The 2021 Massachusetts Super Bowls have concluded at Gillette Stadium, bringing down the curtain on the fall high school sports season. Scituate defeated Duxbury in the Division 4 game to wrap up three nights of Super Bowls in Foxborough.
See how the Globe chronicled the action as it happened below.
2021 Super Bowl results
Division 1: Springfield Central 22, Central Catholic 15 (Game story)
Division 2: Catholic Memorial 42, King Philip 18 (Game story)
Division 3: Marblehead 35, North Attleborough 28 (Game story)
Division 4: Scituate 14, Duxbury 13 (Game story)
Division 5: Swampscott 14, North Reading 7 (Game story)
Division 6: Rockland 23, Abington 13 (Game story)
Division 7: Cohasset 27, Wahconah 12 (Game story)
Division 8: Randolph 20, Hull 14 (Game story)
Scituate holds on for victory — 10:03 p.m.
A daring two-point conversion gave Scituate its first lead of the game with 27 seconds to play, and the Sailors held on for a 14-13 victory on Friday in the Division 4 Super Bowl.
Scituate, which had the extra point attempt on its only other touchdown of the game blocked, pulled within one on a 10-yard touchdown run by Andrew Bossey. Then Keegan Sullivan delivered the game-winning points with a run off left tackle into the end zone at the open end of Gillette Stadium.
Duxbury was pinned deep in its own territory on the ensuing kickoff and had no timeouts. The clock ran out when the snap on the final play was bobbled.
Scituate quarterback Henry Gates connected on 16 of 32 passes for 206 yards.
For Duxbury, quarterback Matt Festa completed 14 of 29 passes for 184 yards and also ran 18 times for 55 yards.
Scituate takes the lead — 9:56 p.m.
Andrew Bossey ran 10 yards for a touchdown with 27 seconds left in the fourth quarter, and Keegan Sullivan ran in a 2-point conversion to give Scituate a 14-13 lead. Scituate went 75 yards in less than 2 minutes.
Field goal gives Duxbury some breathing room — 9:45 p.m.
After Duxbury’s Brendan Bonner intercepted an ill-advised pass by Henry Gates, Duxbury put together a drive from its own 42 that ended with a Dennen Sullivan field goal from 25 yards. Duxbury leads, 13-6, with 2:03 left to play.
Huge break for Scituate — 9:32 p.m.
Duxbury’s Brady Madigan was unable to catch a Scituate punt midway through the fourth quarter, and Scituate’s William Chatterton recovered to set the Sailors up at the 28.
Back-to-back big plays — 9:24 p.m.
On the first play of the fourth quarter, Duxbury’s Michael Graham intercepted Henry Gates’s first-down pass to give Duxbury the ball at the Scituate 25, and it quickly moved to the 7.
But on first-and-10, Scituate’s Keegan Sullivan picked off Matt Festa’s pass at the goal line to thwart a scoring bid.
End of third quarter: Duxbury 10, Scituate 6 — 9:19 p.m.
The third quarter was a dazzling display of a variety of styles of punting as the defenses settled in and buckled down. The fourth quarter will begin with Duxbury on defense, but Scituate backed up to its own 11.
First half stats glance — 8:51 p.m.
At halftime, Duxbury has outgained Scituate 202 yards to 119.
First downs: Duxbury 12, Scituate 8
Passing: Duxbury’s Matt Festa has connected on 10 of 17 attempts for 149 yards. Scituate’s Henry Gates is 6 for 11 for 100 yards.
Rushing: Festa has 35 yards on 8 carries. No other player has more than 9 yards on the ground.
Halftime: Duxbury 10, Scituate 6 — 8:38 p.m.
Duxbury spent the final 7-plus minutes of the first half driving the length of the field, but came up empty when Dennen Sullivan’s 22-yard field goal attempt was wide left. Duxbury had reached the Scituate 1, but was pushed back on a penalty and failed to convert on a third down.
Duxbury started the drive at its own 1 after denying Scituate on fourth-and-goal from the 4. Henry Gates’s pass to James Cannon only gained 3 yards.
Scituate on the board — 8:08 p.m.
Keegan Sullivan scored from the 1-yard line on fourth down to give Scituate its first points and cut the Duxbury lead to 10-6 with 10:42 left in the first half. Scituate’s extra point attempt was blocked by Finnian Carley.
The big play on the drive was a 60-yard pass play on third down from quarterback Henry Gates to James Cannon that put Scituate on the Duxbury 5-yard line on the final play of the first quarter.
Duxbury had 105 total yards in the first quarter; Scituate had 72.
Field goal gives Duxbury a 10-0 lead — 7:58 p.m.
Dennen Sullivan kicked a 33-yard field goal with 54 seconds left in the first quarter to increase Duxbury’s lead to 10-0.
Final stats leaders from Rockland-Abington — 7:50 p.m.
Rushing: Jacob Coulstring 17-59; PJ Celestino 17-44
Passing: Celestino 4-9, 66 yards
Receiving: Logan Rogers 2-63
Rushing: Kurtis Lucas-Summers 13-48; Drew Donovan 9-41
Passing: Eddie Reilly 8-19, 90 yards
Receiving: Tommy Fanara 2-40; Donovan 4-34
Duxbury strikes first — 7:41 p.m.
Duxbury capped its first possession with a 21-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Matthew Festa to receiver Christopher Walsh and Duxbury leads, 7-0, with 8:28 left in the first quarter.
After Scituate’s opening possession fizzled, Duxbury began at its own 49, but moved downfield quickly, including a 29-yard strike from Festa to Brady Madigan.
Preview and prediction: Scituate (10-2) vs. Duxbury (10-1) — 7:20 p.m.
By Trevor Hass
AN INSIDE LOOK
Coaches: Scituate — Herb Devine (14th season, 101-51); Duxbury — Matt Landolfi (first season, 12-1)
Scoring: Scituate — 38.8; Duxbury — 36.4
Defense: Scituate — 11.5; Duxbury — 13.6
The heavies up front: Scituate — Michael Sheskey (6 feet 2 inches, 285 pounds); Duxbury — Delby Lemieux (6-4, 260 pounds)
Stat check: Scituate senior Keegan Sullivan has 93 carries for 847 yards and 12 touchdowns. Senior QB Henry Gates is 107 for 176 (60.8 percent) for 18 touchdowns and 9 interceptions. Eight of those touchdowns have gone to senior James Cannon. On defense, senior defensive end Shea Morley and senior linebacker Jack Thompson lead the way with 82 tackles apiece, Cannon is first with 4 interceptions, and Thompson has a team-high 4 sacks. The Sailors have 202 first downs, compared with 143 for their opponents. For Duxbury, senior wide receiver Brady Madigan has 38 catches for 780 yards and 15 receiving touchdowns. The best game of his career came in Week 2, when he erupted for 184 yards and 4 touchdowns in the Dragons’ 27-26 triumph over Scituate. Junior quarterback Matt Festa is 137 for 222 (61.7 percent) for 2,268 yards, 32 touchdowns, and 4 interceptions, along with 82 carries for 461 yards and 16 TDs. Senior linebacker Teddy Massingham is first in tackles with 65, Finn Carley has a team-high 3 sacks, and Campbell Pang has a team-high 3 interceptions. The Dragons have 169 first downs compared with 99 for their opponents.
The captains: Scituate – WR/DB Keegan Sullivan (Sr.), OL/DL Michael Sheskey (Sr.), OL/LB Jack Thompson (Sr.), RB/DB Andrew Bossey (Sr.); Duxbury – WR/CB Brady Madigan (Sr.), WR/QB Bowman Rhinesmith (Sr.), FS/RB Campbell Pang (Sr.), OL/DL Delby Lemieux (Sr.)
Seniors on roster: Scituate – 19; Duxbury – 20
Last Super Bowl appearance: Scituate – 2018; Duxbury – 2019
OUTLOOK: There aren’t many matchups in recent memory that are more even than this one. The Dragons eked out a 1-point win earlier this season, but that was in Week 2, and a lot has changed since then. What hasn’t changed is that both teams have continued to win and look awfully sharp doing it. It seemed possible after that early-season matchup that they’d be destined for a Super Bowl rematch, and that’s exactly how it’s unfolded.
