Their record and reputation unblemished, the No. 1 Crimson Tide are free to chart a course for the playoffs, where the measuring stick is longer, the stakes higher, the margin for error narrower.
Everett improved to 6-0 following Friday night’s 33-0 demolition of Medford at Veterans Memorial Stadium, a game that saw the Crimson Tide’s starting offense play two series before calling it a night. The Tide won’t be back in action until Friday, Oct. 26, when they host a Div. 1 North quarter-final game.
The gap on the schedule unexpectedly opened up earlier this week when Malden, which is young and winless and heavily rebuilding, forfeited its scheduled road game at Everett. The Crimson Tide and Golden Tornadoes have been playing annually for decades, and the rivalry dates back to the early 1990s. Not playing this game feels … Odd, to say the least. But it doesn’t distort the big picture. Everett is headed to the postseason, in pursuit of a third consecutive state title.
This much we know for sure: The eight-team Div. 1 North playoffs begin on Friday, Oct. 26 and the Crimson Tide will be a part of the fray. Presently, EHS is ranked first in the MIAANorth bracket, a little bit ahead of No. 2 Acton-Boxboro. There is a good chance, but it’s not certain, that EHS will hang onto the No. 1 seed, meaning it could play three home games en route to the Super Bowl.
But the No. 2 spot is in play as well. The MIAA playoff ratings are fickle and formulaic, driven by your record and the records of your opponents. It lacks subjective or observational components. Unlike, say, the committee that decides who qualifies for the MIAA Div. 1A hockey tournament. That group considers all manner of factors, delving way beyond won-loss records.
Remember, the Crimson Tide were easily undefeated and the unquestioned best team in the state heading into last year’s playoffs, but they were seeded third in the north. It was equal parts annoying and comical, although it didn’t matter. After a home win over St. John’s, the Tide fired up the team bus and lit up Lexington and Central Catholic on the road before beating Xaverian in title game.
It will all be sorted out by early next week. In the meantime, the Crimson Tide can take a breather for a week and ramp up for the home playoff game on the 26th.
This past Friday’s game was over in a flash. The Tide scored 20 points in the first quarter, and first-year head coach TheluxonPierre had the chance to play reserves and underclassmen for most of the game.
Quarterback Dillon Doherty completed four passes for 87 yards, including 13- and 42- yard touchdown strikes to Mike Sainristil and Tyrese Baptiste, respectfully. Baptiste’s score provided a moment of electricity, as he caught a short pass and used a quick burst of speed to race between two defenders and into the end zone. Jaden Mahabir scored from 1-yard out, following a blocked punt, for the score of the night.
MALLOY ON THE MARK — Junior center John Malloy has been rock solid for the Crimson Tide. The offense moves in and out of shotgun during games and there have been very few issues with snaps. Obviously, fans only notice the center-QB exchange when it goes bad. For Everett’s opponents, shotgun snaps have been an adventure, leading to a large handful of negative plays. Even a mediocre snap can spell doom for an offense because the Tide’s defenders are so quick that they don’t need more than a second’s advantage to blow up a play.
A CLASS ACT — Medford head coach Jason Nascimento, an Everett High graduate and a former Crimson Tide standout, shared some kind words with Superintendent of Schools Frederick F. Foresteire after the game … The Crimson Tide were without starting lineman Jalen Smith and wide receiver/ defensive back Robbie Riobe. The hope is that both will be back when the playoffs begin … Clarence Jules was impressive as Everett’s featured running back in the second half. Ismael Zamor got valuable experience at quarterback … Chonlee Cine scored one of the five touchdowns vs. Medford on a 73-yard interception return. EHS has at least one interception in all six of its victories.