WESTWOOD, Mass. – It wasn’t quite revenge. It was the next best thing.
“When they beat us 29-0, that was an embarrassing loss,” Everett’s Manny Asprilla said, looking back on last year’s thumping doled out by No. 1 Xaverian in the Eastern Mass Division I Super Bowl at Gillette Stadium.
“That stayed with us through the summer, throughout the offseason lifting, everything. When we came into the game, we wanted to put a lot of points on the board. We wanted to hold them to zero.”
During Saturday’s bout between old rivals at the Hawk Bowl, No. 2 Everett first did it by power, then by sheer athleticism.
A healthy dose of Vondell Langston’s runs, followed by the connection between quarterback Jonathan DiBiaso and receiver Manny Asprilla created an effective balance on offense. The Crimson Tide defense slowed the Hawks’ explosive running game, limiting Xaverian to just 83 yards on the ground.
It wasn’t quite the shutout win that Asprilla was looking for, but Everett’s 28-13 win certainly got the job done. And for the second time this season in the ESPN Boston Top 25 poll, No. 2 took out No. 1.
“I didn't have any worry about them being flat, because they’ve got to walk though that whole student body,” Crimson Tide head coach John DiBiaso described his team’s walk to the field past throngs of Xaverian supporters. “My kids are going crazy. That was the best thing they could’ve done.
DiBiaso continued: “Can they come to all our games and do that? I wasn't worried about them being emotional, again I was more concerned about them keeping focus and keeping poise and composure.”
Jonathan DiBiaso got things started for Everett (5-0) with a 3-yard touchdown run with 1:58 remaining in the first quarter. The swirling wind pushed the point-after try wide left for a 6-0 Crimson Tide lead.
Everett nearly struck again before the end of the first half. Gilly DeSouza’s attempt on what would have been a 33-yard field goal was blocked by Chris Tamasi with no time remaining.
Xaverian (5-1) had a new lease on life, returning to field in the second half as Joe Colton’s 30-yard kickoff return set up the Hawks with positive field position.
Eight plays later, head coach Charlie Stevenson went to the bag of tricks for the old Statue of Liberty play. Xaverian quarterback Chris Calvanese deftly sold the play, handing the ball off to Nick McDaniels on the end around for a 3-yard touchdown run. Jules Murphy knocked home the extra point for a 7-6 Hawks lead with 5:35 remaining in the third quarter.
Then, the floodgates opened in the fourth, led by Asprilla’s efforts on both sides of the ball.
“Manny [Asprilla], he’s a freak,” Langston said of his teammate.
Langston, who registered 13 carries for 47 yards, rumbled into the end zone on a 4-yard run to regain the lead for Everett. DiBiaso (12 of 21, 195 yards, TD) connected with Asprilla on the two-point attempt for a 14-7 lead.
After Ronnie Richard recovered a Xaverian fumble on the ensuing kickoff, DiBiaso hit Asprilla for a 17-yard touchdown pass with seven minutes to go.
When the Hawks got the ball back, Asprilla again proved why he’s headed to Boston College next fall. As Xaverian quarterback Chris Calvanese scrambled right, Asprilla snatched an interception near midfield and sprinted 47 yards for the touchdown, putting the game out of reach.
The Hawks added a touchdown with no time remaining when Calvanese connected with Mike Muir on an 18-yard score.
Everett 60022 -- 28
Xaverian0076 -- 13
EverettJonathan DiBiaso 3-yard run (kick failed)
Xaverian Nicholas McDaniels 3-yard run (Jules Murphy kick)
EverettVondell Langston 4-yard run (Manny Asprilla pass from DiBiaso)
EverettManny Asprilla 17-yard pass from DiBiaso (Gilly DeSouza kick)
EverettAsprilla 47-yard interception return (DeSouza kick)
Xaverian Mike Muir 18-yard pass from Chris Calvanese