Turns out Thanksgiving football in the Hockomock League will just be for pride and bragging rights this year - both of the league's playoff berths were sewn up by the end of week 10.
Mansfield (7-3), a perennial playoff threat, clinched the Hockomock League's Kelly-Rex (large schools) Division with a 28-21 win against visiting Franklin this past Saturday evening. Mansfield improved to 4-1 in the division, assuring the Hornets of at least a tie with King Philip, who is 3-1 heading into Thanksgiving. But, Mansfield has the head-to-head tiebreak, beating KP 46-33 on Oct. 20.
And, Sharon (8-2), just two years removed from a 1-9-1 season, made history Saturday afternoon, clinching the Hockomock League's Davenport (small schools) Division with a 14-7 win over visiting Foxborough, making the Eagles playoff bound for the first time in program history. Sharon is now 3-0 in the Davenport, assuring the Eagles of at least tying Stoughton (currently 2-1) and Sharon has the head-to-head tiebreak, beating Stoughton 16-14 on Oct. 20.
Heading into week 10, Foxborough, Stoughton and Sharon (Davenport), and King Philip, North Attleboro, Franklin and Mansfield (Kelly-Rex) were all vying for the league's two playoff spots.
Stoughton and KP, both a Hockomock-best 9-1 overall with a chance to finish the season 10-1, will be left out of the playoff picture. Stoughton disposed of Kelly-Rex champ Mansfield, 25-6, Sept. 28 and KP routed Davenport champ Sharon 43-0 Oct. 12, but their losses to the foe within their own division proved costly. An expanded state-wide playoff system which will be implemented starting next season, comes a year too late for Stoughton and KP (and Foxborough, NA, and Franklin).
Mansfield will play Duxbury in the Division 2 playoffs, while Sharon will play Pembroke in the Division 3 playoffs, according to the Boston Herald.
But first comes Thanksgiving - and a look back at week 10 in the Hockomock League.
Below is a week 10 recap, star players, standings, and a Thanksgiving schedule.
Week 10 Recap
- Sharon did what it had to do Saturday against Foxborough to beat the Warriors and clinch its first ever Hockomock League Davenport Division title and playoff berth. The Eagles’ defense kept Foxborough’s potent rushing attack bottled up most of the day and forced two Mike Slaby interceptions. Sharon running back Sean Asnes scored on a 41-yard touchdown run in the first quarter and quarterback Sean O’Neill connected with Brad Kaufman on a 25-yard touchdown pass in the fourth quarter to pad its lead, 14-0 with 4:09 remaining. Foxborough responded with a late score - a 9-yard touchdown run by Kiivone Howard - but it was too little too late as Sharon recovered the ensuing onside kick and took a knee on its final possession to run out the clock and punch its ticket to the postseason. Click here for a full recap.
- A pair of Nick Zucco touchdown passe gave Franklin a 14-6 lead at the half over Mansfield, but the Hornets responded with three touchdowns in the second half (a run by Chris Buchanan and two runs by Kevin Makie) to go up 28-14. A late Franklin touchdown pulled the Panthers within seven, but the Hornets held on for the win, clinching the Kelly-Rex Division and earning a spot in the Division 2 playoffs. Click here for a full recap.
- In a back-and-forth game, Bridgewater-Raynham took a 21-18 lead with 4:55 left in the fourth after Brandon Gallagher scored his third rushing touchdown of the game. But, Stoughton responded with a 61-yard scoring drive, capped by a 3-yard touchdown run by Marcus Middleton. The Shawn Connolly extra-point made it 25-21. Malachi Baugh picked off B-R quarterback Jordan Cohen's pass with one minute remaining to cement the win. Aaron Mack had a touchdown rushing and receiving in the win. Middleton had a rushing touchdown and returned a kickoff for a touchdown. Click here for a full recap.
- After trailing 7-0 early in the first quarter, a pair of touchdowns from KP running back Joe Johnston gave the Warriors a 13-7 lead going into the half. The highlight of the day, however, came on the Warriors' final offensive play when 15-year-old freshman Derek Roschlein hit the game winning 22-yard field goal to give KP a 16-14 win over North Attleboro. Click here to read a full recap.
- In a game that featured several momentum shifts, Canton got the last laugh Friday night against Oliver Ames for the second straight year. It took overtime this time to get it done, but Shane Nordgren’s 3-yard touchdown run in the extra period gave the Bulldogs their second victory of the season in a 36-30 triumph over the Tigers, who have dropped four straight after starting the season at 5-1. Click here for a full recap.
- An offensive contest between the two teams at Tozier-Cassidy Field in Attleboro included several lead changes, spectacular runs and even a trick extra-point kick by Attleboro that turned into a successful two-point conversion throw. Taunton running back Domingo Jenkins and Jamal WIlliams ran at will throughout the game, with Jenkins scoring five touchdowns and Williams scoring one. The Tigers took the lead to win the game late in the fourth quarter on Jenkins' 50-yard run into the end zone. Click here for a full recap.
Week 10 Stars
- Stoughton's Marcus Middleton celebrated his 18th birthday Friday night by returning the opening kickoff of the second half 90 yards for a touchdown, as well as adding 90 yards rushing (with a rushing touchdown), 25 yards receiving and an interception on defense in a win over Bridgewater-Raynham.
- 15-year-old King Philip freshman Derek Roschlein was called upon to attempt a game-winning field goal with KP trailing North Attleboro 14-13 with 11 seconds left. The freshman delivered, converting from 22-yards out to give KP the victory.
- Sharon High senior Brad Kaufman shined on Senior Day, intercepting a Mike Slaby pass in the first quarter at the Eagles’ 16-yard line to set up Sean Asnes’ 41-yard touchdown run. Kaufman also hauled in a 25-yard pass in the fourth quarter from Sean O’Neill in the end zone to put Sharon ahead 14-0.
- Foxborough running back Kiivone Howard recorded his 20th rushing touchdown of the season – a 9-yard run with 53 seconds remaining in the fourth quarter in a loss to Sharon.
- Mansfield's Kevin Makie ran for with three touchdowns and 113 yards, including 76 in the second half, in the Hornets' win over Franklin to clinch the Hockomock League Kelly-Rex Division.
- Canton's Elias Camacho helped to lead the Bulldogs past Oliver Ames in overtime, totaling 176 all-purpose yards and 2 touchdowns.
- Oliver Ames quarterback Nick Cidado finished 16-of-22 passing for 197 yards and 2 touchdowns, and added 14 carries for 56 yards and a touchdown in an overtime loss to Canton.
- Attleboro receiver Tom Burns caught two touchdown passes and picked up an interception on defense in a loss to Taunton.
- Taunton's Domingo Jenkins ran for more than 200 yards and scored five touchdowns in a win over Attleboro.
Standings (based on division record)
Team (overall rec)
(division games in bold)
Stoughton (9-1)2-1 W3
Foxborough (7-3)2-2 L1
Canton (2-6) 1-2 W1 @Stoughton
Oliver Ames (5-5)0-3 L4
Team (overall rec)
(division games in bold)
DIVISION CHAMP4-1 W2 Foxborough King Philip (9-1) 3-1 W3
@KP North Attleboro (6-4) 2-2 L1 @Attleboro Taunton (3-7) 2-3 W1 Coyle Cassidy Attleboro (4-6) 0-4 L6 North Attleboro
Thursday, Nov. 22, all games at 10 a.m.
- Canton at Stoughton
- Sharon at Oliver Ames
- Foxborough at Mansfield
- Franklin at King Philip
- North Attleboro at Attleboro
- Coyle Cassidy at Taunton