PREDICTION: If Scituate can win the time of possession battle and use the clock to its advantage, that could go a long way against an explosive Duxbury offense that prides itself on quick strikes. If the Dragons are able to launch the ball downfield like they usually do, it may be hard for the Sailors to keep pace. Both teams have explosive playmakers, depth, and experience, and it could certainly go either direction. With the game on the line, Matt Festa and Brady Madigan have a knack for delivering in the clutch.
Duxbury 31, Scituate 28
Rockland wins D6 Super Bowl — 7:15 p.m.
Quarterback PJ Celestino scored two touchdowns and passed for another, and a stout defense that forced five turnovers gave Rockland a 23-13 victory over Abington in the Division 6 Super Bowl at Gillette Stadium on Friday.
Rockland scored all its points in the first half, and held Abington to just one touchdown in each half to claim its first Super Bowl title since 2000.
Rockland comes up with another turnover — 6:56 p.m.
Abington has now turned the ball over four times following Jacob Coulstring’s second interception for Rockland. Abington tried a double-pass play, but Drew Donovan’s deep shot into double coverage was easily picked off. Rockland leads, 23-13, with 4:29 left.
Rockland’s Gabe Pinheiro has recovered two fumbles.
Abington cuts into Rockland’s lead — 6:38 p.m.
Mason Kilmain rushed 3 yards on second-and-goal to help Abington cut Rockland’s lead to 23-13 with 2:23 left in the third quarter. The touchdown capped a 30-yard drive that began after Abington forced a Rockland punt.
Halftime stats — 6:22 p.m.
Rockland quarterback PJ Celestino has scored a rushing touchdown, a kick-return touchdown, and passed for a touchdown in the first half. He has hit 3 of 7 passes for 47 yards and rushed 9 times for 39 yards. Jacob Coulstring has carried 13 times for 53 yards.
Rockland has outgained Abington by a wide margin with 200 total yards to Abington’s 73.
For Abington, quarterback Eddie Reilly has completed 3 of 6 passes for 44 yards.
Halftime: Rockland 23, Abington 7 — 6:10 p.m.
Jerry Esposito kicked a 27-yard field goal as time expired in the first half to give Rockland a 23-7 lead. Rockland gained possession on an interception by Jacob Coulstring with 1:05 left in the half.
Touchdowns on back-to-back plays — 5:55 p.m.
On first-and-goal from the 7, Isaiah Ricketson ran almost untouched for Abington’s first’s points to cut Rockland’s lead to 13-7. The key play on the drive was a 27-yard pass from quarterback Eddie Reilly to Tommy Fanara.
But on the ensuing kickoff, Rockland’s PJ Celestino’s 99-yard return brought the margin right back to where it was. Celestino bobbled the ball but gained control and took it up the sideline before cutting back to the middle of the field, picking up a key block, and scoring to make it 20-7 Rockland with less that 2 minutes left in the first half.
Rockland adds to its lead — 5:37 p.m.
On fourth-and-goal at the Abington 1 early in the second quarter, Rockland quarterback PJ Celestino dove over the line for the touchdown and a 13-0 lead.
End of first quarter: Rockland 6, Abington 0 — 5:28 p.m.
A pair of Abington possessions in the first quarter ended on a fumble and a failed fourth-down run, but the Green Wave’s defense has kept things close. Rockland has been able to move the chains with more frequency, and will begin the second quarter in the red zone with a second-and-10 at the Abington 19.
Rockland had 99 yards of total offense in the first quarter. Abington had 19.
Rockland scores on first possession — 5:13 p.m.
Rockland took the lead, 6-0, on PJ Celestino’s 8-yard touchdown pass to Lucas Leander on third-and-goal with 8:12 left in the first quarter. Celestino set up the score with a 41-yard run to put Rockland at the Abington 4, but then Rockland went backward on two straight plays before Celestino connected for the touchdown.
Rockland receives opening kickoff — 5:08 p.m.
The D6 game is under way with Abington kicking off to Rockland. The Bulldogs begin their first possession at their own 40.
Abington (11-1) vs. Rockland (9-2): Preview and prediction — 4:30 p.m.
By Steven Sousa
Coaches: Ashland — Jim Kelliher (48th year, 301-198-8); Rockland — Nick Liquori (5th year, 39-12)
Scoring: Abington — 32 ppg; Rockland — 22.5 ppg
Defense: Abington — 15.6 ppg; Rockland— 11.2 ppg
The heavies up front: Abington — Josh Whitman (6-1, 255); Rockland — Mark Dalton (6-3, 285)
Stat check: Abington senior Drew Donovan has stood out as a versatile weapon in all three phases with 1,580 all-purpose yards, 4 rushing touchdowns, 4 receiving touchdowns, 2 pick-6s, and 2 punt returns for a score. Senior Eddie Reilly has thrown for 1,760 yards and 17 touchdowns, 6 to senior Tommy Fanara. Junior Kurtis Lucas-Summers has a team-leading 12 touchdowns and 840 yards rushing, and fellow junior Isaiah Ricketson has been effective in spelling Lucas-Summers with 740 yards and 7 touchdowns. Rockland is a run-first team led by junior Jacob Coulstring (918 yards, 11 touchdowns despite missing two games). Senior Lucas Leander isn’t too far behind with 680 rushing yards and 6 scores. Senior quarterback PJ Celestino has thrown for 500 yards and 6 touchdowns, with Leander (450 yards, 5 TDs) the top target.
The captains: Abington — RB/LB Tommy Fanara (Sr.), QB/DB Eddie Reilly (Sr.), OL/LB Shea McClellan (Sr.); Rockland — QB/DB PJ Celestino (Sr.), RB/LB Lucas Leander (Sr.)
Seniors on the roster: Abington — 16; Rockland — 9
Last Bowl appearance: Abington — 2019; Rockland — 2000
OUTLOOK: It will be a high-powered offense for top-seeded Abington against a stifling defense for fourth-seeded Rockland in this all-South Shore League championship. The Bulldogs were the only team to hold the Green Wave to single digits all season in a 17-7 Rockland win Oct. 8. Jacob Coulstring and Lucas Leander rushed for more than 100 yards as the Bulldogs played keep away from Abington. The Green Wave’s playmakers Kurtis Lucas-Summers, Eddie Reilly, and Drew Donovan will need to get more involved.
PREDICTION: Rockland played spoiler when the Bulldogs went to Abington and beat the Green Wave in coach Jim Kelliher’s 500th game, but it’s hard to beat the same team twice in one season. Revenge, experience, and the prospect of back-to-back Super Bowl titles will power Abington to victory.
Abington 24, Rockland 21
No introduction needed for Abington, Rockland — 4:17 p.m.
By Jake Levin
No introductions are needed between the Abington and Rockland football teams.
The distance between the respective campuses, roughly 2.5 miles, isn’t even long enough to be considered a valid cross-country course for the schools’ teams.
Proximity has bred plenty of familiarity, contempt and respect between all of the schools’ teams as they traverse a short stretch of Routes 139 or 123, depending on the traffic, but the storied football programs are about to take their rivalry to Route 1 in Foxborough, at Gillette Stadium.
Through the decades, the Bulldogs (9-2) and Green Wave (11-1) have met dozens of times, mainly as nonleague foes before Rockland joined the South Shore League in 2010. On Friday, the teams take it another step or 100 further when they play in their first postseason matchup, for the Division 6 state title.
Thursday’s results — 4:11 p.m.
Division 1: Springfield Central 22, Central Catholic 15 (Game story)
Division 2: Catholic Memorial 42, King Philip 18 (Game story)
Division 3: Marblehead 35, North Attleborough 28 (Game story)
Catholic Memorial defense sinks the dagger, Knights win — 10:25 p.m.
Jaedn Skeete intercepted an underthrown pass from King Philip QB Charlie Grant to end one Warriors drive. Then Kole Osinubi picked off Grant on King Philip’s next possession and took it to the house for his third total touchdown of the contest. With 28 points in the second half, the Knights earned a 42-18 victory and their first state title since 1978.
Catholic Memorial puts its foot on the gas — 10:07 p.m.
JC Petrongolo tossed a laser over the seam to Kole Osinubi, who cashed in his second touchdown of the night with the 18-yard score. Catholic Memorial’s top running back, Carson Harwood, left the game after grabbing his hamstring area and has yet to return. The Knights lead King Philip 35-18 and are 6:19 away from a state championship.
