The big question heading to Everett’s game against Barnstable was: Which team’s quarterback and receiving tandem would stand the tallest?
After all, Barnstable’s D.J. Crook had lit up opponents for 14 touchdown passes in three games. Everett’s Jonathan DiBiaso had thrown seven TD passes in two games.
The final score: Everett 43, Barnstable 14. The conclusion: Advantage Jonathan DiBiaso and even more clear cut, advantage, Matt Costello.
Costello had a game that wide receivers dream about: nine receptions, four touchdowns, a 2-point conversion, along with 204 yards receiving. And just to show that Costello does more than catch the football and YAC (yards after catch) as well as anybody in the state, the 6-foot-senior also intercepted a pass and was credited with a semi-block of a Barnstable punt.
So the battle of the air was won by Everett, but coach John DiBiaso was also very pleased with his team’s defensive effort as the Tide held Barnstable to eight points before the dogs were called off and the visitors scored again late in the fourth quarter.
Costello is racking up unprecedented receiving and scoring stats (46 points in three games) in a program that usually dominates with its rushing game. And he’s getting his due from the media: Costello shared Boston Globe star of the week honors with DiBiaso while Matty C. was recognized similarly by the Boston Herald. Ivy League coaches are probably watching Costello’s assault on the EHS record books as well.
There was more good news for the Everett offense as well. Manny Asprilla (another 46-point man through three games) had a touchdown reception and accounted for 105 all-purpose yards, including a 6-yard scamper for a score. Vondell Langston was ever-present in the ground game and aiding the offensive line in providing protection for DiBiaso.
“I can’t say enough about my offensive line,” said Jonathan DiBiaso, who’s looked like a young Boomer Esiason for three straight weeks. “I’m getting great pass protection from the entire line and Vondell’s been brilliant in front of me as well.”
Given two standout receivers in his arsenal, Jonathan DiBiaso has been making opposing secondaries pay the price to the tune of 12 TD passes in three games.
“I feel we have the two best receivers (Costello and Asprilla) in the state,” said coach DiBiaso. “Everything clicked really well against a very good Barnstable team.”
The 4-0 Tide will take Air Dib on the road for a game against Taunton.
Everett continues to occupy the No. 3 spot in the newspaper polls behind Xaverian and Brockton.
Should Xaverian get past an explosive Lynn English team Friday night and Everett defeat Taunton Saturday, it would set up the regular season game of the year between Everett and Xaverian for Saturday, Oct. 16 at 1:30 p.m. in Westwood. Xaverian defeated Everett twice last year, once at Everett Memorial Stadium (where one could whistle the Hawks for an excessive post-game celebration) and the other in the Super Bowl on a snowy evening in December. If there is good weather on Oct. 16 and both teams remain unbeaten, you could be looking at one of the largest crowds of this or any season. Most schools play their games Friday night, so the Saturday stage will belong to Xaverian and Everett.
It looks like Malden has emerged once again as Everett’s chief obstacle to a GBL championship. The Tornadoes have the best record (2-2) and the highest point average (16.8) among Everett’s four league foes.