The following is second in a series of Thanksgiving football previews.
The West Roxbury football team is set for a Thanksgiving matchup for the first time.
“We wanted a Thanksgiving game, so when Randolph offered to play, we picked it up,” West Roxbury coach Derek Wright said. “We’ve got some valuable practice time to prepare, too. This week has been pretty light, just going into some light conditioning drills and such. Next week we’ll dive into more of the structured stuff.”
West Roxbury finished in third place in the City League North Division, logging a 3-2 league record. On Nov. 1, the Raiders gave City League South champion O’Bryant a tough time, outscoring O’Bryant, 18-14, in the final three quarters, but ultimately fell, 33-18.
On Thanksgiving, they’ll square off against a Randolph team that’s looking for its first win of the year.
“We’re just practicing hard, and going over the things we’ve been doing all year long,” Randolph coach Keith Ford said. “Our athletic directors got together and put the game in place. Our AD is a West Roxbury alum, so that definitely helped in setting up the game for us.”
The opportunity to play on Thanksgiving means a lot to the West Roxbury players, whose season otherwise would be finished.
“It’s really exciting,” said senior quarterback David Bertucci. “To be able to play on Thanksgiving in my senior year after going three straight years without it, it’s just great.
"As a team, we’re all just really pumped. We’re definitely going to stick to the run game against Randolph. The last couple games, we really tried to air it out, but I think we’re going to go back to pounding the ball on the ground.”
With senior Mike Obiangwe in the backfield, running the ball is definitely the Raiders' best bet. Obiangwe logged eight touchdowns on the year, including two against O’Bryant.
“I feel thankful to be able to play the game,” Obiangwe said. “I mean, after this, there’s no more football. So we’re going to work really hard.”
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