And yet, week after week, the Crimson fend off their competition with an alarming ease, acting as if those standing across from them were silly to think they even had a chance.
Everett continued to dominate Friday night, thrashing second-seeded Lexington, 49-21, in a Division 1 North semifinal at Dr. Harold Crumb Field.
The Crimson were nearly unstoppable on offense, boasting a swath of overpowering skill players that included six touchdown scorers. Sophomore quarterback Jake Willcox carried himself with a notable poise in his first road playoff bout, completing 14 of 17 passes for 202 yards and three touchdowns.
“It’s awesome,” said Willcox of his buffet-style platter of offensive weaponry, as Mike Sainristil, Anthony Norcia, Jason Maitre, Kevin Brown, Jacob Miller, and Jaden Mahabir all scored for the Crimson.
“It makes my job a whole lot easier, especially when the line’s blocking how they do. My guys, every time they touch the ball, they have a chance to score.”
Lexington (8-1) kept the score close early on, tying the contest at 14 just less than a minute into the second quarter on a 7-yard Noah Monzillo touchdown reception.
It took the Crimson less than two minutes to reclaim their lead, Willcox finding Maitre up the seam for a 21-yard score.
The ensuing Lexington possession proved to be the turning point, star quarterback Sal Frelick’s magic wearing off as a wobbly effort was intercepted by Sainristil near midfield. Two plays later, Brown bounded into the end zone from 23 yards out for a 28-14 Crimson advantage.
“I thought the whole offense played great,” said Everett coach John DiBiaso.
“Forty-two points in the first half pretty much speaks for itself.”
Defensively, Everett (8-0) was a swarming mix of burliness and speed, making Frelick look more like an escape artist than a quarterback. Frelick’s efforts were admirable — the senior threw for 148 yards and ran for 148 more, burning the Crimson D with an 80-yard touchdown run early in the first quarter — but his steely resolve did little to deter the 11 men in red, white, and gold.
“He’s a great player,” said DiBiaso. “He’s going to have his moments. I thought we did a good job containing him, limiting his big plays. That’s the key: get their offense off the field and our offense on.”
Lexington turned over the ball four times, three times on Frelick interceptions.
Everett will face Central Catholic in next week’s Division 1 North final.Owen Pence can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.