HUDSON - Marlboro senior Josh Carter is a multitalented two-way standout, but in yesterday's 93d Thanksgiving meeting between the Panthers and archrival Hudson, Carter was most dangerous on offense, having a hand in all six Marlboro touchdowns in a 42-28 victory at the Morgan Bowl.
Carter ran for a game-high 155 yards and three scores and also completed 12 of 17 passes for 259 yards and three scores to lead Marlboro to its second straight Turkey Day win over the Hawks and earn game MVP honors.
"I'm a team player, so this is for the team," Carter said of his award. "My blocking was there, everything was there, I just went out and did my thing."
Marlboro (7-4) now leads the series, the second longest in Central Mass. behind Fitchburg-Leominster, 50-40-3.
"It's been going on 100 years almost and everything comes down to this game," Carter said. "You throw out your season and everything comes down to this."
Carter got going on Marlboro's first play from scrimmage, connecting with junior wideout Graham Asum for a 55-yard score. Tyler Redding added his first of six extra points to give the Panthers a 7-0 lead just 15 seconds into the action.
Derek Palatino answered for the Hawks, taking his second carry of the game 60 yards to the house less than a minute later. Cameron Ciesluk kicked his first of four extra points to tie the game.
Unfortunately for the Hawks, Palatino's carry would be his last as the speedy junior reinjured his left shoulder diving into the end zone.
Taking advantage of three first-half turnovers by the hosts, the Panthers were able to build a 28-14 halftime lead as Carter scored on runs of 1 and 46 yards and connected with standout wide receiver George Jordan on a 50-yard strike in the final minute of the half.
"You can't turn the ball over three times and expect to beat Marlboro High School," Hudson coach Dan McAnespie said. "They scored on the turnovers. They weren't driving 65 yards on us. That big play to Jordan at the end of the half really killed us, though."
Marlboro looked to put the game out reach by opening the second half with an onside kick that it recovered in Hudson territory.
The plan backfired, though, as the Hawks sent the Panthers three-and-out and then pulled within 28-21 as Matt Jacobs found Ryan Barry for a 40-yard score.
"It looked like we were going to pull away, but Hudson, give them credit, they did a great job not giving up," Shrewsbury coach Sean Mahoney said. "We didn't play great defense but we created turnovers. We gave them a lot of yards, but we got turnovers when we needed them."
Hudson would get no closer as Carter scored on a 5-yard run and then found his brother, A.C., for a 63-yard score to put the game out of reach early in the fourth quarter.
"He makes big plays at critical times, and you can't teach that," said Mahoney of Josh Carter. "He's a great player."