Everett falls to Billerica, 24-21 in overtime
By Cary Shuman
All seemed to be in perfect order for the Everett High football team in its showdown against unbeaten Billerica on a rainy Friday night at Calabrese Stadium in Billerica.
Everett had scored the first 14 points of the game, extending the first unit’s streak to 79 consecutive points from the 30-0 lead it built against New Bedford and the 35-0 margin it opened up against St. John’s Prep. Those two games ended in smashing victories for the Tide.
Not to mention that Anthony Norcia (8 catches for 138 and a TD) and Mike Sainristil (7 catches for 78 yards) were simply sensational all game on the receiving end of passes from quarterback Jordan McAfee, who was 20-for-28 for 231 yards passing in slick conditions.
But Billerica turned its fortunes around with a touchdown with 1:03 left in the half and Jacob Carlson kicked the winning field goal in overtime as the Indians stunned the Tide, 24-21.
“It’s indescribable,” said Carlson amidst the Billerica celebration. “I’ve been growing up playing Everett my entire life and they’ve been one of the toughest teams I’ve ever played and to come out my senior year and finally beat them – it’s one of the best feelings I’ve ever had in my entire life.”
Everett running back Marvens Fedna played his best of the game season, rushing for 151 yards on 21 carries and giving the Tide the early on 42-yard touchdown through the middle of the Billerica defense.
Norcia, who wears Edelman’s No. 11 and plays a similar style to the Patriots’ receiver, caught a 26-yard touchdown pass from McAfee and Gabriel DeSouza’s PAT made it 14-0.
Billerica (4-0) scored late in the first half and then struck again on its first possession in the second half to tie the game at 14-14.
The hosts continued their momentum and took a 21-14 lead before McAfee engineered a nifty drive that ended with the senior signal caller’s 2-yard touchdown run. DeSouza third’s PAT tied the game.
Everett (2-2) had the ball first in overtime and misfired on a 26-yard field goal attempt. Billerica took the ball at the 10-yard line and gained nine yards in its first three plays before Billerica coach Duane Sigsbury called on Carlson who connected on an 18-yard field goal for the victory. The kick set off a massive celebration by the Billerica players and fans, who turned out on a rainy night to see a great high school football game between two of the best teams in Massachusetts.
Billerica quarterback Zac Burns and receiver Dean Brooks had several key connections, including one on a well-executed flea flicker in the fourth quarter.
“I think it’s probably the biggest win since 1999 when they [Billerica] won the Super Bowl,” said Sigsbury. “It’s a big win for us. Everett is top-notch – they were one play away from being undefeated. To be at that level right now after only three years is exciting for everyone in our community.”
John DiBiaso felt his team was in a position to extend its lead in the second quarter but couldn’t capitalize.
“We didn’t capitalize – we should’ve put the game away. They had that drive at the end of the half and we missed a field goal and it just changed the momentum around. It’s unfortunate but sometimes it happens.”
Everett’s offense produced 401 yards, a healthy number on a slippery field.
“We didn’t finish our drives,” said DiBiaso. “We have to do a better job of finishing drives.”
Everett now turns its attention to the Greater Boston League and a road game against Medford, coached by former Tide standout Jason Nascimento.
“Now we have to take care of GBL business,” said DiBiaso.
EHS girls soccer
ties Somerville, EB
The Everett High girls soccer team has earned a pair of ties thus far this season, dueling Greater Boston League rival Somerville and non-league foe East Boston to 1-1 deadlocks.
The leading goal-scorers for the Lady Crimson Tide through their first seven games have been Vanessa Carcamo and Stephanie Perkins with two goals apiece. Teammates Erin Bessler and Angelly Peralta both have reached the back of the enemy net for one goal.
Among the other Lady Crimson Tide players who have been playing well for first-year head coach Sabrina Carvalho’s squad ‘s are keeper Brittany McArthur, senior defenders Kelly Reyes and Tricia Garcia Flores, and freshman Carolann Cardinale.
EHS boys soccer team
edges St. John’s Prep
The Everett High boy soccer team edged St. John’s Prep, 1-0, last Tuesday evening under the lights at Everett Stadium.
The lone goal of the contest came midway through the first half when a shot by the Crimson Tide’s Oswald Ruiz was misplayed by a Prep defender and was diverted into his own goal.
