Eastie is back on top
Jets wins city clash, crown
After a one-year sabbatical from the postseason, East Boston is in a familiar place once again.
The Jets propelled themselves back to the top of the Boston North League, beating South Boston for the second consecutive Thanksgiving.
After surrendering the title to Madison Park last year, the Jets will head into a Division 4A playoff game Tuesday against Blue Hills.
Eastie leads the series, played since 1901, 46-42-6. But this year, the two were playing for keeps in the Boston North.
“It’s always great to win on Thanksgiving, first of all,’’ said second-year Eastie coach John Parziale. “It’s huge for the community. I grew up in East Boston, as always you want to beat Southie no matter what the sport is.’’
“We said we’d rather win this game than a Super Bowl, and I know that sounds funny to some people, but this is a huge game for us,’’ said Parziale. “This is a great game for the city of Boston.’’
Behind the two-headed monster of Andre Rickerson and Kyle Jimenez-Fox, the Jets (7-3, 5-0) have been able to win behind their ground game. Yesterday’s game was no exception. Both Jimenez-Fox and Rickerson helped grind down the Southie defense, combining to eclipse 200 yards rushing.
Rickerson, who rushed for 89 yards and two touchdowns, scored the game’s first points with 6:04 to play in the second quarter. The score was preceded by Jimenez-Fox, who stiff-armed his way down the sideline for a 51-yard gain.
The Jets winning score came on a 5-minute, 10-play drive to open up the second half, culminating with Rickerson’s second TD on a 7-yard burst up the middle. That score was also set up by Jimenez-Fox, who snagged a 10-yard pass from quarterback Anthony Whitney.
Trailing by 12 going into the final quarter, the Knights offense needed a break that never came. A South Boston drive stalled on Eastie’s 15 after a fumble by James Toles, one of five turnovers by Southie (6-5, 4-1). Pannell Davis erased the Knights’ goose egg on the scoreboard with a 5-yard fumble recovery with 1:25 left.
An onside kick attempt by Southie was unsuccessful.
Rickerson, who started last season when Eastie missed the playoffs, was thrilled with the win and the opportunity to play in the postseason.
“I wanted this badly since the beginning of the season, [this game] is a tradition,’’ he said. “My brother played in this game and won. I wanted a win too.’’
Jimenez-Fox echoed his sentiments.
“It was a long journey, we didn’t think we would be City champs going to the first round of the playoffs,’’ said Jimenez-Fox. “It feels great knowing I was part of something great.’’
According to Blue Hills coach Ed Catabia, Tuesday’s playoff game will be played at either BC High or Franklin, pending today’s announcement.