Throughout the roller-coaster ride of the 2017 Eastern Mass. high school football season, one detail remained constant: Everett reigned superior.
The Crimson Tide began the season as the top team in the Globe’s weekly Top 20 and never budged, finishing an unblemished season with a 35-10 victory over Xaverian in the Division 1 Super Bowl on Saturday evening at Gillette Stadium.
Under the Gillette Stadium lights on Friday, King Philip eked out a 10-7 victory over Lincoln-Sudbury, crediting a Shane Frommer equalizing touchdown in the third quarter and a Cole Baker field goal in the fourth in procuring its second straight Division 2 crown.
Vanquished Division 1 stalwarts Xaverian and Central Catholic sit at Nos. 3 and 4 respectively, and Dennis-Yarmouth, which emphatically claimed the Division 5 crown with a 37-7 drubbing of West Springfield, rounds out the top five.
North Attleborough’s dream campaign came to an end Friday in Foxborough as the Red Rocketeers fell to St. John’s Shrewsbury, 35-33, in Division 3. North Attleborough drops to the eighth slot in our final Top 20. Melrose had no such trouble, completing a 13-0 season with a 21-0 shutout of Nashoba for the Division 4 hardware. Melrose claims the No. 6 spot for its perfect season.
Super Bowl winners Middleborough (Division 6), Mashpee (Division 7), and Millis (Division 8) finished 12, 11, and 13, respectively.
Brockton (21-1-2) soared to the Globe’s top ranking after netting its first state championship. The Boxers stopped top-ranked St. John’s Prep, 2-1, in the EMass final and followed with a Leonardo Teixeira-fueled comeback from a 2-0 halftime deficit against Longmeadow in the state final. Coach Herminio Furtado’s crew was an inspired side from start to finish. Prep (19-1-3) drops to No. 2, followed by Division 2 champion Concord-Carlisle (14-2-6), Division 2 runner-up Oliver Ames (15-3-4), and Somerville (16-1-4).
Despite its double-overtime loss to Wachusett in the Division 1 state final, Westford Academy ended the season as the Globe’s No. 1-ranked team. Along the way, the Grey Ghosts (17-2-2) halted the 42-game unbeaten streak of defending champion Central Catholic in the North final, then nudged past King Philip, 2-1, in the state semifinals on Katherine Pawlak’s strike in the 64th minute. KP (20-2-2) is No. 2, followed by Central Catholic (18-1-1), Newton South (20-2), and Division 2 state champion Danvers (19-2-1). Millis leaped into the rankings at No. 14 by running the table in Division 4.
Andover’s 2-0 state championship win over Longmeadow was a fitting coup de grace for a team that was cool under pressure in the face of every elite challenge it faced. The Golden Warriors (22-0-1) close the season as the Globe’s No. 1-ranked team. Watertown had its 184-game unbeaten streak stopped by Middlesex League rival Winchester in the second game of the season, but the highly motivated Raiders closed the season with 21 wins to capture their ninth straight Division 2 crown. South champion King Philip (20-3-1) is No. 3, followed by Winchester (20-1-1), and Somerset Berkley (21-1).
Two-time defending Division 1 champ Barnstable swept Newton North in their regular-season meeting in early October. But with junior hitter Ashley Wang back on the floor, and healthy, for the state semifinal rematch, the Tigers surged to a 25-16, 25-22, 25-22 victory before bouncing Hopkinton in the state final. Newton North, which won its last 33 sets of the season to finish 20-1, earned the Globe’s top ranking, followed by Barnstable (22-1), Hopkinton (22-3), and Division 2 finalist Melrose (24-3). Division 2 South champ Duxbury is fifth (23-2).Owen Pence can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Logan Mullen, Matt MacCormack, Ryan Hathaway, and Dan McLoone also contributed to this story.