By John Anderson
Ending the season with a win is never a bad thing, and beating a previously tough rival, 28-6, is even better. The Rockets played on Thanksgiving morning for the first time in three years, and their opponent was Holy Name.
During previous games, the Naps have been a powerful opponent, but they came out a little beat up on Thursday after losing to Grafton, 28-16, in the Central Division 4 Final and sustaining multiple injuries in the process. When they played Auburn in 2013, the Rockets prevailed, 21-20, late in the fourth quarter. In 2014, Holy Name dominated Auburn 32-19. Both teams came into this game with 6-4 records.
This year’s Thanksgiving game was reminiscent of playing Oxford again, and it is understandable that the Pirates abandoned ship and floated away from their longtime rivalry with the Rockets in 2013.
The Napoleons could not get their offense organized in the first half, and their defense struggled as the Rockets put up 8 in the first quarter and 14 in the second. TD’s were by Adam Weldon, Avery Lemansky on a pass, and Steve Saucier.
After Lemansky’s score, a bad snap on the extra point was beautifully handled by holder Conor Scully who bulled his way to the goal line for the conversion. Saucier’s TD was preceded by a Mike Clemente interception on the other side of the field.
Holy Name’s Kyle Johnson broke away from the crowd and ran for 64-yard touchdown in the third quarter. The Naps were unproductive in the red zone for additional points.
T.J. Medlin ran in for the final TD in the fourth quarter making it a 28-6 victory for the Rockets. Medlin was named the MVP for offense after the game, and Ben Jette earned the defensive MVP trophy.
Athletic Director Brian Davis then called the seniors forward and presented them with the Black and Blue Trophy. It will be great if this tradition can continue. It won’t be this easy next year.