It's finally November, the last month of the regular season for high school football. By now we usually have a pretty good handle on who the major contenders are. That hasn't been quite the case this season, although this weekend certainly figures to play a huge role in determining who will still be playing after Thanksgiving.
Some fans are reluctant to acknowledge Dartmouth as the No. 1 team, questioning their schedule. I'm not a big fan of punishing a team for winning the games they're supposed to win. Also, I'm not all that convinced that the Indians have had such an easy schedule. Opening up on the road with a victory over Mansfield is no easy feat. But don't take my word for it, just ask Marshfield. The Rams were sky-high after a season-opening win at Beverly Hills before returning to the Bay State and getting drubbed, 22-0, at Mansfield.
Dartmouth has been able to prevail despite an injury to starting quarterback Sean Sylvia. The Indians have Sylvia back, and look poised to finish out the regular season on a strong note. They'll have an interesting matchup this weekend when they host Attleboro, which started out 7-0 before losing last week to Bishop Feehan. The winner has the inside track to the Old Colony League title.
The Hornets bounced back from their loss to Dartmouth to win seven in a row. They'll be playing for the Hockomock crown when they travel to North Attleboro tonight. The Red Rocketeers are 6-1, the lone setback from a nonleague clash against Feehan.
Another interesting battle looms in Weymouth, as the Wildcats will host Natick (8-0). Given their recent success, with a pair of playoff appearances the last two years, this has been a down year for Weymouth (4-4). However, they still have talented running back Royce Terrell, and played Natick tough in each of the last two seasons, losing at home 21-14 two years ago, and winning at Natick last year. With a showdown looming next week against 8-0 Walpole, Natick will try not to look past the Wildcats.
If anyone has a handle on the Catolic Conference, clue me in. St. John's Prep dominated Everett to hand the Crimson Tide their only loss, but has looked shaky since, losing four in a row. Everett bounced back by smoking previously undefeated BC High, 26-0, then went on the road again to Xaverian and escaped with a 13-10 win. Xaverian lost at St. John's Shrewsbury last week to drop to 5-3.
The Hawks are very much alive for the league title though, and will host BC High tomorrow. That will set up a frantic final twoo weeks of the season, in which Xaverian is at undefeated Catholic Memorial, and BC High hosts St. John's Prep next week. All four teams are back in league action on Thanksgiving, with CM and BC High squaring off, and St. John's prep travelling to Xaverian, in what is shaping up as a November to remember.