FOXBOROUGH — When Noah Sorrento was a freshman, he was at Gillette Stadium for the state championship games. Xaverian wasn’t playing, but Sorrento wanted to get a feel for what Super Saturday was all about.
He dreamed of taking the field here and winning a state title.
On Saturday afternoon, Sorrento’s dreams came true. The senior running back rushed for 187 yards and four touchdowns to lead top-ranked Xaverian past second-ranked Everett, 38-29, in the Division 1 Super Bowl.
“This is the stuff you dream of as a kid,” Sorrento said. “When I was a freshman in high school, I came to the state championship game wishing I could be out here one day. Sure enough, we’re out here senior year, 12-0, perfect record . . . unbelievable feeling.
“My last game, [I] worked as hard as I could for my team because these are my brothers.”
Sorrento’s impact was never more apparent than late in the third quarter. Everett scored 15 straight points to open the second half and trailed, 31-29.
Xaverian coach Charlie Stevenson knew who had to get the ball for the Hawks to regain momentum. Sorrento was handed the ball on six of seven plays on the ensuing drive, rushing for 59 yards, finishing it with a 22-yard touchdown.
On that scoring play, Sorrento broke four tackles to open up a 38-29 lead with 4:37 left in the third quarter. On the next drive, junior Coby Tippett picked off Everett quarterback Jordan McAfee deep in Xaverian territory to essentially seal the victory.
“Noah has been our guy this year. He brought us to the promised land,” said Stevenson, who captured his sixth Super Bowl title in seven appearances since taking over the program in 1993. It was Xaverian’s first title since 2009.
Xaverian held a 31-14 lead at halftime, but Everett (9-2) stormed back in the third quarter. Sorrento fumbled on the first drive of the second half and Everett’s Grandhi Deris recovered at the Xaverian 21.
On the first play, McAfee found Lukas Denis for a 21-yard touchdown over the middle to cut the Xaverian lead to 31-21.
After forcing Xaverian to punt — its first of the game — on the ensuing drive, Everett continued its comeback. After a 35-yard pass from McAfee (10 of 15 passing, 168 yards, 2 TDs) to Jean Richard, senior running back Nick Orekoya pinballed his way into the end zone for a score. Luis Cardona’s 2-point conversion rush cut the lead to 31-29.
“Well, I was a little panicked at that point,” said Stevenson, whose Hawks handed Everett both of its losses this season. “They came out really fired up in the second half and made some great plays. We had to go win the game; they didn’t hand it to us, that’s for sure.”
Sorrento’s big day began on the first play of the second quarter. His 13-yard run up the gut tied the score at 14.
After a fumbled snap on an Everett punt caused a 9-yard loss, Xaverian took over at the Everett 41. Three plays later, Sorrento was at it again. He broke a tackle and cut back to his right and into the end zone for a 29-yard touchdown.
Sorrento’s third and final score of the first half came with 2:15 to go. After a 36-yard punt return from Tippett, Sorrento took the first play 26 yards to put Xaverian up, 28-14.
“Coach just kept calling the ball to me, the line just kept blocking. It was open field, they were doing all the work. I give the credit to them,” Sorrento said.
“It feels unbelievable, the best feeling in the world.’’
Video: Xaverian postgame reaction
|Third Down||2 for 6||5 for 9|
|Fourth Down||0 for 1||None|
|Jake Farrell (X)||2||5||42||1||1|
|Jordan McAfee (E)||10||15||168||2||1|
|Noah Sorrento (X)||25||187||4|
|Nick Orekoya (E)||11||41||1|
|Kenny Kern (X)||1||36||1|
|Nick Orekoya (E)||3||51||1|
|Lukas Denis (E)||4||52||1|