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The Advocate ranks the Top Ten Most Memorable Malden-Medford Thanksgiving Games of All-Time

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  The Advocate has researched the extensive Malden-Medford Thanksgiving Day history and compiled a list of what we think are the TOP 10 MOST MEMORABLE GAMES of all time.

  #10 – MALDEN 42, MEDFORD 15 (November 26, 1974): Malden routs Medford, 42-15, at Pearl Street Stadium for second-year Head Coach Paul Finn’s first Turkey Day win of his 26-year career and a share of the first Greater Boston League title since 1969. Golden Tornados Co-Captain Jeff Sullivan rushed for 130 yards and scored two touchdowns; John Stanasek passed for two TDs and four conversion points; John Ruelle had a touchdown and a two-point conversion; Mark Burns, Paul Coleman and junior Steve DeFilippis scored TDs; Steve Carlan netted a two-point conversion; and Shawn Brickman kicked two PATs. All-Scholastic Co-Captain Jack Freker and defensive backs Steve Carpenter and Charlie Russell led the Malden defense.

  TIE @ #9 – MALDEN 59, MEDFORD 36 (November 26, 2015): They went out to a high school football contest, and a Madden NFL Game broke out. Scoring was fast and furious in this as Malden rolled to a 59-36 win, in the highest-scoring game in series history. The win was significant in that it clinched the Tornados’ first GBL Championship since 1988, breaking a 27-year title drought. The Exilhomme Brothers, Danley and DJ, both of whom went on to star at Central Connecticut State University, dominated this one, scoring six TDs between them. Head Coach Joe Pappagallo, who had steered Malden to a dramatic win over Everett (first time since 1992) two weeks earlier, retired after seven years at the helm and a 6-1 coaching record on Thanksgiving Day.


  MALDEN 34, MEDFORD 15 (November 22, 2022): This is only one of two games in this compilation where the Malden win over Medford did not end in either an undefeated Malden season, a Greater Boston League Championship – or both. But hey, let’s face it, they played the game at “Friendly Fenway,” for Game #135 in the most iconic baseball park in the world – and Malden won! The stars of the game were sophomore running back Kevin Exilhomme and junior safety Felix Da Costa. Exilhomme, brother of second-year Malden Head Coach Witche Exilhomme, scored 3 touchdowns on 29 carries for 81 yards – including a 95-yard kickoff return touchdown to open the game. Da Costa returned his third fumble for TD of the season and also had a key interception to stop a Medford drive when the game got close in the 4th quarter, Malden’s 7th straight Turkey Day win tied a series streak record.

  #8 – MALDEN 26, MEDFORD 6 (November 27, 1969): In a scene out of a movie script, senior co-captain Dave Moulton, sidelined with 60 stitches in his head after an automobile accident the night before the game, comes off the bench in the second half and scores two touchdowns to lead Malden to a 26-6 win over Medford – and earn a share the GBL title with Quincy. Malden had trailed, 6-0, at the half, with Moulton relegated to the sidelines in street clothes. In a scene we assure you would never be replicated today, “Moultie” convinced legendary Malden coach Bill Tighe to let him on the field, and he led his team to a win, complete with bloody bandages at the end of the game.

  #7 – Malden 19, Medford 14 (November 28, 1955): Dom Fermano was no stranger to Thanksgiving Day exploits, having scored twice in a Malden win over Medford as a star junior one year previously. In his senior season, with the game and the GBL Championship on the line, Malden trailed, 14-13, with under three minutes to play. Not for long. Fermano took a pitch, found some space and raced 40 yards for a Tornados touchdown, electrifying the crowd and giving Malden the winning points – and the GBL title, with a 19-14 victory.

