The following is the fourth in a series of Thanksgiving football previews.
For the second year in a row, New Mission and Burke will square off in a Thanksgiving matchup at Burke High School dubbed the “Unity Bowl."
The game is called that because it exemplifies the two communities unifying.
In last year’s Unity Bowl, Burke defeated New Mission, 22-0, but it was New Mission’s first year fielding a football team, and it didn’t win a single game.
But that was last season.
In its second year, New Mission has turned it around and won four games. In fact, it is on a three-game winning streak.
“It’s been nice to go on this three-game streak,” said coach Michael Pittman-Forman. “The young guys are starting to play well, and as a team our overall confidence level has been rising. We’re also starting to really grasp what we’ve been trying to do all year.”
One win during New Mission’s streak actually came against Burke, in a nail-biter of a game Nov. 2 that ended 18-14.
“That was quite the game,” Pittman-Forman said. “It was definitely a competitive one.”
The Thanksgiving showdown with Burke is sure to be just as close.
“Over the last couple of our games, our guys are starting to make plays” said Pittman-Forman. “We’re making plays we hadn’t been making all season; we’re making the plays that opposing teams had easily made on us. Another positive is our offensive line is really coming together as of late, which is something we struggled with early on.”
Burke coach Byron Beaman is also looking forward to a rematch with New Mission.
"We're handling practice this week the same as we always do; business as usual." he said.
"Like last year, It's a big game for us and we want to win. Anytime you play a team twice it's bound to be interesting. We only lost that first game (against New Mission) by four, so we're doing all we can to come out on the other side this time."
New Mission and Burke are set to square off at 10 a.m. at Burke High School.
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