Great to the very end, Everett High School quarterback Jonathan DiBiaso engineered a late drive that delivered the North All-Star team a 26-25 victory over the South in the 51st Annual Agganis Football Classic Friday night at Manning Field in Lynn.
DiBiaso was named the game’s Most Valuable Player in the final game of his majestic football career. He passed for 193 yards and two touchdowns, but saved his best for last on the North’s 65-yard march that culminated with a four-yard touchdown run by Malden’s Shane McCreathe.
Three times DiBiaso faced crucial third-down situations and each time the southpaw signal caller contributed to a first down, the last of which came on a screen pass to Everett teammate Vondell Langston who carried the ball to the 6-yard line.
Head coach John DiBiaso was proud of his team’s performance, especially with the game on the line.
“We were able to drive down and show a lot of character at the end and punch that last score in,” said DiBiaso. “I was very proud of the kids. After two weeks of practice – to perform a two-minute drill like that and win the game was great.”
As for his son Jonathan’s Hollywood-script like ending to his career, DiBiaso said, “I’m glad he played well in his last high school game.”
Jonathan DiBiaso, who will attend Phillips Exeter Academy and Dartmouth College, enjoyed the entire Agganis Classic experience.
“It’s a great honor to be the MVP,” said DiBiaso. “My teammates stepped up and made big plays on that last drive. They won us the game, not me.”
DiBiaso said he knew that he count on Langston to make a key play.
“Vondell caught the pass and ran for a first down,” said DiBiaso. “That set up the winning touchdown. It was nice to have the Everett players on my team and to win the last game.”
DiBiaso can credit his father and the North staff for calling the screen pass to Langston that fooled the South defense.
“We were in man coverage and they got us on the screen and that was the difference,” said South coach Steve Dembowski of Swampscott. “He’s a great quarterback and I was impressed by his performance here and in the Shriners Game.”
Reflecting on his achievements that included setting the state’s all-time record for touchdown passes, DiBiaso said, “It’s been a great experience playing for Everett and winning two Super Bowls. I was surrounded by great players and great people and I’m very thankful for the four years I had at Everett High.”