By scoring a touchdown in the Thanksgiving Day finale against Apponequet, Old Rochester running back Will Garcia would join teammate Harry Smith as the only tandem from the same school to score 20-or-more touchdowns in the same season since The Standard-Times began keeping records in 1974.
Heading into the season finale at home, Smith and Garcia have combined for 43 of their team's 49 touchdowns in the first 10 games. Smith leads all area players with 24 (one more than Issac Nascimento of Wareham) while Garcia has found the end zone 19 times. The pair have scored at least one touchdown in the same game in eight of the 10 games played and each has been kept out of the end zone just once. Smith was kept out of the end zone in a 30-0 rout of Apponequet in which Garcia scored all four ORR touchdowns. The latter failed to score a touchdown in a 34-21 win over Dedham in which Smith found the end zone for four touchdowns.
Meanwhile, Nascimento will be looking to wrap up his second straight scoring title when the Wareham standout leads the Vikings into their Thanksgiving Day finale at Bourne. Nascimento enters his final high school game with a four-point lead over Smith (160-156) in the individual scoring race on the strength of 23 touchdowns and 22 extra points. The quick-stepping senior has scored at least one touchdown in all 10 games this season and in 18 consecutive games dating back to last season. He needs four touchdowns to tie his single-season record of 27 set a year ago and his current total of 57 career touchdowns also is a school record. He and Smith, who owns ORR’s career record for touchdowns with 52, are the only active players who have scored 50-or-more touchdowns in a career.
New Bedford quarterback Tru Williams can end what has been a dreary season for his Whalers with a ray of sunshine by throwing four touchdown passes against Durfee in the traditional Thanksgiving Day finale in Fall River. That’s how many he needs to earn a share of the school’s single-season record of 19 touchdown passes set by Chandler Debrosse in 2014. Williams, who is only a junior, has never thrown more than three in one game but has thrown multiple touchdown passes seven times in his two-year reign as the Whalers’ starter and his 20 career touchdown strikes is just eight shy of the school career record 28 currently held by Todd Soares.
Lastly, Old Colony has a shot of having three players reach double-figure totals in touchdowns in the same season for the first time in school history when it winds up its season with a Thanksgiving Eve (6 p.m.) game on the road against Tri-County. In what has been a balanced offense all season long, running backs Brad Plissey and Jarred Gagne lead the team in touchdowns with nine while sophomore quarterback Matt Bumpus is next with seven and is coming off the first three-touchdown game of his young career. Barring injury, Plissey and Gagne are virtual locks to find the end zone at least once and, with a school “first” on the line, another three-spot for Bumpus may not be that far-fetched.
HERE AND THERE
APPONEQUET (2-8) - The young Lakers finally put it all together last week and it paid off in an impressive 33-6 rout of Bourne. The 33 points were the most produced by an Apponequet team since the 38-14 blowout of Old Rochester in the 2014 Thanksgiving Day game and in the win over Bourne, the Lakers got touchdowns from four different players in one game for the first time since Oct. 28 of last year when four players found the end zone in a 27-2 win over Martha’s Vineyard. … Junior running back Shayne Cooney took over the team scoring lead with his sixth and seventh touchdowns of the season in the latest win. He has a team-leading seven touchdowns and 42 points. … Head coach Zane Fyfe praised the efforts of his defense in the win over the Canalmen. "Once they got the feel for the speed of the double wing they really buckled down and made some great plays. Our young players are really coming along,” he said. Fyfe was also looking forward to the Thanksgiving Day matchup with Old Rochester. “We’ve been playing well the last few weeks and we are excited and looking forward to a good Thanksgiving Day game. The last two years have been decided by a touchdown (28-21 last year and 13-7 the year before — both ORR wins) so hopefully we can be on the other end his time around.” UP NEXT - The Lakers travel to Old Rochester for the annual Thanksgiving Day clash at 10 a.m.