King Philip stays alive with a Charlie Grant score — 9:58 p.m.
The Warriors QB powered through tacklers on the 1-yard touchdown run and tossed a successful two-point conversion to Crawford Cantave to cut the deficit to 28-18. The drive was helped by a 25-yard reception off a shovel pass from Grant to Jonathan Joseph. King Philip has just one penalty for 10 yards tonight, while Catholic Memorial has six for 60 yards.
Trick play gets Catholic Memorial a touchdown — 9:53 p.m.
Senior Drew DeLucia launched a halfback pass to Jaedn Skeete, who was wide open and cruised in for a massive 66-yard touchdown on the first play of the drive. The Knights surge back ahead 28-10 with 11:38 still left in the contest.
King Philip finds the end zone early in the fourth quarter — 9:48 p.m.
The Warriors converted on a big fourth down with a Jonathan Joseph catch. Then workhorse running back Rudy Gately capped off the drive with a 4-yard rushing touchdown. Catholic Memorial still leads 21-10 with 11:50 remaining in the game.
King Philip with a big 4th down upcoming — 9:47 p.m.
Catholic Memorial leads 21-3 after three quarters, but the Warriors have the ball deep in Knights territory and face a critical 4th and 1 from the 10-yard line. Senior wideout Daniel Clancy has 25-yard and 10-yard catches on this drive.
Datrell Jones caps a long drive with a score — 9:35 p.m.
The running back snuck through a crowded pile for a 5-yard touchdown to give Catholic Memorial a 21-3 advantage with 3:43 left in the third quarter. Jones also reeled off a 44-yard run earlier in the drive, losing his shoe in the process.
Catholic Memorial punches in another score before halftime — 9:01 p.m.
Running back Carson Harwood led an efficient drive to close the half, which culminated in a 14-yard touchdown throw from J.C Petrongolo to Matthew Rios with just 16 seconds left. The Knights hit the break with a 14-3 edge.
Catholic Memorial answers back — 8:45 p.m.
Knights QB J.C Petrongolo threw a dart to Kole Osinubi, who broke free on a post route and ran in easily for a 52-yard touchdown. Extra point is good and the Knights now lead 7-3 with 8:12 left in the half.
King Philip takes the lead with a FG — 8:40 p.m.
Matthew Kelley nailed a 28-yard kick around the left upright to push the Warriors out in front with 8:57 to go in the first half.
King Philip with an early goal line stand — 8:33 p.m.
Jake Sullivan forced a fumble on a Catholic Memorial fourth down conversion attempt, which King Philip recovered in the endzone. The Warriors are now driving inside Catholic Memorial’s 35-yard line as the first quarter ends a scoreless 0-0.
Both teams ground-heavy to start — 8:19 p.m.
Catholic Memorial did not throw a pass in its opening drive, but only got to the 50-yard line before turning the ball over on downs. King Philip ran the ball five consecutive times before overthrowing a fourth-down pass attempt. It’s 0-0 with 5:43 left in the first quarter.
Ready for kickoff — 8:08 p.m.
The crowd is excited, the temperature is a warm 52 degrees, and both King Philip and Catholic Memorial are ready for the Div. 2 Super Bowl. Catholic Memorial will receive the opening kick.
Preview and prediction: Catholic Memorial (12-0) vs. King Philip (9-2) — 8:10 p.m.
By Jake Levin
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.)
Seniors on roster: Catholic Memorial — 13; King Philip — 14
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.
Catholic Memorial 27, King Philip 17
As King Philip prepares for Super Bowl, its roots trace back to Walpole and the legendary John Lee
By Brendan Kurie
There are no generals involved in this story about the Lees and the Grants.
Just a bunch of hard-nosed football players and coaches.
When King Philip senior quarterback Charlie Grant takes the field Thursday for the Division 2 state championship against undefeated Catholic Memorial (Gillette Stadium, 8 p.m.), he’ll become the latest thread in an interwoven family history between two football-loving families.
“It’s really a very interesting connection . . .” said Chuck Grant, the athletic director at Millis High.
Joseph Griffin seals a Springfield Central title — 7:51 p.m.
Griffin, a standout wide receiver and BC commit, intercepted a Hail Mary pass from Central Catholic to lock up a Div. 1 Super Bowl championship for the Golden Eagles. Tariq Thomas led a commanding ground attack with 160 rushing yards. Springfield Central builds on top of its two D3 state titles in 2018 and 2019.
Central Catholic gets one last chance — 7:49 p.m.
Springfield Central chewed up the clock, but had a Tariq Thomas touchdown negated by a holding penalty before punting. Central Catholic needs a touchdown and has 1:01 to go get it.
Springfield Central winds the clock — 7:39 p.m.
The Golden Eagles have taken to the ground and slowly moved the chains with running back Tariq Thomas. They’ve currently taken over six minutes off the clock and are still driving in Central Catholic territory. The score remains 22-15 with 3:18 remaining.
Springfield Central holds lead — 7:22 p.m.
The Golden Eagles have been riddled with penalties, including an illegal block in the back that wiped out a long kickoff return for a touchdown by TyKarryon Daniels. They’re still on top, but Central Catholic has the ball to start the fourth quarter.
Central Catholic capitalizes on big plays — 7:12 p.m.
Senior QB Ayden Pereira launched a 42-yard pass to Justice McGrail and added a 37-yard scamper himself to get into the red zone. He then escaped multiple pass rushers and lifted a throw to Ty Cannistraro for a 6-yard touchdown. The Raiders still trail 22-15 with 1:44 left in the third quarter.
Pereira leads CC down the field with a 35-yard pass to McGrail and a 33-yard run, then he pulls off this incredible play on the run to find Cannistraro for a 5-yard TD.— Nate Weitzer (@nweitzer7) December 3, 2021
Springfield 22, Central Catholic 15 1:44 left Q3. @GlobeSchools @CCRaider_sports pic.twitter.com/vJLIg3LdmI
Springfield Central leads 22-8 at the half — 6:35 p.m.
A stout Golden Eagles defensive line led by Bryce Gentry-Warrick frequently pressured Central Catholic and forced a punt. Though Springfield Central didn’t generate any momentum on its last drive, the Golden Eagles head to the locker room with the lead after holding a high-powered Central Catholic offense to just eight points.
Another Springfield Central score — 6:14 p.m.
Junior QB William Watson tossed two beautiful passes: a 28-yard pass to Joseph Griffin to get the Golden Eagles just outside the red zone, and a 21-yard touchdown throw to TyKarryon Daniels. Two-point conversion is good and it’s now a 22-8 advantage for Springfield Central with 5:43 left in the half.
Springfield Central soars ahead — 5:57 p.m.
A long drive ends with a Tariq Thomas rushing touchdown for Springfield Central from four yards out. Central Catholic stops the two-point sneak attempt, though, as the Golden Eagles lead 14-8 with 10:52 left in the first half.
Both sides tied after the first quarter — 5:56 p.m.
Springfield Central is driving and sits at Central Catholic’s 21-yard line. Junior QB William Watson has completed three straight pass attempts on this possession.
Central Catholic evens things up — 5:49 p.m.
After both sides turn the ball over on downs in back-to-back drives, Central Catholic senior QB Ayden Pereira gets good field positioning and hits Ty Cannistraro up the right side for a 29-yard touchdown. Pereira finds Justice McGrail on the two-point try to tie the game at 8-8 with just over three minutes left in the first quarter.
Springfield Central 8, Central Catholic 0 — 5:40 p.m.
William Watson scored on a design QB run from seven yards out on 4th and goal for the Golden Eagles. Kamari Latney punched in the two-point conversion to make it 8-0 with 7:54 left in the first quarter.
Springfield Central-Central Catholic underway — 5:35 p.m.
Fans are meandering in as darkness has fallen over Gillette Stadium.
Springfield Central will receive the opening kick to start the Div. 1 state championship.
Preview and prediction: Central Catholic (11-1) vs. Springfield Central (9-2) — 5:30 p.m.
By Nate Weitzer
Coaches: Central Catholic — Chuck Adamopoulos (25th season, 195-75); Springfield Central — Valdamar Brower (14th season, 112-38).
Scoring: Central Catholic — 39.0; Springfield Central — 43.4.
Defense: Central Catholic — 18.1; Springfield Central — 21.5.
