Both Wellesley High School and Needham High School football fans turned out in huge numbers for the annual Thanksgiving Day game, which saw the Raiders hang tough but fall short vs. the talented Rockets team by a 21-7 score.
The big story for 10-2 Needham was the performance of running back Tate Hoffmeister, who ran for 235 yards on just 15 carries, and scored his first of 3 touchdowns just before the end of the first quarter. Fellow running back Aidan Williams kept the pressure on the Raiders defense, too, with 70-plus rushing yards.
The Rockets’ defense also came up big, no more so than when it stuffed the Raiders on the goal line in the second quarter to end a 15-play drive.
A confident Needham team seemed to toy a bit with Wellesley in the third quarter after scoring its second touchdown and going for a 2-point conversion (failed). It followed that by attempting an onside kick, which also didn’t pan out, and wound up re-kicking after a penalty.
Wellesley quarterback Max Poirier connected for a 23-yard touchdown pass to Robby Broggi in the third to narrow the score to 13-7, but Needham almost immediately snuffed out the Raiders’ momentum with a long kickoff return. A missed field goal by the Rockets kept Wellesley in it though.
Needham persevered in the fourth quarter, and scored again on a Hoffmeister run. This time, the 2-point conversion worked, and Needham hung on for a 21-7 final that gave them their first victory in the long-running series since 2018.
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