The Crimson Tide moved into the top spot in the polls by virtue of a 28-7 dismantling of previously No. 1-ranked Xaverian High School, ending the Hawks’ 20-game winning streak before 4,000 fans at the Hawk Bowl in Westwood.
While BC-bound senior Manny Asprilla led the way with a highlight reel performance, the Tide dominated the game on both sides of the ball, holding the Hawks to two scores, though the latter wasn’t posted on the scoreboard at the end of the game.
Quarterback Jonathan DiBiaso authored another All-Scholastic-caliber performance in windy conditions. DiBiaso (197 yards passing) had a touchdown pass and a two-point conversion to Asprilla. DiBiaso also displayed his versatility with a 4-yard touchdown run to open the scoring.
Matt Costello helped set up the Tide’s touchdown with a 42-yard reception from DiBiaso. Costello was defended throughout the game by Xaverian’s outstanding cornerback, Joe Colton.
Meanwhile, junior fullback Vondell Langston was on top of his game, rushing for 81 yards and touchdown. It was Langston who capped off a nine-play, 73-yard drive with a 2-yard touchdown run, giving Everett a 14-7 lead with 9:24 left in the fourth period.
The special teams made their contribution to the Tide’s 22-point fourth-quarter outburt. Kenny Calaj, one of the Tide’s true unsung heroes this season, forced a fumble on the ensuing kickoff. Ronnie Richard pounced on the ball at the Hawks’ 27-yard line.
DiBiaso and Asprilla combined on a 17-yard touchdown pass, with Asprilla powerfully launching himself into the end zone between two Xaverian defense.
Apsrilla saved his best for last on a scintillating 47-yard return of an interception. Gilly DeSouza converted his second PAT of the day to make it 28-7.
Xaverian scored on the last play of the game in which there may have been a penalty on the offense. The finish grew more bizarre when the Hawks failed to line up for the extra point.
While the PA announcer proclaimed a 28-13 final score in favor of Everett, the points were never posted on the Xaverian scoreboard.
Coach John DiBiaso was pleased with his team’s all-round performance. “This was one of our best efforts of the season,” summarized DiBiaso. “We played well. It was a total team effort. Manny and Vondell really played great on offense and linebacker Chris McCarthy played his best game on defense.”
Asked about his team being ranked No. 1 in Massachusetts in the two major polls and ninth in the entire eastern United States in this week’s USA Today Poll, DiBiaso said, “I’d rather be No. 1 at the end of the season.”
DiBiaso told his team in the post-game huddle to enjoy the bus ride home, but that it should start thinking immediately about a very good Boston College High School team.