High schools

CATHOLIC MEMORIAL 41, BC HIGH 27

Catholic Memorial notches Thanksgiving win for first time in 11 years

Boston MA 11/24/16 Catholic Memorial Jack McGowan scoring the game winning touchdown run beating Boston College High Nate Stewart during fourth quarter action of their Thanksgiving Day football game at Boston College High. (Photo by Matthew J. Lee/Globe staff) topic: 25bchigh reporter:
Matthew J. Lee/Globe staff
Catholic Memorial’s Jack McGowan scored the winning touchdown (with BC High’s Nate Stewart in pursuit) in the fourth quarter.

Thanksgiving Day scoreboard.

The turkey was waiting. So was the bus.

Still, the Knights of Catholic Memorial had no interest in vacating James Cotter Field.

For the first time in 11 years, Catholic Memorial (7-4) knocked off BC High (6-4) on Thanksgiving, riding a stellar performance from senior quarterback Matthew Marcantano to a 41-27 victory at Dorchester.

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“[This is] one of the best feelings in the world,” Marcantano said. “All of the hard work paid off. I feel so honored just to be a part of this team. I wouldn’t rather do it with any other kids.”

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In his final game as a Knight, the senior sliced up the Eagles’ secondary to the tune of 312 passing yards and four touchdowns on 20-of-32 passing.

“Matt’s a leader and a competitor,” coach Dennis Golden said. “He’s a straight arrow in school and you turn him loose in a competitive environment and he’s wonderful.”

Tied at 27-27 early in the fourth, Marcantano flashed that competitive spirit, engineering a 61-yard march down the field for what proved to be the decisive score.

Facing a third and 19 from the BC High 37, the Knights went to their bread and butter, a post route thrown by Marcantano to senior Michael Giacobbe (5 catches 129 yards) to vault CM ahead, 34-27, with 5:51 remaining.

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“We saw in the middle once Giacobbe ran the post, we could beat them with the deep ball inside in a [small] window,” said Marcantano.

After forcing a punt on the ensuing possession, CM came with the dagger, a 12-yard touchdown run from senior Jack McGowan (144 yards of total offense, two touchdowns).

“We have a lot of weapons,” Golden said. “It’s a luxury as a coach. We feel like we have options to attack people.”

In front of a packed crowd, the Knights and Eagles treated fans to a tale of two halves.

A shootout in the first and a defensive struggle in the second, CM and BC traded touchdowns on seven straight possessions in the opening two quarters.

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On one jaw-dropping display of showmanship, Marcantano scooped a botched snap, eluded pressure and dropped back 22 yards behind the line of scrimmage before lofting a prayer in the end zone to Trent Cooley on fourth and 8 for a 13-yard touchdown.

Catholic Memorial held BC High to 7 points in the second half. BC High junior running back Danny Abraham finished with 130 yards and two touchdowns on 16 carries.

“The defense did a great job as the game went on,” Golden said. “We’re thrilled.”

BC High’s Ryan Flanagan hauled in a touchdown pass over CM’s Emmett Forde in the third quarter.
Matthew J. Lee/Globe staff
BC High’s Ryan Flanagan hauled in a touchdown pass over CM’s Emmett Forde in the third quarter.

Owen Pence can be reached at owen.pence@globe.com.