A look at seven unheralded players from schools participating in Saturday’s Super Bowls:
JOEY WHITE, Everett: Notre-Dame bound offensive lineman John Montelus helps anchor a line that has contributed to the Crimson Tide averaging 33.7 points per game. But behind Jakarrie Washington and Kenny Calaj’s 24 combined touchdowns is another senior running back that has had a great impact for Everett. White’s tough running between the tackles gives Everett a strong inside presence that helps open up the outside for the other running backs. He is the Crimson Tide’s third biggest weapon on offense (with seven touchdowns) and displayed that by scoring twice, including a 42-yard punt return, in Everett’s 42-14 semifinal win over Masconomet.
MIKE DUNLAP, Natick: You’ve heard the last name before but it’s usually his younger brother, Brian. All the hype is typically around Natick’s offense, but not enough is written about its defense. Dunlap, a senior captain, is the heart of the Redhawks defensive unit that is allowing an average of 15.4 points per game. Although brother Brian comes up clutch on offense, Mike is all over the field on defense, making crucial stops and assisting in many tackles throughout the game. Coach Mark Mortarelli referred to Mike as an all-league linebacker who the coach simply expects to make plays.
ROBINSON CYPRIEN, Dorchester: Cyprien’s six touchdowns have led the Dorchester Bears to an undefeated season. His breakthrough game was a 36-24 win over Latin Academy, in which he rushed for 279 yards and two touchdowns. Cyprien is also a defensive back, a key figure on Dorchester’s stingy defense that allows an average of just 5.8 points per game.
HAYDEN MURPHY, Barnstable: The 6-foot-2-inch, 200-pound junior running back carried 27 times for over 150 yards and three touchdowns as he led the Red Raiders over Lincoln-Sudbury in a Division 1A semifinal Tuesday night. Murphy also scored three times in a 46-33 win over Billerica this season. The Red Raiders passing game is usually the overpowering factor of their offense, but Murphy will make opposing defenses remember that Barnstable is certainly not a one-dimensional team.
MATT COMERFORD, Reading: In the spring he’s on the lacrosse field, protecting the net. In the fall he’s on the football field, protecting Rockets quarterback Drew Belcher. The 6-4, 280-pound all-star offensive lineman has not only done a great job blocking, but his size allows him to open up gaps for Belcher to navigate through, as well. Look for Comerford to give Reading the extra push it needs Saturday against Mansfield — literally.
BRENDAN HILL, Mansfield: Mansfield’s two senior running backs, Kevin Makie and Robbie Rapoza, garner most of the limelight, but Brendan Hill’s nine touchdowns have played a significant role in the Hornets offense this season. The 6-5 sophomore receiver is a threat for any opposing secondary. Hill caught a 74-yard touchdown pass against Duxbury in the fourth quarter to help the Hornets advance to the Division 2 Super Bowl.
MIKE DOOLING, Beverly: Much of Beverly’s success this season has come from its dominant running game. And if you’re looking for a reason, besides the fact that Brendan Flaherty is a beast, look no further than Mike Dooling. The 5-11, 220-pound tackle has paved the way for the first Panthers team in school history to win 11 games in a season. On defense, he’s just as good. Dooling, this year’s CAL/NEC 2 co-defensive player of the year, recorded 40 tackles, 2 sacks, and also has a fumble recovery, leading a defense that has allowed only 95 points this year. Look out, Natick.