WARRIOR QUARTERBACK DANA D’AGOSTINO (11) drops back to pass while Rob Cataldo (43) sets out on a pattern. D’Agostino was 12-for-22 for 119 yards and threw for one touchdown, as the Warriors, thanks to a late Jason Farrell touchdown run, downed Melrose, 28-27 in 1995. Wakefield finished its finest season since 1989 with a 9-1 record. (Daily Item File Photo)

Published in the November 19, 2018 edition.

MELROSE — In today’s edition of the Thanksgiving Throwback, we are heading back to 1995 when the Wakefield Warriors continued a Thanksgiving winning streak against Melrose with a back-and-forth, 28-27 victory.

The win was the third in a row on Thanksgiving for Wakefield who won 14 straight from 1993 to 2007.

The 1995 Warriors finished with a 9-1 record, their best season since 1989. They were led by captains Brian Callanan and John Pace.

The following is the headline and part of a game story that appeared in the Daily Item’s Friday, Nov. 24, 1995 edition.

“Warriors have last say in see-saw battle; win 28-27; Farrell’s late touchdown helps Wakefield edge Melrose.”

“You could hardly call the Wakefield High football team the Comeback Kids this season.

After all, they almost never trailed in a game, thanks to a defense that had given up only 32 points in nine games.

But in yesterday’s annual Thanksgiving Day clash with Melrose High School, the Warriors were in a comeback situation. After taking an early 14-0 lead in the first quarter, Melrose stormed back and eventually took a 27-21 lead in the fourth quarter.

With the wind howling and temperatures well below freezing, the Warrior offense began its final drive from its own 33 with 2:20 left, and finished it off with a 14-yard touchdown run by Jason Farrell with 1:06 left.

The 28-27 win allowed Wakefield to finish the season with a superb 9-1 record (8-1 Middlesex League). It is the school’s best season since 1989’s 9-1 record.”

What made this game so unique was its shootout nature considering how dominant Wakefield’s defense was throughout the season. The following is a quote from captain John Pace on the team’s archived page on wakefieldathletics.com.

“We were the most dominant defense the school has seen since the early 1960’s. Going into Thanksgiving we were giving up under four points a game and started the season with 23 straight shutout quarters. In fact, in week 4 against Belmont when we gave up our first touchdown, defensive lineman Tom Sibley, who was an absolute animal, busted through the line on the extra point and blocked it with his midsection he was so upset. Next week we went into Woburn for another shutout with the Jason Farrell show. He put up all 31 points and earned himself High 5 honors on Channel 5 with Mike Lynch.”

Pace went on to recap a battle against Reading for the Middlesex League crown. That was the game before Thanksgiving. It was a defensive grind with the Rockets just coming away with a 6-4 victory.

“The game was an absolute battle and I think all of those who played in it will never forget it,” said Pace. “We ended the season on a winning note beating Melrose in a shootout. Starting our sophomore year, Wakefield did not lose to the Red Raiders until 2007.”