Patriots look to turn the tables on Vikings on Thanksgiving Day
The Revere High football team will make the short trek through Beachmont to Miller Field in Winthrop Thursday morning for the 84th renewal of their gridiron rivalry on Thanksgiving Day. Kick-off time is 10:00 a.m. The contest will mark the 100th anniversary of the schools’ first meeting on the football field in 1913. However, there were two stoppages in relations between them, first in the 1920s and then in the late 1940s through the 1950s
This year’s Turkey Day contest will be a bit different than in all of the schools’ previous Thanksgiving Day meetings because the teams already have met this season thanks to the new MIAA state football playoff format. Winthrop prevailed in that contest, but the Patriots have high hopes of turning the tables on their long-time rival.
“We’re looking forward to Thanksgiving Day,” said RHS head coach Lou Cicatelli, for whom this will be the 11th holiday meeting during his tenure at the helm of the Patriot football program. “Some have asked whether the previous game between us this season has taken something away from the Thanksgiving Day game, but I think it actually makes the game on the holiday even more meaningful because we want to get back at them after losing the first time around.”
Although Winthrop won that first encounter two months ago by a score of 30-13, the contest was a close affair until the turnover factor kicked in and allowed the Vikings to put up some points on the board in a hurry. Turnovers have been the biggest problem for the Revere offense. The Patriots’ two encounters with Medford this season (the first game of the year and the second one two weeks ago) were emblematic of the turnover syndrome. Revere lost the first game, 31-22, in which a bevy of turnovers played a key role in the Pats’ demise, but then came back with a rousing and dominating 35-14 triumph the second time around in which Revere did not turn the ball over.
Needless to say, Cicatelli hopes the momentum from that win will carry over onto the Miller Field gridiron Thursday morning. “We really put it all together in the second Medford game and hopefully we’ll repeat that winning formula against Winthrop,” said Cicatelli. “We reflected on our season and realized that without the turnovers, it could have been a different kind of year for us. We know we can move the ball, but we need to finish our drives and cash in on our opportunities.”
In addition to playing each other, Revere and Winthrop have had four common opponents with closely-matched and yet differing results. Both teams were overwhelmed by Lynn Classical (32-14 for Revere and 38-12 for Winthrop) and both fell to Danvers (20-12 for Revere and 39-27 for Winthrop). However, Revere defeated Peabody, 23-13, while Winthrop fell to Peabody, 30-29 and Winthrop defeated Salem, 21-0, while Revere lost twice to the Witches, 21-14 and 14-0, in a pair of hard-fought contests.
Both teams will have some positive momentum coming into the battle. Winthrop has had an up-and-down year. The Vikings started out 3-1, but then dropped four straight, before bouncing back with a pair of wins in the past two weeks. The Patriots began the 2013 with an 0-5 mark, but have won two of their last five, including the most recent game, the aforementioned 35-14 pasting of Medford.
The teams match up fairly-evenly size-wise, though Winthrop holds the edge on the offensive line. The challenge for Revere defensively will be to contain senior running back Jordan Corbett-Frank and junior quarterback Dylan Driscoll, who is a threat both passing and running the football.
However, the Patriots have their own potent set of skill-position players in their senior captain, quarterback Tom Portrait, who is a powerful runner and passer; tight end Steve Selevitch, who is the high school Patriots’ version of the New England Patriots’ Rob Gronkowski; and junior captain Kaleb Silva, who runs with both speed and power and who has had some big games this season.
The Patriots should be as healthy as they have been all season, with Bonilla the lone Patriot on the IR with a broken foot.
Patriots who are seniors and who will be playing in their final game for the Blue & White are senior captains Tommy Portrait and Ed Volcimus, Steve Selevitch, A.J. Matine, Duche Romeus, Mike DeBay, Sere Morm, David Castro, Ravi Ryland, Brian Cabrera, Brian Bonilla, and brothers David and Leonard Chauca.
REVERE 2013 (2-8)
Medford 35, Revere 22
Malden 29, Revere 0
Winthrop 30, Revere 13
Danvers 20, Revere 12
Salem 21, Revere 14
Revere 23, Peabody 13
Classical 32, Revere 14
Salem 14, Revere 0
Dracut 14, Revere 0
Revere 35, Medford 14
WINTHROP 2013 (5-5)
Winthrop 20, Saugus 6
Swampscott 28-Winthrop 14
Winthrop 30, Revere 13
Winthrop 21, Salem 0
Peabody 30, Winthrop 29
Classical 38, Winthrop 12
Danvers 39-Winthrop 27
N. Reading 42, Winthrop 6
Winthrop 29, Weston 26
Winthrop 28, Amesbury 14