MANCHESTER — It wasn’t the kind of season the Manchester Essex football team had hoped for.
But as the Hornets mulled around Hyland Field after yesterday’s 27-12 win over Georgetown, the memories of a difficult campaign were all forgotten.
Thanksgiving has a way of doing that.
The Hornets put together their most complete performance of the season, riding strong defense and the play of co-captains Cory Burnham and John Beardsley to a resounding victory in the final game in a Hornets’ uniform for a14-member senior class.
”They played well,” coach Mike Athanas said. “As a whole we played well. We made some stops today which we haven’t been able to do consistently and that was nice, and it’s a tough day. Some of these guys aren’t every going to play again, so it’s a tough day for them, but Thanksgiving’s a fun day when you win and it makes it a lot easier when you win the game.”
While the visiting Royals (1-10, 0-5 NEC/CAL Tier 4) forced the Hornets to go three-and-out and got on the board first with a touchdown run by quarterback Jackson Fritz early in the first quarter, it was clear from the start that Manchester Essex was the better team.
The Hornets were crisp offensively, dominating the line of scrimmage and piling up nearly 300 yards of offense. Perhaps more impressive was the Hornets’ defense, which moved on from its season-long struggles to get off the field to hold a young Georgetown squad to just 12 points.
As so often happens in Thanksgiving rivalry games, yesterday’s matchup had its fair share of quirky plays. Two Beardsley touchdowns were negated, one by a penalty and one by a mistaken incomplete call by the officials.
A 60-yard touchdown reception by Georgetown’s Colby Ingraham (157 total yards) was overturned after he stepped out of bounds at the five-yard line, and the Royals were unable to punch in from there.