By Ryan Massad, Contributing Writer
Shrewsbury – For the seniors on the Shrewsbury High School football team, Thanksgiving 2019 will forever to be a day to remember. Not because it was the year grandma made her all-time-best batch of stuffing, but because the Colonials had a major fourth quarter comeback to beat their Thanksgiving rival the Wachusett Regional High School Mountaineers.
The game’s first score came with a couple minutes left in the first quarter, as Wachusett’s Aidan Tomaszewski plowed through a goal-line defense for short rushing score. The remainder of the first half was a defensive showcase by both teams, resulting in minimal gains by either offense. The Wachusett defense continued to stifle the Colonials through the third quarter, as Wachusett was able to add another touchdown in the meantime. Nearly a third touchdown as well, as DB Aaron Foster recovered a loose ball and ran it back for a score, just to be hit with the bad news that the play was whistled dead due to a personal foul penalty. Wachusett later missed a field goal, keeping the deficit at 14 going into the fourth quarter.
This is when the Colonials woke up and turned it on. The Colonials offense went down the field with a precision they had yet to show, ending with a rushing touchdown for Tucker Montague. With the team and home crowd now alive, the Colonials defense stepped-up to force a 3-and-out, including a sack by Cade Nelson to force a big loss. Shrewsbury then got the ball back, already in Wachusett territory to start the drive. It didn’t take long before one of the team’s brightest stars, TJ Morgera, busted loose for a 40+ yard touchdown run to tie it up with just over two minutes left in the fourth. Wachusett was later able to get a 1st down on a big completion by quarterback Seamus Higgins to receiver Deion Osei-Sarpong, but the Mountaineers weren’t able to put points on the board prior to time expiring.
Overtime on Thanksgiving. What could be better?
The Colonials made the most of their overtime possession, finding their go-to man Morgera for the go-ahead score. This put the pressure on the Wachusett offense to do the same. They pounded the ball forward to what appeared to be the 1-inch mark. As close to a touchdown as a non-touchdown could be. A rushing attempt was stuffed by the Shrewsbury defense, as they held on to cap off the monumental comeback.
“Coach Aloisi kept preaching next play mentality” said game hero Morgera, “We kept grinding, we kept battling, battled in the trenches, and we just happened to come away with the victory.” Something tells me that stuffing tasted extra good for the Colonial players this year, and the seniors get a final Thanksgiving game that underclassmen can only dream about.