With the Stoughton High football team's 25-21 win against Bridgewater-Raynham Nov. 9 on the road in the books, Stoughton Patch will look at some key factors contributing to the win and look ahead to this Thursday's home contest against visiting Canton (2-6, 1-2 Davenport Division) at 10 a.m. on Thanksgiving. Stoughton is 9-1 (2-1 Davenport) heading into the game.
1. Stoughton Dominance on Thanksgiving - Coming into yet another Thanksgiving clash between Stoughton and Canton, the Knights lead the all-time series 43-39-4, a series that dates back to 1926. A Stoughton win this turkey day would match Stoughton's longest win-streak in the series at 8 games (done once before from 1995-2002). In 15 of the the last 17 Thanksgiving matchups, the Knights have come out victorious. During the current 7-game Thanksgiving winning streak for Stoughton, the Knights have outscored Canton 229-35. Last season, Stoughton won 27-7 at Canton.
2. Playing for Pride (And a School Record) - Although eliminated from the playoffs, Stoughon is playing for a single season school record of 10 wins. With a win, Stoughton could end up with the best overall record in the Hockomock league or if King Philip wins (also eliminated from playoff contention), tied for the best record in the Hockomock. Stoughton is coming off an impressive win against Bridgewater-Raynham to get the Knights win number 9.
3. Stoughton Players to Watch - During this current seven-game win Thanksgiving win steak, Stoughton has received big individual performances in several games (just last year Aaron Mack ran for four touchdowns and Brandon Alves had 3 sacks). This year, the Knights will look for one last big performance from the seniors. Senior players to watch are: fullback Frankie Morris, who leads the team in touchdowns and already has a 4-touchdown game this year; quarterback Dan Eckler, who has been on a hot streak as of late; running back/defensive back Aaron Mack; and receiver/defensive back Marcus Middleton. On the defensive side of the ball, Stoughton will look to senior captain Andrew Kelly to have another strong game at linebacker. He is also a threat at tight end on offense. Junior Malachi Baugh has made big plays at both running back and defensive back.
4. Less Than 100 points Allowed? - So far this season the Stoughton defense has allowed 99 points in 10 games. A shutout by the Knights would allow Stoughton to finish the 11-game season allowing less than 100 points. This year Stoughton has shutout Taunton (22-0) and Foxboro (20-0). During the current 7 game Thanksgiving winning streak (2005-present), the Knights have shut out Canton twice (2006 and 2009). Even if Canton does manage to get some points up on the board, a strong defensive performance should allow Stoughton to have finish the season allowing the least amount of points out of any Hockomock team this year (Stoughton goes into Thanksgiving play with an 18-point edge on King Philip (99 to 117). Stoughton also is the top scoring offense in the Davenport Division, leading Oliver Ames by 8 points heading into Thanksgiving (243 to 235).
5. Canton - The 2-6 Bulldogs have not had the type of season they imagined but are still a tough team that can beat any opponent on a good day. Canton comes into the game allowing an average of 29 points a game. But, all three Davenport games Canton has played so far have only been decided by 1 score, with its last division game an overtime win against Oliver Ames. Players to watch for Canton are the running back tandem of Dexter Green and Elias Camacho and quarterback Ian Flavin.
Click here for a an all-time list of Thanksgiving Day scores between Stoughton and Canton (plus other stats from the series)
Click here for a full recap of the 2011 Thanksgiving Day showdown between Stoughton and Canton (a 27-7 win for Stoughton)
Click here for a photo gallery from the 2011 Thanksgiving Day game
Can't make it to the Thanksgiving game (10 a.m. at Stoughton High)? You can follow all the action right on Stoughton Patch with our live blog.
Stoughton Patch editor Jeffrey Pickette contributed reporting.