Bulldogs Continue Thanksgiving Football Tradition
by Cameron Stuart, Veritas Sports Editor
The Rockland Bulldogs football team renewed their Thanksgiving rivalry with the East Bridgewater Vikings on Thursday morning. The game was a hard-fought one that came down to the final minutes although the 29-12 final score wouldn’t indicate it. The Vikings scored twice in the final 10 minutes to fend off the Bulldogs for their seventh straight Thanksgiving Day victory.
East Bridgewater (9-2, 6-2 SSL) scored midway through the second quarter, a 45-yard pass play from Ryan Graham to Jake Peterson, to break the scoreless tie. Rockland (6-5, 5-3 SSL) answered on the next drive when Joe Reardon completed a 46-yard pass to Liam Ball to set the Bulldogs up at the 2 yard line. On the next play, Joe Reardon kept it himself and ran in the 2-yard touchdown but then was unable to punch in the 2-point conversion, leaving East Bridgewater with a 7-6 lead at the half.
An interception by the Vikings’ Brandon Hunter set up East Bridgewater in Rockland territory before junior running back Jared Vargas scored on a 16-yard touchdown run, making it 14-6. Once again, Joe Reardon had the answer, scoring again on a 12-yard run for his second touchdown in his last football game, cutting the Viking lead to two at 14-12. After a personal foul kept the next Viking drive alive on a fourth down play, quarterback Ryan Graham leaped over the Rockland defense at the 1-yard line to score, extending East Bridgewater’s lead to 21-12.
Owen Harrington capped the scoring in this game, punching in a 6-yard touchdown with just over two minutes left in the game. The Vikings lined up for a conventional point-after attempt before quarterback and ball-holder Ryan Graham rolled out and hit Connor Gavin with a 2-point completion, making the final score a 29-12 East Bridgewater victory.
Coach Brian Kelliher congratulated his senior players with the following on Twitter:
“Thank you seniors for last 3 years! You are a great group of kids. I have learned a great deal from each of you.”