DORCHESTER — John DiBiaso wanted to make sure before any of his players looked toward Catholic Memorial’s impending Super Bowl appearance, they took care of business on Thanksgiving Day.
Barrett Pratt finished 5-of-7 for 152 yards and four total touchdowns as Catholic Memorial claimed the Pumpkin Trophy with a 37-15 win over BC High at James Cotter Field.
Catholic Memorial will play for the Division 1 state title next Saturday at Gillette Stadium.
“I told the boys we couldn’t talk about the Super Bowl until now,” said DiBiaso. “Now it’s official. We had to endure all the cold, but it just makes it that much sweeter to walk out with a win.”
Amid swirling winds that made the air feel below zero, the Knights’ (9-2) offense fired on all cylinders.
After BC High (4-7) trimmed a 16-point deficit early in the third quarter to 16-7 on a Carter Rice 42-yard touchdown run, the Knights answered, and then pulled away.
Boston Latin 20, Boston English 16
ALLSTON — Senior running back Paul Curran recovered a Boston English fumble and converted the turnover into a 1-yard scoring run five plays later to catapult the underdog Wolfpack to a thrilling 20-16 victory over the Eagles at wind swept Harvard Stadium in the 135 th edition of the oldest continuously played high school rivalry in the country. Latin leads the series, 81-38-13, including five straight.
English (8-2) led, 16-12, following a scoreless third quarter and appeared to be in control with just over five mintes to play when senior captain Julien Soto took a handoff and scooted around the left side. Soto was met by a host of Wolfpack players and coughed up the ball as Curran came up holding the ball at the English 26. Eagles coach Ryan Conway argued that Soto had been down and vented his frustration at officials to no avail.
Latin (1-10) went to work with a pair of runs by sophomore Ulysses Brenzel advancing the ball inside to the BE4. Curran gained three more yards. On the next play, Curran, a 17-year-old captain from Hyde Park, found paydirt for the game-winning points with 2:29 left. Latin used a hook and ladder play from senior quarterback Devin Vasquez to wideout De'Andre Harris who flipped to ball to senior lineman Johan Stavri, who danced across the goal line for the conversion.
“The first time, I got to the half-yard line and I thought I was in. I have no words to describe this. We had a realy tough season and this makes it all the worth while,'' said Curran, who was immense as well from his linebacker position and as emergency punter. “Thanks to my offensive line and my quarterback Devin (Vasquez).''
Latin coach Ray Butler said the Wolfpack had other help amidts the quirky momentum swings.
“That's the football gods on Thanksgiving,'' Butler said. “And, senior captain Curran doing what captains are supposd to do on Thanksgiving. That was a clutch punt there at the end. They (English) are really good. Hey, as long as you're 1-0 on Thanksgiving.'
Lynn English 12, Lynn Classical 0
LYNN — A cold and blustery day at Manning Field did not deter Anthony Timmons from making the 105th Thanksgiving Day meeting of his Lynn English team and Lynn Classical his own holiday.
The sophomore’s first quarter endzone recovery was indicative of the young Bulldogs defense’s strong play. It gave them a lead they would never relinquish as Lynn English (8-3) shut out the Rams (7-4), 12-0.
“Credit to our defense,” said Lynn English head coach Chris Carroll. “They made plays. (That’s) a lot of young kids playing their first Thanksgiving Day game.”
Falmouth 36, Barnstable 14
BARNSTABLE — Kyle Connolly ran for 303 yards on 35 carries as Falmouth (8-2) toppled Barnstable, 36-14, in the gridiron battle simply known as “The Game”.
The junior quarterback rushed for 259 yards in 2017 with three touchdowns. Not only did he surpass the yardage on the ground this year, Connolly went in for four scores to lead the Clippers to their fourth straight victory in the Turkey Day series that dates back to 1895.
“Barnstable last year ran ones-and-threes against us and I was able to run on them pretty well and (this game) they did the exact same thing. But we were all expecting something different because the past two weeks we struggled on different defenses,” said Connolly. “But since they gave that to us, we were able to do a lot more.”
Whitman-Hanson 16, Abington 0
WHITMAN – Hand warmers might be in order as holiday gifts for both sides after Thursday, when the team with the fewest fumbles was destined to prevail.
Consider a moment mid-way through the second quarter, with Abington on the Whitman-Hanson 1-yard line on first down. Green Wave quarterback Christian Labossier lunged into the scrum chasing a bad snap exchange, and as player upon player followed, the ball squirted out the side of the pileup. Two referees stood by as the ball sat there for roughly five seconds, until three Panthers finally pounced.
It took the Panthers a while, but they were the first team to adjust to the 17-degree conditions, began punching the ball in, and walked off with a 16-0 win over Abington. Both teams finished at a very chilly 8-3.
Abington alone lost five fumbles, with Whitman-Hanson losing two others.
“We’re used to playing in this kind of stuff,” said Panthers running back Ethan Phelps. “We played Marshfield last year in this kind of temperature, so we’re prepared for it.”
