Defense, they say, wins championships.
For most if not all Cape Cod high school football teams, Thanksgiving Day’s game might as well be for title bragging rights. For most of this year’s seniors, collectively, across the Cape, it was the final football game of their still young lives.
And Mashpee High head coach Matt Triveri’s Falcons sure played that way.
Establishing a 22-0 lead at the half versus the Sandwich Blue Knights in the 5th Cranberry Friendship Thanksgiving Game, Mashpee sophomore quarterback Nick Carpenter threw a 45-yard touchdown pass to senior wide receiver Shawn Hendricks to put the Falcons on the scoreboard first and ahead is where the Falcons stayed.
Junior running back Deshaun Dias punched it in from the four-yard line following Hendricks’ score and then Carpenter rounded things off as time expired in the first half, hitting senior captain Sam Elichalt from four yards out to make it 22-0 heading into the halftime locker room.
A content Coach Triveri was quick to point out that it was senior captain and strong safety Robert Andrade was the difference-maker on defense for the hosts. Playing in front of a lively home crowd at Michael Horne Stadium at Mashpee High School, Andrade put on a spectacular defensive display with three interceptions on the day. The victory ends Mashpee’s season with a 9-2 record. Sandwich ends its 2014 campaign at 3-8.
Bishop Connolly/Westport 26
Pope John Paul II 20
No true competitor likes to lose, but for Pope John Paul II head coach John Muldoon, he was extraordinarily humble and grateful following his Lions (8-3) tough-to-swallow, double-overtime, 26-20 loss to Bishop Connolly on Thanksgiving Day. It was the second time this season that PJP II fell to Bishop Connolly. Pope John Paul II defeated Bishop Connolly last season in the series’ inaugural Thanksgiving Day game.
“It was a great game, from a defensive standpoint,” Muldoon said. “At least I thought so. I’m just very thankful for all the time we had with this group of seniors. It’s all good.”
Playing in sloppy, muddy field conditions, Muldoon conceded he thought the game would be a “running downhill” battle from the outset and he wasn’t off the mark in saying so. Tied 14-14 at the end of the 4th quarter, the game went into overtime and both teams scored. They both also failed on their respective two-point PAT attempts and in the second overtime Muldoon’s troops failed to convert while the Cougars punched it in for the win.
Both teams finish at 8-3 on the season. Muldoon credited his senior linebacking crew for a rock-solid effort on the defensive side of the ball.
“Sean Reardon, Diego Meritus and Griffen Kirkwood all did a great job for us defensively,” Muldoon said. “I also thought Ryan (Barabe) did a very good job (considering the field conditions).”
In the 74th Thanksgiving Day meeting between the Canalmen (1-10) and Vikings (2-9) and 84th game overall since 1934, Wareham returned the Thanksgiving Day trophy back to the Viking hallways with a decisive 44-8 romp. The game was played at Clem Spillane Field in downtown Wareham in front of less than 1,000 fans.
Upper Cape Tech 34
Cape Cod Tech 8
Coach Mike Hernon’s Rams made little room for doubt as Upper Cape (5-6) rolled over Cape Cod Tech (2-9) early this afternoon at Upper Cape Tech, 34-8. Hernon’s Rams now hold a 3-2 edge in the series.
Rams’ running back extraordinaire Dylan Derby rushed for 176 yards and two touchdowns to pace his boys to victory. It was the third consecutive Thanksgiving Day victory for the hosts. Other touchdowns for the Rams came from Kyle Johnson, Cody Bancroft and Rally Wheaten.
Sean Walsh is the sports editor for Cape Cod Broadcast Media and www.capecod.com. He may be reached via email at [email protected] or follow him on Twitter @coachwalshccbm