Following is the fourth in a series of Thanksgiving football previews.
Madison Park looks to bounce back from a disappointing loss to Dorchester in its annual Thanksgiving Day game at 10 a.m. against O'Bryant at Madison Park.
After a tough 16-14 loss to the Boston City League South division champs, Dorchester, last Friday in the “unofficial city championship,” the North division champion Cardinals will suit up again on Thursday morning to take on their neighboring school, O’Bryant.
Madison Park coach Roosevelt Robinson believes his team can move on from the tough loss and pull out the win.
“Thanksgiving is another big event so they have to get it up, we have pep rallies and stuff going on so hopefully that inspires them," said Coach Robinson “And O’Bryant is having a tough year but you know we’ll come out with something."
Robinson also stressed the importance of his team working on their blocking after their senior quarterback Hector Villar threw an interception in the fourth quarter on a drive that could have given the Cardinals the lead.
“Today our blocking was not good so we just have to key in on the blocking,” Robinson said after the loss to Dorchester Friday night. "We just gotta go back and not make the mistakes we made today. We didn't block well and our quarterback twisted his ankle right from the start today. So that was big for us. Our backup was hurt too."
Although Madison Park and O’Bryant are familiar with each other, they don’t get the chance to face off until Thanksgiving each season.
“It’s a tough situation, we are one of the unique fixtures in the season,” O’Bryant coach Kevin Gadson said. “We share the same campus; we see each other all the time in practice.”
O’Bryant (5-5), led by star quarterback Christian Ramson, will look to repeat last year’s performance when they defeated Madison Park, 14-12, in a hard fought overtime victory. Ramson ran for a 5-yard touchdown in the first quarter last year and then threw the game-tying 10-yard touchdown pass to Randy Jean in overtime. He also ran in the game-winning 2-point conversion.
Madison Park (7-3) looks to be the tougher side on paper, averaging 23 points per game while only allowing 7.8 points per game, compared to their opponents, who average 16.6 points per game while giving up 13.5.
Villar leads the Cardinals with seven touchdowns.
O’Bryant coach Kevin Gadson agrees Madison Park is the favorite because of their performance this season but he continues to keep faith in his team.
“They are the favorites,” he said. “They are going to the [playoffs]. We are the underdogs, but if we execute and play hard and do the things we’re capable of doing, we will be successful and uphold the O’Bryant tradition.”
Globe correspondent Justin A. Rice contributed this report.
Ralph Karnuah is a junior at Brighton High.
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