Roger Brown's First & 10: Motivation aplenty for Central and Trinity in Manchester's annual Turkey Bowl
Quarterback Richie Greely listens to a coach during Central High's Tuesday practice for Trinity in the Turkey Bowl at Gill Stadium in Manchester. (Thomas Roy/Union Leader)
"One of our goals every year is to play in the Thanksgiving Day game and win it," Central coach Ryan Ray said. "I don't think motivation will be a concern for either team."
Trinity's defense will be focused on stopping Central running back Jesiah Wade, who enters the game with 2,204 yards and 28 touchdowns (25 rushing, three receiving). Wade rushed for 556 yards in a regular-season victory over Merrimack. Wade also gained more than 2,000 yards on the ground last season, when he played for Campbell of Litchfield.
Although Trinity prefers to run the ball, senior quarterback Carmen Giampetruzzi has passed for 999 yards and 15 touchdowns this season (11 interceptions). Austin Chambers is the team's leading rusher with 846 yards and 10 touchdowns on 97 carries. Brad Rhoades is next with 811 yards and eight touchdowns on 111 carries.
Ray said Wade will likely play prep school football next season. New Hampton, Tilton, Worcester (Mass.) Academy and Bridgton (Maine) Academy are among the possibilities.
"He could certainly play in college, but I think he has his sights set on a year of prep school." Ray said. "He wants to get bigger, stronger. He feels pretty comfortable going the prep school route.
Today's game will be the 11th time Central and Trinity have met on Thanksgiving. The Pioneers are 7-3 against the Little Green. ... All but one Manchester Turkey Bowl has been played at Gill Stadium. The 2003 game was played at West Memorial Field. ... Trinity will be the "home'' team for today's contest.