  #6 – Malden 19, Medford 0 (November 22, 1951): For only the second time in series history, both teams came into the game unbeaten. Malden, at 7-0-1, was not in the running for either a league or Class A State Title. Medford, at 8-0, would share the Class A State Championship and league crown with Weymouth, if the Mustangs prevailed. Malden sent the Mustangs home empty-handed, no longer unbeaten, with a decisive, 19-0 victory. Malden finished with its last undefeated season at 8-0-1, and Weymouth won the league and Class A titles by winning its Thanksgiving game over (get this) Greenfield, Vermont, clinching a perfect 9-0 finish, its 37th straight win, spanning four years.

  TIE @ #5 – Malden 12, Medford 2 (November 26, 1931): A 12-2 win over Medford finishes Malden with its second unbeaten season (9-0-1) and Class A State Co-Championship in three years. Touchdowns by Sam Pashoian and Lloyd Tupper led the way.


  Malden 0, Medford 0 (November 28, 1935): Defensive purists exult! The punting and the leg of Malden’s “Chuckin” Charlie O’Rourke, one of the best quarterbacks to ever wear the Blue and Gold – not his golden arm – and that of Medford Captain Art Wareham dominate in a battle of lines in a 0-0 scoreless tie, the second straight in the series that enables Malden to finish unbeaten (8-0-1) to win the Eastern Mass. Class A State title.

  #4 – Malden 28, Medford 0 (November 26, 1987): Who knew that the series would have the longevity it did possess, all the way up to 100 games? Malden-Medford celebrated in grand style, with commemorative program books and rings for all the participants, and Malden capped one of its best seasons in school history with a 28-0 shutout win, its eighth straight after an Opening Day loss to Melrose, at breezy Hormel Stadium. Malden drove to an undefeated (8-0) Greater Boston League Championship, its first in 12 years, and its best record (9-1) in over 30 years. The game drew a huge crowd and national television coverage by sports commentator Bob Costas. A pregame pep talk to Malden by former Tornados legend Dave Moulton appeared on national TV that day. Lawrence Hicks ran for 118 yards and scored two touchdowns. Bill Roderick passed for 152 yards, including a 46-yard toss to Carmine Cappuccio. Roderick also scored a TD, and J.P. Kelley had an interception for Malden.

  #3 – MALDEN 6, MEDFORD 0 (November 28, 1929): With both teams coming into the game undefeated, an all-time series record crowd of 18,500 inside the fence and an estimated 2,000 to 3,000 outside saw Malden Captain Sam Fishman lead the Golden Tornados to an unbeaten season (9-0-1) and a share of the Eastern Mass. title by returning a punt 55 yards for the only score of the game as Medford (7-1-0) fell by a 6-0 score. Coming just two weeks after the Stock Market Crash, which signaled the start of the Great Depression, this win lifted football fans’ spirits.

  #2 – MALDEN 35, MEDFORD 0 (November 24, 1910): Six different players scored as Malden clinched State and Suburban League titles with its 13th straight victory, 35-0. Malden finished with its best, most wins, only undefeated, untied (13-0-0) season in school history and went on to beat Providence (R.I.) Tech, 29-8, in a postseason game at Bryant Street Park.

  #1 – MALDEN 33, MEDFORD 14 (November 25, 1948): Dan Duggan scored twice and led Gator bowl–bound Malden to a 33-14 win, an unbeaten 9-0-1 record and Class A State Championship in front of a crowd of 12,983 at Municipal Stadium in Malden. The Golden Tornados squad, led by legendary Head Coach Warren McGuirk, would go on to be crowned “National Champs” in the Kiwanis charity game after blanking Robert E. Lee HS, 14-0, in the Gator Bowl in Jacksonville, Fla., Malden’s only football appearance – ever – in a game of this stature.

Hall of famers
HALL of FAMERS: Former longtime Malden High School Football Head Coach Paul Finn (at right) coached in more Malden-Medford games than anyone else in history, from 1973-1998. In the 1980s, he had the pleasure of coaching three Hall of Fame quarterbacks: from left: Chuck Borstel (1986), Billy Roderick (1987) and Steve Monaco (1983, 1984, 1985). (Advocate Photo/Steve Freker)

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