The Revere High Patriots showed flashes of brilliance last Friday against a very formidable Swampscott High team. Unfortunately, most of those flashes occurred in the first half, and the Big Blue eventually snuffed them out and ran away with a 37-14 win over Revere.
Not only did the Patriots hang close to Swampscott in the first half, they controlled the game on both sides. Highlighted by a season-best outing by quarterback Paul Norton, the Revere offense struck the first blow when Trey Weathers broke free for a 40-yard touchdown run. Swampscott had difficulties moving the chains in the early going against Revere, who held the big blue to 3-and-out possessions on two occasions.
The Big Blue caught a break late in the first quarter when they punted to Revere and quickly regained possession after a Patriots fumble on the play. The costly error put the Swampscott offense at the 10-yard line, and the Big Blue tied the game with a touchdown five plays later.
The Patriots stayed strong as the game shifted to the second quarter. Norton led the team on a 12-play drive and capped it off by rushing for a touchdown from five yards out. By this time, the Swampscott was beginning to find their groove, but the Revere defense continued to hinder them thanks, in part, to stellar play from linebacker Quentin Wesley and defensive end David Gil. Swampscott would only manage a field goal for the rest of the half, and Revere went into the break clinging to a 14-10 lead.
The game turned sharply in favor of Swampscott in the second half, which saw the Big Blue blank the Patriots while scoring 27 points of their own. Swampscott scored a touchdown in the third to take the lead, and turned what was a close game into a blowout in the final frame. Revere’s best chance for another score evaporated when they committed a fumble just five yards away from the end zone in the fourth quarter.
“It was a tale of two halves,” said head coach Lou Cicatelli. “We dominated in the first half and got dominated in the second. We’ve got to find a way to put four quarters together.”
Cicatelli noted that his team’s main weakness in the first half of the season has been a lack of depth. Many of Revere’s best players have been playing on both offense and defense with little rest during games. Swampscott exploited this flaw in the second half of Friday’s game by running a no-huddle offense that prevented Revere from making substitutions to rest its players.
On the plus side, Revere continues to get strong play from its top players, overworked or not. Trey Weathers had another 100+ rushing performance, which was complemented by that of Norton, who completed 13 of 18 pass attempts for 240 yards. Chris Adriani caught six of those passes for 100 receiving yards, and Drew Lauria had four catches for close to 60 yards.
The Patriots (1-3) will try to get back into the win column against another tough NEC opponent on Friday when they host Marblehead High.