Despite a bitter wind at Madison Park High, the unofficial city championship between the Brighton Bengals and the O’Bryant Tigers raged on in front of a Thanksgiving morning crowd.
Brighton came out victorious, 12-0, over an O’Bryant squad that just couldn’t stimulate any offense.
It was the unofficial "championship" because Brighton and O’Bryant won their divisions this season, finishing 5-0 in league play. Both teams also finished 8-3 overall.
When Madison Park bowed out of its usual Thanksgiving matchup with O’Bryant because of injuries, Brighton jumped in.
It was a special teams play that got Brighton started early.
The first score of the game came seconds into the second quarter, when Brighton sophomore defensive back Hakeem McKoy blocked a punt that was recovered in the end zone by junior Ricardo Edwards.
“I didn’t expect to come out with the ball,” Edwards said. “But Coach was telling us all game to keep the intensity going, so when that opportunity came, we converted.”
Edwards was awarded the game ball by coach Randolph Abraham for his hard work on offense. He rushed for more than 100 yards.
“We’ve got a bigger offensive line,” Abraham said. “So we were definitely able to work that for our advantage. Ricardo did a great job on the ground and making offense for us all morning.”
Brighton took a 6-0 lead into the half, and continued to dominate on defense in the third quarter, forcing a fumble and a three-and-out on O’Bryant’s first two possessions.
With four minutes remaining in the game, Brighton quarterback Jalen Apperwhite rushed 1 yard for a score to give the Bengals a 12-0 lead.
A late interception by Michael Dereus sealed the victory.
Despite the loss, O’Bryant coach Kevin Gadson was all smiles while commending his team for not giving in and on winning the BCL South.
“You guys fought for four quarters out there,” he said. “I’m proud of that. It’s really been a wonderful season, boys. You guy’s played really well all year. I’m proud of you all.”
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- Justin A. Rice -- A metro Detroit native, Rice is a Michigan State University (Go Spartans!) and Northeastern University graduate. Rice lives in the South End with his dog and wife, who unfortunately attended the University of Michigan ... his wife, that is. He curates the BPS Sports Blog and is always looking to write about city athletes with great stories. Have an idea? He can be reached at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @GlobeJustinRice or @BPSspts.
- Ryan Butler -- A Rhode Island native and avid Boston sports fan, Butler played basketball, baseball and football throughout his time in Barrington Public Schools. Now currently in his middler year at Northeastern University, he joins Boston.com as a correspondent for the site's BPS coverage. Have a story idea? Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on his Twitter @butler_globe.