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By Michael Flanagan
Hometown Weekly Sports Editor
The Medfield and Dover-Sherborn Regional High School football teams wrote the latest chapter of their Thanksgiving rivalry on Thursday in a high-scoring and exciting affair.
Behind a record-breaking day by senior running back Mason Giunta (19 carries for 159 yards and three touchdowns), who reached 1,000 rushing yards on the season, and another video-game-like performance by junior quarterback Mitchell Gonser (6 of 12 for 109 yards and two touchdowns, eight carries for 134 yards and one touchdown), the Warriors downed their arch rivals, 41-20, to finish the season at 9-2.
It took just two plays for the Warriors, who sported the away all-whites despite playing on their home turf, to get on the board. A long run by Giunta not only put the senior over 1,000 yards on the season on the first play from scrimmage, but it also set up Medfield deep in DS territory. Gonser then dashed into the end zone on a quarterback keeper from 27 yards away to put Medfield up 7-0 just 14 seconds in.
The Warrior defense forced Holden Ferrari and the DS offense to a three-and-out on their opening series. Gonser then hooked up with Liam O’Toole from 59 yards away to put Medfield up 14-0 midway through the first.
With 2:59 to play in the first, Gonser threw his second touchdown of the day, this time to Steven Williams from 25 yards out to extend the Warrior lead to 21-0 at the end of one.
DS cut the deficit to 21-6 thanks to running back Tylan Mendes with 6:52 remaining in the second quarter, as the junior made one cut on a handoff up the middle and then dashed 46 yards to the end zone untouched to get the Raiders right back in it.
Medfield responded almost immediately, however, as a 32-yard scramble by Gonser down to the DS three-yard line set up a three-yard touchdown run on a toss-play by Giunta to extend Medfield’s lead to 22 points at 28-6 with 2:43 to play in the half. The Warrior defense forced the Raider offense to punt on its ensuing possession. A long completion from Gonser to O’Toole set up the Warriors inside the DS 10-yard line with under a minute to play in the half. Giunta’s second touchdown of the game from six yards out capped off the drive, and the Warriors led 35-6 at the half.
The Raiders failed to go down without a fight, however, as Timothy Polk’s 17-yard touchdown run on DS’s opening series of the second half cut it to a 35-12 game with 8:12 remaining in the third (two-point try unsuccessful). The Warriors responded by handing the rock to Giunta, and the senior captain delivered his third touchdown of the day to extend Medfield’s lead to 41-12 early in the fourth quarter.
Mendes’ second touchdown of the game from 10 yards out plus a successful two-point try trimmed the Medfield lead to 41-20 with 4:09 remaining, but the Gonser/Giunta induced damage had already been done, and the Warriors hung on for the 21-point Turkey Day win. Senior captain John Lowell finished his Warrior career with 36 tackles-for-loss, the most of any Medfield High player since 2002, and Mason Giunta finished his high school career with zero fumbles.
Medfield now leads the all-time Thanksgiving head-to-head with DS 9-6.
For funny and incisive sports analysis, follow Mike Flanagan on his personal Twitter at @fLAno0, or read his blog at www.flannylive.wordpress.com.