TOPSFIELD — In his program’s first Thanksgiving Day game since 2011, Everett senior quarterback Jordan McAfee delivered one of his best performances of what has been a banner season.
With a packed house in attendance at Masconomet Regional, the 6-foot-5-inch, 235-pound University of Connecticut-bound McAfee completed 20 of 27 passes for 243 yards and three touchdowns to propel the Crimson Tide to a 35-24 victory over Masconomet.
It was the teams’ meeting since the 2012 postseason.
“I feel blessed [to play on Thanksgiving]. It is a good experience and I have always wanted to play in one so I’m glad I got to play this year,” McAfee said.
Following a 14-yard touchdown pass from senior Declan Judge to senior Tommy Bennett, Masco (6-5) seized a 24-22 lead late in the third quarter.
On the ensuing the possession, the Crimson Tide worked down the field to the 1 before junior Jacob Miller powered his way into the end zone for a 28-22 Everett lead with 9:49 remaining. The 2-point try, however, failed.
On the arm of Judge, Masconomet had two opportunities to regain the lead, but both ended in a turnover on downs.
With 1:21 left, Miller took a handoff from McAfee and sprinted 47 yards untouched that eliminated any chance of a Chieftain comeback.
Everett (9-2) will take on Xaverian (10-1) in the Division 1 Super Bowl Dec. 3 at Manning Field in Lynn.
“Personally, I don’t like playing before I play in the state championship game so we got a couple guys banged up but it is what it is,” Everett coach John DiBiaso said.
Everett and McAfee got the scoring started when sophomore Mike Sainristil reeled in a 5-yard touchdown pass on the game’s opening drive. On the Crimson Tide’s next possession, McAfee found junior Anthony Norcia for a 10-yard touchdown.
Judge accounted for all three of the Chieftains’ touchdowns, including passes to senior Paul Baker from 21- and 30 yards. Masconomet also had a safety on a blocked Everett punt.
McAfee threw his third and final touchdown pass from 39 yards on a beautiful ball to junior Jason Maitre.Karl Capen can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.