FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – Even without Shayne Kaminski, Xaverian's rushing attack was still strong enough to pose massive problems for Central Catholic in last night's Division 1 title game.
Insert Central linebackers Nick Boes and Markus Edmunds: Xaverian's problem.
Edmunds and Boes combined for 10 1/2 tackles and played a major role in shutting down Noah Sorrento and holding the Hawks to 122 total rushing yards.
“We practiced they're plays all week so we knew what they were going to run,” Boes said. “We knew they were a good team but we knew we'd have to keep battling. The defensive tackles set the edge along with our outside linebackers. They kept them inside and we made plays.”
After Sorrento scored in the second quarter to cut the Central lead to 13-7, the tandem buckled down. Sorrento was held to only 48 yards on the night. Boes and Edmunds also both got through to hassle Xaverian quarterback Jake Farrell.
“Our unsung guy is Nick Boes,” Central coach Chuck Adamopoulos said. “He's inside their with Markus and he's been consistent all season for us. They played well today.”
Central won the battle of wills by game's end, but Xaverian pressed the physicality throughout. It took a few key stops in the fourth quarter by Central to close out the game.
“The lineman hit very hard; the running backs hit very hard, obviously,” Edmunds said. “They're an excellent all-around football team.”
The on-field chemistry is a byproduct of the close relationship Boes and Edmunds have off the field. Boes and Edmunds have played together dating back to their time on the J.V. squad in 2011.
“Nick and I are best friends,” Edmunds said. “We know each other very well.”
Edmunds pitched in on the offensive side of the ball as well. The junior rushed the ball five times for 64 yards, including runs of 22 and 26 yards that led to the touchdown that clinched Central's win.
“I love being able to contribute to the team any way I can,” Edmunds said. “The blocking on the perimeter was great.”
As far as winning Central's first state title in 15 years, Edmunds and Boes said that this was dream and capturing it was sweet.
“Before the season this was the ultimate, but we knew it would be tough,” Edmunds said. “We knew we'd have to buckle down to win the game. The feeling's indescribable.”
“This is one of the greatest feelings I've ever experienced in my life,” Boes said.