Junior tailback Emilio Torres celebrated his 17th birthday by rushing 27 times for 157 yards and a touchdown, 103 of those clock-killing yards in the second half, as Southbridge High built a 20-7 lead at intermission and then hung on for a 28-20 victory over mistake-prone Bartlett High in the 92nd renewal of their Thanksgiving rivalry yesterday at Memorial Athletic Field. Torres received the Vincent J. Sabatinelli Award as the game's most valuable player. Bartlett junior running back Alex Givins-Perry, who rushed for 135 yards and two touchdowns on 20 carries, was runner-up. The Pioneers (5-6), who have won seven straight in a series they now lead by 51-39-2, built a quick 12-0 lead. They marched 57 yards on their first possession with senior quarterback Al Gilliard hitting a wide-open Daniel Rodriguez with a 23-yard TD pass. Two minutes later, senior Felix Melendez blocked a Bartlett punt and returned it 20 yards for another score. Both conversions failed. The Indians (5-6), who had won three of their last four with a high-powered offense, moved the ball well in the middle of the field, but two turnovers in the red zone killed them. Late in the first half, Bartlett senior Akeem Belnavis was hit by freshman Josh Rivera and fumbled on a first-and-goal sweep from the Southbridge 10-yard line, the Pioneers' senior co-captain Rashaun Perez recovering in the end zone. The Indians then drove 46 yards to the Southbridge 15 on the opening possession of the second half, but senior quarterback Ricky Spooner was intercepted in the end zone by Jexaviar Morales. Gilliard scored on a 2-yard keeper with 42 seconds left in the third quarter, then passed to Nick Morales for the 2-point conversion to stake the Pioneers to a 28-7 lead. Bartlett then drove 55 yards on its ensuing possession, with Spooner hitting Belnavis with a 23-yard touchdown pass. Matt Peppin's second PAT made it 20-14 with 7:43 left in the game. On the first play after Neil Flanigan intercepted a Gilliard pass, the Indians had an apparent 63-yard TD run by Givins-Perry wiped out by a penalty. But Bartlett kept driving and scored on a Givins-Perry 1-yard run to make it 28-20 with 3:10 remaining. The kick went wide left. The Pioneers recovered the onside kick and ran out the clock behind Torres, who picked up three key first downs after his apparent fumble at the Bartlett 37 was ruled down by contact.
Southbridge 28, Bartlett 20
Thursday, Nov. 22, 2012, at Webster
|Southbridge||TD||Daniel Rodriguez 23-yard pass from Al Gilliard (kick failed)|
|Southbridge||TD||Felix Melendez 20-yard fumble return (rush failed)|
|Bartlett||TD||Alexander Givins-Perry 5-yard run (Matt Pepin kick)|
|Southbridge||TD||Emilio Torres 8-yard run (Emilio Torres run)|
|Southbridge||TD||Al Gilliard 2-yard run ( kick)|
|Bartlett||TD||Akeem Belnavis 23-yard pass from Ricky Spooner (Matt Pepin kick)|
|Bartlett||TD||Alexander Givins-Perry 1-yard run (kick failed)|
Updated: Wednesday, Feb. 6, 2013, 6:31 p.m.