By Jack Morrison ‘23

Last Wednesday, Brother Rice hosted their third annual Turkey Bowl. With 28 teams ready to compete for first place, it was destined to be a good time.

The first round was full of many upsets, the biggest being Team Mendoza taking down Team Marcus Brown. Many people had Team Marcus Brown going all the way to the championship and taking it all. But, Team Mendoza had other plans. With big performances from Mikey Santos and Roman Harris, Team Mendoza came away with a gritty win.

Mikey Santos said, “You know we just had more pride and passion. Everyone doubted us, but we didn’t let that get to us. Did this for our families and friends but more importantly for our country of Mexico. I love outworking those who think everything is going to come easy; this was just the first win though; we ain’t done yet.”

The second round was kicked off with a big matchup between Team Nevils and Team Marshall. Team Marshall was led by Leo Niksic who had great quarterback play. Team Nevils struggled on the defensive end and failed to contain Niksic. Niksic relied heavily on Nolan Smith to go up and make plays, and Smith stepped up to the plate. Team Marshall was able to walk away with a big win over Team Nevils.

When asked about his connection with Nolan Smith, Leo Niksic said, “We’ve been waiting for this moment our entire lives. When we were younger, many people called us Brady and Edelman when it came to backyard football. I’m going to keep finding Nolan, and I know he will continue to make big time plays for us.”

Round three had arguably the best game of the night, with a matchup between Team Love and Team Rutledge. With both offenses on fire, defense was nonexistent in this game. The game was tied at the end of regulation and went to 1-on-1’s to decide the winner. Donovan Brown and Tommy Sloyan had lockdown defense, and it was brought to a game of rock, paper, scissors. Kris Love went with paper and Robbie Rutledge went with scissors.

Robbie Rutledge said, “They thought they were tough because they had BOOM jerseys on. BOOM was very weak in my opinion. To all the kids out there thinking about playing for BOOM, I recommend not to.”

The semi games were both blow outs. Team Klinger matched up against Team Williamson. With Chris Stajszczak leading the way, Team Williamson came out with a hot start. After scoring easily on the first drive, Team Williamson was looking promising, but Sam Klinger and Owen Lyons had other plans and carried their team to a victory. After their first touchdown, Team Williamson struggled to move the ball. Team Klinger walked away with the win and was headed to the championship.

Sam Klinger said, “I love the game; I truly do, man. When I am out here competing I feel as if nothing and no one can stop me. It seemed like their game plan was to get in my head, but I blocked out all the chirps. I love the feeling of sending Chris Stajszczak home, and I hope he cries.”

The championship game was here, and Team Klinger was matched up against Team Marshall. It was a defensive battle to start, but soon Team Klinger started to click on offense. However, Team Marshall was right there with them. With time running out, Team Marshall tied the game up to head to overtime. In overtime, Connor Lyons refused to let his team lose as he made play after play. Team Klinger walked away with the win and was crowned Turkey Bowl champs.

Connor Lyons said, “It feels great to be crowned champion, and it feels even better knowing that it was against Leo. The game comes naturally to me, and I put myself in position to make plays. Leo will say they should have won, but he knows that he is my son.”