Everett beats Peabody, 55-41
Tide play St. John’s Prep for North title Friday
By Cary Shuman
The Everett High School football team repelled a challenge from an upset-minded Peabody team, eventually prevailing in a wild 55-41 barnburner Friday night at Everett Veterans Memorial Stadium.
The win over the Tanners sets up a dream rematch with St. John’s Prep for the Division 1 North sectional championship Friday at 7 p.m. on the Tide’s home field. Everett won the first meeting, 34-23, on Homecoming Day and now the teams will compete with a berth in the Division 1 Super Bowl at Gillette Stadium on the line.
Coach John DiBiaso’s Crimson Tide needed every bit of its offensive firepower to hold off Peabody and its elusive running back, Doug Santos, who dented the Everett defense for 195 yards and three touchdowns. Peabody quarterback Mike Raymond added 278 yards passing to keep the Tanners within striking distance.
But it was Everett’s phenomenal two-way force, senior Lukas Denis, who turned in the undisputed play of the night. With the Tide holding on to a precarious one-point lead, Denis intercepted a pass thrown by Santos and returned it 82 yards for a touchdown.
Denis had earlier riddled the Peabody defense when he caught a screen pass from Jordan McAfee and turned it into a 54-yard touchdown. The Boston College-bound captain also had a 23-yard TD reception.
McAfee, a 6-foot-3-inch sophomore, turned in a solid performance, passing for 184 yards, including a 46-yard TD strike to Jean Richard.
Jackinson Joacine and Luis Cardona each scored two touchdowns in the second half, but it wasn’t until the final minute of play – and some excellent work by the Tide’s special teams on successive onside kicks – that Everett could breathe a sigh of relief.
“It was a big win – Peabody played very well,” said Everett coach John DiBiaso. “We need to play better defense but this was an exciting high school football game.”
Denis excels in big win over Peabody
By Cary Shuman
Thursday night Everett High’s Lukas Denis accepted the ‘E’ Club’s Bouvier Jewelers Award as the most outstanding senior football player.
Friday night Denis affirmed his status as one of the best all-around players in Massachusetts with three touchdowns in a thrilling 55-41 win over Peabody in the Division 1 North semifinals.
Denis kept his acceptance speech brief at ‘E’ Club Awards Dinner, thanking the club for the high honor and beautiful trophy (and watch) that he received.
Superintendent of Schools Frederick Foresteire talked about Denis’s performance following the Tide’s victory Friday night.
“Lukas Denis did what he’s done all year and throughout his whole career – and that’s why BC has recruited him early,” said Foresteire. “He’s such an outstanding player. He plays to the level of the game. God has given him a talent that not too many people have and he displays it every week on the field. And he’s as great a person off the field as he is on the field. And I think that’s what makes him what he is. He ranks up there with Everett’s very best of all time.”
Foresteire was asked about the tremendous showdown with St. John’s Prep that is already being billed as “game of the year.”
“We’re looking forward to the game [versus the Prep],” said Foresteire, trying to restrain his enthusiasm for a game that should attract a massive crowd to Everett Memorial Stadium. “It’s a big game and we’ll go from there.”