When KIPP Academy needed a big play in its Thanksgiving eve matchup against Lynn Tech, Dave Filias stepped forward.
The junior scored on a 2-yard run and racked up 10 tackles while forcing a pair of fumbles as KIPP closed out a 9-3 campaign with a 25-0 win at the Manning Bowl in Lynn on Wednesday night.
“I don’t know how he does it, but he finds a way to punt the ball out, make big tackles and then recover fumbles also after he [forces] them,” KIPP coach Jim Rabbitt said of Filias. “He is a special player on defense.”
Tech (6-5) possessed the ball for almost the entire first quarter, giving KIPP (9-3), which had three fumble recoveries on defense, its second offensive possession of the game at 9:55 in the second quarter.
But that drive triggered the attack with junior Daniel Oluwasuyi (9 rushes, 154 yards) breaking free down the right sideline for an 83-yard score.
Filias continued the scoring with a 2-yard touchdown run before Juan Setasingh snared a 19-yard touchdown reception from sophomore Piero Canales in the second quarter.
“The coaches game plan, being able to read my keys and then I just executed,” Filias said.
Canales added a 11-yard touchdown in the fourth quarter to cap off the scoring for KIPP, which, in its third varsity season, advanced to the D8 semifinals before losing to unbeaten West Bridgewater.
But the Panthers were back on the prowl Wednesday night.
“There is nothing better,” Rabbitt said of the Thanksgiving win.
“It doesn’t matter what the records are. It can be 0-10, or 10-0, Super Bowl Champions, or haven’t won a game in five years it’s still Thanksgiving.”
Tri-County 30, Old Colony 28 (OT) — Senior Tim Holden found the end zone on a reverse to score a 2-point conversion that lifted Tri-County to an overtime victory over Old Colony in the 14th annual Cougar Classic in Bellingham.
He ran toward the right pylon after receiving a pitch from senior Jordan Pina (89 rushing yards, 4 TDs), who initially took the hand-off on the conversion attempt one play after scoring a 1-yard touchdown to tie the game at 28.
“I’m not going to play football ever again in my life,” said Holden. “Helping my team win this football game is the best I’ve ever felt. That’s all I wanted to do — help my team win.”
The rivals met Friday in the Small Schools Vocational semifinals, with Old Colony earning a 29-20 win to clinch a trip to the Super Bowl against South Shore on Dec. 5 at Norwell High.
In the rematch, Tri-County (6-6) trailed 22-6 at the start of the fourth quarter but came storming back when Pina ran for two scores in the final frame.
Old Colony (9-3) advanced the ball to Tri-County’s 8-yard line in the final seconds of the fourth, but Tri-County blocked a 25-yard field goal attempt by Phil Proctor on the last play of regulation to force overtime with the rivals tied at 22.
Junior Thomas Stanton ran for a 6-yard TD on Old Colony’s second play of overtime, but Tri-County stuffed a rushing attempt on the 2-point conversion and walked off with a win minutes later.
Austin Prep 32, St. Mary’s 14 — Undaunted by the sloppy conditions at the Manning Bowl in Lynn, sophomore quarterback Ronan Noke ran for two touchdowns and threw for another to lead the Cougars (5-6) to a convincing victory in their first Thanksgiving Day matchup vs. St. Mary’s (6-5).
“[Noke’s] great,” said Austin Prep coach Billy Tucker. “He is a legit dual threat. He can run, he can keep defense honest with his arm, he’s a leader and he is only a sophomore.”
Noke’s first strike came on a 21-yard keep in the first quarter. He increased the lead with a 3-yard pass to his brother, Aidan, in the second quarter before finishing off night with long run for 19-yards in fourth quarter.
Even when Noke didn’t have the ball, the Cougar running game remained strong against the Spartan defense with Connor McCarthy and Michael Gizzi each scoring on the ground.
“They wore us down,” said St. Mary’s coach Sean Driscoll. “I think it was in our second level. Once they got by the first [level], we couldn’t make the play.”
Despite the loss, Driscoll is looking forward to this Thanksgiving matchup going forward.
“I think it is going to be great.” Driscoll said. “They got a great staff over there. They have a good young team; we have a good team and I think it will be a good rivalry that started.”
Globe correspondent Brad Joyal reported from Bellingham.