By Joseph Domelowicz Jr.
For the Journal
The 3-0 Revere Patriots visited Swampscott on Saturday afternoon and for one half of the football game, they were poised to go to 4-0.
Leading 34-14 after the first half, and with five touchdown runs from standout running back Trae Weathers already in the books, the Patriots seemed to have all of the momentum on their side. But Swampscott has had one of the best offensive attacks in the Northeast Conference for years and they knew there was still a second half to play. The Big Blue scored four second half touchdowns of their own, and won with a late two-point conversion, dropping Revere, 43, 42, in a thriller. The loss drops Revere’s record to 3-1 on the season, but it finds a place among the most memorable games in Revere’s recent gridiron history.
“It was really a tale of two halves,” said Revere head coach Lou Cicatelli. “In the first half we couldn’t have played any better. We got the five touchdowns from (Weathers) and defensively we had played really well, controlled the game and made them work for everything they got.”
Unfortunately, a combination of Swampscott adjustments at halftime, two second half fumbles – that led directly to Swampscott scores – and some missed opportunities had the Revere team thinking about what might have been.
“Despite all of the mistakes we made throughout the second half, we still had a chance to win it late,” lamented Cicatelli. “On our final series we had held the ball for six minutes and we just needed a yard on a fourth and one play to keep the clock ticking, but we didn’t get it.”
Later, after a Swampscott fumble, Revere only had to fall on the ball and regain possession to run out the clock, but a Revere defender trying to make something happen, accidentally kicked the ball out of bounds instead and Swampscott retained the ball. Four plays later, Swampscott was in the end zone, setting up the dramatic two-point conversion by Phil Larken, which gave Swampscott the game.
“You know, I told my guys that I couldn’t blame the player who tried to pick up the ball instead of falling on it,” said Cicatelli. “He was trying to make something happen, and when I was his age, I probably would have done the same thing.”
What’s done is done, as they say, and Cicatelli was in no mood after the game to dwell on the loss.
“I’ve told our guys, and the coaches, and myself, we played poorly for a half of the game and still had our chances to win,” said the coach. “There’s no use dwelling on it, or wondering what might have happened if we’d made one more play. The only thing that will get this sour taste out of our mouths, is to win our next game, and that is what we’re focused on right now.”
Despite the loss, Revere is off to its best start in years, and at 3-1 has the right to start focusing on a great season, if they can just keep stringing wins together.
“Obviously, we got another big game from (Weathers), who had the five touchdowns and a two-point conversion, to go with 265 yards,” said Cicatelli. “I believe he is leading the state in scoring right now with 95 points through four games.”
Revere also got contributions from senior quarterback Paul Norton, who hooked up with receiver Drew Lauria on the Patriots’ only second half touchdown, a 67-yard catch, that momentarily gave Revere new life in the second half.
“I’d also like to mention a few guys that really stepped up big for us on defense. Jimmy Domenici, Sota Nev and Jose Amaya were our leading tacklers in the game and they all played very well,” said Cicatelli. “Also, my two sophomores linebackers Marvin Rios and Andy Restiano, played very well filling for Rob Sasso’s injury.”
Weathers’ backfield mate from last season Quintin Wesley also made his return to the field this season, he had been recovering from a pre-season injury and Wesley was able to add some key runs for the Patriots, including a crucial two-point conversion in the first half.
Next up for the Patriots will be the Marblehead Magicians on Friday night at Marblehead.
“Marblehead is a good team, they represent another challenge for our kids and it’s one they have to go out there and take on, if they want to put this loss behind them.”