The heavies up front: Central Catholic — Mathew St. Hilaire (5 feet 11 inches, 242 pounds), Jaden Wiggins (5-10, 230); Preston Zinter (6-3, 220); Springfield Central — Josiah Griffin (6-3, 225), Ahmari Owens (6-4, 321)
Stat check: These are two of the most explosive offenses the state has seen in recent history and both quarterbacks have been putting up gaudy numbers. Ayden Pereira, a senior committed to Maine, has passed for 2,680 yards with 32 touchdowns and just 3 interceptions, adding 750 rushing yards and 14 touchdowns. His top receiver has been fellow senior captain Justice McGrail (1,028 receiving yards with 15 touchdowns on 58 catches). Watson, a junior with multiple Division 1 offers, has passed for 2,026 yards with 22 touchdowns and just 3 interceptions, adding 590 rushing yards over 10 starts. Watson’s top target is Boston College-bound senior Joseph Griffin, who is averaging 18.3 yards per catch with 896 receiving yards. Griffin’s brother, Josiah, keys the defensive line with 39 tackles, including 10 for a loss. Tariq Thomas is Springfield’s leading rusher with 1,116 yards plus 292 receiving yards. Junior Mathias Latham leads Central Catholic with 386 rushing yards and 13 total touchdowns. Latham is the Raiders’ second-leading tackler behind junior linebacker Sean Mercuri (96 tackles, 2 sacks, 3 interceptions). Jaden Wiggins, the son of former Patriot Jermaine Wiggins, leads the team with 8½ sacks and 16 tackles for loss.
The captains: Central Catholic — QB Ayden Pereira (Sr.), WR/DB Justice McGrail (Sr.); Springfield Central — QB William Watson (Jr.), WR Joseph Griffin (Sr.), DB Gary Poyser (Sr.), OL Travis Gause (Sr.), DL Zachary Jones (Sr.), LB Mesias Lee (Jr.)
Seniors on roster: Central Catholic — 11; Springfield Central — 15
Last Bowl appearance: Central Catholic — 2015; Springfield Central — 2019
Watson and Pereira are third-year starters and first met in a shootout in September 2019, with Pereira’s Raiders pulling out a 52-42 victory at home. After a yearlong delay due to the pandemic, the Raiders honored their commitment with a road trip to Springfield’s Berte Field on Sept. 10 and Pereira totaled a program-record 10 total touchdowns in a 67-52 win. Springfield’s offense seems to have hit another gear with Watson tallying eight touchdown passes while leading the Golden Eagles to 40 and 60 points in wins over Xaverian and top-seeded Franklin to make the Super Bowl. Central Catholic has shored up its defense lately, most recently snapping a five-game losing streak against St. John’s Prep by producing four turnovers in a 35-12 win over the Eagles in the state semifinals.
This will be a fantastic game to watch on the turf at Gillette Stadium since both teams utilize a spread attack with gifted dual-threat quarterbacks. While they’ve combined for over 90 points in consecutive meetings, these teams could slow down a bit on the grand stage. Central Catholic’s defense has been great lately, but there seems to be no stopping the Golden Eagles, who “adjust, attack, and dominate,” as delineated by their team slogan. If the Raiders play man coverage, Watson could beat them over the top, but if they use multiple safeties, Springfield’s rushing attack should churn out yards. Turnovers will likely play a key role, but Springfield is talented enough to overcome mistakes and win a Division 1 state title after securing consecutive D3 state titles in 2018 and 2019.
Springfield Central 38, Central Catholic 29
In Division 1 Super Bowl, Central Catholic’s Sean Mercuri aims to exceed his family’s football legacy — 5:20 p.m.
By Nate Weitzer
The Mercuri family is hoping that the third time is the charm.
Junior middle linebacker Sean Mercuri will lead the Central Catholic defense in the Division 1 Super Bowl against Springfield Central on Thursday at 5:30 p.m. at Gillette Stadium, with his father, Michael, and oldest brother, Michael Jr., in attendance.
His middle brother, J.J. Mercuri, will assuredly be watching from his dormitory at the University of Tampa, hoping that his younger brother can secure Central’s first Super Bowl win since 2013.
Michael Jr. led the Raiders to the Super Bowl in 2015, but his squad fell, 44-14, to a powerhouse Xaverian team. J.J. Mercuri played a key role in Central’s playoff upset at Everett in 2018, but the Raiders fell to St. John’s Prep in the D1 North final, and J.J. broke his leg early in 2019, a season that also ended with a loss to Prep in the sectional final.
Marblehead wins, 35-28, thanks to Colin Cronin — 5:13 p.m.
Marblehead junior Colin Cronin (three touchdowns) picked off a North Attleborough (8-4) pass to seal the win for the Magicians (12-0).
That’s a 20-game win streak for Marblehead, capped off with the first title in program history.
Cronin and senior QB Josh Robertson combined for 159 yards on three scoring plays.
Senior captain Tyler DeMattio (three touchdowns) for North Attleborough is the first player to eclipse 100 rushing yards against Marblehead in 22 games.
Marblehead pulls ahead, 35-28 late in fourth quarter — 4:59 p.m.
Marblehead QB Josh Robertson tossed a long inside pass to receiver Connor Cronin for an 83-yard touchdown, for Cronin’s third receiving touchdown of the game.
Cronin has 10 catches for 263 yards (with long catches of 73 and 80 yards). Marblehead leads, 35-28, with 3:22 remaining in the fourth quarter.
North Attleborough ties it late in the fourth quarter — 4:56 p.m.
Senior captain Tyler DeMattio (23 carries, 98 yards, three touchdowns) runs in a score from 3 yards out to tie the game 28-28 with 4:20 remaining in the fourth quarter.
North Attleborough recovers Marblehead fumble — 4:46 p.m.
On 4th and 10 from the North Attleborough 35, Marblehead QB Josh Robertson completed a 14-yard pass to Colin Cronin.
North Attleborough’s Tyler Bannon knocked the ball loose, and senior cornerback Gavin Wells recovered the ball on the North Attleboro 33-yard line.
Marblehead leads 28-21 with 9:59 remaining in the fourth quarter of the Div. 3 state championship.
Third quarter: Marblehead 28, North Attleborough 21 — 4:39 p.m.
Marblehead senior QB Josh Robertson tossed a 30-yard pass to junior Connor Cronin, getting the ball to the North Attleborough 45-yard line.
The third quarter ends with Marblehead leading, 28-21.
Through three quarters, Marblehead has 256 total yards (194 passing and 62 rushing). North Attleboro has 275 passing yards (151 rushing, 124 passing.
North Attleborough closes deficit to one possession — 4:35 p.m.
Senior captain Tyler Bannon followed a block from junior tight end Jack Munley for a 5-yard score for North Attleborough. Senior captain Tyler DeMattio kicks the PAT after a running into the kicker penalty by Marblehead.
Marblehead leads, 28-21, with 1:20 remaining in the third quarter.
After 34-yard punt return, Marblehead responds – 4:18 p.m.
Marblehead senior James Galante returned a North Attleborough punt for 34 yards to the North Attleborough 21.
Two plays later, senior QB Josh Robertson ran in an 8-yard touchdown. Senior Eli Feingold kicked the PAT. Marblehead extends its lead to 28-14 with 8:03 remaining in the third quarter.
Robertson is 9-of-12 passing for 156 yards and three touchdowns (two passing). He has 6 rushing attempts for a touchdown and a combined total of -3 yards.
Rain starts to fall as Marblehead takes the lead — 4:10 p.m.
It’s 55 degrees at Gillette Stadium, and heavy rain is starting to fall.
Marblehead senior Liam McIlroy picked off a pass from North Attleborough freshman Chase Frisoli on the Marblehead 30, and returned the ball for 10 yards.
On the next play, Marblehead senior QB Josh Robertson throws a 20-yard pass to senior George Percy. Senior Eli Feingold hits the PAT, Marblehead leads 21-14 with 10:42 remaining in the third quarter.
Marblehead, North Attleborough tied entering second half — 3:59 p.m.
Marblehead has 177 total yards in the first half. Junior Connor Cronin has seven catches for 136 yards (a long of 73), and two touchdowns. Senior quarterback Josh Robertson is 8-of-11 passing for 136 yards and two TD’s. Senior George Percy has 33 yards on five carries.
