Football defeated Brookline 33-6 at home this morning in the 124th annual Thanksgiving Day Game. “This was such a special game because of the long tradition that it has,” said senior Nick Busa, a captain with seniors Kyle Ray-Canada, Christian Hahm, John Nicolazzo, and Joey Torcasio.
Halfway through the first quarter, junior Andrew Landry threw a touchdown pass to junior Aaron Neville for the first score of the game. A successful extra point conversion from senior Benji Bonyhay extended North’s lead to 7-0.
“Getting out ahead helped us keep control over Brookline for the whole game,” said Busa.
On the ensuing kickoff, Brookline senior Amari Withers-Miles fumbled, but he was still able to return the ball to his 20-yard line. Senior John Fisher caught three passes to help move Brookline into North’s territory, giving them a chance to tie the game. However, North made a big stop on fourth down to regain possession in their territory.
On their next drive, Brookline began to gain momentum after a 20-yard rush from senior George Patterson. However, senior Mark Barrett threw an interception to Ray-Canada and returned it for a 42-yard pick-six. Another successful extra point conversion increased North’s lead to 14-0 with 5:30 left in the first half.
“Our defense really stepped up today and didn’t give Brookline any opportunities during the game,” said Busa.
Despite several drives into the opponent’s territory, neither team was able to score, and North held their double-digit lead heading into the half.
North carried their momentum into the second half, quickly advancing into Brookline territory. Once in the red zone, Landry ran the ball through a gap in Brookline’s defense to score his first rushing touchdown of the game.
After making quick work of Brookline on defense, senior Nick Busa caught a pass from Landry and ran it down the far sideline for a 66-yard completion to land North in the red zone. Despite the long game, North came out of the drive empty-handed after failing to convert on fourth down.
“It felt really good and gave us great field position, but it’s too bad that we couldn’t get the ball in the end zone,” Busa said.
Brookline’s ensuing drive was short-lived after Barrett threw an interception that was caught by Ray-Canada. Hahm finished off North’s drive with a rushing touchdown run the middle, giving North a 27-0 lead.
North added to their lead after Ray-Canada ran the ball up the middle for his first rushing touchdown of the game.
In the final few minutes of the game, both teams put many of their seniors in the game, giving them an opportunity to play in their last high school game.
“Allowing them to get into the game was really important because playing in the Thanksgiving Day Game as a senior is something that only happens once,” said Busa.