The Malden High School Golden Tornado and the Medford Mustangs add another chapter to one of the most historic high school football games on Thanksgiving, with a victory score of 59-36. The Malden boys soak up the triumph and take home the trophy. Senior Mack Brunot expressed that “bringing back the trophy to the den was the only way to end the season. [They] had our ups and downs during the season, but [they] played the game with everything [the team] had and left everything on the field.”
The game was held on November 25th, 2015 at Hormel Stadium, in Medford, Massachusetts. The day before, MHS held its annual pep rally. The pep rally’s chants of “Go Malden Beat Medford” resounded throughout the gym and helped to keep the boys’ minds focused on the match ahead.
During halftime, head coach Joseph Papagallo made a shocking announcement. The 6-year MHS football coach veteran had decided to retire. “[The boys] had an idea that [the coach] was leaving so [they were not completely] shocked when [he] announced that at halftime during the Thanksgiving game. [Coach] is just glad that [he] was able to accomplish being a Greater Boston League champ with us! Something that hasn't been done in malden for a long time” explained senior captain Danley Exilhomme. “He was an amazing coach. He led us to victory against great teams” said senior Deven Kelley. The seniors were glad that they were able to spend their last high school football experience with him.
Malden was able to score the most points ever on Thanksgiving. In addition, the Golden Tornadoes’ defense was able to score 4 touchdowns in the 1st half as sophomore Jared Martino and senior Lincoln Ibanda returned fumbles and Danley Exilhomme picked off 2 passes and ran them back for touchdowns. Senior captain Djorggenson Exilhomme had 3 rushing TDs.
The 2015 Golden Tornadoes are one of only 10 teams ever who have defeated Somerville, Everett and Medford in the same season. Brothers Danley and DJ Exilhomme broke the most touchdowns scored by siblings record and scored the most points during the history of the Malden Vs. Medford Thanksgiving game history. “It was a very special day and a great way to end our high school careers” confessed Danley Exilhomme. “That was probably one of our best team wins. Everyone contributed and it was really special. The only thing [he’d] change is the length of the quarters to keep balling with [his] boys,” he continued.
Although the game was their very last for the senior boys, the season was one of hard work and talent. With the confidence to win, the boys knew that they could succeed. Brunot explained “[they] went into the game with the same mentality [they] went with in the Everett game. [They] took everything personal because [they] knew how much change this would bring to [their] community.”
MHS is truly proud of its boys and wishes the team all the best as they regroup under a new head coach next season and for their future Thanksgiving games.