EVERETT — Cody Demers was shaken, a ferocious hit causing him to retreat to the sideline early in the first half.
The Central Catholic wide receiver, leveled returning a kick, was forced to miss a few plays as he gathered himself.
But the senior returned a short time later and made an acrobatic, 24-yard touchdown catch with 2:10 left in the game. The score proved to be the winner as the fourth-ranked Raiders stunned No. 1 Everett, 20-15, Saturday afternoon in the Division 1 North final at Veteran’s Memorial Stadium.
Central Catholic (9-1) advances to play No. 3 Xaverian (9-1) in the Division 1 Super Bowl Dec. 7 at Gillette Stadium. Everett, which does not play on Thanksgiving, is done for the season, its quest for a fourth straight Super Bowl over.
“Honestly, it was a shot,” said Demers. “I was running with the ball, I thought I was going to get a block, but he just popped me. I bounced back, was trying to bounce back as a team.”
Things were looking bleak for the Raiders midway through the fourth. Everett took a 15-14 lead with 7:12 to go when Marquis Holman scored from the 1, then James Hunt took a direct snap and ran in for the go-ahead 2-point conversion.
On the ensuing drive, with the Raiders charging to take the lead, running back D’Andre Drummond-Mayrie fumbled at the Everett 5. The Crimson Tide recovered, but went three and out. A bad punt gave Central Catholic good field position at the Everett 36. More fortune followed Facing third and 5, Raiders quarterback Mike Milano fumbled, but it was recovered by offensive lineman Dan MacDonald for a first down. Two plays later, Milano heaved one up for Demers (six catches, 76 yards), who pulled it in while falling to the turf.
“I told people, I think [Demers] is as good a receiver as there is in the state,” said Raiders coach Chuck Adamopoulos. “He and Mike came up big on that play. He’s a little guy, but a big guy as far as playing clutch. It was awesome.”
Everett got the ball back with 48 seconds left. At the Raiders’ 49, quarterback Raheem Wingard threw one up for Lubern Figaro near the 20. Figaro battled, but couldn’t grab it as he was taken down by a defender.
Wingard was sacked on the next play, forcing the Tide to call their final timeout. A 3-yard run and a short completion followed, but the game clock — and the Tide’s season — expired.
“Because you come to Everett, who’s got all that tradition, it’s as big a win as we’ve had since the late [1990s], that’s for sure,” said Adamopoulos. “I have so much respect for [Everett coach] John [DiBiaso] and his staff for what they do. It was a great game to be a part of.”
Holman opened the scoring for Everett with a 1-yard run in the second. Drummond-Mayrie’s 1-yard rush tied it at 7 before Milano’s 60-yard dash gave the Raiders a 14-7 lead.