(VIDEO) 2016 MIAA D1 State Championship: Everett 21, Xaverian 7

Saturday, December 3rd, 2016

(VIDEO) 2016 MIAA D1 State Championship: Everett 21, Xaverian 7
Your 2016 D1 Champions: Everett Crimson Tide

by Nate Weitzer for Mass Prep Stars

LYNN, Mass – If you want to upset the two-time defending champions and end one of the most dynastic runs in MIAA football history, you have to believe.
 
For the Everett Crimson Tide, that belief came out of the throes of a couple of crushing losses to the Billerica Indians and Xaverian Hawks.
 
Since dropping those two contests by three points a piece, the Crimson Tide have been on a mission, and they carried their quest through to completion by controlling the action from start to finish in a 21-7 win over the Hawks for the Division 1 Championship.
 
“They’re good kids,” Everett head coach John DiBiaso said about his group. “We’ve never had any disciplinary issues and there’s no selfishness on this team. It was one hundred hearts beating as one.”
 
Just like they did in wins over Haverhill, Central Catholic and Andover to reach the D1 Super Bowl, the Crimson Tide started with the ball and scored quickly to build an early lead over Xaverian at Manning Field in Lynn.
 
This time, it was sophomore wide receiver turning a short bubble screen into a 38-yard touchdown with his impressive speed to make it 7-0 two minutes into the game.
 
Early in the second quarter, Everett quarterback Jordan McAfee (11-of-20, 218 passing yards, 2 TDs) hooked up with junior David Zorrilla for a 56-yard gain and running back Marvens Fedna (16 carries, 63 yards, TD) finished the drive with a 10-yard score (see video below) to make it 14-0 in favor of the Tide.
 

“The tradition of Everett football just gets us going from the start,” Sanristil said. “All summer coach had us working in the heat and none of us wanted to quit, because we knew what was in store this year. We asked the seniors, how do you want this season to end? And that was the story line for this year.”

 
By building a sizable lead in the first half, Everett took away what Xaverian likes to do offensively. The Hawks simply could not come back quickly through their ground-and-pound style and the Crimson Tide defense gave them very few opportunities to connect on any big passing plays.
 
Senior defensive back Carlins Platel came up with a pivotal pass breakup right before halftime to deny Xaverian wide receiver Samuel Laurent of a touchdown and the Crimson Tide defense continued to stymy the Hawks on their first two possessions of the second half.
 
Platel with the big pass break-up for Everett.
Still, Everett’s experienced coaches knew that the game was far from over.
 
“Coach [DiBiaso] said that bad teams make the mistake of looking at the clock when they’re winning,” Sainristil explained. “So we knew that we had to keep playing for those last 22 minutes and not take anything for granted.”
 
Sure enough, Xaverian made a late run after McAfee hit senior Theo Zidor (4 receptions, 58 yards, TD) for a 38-yard score to make it 21-0.
 
The Hawks came back with a four-play, 77-yard scoring drive capped by a 43-yard touchdown pass to Mekhi Henderson and got the ball back once more with just under three minutes remaining, but Jason Maitre came up with an interception to seal the win for Everett.
 
“Personally, I felt like a weight came off my chest,” McAfee said about his emotional state after the game was decided. “As a team, we all deserve this because we bust our butts day in and day out.”

 

The Everett Crimson Tide wins an 11th D1 Super Bowl Title since 1996

 

Stars Who Shined

Everett

 

Jordan McAfee ‘17 QB – The leader of Everett’s prolific offense all season, McAfee said he felt personally accountable after the Tide suffered a 23-20 loss in overtime at Billerica to wrap up September with a 2-2 record.

“After the loss to Billerica, we got the message that we have to pick it up or it’s going to be a repeat of last year,” McAfee said, adding, “After our loss to Xaverian we realized that you really have to be prepared both physically and mentally. This time we were.”

Everett’s coaches seemed to have a good idea of how to attack the Xaverian defense and their quarterback executed that game plan, as McAfee connected on four of his first six passes for 128 yards and a touchdown.

With the Crimson Tide firmly in control late in the fourth quarter, the slender quarterback used great misdirection on a play action fake, followed by a counter screen to Zidor on the backside of the formation, resulting in a 38-yard score that basically sealed another title for Everett.

Mike Sainristil ‘19 WR/DB – The electric sophomore put his imprint on yet another playoff game with a touchdown in his fourth consecutive postseason appearance.

Sainristil used his speed to gain 59 yards and score a touchdown on Everett’s opening possession, and he laid out for a 34-yard catch to pick up a key first down and set up Zidor’s touchdown in the fourth quarter.

Duane Binns ‘18 LB – While the Everett offense did well to set the tone, Everett’s defensive stars shined brightest in this Super Bowl.

The Crimson Tide battled a Hawks offensive line that has dominated the opposition all season and held Xaverian’s workhorse running back Devon Picinnin (17 carries, 53 yards) in check. 

Binns was at the center of that attack with six tackles and one and a half sacks.

“[The Hawks] are a very good team, but everyone had to stay disciplined and execute,” Binns said. “I had to read my cues from the tackles and the guards and once I did that I was able to make some plays.”

The speedy inside linebacker seemed to be everywhere on the field. He added a couple of key tackles while covering kickoffs and recovered the onside kick that could’ve given Xaverian one more chance to mount a last-second comeback. 

Ducarmel Cine ‘17 LB – Inside linebackers have to work in tandem and Cine played extremely well alongside Binns in an effort to limit the Hawks rushing attack.

The senior made several key tackles early and burst through the line to pressure Xaverian quarterback Mattison Cronin on third-and-nine from the Everett 19-yard line, setting up Binns and teammate Robert Fialli to record a pivotal sack that denied the Hawks an early score.

Cine with the pressure for Everett.

Gerell Boyce ‘17 DL – Another key contributor in the front seven for Everett, Boyce shut down Xaverian’s stretch runs and came up with a huge fumble recovery in the first half that put Everett in position to add to an early 14-0 lead.

The athletic defensive end also recorded four tackles and a pass defended, and along with senior captain Duval Paul, shut down the opposition’s biggest weapon to earn the MIAA D1 Super Bowl Championship Trophy.


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