By Chris Wraight, Contributing Writer
Shrewsbury – The second Touchdown for America football game was held Oct. 11 with the Shrewsbury High School Colonials hosting cross-town rival St. John's High School Pioneers.
Touchdown for America is a student-driven program to support local men and women currently deployed, their families, and local veterans through donations of care package items. Members of the armed forces and their families attended the game free of charge and were honored in a ceremony on the field during half-time.
In the first quarter, St. John's’ Shane Combs scored on a two-yard run and the point-after by Jack Coveney made it 7-0.? Shrewsbury's Emmanuel Jalbert scored on a three-yard run (point-after attempt failed), making it 7-6.
The Colonials dominated in the second quarter, with Jacob McVane scoring on a one-yard run (point-after by Kris Swedberg) and a Swedberg field goal. The Pioneers got one back on a pass from Drew Smiley to T.J. Kelly (Coveney point-after) to make the half-time score 16-14 in Shrewsbury's favor.
At half-time, in addition to recognizing the servicemen and servicewomen, the Shrewsbury Cheerleaders were recognized for their state championship win.
The third quarter was all St. John's as Kelly scored his second touchdown on the night on a pass from Smiley. Davon Jones ran the two-point conversion.
In the fourth quarter, Shrewsbury's McVane scored on a 25-yard run (point-after by Swedberg) and with time running out, Shrewsbury's Maxim Najarian blocked a St. John's field goal attempt and the Colonials upset the third-ranked Pioneers 23-22.
Touchdown for America collects toiletries and other items to send to those serving overseas, as well as send packages to returning wounded warriors. The program started in 2011, when Max Silverman, now a senior at Westborough High School, wrote a paper about how students can use one football game to make a difference in the lives of other community members. This year's activities were organized by Shrewsbury High School students Will Shipman and Devan Michael, under the supervision of Athletic Director Jason Costa. In 2012, 2,500 items were collected and 50 care packages were shipped.
For more information and a list of supplies requested by the soldiers, visit www.touchdownforamerica.org.