High schools

HS FOOTBALL | WEST ROXBURY 14, EAST BOSTON 6

‘There’s no limit on how proud I am of them.’ West Roxbury holds off East Boston

West Roxbury MA 10/05/18 West Roxbury Talif Stewart making an interception in front of East Boston High's Josh Rivera during first half action at Billings Field. (photo by Matthew J. Lee/Globe staff) topic: reporter:
matthew j. lee/globe staff
West Roxbury’s Talif Stewart makes an interception in front of East Boston's Josh Rivera.

West Roxbury’s season began with two straight losses by a combined 26 points. Staring in the face of adversity, the Raiders have rattled off three straight conference wins, capped by a 14-6 victory over East Boston on Friday.

The Jets (2-3) traveled to West Roxbury with a two-game conference win streak so in this battle for first place, something had to give.

Late in the second quarter the teams exchanged scores. Raiders sophomore Lazarus McBean tossed a 32-yard touchdown pass to Luis Pena. McBean converted the 2-point attempt on a quarterback keeper.

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The Jets responded on their next drive when senior quarterback Dom Russo sneaked in from the 2-yard line, although the ensuing 2-point rush was stuffed.

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The momentum of the game changed a few possessions later with the Jets driving after a McBean interception. Russo tried throwing deep down the right sideline but was picked off by Talif Stewart in the end zone with a few seconds left in the half.

“I absolutely did feel like I had to step up for my team and put my all into it,” said Stewart.

After an interception, West Roxbury’s Talif Stewart is tackled by East Boston's Anwar Haloui.
matthew j. lee/globe staff
After an interception, West Roxbury’s Talif Stewart is tackled by East Boston's Anwar Haloui.

In the second half, the Raiders put the game in the hands of senior running back Ismael Presume (134 yards, one touchdown).

“I feel great, I’ve been putting in a lot of hard work in practice and I feel like it paid off,” said Presume. “I’m a captain, so I have to be a leader and show everyone how it’s done.”

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His 6-yard touchdown run on the opening drive of the second half gave the Raiders’ defense a a 14-6 lead to work with.

With 2:46 left in the fourth quarter and the Jets looking to drive downfield , the Raiders’ defense needed one more stop.

West Roxbury’s Ismael Presume looks for running room against East Boston.
matthew j. lee/globe staff
West Roxbury’s Ismael Presume looks for running room against East Boston.

Brandel Johnson, coming off a three-sack performance last week, stepped up again, finishing with one batted ball and 1½ sacks on the final drive. On a fourth and 10, he and Carlos Roche converged on Russo to close out the game.

After going from 0-2 to 3-2 and first place in the Boston City Conference, Raiders coach Derek Wright feels good about his team.

“There’s no limit on how proud I am of them. These guys have really worked hard, they stayed together and they are playing together,” said Wright.

Steve Sousa can be reached at steve.sousa@globe.com..