Everett High football fans left Everett Memorial Stadium Friday night knowing one thing: head coach John DiBiaso and his staff have assembled another very exciting and talented football team.
Quarterback John DiBiaso threw four touchdown passes and the Everett defense, led by linebacker Chris McCarthy and lineman Paul Marckini, blanketed Leominster in the second half on the way to the Crimson Tide’s 47-12 victory on Opening Night of the 2011 season.
Jaylen McCrae had two touchdown catches as Everett tries to replace explosive wide receiver Matt Costello who is now playing football at Princeton University. Vondell Langston caught a shuffle pass for the first score while tight end Ralph Jonathas also had a touchdown.
There were a couple of early missteps and some uncharacteristic penalties but once Everett’s offense found its groove, it was lights out for Leominster.
The Blue Devils brought a lot of fans to Everett and it appeared they might see a close game until the finish. DiBiaso directed Everett on a scoring drive capped off by his nifty shuffle pass to Langston at the 2-yard line.
Leominster responded with a 78-yard pass play to set up Kevin O’Connor’s 6-yard touchdown reception from quarterback Garrett Delle-Chiale.
But Everett wasted little time in answering the challenge. DiBiaso threw a strike to a streaking McCrae who turned on the jets to complete a spectacular 65-yard touchdown.
Jonathas, a Division 1 recruit, made it 19-6 on a 19-yard catch for a score. Kenny Calaj, Everett’s leading rusher with five carries for 47 yards, scored the two-point conversion to give Everett a 21-6 advantage.
Leominster gave its large student rooting section a chance to cheer with a 10-yard touchdown but DiBiaso connected with McCrae for a 7-yard touchdown with 54 seconds left in the half to reclaim the momentum. Gilles Desousa booted the extra point to make it 28-12 at the half.
Vondell Langston, Kenny Calaj and Joey White rushed for touchdowns in the second half to help Everett pull away from its opponent.
Everett spoiled the debut of new Leominster head coach Dave Palazzi.
“I thought we did a few good things early but we made some mistakes and Everett did a great job forcing us to make mistakes,” said Palazzi. “But Everett is a great team. Their quarterback [DiBiaso] is a great thrower. He sat back there and made some nice throws. I thought we played quite well early but our defense was on the field too long.”
Coach John DiBiaso liked what he saw for the most part from his defending Division 1 champions who increased their winning streak to 13 games.
“I’m happy with the performance – we got a good win and we didn’t get anybody hurt,” said DiBiaso. “We saw some things we have to work on and we came out of the game unscathed.”