Sports: Belmont Football Snowed In By Watertown, 34-13, on Thanksgiving

Belmont High School’s Harris Field was covered with a sheet of snow with only the yard lines and the Marauder mascot dug out in preparation for the frigid start to the 94th annual Thanksgiving Day football match with Watertown High School.

And for most of the game, the boys from Belmont could not shake off their equally cold start as the Marauders did not have an answer to Watertown’s down-hill running and swarming defense which dominated the first half of the game.

Despite playing the Red Raiders even in the final 22 minutes, Belmont (3-8) lost for the third year in a row to the Red Raiders, 34-13, before the largest crowd of the season.

“That was a great Watertown team and we have no reason to hang our heads,” said Belmont Head Coach Yann Kumin, whose first year at the helm saw the Marauders break a winless streak at home and for total games while winning three games in a row, the longest winning streak in close to a decade.

A pair of plays highlighted Belmont’s turkey day just before and after halftime. After Belmont’s defense stopped Watertown on the Belmont’s 10 yard line on fourth down, senior co-captain and running back Max Jones darted over his favorite right side of the line – behind senior center and co-captain Austin Lutz, senior right tackle Deshawn Frederick and sophomore right guard Justin Arroyan – to outrun the Red Raiders’ defensive backs for a 90 yard touchdown with 2:14 left in the half.

The second big play was a 30-yard strike from sophomore quarterback Cal Christofori to senior wide receiver Jaehmar Paul in the end zone that cut the lead to two possessions at 28-13.

But on the subsequent kickoff, Watertown’s senior running back Austin Farry took Darren Chan’s kickoff and ran straight up the field for an 80 yard touchdown to increase the lead to 21 points after the extra point was missed.

Belmont found itself in a deep hole as Watertown used its strong running game led by Farry, sophomore running back Zachary Rimsa and senior quarterback Nick Giordano to run out to a 21-0 lead midway through the second quarter.

The Watertown defense focused its attention on stopping Jones who had an all-star caliber in the final three games with 10 touchdowns and nearly 600 yards rushing. Forced to pass due to Watertown’s emphasis on halting the run, Christofori was intercepted on his second attempt as Belmont trailed 7-0 leading to the Red Raiders’ second touchdown in the first quarter.

Belmont’s defense came to life as Watertown drove deep into the Marauders territory late in the second quarter. Led by good defensive plays by senior inside linebacker Marco Perrone and senior outside linebacker Bryce Christian as well as a diving tackle on fourth down by sophomore Ben Jones, Belmont took possession from Watertown. The next play was the scamper by Jones’ older brother.

But the defense could not stop Watertown from scoring the last of the four first half touchdowns just 70 seconds after Jones’ TD.

“We couldn’t stop [Watertown] when we got it down to 14 points despite grabbing the momentum,” said Kumin.

In the second quarter, Belmont’s defense were more assertive, including recovering a pair of fumbles. And while the offense did have a few flashes of inspiration – specifically junior running back Mekhai Johnson‘s nifty 20 yard run in the fourth quarter – Belmont tripped themselves up with an interception that was tipped three times before falling into the arms of a Watertown defensive back and being flagged for intentional grounding 30 seconds after the play after the Watertown coaching staff lobbied for that infraction to be called.

In the end, at the final huddle of the year after the game, Kumin praised his departing seniors briefly “because if I do it out here I’ll just start crying. I’m so damn proud of you.”

“I say it every week. They came to practice each day with purpose and dedication. They could have easily packed it in but they never did. I don’t know if I could have done it, but they did,” said Kumin.

For the new head coach and his staff, the next 10 days will be away from watching films, discussing strategy and motivating young players.

“But we’ll be in the weight room [on Monday, Dec. 8] preparing for next season,” he said.

Belmont Savings’ Pilgrim Bob Deposited Turkeys at Local Branches

Photo: Belmont Savings’ CEO and “Pilgrim” Bob Mahoney presenting a turkey to Pam Karalis, Belmont Center Branch Manager, on Monday, Nov. 24. 

I guess the turkey costume was just a bit encumbering.

This year, Belmont Savings Bank President and CEO Bob Mahoney took his annual in-holiday-costume Thanksgiving tour of the bank’s branches in Belmont, Waltham, Watertown, Cambridge and Newton as a Plymouth Pilgrim as he delivered turkeys to employees for the holiday.

This year the bank partnered with the “Turkey Brigade,” a sub-committee of Thom Child & Family Services in Waltham. The Turkey Brigade will be receiving 20 turkeys donated from our Bank colleagues and our grocery store partners at Star Market/Shaws, providing Thanksgiving meals to families in need.

Belmont Fire: Don’t Get Burned on Thanksgiving

Several times in the past month, Belmont Fire Department crews have been sent to homes to put out smokey fires that started from a homeowner who took their eyes off the stovetop or oven as they prepared a meal. Nationwide, cooking caused 43 percent of reported home fires, according to the National Fire Protection Association.

On Thanksgiving, a cooking fire is three times more likely to occur than on any other day of the year

“Most fires on Thanksgiving occur between noon and 4 p.m.; the peak cooking hours,” says Belmont Fire Chief David Frizzell.