BISHOP STANG (4-6) - The Spartans have won two straight for the first time all season and have averaged three touchdowns over the last five games. Head coach Dennis Golden credited the offensive line for laying the groundwork to last week’s winning effort (20-7) over visiting Carver. “The offensive line did a nice job of clearing holes for the run game,” Golden said. “Three seniors — Brian Lester, Josh Pierre and Noah Gagnon — along with junior Doug Chicca and sophomore Logan Brierley all played well.” … Senior captain Chris McGuire came up big on defense by creating two turnovers with a fumble recovery and pass interception and was outstanding from his outside linebacker position. … Junior Eric Payette scored the first touchdown of his varsity career and also had a fumble recovery while quarterback Justin Lopes found the end zone for the fourth straight game by running for a pair of touchdowns and throwing for a third. The junior has scored seven touchdowns and thrown for three more in his last four outings. UP NEXT - The Spartans host Bishop Feehan at 10 a.m. on Thanksgiving Day.
DARTMOUTH (5-5) - Head coach Rich White was singing the praises of Connor Moniz who “had his best game of the year at inside linebacker leading our defense with 14 tackles” as the Indians handed South Coast Conference Large School champion Somerset Berkley a 19-0 loss in Somerset. It was the first time the Raiders had been kept off the scoreboard this season. … Luke Tisdelle continues to be the workhorse out of the backfield. In the win over Somerset Berkley, the senior rushed for a team-high 183 yards and added to his team-leading touchdown total with his seventh and eighth of the season, with seven coming in three of the team’s last four games. … Ben Aaronson did an excellent job on both sides of the ball in last week’s win. In addition to catching a touchdown pass (he also had a second nullified by a penalty), Aaronson led the team in tackles with seven. … Nolan Ellis threw his seventh touchdown pass of the season in just his sixth game as the starting quarterback. UP NEXT — The traditional Thanksgiving Day game against the Blue Devils at Fairhaven at 10 a.m.
FAIRHAVEN (5-5) - The Blue Devils bounced back quite nicely from a 37-0 loss at Dighton-Rehoboth to roll past Sandwich, 28-13, last Friday night. Running back Jake Cadieux scored his fifth touchdown in the last four games and has scored at least one touchdown in four games to date — all Fairhaven wins. … Zach Guillotte scored his ninth and 10th touchdowns of the year in the latest win (he leads Fairhaven in that department) and is the first Blue Devils player to reach double figures in two seasons. … The Fairhaven defense created a safety in the win over Sandwich, It was the team’s second of the season. UP NEXT - The Blue Devils will host Dartmouth in their traditional Thanksgiving Day game at 10 a.m.
GNB VOC-TECH (2-8) - Tiago Palma became the first Voc-Tech player to score more than one touchdown in a game when he found the end zone twice in last week’s 21-11 victory over South Shore Voke, The two scores was a first by a Bears player since James Estrella scored a pair in a 21-18 win over Bourne on Sept. 30 of last season. The 21 points in the recent win were the most scored by a Voc-Tech team since that victory over the Canalmen. … Sophomore Jaydn Barros scored the first touchdown of his varsity career in the win over South Shore. UP NEXT - The Bears close the curtain on the season at home with their traditional Thanksgiving Day game against Diman Vocational of Fall River at 10 a.m.
NEW BEDFORD (3-7) - It’s been a winless month for the Whalers who haven’t tasted victory since Oct. 13 when they held off Dartmouth, 27-25, at Paul Walsh Field. The team has dropped four straight since to assure a third straight losing record. … Barron Hilton found the end zone for the ninth time when he caught one of two touchdown pases from quarterback Tru Williams in last week’s 25-13 loss to Newton North and has scored at least one touchdown in six of the last nine outings. … Running back Nigel Palmer scored his first touchdown since recording five in a 38-8 rout of Barnstable back on Sept. 29. UP NEXT - New Bedford travels to Fall River for the traditional Thanksgiving Day game against Durfee. Kickoff is set for 10:15 a.m.
OLD COLONY ( 7-3) - The Cougars snapped a two-game losing streak with an impressive 26-20 victory over visiting Randolph last week. With a win in their season finale, they would tie the 1988 team for the most wins in a season with eight. (The 1988 team finished 8-2 which will remain the best record regardless of how his team fares in their season finale). … Old Colony will play its final game on the road where the Cougars have lost just once this season — falling to Monomoy, 28-0, on Nov. 3. UP NEXT - The Cougars play a 6 p.m. pre-Thanksgiving Day game against Tri-County on Nov. 22 at Bellingham High School.
