They came to watch Everett High quarterback Jonathan DiBiaso make history and true to form the 6-foot-1-inch senior made it happen in spectacular fashion.
DiBiaso became the Massachusetts all-time career leader in touchdown passes after throwing for six scores in Everett’s 41-14 victory over Medford Friday night at Everett Veterans Memorial Stadium.
If you were to script the record-breaking touchdown pass, you’d want to do it like DiBiaso did: throwing the ball 55 yards in the air and on the money to wide receiver Jaylen McRae, who caught the ball in stride and carried it in to the end zone.
McRae’s TD represented the fourth of the first quarter for DiBiaso, who entered the game needing four to surpass former Brockton quarterback Tommy Colombo’s mark of 85 touchdown passes.
The game was stopped for a brief ceremony as public address announcer Josh DelGaizo announced DiBiaso’s accomplishment to the crowd who responded with a standing ovation. Superintendent of Schools Frederick Foresteire presented a golden football to DiBiaso as his parents, EHS head football coach John DiBiaso and Maureen DiBiaso, and other family members joined in the momentous ceremony at midfield.
Medford tried to defend against the potent Everett passing attack by deploying two defensive backs 20 yards downfield, but DiBiaso (9-for-12 for 161 yards, 6 TDs) and his talented receiving corps proved to be an unstoppable unit.
DiBiaso started the 27-point first-quarter blitz with a pass to Vondell Langston who eluded and broke tackles on the way to a 37-yard touchdown.
Kenny Calaj scored on 9-yard pass after finding an opening between two defenders in the end zone. Jakarrie Washington helped DiBiaso tie the record with an eight-yard connection. Washington skillfully maneuvered his feet just inside the pylon for the score.
Jaylen McRae then became the forever answer to the trivia question: Who caught the touchdown pass from Jonathan DiBiaso to break the all-time record? McRae, who is tied with Washington (7 touchdown receptions) for the lead in Division 1A, completed the transaction professionally by doing a patented receiver’s semi-circle inside the end zone.
DiBiaso then added to his record-breaking total with touchdown passes to Calaj and Felix. Gilly Desouza booted his fifth PAT to give Everett a commanding 41-0 lead early in the second quarter. The Tide wrapped up their eighth victory of the season while maintaining their season-long No. 1 ranking in the state.
DiBiaso, who’s been on the radar since quarterbacking his Everett Pop Warner Huskies teams to back-to-back New England championships and berths in the national playoffs in Florida, drew praise from many for his record-breaking feat.
Foresteire remembers a 6-year-old Jonathan DiBiaso coming to the field with his father to be around the Crimson Tide football program.
“This is something that Jonathan always wanted to be a part of and he worked for it and he prepared himself,” said Foresteire. “His ability complements the receivers that we have. They’re so talented and they can get out there and catch the football. And you can’t give enough credit to his linemen who allow our offense to throw and run the ball. It’s nice to see it all come together so well.”
Foresteire said there will be a special presentation made to DiBiaso at the team’s breakup banquet. “We wanted to do something for Jonathan tonight so that’s why we gave him the golden football and the band played “Mr. Touchdown,’” said Foresteire. “He’s on a pace now to set a record that will never be broken.”
Virtually all of the questions from reporters to coach John DiBiaso were about his son and his phenomenal career, capped by Friday’s mega-highlight.
“I don’t want to take it away from him – it’s his night; he’s worked very hard for four years and been through a lot, and to come this far and do this, it’s a special thing,” said DiBiaso. “Tommy Colombo played for his dad as well. It’s a special record. I know it means a lot to Jonathan and it means a lot to me as well. In the big picture, we still want to win the Super Bowl.”