READING — A back who runs for more than 200 yards in a win over a Thanksgiving rival deserves all the praise he receives. But in this case, Deshawn Chase will have to wait his turn.
Led by a dominating offensive line, Stoneham beat host Reading, 37-6, at Hollingsworth Field in the 85th Thanksgiving meeting. It didn’t even matter that the run-happy Spartans were missing both Chris Dragone and Seth Russell in the second half, each injured late in the second quarter.
“It’s honestly all on the O-line, no matter what happens,” said senior captain and center Mike Driscoll. “If you move them backwards, there are obviously going to be yards to be gained. No matter who we put back there, we trusted them. We just wanted to get our job done up front.”
Led by Driscoll and his fellow linemen Peter Godfrey, Chris Belliveau, Luke Moriarity, and Xavier Cabral, Stoneham (8-3) turned a 15-6 halftime lead into a rout. The greatest benefactor was Chase, the senior back coach Bob Almeida called, “the most underrated player in the state, by far.”
Chase finished with 21 carries for 205 yards and two touchdowns, with 141 of those yards coming in the second half after Dragone (9 carries, 121 yards, 2 TDs) was injured. It was a familiar formula for Stoneham, with the Spartans attempting a pass just twice, both incompletions.
Reading (8-3) scored on an 18-yard touchdown pass from freshman quarterback James Murphy to Patrick Harrigan in the second quarter. It was Murphy’s 22nd TD pass of the season, breaking Drew Belcher’s school record.
Bob Holmes can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.