(VIDEO) 2016 MIAA Playoffs: McAfee and Sainristil Lead Everett to Victory
By Nate Weitzer for Mass Prep Stars
HAVERHILL, Mass – Last year marked the first time Everett (5-5) failed to finish the regular season with a winning record since John DiBiasio took over as head coach in 1992.
Those Crimson Tide players who battled through that disappointing campaign came into this season with renewed motivation and a heightened focus, which was on full display as they opened the postseason with a 35-6 throttling of No. 4 Haverhill on Saturday evening.
“We were determined to take away the run,” DiBiaso explained. “We wanted to make [Haverhill] pass the ball and we did a decent job of that and a great job in coverage.”
With that defensive strategy, the Crimson Tide made a goal-line stand to maintain their 21-0 advantage heading into the break, and put the game on ice when sophomore Mike Sainristil intercepted Haverhill quarterback Broghean McGovern for an 87-yard touchdown return that made it 28-0 late in the third quarter.
The Tide rolled from there, setting up a huge second-round tilt against No. 1 Central Catholic next week. Beating the Raiders would offer this group a fitting sense of redemption after Everett lost on homecoming day as well as in the second round of the D1 North bracket to Central last season.
“[The seniors] want it all and I’m going to give everything I have to get them what they want,” Sainristil said when asked about how the upperclassmen are approaching this playoff run. “Once they’re gone it’s up to the next class and the next class, we’re a family and we have to maintain that Everett tradition.”
Stars Who Shined
Haverhill puts together solid opening drive to Q3, but Mike Sainristil spoils any hope with an 87-yard Pick 6. 28-0 Everett pic.twitter.com/6fQ0vcM3zN— Nate Weitzer (@nweitzer7) October 29, 2016
“It was fourth down and I was looking inside, watching the quarterback, but in peripheral vision I could see [Jacob Dion] break, and as soon as he broke, I saw the quarterback look right and throw it, so I made a downhill play got the interception and picked up some blockers on my way to the end zone,” said Sainristil.
With that trio setting the tone up front, the Crimson Tide held Hillies running back Jean-Charles LaGuerre to just 28 rushing yards on 17 carries after the senior had totaled 879 rushing yards and nine touchdowns over his first seven games this season.
Marvens Fedna ‘17 RB – The Crimson Tide’s workhorse out of the backfield set the tone early with 24 rushing yards and a touchdown on their first drive and he pushed the pile for a four-yard touchdown on his second score of the night.
No longer asked to play on both sides of the ball, Fedna (13 carries, 71 yards, 2 TDs) is able to concentrate on his offensive role and he’s flourishing as a tailback.
Clarens Pierre ‘17 DB – The big boys up front set the tone and shut down Haverhill’s running game, but that left Everett’s cornerbacks on an island in man-to-man coverage.
Senior captain Carlins Platel held down one side of the field while Pierre took the other, making several key pass breakups on long bombs from McGovern that could’ve completely changed the complexion of the game if they were completed.
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