“This was a tough game, as it always is against St. John’s Prep,” said EHS head coach Oswaldo Constanza. “However, our defense was solid and our keeper, David Rosa, was solid for us.”
Consytanzain particular lauded the play of center back Jason Castro. “Jason has been playing incredibly for us,” noted the coach, “as well at that position as anyone I’ve coached.”
The Crimson Tide suffered their first defeat of the season Friday against Somerville, dropping a 2-0 decision. The Highlanders scored 10 minutes into the game and added another midway through the first half to take a lead that the Crimson Tide never proved able to challenge.
“We weren’t able to find our offense,” noted Constanza. “Our first touch let us down.”
Everett, which holds second place in the GBL with a 2-1 mark behind 3-0 Somerville, stands at a sterling 6-1-2 overall. Ruiz and his crew have a busy week ahead, making the short trek to Medford tomorrow (Thursday); hosting Lowell Saturday afternoon at the Stadium at 1:00; entertaining Brockton Tuesday evening under the lights at the Stadium at 7:00; and then hosting Malden next Thursday evening.
EHS volleyball team
edges GBL foe Somerville
with a five-set victory
The Everett’s High girls’ volleyball team got back on the winning track with a five-set victory over Somerville on Friday. The Lady Crimson Tide, who battled hard against non-league opponents Haverhill and Brockton earlier in the week, now have four wins on the season. Their GBL record is 2-1, and they can claim a share of first place with a win over Medford today (Wednesday).
“That was definitely a huge win for us,” said EHS head coach Mike Fineran. “It wasn’t easy and it wasn’t pretty, but our players showed a lot of heart and a lot of grit and they got the job done.”
Everett had control of the match early on, with junior Bella Lyles serving five in a row and senior captain Ariele Da Cunha earning four kills as the Tide built an 18-10 lead in the opening set.
Somerville chipped away, helped by Everett’s missed serves and hits out of bounds. Still, Everett had their chances and even served for the set, 24-22, but could not put Somerville away, eventually dropping the set, 26-24.
“That was disappointing, for sure,” said Fineran. “We knew we let one slip away. We could tell early that we had the advantage when it came to the power game, but we know that the more confidence we give the other team, the tougher it will be to put them away.”
Everett, which was playing without defensive stalwarts Brennan Moore and Lisa Quang and had a number of players recovering from illness, rebounded in the next set. The Lady Crimson Tide received strong contributions from captains Sabrina Moreta (two kills) and Nyomi Dottin (five assists, two aces, one block), senior Jalissa Harding (one kill, two aces), and junior Yasmeen Guerrier (three assists, two aces) to take set two, 25-21.
Fineran also lauded the play of freshman Bianca May, playing in just her second varsity match, who patrolled the back row with speed and power. “Bianca is a great passer and a solid player all around. She doesn’t look like a freshman when she’s out there,” said Fineran.
Lyles, Harding, and Da Cunha dominated the third set up front, with Harding leading the way with four kills. Dottin served four in a row to give Everett a cushion they would hold onto in the third set, regaining control of the match with a 25-22 win.
However, missed serves and other miscues plagued the Tide in the fourth set. “We lost the set by six points, and we hit seven serves out,” said Fineran. “We got a little rattled and gave Somerville hope, and to their credit, they took advantage of it.”
So for the third time this season, Everett would play a fifth set — and for the third time, Everett would come through in clutch fashion.
“I put it on the players before the start of the set. I told them that the outcome is up to them. I challenged them, individually and as a group, to be better,” said Fineran, “and they rose to meet the challenge.”
In the race to 15 points, Everett was down early, 0-3, but a Lyles kill got them on the board, and Bella’s two aces that followed made it 4-3. Harding added a kill and three serves to give Everett an 8-4 lead, and Da Cunha had a block and a kill pushing it to 10-7.
May had two serves to give the Tide a 13-8 lead and Harding put the match away after a great pass from Guerrier, sealing it at 15-10.
“We always play Somerville tight. It seems like every match with them goes five sets. But in the past few years, we’ve lost those matches,” said Fineran. “This year is different. This team can do some special things. I am proud of them.”
After today’s encounter with Medford, Fineran and his crew trek to Triton Monday and host Lowell Tuesday.