NEEDHAM, Mass. -- Make no bones about it, this was an old-fashioned beat down in the truest sense.
St. Sebastian's out-numbered, out-weighed, out-gained and out-matched Middlesex during a rare ISL evening contest held Friday. The Arrows earned high marks in all three phases during their 54-14 rout of the Zebras.
Playing in a steady rain, the conditions proved to be of little significance for St. Sebs; seemingly nothing Middlesex could do would slow down the Arrows. Just two weeks into the season, St. Sebs has already tabulated 96 points. The Arrows took down Berkshire School 42-6 a week ago.
But from with the ease of these first two victories, there is still much work to be done. With the preliminary portion of its schedule concluded, St. Sebs (2-0) now ventures into ISL iron, with upcoming contests against such stalwarts as Belmont Hill, Lawrence Academy, Governors Academy, Milton Academy and BB&N.
Arrows head coach Bob Souza, now in his 39th year at the helm, needs no reminders that the next five weeks will either make or break his club in their quest for a league championship and a postseason bowl invitation.
"We told the kids to take care of the things that we needed to care of tonight in terms of our execution," said Souza. "We wanted to play physical and fast. Obviously tonight, Middlesex was a bit over-matched but we know that it is not going to be like that these next five weeks. We know the next five weeks is going to be a different experience for us and we know that we will have to be at our best."
St. Sebs wasted little time displaying its dominance against the Zebras. On their initial possession, after a Will Frisoli 40-yard kickoff return, the Arrows drove 40 yards on just three plays before quarterback Tommy Seidl bolted through the middle 11 yards for the score.
A Wellesley product, Seidl plays his position more like a tailback due to his outstanding speed and elusiveness. The senior, who was taken out to start the second half thanks to St. Sebs' lopsided advantage on the scoreboard, rushed for 121 yards on 6 carries, finding the end zone three times. He also completed 3 of 4 passes for 29 yards.
"Give credit to our line because they make every thing look easy," said Seidl. "When they are holding their blocks it just makes our jobs in the backfield that much easier."
It was evident early that Middlesex was in for a long night. The Zebras offense managed just 133 yards, with 80 of it coming in the opening half. Their quarterabcks combined for five interceptions and 10 of 37 passing for 96 yards. Two of those interceptions resulted in touchdowns for the Arrows, while two others set up easy scoring opportunities.
In the late goings of the first quarter, St. Sebs went on top by a pair of touchdowns following Jack Frisoli's nifty 47 yard punt return. Moments later, Demarzo threw an errant pass that was picked off by Frisoli. The Westwood senior raced down the sideline 41 yards to make it 21-0 with still 3:38 remaining in the quarter.
"Coach (Dan) Burke had a great defensive game plan coming in," said Frisoli. "All of us prepared really well. For me, on that pick, I was just in the right place at the right time. This team is on a mission this year and all of us are ready to go. We are focused for every game and obviously we want to win every game. We want to play to the best of our abilities every time we take the field."
Another interception, this time by Brian Craven, helped the Arrows sustain a 73 yard drive before Seidl, out of the shotgun, took the snap and darted 22 yards for the score, extending the lead to 28 points to open the second quarter. The Arrows finished with 241 yards.
"Tommy and (BB&N quarterback Jeff Costello) are very similar in terms that both can hurt you in a lot of ways," Souza said. "As a sophomore, Tommy was one of our best receivers so, as he has shown, he can bring a lot to the table and is really tough once he gets out into the open field. He's a tough kid to corral. Both he and Jack Frisoli are both very explosive players for us."
With a little over six minutes to go before halftime, the Zebras caught a break when Morris picked up a St. Sebs fumble and returned it 77 yards to make it 28-7. But any premonitions of a comeback were quickly defused once Seidl blasted into the end zone from 33 yards out to cap a 72 yard march on the Arrows' next series.
Just before intermission, the Zebras did manage to catch St. Sebs' defense napping. On a crossing route, Demarzo connected with receiver Rory Glavin for a 19 yard score to send Middlesex into the break trailing 41-14.
With this game well in hand, Souza started to empty his bench during the final half. But the results remained the same.
"We didn't drop off when we put our younger kids in," Souza said. "They still played pretty well and hard. That is what we want from all of these kids. The key for us during these next five weeks is to stay healthy and not make mistakes."
Harry Carlson's pick, and ensuing 57 yard return, helped set up a Billy Seidl 3 yard scamper around left end into the corner of the end zone, upping the Arrows advantage to 33. In the waning minutes, a Miguel Vega interception of a Morris pass attempt, was proceeded by Timothy Noone 1 yard carry over the goal line to mercifully finish this one off.
"Sometimes we get a little frustrated not being able to go out there on offense," laughed Tommy Seidl. "But what our defense does is just awesome. It gives us time to rest and it shows just how much we prepared for this game tonight. That is a credit to our entire coaching staff."