MALDEN — A full menu consisting of a clock-controlling offense and an opportunistic special teams unit were the order of the day for Malden, which defeated Medford, 32-6, at McDonald Stadium in the 125th Thanksgiving Day football game between the Greater Boston League rivals.
Senior quarterback Jake Martino (12 for 30, 123 yards passing, TD) led the charge for the Golden Tornadoes (3-8) and running backs Rodney Blaise (6 carries, 29 yards; 4 receptions, 73 yards) and Ray Sainstril (8 carries, 32 yards) each found paydirt twice.
“The game went really well,” said Martino. “We just sustained drives and marched down the field. It’s crazy, all the fans were supporting us, all the hype coming into this game was crazy and everybody is here loving it.”
Malden gained optimal field position midway through the first quarter when Medford punter Jeff Fargo could not handle an errant snap on Medford’s 28-yard line.
After Martino found Franklin Huynh for 24 yards, Sainstril rumbled in from 1 yard, followed by a Martino to Paul Kiernan 2-point conversion that had the Tornadoes up, 8-0, with 3:50 left in the first.
“I read my blocks and just found a way to get into the end zone,” said Sainstril. “The blocking was really well and I just followed them. It feels really good.”
The Mustangs (0-10) put together a nice drive late in the half on the legs of Reggie Thelemaque and Malik McLaren, but itg stalled on the 14-yard line and Malden took over on downs.
“We worked hard in scouting their offense in practice,” said Malden captain Cruz Desrochers. “Through the year we’ve been progressing on D. This is a really big game for me. I had to go out with a win.”
Running their two-minute offense, the Tornadoes marched downfield. After Sainstril took a screen pass to the 3-yard line, Blaise punched it home to put Malden up, 16-0, at the half.
Receiving the ball to start the second half, Medford scored on Thelemaque’s 54-yard run up the middle, its first points on Thanksgiving since 2009.
Methodically driving down the field, Malden answered on its next drive, capped by a 5-yard touchdown strike from Martino to Blaise, stretching the Tornadoes’ lead to 24-6.
Early in the fourth quarter, Malden blocked a punt, which was recovered by Sainstril on the Medford 15-yard line.
Grinding it out on the ground, Sainstril picked up his second TD after making some nice cuts, bouncing to the outside for a 6-yard score to finish the scoring.
It was Malden’s sixth straight win on Thanksgiving and the Tornadoes lead the third-oldest high school football rivalry in the country, 61-54-10.
“It’s a phenomenal tradition, regardless of records or anything like that,” said Medford coach Jason Nascimento, who took over the team midway through the season. “On Thanksgiving, I am truly thankfully to be a part of that.”