The Everett High School football team had its hopes for a state championship ended by Central Catholic High School, falling to the Raiders, 20-15, in the Division 1 North final before a large crowd Saturday at Everett Veterans Memorial Stadium.
In an exciting contest with several twists and turns, the Crimson Tide had taken a 15-14 lead with 7:12 left on a gutsy call by coach John DiBiaso to go for two points following a touchdown by senior Marquis Holman. Freshman James Hunt barreled into the end zone behind some excellent blocking for the two-point conversion to give Everett a one-point lead.
Hunt then made another huge play when he recovered a Central fumble after the Raiders had driven to the Everett 5-yard line. Central stopped the Everett offense and took possession of the ball following a punt.
Central caught a big break when its quarterback, Mike Milano fumbled the ball and it bounced forward, with offensive lineman Dan MacDonald recovering the fumble for a first down. Milano then connected with Cody Demers for a 24-yard touchdown pass with 2:10 remaining in the game, giving Central a 20-15 lead.
Everett tried gallantly to produce the winning score but the Central defensive unit stopped the threat, ending the Tide’s quest for a fourth consecutive Super Bowl title.
Central Catholic coach Chuck Adamopoulos knew his team had been in a classic confrontation with the Tide.
“Because you come to Everett, who’s got all the tradition – all you have to do is see that sign outside the stadium – it’s as big a win since the late ‘90s that we’ve had, that’s for sure. It’s also one of the best games we’ve ever been a part of.
“I love the atmosphere here and I’m kind of an old-school guy and their band is awesome and it’s playing and you see all the old-timers that come back for the Everett games. I have so much respect for John [DiBiaso] and his staff and what they do. It was a great game to be part of.”
Everett senior running back Joe D’Onofrio was a standout. D’Onofrio made an excellent catch of a deflected pass and did some potent running in the game. Holman, also a senior, scored both Everett touchdowns.
Senior linebacker Angel Duarte was again immense on defense for the Tide. University of Wisconsin-bound senior Lubern Figaro concluded his outstanding career with another solid performance.