BRAINTREE — The drama surrounding the date and time of the Milton-Braintree didn’t affect the Wamps one iota.
Braintree’s Billy Silvia was in no way hampered by the cold and 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 a 35-21 Thanksgiving victory.
Sylvia became the Wamps’ career leading rusher, and Braintree improved to 7-4 on the season. The Wildcats wrapped up their campaign at 7-4.
Leading Milton 15-14 starting the third quarter, Braintree’s Marcel Sypulkowski returned the kickoff 45 yards to give the Wamps a first down at the Wildcats 46-yard line. Silvia broke inside for a 10-yard score six plays later to put Braintree up 21-14. The back-breaker for Milton came on the ensuing kickoff when Braintree’s Christian Flanagan pounced on a loose ball at the Wildcats 43. An 18-yard pickup on a keeper by quarterback Michael Tellier and a 14-yard jaunt by Silvia set up a Tellier 2-yard scoring rush. Silvia drilled the conversion kick, and Braintree put the game out of reach at 28-14. Braintree increased the lead to 35-14 two minutes later on a 65-yard Silvia run.
“He’s a pretty dynamic player,” Braintree coach Brian Chamberlain said of the Bowdoin-bound Silvia. “We’ve been watching him for a couple of years, and we still go wow. He’s a great player and a great kid.”
Braintree scored on its opening possession, but the Wildcats’ shifty quarterback, Luke McMenamin, rushed for 33 yards on the next series before plowing his way in from the 1 for a 7-6 lead. The lead changed on three of the next four possessions as Braintree went up for good 15-14 on a Silvia 3-yard burst after the Wildcats got in the end zone when McMenamin hit a wide-open Ja’mier Woods with a 20-yard strike with 3:48 remaining in the half.
McMenamin, who completed seven passes for 100 yards and a pair of touchdowns, made it a 35-21 contest with 9:30 left when he again found Woods for an 18-yard score with nine minutes remaining.
Chamberlain commended his players for staying focused and not being distracted after a petition signed by more than 1,800 Braintree fans moved the game back to Thursday morning after it was moved to Wednesday because of the weather. “We were talking about it, and our kids really adjusted to it,” he said. “Going into Wednesday and going into Thursday, they were really on point.”