With the Stoughton High football team's 20-0 win over Foxborough last Friday at home, Stoughton Patch will look at some key factors contributing to the win and look ahead to this Friday's contest at Hockomock League rival North Attleboro (3-2) at 7 p.m. Stoughton is 5-0 heading into this game.
1. Defense - With another strong defensive effort by the Knights last Friday, Stoughton continues to statistically have the best defense in the Hockomock League (based on points allowed per game). Stoughton is allowing a stingy 5.2 points per game, one of the only two Hockomock teams allowing less than 10 points a game (King Philip has allowed 7.2 points per game). Stoughton has notched two shutouts and has held four of its five opponents to 7 points or less. A balance of a strong group of defensive linemen and linebackers along with play-making defensive backs have been huge factors in Stoughton's defensive success.
2. Road trip - After having three straight home games (Pembroke, Mansfield and Foxborough), Stoughton will be hitting the road for the next three games traveling to North Attleboro, Sharon and Oliver Ames. By the end of this three-game road trip Stoughton should have a good idea of where it stands in terms of playoff hopes before the month of November even starts. Wins against Davenport Division rivals Sharon and Oliver Ames would put Stoughton in a great position to make the postseason. Stoughton is already 1-0 in the Davenport Division after beating Foxborough. Division games help decide a team's playoff fate in the Hockomock League.
3. Troubles with North - The last time Stoughton was able to beat North Attleboro was in 2006, with a 12-8 win at North Attleboro. Last year Stoughton lost a very tight game, 22-21, in overtime, which proved to be a heart-breaker. Instead of attempting the game-tying extra point in overtime, NA gambled and converted on a two-point conversion attempt to end the game.
4. Second Quarter - It will be crucial for Stoughton to have a strong second quarter against North Attleboro and go into the locker room with the momentum. This season North Attleboro is out scoring opponents 34-7 in the second quarter. Stoughton has been equally strong in the second, however, outscoring its opponents 32-0.
5. Players to watch - Stoughton will once again look for big games from running backs Frankie Morris, Aaron Mack, Malachi Baugh and Marcus Middleton. North Attleboro quarterback Ryan Perron leads his team in both passing and rushing touchdowns. Running back Alex Jette (if healthy) is a big play threat. Receiver Mike Lambert could also be a factor in North Attleboro's offensive attack Friday night.
While Stoughton is 5-0 to start the season, North Attleboro is 3-2 and is coming off two straight losses, including a 20-13 defeat at Franklin last Friday.
Click here for a full recap of the Stoughton/Foxborough game
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Stoughton Patch editor Jeffrey Pickette contributed reporting.