When Dave Bohane was putting together the schedule for his Canton High football team, he wanted to make sure his Bulldogs were well-tested before the started the Hockomock League portion of its schedule.
That's why the Bulldogs were looking across the field at one of the top programs on the South Shore League, the Abington Green Wave, Friday night at home. While the Bulldogs didn't get the result they wanted, losing, 29-15, Bohane did get something else he was looking for.
Abington was the Bulldogs' third straight tough non-Hockomock League opponent. Canton played Dennis-Yarmouth in the opener in a game stopped because of the weather and then beat Quincy on the road.
"I didn't want to schedule any easy games," said Bohane. "Abington, Quincy and Dennis-Yarmouth are going to make us play better."
It's looking like the Bulldogs are going to be right in the mix for the Davenport title in the Hockomock League as it appears to be anyone crown with Stoughton, Foxborough, Oliver Ames, Sharon and Canton battling for the title and playoff spot.
"Stoughton is the front runner," said Bohane of his team's Thanksgiving Day opponent. "Sharon, Foxborough, we haven't beaten them in a long time and OA are all very good."
What the Bulldogs are going to have to avoid is staying out third down and long situation. That was something that hurt them in the second half against the Green Wave. After playing to a 15-15 tie in the first half, Abington outscored the Bulldogs, 14-0, in the second half for the win.
"We have to get yards on first down," said Bohane. ""Third and 10 and third 11, we're not that type team."
With 3:44 left in the game, the Bulldogs found them in that type of situation. Trailing, 21-15, Canton was backed up on its own 17-yard line with a fourth down and 17 situation with only one time out left. Senior quarterback Ian Flavin, who had a big night, rushing and passing for touchdowns, tried to make a play, but was sacked by the Green Wave defense.
"We thought about punting," said Bohane. "(But) we really didn't have a choice.
Taking over at the Canton 17-yard line, the Green Wave closed out the scoring with a two-yard run up the middle by senior Babila Fonkeim with 3:14 left in the game. He then ran for the two-point conversion to account for the final margin.
"They (Canton) gave us fits in the in the first half," said Abington head coach Jim Kelliher, who is in his 39th year at the helm of the Green Wave. "We hung in there.
"I was satisfied that we tied at the half. We were able to re-group in the second half."
In the first half, it looked like the scoreboard was going to be given a workout. The Bulldogs scored the first time they took the passing and running of Flavin and receiving of Elias Camacho, who had 21-yard reception. Flavin finished off the drive, but busting free for a 21-yard run. Dexter Green kicked the extra-point for a 7-0 lead.
Abington's Matt Kilmain answered with 46 yard touchdown run through the Bulldog defense. Brendan Crowley threw the two-point conversion pass to to take an 8-6 lead.
When the Bulldogs got the ball back, Flavin connected with Camacho for a 28-yard touchdown pass down the right sideline. Bohane elected to go for the two-point conversion and it looked the Bulldogs were going to be in trouble with the pitch to Green went into the backfield. Instead of being tackled by Abington, Green picked the ball, crisscrossed to the other side and ran for the two-point conversion and a 15-8 lead.
Before the first half ended, Abington's Pat Dwyer ran for a touchdown, while Jason Halpin added the extra-point to tie the score at 15.
In the third quarter, Fonkem ended a 74-yard drive with a six-yard touchdown. Halpin kicked the extra-point for a 21-15 lead.
"Absolutely, the second half was the difference in the game," said Bohane. "You have to give them credit."
Canton also received strong performance from Shane Nordgren and linebacker Justin Rudy, who made the night rough for the Abington offense.
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