FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- Everett's offensive skill overwhelmed St. John's Prep in the Division 1 Super Bowl, as superstars Jonathan DiBiaso and Matt Costello hooked up for three touchdowns in the Crimson Tide's 31-7 victory.
On the surface, it reads like another blowout for the Crimson Tide's fast break offense, but Everett didn't rely on skill alone to bring home its eighth Super Bowl title. There was a point when the game was in question, and the Crimson Tide needed its defense to come through with a big play.
Late in the second quarter, St. John's Prep was down 14-7 but driving. After starting at their own 26, the Eagles faced a 4th and 3 at the Everett 41.
"We needed a stop right there," said Everett junior linebacker Chris McCarthy.
St. John's Prep had already proved it could move the ball, with senior running back Tyler Coppola busting free for a 49-yard touchdown on the Eagles' first play from scrimmage.
On the 4th down attempt, SJP quarterback Tommy Gaudet took the snap and rolled right on an option play. He looked to pitch to Coppola, but Everett linebacker Ryan Pietrantonio had that outlet covered.
With nowhere to go, Gaudet tucked the ball and tried to pick up the yardage himself.
No chance. McCarthy split two blockers and burst into the backfield to bring Gaudet down for a four-yard loss. Everett took over on downs, and the DiBiaso-to-Costello connection all but sealed the game when they teamed up on a 10-yard TD with less than a minute to play in the half.
"That was a big play," said Everett coach John DiBiaso. "It's the difference between being up 21-7 at the half or being up 14-7 at the half. Or 14-14."
A tied game at the half was indeed a possibility. But McCarthy wasn't going to let it happen.
"We knew they were going to run it there," said McCarthy. "On the option, the linebackers' job is to read the guards and take care of your man. I'm supposed to get the quarterback, so I read it and ripped through the line and brought him down."
Everett came into the game knowing it had to stop the SJP running game, and aside from an early miscue on Coppola's TD run, the Crimson Tide took care of business.
McCarthy was all over the field, making 12 tackles (two for loss) and coming up with two fourth-down stops.
"He played a great game," DiBiaso said of McCarthy. "All our linebackers did. [St. John's] line is a little bigger and physical, but Chris was able to get through and make plays."