fb-pixelMassachusetts football Super Bowl preview: St. John's Prep vs. Xaverian Skip to main content

Previewing and predicting the Division 1 Super Bowl: St. John’s Prep vs. Xaverian

Quarterback Jimmy Nardone has been a powerful runner for St. John's Prep all season, as the Eagles have dominated teams in the trenches this season.Josh Reynolds for The Boston Globe

The Division 1 MIAA Super Bowl will be played on Wednesday at Gillette Stadium.

Read on for a preview and prediction of the game.

Here’s a look at the full schedule.

ST. JOHN’S PREP (11-1) vs. XAVERIAN (10-2)

When: Wednesday, 8 p.m.

Where: Gillette Stadium

How to stream: Patriots.com; Patriots YouTube channel


Coaches: St. John’s Prep — Brian St. Pierre (10th season, 82-29); Xaverian — Al Fornaro (7th season, 47-24)

Scoring: St. John’s Prep — 36.7 ppg; Xaverian — 34.3

Defense: St. John’s Prep — 12.6; Xaverian — 18.7

The heavies up front: St. John’s Prep — Graham Roberts (6-feet, 3-inches, 285 pounds); Xaverian — Greg Celestin (6-3, 285)


Stat check: The Prep has complemented a dominant defense with a strong running game that includes several options out of the backfield. Senior Cam LaGrassa has carried 138 times for a team-high 1,145 yards and 12 touchdowns. After Dylan Aliberti (72-396, 6 TD) was lost to a leg injury in Week 7, junior Jeff Quigley has emerged with 328 rushing yards and 6 TDs. And the Prep will often turn to 6-3, 185-pound quarterback Jimmy Nardone (369 rushing yards, 8 TD) as a power runner. Junior quarterback Deacon Robillard is 82-of-125 passing for 1,343 yards and 14 TDs with three INTs in his first full season as a starter. His top targets have been Gavin Gold (17 receptions, 218 yards) and Pierson Scala (15-243).

Henry Hasselbeck has led Xaverian’s offense with 1,370 passing yards and 16 TDs, while adding 627 yards and nine scores on the ground. His leading target, Jon Monteiro (48-831-12 TD), will miss the Bowl due to injury. Jordan Wilson (15-168 yards-2 TD) is the next best wideout. In eight games before he suffered an ankle injury in the D1 semifinals, Denzil Pierre carried 120 times for 940 yards and nine TDs. Mike O’Connor stepped in as the lead back and ran for 379 yards in Xaverian’s last two games.


The captains: St. John’s Prep — LB Matt Callahan (Sr.), TE/DE Mason McSweeney (Sr.), LB John Droggitis (Sr.), RB Dylan Aliberti (Sr.), OG Wells Gillette (Sr.); Xaverian — OG/DT Andrew Dufault (Sr.), QB Henry Hasselbeck (Sr.), RB Mike O’Connor (Sr.), WR/DB Jon Monteiro (Sr.), WR/DB Charlie Comella (Sr.)

Seniors on roster: St. John’s Prep — 26; Xaverian — 23

Last Super Bowl appearance: St. John’s Prep — 2022; Xaverian — 2017


This is a rare rematch within a six-day span, with Prep looking to avenge a 23-21 loss at Xaverian on Thanksgiving. There are key injuries on both sides, as Xaverian lost Monteiro to a shoulder injury in that matchup, and have been without Charlie Comella all season. In addition to Aliberti, Prep has been missing center Angel Heredia and cornerback Austin Lambert for most of the season. Linebacker Jackson Tucker is likely out with an injury. Both Catholic Conference powers have depth on both lines and will look to dominate the trenches in a physical matchup. St. Pierre and the Eagles have more recent experience at Gillette, with Callahan, McSweeney, Droggitis, Robillard, linebacker Marquese Avery, and right tackle Graham Roberts making their second Super Bowl starts as the program goes for its fourth state title in five seasons.


Xaverian has enough talented receivers to spread the field wide and create some chunk plays. Hasselbeck is one of the better quarterbacks to come through the state over the past decade, but the guys up front will likely pave the Prep’s path to victory. The Eagles have an ability to convert in short-yardage and goal-line situations, and their talented defense should bounce back after yielding over 250 rushing yards last week.


St. John’s Prep 29, Xaverian 22