For the second week in a row the Everett High Crimson Tide football team loaded their players onto the buses and made a long road trip to take on a well-regarded powerhouse from central Massachusetts.
And, for the second week in a row the ride home seemed a lot shorter and a great deal more fun than the trip out had been. Winning will do that for you.
The Tide defeated Springfield Central, 33-14.
The win over Springfield central featured an impressive defense and the timely offense from seniors Gilly DeSouza and Jalen Felix. But head coach John DiBiaso hasn’t been completely happy with his team’s performances thus far.
“We had some very costly penalties and that is two weeks in a row,” said DiBiaso after practice on Monday night. “We’d like to iron that stuff out (this week) and we‘d like to be more consistent on offense.”
‘DeSouza was eight of 10 passing and he threw four touchdowns for us and Jalen Felix was our big weapon on the ground,“ added DiBiaso. “He (Felix) caught one screen pass that he broke for a big touchdown and had another touchdown on a nice run, it was really great to see him get loose and have a big game for us.”
DiBiaso noted that four of his team’s five touchdowns came on plays covering 15 yards or more and three of those covered 24 yards or more. Otherwise the team had trouble with penalties that slowed them down and gave Springfield Central a chance to hang around. The Tide led the game 14-7 at the half.
“I really thought that the key to this game was that Gilly had a big game, he made some big plays for us when we needed them and that allowed us to open a lead and forced (Central) to have to throw earlier than they wanted to and that changed the game.”
Felix opened the scoring in the first quarter when he took a short screen pass from DeSouza and rambled 57-yard to the end zone, breaking several tackles along the way.
Central responded in the second quarter, briefly tying the game at 7, before Felix scored on a three-yard running play to make the score 14-7 at the break.
In the second half though, DeSouza connected on three more touchdown throws – a 15-yard play to Jakarrie Washington, a 47-yard pass to Joey White and a 24-yard pass to Brenden LaRosa pushing the score to 33-7, before Central scored a late touchdown on a 25-yard pass play to account for the final score.
The Tide will return to the friendly confines of Everett Memorial Stadium Saturday, September 22 to take on St. John’s Prep in a battle of the top teams in the Boston Globe and Boston Herald football rankings.
“It’s our homecoming game and that is good, but we know whenever we face this team that it’s going to be a physical type game,” said DiBiaso. “As often happens when you have the top teams facing off, the game is probably going to come down to who can control the ball, avoid turnovers and not commit penalties.”
DeSouza, who got the job after the team suffered injuries to its first two quarterbacks, has now led the team to a 2-0 start in impressive fashion and has thrown five touchdowns in his first two games as a quarterback. It appears as though he will continue to lead the Tide for the foreseeable future, as Pat Long and Lukas Denis continue to recover from their injuries. Denis, a sophomore, appears to be closer to a return from his injury, but DeSouza may have taken control of the job for now.
In other injury news, DiBiaso said that the team is hoping to get starting tailback Kenny Calaj back onto the field this week. Calaj is trying to come back from a high ankle sprain that caused him to miss the first two games as well.