SOUTH YARMOUTH — Apparently nobody told Dennis-Yarmouth coach Paul Funk he was supposed to rest his starters in preparation for the Division 4 Super Bowl at Gillette Stadium Dec. 7.
Funk treated the annual Chowder Bowl matchup with Nauset the same as every year, playing his starters every snap in a 13-0 victory for the Division 4 Eastern Mass champs.
The Dolphins proved that even with the new playoff system, the Thanksgiving game remains a special occasion.
“We didn’t rest anybody and we didn’t expect to,’’ Funk said. “The thing we talk about most at D-Y is winning and no matter who you play and when you play, you need to be prepared to win and that’s what we did today. We played it like a regular game.
“Football players play football. We’re not holding guys out, that’s not the stuff that we do here.”
After talking it over with his coaching staff, Funk decided sitting his starters was not an option.
“What are you going to do, take two weeks off and do nothing? We knew this was an important game. It’s Thanksgiving and it means a lot to all of the kids in the state and it was time to play football,” Funk said.
His players were on the same page.
“We had no intentions of putting any second strings, in we wanted to go out and win it full force,” said Jake Pawlina, who had an 8-yard touchdown run and was named D-Y’s offensive player of the game.
Dennis-Yarmouth won its 11th straight Chowder Bowl and improved to 13-5 in Thanksgiving Day meetings with Nauset.
The only difference in the preparation this year was less time to get ready for Nauset. After D-Y’s victory over Bedford last Saturday, Funk gave his team off Monday, giving the players just one practice to prepare for the Warriors.
“There was a little different feel because we didn’t have time to prepare but obviously it didn’t matter,” Funk said.
Thursday’s game was important for D-Y because of tradition, but also because Nauset handed the Dolphins their last loss.
“We had to get redemption on [Nauset] because they beat us earlier this season and we just wanted to beat them up this time and we did,” junior Mike Dunn said.
D-Y has rattled off nine straight wins, including the Division 4 EMass championship that clinched a trip to the Super Bowl against Doherty.
“We have just been rolling ever since we lost to Nauset and we are just continuing that momentum into Gillette,” said L.K. Metz, who was named the D-Y defensive player of the game.
For seniors such as Pawlina, the moment after the Chowder Bowl win was as sweet as ever, except with a wrinkle.
“It’s the best feeling in the world . . . until we get to Gillette,” he said.