CANTON — Every time Canton and Foxborough meet on the football field, there’s late drama. And when Canton fumbled the ball away twice in the fourth quarter Friday to give the visiting Warriors a chance to pull ahead, it made for an anxious final two minutes.
But as it has done all season, the Canton defense held serve, stalling two Foxborough drives and forcing an interception to hold on for a 26-20 win, giving the Bulldogs a leg up toward an outright Hockomock Davenport title.
“We kept them at bay,” said Canton coach Dave Bohane. “It was stressful, that’s a Foxborough-Canton game. They played well but our kids stayed poised and made key plays.”
The Bulldogs (4-0) struggled to stay disciplined in the early stages, taking four first-half personal foul penalties.
A Canton bench penalty on the Warriors’ third-to-last drive gave Foxborough (2-2) a first down on the Bulldogs’ 12-yard line. Canton forced three incomplete passes and bottled up Warrior quarterback Shayne Kerrigan to end the drive.
After the second fumble, Foxborough got the ball back on the Canton 27, but an interception by senior linebacker Owen Lehane again thwarted the Warriors. He would add a QB hurry on Foxborough’s final play that forced a hasty incomplete pass.
“He never lets us down,” said Bohane. “He’s a solid all-around kid and it’s nice to have him. He hit the key field goals and stepped in to have an interception.”
Lehane had a solid night on defense, recording a sack along with his interception. He was also a major factor in the kicking game, nailing two field goals, pinning Foxborough inside the 20 three times on kickoffs, and successfully converting an onside kick to end the first quarter.
“Since we were 15 yards up after a penalty, it would’ve been good field position for us anyways,” said Lehane. “We know they only put four on the front line so we had a set play for that.”
It was at that point, up 14-7, when the Bulldogs seemed to have wrestled momentum completely away. But the drive stalled inside the 10 after six plays and the Bulldogs settled for Lehane’s 25-yard field goal.
Lehane would add another field goal in the third quarter followed by a second Hagan touchdown run that gave Canton a 12-point lead. But a decision to go for an ultimately unsuccessful conversion nearly cost Canton the game.
“I looked at the 2-point conversion chart and it said to go for 2,” said Bohane. “I was doing the match and at the time it was the right choice.”
Dan Shulman can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.