OLD ROCHESTER (8-2) - Should the Bulldogs win their final game against Apponequet, they would finish 9-2 for the second year in a row and become the first team in school history to win at least nine games in back-to-back seasons since The Standard-Times began keeping records in 1974. … If Harry Smith and Will Garcia can combine for 61 yards, they would become the first pair of backs in school history to rush for a combined 3,000 yards in the same season. Through the first 10 games, Smith has rushed for 1,704 yards while Garcia has rushed for 1,235 yards. … On the defensive side of the ball, Cam Brezinski leads the team in tackles with 65 and shares the team-lead in tackles for losses with Emo Schiappa, each with eight. Schiappa has a team-high eight sacks. UP NEXT - Old Rochester plays host to Apponequet at 10 a.m. on Thanksgiving Day.
WAREHAM (8-2) - A win in their season finale would allow the Vikings to finish with nine wins in a season for the first time since the 2012 team finished 9-2. … Head coach Bob Lomp has long-since locked up another winning season, The veteran coach has never had a losing one in his combined 16 years at Apponequet (14 years) and two at Wareham. He goes into the season finale with a career-record of 130 wins, 45 losses and no ties. … Last week’s 31-8 loss to a powerful Millis team in the Div. 8 Championship game marked just the second time someone other than Issac Nascimento had failed to score a touchdown in a game this season. The first came on Sept. 23 when Nascimento scored all three touchdowns in a 20-8 win over Fairhaven. UP NEXT - The Vikings wrap up their season with a 10 a.m. Thanksgiving Day game at Bourne.
Area rankings after week 10.
Information includes: ranking, school, (overall record), last week’s ranking and latest result.
1t - Old Rochester (8-2), No. 1t -Lost to Middleboro, 31-20,.
1t- Wareham (8-2), No. 1t - Lost to Millis, 31-8...
3 - Dartmouth (5-5), No. 3 -Beat Somerset Berkley, 19-0..
4 - Old Colony (7-3), No.4 - Beat Randolph, 26-20..
5 - Fairhaven (5-5), No.5 - Beat Sandwich, 28-13..
6 - Bishop Stang (4-6), No.6 - Beat Carver, 20-7...
7 - New Bedford (3-7). No. 7 - Lost to Newton North, 25-13,
8 - Apponequet (2-8), No. 8 - Beat Bourne, 33-6.
9 - GNB Voc-Tech (2-8), No. 8 - Beat South Shore, 21-11...
AREA’S LEADING SCORERS
(Through last Saturday’s games)
Information includes: player, (school), touchdowns, total extra points, field goals, total points.
1 - Issac Nascimento (Wareham), 23-22-0-160.
2 - Harry Smith (Old Rochester), 24-2-0-156.
3 - Will Garcia (Old Rochester),16-6-0-1204.
4 - Zach Guillotte (Fairhaven), 10-4-0-65.
5 - Brad Plissey (Old Colony), 9-6-0-60.
6 - Luke Tisdelle (Dartmouth), 8-11-0-59.
7 - Jarred Gagne (Old Colony), 9-4-0-58.
8 - Barron Hilton (NB High), 9-0-0-54
9 - Matt Bumpus (Old Colony), 7-10-0- 52
10t - Seth Andrade (Wareham), 8-2-0-50.
10t - Justin Lopes (Bp. Stang), 8-2-0-50.
AREA’S LEADING TOUCHDOWN PASSERS
1 - Tru Williams (New Bedford High), 15.
2t - Justin Lopes (Bp. Stang), 8
2t - Chace Gorman (Apponequet), 8
4t - Issac Nascimento (Wareham), 7.
4t - Nolan Ellis (Dartmouth), 7.
6 - Brady Bennett (Fairhaven),4.
7t - Ethan Santos (Voc-Tech), 2.
7t - Brad Plissey (Old Colony), 2.
Several tied with one.
This is the final high school football notes column for the season. Thanks for reading and have a Happy Thanksgiving. Buddy Thomas can be reached at email@example.com.