TechBoston 48, Cathedral 6
BOSTON — Senior Marcus Gonzalez needed just over 160 rushing yards to make it to the 2,000-yard mark for the season.
He did that and then some on Thanksgiving morning.
In the third installment of the Turkey Bowl, TechBoston came out running hard and often to win its first yearly contest against Cathedral, 48-6, at Roberts Field. Gonzalez finished the day with 174 yards on the ground and three scores.
“It means a lot (to get this win) because we worked hard,” said Gonzalez. “We set goals for each other and we just knew we had to give it our all for that last game.”
The senior got it to 2,012 yards for the season.
Everett 32, Masconomet 0
TOPSFIELD — The scoreboard at frozen Roberts Field never did thaw out, but the smile on the face of Everett’s Mike Sainristil afterward told all you needed to know about how this one went for Everett.
The Michigan commit rushed for a pair of scores and spearheaded a shutout effort on defense as Everett coasted to a 32-0 win over Masconomet in the third Thanksgiving meeting between the two schools.
Dressed in “two layers of everything,” Sainristil (14 rushes, 65 yards 2 TDs) teamed with backfieldmate Isaac Seide (10 rushes, 81 yards, 2 TDs) to control the clock against a very game Masconomet defense.
“This is the coldest game I have ever played in,” said Sainristil, who may encounter similar conditions the next four years at Ann Arbor. “The field was really icy and I couldn’t plant so I just tried to run downhill.”
Danvers 20, Gloucester 0
DANVERS — The ball felt comfortable in Danvers running back Matt McCarthy’s hands even as he started to feel numb in the fourth quarter Thursday, far more comfortable than the horde of would-be Gloucester tacklers draped across his back.
“He’s just dragging people down the field and refused to give up,” Danvers coach Ryan Nolan said. “He’s a hard-nosed, tough kid.”
Tough, and warm-blooded.
McCarthy fought through record-low temperatures, a fierce, biting wind, and a physical Gloucester defense to gain 211 all-purpose yards to lead the Falcons to a 20-0 Thanksgiving Day victory over the rival Fishermen on J. Ellison Morse Field at Dr. Deering Stadium.
“We don’t feel cold,” McCarthy quipped. “All week, we knew what we had to do. Last year (a 40-28 Gloucester win) was the most heartbreaking thing in the world and we wanted revenge, and we were thinking about this day for the past 364 days. Glad to have the trophy back at home.”
King Philip 23, Franklin 16
FRANKLIN — For the past two seasons, Thanksgiving didn’t serve as a day of rest for King Philip.
Yesterday was no different even with the Warriors third straight Super Bowl appearance looming.
KP played all of its starters with Ryan Halliday carrying the ball 36 times for 182 yards and two touchdowns, while a strong defensive effort also helped the Warriors earn their ninth straight Thanksgiving Day win over Franklin, 23-16, at Pisini Field.
“We certainly knew how well Franklin had been playing,” said KP coach Brian Lee. “It wasn’t like we thought we could come over here and play a quarter and rest some guys. We knew it was going to be a battle.”
Marblehead 30, Swampscott 14
SWAMPSCOTT — For Marblehead football, it’s gotta be the shoes.
Unable to get any footing on a frozen Blocksidge Field in Swampscott, the Magicians swapped their spikes for sneakers and were off to the races.
Quarterback Chris Gally ran for three touchdowns after changing his footwear and the Magicians beat Swampscott 30-14 for their sixth straight win in the Thanksgiving rivalry.
“I actually ran up to the student section and got somebody’s sneakers, one of my classmates,” Gally said. “You’re slipping around in these cleats, but once you put the shoes on it’s just a whole other game.”
Latin Academy 28, O’Bryant 8
WEST ROXBURY — One brother was bound to have bragging rights at the dinner table after a battle between twins on Thanksgiving, and with a pair of scores in a win, quarterback Zach Maffeo got just that with Latin Academy.
Behind two rushing touchdowns from Maffeo, as well as a dominant defensive performance in bone-chilling temperatures, the Dragons soared past Maffeo’s twin and O’Bryant starting quarterback, Luke Maffeo, for a 28-8 victory. The weather certainly limited what both teams could do, but that didn’t stop Latin Academy from having a blast closing out its season.
“It was just like I expected; really fun in a great environment,” Zach Maffeo said. “At the end of the day, we came out with the win and that’s all I could ask for. (My teammates) played their hearts out, and I’m pretty excited because I just beat my brother.”
North Quincy 33, Quincy 8
QUINCY — By halftime, the only thing left for North Quincy was the turkey.
The Raiders used a stifling defensive effort that forced five first-half turnovers, and six throughout the game, to storm to a 33-8 victory against Quincy at Veterans Memorial Field in the 86th Thanksgiving meeting of the rival schools.
“I gotta tell you this is real special,” said first-year head coach Ryan Craig. “This is my first win as head coach but I have been a part of the program a long time. This is very sweet. Great group of seniors. I coached a lot of these guys at the youth level and to see them finish up and to come out and push like this – unbelievable.”
