Holliston jumped out to a 21-0 halftime lead over traditional Thanksgiving Day rival
Westwood and never looked back, taking the 45th consecutive Thanksgiving matchup
between the teams by a 34-0 final.
After falling to Westwood in four of the past five Thanksgiving Day games, the Holliston football team erased any doubt about which team was stronger on Thursday.
Two of those four Turkey Day losses (2014 and 2015) were games in which the Panthers rested starters in preparation for Super Bowl appearances.
The Panthers jumped out to a 21-0 halftime lead this year and never looked back, taking the 45th consecutive Thanksgiving matchup between the teams by a 34-0 final.
“The kids, you could see they were absolutely fired up for this game,” Holliston coach Todd Kiley said after his team improved to 5-5. “It’s our number one rival and it’s Thanksgiving. If you’re not playing in the state championship game, it has a lot of meaning there.
“Our kids came fired up and ready to play this game. They embraced tradition.”
Holliston had three rushing touchdowns, with senior Brad Seymour pounding two into the end zone.
Seymour’s first touchdown started off the scoring in the second quarter with a 30-yard scamper. His second score was from 27 yards out and gave the Panthers a 14-0 lead.
In the air, senior Kevin Quinn found junior Billy Nash for a 50-yard touchdown to complete the second-quarter scoring.
“Kevin Quinn is just a warrior, an undersized kid that’s just a tough kid and gives everything on every single play,” Kiley said. “He’s a receiver that threw a touchdown pass today and ran for some good yardage as well.”
In the third quarter, senior quarterback Ryan Benco tossed a 19-yard score to senior Jake Armstrong and sophomore Dylan Ibbitson ran for a 15-yard touchdown to complete the scoring.
“If you want one kid representing your program, it’s Jake Armstrong,” Kiley said. “On the field, off the field, in the community, and in the classroom.”
Kiley said that Seymour and Armstrong are carbon copies of each other and Seymour shut down Westwood’s Jake Antonucci on Thursday.
“Brad was somebody we asked to shut down their best kid,” Kiley said. “He kept the kid out of the end zone today.”
Sophomore Connor Mulvaney made four of five point-after attempts for Holliston.
Holliston received strong play on Thursday from Tri-Valley League All-Stars Will Celorier and Scott Elliott. Elliott is the first-ever junior captain for Holliston and is a Div. I prospect.
Despite having a tougher season than the team is used to in terms of its record, Kiley advised that the team’s wins and losses are deceiving because of the tough competition the Panthers face.
“Two of the teams we played this year are playing at Gillette and two were a game away from Gillette,” Kiley said. “Three of those games were one-possession games and we were knocking at the door, but just didn’t make the plays when we needed to.
“But we’ve got to give credit to the teams that made plays against us.”
Holliston started the season 3-1 with wins over Millis, Westwood, and Norton, but then lost four straight to Medfield, Hopkinton, Scituate, and Milford.
The loss to Scituate was in the quarterfinals of the Division 5 South tournament.
Holliston ended up finishing strong following the tough stretch. The Panthers outscored Hanover and Westwood 73-0 in the final two games to leave the Panthers with a .500 record.