Everett High School football coach John DiBiaso called Saturday’s stunning 12-7 victory over St. John’s Prep “the greatest non-Super Bowl win” in the program’s glorious history.
The Everett fans who traveled to Cronin Stadium in Danvers and saw the Tide defeat the No. 1 seeded Prep will not disagree with DiBiaso.
Sparked by a superb performance from junior quarterback Marvens Fedna and a great defensive effort led by senior lineman Jonathan Colimon, the Tide pulled off the upset of the Eagles in the Division 1 North quarterfinals.
Fedna made his first appearance at QB a memorable one, especially on a well-engineered 19-play drive in the second half that the junior capped off with a 1-yard touchdown run.
Collimon, a Division 1 college prospect, was immense all day, helping the Tide hold St. John’s well below its five-touchdowns-a-game scoring average.
The issue was in doubt until the final seconds as the Prep tried to score the potential game-winning touchdowns. Needing a big play, junior defensive back Carlins Platel intercepted a slant pass to lock up the victory.
“Coach Manny Asprilla told me that every time they run a slant, just do a quick three-step and cut, and I just made a play,” said Platel. “It feels really good to win this game, especially for our seniors. All week we were practicing hard. We believe in the coaches and the coaches believe in us.”
Junior linebacker R.J. Fialli and junior lineman Duval Paul combined for a huge defensive play in the fourth quarter. Paul forced a fumble and Fialli scooped up the ball to end a Prep scoring threat in Everett territory.
“Our defense played very well,” said Fialli. “We worked hard all week in practice and we played the best we could. We played a great game. Our offense came up big for us in the second half and the defense played great the whole game.”
Sophomore Duane Binns was also a force on defense, adding to an already stellar season. Everett’s defensive game plan of neutralizing Prep’s senior QB Oliver Eberth and containing the passing attack was brilliant and carried out to perfection.
The Everett offense unveiled a new formation in which entire sets of offensive linemen would switch sides of the line before the snap. With Colimon also making his presence felt as a blocking back, the Tide produced a consistent rushing attack.
DiBiaso took a page from yesteryear for his offensive strategy.
“That’s the old Knute Rockne single wing,” explained DiBiaso about the offensive line maneuverability. “I was watching the Knute Rockne All-American movie with Ronald Reagan. I did this offense when I was at St. Patrick’s (of Watertown). That was our offense. It was just
a great victory overall. Everybody came through. I’m very proud of this team.”
St. John’s Prep coach Brian St. Pierre was a sportsman in defeat, crediting the Crimson Tide for a hard-fought victory.
“They played better than we did,” said St. Pierre. “They’re a really good team. They made more plays than we did today. When you play a good team and a talented team, you have to play your best. Football is a tough game played by tough people and when you lose, it hurts and when you win, it feels great.”