North Quincy’s (5-6) defense was red-hot despite the blistering cold. After forcing a punt on the opening possession, the Raiders caused a turnover on four straight drives, starting when senior Tim Layden housed a 36-yard interception for the first score in the game.
Reading 28, Stoneham 26
STONEHAM — Trailing 20-6 with just 4:04 to go, Reading could have decided it was time to call it quits, go home, and eat some turkey.
Instead, the Rockets (8-3) rallied to score two touchdowns to tie the game, before senior quarterback Matt Sannella rushed for the game-winner in OT, to hand Stoneham (11-1) a 28-26 loss in the 84th edition of their Thanksgiving Day game.
“We have that sign in our room that says don’t quit, and we tell the kids only tap it if you mean it,” head coach John Fiore said. “We’re really proud of our seniors and our whole program today.”
Scituate 28, Hingham 26
HINGHAM — It has now become an annual question posed to Super Bowl bound coaches throughout the Massachusetts football ranks: “Are you going to play your starters on Thanksgiving?”
Not only did Scituate coach Herb Devine play his starters on Thursday, his reserves finished the job. The Sailors thwarted a last minute two-point conversion attempt by Hingham, before holding on for a memorable 28-26 victory in the 25th installment of what has become a classic Thanksgiving Day rivalry.
“It was a good a win,” Devine said. “We made some plays when we had to. Max Roche made some great catches to go up, and I think we got a turnover to go up 28-14, it was a good win. I’m happy to get out of here, looks like everyone’s healthy, which was all I cared about.”
Roche was named Scituate’s Most Valuable Player for his performance, finishing three receptions for 53 yards and a highlight touchdown, during which he leaped over two defenders to corral a 21-yard pass from Matthew Scibilio early in the fourth quarter.
East Boston 22, South Boston 6
EAST BOSTON — The always-special East Boston-South Boston Thanksgiving Day game was even more so with the historical importance of this year being the 100th playing of the game between the cross-harbor rivals. But for the Eastie Jets, this year’s game carried some personal significance as well.
Eastie coach John Parziale’s mother, Lydia, passed away two weeks ago and winning the game in her honor meant that much more to the Jets. They didn’t disappoint themselves or their coach, grinding out a 22-6 victory at a frigid, windswept East Boston Stadium.
“It was emotional for the kids and myself,” said Parziale, who also added that his mother would have turned 79 on on Thanksgiving. “This was tough. She passed away and we won the last two games for her and today happened to be her birthday, so the kids were pumped. They responded really well. It’s been a tough go the last few weeks for myself personally but the kids are great.”
Needham 14, Wellesley 13
NEEDHAM — The oldest public high school football rivalry in America featured two committed antagonists battling each other and the elements.
The Needham Rockets defense forced three turnovers, contained Wellesley twice on fourth down and stuffed a 2-point conversion pass in the fourth quarter to prevail 14-13 yesterday at frigid wind-swept Memorial Field.
Needham improved to 7-4 while Wellesley dropped to 5-6 in a heated Thanksgiving collaboration that dates back to Nov. 30, 1882, and was contested for the 131st time. Needham snapped a three-game losing streak but Wellesley leads the series, 62-60-9.
“This was a complete game where the offense ground it out and the defense stepped up and made a play when we needed it,” said first year head coach Doug Kopsco, a Needham alum who replaced the legendary Dave Duffy.
“I love our defense the way they hustle for the ball but it was a total team effort.”
Braintree 35, Milton 21
BRAINTREE — The mini-drama that surrounded just exactly when the Milton/Braintree game would be played didn’t affect the Wamps one iota.
Braintree back Billy Silvia was in no way hampered by the cold and brisk wind on his home field as he torched Milton with 196 rushing yards and four touchdowns, and lineman James Lannon had three second-half sacks to pace the Wamps to a 35-21 win over the Wildcats.
Sylvia became the Wamps’ all-time leading yardage rusher by games end and Braintree improved to 7-4 on the season. The Wildcats wrapped up its’ campaign with the same 7-4 record and the Wamps closed the Thanksgiving Day record to 46-42-1.
Malden 28, Medford 24
MALDEN — In the 131st meeting between the two sides, the Malden Golden Tornadoes (1-10) stole bragging rights from the rival Medford Mustangs (3-8), 28-24, at a frigid MacDonald Stadium in Malden. With the victory, Malden improves to 66-55-10 in their series with Medford, the second-longest in the country.
“It means everything, senior receiver Raushad Moore said. "Ever since I started playing, it’s just been a great feeling. Even if you go 0-10, just beating Medford is the greatest of my life."
Sophomore quarterback Justin Nortelus led the Golden Tornado offense, going 7-of-16 with 148 yards and two TD’s (one passing, one rushing). Mustangs quarterback Keith Barrasso rushed for 230 yards and 3 TD’s on 24 carries in the loss.