LYNN, Mass. -- Playing for the Everett Crimson Tide, it is not a big deal to win a game, nor is it a big deal to win the Greater Boston League Title, nor to win a playoff game.
No, if you play for the Everett Crimson Tide, and are the DiBiaso camp, your expectations are to be nothing but Super Bowl victors. To celebrate anything less, would be ungentlemanly.
“We’re not celebrating, we haven’t reached our goal yet,” said Everett head coach John DiBiaso coolly after his team’s 21-0 win over Andover tonight, which saw his son Jonathan break the state single-season passing touchdown record, with his 40th. “The goal for the year… has always been to win the championship.”
Coach DiBiaso wasn’t even happy. Turnovers, unsportsmanlike penalties, illegal motion penalties, and sustained drives by Andover filled the postgame speech. No mumbling from the players though, only solemn nods of agreement.
“We need to work harder on offense,” said Manny Asprilla, who racked up 42 yards and one touchdown on the day, as well as a fumble recovery in the red zone and seven tackles. “And we need to tighten up on defense."
Everett (11-0) only scored once in the first half, and Andover (8-4) -- having controlled the ball for 9:33 out of the ten minutes in the first quarter -- showed that they could move the ball on Everett effectively, despite being stopped on the Everett 6 after marching 66 yards. Just before the half, Andover’s Tyler Boudrow intercepted a DiBiaso pass and ran it back past the 50, giving the Golden Warriors momentum going into the second half.
The Golden Warriors forced Everett into its only three-and-out on the day on the opening drive of the second half. Andover got the ball at their own 45 after the punt and return, looking to go in for a score. On the first play of drive, quarterback Tom Dempsey ran left for nine yards across the 50 to the 46. On the next play, Dempsey attempted to hand the ball off to Freddie Scribner, but somewhere between the two, Shaquille Taylor made a hit and the ball came loose, and falling on it was Everett junior Paul Marckini, who saw another player jump on it but came up with the ball.
“Somehow, it ended up under me,” said Marckini. Marckini did not start at the beginning of the season, but has earned a starting spot on the team, as he and other players say, due to his dedication to lifting and working hard in practice.
“Sometimes it’s hurtful,” said Taylor, of making it into the backfield past lineman who will do just about anything to stop a defender. “But I like to pride myself on taking the pain. We’ve got a lot of guys who play hard and play tough. That’s what I love.”
Getting the ball on their 47, Everett then weaved together an 11-play drive, despite two off sides penalties, capped off by a pair of runs by Manny Asprilla. The first was an eight yard run to the left, on which Asprilla drove his body forward with his legs, but came up two yards short of the score, setting up first and goal. On first and goal, Asprilla took the handoff and busted up the middle, meeting tacklers at the line of scrimmage but forcing his detractors back with his will, moving the pile past the plane to put Everett up 13-0. The Gilly DeSouza kick made the game 14-0.
Taking over from their own seven, Andover refused to stand by and wait for a chance to break a play, as they made a quick move that caught Everett off guard. A quick pass from Dempsey to Ned Deane on the left sideline netted Andover 41 yards on its first play of the drive. Three plays and one off sides penalty later, the Warriors were faced with a first and 15 from the Everett 35, driving towards the end zone.
Andover’s Freddie Scribner made it down to about the 15 before losing control of the ball in a collision, and Asprilla, always alert and looking for play, fell on it and cradled the ball like it was his first-born son, with the potential to put the game out of reach for the Golden Retrievers.
“I saw Ronnie [Richard] hit him so hard that the ball came out,” said Asprilla, "I knew I had to jump tight on it."
DiBiaso, knowing that two scores would not be enough for the win, took on double duties for the drive, running for 41 yards and passing for 45 yards, including the 12-yard corner of the end zone hookup between him and Costello for the insurance score.
“We’ve got one more game left,” added coach DiBiaso, of Everett’s match against St. John’s Prep for the Division I title on Saturday, December 4th.
EVERETT 21, ANDOVER 0
E - Matt Costello 15 pass from John DiBiaso (Gilly DeSouza kick)
E - Manny Asprilla 2 run (DeSouza kick)
E - Costello 12 pass from DiBiaso (DeSouza kick)