By Cary Shuman
The challenge was enormous: Could the Everett High football team go in to the packed house of an undefeated Lexington High football team and continue its march toward a second consecutive Super Bowl title?
For one quarter in appeared that the undefeated Lexington Minutmen and their dynamic quarterback, Sal Frelick, could contend with the No. 1-ranked Crimson Tide. Frelick wowed the huge with an 80-yard touchdown run in the first quarter.
But Everett has its own star quarterback in Jake Willcox and an offensive attack that has proven to be unstoppable this season.
Willcox was 14-for-17 for 203 yards and three touchdowns while the Everett running game led by Jacob Miller and Kevin Brown added another dimension to the attack as Everett rolled to a 49-21 victory over Lexington in a Division 1 North semifinal at Dr. Harold Crumb Memorial Field.
The Everett defense contained Frelick for the final three quarters as Everett scored 35 unanswered points to build a 49-14 lead. Everett’s pass rushers forced Frelick to throw hurriedly and the Tide’s Robbie Riobe, Mike Sainristil, and Jason Maitre had interceptions in the contest.
Division 1 college prospect Lewis Cine had a big sack in the second quarter that was followed by a blocked punt by Josh Miller. The special teams also produced for Everett with placekicker Caio Costa continuing his streak by booting seven PATs.
If one playexempliedEveret’s superb playcalling once again, it was a Jake Willcox to Kevin Brown 20-yard touchdown pass when Everett showed a classic run-formation.
Everett’s contingent of receivers, Mike Sainristil, Isaiah Likley, Anthony Norcia, Jason Maitre, all had key receptions. Sainristil, Maitre, and the aforementioned Brown had the TD catches.
Norcia, who’s having another sensational season, was called upon more often as Lexington seemed to focus on stopping Likely who had two touchdowns against the Prep in the playoff opener.
Kevin Brown, Jacob Miller, and Jaden Mahabir each had touchdown runs.
Lexington head coach George Peterson said Everett was the best team it had faced all season.
“We stood up for as long as we could and tried to go toe to toe and we did, but we just couldn’t keep it up and stay with them,” said Peterson. “They’re the best team in the state. They’re going to breeze to the Super Bowl. Everything impressed me about them – their speed, their size; we couldn’t get back and make a play.
“Their defense had Sal on the run all night, he running for his life,” said Peterson. “We had to put him on the move so it closes a side of the field for us.”
As the game came to close, the Lexington public address announcer called the 2017 team’s season, “the best ever in school history.”
“I’m proud of my kids and the way we fought,” said Peterson. “We didn’t give them anything. I think the victory was something Everett had to earn.”
DiBiaso was pleased with his team’s solid all-around performance. Once again, it was a combination of offense, defense, and special teams.
“I thought the whole offense played great,” said DiBiaso. “We did a good job on defense, limiting their big plays, we got their offense off the field all night.”
Everett will play No. 1 seed Central Catholic in the Division 1 North final Saturday at 5 p.m. at Lawrence Memorial Stadium. The winner advances to the Super Bowl at Gillette Stadium.
Interestingly, Everett could play at two professional sports teams’ venues in a span of 10 days. Everett will play its Thanksgiving game on Nov. 22 at Fenway Park.“