Boston Latin had the luck of the Irish on its side on Thursday.
Last Friday, a day before Notre Dame played Boston College at Fenway Park, the Fighting Irish marching band rehearsed at Latin’s practice field.
In this year’s installment of the longest continuous Thanksgiving rivalry in the country, Boston Latin defeated Boston English, 28-6, at Fenway Park.
Behind two touchdowns from Griffin Li and Justin Springle, the Wolfpack ran their overall record against English to 78-38-13.
For Latin’s John McDonough, the win caps his 15-year run as coach.
The rivalry game, usually played at Harvard, had a special feeling.
“It’s exciting,” McDonough said. “Harvard is a great venue, but it doesn’t have all the bells and whistles that Fenway does. Fenway has so much going on.”
The players were just as captivated by playing in the baseball cathedral as the 70-year-old coach.
“In the beginning it was kind of nerve-racking, it’s such a big stage,” said Li, who plays quarterback. “But I think we got used to it, like any other field.”
Li completed a 21-yard pass to Daniel Bohan to open the scoring. Springle and Li added rushing touchdowns to give the Wolfpack an early 21-point lead.
However, English mounted a comeback in the final minutes of the second quarter and had a chance to make it a one-score game, but an interception by Latin’s Mike Litto sent the teams into the break.
“When they scored in the second quarter it was like, ‘Oh, that’s a different English team,’ ’’ McDonough said. “I think maybe we relaxed a little bit. After halftime when we came out, they didn’t move the ball like that again.”
For English lineman Joshua Ifebhor, the opportunity to play at Fenway was more important than the result.
“It was an amazing experience. The atmosphere in this stadium is so great,” Ifebhor said. “So much history is here. More than a hundred years of history. So to be a part of that is a great experience and I love it.
“A lot of legends are here. Just happy that I could step in the same footsteps as them.”
After the half, Springle’s third-quarter score iced the game.
“Justin can be a beast,” McDonough said. “You see how big he is, I don’t want to get in front of him when he’s running the ball.”
Springle finished with 73 yards on 11 rushes, and Li commanded an offense that rotates players.
“Right now, he’s a good quarterback,” McDonough said. “He’s going to become a very good quarterback.
“He’s got another year,” the coach joked. “It makes me wonder if I should stay another year.”