Injuries continue to mount for Tornados, who drop to 0-3 to start season
By Steve Freker
If there were any insurance adjusters in the house at Macdonald Stadium in Malden Friday night, they would have signed off as a total loss for the Golden Tornado football squad in a 36-13 defeat at the hands of the visiting out-of-stater Alvirne Broncos.
Not only did Malden High football (0-3) sustain its third straight entry in the loss column to start the season, the Tornados also lost the services of one of their key players for the remainder of the season.
Down 21-6 in the second quarter, Malden two-way lineman and starting offensive center Christian Cassion went down in a heap after making a block.
It did not look good from the get-go for the 5-11, 295-lb. junior and Malden’s worst fears were confirmed later at the hospital when Cassion was ruled to have a dislocated and fractured ankle, requiring surgery that was scheduled to be performed this week.
“It is a tough loss for sure,” said Malden High third-year head coach Witche Exilhomme, who saw his sixth offensive starter get knocked out of the game and sidelined since the season started. “He (Cassion) had worked hard in the offseason to be prepared to win a starting position and that’s exactly what he did.
“It’s been an extremely long year already with all of our injuries, but we have to pull together, face this adversity and respond. Our schedule goes on, regardless of our hardships,” Coach Exilhomme said.
Malden is also down four or five starters on the defensive side of the ball due to injuries and a combination of a lack of experience and some plain old bad luck added up to a rough start for the Tornados. They never really recovered.
It was the home opener for Malden after two straight road losses to start the season and combination of great, early autumn weather and a decent home crowd looked like it would spark the Tornados to a big night.
Alvirne, which is in Hudson, N.H.threw a blanket on that aspiring fire early on, as the Broncos used a methodical running game to eat up both yards and clock time on their way to a quick, 14-0 lead after the first quarter.
Alvirne running back Aiden Mills ran for 116 yards and two touchdowns to help Alvirne lift its record to 2-2 overall (1-2 New Hampshire Interscholastic AA).
The Broncos received a 1-yard TD run from Sean Boudreau, a 16-yard TD run from Jonavan Santana and also scored when Cam Porter recovered a fumble in the end zone.
Malden fell behind 14-0 after the first quarter and was down, 21-0, before junior quarterback Aidan Brett hooked up with senior Gabriel Vargas Cardoso for a 40-yard touchdown pass across the middle.
Alvirne managed another touchdown before halftime to go ahead 29-6.
Down 36-6 in the fourth quarter Malden scored its final points when freshman quarterback Ryan Bowdridge threw a 23-yard TD pass to Cardoso, the Tornado senior’s third touchdown catch of the season and Bowdridge’s second scoring pass of the year.
Another highlight of the game was the defensive work of Malden High senior safety Felix Junior Da Costa.
Da Costa, who is Malden’s leading tackler for the season, made 11 tackles, had 3 assists and 2 pass breakups. For the season, Da Costa has 28 tackles and 11 assists.
EXTRA POINTS— Malden is now gearing up for its Greater Boston League (GBL) opener and second consecutive home game tonight at 6:00 p.m. when Somerville High (0-3) comes to town. Somerville has dropped its first three games as well, 42-8 to Gloucester and then GBL losses to Everett (59-0) and Lynn Classical (44-0). Somerville’s first two games were on the road and last week’s game was at Dilboy Stadium in Somerville…. After tonight’s game, Malden heads back on the road next Friday, October 6 for a 7:30 p.m. game at Manning Field, Lynn versus host Lynn Classical….. Malden hosts Lynn English on a rare Thursday night game on October 12 at 6:00 p.m. and then another home game on Friday, October 20 versus another GBL rival, Everett at 6:00 p.m.
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