Everett’s shot at fourth consecutive Super Bowl title was wiped out Saturday afternoon, as the Crimson Tide fell to the Central Catholic Raiders 20-15 in the Division 1 North semifinals at Everett Veterans Memorial Stadium.
Both the Tide and Raiders were coming into the championship game hungry for the chance to play at Gillette Stadium in December. But, Everett also came to the game hurt, losing its star running back, Isaiah Davis, to a knee injury in last week’s win over Lowell.
“When you lose one of your best players it definitely has an impact (on the game)” Coach John DiBiaso said minutes after the loss. “But we can’t lean on that as a crutch. You have to make the plays when you need to make the plays.”
The defense made the big plays to keep Central Catholic scoreless going into halftime. CJ Parvelus and Angel Duarte shined in their final game as members of the Everett Crimson Tide.
The bruised and battered offense, on the other hand, struggled against the Raiders who shut out Acton-Boxborough last week to advance to the state semi-finals. After a scoreless first quarter, Marquis Holman was able to sneak into the endzone, putting the Tide up 7-0 going into halftime.
When it seemed as if the score would go unchanged going into the fourth quarter Central Catholic’s QB, Mike Milano, drove his team down the field. DeAndre-Drummond Mayrie completed the drive with a one-yard touchdown run that tied the game in the third. QB Mike Milano broke away just two minutes later for a 60-yard touchdown run that gave Central Catholic their first lead of the game with less than a minute left in the quarter.
Everett answered back right away. The offense executed a 12 play, 70-yard drive that set up another Holman 1-yard push for the touchdown. Special teams executed a perfect two-point conversion as James Hunt drove into the endzone giving Everett a 15-14 lead in the fourth quarter.
Just minutes prior to the play Parvelus told his team on the sideline that if they could shut down the Raiders dangerous wide receiver, Cody Demers, that they would win the game. Unfortunately, they could not contain Demers as he caught a beautiful 24-yard touchdown pass from Milano that gave Central Catholic their ticket to Gillette and a 20-15 victory in front of a stunned Everett crowd.
No one was more stunned than Coach DiBiaso, who despite the loss, felt his team played their hearts out.
“I’m very proud of the kids the way they played all year, the way they practiced. They deserved a better ending. But that’s the way football is. Someone’s got to win, someone’s got to lose and today wasn’t our day” he commented after the game.
With no Thanksgiving day opponent, the loss also served at the final game for Everett’s seniors.
“I really feel bad for the seniors. I am really proud of the effort they gave today, the effort they gave all year, all four years here. They are nothing but gentlemen,” Coach DiBiaso said.