Thanksgiving game … 'Clean slate' as Tiverton lines up against Rogers
Tiverton's last hope of notching a football victory this season is shaping up to be a tall order at 10 a.m. on Thanksgiving Day.
The Division III Tigers must play up a division against Division II foe Rogers on Rogers' home field.
And they are up against a Rogers team that went 5-2 in its division and 6-4 overall. At home this season, Rogers notched three wins against two losses.
Tiverton head coach Robert Murray said he wants his team to prepare for this one as though it's a clean slate.
"We have one game left. It's one week, it's one game and nothing before matters and nothing matters but that game and that's what we will do. That's what we have done all year long."
Last week's final home game loss to Lincoln High School left Tiverton's record at 0-9 in its division, 0-10 overall.
After significant losses to graduation compounded by early injuries, this has been a young and inexperienced team, but one that has played with heart.
"I give all the respect in the world to the kids for the effort that they have given us," coach Murray said. He has repeatedly praised the players' determination against physically bigger opponents and lopsided scores.
To win, the Tigers will need another strong showing from its seniors, among them Matt DeLeo and Dylan Simmons.
Last week, Simmons rushed for 143 yards while DeLeo ran for 96 yards and two touchdowns — and both played offense and defense (linebacker). This will also be the final game for the teams only other two seniors, offensive/defensive lineman Alex DeSantis and offensive lineman Christopher Almeida.
Thanksgiving Day notes
• Rogers holds a 3-0 Thanksgiving game edge over Tiverton. Rogers won last year 38-14; by 20-14 in 2011.
• Against previous Thanksgiving rival Central Falls, Tiverton dominated with a 15-2 record in games played from 1993 to 2009.
• Before that, Tiverton played Warren (before Warren became part of Mount Hope High School). Warren led that series 17-5-1.