The Everett High Crimson Tide football team began defense of its 2011 Super Bowl Championship season, with a road win over the defending Super Bowl Champion Leominster Blue Devils 29-7 and they did it behind a quarterback who had never thrown a pass prior to Friday night’s game.
Senior Gilly DeSouza, a four-year player who has played kicker, defensive back and wide receiver during his career, added another job title to his football resume, as he stepped up to lead the powerful Everett offense, after injuries to the top two quarterbacks on the roster, Pat Long and Lukas Denis, forced coach John DiBiaso to find an alternative.
“We’re really very pleased with the way he performed,” said DiBiaso of his starting quarterback. “We’re not really surprised, because I’ve had him for four years, as a freshman he played in the Championship game at Gillette Stadium and he’s played on two other teams that have played at Gillette Stadium, so he had a wealth of experience in big games and I figured that he’d be able to handle it.”
DeSouza, who completed all three of his four pass attempts for 60 yards and the game’s first touchdown, on his first career passing attempt no less, was also the beneficiary of a big game from Jakarrie Washington, who hauled passes of 32 and 27 yards from DeSouza and also broke the game open with a 57-yard touchdown run on the first play of the second half, to help give Everett to a 15-0 lead with just over a half of football played.
“Jakarrie had probably the two biggest plays of the game for us,” said DiBiaso of the touchdown catch in the second quarter and the long run to open the third. “We’re going to be leaning on him and Jalen Felix to provide the big plays for our offense. We’re counting on both of them to have big seasons for us.”
Following the two touchdowns by Washington, Everett’s Lubern Figaro picked off a Leominster pass and returned it 40 yards for a 22-0 Everett lead, while Felix added a 17-yard touchdown run in the fourth to account for all of the Tide’s scoring.
Blue Devils quarterback Garrett DellaChiaie scored a late touchdown on a one-yard keeper to finally get Leominster on the board and account for the final score.
On the defensive side of the ball the Tide got a great effort by C.J. Parvelus who recovered two fumbles and had seven tackles, and Jeff Soulouque who recorded two of the Tide’s six quarterback sacks.
Despite the final score, Coach DiBiaso noted that the his team got off to a slow start in the win over Leominster and they’ll be looking to clean up some of their early mistakes, when they travel to Springfield to battle Springfield Central this Friday at 7 p.m.
“(Springfield) is a tough team,” said DiBiaso. “They’re very athletic and they also went to a Super Bowl last season. They lost that game, but it’s an experienced bunch and they return a lot of the players from last year’s team.”
DiBiaso noted that, as with Leominster, Springfield will be hosting its home opener for the season and is likely to have a big crowd on hand to support the home team.
“We’re looking to cut out some of the mistakes and penalties we made early in the game last week that were due to it being the first game and we maybe had some players who were a little less experienced or whatever. We don’t want to get off to a slow start two weeks in a row.”
As for his last minute starting quarterback, DeSouza, DiBiaso said he will be sticking with him for now.
“Our other two quarterbacks are seeing specialists to address their injuries,” said the coach. “I don’t anticipate either of them coming back this week and it may be longer. They’re young kids and we’re not going to rush them back, we want them to be healthy. So Gilly will be in there.”