Domination best describes the way the Malden High School football team ended their season this past Thanksgiving, with a 32-6 a romp over the rival Medford Mustangs, marking a 3-8 record for the Golden Tornadoes for the entire year, while also dropping their rivals to 0-10 on the year. This year also marked the 125th year in this vaunted rivalry, and gave Malden an all-time 61-54-10 record in the second longest high school rivalry in the entire nation. The game features various scores from senior Rodney Blaise and junior Raymond Sainristil, and a great performance from senior quarterback Jacob Martino. This was the club’s most complete effort to date, and it showed as they handled the Mustangs, and rarely showed any let down all day long.
It was perfect football weather on Thanksgiving, as the weather was cool and sunny throughout the day. It was by far the largest crowd at MacDonald Stadium all year, as they all came to see the 125th iteration of this long-standing rivalry. Both team came in to the game with less than stellar records, but this rivalry precedes all of that. It doesn’t matter what happened before these two teams see each other. It is something that the MHS players look forward to every year. “It’s special to be a part of something like this,” shared junior linemen Rene Rivera, when asked why he looked forward to playing Medford every year. The rivalry has been very lopsided in recent years though, as this win gave Malden five straight in the series, with the Tornadoes outscoring the Mustangs 121-19 in that span, a margin that would be impressive in any context. This game just added to that span of domination, as the Tornadoes offense lit up the Medford defense, while Malden’s defense smothered and stymied Medford’s offense all day.
Blaise and Sainristil, along with Martino, led the charge for the Malden offense. Malden scored four touchdowns on the day, and able to pull of a two point conversion on each score as well. Sainristil scored on a one-yard run in the 1st quarter, with a two-point conversion on a catch by senior captain Paul Kiernan, making it 8-0. Blaise was able to extend it to 16-0 on a three-yard run, with another two-point conversion on a catch by junior Patrick Provitola. This ensured a 16-0 lead for the Tornadoes at the half. Halftime featured a ceremony for last year’s varsity softball team, which which finished with an incredible 21-1 record, coupled with an Eastern Massachusetts Division I title, and they were rewarded for it with rings, similar to what NBA or NHL players would get after winning a championship. The MHS Marching Band also performed at halftime. After the half, Malden just went back to dissecting the Medford defense, as Blaise found the end zone again on a five-yard run, with Provitola running in for another two-point conversion. Medford also scored on a 54-yard run early in the quarter, the only blip by an otherwise perfect performance from Malden’s defense. With Malden leading 24-6 entering the 4th quarter, Sainristil put the game out of reach, with another five-yard touchdown run, and this time Martino running in himself for the extra two points. This put an exclamation point on this latest win over the Mustangs, and ensured that the trophy was coming back to Malden for the 125th anniversary.
Though Malden ended their year on a 3-8 record, they finished in style, as they brought home the trophy for a fifth straight year, and put another “W” in the win/loss column in this special rivalry. They were able to play on both sides of the ball, and in every phase of the game to ensure this victory. Though they now move on to next year, and are losing a cherished group of seniors, they can take solace in the fact that they have a great group of juniors and other underclassmen coming up to fill in those roles. “It will be great to us to not only elevate our game, but be able to take on more of a leadership role for next year,” stated Rivera. Until then, they can soak in the fact that they were able to keep the Thanksgiving Day Trophy where it belongs, right here in Malden.
March 2013** Correction: Page 12 should say "Class of 2014 Presents..."**