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, 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 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 with three receptions for 53 yards and a highlight touchdown, as he leaped over two defenders to corral a 21-yard pass from Matthew Scibilio early in the fourth quarter.
Those who braved the bitter cold were treated to an instant thriller. Senior Aidan Sullivan opened the game for Scituate with a 45-yard touchdown pass to Daniel May, then capped his outing by hitting Will Sheskey for a 15-yard score to give the Sailors a 14-6 advantage. Midway through the second quarter, Devine felt it was time to pull Sullivan, and replaced him with Scibilio for the remainder of action.
Kevin Shea scored his second touchdown of the day for Hingham just before the half on a 10-yard run, tying the game at 14.
With only 2:48 left in regulation, Scituate had the ball, looking to bleed out the clock as they took over deep in their own territory. As Scibilio dropped back to pass, Hingham linebacker Jack Clougherty read the play perfectly. The senior came up with a nine-yard pick-six, giving the Harbormen new life and sending the fans at Hingham High School into a frenzy.
But as they have consistently done all season, the Sailors came through when it mattered most, blitzing Harbormen senior Jack Johnson to force an incomplete pass on the two-point try, effectively giving Scituate their 11th victory of the series.
Shea was named MVP for Hingham (7-3), finishing with 120 yards rushing in the effort.
“It feels amazing,” Roche said. “Everyone did a great job today. It was a really fun game to play in. It was cold, but it was a great job.”