Turkey Bowl Notebook: City bragging rights for Pioneers
MANCHESTER - After Trinity claimed the city championship with a 27-21 triumph over Manchester Central on Thursday, Trinity quarterback Carmen Giampetruzzi said he expected his Thanksgiving turkey to taste much better this year than it has the last two years.
Giampetruzzi clearly had a bad taste in his mouth after Central defeated Trinity in the 2010 and 2011 Turkey Bowls.
"The past two years they beat us, so this feels great," Giampetruzzi said. "(The turkey) will be a little warmer this year. It's been cold the past two years."
Giampetruzzi, a junior, and senior fullback/linebacker Ryan Carrier are among the Trinity players who live in Manchester and would be wearing Central green if they attended public high school.
Giampetruzzi completed 7 of 14 passes for 87 yards and a touchdown in Thursday's victory. Other than his 9-yard TD pass to Tristan Theroux, his most important completion may have been a 21-yard strike to Theroux on a a third-and-7 play during Trinity's final drive. The Pioneers picked up two more first downs in the drive and ran out the clock with a 27-21 lead.
Carrier carried the ball 14 times for 44 yards. He opened the scoring with a 1-yard run in the second quarter.
"It means everything to beat Central," Carrier said. "It's bragging rights. I played against all of my buddies. To finally beat them - it's unbelievable. I love it."
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Central quarterback Riley Cote completed 25 of 29 passes for 287 yards and two touchdowns in the loss, but what he may remember most is the ball that Trinity's Austin Chambers intercepted on the goal line when Central was attempting to break a 14-14 tie late in the third quarter.
"Troy (Pelletier) was open, I just underthrew the ball," Cote said. "I got hit as a threw it, so I didn't really see what happened.
"It was a good, competitive game. We just fell short today."
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Central coach Ryan Ray said there are 17 players who started at least one game for the Little Green this season who are eligible to return next year, when Central will compete in a revamped Division I that will feature 20 teams.
Central will compete with Bedford, Concord, Manchester Memorial and Manchester West in Division I North. Division I will have four five-team conferences.
"We're returning a lot of guys who played a lot of varsity football for us," Ray said. "That's a real positive."
Trinity will be in Division II, which will also have 20 teams. The Pioneers will be in Division II South with John Stark, Milford, Souhegan and Windham.
Eight teams will qualify for the playoffs in each division.
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Central entered Thursday's game having won the last four Turkey Bowls. The loss dropped Central's overall record in the game to 17-11.
Trinity improved to 9-5. The Pioneers won the first four games (1981-84).
Manchester West has a 6-9 record in the game. West's last victory came in 2007, when it beat Central 19-13.
Manchester Memorial is 0-7. Six of its seven losses came against Central. Memorial also dropped a 28-16 decision to Trinity in the 1991 game.
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Roger Brown may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.