Everett Leader Staff Report
At first consideration, Everett fans had a lot to feel sorry about last Friday.
For the first time since the MIAA expanded its playoff format in 2013, the Crimson Tide failed to reach at least the Div. 1 North final.
After their loss to Central Catholic in the previous week’s North semifinals, the Tide were unceremoniously but unavoidably dumped onto the MIAA’s “Non-Playoff Schedule,” which is a little like being forced into a staycation when you had your heart set on jetting to the Caribbean.
Moods soured further when it was announced the Tide would play its 10th game of 2018 in the far-western suburbs, at Acton-Boxborough Regional High School. Then, late last week, kickoff was moved from 7 p.m. to 5 p.m. in a failed attempt to beat the rain.
So, yes, the most loyal of Crimson Tide boosters drove from Everett to Acton (ouch) on Friday afternoon of a holiday weekend (are you kidding us?) and sat in the rain (we’re getting aggravated!) to watch a game that had no link whatsoever to a championship or title of any kind (what have we done to deserve this?)
The night ended up being worth the effort. As the rain fell from the sky, you could almost feel the frustration of the 23-20 loss to Central Catholic begin to wash away. And when the 48-14 dismantling of the Colonels was complete, members of the Crimson Tide family had every right to acknowledge that this is a good team that’s approaching the end of a very good season. If EHS defeats Masconomet on Thanksgiving morning, it will put a 10-1 record into the history books. EHS fans should never feel that a 10-1 season isn’t worth celebrating.
The Crimson Tide fell short of their quest for a third straight Div. 1 state title, but it would be unfair and inaccurate to say that these kids didn’t carry the torch of the teams and players that came before them.
This was an entertaining group that beat, among others, eventual Div. 1 North champion St. John’s Prep, Div. 1 South finalist Xaverian, and Div. 2 South finalist Mans eld. EHS is outscoring its foes by an average score of 31-12, and its defense has surrendered more than 20 points in just two of its 10 contests to date. There are countless coaches across the Commonwealth who would walk on nails to experience the kind of “disappointment” suffered by EHS head coach Theluxon Pierre and the Crimson Tide in the semi final loss to Central.
The future can’t be predicted, but you don’t have to walk around the EHS locker room for more than two seconds before you bump into a good football player.
The collection of talented underclassmen includes quarterback Dillon Doherty, running backs Jaden Mahabir and Clarence Jules, receivers Eli Auguste, Tyrese Baptiste, and Ismael Zamor, defensive backs Samy Lamothe and Brandon Gibbs, linebackers Trey Sejour, Josaiah Stewart, and Egan Gouveia, and linemen Ghustin Boyce, John Malloy, Jason Portillo, and Deshawn Weston — and that’s just a quick survey of the roster.
Of course, it’s far easier to look at the sunny side of life following a win. The Tide took care of that in style during their productive trip to Acton-Boxborough, which had also been bounced from the playoffs the week previous. (A-B lost to St. John’s Prep, which beat Central, 21-0, in Saturday’s North title game; St. John’s will play coach John DiBiaso’s Catholic Memorial Knights in the Div. 1 Super Bowl).
Friday’s game was never in doubt as the Tide built a 21-0 first-quarter lead and coasted to their 28th victory in their last 29 games. Senior receiver Mike Sainristil, whose highlight reel could wrap around the globe, scored on 73-, 66- and 39-yard receptions from Doherty, and a 75-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter.
Auguste, who has been excellent at receiver and cornerback, displayed his multidimensional talents by scoring twice, once on the receiving end of a Doherty delivery and once on a pick-six of A-B’s talented southpaw quarterback Finn Murray.
Isaac Seide completed the scoring on an explosive, 75-yard touchdown run around the left end.
The Colonels, who scored only one offensive touchdown, dropped their second straight after an undefeated (7-0) regular season.