The 2017 versions of the Danvers and Gloucester football teams have a lot in common. Both depend on their physicality to win games, both had a 5-2 regular season and both earned a No. 6 seed in their respective playoff brackets. So on Thanksgiving morning, the clash between these two longtime rivals should certainly be something to behold.
“Danvers is a good team that likes to line up and play physical,” said Gloucester coach Tony Zerilli. “They’ve been that way for a while now, and they’re going to be a challenge. The more physical team will win, which is usually the case when these two teams meet.”
The Falcons (6-4) are the current holders of bragging rights, having won last year’s meeting 41-27. Danvers also advanced a bit further in the playoffs this year with a trip to the Division 3 North semifinals after getting revenge on Lynn Classical in the first round. But after getting eliminated by Tewksbury in the playoffs and then dropping a game to Billerica, the Falcons are looking to end the year on a winning note.
Gloucester (6-4) earned a No. 6 seed in the Division 4 North playoffs this year, but was eliminated in the first round by a strong Wilmington team. The hangover from that loss appeared to extend into last week’s game against Swampscott, where Gloucester committed five turnovers, but the Fishermen were able to pull out a late 30-27 win. Now, it’s all about beating Danvers.
“Obviously you want to send the seniors out on a high note, and there’s a matter of pride in winning the Thanksgiving game,” Zerilli said. “Danvers has made it tough for us over the last five years or so, and I expect nothing less when we kick off on Thursday.”
Danvers and Gloucester will kick off at 10 a.m. on Thanksgiving morning at Newell Stadium in Gloucester. It should be noted that the home team has won in each of the last four Thanksgiving matchups between the Falcons and the Fishermen.