Jameson, Oakmont Run Past Gardner in Thanksgiving Clash
ASHBURNHAM -- When all the chips settled and all the points were scored and the game was set and match, it was quite obvious who was the MVP in the 39th annual Gardner vs. Oakmont Regional Thanksgiving rivalry game, and his name was Justin Jameson.
By the game’s end Jameson himself had accounted for five touchdowns, more than 200 rushing yards, a blocked punt and multiple tackles. That effort, with solid play from the entire roster, led Oakmont to a convincing 56-6 victory.
Jameson was ecstatic not just with his own eye-popping stats, but also with the play of his teammates.
“It feels great. ...” he said. “The whole week I was thinking, ‘It’s gonna be a dogfight,’ and they scored on that third play and I was ready. But then we came back and scored and didn’t take our feet off the gas pedal, and it feels great to win this game with my brothers.”
And while Jameson lit up the scoreboard, some of the night’s loudest cheers came on the game’s final touchdown.
Gardner and Oakmont came together to let Kyle Torrey, a young man with Down syndrome, run the ball into the end zone for a touchdown, capping a night of smiles and celebration for the Spartans.
Judging from the way this game started, few fans might have expected such a lopsided final score.
Gardner elected to receive the opening kickoff and immediately set up in terrific field position after Isaiah Johnson returned it to the Spartans 40. Then, after a nice run from quarterback Malekide Sieng to the 1-yard line, Anthony Richard took the handoff and went into the end zone as the Wildcats got on the scorebord first. Gardner tried to convert a two-point conversion, but it was no good.
Oakmont took the ensuing kickoff to the 40, as well, and then Jameson started to get hot. Picking up first down on his first carry of the night, followed by a touchdown on his second. Oakmont tried to convert a two-point conversion as well, but no dice and the game was tied 6-6.
Oakmont swarmed Seing on the next Gardner drive as he was sacked three times, forcing a turnover on downs.
After a penalty erased a first-down run by Jameson, Oakmont quarterback Colton Bosselait sailed a pass just over the reach of receiver Seth Daneult and the Spartans were forced to punt, as the teams remained deadlocked at 6-6.
That’s when Oakmont took over.
Malekide Seing was sacked and fumbled on the first play of the ensuing drive, with Oakmont’s Jake Packard pouncing on the loose ball in the red zone.
It took Jameson all of three runs to score his second touchdown of the night. He was trusted with the ball again for a two-point conversion. Pushing the score to 14-6.
Jameson then showcased his versatility, coming up clutch on defense during the following drive. He made a key tackle to hold the Wildcats short of the first down, then blocked a punt as the Spartans once again set up shop inside the Gardner red zone.
Jameson was given the ball on the first play of the Oakmont drive and picked up 3 yards. Some nice play calling from Oakmont head coach Derek Asadoorian allowed for another score as Colton Bosselait faked a handoff to Jameson and ran it in himself. Jameson converted the two-point conversion to make the score 22-6.
Trying to rally, Gardner went to the air on the next drive, but the pass was picked off by Oakmont’s Seth Daneult. After a couple of big gains by Jameson, another fake handoff for a QB sneak from Colton Bosselait found paydirt, and Jameson ran in the two-point conversion for a 30-6 score.
Gardner head coach Rob Allard was pleased with the fast start, but knew his Wildcats needed to do a better job of slowing the Spartan offense to stay in contention.
“Well, we knew if we couldn’t stop them it would become a track meet, and it became (one),” he said.
After another three-and-out for Gardner, Jameson scored a 26-yard touchdown to make it a 36-6 lead.
It looked as though Gardner may may have found new life on the next drive as Zach Lemoine picked up a first down, but again penalties and the aggressive Oakmont defense left the drive stalled.
Jameson was once again given the ball on the ensuing drive for the Spartans for 5 yards and then again for a score. Mitch Tobin gave the Spartans some more points off his extra point, making it a 43-6 score heading into halftime.
With the big lead secure, Oakmont spread the offensive touches around in the second half. Lineman Jake Packard and Jack Batton each took a carry before Seth Daneult took a pitch for 5 yards. Later, Jameson followed up a first-down run on third-and-15 with another touchdown carry -- his fifth and final of the night. Tobin’s extra point made it 50-6.
Oakmont’s reserved finished off the fourth quarter as both teams were content to let the clock wind down.
Asadoorian finished the night with high praise for both programs.
“You know Gardner could’ve easily folded after the season they had,” he said, “but they scored quick on us. Our team answered quick, though, and kept pushing the pace. This was an atmosphere that was great for the seniors to have: home, Thanksgiving, and just a big win for our seniors. I’m happy for the seniors.”