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MIAA D2 SUPER BOWL | CATHOLIC MEMORIAL VS. KING PHILIP

A capsule look at the Division 2 Super Bowl: Catholic Memorial vs. King Philip

Catholic Memorial (12-0) vs. King Philip (9-2)

What: Division 2 Super Bowl

When: Thursday, 8 p.m.

Where: Gillette Stadium

TV, radio: Patriots.com, CBSBoston.com, CBS Boston app

AN INSIDE LOOK

Coaches: Catholic Memorial — John DiBiaso (fourth season, 36-4; 340-79-1 at St. Patrick’s, Weston, Everett and CM); King Philip — Brian Lee (17th season, 118-25).

Scoring: Catholic Memorial — 45.4; King Philip — 26.5

Defense: Catholic Memorial — 12.2; King Philip — 15.3

The heavies up front: Catholic Memorial — Toren Roberson Jr. (6 feet 3 inches, 300 pounds); King Philip — Christopher Sesay (6-6, 255)

Stat check: The Knights put up 499 points across 11 games played, excluding one forfeit by an opponent. They failed to top 40 points once, a 38-9 win over St. John’s Prep on Oct. 15. Before a Thanksgiving Day matchup against BC High — a 57-34 win — no team from Massachusetts had scored more than 13 points against CM. Rhode Island powers LaSalle and Bishop Hendricken scored 26 and 28 points, respectively, against the Knights. Over three playoff games, CM outscored foes 129-13. Tailback Carson Harwood has more than 500 yards from scrimmage in three postseason games, including six total touchdowns. Quarterback J.C. Petrongolo has passed for 409 yards and accounted for five touchdowns in the postseason. King Philip has rushed for 2,000-plus yards, primarily with Rudy Gately (226 carries, 1,400 yards, 12 touchdowns) and Crawford Cantave (101 carries, 581 yards, 7 touchdowns). Gately also leads the Warriors in solo tackles with 32 — 6½ of which went for a loss. Hunter Hastings leads KP with three sacks and also had 6½ tackles for a loss; Jonathan Joseph and Nick Viscusi had 3 interceptions apiece to lead the Warriors.

The captains: Catholic Memorial — OL/DL TJ Roberson Jr. (Sr.), DE Tom Crean (Sr.), K Jack Sokol (Sr.), CB Devon Marshall (Sr.), DE Boubacar Traore (Jr.), LB Kyle King (Sr.), OL/DL Ed Ellis (Sr.), DB Shawn O’Connor (Sr.); King Philip — WR/DB Jonathan Joseph (Sr.), RB/DB Crawford Cantave (Sr.), QB/DB Charlie Grant (Sr.), QB/LB Mark Tagerman (Sr.), OL/DE Hunter Hasting (Sr.), TE/DE Drew Danson (Sr.)

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Seniors on roster: Catholic Memorial — 13; King Philip — 14

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Last Bowl appearance: Catholic Memorial — 2019; King Philip — 2018

OUTLOOK

Amid yearly roster turnover and a pandemic-induced spring season that wiped out the state championship, it’s fairly remarkable that both of these teams will arrive at Gillette Stadium with players who’ve been there before — granted, in the case of King Philip, it’s a select few seniors who dressed for the Division 2 final against North Andover in 2018 and didn’t see the field as freshmen. Nevertheless, these are two battle-tested teams who’ve gone through the gauntlet of two of the most challenging leagues in the state in the Catholic Conference and Hockomock League, respectively. In KP’s case, each of its last three opponents have been against fellow Hockomock Kelley-Rex foes in postseason wins over Mansfield and Milford and a Thanksgiving loss against Franklin. Both teams feature powerful offensive lines with plenty of depth at running back, which will make for a battle for the ages in the trenches.

PREDICTION

In the three seasons there’s been a state championship since he’s been on campus in West Roxbury, John DiBiaso has guided CM to the final. Competing in D2 following realignment — off back-to-back losses in the D1 final — the Knights have been determined to put the state on notice, not just winning big but winning convincingly all season long. KP is certainly battled tested as well, and its path to Gillette should serve it well; the Warriors offer arguably the best defense CM will have faced in 2021. In the end, the Knights have too many playmakers on both sides of the ball for any team in the state, Division 1 included.

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Catholic Memorial 27, King Philip 17