MALDEN — In the teams’ 131st meeting, Malden secured bragging rights for a year from rival Medford yesterday with a 28-24 victory at MacDonald Stadium. The Golden Tornados improve to 66-55-10 in the ancient series, which is the second-longest in the country.
“It means everything. 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,” said Malden senior receiver Raushad Moore.
Sophomore quarterback Justin Nortelus led the Golden Tornado offense, completing 7-of-16 passes for 148 yards and accounted for two touchdowns (one passing, one rushing). Mustangs quarterback Keith Barrasso rushed for 230 yards and three scores in the loss.
The game came down to a defensive stop by Malden (1-10) on its own 15-yard line with 1:08 to play. Freshman lineman Justin DeSimone recovered a fumble by Joel Disla, who had subbed in for an injured Barrasso.
“This is a whole new season,” Malden coach Steve Freker said of his team’s first win of the year. “Thanksgiving’s a whole new season. We prepared. We put some new wrinkles in. . . . I think it really paid off.”
Malden jumped on top first. Justin Nortelus found Matt Bessey for a 28-yard pass to set up the Golden Tornados with a first-and-goal at the Medford 5. Running back Jerry Mervil punched in the touchdown with a rush on the next play to put Malden up 8-0.
Medford (3-8) answered when Barrasso rushed for TDs on back-to-back drives to generate a 14-8 lead.
Malden didn’t falter, however. After an Ishmael Sylus 51-yard reception, the Golden Tornados tied the game on an 11-yard pass from Nortelus to Bessey.
At the start of the third quarter, Malden seized the lead as Nortelus found Mervil for a 35-yard touchdown connection. Nortelus would later add to the lead with a 6-yard TD run.
Not to be outdone, Barrasso responded with a 4-yard score to cut the lead to 28-22 before DeSimone’s fumble recovery sealed the deal for Malden.