The Everett High football team is looking ahead to New Bedford after losing to Xaverian, 29-7, in the season opener Friday night at Everett Memorial Stadium.
The Crimson Tide led the Hawks, 7-0, after a touchdown run by quarterback Jordan McAfee and a PAT by Omar Herrera, but Coby Tippett’s 93-yard return of the ensuing kickoff proved to be a huge momentum swing.
Xaverian scored three more touchdowns and held the Everett offense in check to earn the victory in the rematch of last year’s Division 1 Super Bowl at Gillette Stadium.
Tippett was also a standout on defense, pocketing two of the Hawks’ four interceptions. Xaverian also recovered two EHS fumbles.
Xaverian coach Charlie Stevenson said his team’s defense was the difference.
“We played great defense – we had a lot of turnovers and that really helped our offense,” said Stevenson. “Coby popped that kickoff return that really got us juiced up a little bit and we scored on a big turnover and that changed the momentum for us. From there, I thought we dominated the rest of the game.”
Stevenson said his team has defeated Everett four times in a row and now leads the series, 9-8. “I don’t think anyone can say that against those guys. This is a great non-league rivalry.”
Tippett termed the win over Everett “a team effort.”
“It was a team win,” said Tippett, who is looking at UMass, UConn, and Delaware as choices for college. “Overall it was a great feelin
g to get a ‘W’ in the first week at Everett. We know that Everett is always going to give us a good game. It’s the first game every year so for the last three weeks, all we’ve been talking about is ‘Everett, Everett, Everett.”’
Everett coach John DiBiaso said McAfee was under constant pressure from Xaverian’s defense all game and the Tide’s offense didn’t flow smoothly.
“We didn’t execute,” said DiBiaso. “It was a disappointing loss.”
Everett travels to New Bedford Friday night. The Whalers defeated Taunton, 45-20, in their season opener.