ATTLEBORO — The question yet to be answered is, when will the Attleboro High School football team venture into the end zone?
The Bombardiers have certainly tried, advancing into the red zone at least a half-dozen times through four games this season, but all of Attleboro’s points so far have come from kicker Colby Briggs with a pair of field goals.
Having gone 24 quarters without a touchdown, the Bombardiers are the lowest scoring team in the Hockomock League, but head coach Mike Strachan believe that his offense is not far away from crossing the goal line, and winning games.
The Bombardiers (0-4) have a 6:30 p.m. kickoff with Canton High Thursday at Tozier-Cassidy Field in an inter-divisional Hockomock League game. The good news for AHS is that the Bulldogs (2-3) have allowed the third-most (126) points in the Hockomock League.
“This is the last opportunity for a home game,” Strachan said of the Bombardiers’ schedule this season, with his team having absorbed a 14-point loss to King Philip earlier at Tozier-Cassidy Field. “We ran the gauntlet early with our schedule and we paid the price. It doesn’t matter if we play Thursday or Friday, the kids want to play football.”
The Bombardiers have had a few moving parts in the roster and will be without a pair of two-way starters due to injury
Mistake-free football hasn’t been as much an issue as much as an offense being unable to move the first-down markers, make a big play or convert a takeaway.
“We have to play right,” Strachan said. “We’re close. We’re close to doing a lot of good things and our young kids are getting a lot of work. Last week against Mansfield, we did a lot of good things against a very, very good football team. We’ve got to finish drives and this is another opportunity to do it this week.
“Canton is young and aggressive, they’re a lot like us, a young team as well,” he added. “We want to take care of the things that we can do and everything else will take care of itself.”
Mansfield at Taunton
Both, King Philip High football coach Brian Lee and Strachan can take some consolation in the fact that their teams have limited the Hornets to a combined total of one touchdown during the second half in their past two outings.
The reality is that the Hornets had a 20-0 lead on the Bombardiers last weekend by halftime and Mansfield owned a 28-0 margin after 24 minutes the previous week against the Warriors.
“It’s been a fun, but weird year, but our seniors are enjoying it and playing great football,” Mansfield coach Mike Redding said of the 4-0 Hornets, who take a string of two straight shutouts of KP and AHS into Tiger Stadium Friday for a 4:30 p.m. kickoff.
The Hornets have outscored foes 110-14 during the first half of games this season.
“We’ve had some games in control at halftime so we try to get younger guys in for next year and limit our two-way guys,” Redding said of his rotation. “It’s tough, they only get six games so you don’t want to pull them too early but you don’t want to score unnecessary points either.”
Cincere Gill (545 rushing yards, 126 receiving yards) has been a Hornet lightning rod. Nico Holmes (119 rushing yards), Anthony Comer (135 rushing yards) and tight end Everett Knowlton (119 receiving yards) are pistons in the power source.
Taunton has been the toughest team to gauge in the Hockomock League.The 2-2 Tigers have had a margin of eight points separating the outcomes of their three games.
“Taunton is very underrated and will be even better next year.,” Redding said of the Brad Sidwell-coached Tigers. “When healthy, they have a nice offense with a great QB, running back and wide receiver. And they are big up front.
“Their season just had so many interruptions, but they are close to getting back to full strength.”
Stoughton at King Philip
The Warriors won their third game of the season by scoring nearly as many points (36) in beating Canton as they had in their first four games of the season (38).
The task of trying to contain the power of Stoughton running backs Christoper and Christian Ais is a formidable challenge. KP scrimmaged the Black Knights prior to the season and back then, Lee understood what the potential was for Stoughton.
“That’s a lot of matchup problems for us, that’s a big, strong physical team,” Lee said of Friday’s 6 p.m. game at Macktaz Field. “They can score on any play. If you miss a tackle, those guys are strong enough to bounce off of people. Boom, boom they’re off. We were bouncing off of them last time.
“I don’t know how we stop them – they’re giving me nightmares watching film on them. They already beat us up once in a scrimmage and made us come back for more. They crushed us, we knew back then and there that they would be good.”
KP rolled over Canton behind junior running back Crawford Cantave’s three TDs and some reconfigured parts in the offense.
“We rotated QB’s a bit to try to get something going, it helped out, but the competition is a lot better this week,” Lee said. “We have two tough ones coming up (also Franklin) so we try to prepare as best we can.”