Lunenburg Rolls Over Quabbin in Thanksgiving Clash
LUNENBURG -- Pound the rock.
The Lunenburg and Quabbin Regional football teams took the field on Thanksgiving Eve amid frigid temperatures for their annual Thanksgiving clash on the Lunenburg turf Wednesday night.
Lunenburg came into the night with a clear game plan, and that was to run the ball. Quabbin was able to keep the game close for most of the first half, but a late interception led to a score for the hosts, who went into halftime with a comfortable lead. Lunenburg continued to dominate in the second half, going on to win easily 52-14.
With the victory, Lunenburg finishes the season at 8-3. It is the first time that Lunenburg has won eight games in a season in 10 years. Quabbin wraps up its campaign at 2-9.
Afterward, Lunenburg coach Steve Boone spoke about how the seniors’ experience from previous seasons paid off with success this year.
“They’ve been playing since they were sophomores, and they’ve been through the big games,” he said. “We have had some thin years, we have had some three-win, four-win seasons.” Boone said, “For them to come out and finish up like this was great. They were battle-tested, obviously, from their sophomore year, getting beat up. They stuck together as a group and it was a great way for them to finish.”
The Lunenburg offense got to work on its first drive, running the ball all the way down the field before junior back Anthony Iannacci finished off the drive with a 2-yard touchdown rush, giving Lunenburg the lead late in the first quarter.
After a couple of stalled drives by both teams, Lunenburg forced a fumble on a big hit by multiple Blue Knight defenders. Lunenburg took over on the 25, and on the very first next play of the drive, Iannacci took a handoff and followed a huge hole all the way to the end zone for his second touchdown of the night, making it 13-0 Lunenburg.
The Panthers kept fighting, however, and got a big break when a fourth-down stop by the Lunenburg defense was erased on a penalty, giving Quabbin a fresh set of downs. On the very next play, senior Colby Smith took it 36 yards to the end zone to make the score 13-7.
The Blue Knights would answer on their next possession with another touchdown run for Iannacci and a successful two-point conversion to put the hosts up 21-7 late in the second quarter.
Quabbin played aggressive and tried to get a score before the end of the half, but Lunenburg junior Mason Infantino made a fantastic diving interception to set up the Blue Knights’ offense for another score before the half.
Senior quarterback Chris Costich led his team down the field, finding Cam Mackenzie and Infantino, before dumping off a screen pass to Iannacci that went for a 29-yard touchdown as time ran out in the half. The score put the Blue Knights up 27-7 at the half, and from then on, it was all Lunenburg.
Iannacci finished the game with 174 yards rushing and six total touchdowns. Quarterback Costich, who is known for his rocket of an arm, got into the fun running the ball, rushing for 109 yards, including a long touchdown run on an option play.
The annual MVP awards were announced at the end of the game. For Lunenburg, Iannacci won offensive MVP, while Cam Mackenzie took home the defensive MVP award. Mackenzie had two interceptions on the night, including one that he took back 100 yards the other way as time expired.
For Quabbin, Colby Smith was the offensive MVP after carrying most of the rushing load for the Panthers, and Tristan Kemp grabbed the defensive MVP award.