WRENTHAM — In the first half of Friday’s game at King Philip, Stoughton played as if it was thrown off by the cold, wet and windy conditions.
But when the Ais brothers got going for the Black Knights, it might as well have felt like Aruba out there, as the two breakaway threats helped Stoughton rally for a 20-13 victory.
“You’ve got to give the horses, as they say, a little hay,” Stoughton coach Greg Burke said of the star twosome, Christopher and Christian Ais. “KP was doing a nice job in the first half, and then we made some adjustments to get going, and played great defense. But very happy with the way we played, and it’s a good way to go into Canton next week.”
King Philip (3-3) mostly dominated the first half in building a 13-0 lead, but Stoughton (4-2) quickly turned things around in the third quarter. After the Warriors initial drive went three-and-out, Christopher Ais (13 carries, 83 yards) put the ball deep in KP territory with a 28-yard run. He added a 10-yard jaunt, then powered through a hole in the middle of the defense for a 14-yard touchdown. The PAT was no good, and KP’s lead was 13-6 with 6:30 left in the third.
A penalty wiped out a long Ryan Gately run for KP on the next drive and the Warriors punted again. This time, it was Christian Ais (11 carries, 114 yards) for a 66-yard house call down the left sideline on the first play of the series. Christopher Ais ran in the two-point conversion and Stoughton had a 14-13 lead with 4:18 left in the third.
It stayed that way until the fourth quarter and Stoughton recovered a muffed punt at the KP 17-yard line. Two plays later, Christian Ais was in the end zone again, this time from 14 yards out as he stretched past the right pylon for the score.
The Warriors had one last gasp to try and tie it, as quarterback Charles Grant made several big completions to put it deep in Stoughton territory, but the drive stalled at the Black Knights’ 20 and Stoughton survived.
The first half was nothing like that, though, as Crawford Cantave got the Warriors on the board with a 4-yard touchdown run following an early Stoughton fumble. Matthew Kelley also put on a nice kicking display in the rough conditions, as he kicked field goals of 27 and 31 yards.
Stoughton could not get anything going, and only had 35 yards of total offense heading into the break.
“The first half was the worst half we’ve had all year,” Burke said.