North Attleborough has 173 total yards in the first half. Freshman QB Chase Frisoli is 5-of-6 for 89 yards. Senior captain Tyler DeMattio has 11 caries for 54 yards and two touchdowns. Senior captain Tyler Bannon has six rushes for 30 yards, and two catches for 29 yards.
Marblehead with late magic to close the first half — 3:48 p.m.
Marblehead QB Josh Robertson lofted a 73-yard strike to junior Connor Cronin in double coverage with five seconds remaining in the first half.
Cronin reeled in the catch, and fought off two defenders for his second touchdown of the game. Senior Eli Feingold kicked the PAT to tie the game at 14-14.
North Attleborough’s Tyler DeMattio scores – 3:42 p.m.
Senior captain Tyler DeMattio recorded his second touchdown of the day, a 4-yard run. Freshman QB Chase Frisoli tossed a 33-yard strike to junior Nathan Shultz along the sideline to get the Red Rocketeers into striking distance.
North Attleboro leads 14-7 with 42 seconds remaining in the first half.
North Attleborough forces Marblehead punt – 3:37 p.m.
North Attleborough senior defensive end Keysun Wise got a nine-yard sack on Marblehead QB Josh Robertson, forcing a punt from the Magicians. Score is tied, 7-7 with 4:18 remaining in the second quarter.
North Attleborough ties it up drive from their own 25 — 3:33 p.m.
Senior captain Tyler DeMattio answers back for North Attleborough, and got the Red Rocketeers on the board with a five-yard touchdown run. The Red Rocketeers started the drive from their own 25, and got timely catches from senior captain Tyler Bannon – including a 15-yard catch on a screen from their own 40-yard line.
DeMattio punched in the score, and kicked the PAT for the tie. 7-7 with 6:06 remaining in the second quarter.
Marblehead 7, North Attleborough 0 — 3:23 p.m.
Five seconds into the second quarter, Marblehead strikes first.
Junior Connor Cronin reeled in a 4-yard pass from senior Josh Robertson. Senior Eli Feingold kicked the extra point. Score is now 7-0, Marblehead with 11:55 remaining in the frame.
First quarter ends scoreless — 3:20 p.m.
Marblehead drove down to the North Attleborough 4-yard line on the very next possession. A high snap over the head of senior QB Josh Robertson set the Magicians back to the 12-yard line.
With Marblehead lining up for a 29-yard field goal, North Attleborough was caught with an encroachment penalty.
Time expires in the first quarter, with no score.
Marblehead junior Connor Cronin has five catches for 60 yards.
Marblehead defense forces punt — 3:15 p.m.
Marblehead senior George Percy broke into the North Attleborough backfield on 3rd and 8, and tackled freshman QB Chase Frisoli to force a punt. After the punt rolled out of bounds, the Magicians took over near midfield. Still no score with 2:51 remaining in the first quarter.
Marblehead drives, North Attleborough denies — 3:13 p.m.
Marblehead QB Josh Robertson orchestrated a dual-threat opening drive, marching the Magicians up the field with three targets to junior Conor Cronin, including a 26-yard pass along the sideline.
The Magicians drove to the North Attleborough 4-yard line before turning over the ball on downs. North Attleborough junior Nathan Shultz swatted a pass in the end zone to force the change in possession.
0-0, with 7:08 left in the first quarter.
Marblehead, North Attleborough underway — 3:00 p.m.
The crowd is filling in for the Div. 3 championship between North Attleboro and Marblehead. The Magicians received the opening kick after North Attleboro won the coin toss and deferred.
Marblehead/North Attleborough prediction — 2:40 p.m.
By Mike McMahon
Marblehead’s undefeated record and 19-game winning streak — the longest in Massachusetts — is enough to make the Magicians the favorite. But North Attleborough has been arguably the hottest team in the state, steamrolling to Gillette after a 2-3 start. Don’t expect the Rocketeers to take over the skies in Foxboro, but freshman quarterback Chase Frioli is capable of taking a shot if the defense cheats in to stop the reputable running game. Marblehead moves fast on offense, but it plays physical. Robertson has weapons and throws a good deep ball. The Magicians are dangerous in the flats and in the screen game as well, which loosens up defenses for a bruising rushing attack behind Cronin and George Percy. Expect this to be a very physical contest that is won on third down.
PREDICTION: Marblehead’s defense makes enough stops and Robertson and the offense are able to sustain enough long drives to keep the ball away from DeMattio and the Red Rocketeers’ rushing attack. An early lead would let Marblehead control the pace and earn its first state title.
Marblehead 28, North Attleborough 21
Preview: Marblehead (11-0) vs. North Attleborough (8-3) — 2:35 p.m.
By Mike McMahon
Coaches: Marblehead — Jim Rudloff (13th season, 115-28); North Attleborough — Don Johnson (13th season, 103-36).
Scoring: Marblehead — 34.6 ppg; North Attleborough — 31.9 ppg.
Defense: Marblehead — 12.4 ppg; North Attleborough — 15.6 ppg.
The heavies up front: Marblehead — AJ Andriano (6 feet 2 inches, 230 pounds); North Attleborough — Zachary Gallagher (6-2, 276).
Stat check: North Attleborough had a losing record midway through October, but the Red Rocketeers rocketed back into contention after switching from a spread to the pistol offense. Tyler DeMattio moved from under center to tailback and created a potent running duo with Tyler Bannon that has averaged 39.3 points per game over a six-game winning streak. The Red Rocketeers have rushed for 2,600-plus yards. DeMattio (1,034 yards on 138 carries) led all Division 3 scorers, accounting for 23 touchdowns, 2 field goals and 33 extra points. At the point of attack of the spread, Marblehead’s Josh Robertson has racked up 28 touchdown passes, 2,287 yards, and a 71 percent completion percentage. His top targets are Connor Cronin (61 catches, 786 yards, 8 touchdowns) and James Doody (29 catches, 616 yards, 7 TDs). Cronin also added 569 yards with six scores on the ground, averaging 5.9 yards per carry. But it’s been the Magicians’ defense that has impressed most in the playoffs, allowing just 7 points in each of their three postseason wins.
The captains: Marblehead — QB Josh Robertson (Sr.), TE/LB James Doody (Sr.), WR/DB Craig Michalowski (Sr.), DL/OL AJ Andriano (Sr.); North Attleborough — RB/LB Tyler DeMattio (Sr.), RB/LB Tyler Bannon (Sr.), OL/DL Jared Vacher (Sr.).
Seniors on the roster: Marblehead — 19; North Attleborough — 14.
Last Bowl appearance: North Attleborough — 2017; Marblehead — 2016.
With Josh Robertson in command, Marblehead looks to pass ultimate test — 2:30 p.m.
By Mike McMahon
Few high schoolers know what it means to be an impact player better than Josh Robertson.
A three-year starter at quarterback at Marblehead — the first in the 13-year tenure of coach Jim Rudloff — Robertson understands that running the Magicians offense doesn’t mean always making the big play, it’s about making the right play.
No magic, just efficiency.
“He runs our offense,” Rudloff said. “I would feel confident going down the field having him call plays.”
Robertson is just one of several weapons the Magicians (11-0) have on offense, a unit that has racked up more than 4,000 yards and rolled to a Northeastern Conference title and a spot in Thursday’s Division 3 Super Bowl against North Attleborough at Gillette Stadium (3 p.m.).
Thursday’s schedule — 2:05 p.m.
3 p.m.: Division 3 Super Bowl | Marblehead vs. North Attleborouugh
5:30 p.m.: Division 1 Super Bowl | Springfield Central vs. Central Catholic
8 p.m.: Division 2 Super Bowl | King Philip vs. Catholic Memorial
How Wednesday unfolded — 2:00 p.m.
See how Wednesday’s games unfolded with Matt Doherty’s live updates.
Swampscott wins — 10:21 p.m.
North Reading can’t convert a 4th and 7 at their own 19-yard line and Swampscott holds on. The Big Blue stay atop Division 5 with a 14-7 win and a second consecutive Super Bowl title. Quarterback Cam O’Brien rushes for a touchdown and running back Xaviah Bascon accumulates 140-plus yards and throws for a score. The Big Blue defense forces a pair of turnovers and hold North Reading to just seven points.
Still battling — 10:12 p.m.
