DANVERS — Before every game, Everett senior quarterback Raheem Wingard tells himself to be poised and patient, and that’s exactly what he displayed in the fourth quarter Saturday.
St. John’s Prep had scored a touchdown to pull within one score of the Crimson Tide, but Wingard ensured it didn’t stay close for long.
He connected with Lukas Denis for a 38-yard pass, and then ran 25 yards for a touchdown to put his team ahead by 14 as fifth-ranked Everett marched to a 35-14 victory against No. 3 St. John’s Prep at Cronin Stadium.
“I needed some poise coming back from a score, and I saw [Denis] behind the safety and I just aired it out,” Wingard said.
Wingard’s run gave Everett (2-1) a 28-14 advantage with 7:56 remaining. With 1:28 to play, Joe D’Onofrio scored his second touchdown of the game, this one a 5-yard run, to seal the victory.
In the third quarter, Prep star running back and Maryland commit Johnathan Thomas suffered an injury to his right knee and didn’t return.
Thomas (21 carries, 98 yards) left the sidelines late in the fourth quarter on a medical cart with his knee wrapped. Eagles coach Jim O’Leary said Thomas would get an MRI Monday.
Connor Haywood replaced Thomas, and scored on a 5-yard run to cut the deficit to 21-14 with 9:32 remaining for the Eagles (2-2).
Everett established a 21-7 halftime lead by relying on running backs D’Onofrio, Marquis Holman, and Isaiah Davis, who started in his first game of the season.
“We ran the ball well early in the game,” Everett coach John DiBiaso said. “We established the fullback with Marquis, and that opened up things on the outside.”
Davis, a senior who transferred from Lynn English, rushed for a 16-yard touchdown to give Everett a 7-0 lead in the first quarter. On the ensuing kickoff, St. John’s fumbled the return.
Everett took over from the Eagles’ 9 and Davis (64 yards) rushed for a 2-yard score to stretch the Crimson Tide lead to 14-0.
“I couldn’t do it without my team,” Davis said. “They welcomed me. It’s a brand-new team and a brand-new me. I was running hard at practice and doing everything great, and we came in and did what we did at practice.”
Everett’s defense stifled St. John’s Prep on the next drive and forced a three and out.
Wingard hit Denis on a 29-yard pass to get to the Eagles’ 20. On fourth and 4, D’Onofrio was held to a 2-yard gain, but a facemask penalty extended the drive and D’Onofrio scored on a 3-yard run to give Everett a 21-0 lead.
Wingard hit Denis on a 29-yard pass to get to the Eagles’ 20. On fourth and 4, D’Onofrio was held to a 2-yard gain, but a facemask penalty extended the drive, setting up the touchdown.
St. John’s Prep was flagged for five penalties, including three false starts.
“We can’t spot them points,” O’Leary said. “We’re a good football team, but you can’t beat yourself. You have to play clean and we didn’t.”
With seconds to go before the half expired, St. John’s Prep quarterback Michael Geaslen kept his head and delivered a 2-yard touchdown pass.
After a completion on third down that came up short, O’Leary called for the spike, but called it off after realizing it was fourth down. With the clock running and no timeouts remaining, Geaslen frantically scrambled his team to the line and executed a pass to Owen Rockett to make it 21-7 pass before the horn sounded.