MANCHESTER, New Hampshire— If you look at the table, 2022 was a difficult football season at Central and Memorial, but nobody let on on Thursday. Instead, the focus was on reviving tradition and a battle for Queen City’s bragging rights as the city’s rivals met again at the culmination of their two seasons in the latest edition of Manchester’s Turkey Bowl.
Central eventually prevailed 14-7, although it was a result that could have varied wildly given the competition’s turnovers and otherwise missed opportunities. Sophomore quarterback Caydin Salvi recorded the only first-half touchdown for both teams with a nine-yard run that gave Central a lead they wouldn’t give up.
The Little Green got his second result from a 22-yard run by senior Kdin Preston with just over four minutes in contention, and Memorial responded with just under two minutes to go when junior Connor McFarland shot from 16 yards with fellow junior Ethan Vilgrain Association .
Memorial failed to regain the ball after an onside kick following his goal, and Preston responded with three rushes to end the game in what ultimately became a first.
In addition to the touchdown, Preston grabbed an interception that stopped a promising Memorial drive and ended with 89 rushing yards for the day. Still, he had nothing but praise for his rivals in town.
“It was a good game, (Memorial) came out harder than I thought and I felt like they stopped my run,” he said. “They came out really hard but I think we just wanted it more.”
“I’m just tired and can’t wait to eat turkey,” he added.
Preston’s pick was one of three that day from McLaughlin as Memorial struggled to compensate for injuries to his usual offensive arms.
“It’s hard to replace great players like Martin (Alisandro) and (Collin) Beaulieu at the top,” said Memorial head coach Rob Sturgis. “Since they didn’t have them and were trying to replace them with some youngsters, they played as hard as they could but they just weren’t ready yet. This is a different game. It’s not your normal college game. It’s a rivalry game. It’s another level of physicality.”
Central also lost a fumble, but in the end it didn’t matter as Central and Memorial both ended their seasons with back-to-back wins.
Central Head Coach Ryan Ray was understandably satisfied with the result, even if it was impossible to predict, taking part in the competition, praising Sturgis and his staff.
“They’re good, we’ve watched a lot of movies about them in the last two and a half weeks and they’re dangerous,” he said. “They work hard and will be at the top sooner rather than later, that’s for sure. I wasn’t sure if we could beat them. If you had told us three days ago that we were going to win 14-7, I would be very upset because we didn’t take Memorial lightly.”