The preliminaries are done. It’s time for the main event.
And in the storied Everett High School football program now being led by Head Coach Rob DiLoreto, that means an all-out pursuit of the Division 1 state championship and a trip to Gillette Stadium in December.
DiLoreto’s Crimson Tide took care of business inside the Greater Boston League, rolling past Malden, 43-0, Thursday night at Macdonald Stadium, to lay claim to an undefeated league championship.
Everett (7-0), the No. 9 seed in Division 1, will travel to Methuen’s Nicholson Stadium Friday to play the eighth-seeded Rangers (6-2) in the first round of the playoffs.
Running back Richie Malloy scored two touchdowns on runs of 22 yards and 2 yards to lead the Tide’s high-powered attack in the GBL finale against the Golden Tornadoes.
JC Clerveaux opened the scoring with a 70-yard touchdown, followed by a rush for a two-point conversion. After Malloy’s first TD and Adoni Santos’ PAT made it 15-0, quarterback Karmarri Ellerbe connected with Syeed Gibbs on a 23-yard TD pass.
Brian Gibbs scored on a 4-yard run to make it 29-0 at the half. Malloy, who’s really emerged as an offensive threat this season, scored his second TD to increase the margin to 36-0.
Domenic Papa closed the scoring in rather dynamic fashion on a 70-yard run.
Playoff preparations begin
DiLoreto said his team began preparing for Methuen after learning of the playoff pairings Monday afternoon.
“They’re a Merrimack Valley team and they’re very well-coached,” said DiLoreto. “They’re a big, physical team and we’re know we have our hands full, so we’re preparing as hard as possible to get ready for the game. The Merrimack Valley is one of the strongest conferences in the states, and we know that Methuen is one of the top teams in the league with Central Catholic.”
DiLoreto is excited that this year’s team will get to experience the thrill of playoff football, after last spring’s post-season was canceled due to COVID-19.
“We’re excited to be part of a 16-team playoff across the state, so it will be a fun Friday night of high school football,” said DiLoreto.
GBL champions again
This was Coach Rob DiLoreto’s second GBL title having won the league crown in the spring. DiLoreto has now won his first 10 games to start his head-coaching career in Everett.
“To finish the regular season with a 7-0 record is something that we’re very proud of,” said DiLoreto.
Everett a No. 9 seed
Everett’s No. 9 seed was a surprise, considering the Tide are ranked as one of the top teams in Massachusetts.
Everett’s lower-than-expected seeding is a result of their GBL opponents’ poor records against non-league foes.
“We’re disappointed not to be playing at home, because it would be a great opportunity for our fans and the City of Everett to come together and root on our team,” said Rob DiLoreto. “But I also know that’s out of our control. Every team would want to be at home, but that’s not going to deter us from the energy and excitement we have going into Friday night’s game.”
Franklin High School is the No. 1 seed in Division 1 and would be next up for Everett, should both teams emerge victorious in their opening-round games.