Natick's loss to Wellesley last week put Walpole in the driver's seat for a Herget Division crown.
Heading into Friday night's game at Natick, the Rebels were a perfect 9-0 on the season, with the Redhawks nipping at their heels with an 8-1 record.
A win against Natick would all but lock up a trip to the playoffs for the Orange and Blue.
It was not meant to be, however, as Natick outplayed the Rebels in all phases of the game winning, 21-14, in the pivotal match up.
A team that averaged 44 points per game coming into Friday night's contest mustered only 14. That same team - which was allowing an average of 4 points per game and had not given up a point in five straight games - allowed 21 points to the Redhawks.
Walpole was plagued by uncharacteristic penalties and miscues that had them fighting an uphill battle throughout most of the game.
The Rebels may have been their own worst enemy, but it's safe to say Natick quarterback Troy Flutie and wide out Brian Dunlap aren't far down the list.
Flutie hooked up with Dunlap on two long passes for touchdowns and ran another one in himself.
Walpole's defense gave Flutie little pressure and plenty of time in the pocket to find open receivers throughout the game.
The Redhawk's defense forced four turnovers, including two interceptions on Walpole's Will Bolster.
The Rebels now sit atop the division with Natick with identical records of 9-1. Natick holds the tiebreaker with the head-to-head win Friday night.
Walpole will play on the road against rival Weymouth on Thanksgiving, Thurs. Nov. 22.
They will be without two of their best running backs in Mike Rando and Connor Moriarty. Rando has been dealing with a high ankle sprain suffered nearly a month ago and Moriarty left Friday's game with a broken wrist.
Natick will play Framingham on Thanksgiving.
The Rebels need a Natick loss and a win over Weymouth to advance to the postseason.