Thanksgiving day showdown


David B Cox

Captain Jermaine Edwards is handed the ball in Gloucester’s game against Saugus for a carry up the middle

JENNA TAORMINA, Staff Writer, Editor

With an entire season under their belt, the Fisherman football is now looking ahead to its final game of the season. The annual Thanksgiving Day game, which will be held this year in Danvers, will be a chance for the team to show just how far they’ve come throughout the year.

A Record-breaking Season

The Fisherman opened their season at Lynn Classical where they took home a 21-19 win.

Senior captain Jermaine Edwards showed just what he was capable of and rushed for over 200 yards.

Fellow captain Nate Young also had a big game, throwing the ball to Edwards in the end zone to secure their win. From there Young kept the momentum going by running into the end zone for a two point conversion.

The next game of the season didn’t go as planned for the Fisherman as they took home an 18-12 loss, their first of the season.

“We overestimated ourselves but it brought us back down to earth and we played good from there,” said Young. From this game forward, the team continued on a six game win streak.

After finishing regular season play, the Fisherman walked into the tournament as the fourth seed with an impressive record of 6-1. This record also lead the team to becoming the Northeast Conference South Champions for the second year in a row.

While the Fisherman’s success was a full team effort, there was one player that stood out from the crowd. Senior co-captain and running back Christian Sanfilippo went on to break three school records this season alone with the potential to break a fourth.

Of Gloucester’s current 2,887 yards rushed this season, Sanfilippo has run for over half of them at 1,712 yards. Sanfilippo is only 212 yards behind Connor Russel’s single season rushing record.

Sanfilippo was also the first junior in Gloucester High history to rush for over 1,000 yards as a junior and that has carried with him into his senior year. He now holds the record for yards rushed in a single game at 265 yards as well as the all time rushing record after beating Russel’s previous record of 2,555 yards.

Gloucester’s Tournament Run

Gloucester’s first tournament game of the season against fifth seeded Melrose ended in a major upset for the Fisherman. While the Red Raiders were seeded lower than the Fisherman, they had previously made it to the Superbowl two years in a row.

Edwards scored the first touchdown of the game on a 17 yard carry up the middle to put them on the board. Sanfilippo soon followed in his footsteps to push the team to 12-0 at the half.

In the third quarter, Melrose quarterback Mike Pedrini came back to score on a 75 yard rush. Sanfilippo, however, scored a second touchdown to secure the Fisherman’s quarterfinal win.  

“The Melrose game was awesome,” said Young. “There was a playoff atmosphere, it was home, they were good competition, and we were able to grind out a win.”

The Fisherman’s second tournament game didn’t go quite as the team had planned. The semifinal game against first seeded and undefeated Marblehead ended in a 41-26 loss.

The Magicians picked up an early lead to score three touchdowns in the first half alone compared to Gloucester’s one. The team went into the half trailing 27-6.

“It wasn’t where we wanted to be but at the half we were still in the game,” said Young.

Sanfilippo scored a second touchdown, while sophomore Ryan Argentino and junior Oliver Emerson also scored to help to improve the team’s standings. This didn’t phase Marblehead however as they continued to score to keep their lead.

Turkey Day Showdown

Over the past 20 years, the Gloucester has taken home the Thanksgiving Day crown 17 times. Gloucester’s most recent loss came in 2014 when Danvers overtook the Fisherman to take home its first Turkey Day win in 10 years. Danvers came out of the game with a 21-7 victory.

This year however, the game may pose a challenge for the Fisherman. Both teams finished their seasons with records of 8-2 and qualified for the state tournament.

While Gloucester finished first in the NEC South, Danvers finished second in the NEC North. Both teams finished regular season play with record of 6-1.

While in the state tournament, third seeded Danvers took down sixth seeded Wakefield for a 28-0 shutout win in the quarterfinals. From there they played in the semifinals against second seeded North Reading where they walked out with a 35-14 loss.

“At end of day, big players make big plays and that’s what wins games,” said Young. “It would be nice to have people to come out and support us because it’s the last time us seniors will get to play for Gloucester High School.”

The game will begin tomorrow at 10am at Danvers High School.