The Everett High football team climbed back from a large deficit in the second half, but Xaverian’s late field goal sealed a 32-21 victory over the Crimson Tide in the season opener Friday night in Westwood.
Head coach Justin Flores was making his debut as the new leader of the Crimson Tide football program.
To their credit, the Tide made a furious comeback, cutting the deficit to 29-21 in the fourth quarter. Christian Zamor led the rally with two touchdown receptions, the first on a 33-yard strike from Everett quarterback Carlos Rodriguez. Damien Lackland, on a well-executed halfback pass, then connected with Zamor for a 75-yard TD pass. Rodriguez then completed a two-point conversion pass to Jaysaun Coggins, slicing Xaverian’s lead to 29-21, with 7:48 left in the game.
But Xaverian placekicker Joseph MacDonald booted his second field of the game with 1:12 left to seal the Hawks’ victory.
Flores said some early mistakes on special teams hurt the cause.
“We had some blunders on special teams, some things that we need to clean up,” said Flores. “We only ran 35 plays on offense. If we get two special teams’ possessions back, I think we’re rolling. We had momentum in the second half and needed the ball back one more time.”
Flores felt his team showed its character and fortitude with its second half comeback.
“It was good to see the team fight,” said Flores. “We were down by a lot (29-6), and we didn’t fold. We just kept fighting and came back into the game. The game wasn’t over until they hit that field goal with a minute-and-a-half left.”
Flores singled out the play of Zamor, a Boston College recruit. “Christian had an excellent game. He had two touchdowns and 108 yards receiving. He also had seven tackles,” noted Flores.
Jayden Prophete also played very well for the Tide, throwing a touchdown pass and leading the defense with eight tackles and an interception.
Flores said the Everett defense had some bright moments but was hampered by Xaverian being able to start its drives in great field position.
“The defense did well for what it was handed,” said Flores. “We didn’t give them good situations whether it was the special teams or our offense in the first half going three-and-out. For what they had to deal with, I thought they did a good job as a whole, but we have to tackle better.”
Everett hosts Somerville Friday in the Greater Boston League opener at Everett Memorial Stadium. Somerville (0-1) lost to Gloucester, 42-8, in its non-league opener.