EVERETT — The first quarter went about as well as it possibly could have gone for the Masconomet Regional football team.
The Chieftains held Everett even through the first 12 minutes of their Thanksgiving Day tilt and stopped the Crimson Tide on fourth down inside the 20.
But the hosts took control in the second half with a pair of touchdowns off turnovers and eventually pulled away for a 41-7 victory in the third annual Turkey Day game between the two teams, this year at Veterans Memorial Stadium.
“They’re a very good team,” Masco head coach Gavin Monagle said. “They wore us down a bit. They were fast, they were strong ... it’s a challenge playing them. It makes you want to do more in the weight room and get better for the next season.”
Masconomet (6-5) scored on its first possession, with Greg Walker barging into the end zone from the 1-yard line with 4:41 left in the opening quarter. Sam Ferrigno’s kick tied the score at 7.
On the first play of the series, Will Hunter gained 36 yards, putting the ball on the Everett 42. Marshall Lastes completed passes of 22 and 13 yards to Walker and Nick Ciampa on the drive.
The Tide drove to the Masco 16 on its next series but were halted on 4th-and-long as Masconomet’s Mat Nadworney held Clarence Jules to an 8-yard gain after the latter had caught a pass from Ismael Zamor.
Everett quickly regained the momentum and the lead when Eli Auguste stripped the ball and returned it 20 yards for a touchdown.
Though Everett’s offense did not get back on the field until there was 6:29 left in the half, the defense added another score with 8:26 left when Samy Lemothe returned an interception 30 yards. Kevin Ruiz’s third of five successful extra point kicks put the Crimson Tide up 21-7.
“You can’t do that against a team like that,” said Monagle. “You can’t give up defensive touchdowns. We kept working and I was happy with the effort. I thought we deserved better on the scoreboard.”
Everett (8-3) added another touchdown before halftime on a 4-yard run by Nureini Mohamed to make it 28-7.
In the second half, the Tide tacked on two more scores, one from Tyrese Baptiste and another from Muhammad.
After finishing the regular season at 5-2, Masconomet reached the MIAA Division 2 North semifinals, bowing to Super Bowl participant Lincoln-Sudbury (which lost to Newton South on Thanksgiving).
“We were in the fire the last three games,” Monagle said. “It was a good season. The kids stepped up all year. Our seniors were great though there were only seven of them.”
Senior defensive lineman Nikolay Marshall was terrific in his final game for Masconomet, making 14 total tackles including eight solo.