“A lot of those fires can be easily avoided by staying alert and in the kitchen while cooking,” he said.

Here are some common sense take aways about Thanksgiving Day fires:

  • Many home cooking fires are caused by unattended equipment, abandoned material, a heat source left too close to flammable materials, product misuse and cooking equipment that is not properly turned off.
  • The use of turkey fryers – which use a large amount of cooking oil at high temperatures – also poses a significant danger and can lead to devastating burns, other injuries and the destruction of property.
  • If you have a cooking fire, go outside and call 9-1-1 for help. Do not try to fight the fire yourself.
  • Thanksgiving is also a high time for cooking related burns. To prevent scalds and burns, cook on back burners and make sure all pot handles are turned inward so children don’t come into contact with them. Appliances that get hot, such as toaster ovens, should also be well out of a child’s reach. Have a “kid-free zone” of at least three feet around the stove and areas where hot food or drinks are prepared or carried.

This Week: Stringarama Monday, Turkey Day Game, a Pair of Holiday Fairs

• No, it’s not a convention of physicists discussing string theory; it’s all about string players as student musicians ranging from elementary school through 12th grade will participate in the 40th annual Stingarama taking place  Monday, Nov. 24, at 7 p.m. at the Belmont High School auditorium. The ensembles will be under the direction of Margot Reavey and Laura Messina.

• Music & Movement with Rubi, a movement and music program recommended for ages 3 to 5 (but 2 year olds are welcome) will be held in the Flett Room on Monday, Nov. 17.  There will be two sessions: 9:30 a.m. and 10:30 a.m.

• A joint meeting of the Belmont Municipal Light Board (made up of the Belmont Board of Selectmen) and the Municipal Light Advisory Board will convene on Monday, Nov. 24, at 11 a.m. at the Beech Street Center to discuss and possibly vote on solar distributed generation, a plan which would essentially provide a subsidy to residents who invest in and maintain solar energy systems that are connected to the Belmont Light distribution grid. If the gang does not vote on Monday, the Light Board meets again on Tuesday, Nov. 25 

• Pre-School Storytime will be held at the Benton Library, Belmont’s independent and volunteer run library, on Tuesday, Nov. 24 at 10:30 a.m. Stories and crafts for children age 3 to 5. Parents or caregivers must attend. Siblings may attend with adults. Registration is not required. The Benton Library is located at the intersection of Oakley and Old Middlesex.

Belmont resident and Civil War expert Al Smith comes to the Beech Street Center to tell the story,Abraham Lincoln: The Final Funeral” on Tuesday, Nov. 25, 1:15 p.m. to 2:15 p.m. The tragic assassination and burial of our 16th President contains elements of mystery, romance, and even comedy. He passed away the day after he was shot on April 14, 1865, but he did not enter his final resting place until 35 years later; Sept. 25, 1901.

• For anyone – investors, advertisers, competitors – seeking a bit more information about businesses, the Belmont Public Library is holding “Mind Your Business! Introduction to ReferenceUSA and Business Insights: Essentials Databases in the Library’s Assembly Room on Tuesday, Nov. 25 from 7 p.m. to 7:45 p.m. It’s a chance to learn how to make lists of businesses using ReferenceUSA and perform company research.

• The annual Thanksgiving Day Football Game between Belmont and Watertown high schools is back at Harris Field for this year’s match as the Marauders (3-7) under first-year head coach Yann Kumin take their three-game winning streak against the 8-2 Red Raiders. The game starts at 10 a.m. on Thursday, Nov. 27. Game day tickets are $8.

• Belmont is a great small business town. This Saturday, it’s time to give back. Since 2010, Small Business Saturday has been helping small businesses do more business a day after Black Friday. Don’t forget that twice as much of each dollar spent at a local shop or restaurant stays within the town in wages, taxes and money spent on goods. 

There will be a pair of holiday craft fairs this weekend:

• The 13th Annual Crafts Fair at the Beech Street Center will take place on Saturday, Nov. 29. More than 40 vendors will be selling gifts, toys, cards, holiday ornaments, dolls, jewelry, scarves, sweaters, quilts, knitted goods, and other hand-crafted items, many of them one-of-a-kind. Sponsored by the Friends of the Belmont Council on Aging, the proceeds from table rentals and sale of donated goods go to support the Council on Aging’s programs, services, and scholarships. Cost is $1 – children under 12, free. Public invited.

• The Belmont VFW at 310 Trapelo Road – across from the Belmont Fire Department – is holding the Winter Light Arts Festival on Sunday, Nov. 30 from noon to 4 p.m. Put together by Joanna Brooks and Sharon Nahill of Oak Hill Pottery, there will be works by sculptors, potters, jewelers, fabric artists, painters, photographers and graphic artists.

Students: Get Your Turkey Game Tickets at the School Store

Tickets are currently on sale at the Belmont High School’s School Store for the annual Belmont v. Watertown Thanksgiving Day Football game.

The school store is located in the Belmont High School Café. The store is open from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. But be advised: the store will be closing at 10 a.m. on Wed. Nov. 26th

Pre-sale ticket prices are student $4, adults $6.

All tickets the day of the game are $8.