WEST NEWBURY — The Pentucket football team will look to continue on the winning path on Thanksgiving, adding to its vast success against Triton recently and historically.
Thirty-eight times the Sachems have taken on the Triton Vikings on the morning of Thanksgiving. Of those, the Pentucket Sachems enjoyed a happy holiday 23 times. In the past 10 Turkey Day match-ups, Pentucket won eight, including the last three meetings. Other than its recent success against Triton in late November, Pentucket was also successful earlier this season against Triton, winning 19-13.
Last season, Pentucket enjoyed its Thanksgiving turkey after manhandling Triton 40-12 in a game in which then-senior running back Cody Rothwell found the end zone three times, rushing for 252 yards and capping his season with more than 2,019 rushing yards.
This begs the question: Do the Sachems feel that they have Triton’s number?
“Not at all,” Pentucket coach Steve Hayden said. “Our kids know that this is going to be a tough game. Our kids will show up, as we know Triton’s kids will show up.”
Hayden is no stranger to facing Triton on Thanksgiving, as this is his 32nd season as the Pentucket head coach. Hayden currently has 191 wins and owns an impressive 76.4 winning percentage.
The Sachems fought their way to a 7-2 record this season and earned the Cape Ann League Kinney Division title. While getting off to a strong start, beginning 5-0 and not losing until Oct. 25, Pentucket has since gone 2-2 including a tough-fought loss to Bedford in last week’s second round playoff bout.
While seeing your season come to an abrupt end before Thanksgiving is a possibility due to this year’s unique playoff scheme, gearing up for a rivalry game may not have the same luster. Hayden has chosen to lead his team with the understanding that it was just another loss, and looking to rebound is no different than it has been all season.