Thanksgiving Previews: Big Blue hope it’s their turn this time

Expectations are high for Swampscott football but seniors Graham Inzana (pictured above) and Ryan January are confident the Big Blue can meet them. (Item File Photo)

Swampscott football coach Bobby Serino doesn’t need to be reminded how many years its been since the Big Blue have defeated Marblehead on Thanksgiving. The Magicians, who defeated Swampscott 35-17 last fall, haven’t lost to the Big Blue since 2012.

“Everyone keeps reminding me of how many years its been since we’ve won it,” Serino said. “The last year we won it was 2012, my son’s (Robert Serino) year and we were 25-point underdogs. You throw the records out. I speak at the Old Timer’s dinner and people remind me how many years it’s been since we’ve won. Thanksgiving’s like a one-game season. I don’t want to be the only coach that hasn’t beaten Marblehead, that’s for sure.”

The Big Blue, who won the Division 5 North sectional title and advanced to the state semifinal earlier this month, know exactly what to expect from the 7-3 Magicians.

“Every year it seems like they reload,” Serino said. “It shouldn’t be anything different. Their talent changes at every position each year. I’m glad there aren’t any Gillises or Marinos on the team this year. I think we match up well with them.

“They have a solid team. (Magicians) Coach (Jim) Rudloff will say he’s weak here or weak there but every year he gets them ready to play us. It doesn’t matter about the playoff system. You put two teams on the field on Thanksgiving and it’s like a championship game every year.”

Offensively, it starts with Big Blue junior quarterback Graham Inzana. A three-sport player who’s also on the school’s basketball and baseball teams, Inzana has emerged as one of the better quarterbacks in the Northeastern Conference. Running back Dylan January does the majority of the damage on the ground and receivers Andrew Augustin, Jonathan Oriakhi and Arturo Vasquez are consistent play makers.

Defensively, Jake Bartram holds down the fort in the trenches. January quarterbacks the defense at the linebacker position with help from Oriakhi. Nick Reiser has come along nicely as of late. Zack Palmer, Inzana and Augustin are the key contributors in the secondary.

“Hopefully it’s not below 50 and it’s not raining,” Serino said. “Other than that, we just can’t turn the ball over. We have to play well in all three phases of the game and we are right now. We’ve gotten better and better each week. We can’t get hyped out because it’s Thanksgiving. If our defense can stay healthy, they’re going to give us a great shot to win.”

Kickoff for Thursday’s game is scheduled for 10 a.m. at Blocksidge Field.

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