Two of the Hockomock football teams have advanced to the MIAA playoffs. King Philip will represent the Kelley-Rex while Oliver Ames will rep the Davenport. Here are our thoughts and predictions for the games.
King Philip (9-1) vs. Duxbury (11-0)
5:15 p.m., Weymouth High School
Ryan Lanigan - Duxbury 21 King Philip 14 - It's going to be hard for Duxbury to stop Charles Ruffin, but in the end I believe they are the better all-around team and they will advance to the big game on Saturday.
Tim Rosenthal - King Philip 20 Duxbury 16 - At least one Hockomock League team will be represented in the Super Bowl as the Warriors pull off the upset over undefeated Duxbury and head to Gillette.
Dan Libon - Duxbury 28 King Philip 21 - After only having to play 1 close game all year, now its time to see what KP is made of against what many believe is the #2 team in the state. This game might feature the best 2 teams in Division 2 but Duxbury comes in with the passing TD leader in Matt O'Keefe. Not to be outdone, KP has the Hockomock League Offensive Player of the Year in Charles Ruffin who is tied for the most rushing touchdowns in all of D2. Get ready for a fun game with two of the highest scoring players in Division 2
Oliver Ames (6-4) vs. Pembroke (10-0) 7:30 p.m., Franklin High School
Ryan Lanigan - Oliver Ames 20 Pembroke 17 - There's just something about this Tigers team that screams determination. They've had their letdowns this year but they seem to be riding a wave of momentum and that will help them tackle Pembroke.
Tim Rosenthal - Pembroke 17 Oliver Ames 14 - The Tigers have had a nice season winning the Davenport and certainly belong in the playoffs. But OA's luck will run out against undefeated Pembroke as their season comes to a close.
Dan Libon - Oliver Ames 21 Pembroke 10 - Its been a long 51 years for anyone who wanted to see Oliver Ames football play after Thanksgiving and now the Tigers are 1 game away from playing for a state title. A very unexpected matchup from the non-powerhouse in OA and the fairly new Pembroke High School. Bottom line is that OA had to play against some of the toughest teams in the state in the Kelley-Rex Division and that has to give them an advantage over Pembroke.
Here are our 2011 Hockomock Thanksgiving picks. Both of the Hockomock's playoff spots are up for grab so there should be some great games Thursday.
Oliver Ames (5-4) @ Sharon (4-5)
Ryan Lanigan - Oliver Ames 24 Sharon 21 - The Tigers will take down the Eagles and capture the Davenport Division and advance to the MIAA playoffs.
Tim Rosenthal - Oliver Ames 27 - Sharon 20 - In another close one, OA wraps up the Small Hock with a win over its Turkey Day rivals from Sharon.
Dan Libon - Oliver Ames 21 Sharon 14 – If you thought this game was going to help decided the winner of the Davenport Division at the beginning of the season then you are a liar. Its amazing that Sharon got this close but they are going to have to wait at least 1 more year for a league title. Oliver Ames has the depth advantage and that gives them the ability to knock out the Eagles when they get tired late in the 2nd half.
Stoughton (5-5) @ Canton (3-6)
Ryan Lanigan - Stoughton 21 Canton 14 - The Black Knights will finish the season on a winning note but will come just short of advancing to the playoff.
Tim Rosenthal - Stoughton 20 - Canton 14 - The Black Knights end the 2011 campaign with a close victory over longtime rival Canton.
Dan Libon - Stoughton 28 Canton 14 – You have to give Canton a fair chance since they beat the team (OA) that beat Stoughton. The Bulldogs unlikely have another upset in them but its possible. Look for Alex Fernandes to air the ball out and give Canton trouble all day.
Foxboro (4-6) @ Mansfield (8-2)
Ryan Lanigan - Mansfield 35 Foxboro 10 - The Hornets had a couple of hiccups along the way and it looks like the Kelley-Rex crown will be headed elsewhere. They still have a shot but at this point they can only win if they want a chance.
Tim Rosenthal - Mansfield 24 Foxboro 10 - With the Kelly-Rex crown slipping out of their hands, the Hornets take out their frustration on their archrivals on Turkey Day for their last game of 2011.
Dan Libon - Mansfield 28 Foxboro 7 – Once one of the best rivalries in the state is now a shadow of its former self. The Hornets have not had any trouble with any of the Davenport teams aside from a fluke loss to Stoughton in a rainstorm. Greg Donahue shouldn’t have any problems getting past the Foxboro defense and the Foxboro offence is going to have all the trouble in the world.
Attleboro (7-3) @ North Attleboro (8-1)
Ryan Lanigan - North Attleboro 22 Attleboro 20 - Attleboro would want nothing more than to prevent their rivals from advancing to the post season and picking up a big win over them to end their successful season.
Tim Rosenthal - North Attleboro 28 Attleboro 14 - With more on the line for North Attleboro, the Red Rocketeers will come out with a convincing win against their next door neighbors.
Dan Libon - North Attleboro 21 Attleboro 14 – Its not that Attleboro is that bad. It’s just that North Attleboro is that good. Expect a win for the Red Rocketeers even if Spyro Varetimos has to do almost all of it himself again.
King Philip (8-1) @ Franklin (4-6)
Ryan Lanigan - King Philip 28 Franklin 7 - This is a big statement for the Warriors and they will come out on top. All three teams fighting for the Kelley-Rex crown are worthy of it but King Philip would be the most worthy.
Tim Rosenthal - King Philip 30 Franklin 13 - The explosive KP offense will have its way against the 2009 Hock champs and will clinch the Kelley-Rex title after forcing a three-way tie with Mansfield and North.
Dan Libon - King Philip 28 Franklin 3 – In the never ending headache that is the Kelly-Rex tie breaker, the Warriors can make life easier by doing their part in their win and in scenario. If Charles Ruffin isn’t the league MVP after putting up amazing numbers at less than 100% then there is no justice in this world. Don’t look for the Panthers to do anything as they've had trouble finishing off drives all season.