The Everett High football team was ranked the best team in the state in September but preseason polls have never mattered much to Everett High head coach John DiBiaso, his staff, and the players in his vaunted program.
Led by a record-breaking performance by quarterback Jonathan DiBiaso, Everett stormed through the regular season undefeated while solidifying its No. 1 ranking.
A 46-0 rout of Lynn English in the semifinals left Everett with one more challenge to conquer in its quest for perfection.
And with one quarter remaining in the Division 1A Super Bowl Saturday night before a capacity crowd at Bentley University, Lincoln-Sudbury High School was threatening to spoil Everett’s bid for a second straight Super Bowl championship.
But Everett showed its determination, character, and talent in outscoring its opponent 15-0 in the final ten minutes. The biggest play and one of the best moves you’ll see was turned in by junior Jakarrie Washington, whose 63-yard run down the sidelines helped Everett continue on to a 36-13 victory over Lincoln-Sudbury.
Everett claimed its second consecutive Super Bowl championship and extended its winning streak to 25 games.
Coach John DiBiaso told his team in a huddle at midfield after the game, “To everybody, I’m so proud of you – I can’t say enough how much I thank you for the hard work and dedication.”
Lincoln-Sudbury coach Tom Lopez said Everett’s big-play capability was the difference.
“I’m proud of the way our kids played,” said Lopez. “You don’t want to lose but we thought we could compete with them. They made some big plays. They have a lot of speed on offense. [Jonathan] DiBiaso ran the ball a lot better than we thought he could.”
Lopez praised the Crimson Tide for their phenomenal season.
“They deserve credit – they’re the best team in the state,” he told reporters after the game. “It was nice to stick with them for three quarters – maybe I’ll feel better tomorrow or next week or next year about that, but right now I don’t feel good about that.”
There were offensive stars throughout the Everett lineup. DiBiaso, who was hampered by a stomach virus and did not participate in the pre-game calisthenics, was 11-for-20 for 108 yards passing, but it was his excellent running (16 carries for 70 yards, but none bigger than a 27-yard scramble with Everett pinned at its own 2-yard-line) and decision making that sparked the Tide offense.
Vondell Langston, the game’s leading rusher with 126 yards on 13 carries, raced 62 yards following DiBiaso’s key run. DiBiaso had an 11-yard keeper before scoring the first touchdown on a 1-yard run with 2:48 left in the first quarter.
Langston scored on a 2-yard run to culminate a 9-play 56-yard drive to make it 14-0 with 8:24 left in the second quarter. Washington had a 22-yard reception to help set up Langton’s TD.
Lincoln-Sudbury closed the gap to 14-6 on a 61-yard interception return for a touchdown.
Jalen Felix took center stage with three fine plays in succession. After blocking the PAT, he returned the ensuing kickoff 57 yards to the Warriors’ 26-yard line. He scored on a 2-yard run and when Gilly Desouza booted the PAT, Everett led 21-6.
Lincoln-Sudbury struck pay dirt in the third quarter on a 14-yard touchdown pass, closing the gap to 21-13.
But Washington took the wind out of the Warriors’ sails with a sensational 63-yard run. Joey White’s run for the 2-point conversion made it 29-13. DiBiaso’s second touchdown run and Desouza’s PAT finalized the 36-13 victory and championship season.
Everett’s defense, notably the front group of Ralph Jonathas, Milton Lopez, Paul Marckini, Jeff Soulouque, and Omar Graciano and linebackers Angel Duarte and Vondell Langston, was outstanding in limiting Lincoln-Sudbury to one touchdown.
Coach John DiBiaso was pleased with the entire team’s effort against a tough opponent.
“I’m thrilled for my seniors and the entire program,” said DiBiaso. “Winning the title was much more difficult the second time in a row because of the bull’s-eye on our back and the fact that the previous year we were very motivated coming in to the season having lost to Xaverian. The players had to stay self motivated because we had won the year before.”
DiBiaso praised his team’s mental toughness.
“We had to overcome a lot of adversity [including a season-ending injury to star linebacker Chris McCarthy] and the kids stayed mentally tough and responded when Lincoln-Sudbury cut the lead to a touchdown and they did what they have done all year.”