canton at North Attleboro, 7 p.m.
- Sharon at Franklin, 7 p.m.
- East Bridgewater at Foxborough, 7 p.m. (non-league)