Xaviah Bascon fumbles at the 7-yard line and North Reading’s Brandon Eng recovers it at the 2-yard line. The Hornets need to go 98 yards in 1:08 to tie this game at 14.
Hornets still buzzing — 10:09 p.m.
Xaviah Bascon breaks multiple tackles and outruns a pack of defenders for a 35-yard run. Swampscott has 1st and 10 at the North Reading 20-yard line. Hornets still have all three timeouts left. 1:24 to go.
North Reading on the board — 10:04 p.m.
North Reading is not done yet. The Hornets score on a 15-play, 85-yard drive, capped by a 1-yard touchdown run by quarterback Alex Carucci. Swampscott’s Xaviah Bascon had a 100-yard interception return called back due to holding on the previous play. 14-7 Swampscott, 1:42 left. North Reading still has all three timeouts.
Swampscott hanging on to fourth-quarter lead — 9:49 p.m.
Swampscott forces a turnover on downs. Big Blue quarterback Cam O’Brien was injured on the last drive. On this drive, he executes a 9-yard run and falls to the turf in pain. He heads to the sideline for one play but returns to punt the ball away. North Reading takes over at their own 15-yard line down 14-0 with 7:36 left in the fourth quarter.
Hornets holding on — 9:42 p.m.
Swampscott’s methodical drive ends at the North Reading 8-yard line as the Hornets defense forces a fumble, recovered by Craig Rubino. A huge turnover for the North Reading defense. It appeared Swampscott was going to march into the end zone for a 21-0 lead. Instead, the Hornets head to the fourth quarter down 14-0 with the ball at midfield.
Swampscott extends advantage — 9:24 p.m.
A trick play from Swampscott results in a touchdown on the opening drive of the second half. Running back Xaviah Bascon catches a toss behind the line of scrimmage and fires a 38-yard touchdown pass to a wide open Cole Hamernick down the right side. Extra point is good and Swampscott doubles the lead. 14-0 Big Blue, 9:48 left in the third quarter.
Big Blue holds halftime lead — 9:05 p.m.
Swampscott’s Hail Mary attempt at the halftime buzzer falls incomplete and the Big Blue will take a 7-0 lead over North Reading into the break. Each team forced a pair of turnovers in a defensive-focused opening 24 minutes. Cam O’Brien the lone touchdown, a 9-yard scamper with 4:01 remaining in the second quarter. Swampscott will get the ball to start the second half.
Swampscott knocking on the door again? — 8:55 p.m.
Second interception of the game for Swampscott’s Jason Codispoti as he leaps and hauls in a pass attempt along the sideline. Swampscott takes over at their own 42-yard line, looking to add to a 7-0 lead with two minutes left before halftime.
Swampscott is on the board — 8:50 p.m.
Swampscott quarterback Cam O’Brien rolls to the left edge, follows his blockers, and barrels into the end zone for a 9-yard touchdown run. Star back Xaviah Bascon, who set Swampscott’s single-season rushing record this season, got the Big Blue in the red zone with a 33-yard run and a 20-yard reception, showing off his lateral quickness in the process. Despite a pair of turnovers, Swampscott leads 7-0 with 4:01 left in the second quarter.
North Reading responds — 8:36 p.m.
Swampscott quarterback Cam O’Brien hurdles a defender on a first down run, but it’s called back because hurdling is illegal in high school football. The Big Blue punt three plays later. Both defenses are playing well in this scoreless affair.
Big stop for Swampscott defense — 8:36 p.m.
The Swampscott defense comes up big. Jason Codispoti records an interception at the goal line and North Reading can’t capitalize on the short field. The Big Blue take over at their own 15-yard line. 0-0, 9:15 left in the second quarter.
North Reading, Swampscott knotted up early in the second — 8:30 p.m.
The Hornets force a second straight turnover to close the first quarter as Sam Morelli recovers a fumble in the backfield after Casey O’Connor punches the ball out. North Reading will start the second quarter with great field position at the Swampscott 26-yard line.
North Reading, Swampscott scoreless late in the first quarter — 8:23 p.m.
North Reading’s Craig Rubino intercepts a pass and then hits Ryan McCullough for a 33-yard gain, setting up a first and goal for the Hornets. However, Jake Papazoglou sacks North Reading quarterback Alex Carucci on fourth and goal, keeping this game 0-0 with 2:10 left in the opening quarter.
North Reading, Swampscott kick off — 8:09 p.m.
North Reading and Swampscott are underway in the Division 5 Super Bowl, the final game of today’s tripleheader at Gillette Stadium. The Hornets started with the ball and went three and out. Swampscott takes over at their own 20-yard line.
Preview and prediction: North Reading (11-1) vs. Swampscott (11-1) — 8:00 p.m.
By Brendan Kurie
Coaches: North Reading — Eddie Blum (fourth season, 29-11); Swampscott — Bob Serino (seventh season, 48-26)
Scoring: North Reading — 38.7; Swampscott — 32.3
Defense: North Reading — 14.2; Swampscott — 13.8
The heavies up front: North Reading — Anthony Pino (6-feet-1-inches, 295 pounds); Swampscott — Joe Mignone (5-11, 240).
Stat check: While North Reading has a slight edge in average margin of victory (24.5-18.5), both teams’ individual stats are eerily similar. Take the quarterbacks: North Reading’s Alex Carucci has 27 passing TDs and seven rushing scores in 12 games. Swampscott’s Cam O’Brien has 21 TD passes and eight rushing scores in 11 games. It continues: Carucci’s top two targets, Craig Rubino (11) and Ryan McCullough (5), have combined for 16 TD catches; O’Brien’s top two targets, Elijah Burns (9) and Cole Hamernick (7) also have 16 combined TD catches. Hornets sophomore running back Will Batten has 24 total touchdowns, with 23 on the ground, while Big Blue senior Xaviah Bascon also has 24 touchdowns, including 21 of the rushing variety. Bascon, who has 1,853 combined rushing and receiving yards, surpassed Swampscott’s single-season rushing record of 1,365 yards — set in 2003 by Alex Stone — by 1 yard on Thanksgiving. The Big Blue will be looking to tie the school record for wins in a season (12, set in 2003 and 2007).
The captains: North Reading — WR/DB Ryan McCullough (Sr.), WR/OLB John Jennings (Sr.); Swampscott — QB Cam O’Brien (Sr.), RB/DB Xaviah Bascon (Sr.), OL/DB Dylan Dubiel (Sr.), WR/DB Cole Hamernick (Sr.); OL/DL Joe Mignone (Sr.), OL/LB Jake Papazoglou (Sr.)
Seniors on roster: North Reading — 13; Swampscott — 16
Last Bowl appearance: North Reading —1979; Swampscott — 2019
Stat check: A couple of physical, fast teams bring a variety of dangerous weapons into their Super Bowl showdown between two schools without much history with each other, despite being located just 15 miles apart. Both are equally comfortable attacking defenses on the ground and through the air and neither overlooks special teams, where North Reading might have an edge but Swampscott is no slouch. The running back battle between Swampscott’s Xaviah Bascon and North Reading’s Will Batten and the QB duel between Swampscott’s Cam O’Brien and North Reading’s Alex Carucci should provide plenty of fireworks.
PREDICTION: Swampscott still has some championship experience on its roster from winning it all in 2019, and getting through Bishop Fenwick while dampening Steven Woods’ passing attack in the semifinals was a tremendous test for the Big Blue’s defense, which earned what may have been the most impressive victory either team notched this season. In a close battle, Swampscott’s experience and veteran leadership prove the difference. Swampscott 27, North Reading 22
In the D5 Super Bowl, top-seeded North Reading will face a mirror image in No. 2 seed Swampscott
By Brendan Kurie
When the Swampscott football coaching staff started watching film of North Reading, its opponent in the MIAA Division 5 Super Bowl, something felt eerily familiar.
“It’s basically like looking at our team in a mirror,” said Swampscott coach Bob Serino as he drove to practice on Monday afternoon.
North Reading coach Ed Blum agreed.
“I think they’ve relied on their athletes making plays in space and I’d say we’re in the same boat,” he said. “It’s [served] both teams well so far.”
But there’s one big difference between top-seeded North Reading (11-1) and No. 2 Swampscott (11-1) as they prepare for their Super Bowl matchup Wednesday night at 8 p.m. at Gillette Stadium.
