HAMILTON — In the 44th installment of its Thanksgiving rivalry, Ipswich ran over Hamilton-Wenham, dominating from start to finish in a 36-0 victory on Thursday.
“This was an exciting experience,” Ipswich coach Kevin Fessette said. “Hopefully we can use this as a platform to get better.”
Ipswich improved to 21-23 in the annual game and clinched a share of the Cape Ann League Baker title with Hamilton-Wenham.
“Being league champs is huge,” Fessette said. “These types of wins are huge and its just an exciting day.”
The Tigers (8-3) scored on their second play of the game when junior back Cam James took a handoff 62 yards to the end zone. After Ipswich recovered the ensuing onside kick, senior quarterback Ben Yanakakis found receiver Isaiah Morrissey across the middle for a 42-yard touchdown and the Tigers were off to the races.
“By getting up early, it kind of made [Hamilton-Wenham] one-dimensional,” Fessette said. “It worked out.”
Yanakakis led all players with 118 total yards (61 passing, 57 rushing), finishing his Ipswich career with a win.
“This is something I really wanted to do,” Yanakakis said. “I just can’t ask for anything better.”
Ipswich racked up 243 rushing yards, and Yanakakis was aided by sophomore Josh Mallette (76 yards, two TDs), whose third- and fourth-quarter touchdown runs of 17 and 38 yards slammed the door.
“Those were some tough runs,” Fessette said. “He obviously came to play.”
Fessette was proud of his team winning a rivalry game and a getting a share of the division title on the same day, but he had something else on his mind too, drawing a phrase from one of his assistants.
“The win makes the turkey taste better,” Fessette said.Jake Caccavaro can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.