Central tops Memorial in 2022 Turkey Bowl

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Turkey Bowl trophy. Photo/Andrew Sylvia

MANCHESTER, N.H. – If one looks at the standings, 2022 was a difficult football season at Central and Memorial, but no one was looking at that on Thursday. Instead, the focus was on a renewal of tradition and a fight for Queen City bragging rights as the cross-town rivals met once again in the culmination of both their seasons in the latest edition of Manchester’s Turkey Bowl.

Central ultimately prevailed, 14-7, although it was a score that could have varied wildly given the contest’s turnovers and otherwise missed opportunities. Sophomore quarterback Caydin Salvi recorded the only touchdown for either team in the first half with a nine-yard run that gave Central a lead they would not relinquish.

The Little Green got its second score from a 22-yard run from senior Kdin Preston with just over four minutes left in the contest, and Memorial responded with just under two minutes left as junior Connor McFarland connected with fellow junior Ethan Vilgrain from 16 yards out.

Memorial could not regain possession from an onside kick following their score and Preston would respond with three rushes to get what ultimately became a game-ending first down.

In addition to the touchdown, Preston nabbed an interception that stopped a promising Memorial drive and finished with 89 rushing yards on the day. Still, he had nothing but praise for his cross-town rivals.

“It was a good game, (Memorial) came out harder than I thought and I felt like they stopped my run,” he said. “They came out really hard, but I guess we just wanted it more.”

“I’m just tired and I can’t wait to eat some turkey,” he added.

Kdin Preston evades tacklers. Photo/Stacey Harrison

Preston’s pick was one of three on the day by McLaughlin, as Memorial struggled to compensate for injuries to its usual set of offensive weapons.

“It’s hard to replace great players like Martin (Alisandro) and (Collin) Beaulieu at the top,” said Memorial Head Coach Rob Sturgis. “Not having them and trying to replace them with a bunch of young guys, they played as hard as they could, but they just weren’t ready yet. This is a different game. It’s not a normal varsity game. It’s a rivalry game. It’s a different level of physicality.”

Central also lost a fumble, but in the end it wouldn’t matter as Central and Memorial finished each finished their season with two wins each.

For Central Head Coach Ryan Ray, the result was understandably satisfying, even it was impossible to predict coming into the contest, praising Sturgis and his staff.

“They’re good, we were watching a lot of film on them over the last two-and-a-half weeks and they are dangerous,” he said. “They are working hard and they’re going to be on top sooner rather than later, that’s for sure. I wasn’t sure we could beat them, if you told us three days ago that we’d win 14-7, I’d be very excited because we didn’t take Memorial lightly.”

Photo/Stacey Harrison

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About this Author

andrewsylvia

Andrew Sylvia

Assistant EditorManchester Ink Link

Born and raised in the Granite State, Andrew Sylvia has written approximately 10,000 pieces over his career for outlets across Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Vermont. On top of that, he's a licensed notary and licensed to sell property, casualty and life insurance, he's been a USSF trained youth soccer and futsal referee for the past six years and he can name over 60 national flags in under 60 seconds according to that flag game app he has on his phone, which makes sense because he also has a bachelor's degree in geography (like Michael Jordan). He can also type over 100 words a minute on a good day.