With the power running game of Brandon O'Regan, the Somerville High football team finished its season in grand fashion.
O'Regan rushed for 146 yards and three touchdowns, as the Highlanders cruised to a 42-12 win over Matignon in Thursday's highly anticipated Thanksgiving Day showdown at Dilboy Stadium.
The Highlanders, who were once 2-6, finished the season with momentum on their side, en route to a two game winning streak at 4-6.
"It was a great way to end the season, especially for the senior class," said coach Harry Marchetti. "They came out and played with a lot of heart and inspiration. We had a great crowd behind us, and we were really able to take advantage of that."
Also contributing to the scoring was Elston Delpe, who hauled in a pass for a touchdown, along with Jeff Guzman and Kelly Perez, who also managed to find the end zone.
Early in the first quarter, the Highlanders managed to execute a short scoring drive en route to an 8-0 lead. Quarterback Rob Pratt scrambled to his right, completed a bubble screen pass to Elston Delpe. Delpe broke through a pair of tacklers and dashed into the end zone. On the two point conversion attempt, Alejandro Cabrera hauled in a completion from Pratt in the end zone.
"It was important that we were able to get off to that fast start," said Marchetti. "We were able to see some openings and we were able to take advantage. Our defense did an outstanding job, and we were able to capitalize on a number of opportunities."
Following a quick defensive stop, the Highlanders struck again later in the quarter en route to a 16-0 advantage. After several rushes by O'Regan and Jeff Guzman, the Highlanders capped the drive as O'Regan recorded his first touchdown of the afternoon. On a toss right, O'Regan maneuvered through a pair of tacklers at the line of scrimmage and bolted to the end zone on a 19-yard touchdown run. O'Regan also added a two point conversion as the Highlanders cruised to the early lead.
As the Highlander defensive line continued to stymie the Warrior offense, O'Regan added to the scoring punch. After O'Regan muscled through several short gains into Warrior territory, the Highlanders increased the lead to 24-0 early in the third quarter. Pushing past a pair of Warrior tackles, O'Regan broke through with an 11-yard touchdown run.
Securing the first half scoring surge, the Highlanders paved the way for a commanding 30-0 halftime lead as Guzman scored on a 24-yard touchdown run. On a toss left, Guzman blitzed down the sideline and waltzed into the end zone in the final seconds of the second quarter.
"We really came out and dominated the first half," said Marchetti. "We established control on our running game, and we managed the game very well. We were able to play our style of football."
In the second half, the Warriors quickly averted any shutout following a kickoff return for a touchdown. Kicking off the third quarter, Owen Bullock received the ball at his 15-yard line, dodged through a pair of Highlander tacklers at the 30-yard line, and broke through down the middle of the field. Bullock then blasted into the end zone, trimming the lead to 30-6.
O'Regan once again found the end zone, notching his third touchdown of the contest. Following several blockers at the line of scrimmage, O'Regan outfoxed a pair of defenders and scurried down the field into the end zone for a 52-yard touchdown run, increasing the lead to 36-6 midway through the third quarter.
With the contest well in hand, the Highlanders added another score en route to a 42-6 lead. After a pair of rushes by Guzman and O'Regan, Kelly Perez connected on a two-yard plunge into the end zone in the final seconds of the third quarter.
Matignon added a score midway through the fourth quarter as quarterback Ron Slager spotted Mike Nicholson in the end zone, cutting the lead to 42-12.
"It's a great way to end the season," said Marchetti. "We worked so hard from the first day of training camp until the last day. It's just great to see the seniors go out with a great win."