Bourne/UCT Football Rolls On Thanksgiving
By: Alex Scofield
This year, John Page could finally enjoy Thanksgiving dinner. The Bourne/UCT football squad had not beaten Wareham, its Thanksgiving football rival, since 2004. Page, a senior, said last week that in previous years, the Wareham game put him in a bad mood. Page changed that in just 24 seconds. On the game’s first play from scrimmage, Page swept to the right, then sprinted down the sideline all the way into the end zone for a 64-yard touchdown run. Junior Joe Epps ran untouched into the end zone for a two-point conversion.
With an 8-0 lead, the Canalmen had all the points they would need to reclaim, at long last, the game trophy.
“It’s a good one, too,” senior quarterback Jimmy Halliday said of the trophy. “We were psyched.”
Bourne/UCT went on to beat the host Vikings 42-6 on Thursday, concluding a 6-5 season. It was the first time any player on the Bourne/UCT varsity squad walked off the field victorious on Thanksgiving, or finished the season with a winning record.
“I’m hungry,” Page said after the game. “I’m going to go home and eat, and it’s going to be the best-tasting turkey I’ve ever had.”
The Canalmen were up 22-0 at the end of the first quarter, a lead that only required 12 offensive plays. On the second Bourne/UCT possession, Page struck again. Just like the last time, he ran right, cruised around the line and down the sideline—this time for a 54-yard touchdown run. Epps again ran in on the two-point conversion to give the Canalmen a 16-0 lead.
After the Vikings went three-and-out, the Canalmen drove 53 yards for another touchdown, capped by a 7-yard run by Epps, who smashed through the middle on the play. Bourne/UCT successfully executed a fake punt late in the second quarter. On fourth-and-one at midfield, the Canalmen were in punt formation, but senior Ryan Sweeney ran with the ball for 23 yards. Two plays later, Halliday threw 25 yards to a wide-open senior Michael Taylor for another Bourne/UCT touchdown that gave the Canalmen their 28-0 halftime lead.
Bourne scored two more touchdowns in the second half. Halliday threw a 16-yard touchdown pass to Page in the third quarter, punctuated by a two-point conversion by Epps. In the fourth quarter, on first-and-10 at the Bourne 8-yard line, Epps ran 92 yards for a touchdown and a 42-0 Canalmen lead.
With less than 30 seconds left in the game, Bourne/UCT players seized the water cooler, snuck up on first-year varsity head coach John McIntyre, and doused him with the icy water.
“Coach Mac came into this program and turned this thing around,” said senior co-captain Zach Chick. “He said, ‘I want the score to be 50-0.’ We could only get 42 for him.”
Nonetheless, the Canalmen’s winning season was a reality, and Coach McIntyre said it had been clear from the get-go that this squad had the potential to be winners.
“I realized that the first time I met them,” Coach McIntyre said. “It feels nice. I feel very, very happy for the kids. They’ve worked hard this year.”
Victorious and en route to the team bus for the ride home, Halliday said he knew that the Canalmen could play their way to a winning record, and the losing streak to Wareham would end.
“It had to. With all the hard work we put in, how could it not happen?” Halliday said. “Putting in all the effort had to pay off at some point.”
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