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Sachems heavy underdog in annual Thanksgiving game

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  This year’s Thanksgiving Day matchup between the Saugus Sachems and the Peabody Tanners will pit two teams that have gone through very different high school football seasons. The Sachems have struggled to a 1-9 record while the Tanners have experienced the flipside of that, going 9-1.

  As a result, Peabody is the clear favorite entering this year’s annual Turkey Day clash, which will take place at Christie Serino Jr. Stadium (scheduled 10 a.m. kickoff). It will be the inaugural Thanksgiving Day contest at Saugus’s recently-opened new venue.

  In recent years, the Tanners have dominated the series, winning the last eight times the two squads have faced each other. One of those contests was in the spring of 2021, when an abbreviated schedule of games took place to make up for the 2020 fall season, which was cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

  Saugus last emerged victorious in 2013 when it came out on top by a 25-14 score. Peabody currently holds a 47-28 lead in the Thanksgiving Day games (not counting the 2021 spring contest). The Tanners won by a 41-6 margin last year and are likely seeking another convincing win over a Saugus program that has tallied just one win in the last two years.

  That one triumph came in Saugus’s most recent game at Whittier Tech. The Sachems pulled out to a 21-6 lead after three periods before holding on in the final quarter to come away with a 21-20 victory. Led by quarterback Cam Preston, who has thrown five touchdown passes in the last two games, receiver Isaiah Rodriguez and running back Tommy DeSimone, the Sachems have played better over the second half of the season. They’ve averaged over 20 points a game on offense.

  The Sachems’ defense, led by linebackers Braden Faiella and Jaiden Smith, will have its hands more than full trying to contain a Peabody offense, led by quarterback Shea Lynch, that has averaged over 40 points per game. The Tanners were unbeaten and had high hopes entering the state Div. 2 playoff tournament a few weeks back. But the tables turned on Peabody as it gave up 49 points in a first-round loss to Bishop Feehan.

Saugus quarterback Cam Preston looked for running room during last Saturday’s preseason scrimmage against Newburyport.
Sachems Head Coach Steve Cummings called out instructions during Saturday’s scrimmage against Newburyport.

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