Cohasset wins, 27-12 — 7:39 p.m.
Cohasset claims the Division 7 Super Bowl with a 27-12 win over previously undefeated Wahconah, securing the program’s second ever state title. Will Baker, Josh Burke, Liam Appleton, and Michael Donahue each scored a touchdown and the Skippers defense stifled the high-powered Wahconah attack, which entered the matchup averaging 37 points per game, to a season-low output. Cohasset ended the season on a 10-game winning streak after starting 0-2.
Skippers closing this one out — 7:33 p.m.
Cohasset punctuates this one with a 1-yard touchdown run by Michael Donahue, extending the lead to 27-12 with 1:21 left. The Skippers are on their way to a second state title since 2014.
Cohasset defense stands strong — 7:26 p.m.
The Cohasset defense rises to the occasion again, forcing a second straight turnover on downs. Wahconah took a few shots into the end zone but the Skippers secondary provided stout coverage. Cohasset takes over at their own 28-yard line up 21-12 with 5:15 left. Time to chew clock.
Skippers stretch lead — 7:18 p.m.
Cohasset takes a 21-12 lead on a 14-yard touchdown pass from Will Baker to Liam Appleton. The Skippers faced a 3rd and 9 and Baker found Appleton on a screen to the left flat and the sophomore outraced a pair of defenders to the end zone. The extra point makes it a two possession game with 7:30 left in the fourth quarter. Wahconah needs points fast and star running back Jonah Smith is out of the game due to injury.
Cohasset carries 14-12 edge into the fourth — 7:08 p.m.
The Cohasset sideline was upset they didn’t get a fumble recovery call, but the drive turns out in their favor anyway. The Skippers defense forces an incompletion on 4th down and gets back the ball at their own 35-yard line. Wahconah controlled possession in the third quarter but had no points to show for. Still 14-12 Cohasset as the fourth quarter begins.
Cohasset holding on midway through the third — 6:54 p.m.
Wahconah’s opening drive of the second half stalls at the Cohasset 9-yard line. The Warriors elect to attempt a 26-yard field goal and the kick is hooked right. Huge stop for the Skippers defense as they maintain a 14-12 lead, 6:30 left in the third quarter.
Wahconah scores, Cohasset takes 14-12 lead into half — 6:27 p.m.
Wahconah scores with 22 seconds left before halftime. Brad Noyes catches a pass from Ryan Scott in the flat, breaks a tackle, and then tip toes down the right sideline for a 39-yard touchdown reception. Two-point rush is stuffed and Cohasset takes a 14-12 lead into the break. Wahconah will start with the ball in the second half.
Cohasset takes lead in second quarter — 6:13 p.m.
Cohasset wide receiver Josh Burke takes the direct snap on 4th and 4, finds the left edge, and spurs free on a block by Liam Appleton for a 21-yard touchdown run. Cohasset is moving the ball with ease. 14-6 Skippers, 4:30 left in the second quarter.
Wahconah quickly responds — 5:55 p.m.
Wahconah answers with a 40-yard touchdown strike by quarterback Ryan Scott to Owen Salvatore. Scott stayed in the pocket and took a hit, delivering a beautiful seam pass to Salvatore in stride at the 10-yard line. Extra point is no good and Cohasset stays ahead, 7-6, after one quarter.
Cohasset 7, Wahconah 0 — 5:48 p.m.
Cohasset is on the board first as quarterback Will Baker rushes up the middle for a 30-yard touchdown scamper, his 16th rushing score of the season. Extra point is good. 7-0 Cohasset, 3:25 left in the first quarter. Great start for the Skippers.
Division 7 Super Bowl is underway — 5:35 p.m.
The Division 7 Super Bowl between Cohasset and Wahconah is underway. The Skippers connected on a 57-yard pass from quarterback Will Baker to Josh Burke on their opening drive, but the Wahconah defense forced an incomplete pass on 4th and goal to keep Cohasset out of the end zone. 0-0, 6:53 left in the first quarter.
Preview and prediction: Wahconah (11-0) vs. Cohasset (9-2) — 5:30 p.m.
By Ethan McDowell
Coaches: Wahconah — Gary Campbell (20th season, 211-69-1); Cohasset— Pete Afanasiw (16th season, 115-52)
Scoring: Wahconah — 37.2; Cohasset — 25.3
Defense: Wahconah — 12.7 Cohasset — 10.3
The heavies up front: Wahconah — David Streible (6 feet 1 inch, 285 pounds), Wyatt George (5-11, 235); Cohasset — Jay Fox (6-4, 210), Nick Henry (6-2, 205), Jackie Lyons (5-10, 180), Ben Joyce (5-10, 185), Brendan Cingari (5-9, 170).
Stat check: Wahconah is led by star back Jonah Smith (205 carries, 1,864 yards); his 23 touchdowns have helped the Warriors control the momentum in most matchups. Quarterback Ryan Scott (1,472 passing yards, 23 touchdown passes, 3 interceptions) makes the dynamic offense a threat through the air, and Brad Noyes (93 tackles), Ben West (81 tackles), and Ben Noyes (3 interceptions) spearhead the defense. The Cohasset D, led by senior Michael Donahue (129 tackles), is allowing just 8 points per game during its 9-game winning streak. Junior quarterback Will Baker (722 rushing yards) controlled the Skippers’ ground game throughout the season, finding the end zone 15 times and throwing for 6 more touchdowns. Sophomore Liam Appleton (5 touchdowns) added 618 rushing yards and threw for 265 yards while filling in for Baker under center.
The captains: Wahconah — RB Jonah Smith (Sr.), QB Ryan Scott (Sr.), OL/DL Wyatt George (Sr.), TE Ben Noyes (Sr.); Cohasset— OG/DE Jackie Lyons (Sr.), RB/LB Michael Donahue (Sr.).
Seniors on the roster: Wahconah — 16; Cohasset — 10
Last Bowl appearance: Wahconah — 2016 Cohasset — 2014
Cohasset junior quarterback Will Baker was sidelined for the state semifinal but is expected to play in Wednesday’s state final. Wahconah’s offense has been dominant all season, and Baker will be instrumental in helping the Skippers keep up. The Cohasset defense showed the ability to impede the production of star back Chris Domoracki during the 21-7 quarterfinal win over Hamilton-Wenham, but Smith will be the best back the team has faced all year.
Jonah Smith is averaging more than 9 yards per carry this year, but expect Cohasset’s defense to give the senior his stiffest test of the season. If Will Baker returns to the lineup, this game should stay close until the end, but the Wahconah offense should eventually prevail. Wahconah 30, Cohasset 22
How Cohasset made it to the Super Bowl — 5:25 p.m.
By Ethan McDowell
Two games into the season, Michael Donahue and his teammates on the Cohasset football team were at a crossroads.
The Skippers were 0-2, a less than ideal start after a 1-4 record in the Fall II season last spring. In his final season, the senior captain was not going to let Cohasset dwell on the setbacks.
The Skippers made the necessary adjustments and kicked off a nine-game winning streak with a 28-0 shutout of Norwell. With a 14-8 victory over Mashpee in the Division 7 semifinals Nov. 19, Cohasset (9-2) earned a shot at the program’s first championship since 2014. The Skippers take on top-seeded Wahconah (11-0) at 5:30 p.m. Wednesday at Gillette Stadium.
“It was just really a mentality switch among the whole team that kind of got us motivated to become better as a group, and that’s what we did,” said Donahue, a two-way standout at fullback and linebacker. “And it has been awesome ever since.”
Randolph defeats Hull, 20-14, for first Super Bowl title — 5:13 p.m.
Randolph wins the Division 8 Super Bowl, 20-14, over South Shore League foe Hull at Gillette Stadium, capturing the program’s first ever state title. Senior Malik White had the winning score, returning a blocked punt 20 yards for a touchdown with 2:43 left. Osaruyi Izedonmwhen recorded two interceptions, including the game sealing pick with 1:14 left. Hull had one last chance with 15 seconds left but Mahki Barnes sacked Luke Richardson at midfield and time ran out.
Interception gives the ball back to Randolph — 5:13 p.m.
Osaruyi Izedonmwen records his second interception of the game and Randolph takes over at their own 25-yard line up 20-14 with 1:14 left. Hull still has all three timeouts. One Randolph first down will end it.
