The East Boston High School football team needed to defeat South in its annual holiday tilt to put a winning season in the record books.
It was mission accomplished for head coach John Parziale’s determined Jets, who bested Southie, 16-0, in the 99th meeting between the two teams at White Stadium. Eastie finishes its 2017 campaign with a 6-4 record.
Brandon Ortega was the star among stars for East Boston as the senior running back scored two touchdowns and rushed for 105 yards in the game.
Ortega accounted for all eight of Eastie’s points in the first quarter with a one-yard touchdown run and a two-point conversion. The talented, 5-foot-9-inch, 160-pound team leader continued his powerful running with a 13-yard touchdown run in the second quarter.
Eastie quarterback Dom Russo completed a pass to Matt Findlay for a two-point, expanding the Jets’ lead to 16-0.
The Eastie defense maintained its shutout in the second half, with Richard Bynum (fumble recovery) and Kasey Vasquez (interception) making big plays to nail down the victory.
East Boston back Angelo Blake also contributed to the Jets’ potent running game.
Next year there should be plenty of hype and hoopla surrounding the 100th Eastie-Southie Thanksgiving Game. Many alumni from both schools will be returning for the game, which is one of the state’s oldest holiday rivalries.
One of those alumni will be Brandon Ortega, who put on a show in his final appearance in an EBHS football uniform.