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Lowell’s Holiday Feast a Tasty Treat

November 23, 2018

Lowell's Michael Menezes tries to elude Haverhill tackler Sam Prescott as he carries the football in their Thanksgiving game at Cawley Stadium. SUN/Julia Malakie Sun staff photos can be ordered by visiting our SmugMug site.

LOWELL -- On this most frigid Thanksgiving Day, Lowell High’s players left the field for the final time in 2018 basking in the warm glow of victory.

Lowell capped a season-ending November run to remember with a 24-8 victory over Haverhill at Cawley Stadium on Thursday morning.

The Red Raiders ended the season with a 6-5 record. After getting off to an 0-3 start, Lowell went 6-2 in its final eight games, including a four-game win streak to end the season.

“Ending like this means everything to us,” said Lowell senior co-captain Brian Callery, who was a force on both sides of the line against the Hillies. “It’s not just about winning a game. It’s about coming out here and competing with Haverhill.

“It’s my last time out here with my brothers. That’s why this win means everything. This is a great way to end my Lowell career. We might not have made the playoffs, but a win on Thanksgiving is real big.”

Brendan Tighe capped a marvelous junior campaign with a big-time Turkey Day performance. Tighe rushed for 161 yards and two touchdowns, threw a touchdown pass to Dominic Feliz and caught two passes for 33 yards.

“We ended the season with a winning record,” said Tighe. “It feels great to get the job done with the boys on Thanksgiving.”

Although the game time temperature was hovering in the mid-teens and the wind chill made it feel like it was down around zero, Lowell got off to a hot start in the first quarter.

It didn’t take Tighe very long to get Lowell’s offense off and running. He ripped off a 41 yard touchdown run on the Red Raiders’ opening possession. Michael Menezes kicked the conversion and the Red Raiders had a 7-0 lead with 9:36 left to play in the first quarter.

“We wanted to score early,” said Tighe. “Their offense can drain time off the clock. We wanted to get the lead and keep it. Things worked out for us.”

Lowell upped its lead to 10-0 on a 27 yard field goal by Menezes with 3:26 remaining in the first quarter.

Haverhill kept battling and cut the deficit to 10-8 in the third quarter.

The Red Raiders upped their lead to 17-8 when Tighe darted into the end zone on an 8 yard run early in the fourth quarter.

“You can talk about coaching and this and that, but when you have the best player on the field it’s a big help,” said Lowell coach John Florence. “You get (Tighe) the ball and we’ll let everything take care of itself after that.”

Tighe sealed the win by tossing a 7 yard jump pass to Feliz with 5:05 remaining in the game.

Quarterback Aidan Foyle played well for Lowell, completing five passes for 90 yards.

Leading the way on defense for the Red Raiders were Callery, Justin Villanueva, Rashawn Settles, Feliz, Luis Cadine, Ty Chan, Phoenix Keth, Darin Div and Joey Orlando, who came up with an interception in the end zone that ended a Haverhill scoring threat in the first half

“The last month the team has played well and lot of that has come on the back of the defense,” said Florence. “We had a few weeks where the offense hasn’t been great but the defense has really played well.”

Lowell played well enough to make all the plays that mattered while posting a memorable Thanksgiving Day win.

“We had a tough beginning to the season,” said Callery. “But the non-playoff games we played pretty good. We played as a team. Our defense just keeps getting better. And our offense has just kept rolling. This was a great way to end the season.”

Follow Carmine Frongillo on Twitter @cwfrongi

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