By Cary Shuman
The Everett High School football team played one of the largest schools in Massachusetts and dominated from start to finish, beating New Bedford, 51-20, in the home opener Friday night at Everett Memorial Stadium.
Coach John DiBiaso’s 2016 edition racked up 30 points in the first quarter, built a 44-7 halftime lead, and ultimately nailed down a solid victory over New Bedford, a school of 2,500 students that fielded some excellent football teams in the past.
There were many standouts for the Crimson Tide, beginning with quarterback Jordan McAfee, who threw three touchdown passes to Jason Maitre, Mike Sainristil, and Jean St. Vil.
McAfee, who has committed to the University of Connecticut, was 7-for-11 for 121 yards before Gabriel DeSouza took over as the signal caller. DeSouza, the Tide’s dependable sophomore placekicker, tossed a 47-yard TD pass to Yirah Irung and was a perfect 7-of-7 in PATs.
Marvens Fedna contributed well to the first-quarter surge with seven carries for 82 yards and two first-quarter touchdown runs. Chris Jenkins scored Everett’s first touchdown on a 15-yard run.
Duval Paul, who has been immense at defensive tackle, led a forceful defensive effort that limited New Bedford to one TD in the first half.
“Duval is becoming a dominating defensive lineman,” said coach DiBiaso.
The Everett defense was credited with a safety in the first quarter, with junior linebacker Duane Binn arriving on the scene in New Bedford’s own end zone to record the tackle and the two-pointer.
Junior defensive back Darius Arrington intercepted a pass on the final play of the game, receiving some instant congratulations from his teammates on the field.
New Bedford head coach Mark DeBrito offered high praise for the EHS football team and the entire program.
“They’re very talented and they stuck it to us,” said DeBrito. “Everett is a class organization and a great program. We came out and wanted to at least stay competitive, but they had it going.”
The Whalers’ skipper said he’d like to see his program rise to the level of Everett.
“This [Everett] is an unbelievable program, so our kids can look at it and say, ‘if you want to get to this level, you have to put in the work, you have to make sure you get after it.”
John DiBiaso was pleased with the solid team effort against New Bedford.
“I was very pleased with our performance,” said DiBiaso. “We scored 30 points in the first quarter and that was very good. We played very well. The whole defensive line played well. It was a team effort.”
Everett (1-1) hosts St. John’s Prep (1-1) Saturday in the annual Homecoming Game. Kickoff is scheduled for 3 p.m. Homecoming has become a tremendous “can’t miss” day of activities, culminating with the North Shore’s best rivalry. Last year Everett as the No. 8 seed defeated No. 1 seed St. John’s in the first round of the Division 1 North playoffs.
New Bedford’s freshman Nygel Palmer, a speedy, 5-feet-7-inch, 176-pound freshman running back out of the New Bedford Pop Warner organization, had some nice runs in the game and scored three touchdowns.
No. 1 Xaverian was upset by Bridgewater-Ryanham, 22-21, ending the Hawks’ 25-game winning streak. Everett is ranked No. 2 in the Herald poll and No. 3 in the Globe poll.
The captains of the Everett High football team are Jordan McAfee, Marvens Fedna, Carlins Platel, RJ Fialli, David Pierre, Duval Paul, Bobby Lopes, Michael Smith, and Richardson Maitre.
Three cheers for the beautifully done souvenir program that was distributed to spectators at the home opener. The booklet had team rosters, game notes, a team photo, the schedule, photos of all the team captains and seniors, and a story about Everett’s “Terrific Tandem” – head coach John DiBiaso and assistant coach Mike Milo. The souvenir booklet is further testament that when it comes to football programs in Massachusetts, Everett is No. 1 – and it has the 10 state titles and 20 GBL titles (during the DiBiaso Era) to back it up.