SWAMPSCOTT — In his last game as a Magician, senior quarterback Chris Gally ran for three touchdowns and more than 130 yards as Marblehead pulled away for a 30-14 win over long-standing Thanksgiving rival Swampscott at Blocksidge Field.
Marblehead leads the series, 54-49-6, and finishes the 2018 season 9-2.
“It’s the greatest feeling, I can’t even explain it,” Gally said. “You come and watch the Thanksgiving game as a kid, and to beat Swampscott on Thanksgiving, at Swampscott, as a senior, is just the greatest feeling.”
Gally and junior running back Tim Cronin ran the show for the Magicians, as the frigid temperatures (wind chill was around zero at kickoff) dictated a run-heavy game plan. Cronin ran for more than 90 yards, including a 48-yard chunk in the second quarter.
“Chris [Gally] did an outstanding job on a day when we really needed him to hold onto the ball,” Marblehead coach Jim Rudloff said. “You don’t really want to pitch the ball or throw it very much.”
Swampscott scored first on a 1-yard punch by Dylan January, but Gally answered with a 27-yard keeper. He gave his team the lead with an 8-yard score in the second, and salted the game away with an 11-yard touchdown late.
The game was knotted at 14 at the half, and Marblehead turned the tide for good when junior Dylan Klocker picked off Swampscott quarterback Graham Inzana and ran it back 40 yards for a touchdown.
“Dylan had dropped 350 balls before that, so it was good to see him get that one,” Rudloff deadpanned as he had his arm around Klocker. “He’s got no hands.”
Rudloff noted that the field, made of cork and not rubber, was slick and cement-like, causing players to sslip and slide. As the game got underway he said there was a frantic effort to change players into sneakers. Coaches swapped footwear with players, former players on the sideline handed their sneakers over, and a caravan of parents ferried extra pairs from the high school.
“That first-quarter effort from the community was the most incredible thing I’ve been a part of,” Rudloff said.
Gally ran up to the student section and grabbed a pair from a friend in the first quarter. Whatever shoes he wore, it did the trick in his last high school game.
More from the game:Charlie Wolfson can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.