Gloucester quarterback Santo Parisi was in obvious pain hobbling to the sidelines after each play following a second half ankle injury.
Those who were expecting the senior quarterback, playing in his final high school game, to sit out a few plays were sorely mistaken. Parisi didn’t sit out a play on offense or defense and he not only played, he played well.
”I kept asking him ‘Are you alright? Do you need a rest on defense?” Gloucester head coach Tony Zerilli said. “He just kept saying, ‘No coach, it’s my last game, I’m not coming out. He took a lot of hits, (Danvers) was hitting him every chance they got but he just got back up and continued to play.”
The senior quarterback ran for 76 yards on the day with a pair of rushing touchdowns and also made a key fumble recovery on a fourth and one play from Danvers around midfield.
His most impressive run was a 35 yard scamper in the third quarter that set up Gloucester’s final touchdown, a one yard run from Parisi himself. While he was clearly hurting, it was evident that he was pushing through the pain to pick up every yard.
”It definitely hurts a lot,” Parisi admitted. “But I had what 24 minutes of football left for the rest of my life, once the adrenalin kicked in I felt alright. It was a tough and physical game but we are the Fighting Fishermen and we showed a lot of pride.”
Parisi was awarded the Thanksgiving Day MVP plaque after the win for the gritty effort.
Most of Parisi’s yards came on a play that Gloucester hasn’t showed in recent memory, a quarterback counter run. The play is run similar to Gloucester’s inside reverse “counter criss-cross” as the team calls it. Instead of an outside reverse Parisi would fake a handoff and reverse field.