Malden Wins Homecoming Game Against Lynn English

Shuyi Chen also contributed to this article.

Despite a grueling, injury-riddled start to the season, Malden Football trotted onto the field for their senior night against the Lynn English Bulldogs. They rallied behind each other and looked like a brand-new team for the majority of the game. By the time the clock hit zero, the Golden Tornados had claimed their second win of the season, 21-14.

They entered the game with a 1-3 record (1-1 GBL), earning a victory against Somerville by two scores in late September. After a loss to Lynn Classical on the road, the team needed a senior night spark to get back on track before their matchup with Everett a week later.

Malden has nine seniors on their roster this year: Gabriel Vargas-Cardoso, Davian Mcguffie, Xavier Coulanges-Blaise, Felix DaCosta, Robert Schulz, Karl Lange, Damien Josaphat, Jerrell Calixte, and Joey Fils. They have all been extremely important in holding the team together.

The Bulldogs received the kickoff to begin the game and drove all the way down the field, threatening to score. That was until Malden knocked the ball free and recovered at the two-yard-line for a momentum-shifting turnover. While they would punt on the drive, Lynn English punted back on the next one.

In bad field position once again, freshman quarterback Ryan Bowdridge surveyed his options. He glanced to his right and saw junior receiver and former quarterback Aidan Brett streaking down the field with no defender in sight. Brett sprinted to the corner of the endzone before stumbling and diving just short of the goal line with a tackler at his back. Regardless, McGuffie bulldozed his way into the endzone from two yards out for the first score of the game.

The second quarter began with another Bulldog punt that set the Golden Tornados up with good field position. It seemed as if they were ready to capitalize, but a risky throw to the endzone was intercepted inside the five-yard line. The rest of the quarter was filled with sloppy offensive play, with both teams turning the ball over. Although Malden got the ball back with 25 seconds left in the half at their own 43-yard-line, they came up empty and entered the locker room with a 7-0 lead.

During halftime, multiple ceremonies were conducted. First, the cheerleading team put on their performance. Next, the homecoming courts were announced for each grade, and walked across the field. Finally, the Golden Tornado Club inducted new members into the Hall of Fame, including coach Joe Levine, coach Dana Brown, and the 2012 Malden High School softball team that qualified for the state finals.


The second half began with a Malden punt that sophomore Matthew Candelario-DaCosta hustled for and downed inside the ten-yard line. Both coaches and teammates were excited about the young player’s effort. That field position ended up being important when Lynn English fumbled in a crucial spot for the second time. The Golden Tornados picked it up and quickly scored on Matheus Brito’s ten-yard carry, growing the lead to 14-0.

A sack from Hyppolite forced another Bulldog punt, but Malden struggled to do anything different. The 4th quarter began with a strong drive from Lynn English. Soon after, their quarterback rushed in to cut the deficit in half. Fortunately, the Golden Tornados responded quickly. An excellent display of confidence brought Malden into the red zone. As they crept closer, Mcguffie was given the ball again and ran in for his second touchdown of the night.

Up 21-7, Lynn English needed a quick score to stay in the game. They nearly got that but turned it over on downs at the Malden 22-yard-line. Forced to punt, Cardoso-Vargas did not get it off and the Bulldogs recovered the block in the end zone for another touchdown. Just like that, the advantage was 21-14.

The next possession would not bode well for Malden either as Brett was brought in for a pooch punt. Lynn English would have one final chance to tie the game with 1:47 remaining at their own 24-yard-line. A few short completions added up quickly and the field was nearly flipped. A huge completion gave the Bulldogs 23 seconds to move 32 yards into the end zone.

With little time remaining, the next option was to throw up a prayer into the endzone. And so, they did. However, each one fell incomplete before the 4th and 10 throw sailed into the ground

as the clock reached zero. Malden had just barely held on to the 21-14 victory.

“I’m feeling great,” stated Bowdridge. “We’re ready to go into Everett, that’s what we are looking forward to.” The victory was very important to have under their belt before approaching a team that has crushed every conference opponent in their path so far this year.

Brett was excited about the outcome. “I wish I had scored on that play, but besides that, we did a great job. We played well-rounded and didn’t make a lot of mistakes that we have in the past, especially the defense.” He also mentioned that he is feeling “more comfortable” in a receiver position that he took on just a few weeks ago.

Candelario-DaCosta brought up his joy about downing the punt. “It felt really good to just help the team win an important game. It’s all about hustle, and I am happy that I used that hustle to help us win the game.”

Another big piece of the game was Bowdridge’s ability to scramble outside of the pocket for yards and protect himself in the process. “I’ve worked on a lot of that in practice, just running our scout offense on our first defense. It has given me a lot of experience through hard work.”

At the time of publishing, Malden dropped their next game to Everett. Their second to last regular season matchup will be in Revere on October 27th before traveling to Hormel Stadium in Medford on Thanksgiving morning.

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