High School: New England Football Journal Game of the Week Presented by Gold Athletics: Everett 21, Xaverian 19 (OT)

WESTWOOD – As his players continued to find every Gatorade jug and loose water bottle to dump on him, first-year Everett head coach Rob DiLoreto reveled in the moment.

DiLoreto watched as the Crimson Tide let a 10-point fourth quarter lead slip away, but then he also saw his squad muster up the will to pick themselves up and find a way to earn a pulse-pounding 21-19 overtime win on the road against fellow state title contender Xaverian in the season opener on Friday night.

It was also quite a show for the first New England Football Journal Game of the Week presented by Gold Athletics. Cam Mohamed won the first Gold Athletics Player of the Game with the game winning touchdown and two-point conversion in overtime.

“The one thing I’m most proud of is family, team,” DiLoreto said in his soaked red Everett jacket. “That’s what won this game, we gritted ourselves to that win in overtime. I’m super proud. Every game I’ve ever coached is the most important game that the kids will ever play.

“Look at this feeling. There is nothing like high school football. There is nothing like it. It’s special and Everett football is special. We stick together no matter what. We have a lot to improve on, a lot of mistakes, but I’m super proud.”

Everett led just 7-3 with 1:11 left in the third quarter as both defenses were very good all night long. At that point, quarterback Kamarri Ellerbe and the Crimson Tide offense came back out with the ball at the Everett 20. After no gain on the first play, Ellerbe hit Moses Seide with a flick-of-the-wrist laser deep down field. Seide caught the ball in stride but was tripped up from behind right around the 10-yard line. He fumbled the ball into the end zone and was still able to run and recover it for a wild touchdown and a 13-3 lead heading to the fourth.

Prior to the big play, Xaverian had four possessions in the third quarter. Two of those possessions started at the Everett 26 and 22 yard lines, while the other two began at Xaverian’s 42 and 40, none of them resulted in points.

Three plays into the final frame BC commit Ismael Zamor picked off a trick play, but the Crimson Tide had to punt the ball back. 78-yards and 15 plays later – with the help of two penalties along the way – Xaverian quarterback Jake Gilbert punched in a 1-yard TD run and Oliver Waddleton cut it to 13-10 with a little over four minutes left.

Everett had a chance to ice the game with just over a minute remaining on third down but Mohamed dropped a pass on a wheel route and Xaverian forced a punt. Gilbert and the offense trotted back out to their own 25 with 1:22 remaining, but only needed one play to get all the way down to the Everett 29 as Gilbert found Jonathan Monteiro for the big gain.

Eventually – after a huge pass break up from Zamor that might have saved the game – Waddleton booted a 28-yard field goal to make it 13-13, forcing overtime. Xaverian needed three plays to score on its first possession at the 10-yard line, with Joe Kelcourse punching it in on third down. The ensuing two-point attempt was stuffed and the Hawks held a 19-13 lead.

On first down for Everett, Zamor took a direct snap and was banged up on the play. Mohamed came in and filled the exact same role, scoring on a 3-yard touchdown and then added the two-point attempt. He was soon lifted on his teammates shoulders and handed the game ball as the bench stormed the field and the large Everett crowd on hand went nuts.

“We’ve got that swag back, we’re Everett and we want everybody to know that, don’t forget it” said Mohamed. “This pushes us. We’re going to try and go undefeated and we just beat the best team we’re going to play this whole season.”

Early on, Xaverian took a 3-0 lead on a Waddleton 25-yard field goal, but Zamor hauled in a 56-yard touchdown pass to give the Crimson Tide a 7-3 lead after one. Both squads combined for seven punts, a turnover on downs and the end of the half before the long Everett TD in the third and the ensuing chaos that followed.

It was certainly a statement win for the Crimson Tide program, but DiLoreto also knows it’s about much more than that.

“These kids have worked so hard to get to this point,” he added. “In Everett, it’s harder. It’s harder in Everett, in the inner city, it’s harder in the cities because we have issues with Covid, we have issues with equity…we have to stick together as a family. That’s what we do no matter what, that’s what we preach in Everett.

“I love it. I’m just honored to be a part of it and a small part of this game.”

This article has 4 Comments

  1. The coaching staff at Xaverian has to develop a quarterback and a passing offense that equals today’s emphasis on pass heavy football. Look at teams like Springfield Central, Central Catholic, and CM that put up above passing stats.

  2. Everett has beaten Xaverian 6 straight times. Common sense would demand focusing on developing a quarterback, as wide open passing offenses have been the theme for many years!

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