EVERETT – 37
CENTRAL CATHOLIC – 39
By Lorenzo Recupero
Over the last five years, no one has beaten Everett more than the Central Catholic Raiders.
In Saturday’s MIAA Division 1 North Semifinals, C-C made sure it remained that way, topping the Tide, 39-37, in overtime.
Since winning back-to-back titles in 2016 & 2017, C-C has been the largest thorn in Everett’s side, keeping them from a shot at a three-peat while knocking them out the playoffs the last two years in a row.
In those two Everett-ousting wins by C-C (8-1), three and two points were the margin of victory.
Last year’s difference was a last-second field goal and this time around a 2-point conversion rush in overtime.
The back-and-forth slugfest between the two division 1 powerhouses Saturday at Lawrence was the thriller all knew it would be, featuring several lead changes, big-time plays, and even a little dusting of referee decisions that some in attendance would say altered the outcome of the game including a second half snafu that gifted C-C an extra down that eventually lead to a tie-breaking touchdown.
Everett (7-2), riding the wave of a 7-game win streak, opened up the game in a big way, smacking C-C right in the mouth with a 87-yard kickoff return by speedy reciever Tyrese Baptiste that turned into the game’s first score on a 2-yard touchdown rush by Deshawn Watson the very next play.
The Tide would eventually enter halftime down, 17-10, and would play from behind for the majority of the game before tying it back up to force overtime on Jaden Clerveaux’s 10-yard TD run.
The Tide’s resilience powered them in overtime on a Baptiste 3-yard TD rush to pull within two points of C-C, but the 2-point conversion run from quarterback Duke Doherty fell just inches shy of the goal line, effectively ending Everett’s run in the playoffs.
The botched calls – on both the extra down granted to C-C, and the 2-point attempt being ruled inches short – didn’t sit well with second- year Everett coach Theluxon Pierre, who saw his season ended last year in very similar fashion.
“When we appealed to the refs about the extra down, myself and my staff were told to be quiet or get thrown out,” said Pierre of what transpired on field following the extra down being granted to Central.
According to Pierre, even the chain holders on the sideline tried to get the refs to realize the costly mistake but to no avail.
“Even on the 2-point conversion in overtime, two of the refs said it was good and the other, who was on the opposite side of the field, called it no good,” said a very adamant Pierre, who stated the Tide had 16 touchdowns or conversions reversed by the refs this year, the most he’s ever heard of. “It’s obvious that we have a target on our backs,” he said.
“It’s on the MIAA and the state officials,” said Pierre of the rulings on the field that he believes cost his team the game. “We just can’t have bonehead officials making bonehead calls. As a staff and a team, we came ready to play. The refs took the game away from us,” he said.
Pierre has since issued a complaint and requested a review of the officiating by the MIAA. He is awaiting their official response, but the ruling made on the field will stand either way.
The game played on the field, win or lose, will still go down as one of the best games in MIAA playoff history.
And If history is an indication of the future, the Tide and Pierre are inching closer to a return to champion status.
If you’re looking to catch the Tide before they wrap up 2019, they will face-off in a consolation game at Andover on Friday at 6PM and at home against Masconomet at 10AM on Thanksgiving Day.
EHS – 10 0 14 7 (6) – 37
CC – 14 3 7 7 (8) – 39
EHS — Deshawn Weston, 2-yard run. (Abraham Betancourth kick)
CC — Nick Donatio, 75-yard kickoff return. (Nick Maizzie kick)
EHS — Betancourth, 27-yard field goal.
CC — Mark Ciccarelli, 55-yard pass from Ayden Pereira. (Maizzie kick)
CC — Maizzie, 42-yard field goal.
CC —Nathan Herbert, 26-yard pass from Pereira. (Maizzie kick)
EHS — Eli Auguste, 5-yard pass from Dillon Doherty. (Betancourth kick)
EHS — Clarence Jules, 26-yard run. (Betancourth kick)
CC — Donatio, 26-yard pass from Pereira. (Maizzie kick)
EHS — Jayden Clerveaux, 10-yard run. (Betancourth kick)
CC — Pereira, 5-yard run. (Mark Kassis rush)
EHS — Tyrese Baptiste, 3-yard run. (Rush failed)