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West: 5 Games to Watch

(All start at 10 a.m.)

Holliston (7-3) at Westwood (7-3)

The Tri-Valley League’s Large Division title has come down to the game between the two longtime rivals. The Westwood High Warriors and Holliston’s Panthers both use spread attacks that also mix in two-back sets. Holliston senior back Max Athy (1,000-plus yards rushing, 15 touchdowns) has been a difference-maker for his team.

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Wellesley (6-4) at Needham (7-3)

The oldest public school Thanksgiving Day rivalry in the country is always a must-see event. When Wellesley takes care of the ball, it can play with anyone (see its 40-34 win over Natick on Nov. 3). The Raiders must stop Needham’s speedy junior back Mike Panepinto (21 TDs).

Newton South (3-7) at Lincoln-Sudbury ­Regional (9-1)

Lincoln-Sudbury’s Warriors have already punched their ticket to the postseason as champs of the Dual County League’s Large Division, so coach Tom Lopez and his staff have been preparing for two games: the Lions and first-round playoff foe Barnstable. The players, though, have been focused on their Thanksgiving Day rivals. Senior Marquis Simmons, a 6-foot-3 defensive end/receiver, has been an unsung hero for Lincoln-Sudbury.

Nashoba Regional (10-0) at North Middlesex Regional (3-7)

The Chieftains are shooting for their second straight undefeated regular season. Coach Ken Tucker’s squad racked up 40-plus points in its last two wins, but the staple has been its stingy ­defense (7.4 points per game), led by senior linebackers Zack Hume and Jack Sarnoski.

Natick (9-1) at Framingham (5-5)

The Redhawks control their own destiny, with a win over Framingham securing a playoff berth, but the Flyers have prevailed in their last two meetings. Natick junior QB Troy Flutie has accounted for 39 touchdowns, including 16 tosses to his No. 1 wideout, Brian Dunlap.

Compiled by Phil Perry
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