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St. John’s Prep dominates Everett

SJ Prep35

DANVERS — Everett loomed over St. John’s Prep for seven years.

The Crimson Tide had won every meeting since 2008, including two victories a year ago — one in last-second fashion in the Division 1 North title game.

But despite a long run of almosts and what-ifs, the Eagles refused to make Sunday’s game about Everett. Not once during the week did their opponent’s name enter the discussion.

“We didn’t mention the word Everett all week,” said Prep coach Brian St. Pierre. “It was just about us getting better. We just wanted to execute and bring our A-game and see where that led us . . . pretty good result.”


That it was. The third-ranked Eagles overpowered the seventh-ranked Crimson Tide en route to a 35-13 victory at Cronin Field.

“It was a huge win,” said Prep senior quarterback Oliver Eberth. “We knew who we were playing. And we knew what we had to do to win. We executed the game plan and that’s why we came out on top.”

Oliver Eberth carried the ball 10 times for 113 yards.Mark Lorenz for The Boston Globe

Eberth threw for 160 yards and two touchdowns — both to junior Hayden Rockett — on 9-of-13 passing and added 113 yards on 10 carries, including an 84-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter.

“I think Ollie . . . people don’t seem to want to say he’s one of the best in the state, but I’ll take No. 10,” said St. Pierre.

The Eagles’ defensive line caused fits for Everett quarterback Jordan McAfee, who was sacked four times. The Crimson Tide (1-2) managed just 66 yards on the ground.

“They couldn’t be blocked,” said St. Pierre. “They’re just good, they’re big, they’re physical. Having played [quarterback], pressure in the middle of a QB’s face is tough.”

Everett started strongly, grabbing a 6-0 lead late in the first quarter on a Julian Edelman-style double pass. McAfee dumped one off to Jean St. Vil, who found Anthony Norcia (two touchdowns) for a 58-yard score down the left sideline.


From there, it was all St. John’s Prep.

The Eagles (3-0) scored on three straight possessions in the second quarter to take a 21-6 lead into halftime.

Senior Dillon Preston (10 rushes, 108 yards) ended a 12-play, 66-yard drive by pounding home a 4-yard score that put the Eagles ahead, 7-6. After an Everett fumble on the ensuing drive, Preston took the first play 39 yards through a gaping hole in the middle of the line for another touchdown.

Mike Sainristil and the Crimson Tide fell to 1-2.Mark Lorenz for The Boston Globe

“The O-line did an amazing job making huge holes for us to cut off,” said Preston. “We definitely wanted to come out with more energy and play a tougher game against them.”

Eberth then found Rockett (five receptions, 117 yards) on a slant pass for a 22-yard score that ended a drive in which the Eagles had touchdowns called back twice on penalties.

Another slant from Eberth to Rockett resulted in a 58-yard touchdown that extended the Prep lead to 28-6 late in the third quarter.

“We work [the slant] in practice quite a bit,” said St. Pierre. “We’re multiple. I think they thought we were going to come in and pound and do the play-action game, and they were prepared to stop that. We kind of thought that they might be prepared for that so we went open game this week.”

Eberth put an exclamation point on the victory in the fourth quarter with an 84-yard touchdown run in which he broke a tackle and burst up the right sideline.


“We came out and played our hearts out,” said Eberth. “We had a good week of practice, guys were focused, and they knew what we had to do to win.”

Football Players of the Week are at bostonglobe.com/schools