West takes lead

Chung, Falcons top Bolts on Thanksgiving to go up 25-24 in series

Posted 11/29/22

The Falcons out-battled the Thunderbolts 35-26 in the Thanksgiving Game last Thursday morning at Cranston Stadium.

Cranston West senior Marcus Chung topped all scorers with four rushing touchdowns …

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West takes lead

Chung, Falcons top Bolts on Thanksgiving to go up 25-24 in series


The Falcons out-battled the Thunderbolts 35-26 in the Thanksgiving Game last Thursday morning at Cranston Stadium.

Cranston West senior Marcus Chung topped all scorers with four rushing touchdowns while earning the Offensive Most Valuable Player Award for the Falcons.

It was the last game of Chung’s high school career and there’s no doubt he went out with a bang.

“I came in freshman year and we won a lot of games and we were looking good,” Chung explained. “And then, Covid hit. It was a rough two years and we just really wanted to bounce back as a senior group this year.”

So, they dedicated themselves to getting better and they saw results soon after.

“We worked really hard in the offseason and we started grinding out wins and it felt amazing,” Chung said. “Fighting through adversity is something that we worked on and we didn’t execute that in the past, but this year, we really did. Just finishing off my career with a game like this, it’s picture perfect for me. Coach always says, ‘this is the game we’re going to remember’ and obviously, it is.”

Chung has been a huge part of the Falcons squad the last four years and it will be tough for West to see him leave. 

“Marcus has been our guy,” Falcons head coach Tom Milewski said. “He brought us to the semifinals this year. He was our leader on the field, offensively, defensively. I’m glad it ended well for him. I’m glad it ended well for all the seniors this year. But I’m happy for Marcus. He’s worked hard in the offseason to get to that point and he really embraced the leadership role this year.”

It marked the fourth year in a row that West defeated East in the Thanksgiving Game. It was the 49th Turkey Day matchup between the two teams and West now holds a 25-24 advantage after its win.

“We came out today and we battled Cranston East,” Milewski said. “Cranston East kept battling and fighting back. It was just another good football game. It was physical. It was hard. We came out on top and I’m happy for the seniors. I’m happy for the program to get the win and to get us going into the offseason now.”

Milewski believes the program returning back to its normal workout regime helped the team to prepare better this season than it could the two years prior.

“This group of seniors was special because they brought us back this year,” Milewski explained. “In the offseason, we brought back the lifting and all the little things we used to do pre-Covid and they kind of embraced that, and they really took that role, and I think that’s what drove us into our success this season.”

Steven Girouard, a senior, took home the Turkey Day Defensive MVP Award for West.

East was led by senior quarterback Da’Qwon Foster, who tossed four touchdown passes, two to Romeo Cordero, and two to Antonello Lucchetti, both senior wide receivers.

Cordero brought home the Offensive MVP Award for East while Naz Milien took home the Defensive MVP Award.

“They all played well today,” East head coach Isaiah McDaniel said. “We turned the ball over too many times today and gave them too many opportunities to score. I think that’s where we lost the game. We moved the ball all day. We gave it back to them. We didn’t do what we were supposed to do and hold on to it.”

West received the ball first and started at its own 40.

On second down, Chung ran eight yards and brought the ball out to the West 48.

Two plays later, West quarterback Kelan Cornell threw a dart to Chung for a 32-yard gain, to the East 18.

Next, Cornell rushed two times, totaling 16 yards and took the ball to the East 2.

Chung put the Falcons up 6-0, three plays later, when he rushed in a score from a yard out, four minutes into the fourth frame. Then, kicker Jack Majcher added the extra point and that extended the West advantage to 7-0. Majcher made all five of his extra points on the day.

The Falcons added to their cushion, four minutes into the second quarter, after Cornell dumped off a pass to Dimitri LeBlanc, who took it 77-yards down the field to pay dirt and made it 14-0.

“Dimitri has been one of our superstars on offense too,” Milewski said. “He had some nice runs today. He’s had some solid plays all season. Both sides of the ball. He’s been pretty solid on defense for us too, along with offensively. He’s a weapon. He works hard in practice and he’s a pretty unselfish player, which is great to see.”

The ‘Bolts got within 14-6, with 1:35 remaining in the first half, when on a fourth-and-17, Foster tossed a dime through the middle to Lucchetti, who brought it into the end zone for a 20-yard touchdown. Kicker Aryan Tanwar missed the extra point attempt after that, however.

Midway through the third quarter, West senior defensive back Hudson Carvalho intercepted one of Foster’s passes and returned the ball to the East 46.

Then, on the very next play, Chung rushed right for a 41-yard touchdown and increased the Falcons buffer to 21-6. 

East got as far as the West 40 on its next possession before fumbling the ball, and it was recovered by Jared Parent, a West junior offensive lineman.

Six plays later, Chung started the fourth quarter with a 20-yard rushing touchdown, and it ballooned the Falcons cushion to 28-6.

The ‘Bolts cut their deficit to 28-12, early in the fourth frame, when on a third-and-goal, Foster tossed a 17-yard touchdown pass to Lucchetti. East failed the two-point conversion attempt after that.

But with 6:13 remaining, West increased its advantage to 35-12 after Chung rushed left 16 yards for his fourth touchdown.

Still, the ‘Bolts refused to go away.

“If there’s anything this team’s going to do, it’s going to fight till the last minute,” McDaniel said. “If there’s one thing our kids know how to do, it’s fight. They never give up.”

Foster responded with a 30-yard touchdown pass to Cordero, two plays into the ‘Bolts ensuing possession, and it got East within 35-18.

Then, with 3:39 left, Foster heaved a 51-yard touchdown pass to Cordero and it pulled the ‘Bolts within 35-24. Next, Peyton Ginolfi, a captain, rushed up the gut for the two-point conversion and inched East within 35-26.


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