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Both high school football teams in Arlington came into the Thanksgiving Day game with hopes high. Only one was rewarded -- Arlington Catholic was the victor over Arlington High, 26-14.
The Spy Ponders were on an upswing, having beaten Belmont, 21-7, on Nov. 9.
The Cougars struggled through the season, suffering eight straight losses before beating Archbishop Williams, 36-18. They lost to Bishop Fenwick, 24-13, on Nov. 10.
The AHS hopes crashed down at Peirce Field on Thanksgiving Day as AC scored 13 points in the second half, erasing a Spy Ponder halftime edge.
Junior Kyle Bairos caught a 25-yard touchdown pass from quarterback J.P. Whelan in the third quarter. The Cougars scored again in the fourth as senior David Flett ran it in from the 2.
In the first half, Arlington High get scores from junior Seth Coiley, on a 3-yard run, and senior Matt Garcia caught a 41-yard touchdown pass from Coiley.
AHS ends its season 3-8.
AC went 2-9.
"I thought we did a decent job in the first half, scoring twice and going into the locker room up 14-13," head Coach John Dubzinski wrote in an email Nov. 26.
"Seth Coiley had a huge throw for a touchdown to Matt Garcia. Coiley also scored on a 4th and goal from the 3.
"Frank Roche and Jayson Witt ran the ball very well."
Then came the second half.
"I do not know what it was, but we just didn't play well at all. Give AC credit, they did a great job in the second half.
"I thought there were two scenarios that killed us -- the long pass off the reverse that gave them the ball on the 2 in the third quarter. I thought that was big because the play before we had a huge sack for a 10-yard loss.
"The other situation that hurt us was when Frank Roche had a great punt return down to their 25. We got one first down but were stopped short of scoring. It seems like our kids had a hard time responding after that play."
It is time to look ahead.
"It was a very frustrating loss for the kids and coaches. We do know bringing nine starters on offense and 10 on defense will give us a a tremendous amount of experience coming back next year. We told the kids after the game that these past 2 seasons will serve as building blocks for the program.
Coiley had 102 yards passing with 1 Passing TD and 1 rushing TD
Matt Garcia had 3 catches for 55 yards and a touchdown.