Blocked punt returned for TD gives Randolph a late lead — 5:06 p.m.
Randolph’s Malik White blocks a Hull punt at the 20-yard line and returns it for a touchdown as the Blue Devils take a 20-14 lead with 2:38 left. An incredible turn of events after Randolph fumbled on the previously possession. The two-point conversation failed. Hull gets the ball back, needing a touchdown.
Randolph turns it over in red zone — 5:03 p.m.
Randolph drives to the Hull 11-yard line but the Pirates defense comes up with a potential season-saving turnover as Sean Reilly punches the ball out and Hull recovers the fumble. 14-14, 4:30 left.
Randolph, Hull all even in fourth quarter — 4:51 p.m.
Randolph ties it 14-14 in the fourth quarter on a 1-yard touchdown run by Sebastian Jouissance, his second of the game. The Blue Devils went for two, but Aidan Murphy comes up with a stop in the backfield. The blocked punt by Bembeleze set up the 44-yard scoring drive for Randolph. 9:27 left.
Hull leads Randolph in defensive battle through three quarters — 4:44 p.m.
The Division 8 Super Bowl is turning into a defensive battle as expected. Hull senior Ryan Dunn recovers a fumbled snap, halting a promising Randolph drive. Then Vidnic Bembeleze blocks a Hull punt in the final seconds of the third quarter. The Blue Devils will face a 2nd and 1 at the Hull 35-yard line to begin the fourth, trailing 14-8.
Interception in end zone keeps Randolph in the game — 4:32 p.m.
Randolph keeps this a one possession game as Osaruyi Izedonmwen rises above a crowd and intercepts a pass in the end zone. Big stop for the Blue Devil defense after Hull entered the red zone on a 57-yard run by Gianibas. 14-8 Hull, 6:40 left in the third quarter.
Hull leads Randolph 14-8 at halftime — 4:07 p.m.
Hull quarterback Luke Richardson hit a wide open John Gianibas for a 40-yard touchdown pass with 1:44 remaining in the half, igniting the Pirates faithful as they jumped back in front. Gianibas broke free in the flat and had nothing but green grass ahead of him after hauling in the pass at the Randolph 35-yard line. The junior tailback has six receptions for 117 yards and a touchdown to pace the Pirates. Randolph will receive the ball to start the second half.
Randolph pulls ahead of Hull, 8-7 — 3:47 p.m.
Randolph answers with a methodical 14-play, 54-yard drive, capped by a 1-yard touchdown run by quarterback Sebastian Jouissance. The Blue Devils opt for the two-point conversation and Malik White converts with a nifty spin move. 8-7 Randolph, 4:05 left in the second quarter.
Stilphen TD gives Hull 7-0 lead over Randolph — 3:34 p.m.
Hull strikes first and takes a 7-0 lead. On the second play of the second quarter, Jaden Stilphen barrels up the middle for a 5-yard touchdown run. A botched punt attempt by Randolph set up a short field for the Pirates.
Hull, Randolph scoreless after 1st quarter — 3:30 p.m.
The Pirates had the best scoring chance of the opening frame, driving to the Randolph red zone before Chris Paul stopped Hull quarterback Luke Richardson on a scamper to force a turnover on downs. Randolph had trouble with the snap on a punt attempt from their own end in the final minute of the quarter, setting up Hull with prime field position. Hull will have 2nd and 7 from the Randolph 20-yard line to start the second quarter.
Live from Gillette Stadium — 3:06 p.m.
On site at Gillette Stadium for the first of eight Super Bowl matchups over the next three days. The opening game of today’s triple header is a South Shore League battle between Hull and Randolph in the Division 8 final. The Pirates won the first meeting of the season, 26-6, on Oct. 1. Randolph won the coin toss and elected to differ. Kickoff coming momentarily.
Hull vs. Randolph prediction — 3:00 p.m.
By Cam Kerry
The first time these South Shore League Tobin Division rivals clashed Oct. 1, Hull emerged victorious, 26-6. Both teams have improved considerably since, and the Blue Devils were missing several impact players in the earlier game. Two months to the day later, the teams will meet again, featuring contrasting styles. Randolph has a physical attack, determined to control the clock and get the ball to its playmakers. Hull relies on its speed and athleticism, but is able to compete in the trenches. One matchup to watch: can Randolph senior linebackers Paul Goggin and Sebastian Jouissance slow John Gianibas and eliminate the big play.
This matchup will be determined at the line of scrimmage. The Hull offense has been explosive in three postseason games, averaging 31.3 points per game. Randolph is allowing just 8.3 points per game in the postseason. If the Blue Devils can extend drives and move the ball with their ground-and-pound style of offense, the defense will be aided in slowing Hull’s dynamic playmakers. Randolph 21, Hull 20
Hull (9-3) vs. Randolph (7-4): Preview — 2:55 p.m.
What: Division 8 Super Bowl
When: Wednesday, 3 p.m.
Where: Gillette Stadium
AN INSIDE LOOK
Coaches: Hull — Michael O’Donnell (fifth season, 28-25); Randolph — Jonathan Marshall (second season, 8-9)
Scoring: Hull — 24.3; Randolph — 23.3
Defense: Hull — 17.5; Randolph — 19.5
The heavies up front: Hull — junior center Aidan Murphy (6-foot, 195 pounds); Randolph — junior right tackle Chris Paul (6-5, 290).
Stat check: Hull has a slightly higher margin of victory — 6.8 to 3.8 — the offensive output is nearly identical, despite contrasting styles. The Pirates feature a balanced offense; junior tailback John Gianibas has accumulated 1,300-plus yards on the ground. Not to be outdone, junior quarterback Luke Richardson has completed 56 percent of his passes, also for 1,300 yards. The Pirates’ explosive playmakers can burst a game open quickly. On the other side, the double wing offense the Blue Devils employ grinds down the clock. With three players with 500-plus yards this season, the Blue Devils will look to complement their run heavy-attack with opportunistic throws down the field.
The captains: Hull — RB/TE Aidan Robey (Sr.), FB/DE/LB Jaden Stilphen (Sr.), G/DT Ryan Dunn (Sr.); Randolph — ILB/FB Paul Goggin (Sr.), RB/OLB Malik White (Sr.), QB/DB Gardy Augustin (Jr.)
Seniors on roster: Hull — 7; Randolph — 8
Last Bowl appearance: Hull — 1996; Randolph — first appearance
How Hull and Randolph made it to the Super Bowl — 2:35 p.m.
By Cam Kerry
The two teams have earned their title shot.
On the road to Gillette, No. 4 seed Hull (9-3) dispatched No. 1 seed Hoosac Valley, 39-22, in the semifinals at Shepherd Hill in Charlton. Randolph, the 10th seed, went to the Berkshires to topple Lee, 24-9, ventured to Ware to oust the Indians, 16-10, and then to Sudbury to edge Oxford, 8-6.
“We have earned the right to play on this field,” second-year Randolph coach Jonathan Marshall said. “It’s historical when you think about all of the big moments that the Patriots have produced there. It’s hard to put into words.”
Last spring Randolph, with just 17 players in the program, finished a disheartening 1-5 record in the Fall II season. Flash forward six months and the varsity has recorded its most successful season, and the JV team completed its first full season, with 38 players between the two teams. Marshall also established a middle school program this fall.
“It hasn’t even been a full calendar year coaching these kids,” Marshall said. “It makes me appreciate each and every one one of these players. It’s all on the kids man. They earned that and they competed. We really had to pay it forward — we took our licks. One of my goals was to turn this from a team into a program and achieve consistency within the program.”
In Hull vs. Randolph, two rivals face off — 2:30 p.m.
By Cam Kerry
The Hull football program has not played in an MIAA Super Bowl in a quarter century. The Pirates defeated Ashland in 1977, and Bishop Fenwick in 1996.
Randolph has never competed for a championship. At 7-4, the Blue Devils are enjoying the best season in program history.
The South Shore League Tobin Division rivals will meet for the second time this season Wednesday (3 p.m.), but at Gillette Stadium, where the victor will be the Division 8 state champion.
“You always want to get there, but always wonder if you can,” fifth-year Hull coach Michael O’Donnell said. “We’re going to enjoy the moment and the opportunity, but it’s definitely special to be in this position.”