It was a chilly Friday night under the lights when Latin Academy and O’Bryant met in a highly anticipated rematch in the MIAA Division 6 semifinals at Madison Park.
Both teams dominated the City League this year. In an earlier matchup, O’Bryant defeated Latin Academy, 21-8, to capture the South championship.
But on this Friday night in November, one team would see its state run come to an end. And that team was O’Bryant.
Latin Academy upended O’Bryant, 20-6, with all three touchdowns coming in the first quarter. Senior quarterback Kyle Dance had a pair of rushing touchdowns, while running back Chenedu Ighokue chipped in one.
But after the game, O’Bryant assistant coach Michael Branch told his players to hold their heads high, and reiterated that there was still football to be played. It was clear that although his Tigers lost, he was proud of what they’ve accomplished over the course of the season.
“We didn’t play our game today,” he said. “But don’t hold your head down. It’s been a long season, but we still have to finish it off. We still have work to do. I want to give you guys a hand for not hanging your head and giving up in the second half. So good job, you put up a fight and that’s what it's all about.”
O’Bryant led the City League in defense this year, allowing on average of 7.8 points a game. It showed against Latin Academy for three of four quarters, but it was that first quarter that proved costly.
For an O’Bryant team that suffered its first loss of the year in early November, head coach Kevin Gadson was also all business with his team afterward. Until he started talking about their Thanksgiving game.
“We’ve got a lot of alumni coming back to watch you on Thanksgiving,” he said. “I’m old school Boston Tech; there’s a lot of older guys coming to watch some good football. I know tonight hurts, gentlemen. But they [Latin Academy] can’t take away that you are the Boston South champions. They cannot take that away. So good job.”
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