In seven seasons coaching and playing against Boston Latin, Boston English football coach Ryan Conway had never departed the field with a win until Thursday’s Thanksgiving showdown at Harvard Stadium.
In his first opportunity to face the Wolfpack, English senior captain Mark Osorio delivered for his team and coach, completing 7 of 14 passes for 171 yards and scoring three touchdowns to lead a 66-42 rout over Latin, which had won 52 of the previous 56 meetings between the two teams.
Although he helped English wrap up the season at 5-4, Osorio knew what it mean to his coach to finally prevail against the Wolfpack (3-7).
“He’s very excited,’' Osorio observed. “He has barely got a smile on his face right now, but I know once we leave the stadium, he’s going to be excited, texting us about everything, about everybody else talking about us.
“All the alumni were very excited. One of them even shed a tear.”
This matchup, during which 108 combined points were scored, marked the highest-scoring contest in the 134-year series, the oldest continuous public high school football rivalry in the United States.
Despite the final score, the game started as a defensive battle with the first quarter ending in a scoreless stalemate.
Osorio bookended a 24-point second quarter with a pair of touchdown passes to junior Malikai McClure. Senior captain Keesean Kerr, who finished with 15 carries for 154 yards, did the bulk of his damage in the first half with 94 rushing yards and a touchdown.
English did not punt in the second half and scored touchdowns on six of its first seven possessions. Senior captain Terrell Gethers rushed for 158 yards in the second half and combined with Kerr to put the game out of reach after the Wolfpack — who were led by senior receiver Greg Rosenkranz (4 TD catches) — pulled within 10 in the fourth quarter.
Osorio attempted only one pass in the second half, but Kerr showed off his arm strength with a 40-yard completion to senior captain Jamari Howard on the next to last play of the game. Gethers punctuated the victory with a rushing TD as time expired.
“I always say with these guys, you’ve got to coach them hard and kick them in the butt when they need to be kicked in the butt and hug them when they need to be hugged,” Conway said. “There’s going to be a lot of hugging because we were kicking a lot of butt this week.”
Ethan McDowell can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.