The Everett Crimson Tide scored on its first possession of each half and rode a stout defense in the second half to a 19-7 victory over rival St. John’s Prep, last Saturday afternoon at Everett Memorial Stadium to move to 3-0 on the season.
“We got a good drive to open the game and we got the first score in the second half,” noted Coach John DiBiaso. “But they answered our first score, took a 7-6 lead and that really helped them control the game for most of the first half.”
The Everett offense opened the scoring with a 13-play drive that chewed up 61 yards and was completed with a one-yard rush by senior running back Jakarrie Washington. Unfortunately, it was all the scoring Everett would get in the first half, as St. John’s Prep used a ball control offense and some Everett miscues to keep the ball out of the hands of the Tide offense.
“I thought the turning point was the way we came out and scored in the second half, because that allowed us to control the flow of the game and keep the ball out of their hands,” added the coach.
Quarterback Gilly DeSouza connected with Washington on a 41-yard pass play that moved the ball down to the St. John’s 18-yard line and helped set up a nine-yard touchdown run by Kenny Calaj a few plays later for a 12-7 Everett lead early in the third quarter.
From that point on, the Tide defense set the tone, limiting the Eagles to just 50-second half yards of offense, and negating a DeSouza interception that was almost returned for a touchdown.
On that play, which came at the start of the fourth quarter, DeSouza was picked off by St. John’s Michael Fawehinmi, who appeared to return the ball 40 yards for a touchdown. But the score was called back on a blocking penalty by St. John’s, which took over at the Everett 25.
Despite being that close, the Eagles were unable to score and turned the ball over on downs, following a sack by Everett.
DeSouza, after being bailed out by his defense, made up for his own miscue two series later, by dropping a perfect punt on the St. John’s three-yard line, backing the Eagles up to their own end zone with just over 2:20 second to play in the game.
Four plays later, Everett took over on downs deep in Eagles territory and senior Jalen Felix capped the scoring with a nice eight-yard touchdown run that accounted for the final score.
DiBiaso, though pleased with the outcome and his team’s defensive effort in the second half, noted that his team still struggled during the early part of the game and had trouble developing an offensive rhythm following its opening drive.
“In the second half we made some adjustments and I thought that went well,” said DiBiaso. “I think we still need to get out there with the goal of playing a mistake free game and we’ll try to do that this week against Barnstable.”
Everett will be facing a much different challenge this week, as it takes on the high-flying offense of the Barnstable Red Raiders on Friday at Everett Stadium at 7 p.m.
“This team (Barnstable) presents a completely different look from what we saw this week, they like to spread it out and throw it,” noted DiBiaso. “We’ve got a short week to prepare, so we’re focused on getting in some practices working on what we have to improve and getting ready to face a different kind of challenge.”