The East Boston and Madison Park rivalry on the gridiron came full circle Friday afternoon when the teams clashed at Madison Park. Last year, the Cardinals beat the Jets, 62-20, the largest margin of defeat in East Boston history.
And like last year’s meeting, Madison Park came to play.
Madison Park (1-2) won its first game of the season, 22-0, over East Boston (1-2) behind the legs of running backs Anthony Cannady and Frederic Dawhensky, along with stellar play from quarterback Kevon Patterson. Cannady had 71 yards rushing and a touchdown, and Dawhensky chipped in 37 yards and a touchdown of his own.
“It’s a rivalry thing,” Dawhensky said. “We just came out there today to beat East Boston. I don’t really know too much on the history of it, but we let it show on the field.”
After a scoreless first quarter, Madison Park drew first blood midway through the second when Dawhensky darted for an 8-yard touchdown. After an unsuccessful extra point, Madison Park took that 6-0 lead into the half.
“We played to win,” Dawhensky said. “So we came out there and took care of business.”
East Boston took possession of the ball to start the second half but quickly went three and out.
Following the punt, the Cardinals were able to drive 40 yards downfield to the 1-yard line. But an Anthony Cannady fumble gave possession back to the Jets, and for a moment, it appeared that momentum had swung toward East Boston.
But that momentum was short-lived.
Two plays later, East Boston quarterback Vincent Lepore was picked off by Patterson, and the turnover ultimately led to a 26-yard Cannady touchdown run for a 14-0 lead. A late fourth-quarter touchdown run by Paul Ghazali sealed the 22-0 win.
“I always look forward to playing East Boston,” Madison Park coach Roosevelt Robinson said. “For years we’ve battled for first place and we have an ongoing friendship that’s been going for over 20 years. And we want to keep it that way, while keeping it competitive.”
Madison Park’s defense made it difficult for the Jets to get anything going all day. The Cardinals dominated the line of scrimmage throughout the game, allowing less than 50 total yards.
After the game, Cannady was in awe of the defensive effort.
“Under 50 yards?” he said. “Wow. Our defense went to work.”
Patterson then piped in and attributed a tough week of practice to the overall defensive intensity.
“We’ve been working on our defense this whole week of practice,” he said. “And we’re trying to get back to that MP style of defense and not let up any touchdowns.”
After the game, Robinson briefly addressed the East Boston players and gave them some words of encouragement.
“You guys have a great team, so stick with it,” he said. “We’ll see you next year.”
East Boston coach John Parziale was disappointed with his Jets' performance on both sides of the ball, but gave praise to a tough Cardinal squad.
“We didn’t play well out there,” he said. “But it was good play by them.”
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