LYNN, Mass. -- Two of our ESPNBoston.com High Schools preseason Massachusetts Top 25 teams squared off on Saturday as No. 25 Lynn English hosted No. 3 Everett at Manning Field in Lynn. The teams showed equally impressive chemistry between quarterbacks and wide receivers, but both coaches know that they have a lot to work on moving forward.
Everett’s defense struggled initially to stop quarterback Tyllor MacDonald, wide receiver Trevonne Berry-Rogers and the Lynn English offense. But, after the first series, the group showed a significant improvement.
On the other hand, the Bulldogs defense could not find an answer to quarterback John Dibiaso Jr. and his host of wide receivers. Whether it was Manny Asprilla, Matt Costello, Tony St. Louis or Jakarrie Washington, the Crimson Tide found a lot of room in the Bulldogs secondary. However, it wasn’t a true test of Lynn English’s defense because they are missing key players Nick Flawa, Brendan Holey and Derrick Stevens due to injury.
Here are some more observations from Saturday’s scrimmage:
1. Lynn English head coach P.J. Holey is not afraid to blitz. Missing Flawa and Stevens on the linebacker corps and defensive tackle Brendan Holey, he was forced to bring the pressure with other methods. Linebackers Jeremy Lessard, Zach Adie and Kwame Johnson tried to fill the holes. Holey (who Berry-Rogers and the rest of the team have nicknamed Rex Ryan because of his coaching style) tried to put as much pressure as possible on Dibiaso Jr.
2. The Everett offensive line is impressive. They held their ground while protecting Dibiaso Jr., and opened the run gaps when called upon in the zone-read offense. Sophomore left tackle John Montelus was a formidable opponent for the Lynn English front seven. Montelus, a 6-foot-3, 245-pound lineman, has the size to grow into a solid force for Everett in the future.
3. The Crimson Tide has a talented defense all around, but fell victim to the big play a couple times Saturday. The defense held Lynn English to 15 yards on 15 plays its second time out. But, on the next defensive series, allowed three plays of at least 30-yards, including runs of 75 and 32 yards to Melvin Taveras. The Everett defensive line, led by Shaq Taylor and Ralph Jonathas, disrupted MacDonald enough to get him out of rhythm at points during the scrimmage.
4. Manny Asprilla, Matt Costello, Jakarrie Washington and Tony St. Louis are among the most talented groups of receivers in the state. Asprilla and Costello highlight the group and have a knack for getting open and breaking tackles. Both receivers caught two touchdowns on the afternoon.
“I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again,” Everett head coach John Dibiaso Sr. said. “With Asprilla and Costello on one side, and those other guys down the line, our skill guys are the best around.”
5. The depth of Lynn English was tested against Everett as the Bulldogs came into the scrimmage with injuries to key players. The offensive line looks to be the weakness of the team, as the unit had trouble snapping the ball to MacDonald at one point on five consecutive plays, and struggled protecting the quarterback when faced with pressure.
“I was concerned about the offensive line and how physical we were going to be going in,” Holey said. “I’m pretty happy with what I saw, but we have a long way to go.”