Classical Director of Athletics Bill Devin said he expects plenty of points in the annual Classical-English Thanksgiving Game set for Thursday (10 a.m.) at Manning Field.
“Based on the potent offenses that both teams have and the numbers they have posted all season, I think you’ll see a lot of points scored and some really exciting plays,” said Devin, who attended Saturday’s annual Powder Puff game football (English prevailed over Classical by a 7-0 score).
Classical (6-4) has one of the area’s premier quarterbacks in senior captain Daniel Gisonno, who passed for more than 2,000 yards this season, breaking his predecessor Keith Ridley’s single-season record. Gisonno has excellent receivers in Jeffrey Hill, Brandon Summers, Maurice Sequeira, and Andy DeLeon.
Gisonno has also been effective at running the football for Coach Brian Vaughan’s Rams, making him a true dual threat. Running back Kalvin So has enjoyed an outstanding season.
Meanwhile, Jesse Maggs has recently emerged as a big-play quarterback for Coach Chris Carroll’s Bulldogs. Maggs threw five touchdown passes in a 49-48 defeat to Billerica and he will test English’s secondary. Mathias Fowler, who played quarterback for much of the season, had two touchdown catches in the Billerica game and he wiil lead English’s fine receiving corps.
English and Classical both have signature victories this season over Swampscott and Brockton respectively.
English (6-4) defeated Super Bowl-bound Swampscott, 33-30, in the season opener. The Bulldogs also battled Division 4 North finalist Revere in to overtime in one of the season’s most exciting games at Manning Field. That game (won by Revere, 32-30) also featured the season’s most incredible sequence when Fowler scooped up a fumble in overtime (after Revere had recovered an English fumble earlier in the play) and returned it 12 yards for a touchdown. Revere eventually denied English the game-tying two-point conversion.
English’s Tyler Drinan was a standout against Revere with three PATs and a field goal and the talented placekicker could be the difference in a close game versus Classical.
Classical Coach Brian Vaughan surprised local observers when he scheduled Division 1 powerhouse Brockton for a non-league game this season. The Rams, with Gisonno leading the way with three touchdown passes and two rushes for scores, upset the Boxers, 48-40, at Manning Field.
Devin, a Lynn Classical graduate, expects the usual large crowd to be an Manning Field on the holiday.
“I personally know many Classical alumni who’ll be there to cheer on the Rams and I’m sure English alumni will be represented very well,” said Devin. “This is the one football game that the players will remember for the rest of their lives.”