DUXBURY – In the midst of the Turkey Day festival, a prize fight broke out between Marshfield and Duxbury for the Patriot League Keenan title.
The Rams and Dragons exchanged punches throughout the second half with Duxbury coming out on top 38-28 before a capacity crowd in the 36th meeting between the two rival schools on Thanksgiving Day
With the traditional pride on the line along with the Keenan Division flag, Matt Festa was the offensive MVP in the game as the junior quarterback finished 21-of-34 for 310 yards through the air with four touchdowns through the air and the final touchdown of the game on a four-yard run.
But the Thanksgiving game to remember trophy goes to seldom-used running back Cam Barberia. The senior running back took over in the second half for an injured James Anderson and rushed for 52 yards on only 10 carries to keep the play-action offense intact for the Dragons down the stretch.
“We’ve learned our lessons about facing adversity and there have been times earlier in the season where I wasn’t getting reps and I knew my time would come eventually and today was that day,” said Barberia. “I definitely worked up an appetite out there, but I knew Marshfield was a second half team and one hell of a team.”
Duxbury jumped out to a 14-0 lead 13 seconds into the second quarter on passing touchdowns to Brady Madigan and Matt Ciesielski. The key play for Duxbury was a fumble recovery between possessions by Peter Stanwood that set up the Dragons at midfield for Ciesielski’s three-yard score.
Marshfield (9-2) answered with a 10-play drive capped off by the first of four passing touchdowns from quarterback Owen Masterson. Masterson found Kyle Scholz in the middle of the end zone with a quick dart from five yards out to cut the deficit in half, 14-7, with 9:23 left in the second quarter.
After having a 39-yard attempt blocked by Marshfield’s Sam Sullivan on the previous series, Dennen Sullivan split the uprights for a 27-yard field goal to give Duxbury the 17-7 lead into halftime.
The teams then exchanged three touchdowns a piece in the second half in a see-saw battle, but it was the steady hand of Festa that found Ciesielski (64 yards) and Madigan (8) again to pull off the pair of touchdowns for the two senior wideouts.
Ciesielski finished with a game-high 178 yards receiving on eight catches while Madigan added 68 yards on four grabs. Festa finished off the win with his own rushing touchdown with 4:29 left in regulation.
Duxbury (10-1) moves on to the Division 4 Super Bowl at Gillette Stadium to face another Keenan Division foe, Scituate, who they beat in their home opener this season in a 27-26 nail biter.
“I’m so happy for (Barberia) because he will remember that for the rest of his life. One of those stories where a kid comes in, has no idea he is going to play, comes in and makes some big runs for us. So that’s going to be a good Thanksgiving for him,” said Duxbury head coach Matt Landolfi, who picked up his first Turkey Day victory in his first season at the helm. “The kids are definitely focused. I guess you can call it momentum and these kids will show up to practice Sunday ready to go. Scituate is a good ball club, they have some athletes, they run multiple sets on offense, so I’ve said this before – we have our work cut out for us and we will go to work and see what happen