There was a lot on the line for the South Boston and East Boston football teams at their 95th Thanksgiving Day game Thursday at White Stadium. The rivalry was as intense as ever because East Boston recently gave up the Boston North title to Madison Park, while South Boston was seeking its first Thanksgiving win since 2008.
East Boston emerged with a 22-14 victory.
“It’s been going on for practically 100 years, so it feels really good to win with past players watching,” East Boston senior running back Matthew Robinson said. “It’s my senior year and we’ve won the past 4 years I’ve been in school, so it means a lot.”
East Boston (4-5) junior quarterback Vincent Lepore scored on a quarterback sneak at the goal line to give the Jets a 6-0 lead.
East Boston continued to dominate using its running game. Two minutes into the second quarter, senior running back Matthew Robinson scored on a 2-yard run to make it 14-0.
South Boston (3-7) made it onto the scoreboard with 15 seconds left before halftime.
After three incomplete passes in row, quarterback Hakine Walcott completed a 22-yard pass to sophomore wide receiver Demario Taylor on fourth down.
Walcott then sent a 7-yard pass to junior running back Pannell Davis for a touchdown to cut East Boston’s lead to 14-8.
“In the beginning we thought we had the game,” Robinson said. “When they got that pass it messed with us, but we just stayed focused and kept doing what we were doing.”
East Boston responded on its first drive in the third quarter. Robinson scored again on a 38-yard run up the middle to give East Boston a 22-8 lead.
Then South Boston’s Sean Hunter decided to take some action. The Knights marched down the field, led by running backs Davis and Hunter. Hunter ran it in at the goal line for a touchdown to cut East Boston’s lead to 22-14.
South Boston got the ball back with about a minute left, but couldn’t manage to get past the Jets’ defense.
“Eastie came out strong and moved the ball pretty easily,” South Boston coach Sean Guthrie said. “I’m proud of the overall effort, but mistakes hurt us in the end.”
East Boston coach John Parziale knew his team had its work cut out.
“They fought back and we had a lapse of coverage,” East Boston coach John Parziale said. “South Boston is tough and we throw records out the window on Thanksgiving.”
It was East Boston’s fourth Thanksgiving win in a row.
“For a lot of years South Boston was on top, but now we are,” Parziale said. “We want to keep it like that.”Mary Pavlu covers Boston Public School athletics. She can be reached at Mary.Pavlu@globe.com. Follow her on Twitter @MaryPavlu