For a team playing in the oldest continuous football rivalry in the country, there were a lot of new aspects to this year’s Boston Latin team.
Behind first-year coach Ray Butler and a three-touchdown performance by senior Griffin Li, the Wolfpack defeated Boston English, 34-20, in the 130th installment of the annual Thanksgiving showdown at Harvard Stadium.
“It’s one of the best moments of your career,” said Butler, who took over after John McDonough’s 15-year tenure. “You think about your kids being born as a moment you remember, your marriage, and Latin-English. I don’t know if it’s the three biggest things in necessarily that order, but it’s outstanding. It’s awesome.”
After Latin’s Will Jerome opened the scoring with a 10-yard touchdown run, English’s Shaquille Wharwood found Edner St. Fleur for a 70-yard score to even things up.
Li, who threw for 135 yards, opened the second quarter by hitting Lenny Esser for a 15-yard connection. An English safety would make the score 14-8 at the break.
But Fabian Polynice and James Hickey both hauled in touchdown passes from Li in the third quarter, and senior Michael Litto converted a 2-yard run to put it away.
“I think it was a good team win,” said Li, who scored two touchdowns in last year’s meeting. “It’s a new offense so everyone had to get acclimated. I think we really pulled together toward the end of the season. We started off kind of rough, but this was a great way to end the season considering [the new system].”
The Wolfpack improve their record in the series to 79-38-13. Wharwood, who amassed a game-high 264 all-purpose yards, scored all three touchdowns for English, which last won in 2013.
“There’s such a big legacy for everybody, all the alumni,” said Li. “Everybody comes to watch this game. There’s a lot riding on the senior class every time they come out and play a game here.”