The Revere High football team dropped its first contest of the season, 20-6 to Salem, Friday evening under the lights at Harry Della Russo Stadium.
While in most athletic events the opposing team typically poses the biggest obstacle to victory, Friday night saw both Revere and Salem contend with the wrath of Mother Nature, who unleashed torrents of rain that turned the HDR field into a mosh pit and made the pigskin tougher to handle than the proverbial squealing pig in the poke.
The field conditions were fairly good at game time for the 7:00 start. Revere took the opening kickoff and promptly marched 53 yards to paydirt, with fullback Andy Restiano capping the TD drive with a 13 yard run into the endzone. However, by then the rain had started to do its nasty work and the Pats eschewed their usual kick for the PAT in favor of trying for a two point conversion, which was unsuccessful.
However, playability on the field deteriorated quickly as the rain continued to pelt the players and loyal fans and it became clear that neither team would be able to show its stuff as originally planned on the chalkboard all week.
Salem managed to get into the endzone before the half with a bit of trickery that resulted in a 30 yard screen pass for a TD, but by the time the teams came back after the intermission, puddles glistened in the lights in the middle of the gridiron and mud had become the playing surface. Indeed, both squads soon would learn the truth of the football axiom that what the turnover gods giveth, they also will taketh away. Indeed, the words from the Paul Simon song, “The more you near your destination, the more you keep slip-slidin’away,” would prove appropos for the frustrations felt especially by the Patriots in the final two quarters.
Revere initially had the better of the chances off Salem turnovers, twice recovering fumbles deep in Salem territory in the third period. However, one opportunity slipped away on a Patriot fumble and the other slid short at the five yard line with a missed field goal attempt.
With footing all but impossible and the ball too wet to throw or catch, the contest appeared destined for what would have been a poetically-just 6-6 deadlock for the Patriots and Witches, both of whom had endured enough in one night for one of those mudder obstacle runs that are becoming all the rage these days.
However, with about five minutes to play, a botched Patriot snap and fumble set up Salem at the Revere 20, from where the Witches punched the ball into the endzone to take a 14-6 lead.
The teams then traded punts, with Revere ending up with the ball at its own 36 with less than 2:00 to play. Defying the odds, Patriot quarterback Joe Ritchie and wide receiver Kyle Gotham connected on a post pattern through the raindrops that covered 48 yards to bring the ball to the Salem 16.
A fumble on first down, though recovered by Revere, gave pause to the Patriot momentum. Two more plays got nowhere, setting up a fourth and long for a first down. A desperation pass by Ritchie near the end zone fell into the arms of a Salem defender, who raced the length of the field for a TD to account for the 20-6 final score that was not reflective of how close the game had been.
“Overall, we played very well given the conditions,” said RHS head coach Lou Cicatelli. “It was a game that could have gone either way. Joe threw some nice passes despite the rain, but we couldn’t hold onto them,” added the coach, who noted that the running back duo of Restiano and Tom Portrait both ran for about 70 yards each on the treacherous turf, while Gotham had close to 100 yards receiving.
Defensively, Cicatelli lauded the efforts of Gotham (who played at monster back in the second half) and linebackers Bobby Rose and Steven Piazza.
“I was very proud of the way we fought all game,” said Cicatelli. “It is the sign of a good football team that as long as there is time left on the clock, we will give ourselves a chance to win.”
The Pats, who now stand at 3-1 on the season, have a bye week over the holiday weekend, which will allow the usual bumps and bruises to heal, especially the ankle injury to hard-driving running back and linebacker Conlen Adjindah, whose presence was sorely missed against Salem.
Revere will resume action at Peabody next Friday evening, October 12.
RHS girls soccer team tops English, 2-0
The Revere High girls soccer team got goals from Paolo Ortiz and Jackie Noel to post a 2-0 triumph over Northeastern Conference rival Lynn English last Wednesday.
Ortiz’s goal came on another of her strong direct kicks from about 10 yards outside the 18 yard line. Noel reached the back of the net by putting home a rebound off a shot by Taylor Fiore that had struck the cross bar.
“The team is playing well,” said RHS head coach Natalie Lyons of her squad, which now stands at 3-4 on the season. “This is a great group of girls who are a pleasure to coach. They work hard every game and never quit, even if we might be well behind late in the game.”
The Lady Patriots were set to travel to Saugus yesterday (Tuesday) and will return home tomorrow to host Gloucester in their annual Breast Cancer Awareness game. The girls will wear pink socks and have invited teachers and others to attend to raise awareness of the dreaded disease. The team has a web page where donations for breast cancer research may be made. The Gloucester team also will participate in the event.
Lyons and her squad will hit the road again to Danvers Saturday morning.
Volleyball team defeats Somerville
The Revere High volleyball team turned in a 3-0 shutout in a match with Somerville last Wednesday. The Lady Patriots won all three games by fairly handy margins, 25-19, 25-18, and 25-16.
Leading the way for Revere in the offensive department was their 6-3 middle hitter, junior Natalie Colon-Martins, who has been a force all season at the net, leading the team in blocks and kills.
Senior captain Valentina Lopez also has been a huge contributor for the Lady Patriots with her all around stellar play as first server and with her defensive and offensive skills.
Fellow captain Hailey Lauria is enjoying a standout season as the team’s setter. “Hailey’s our quarterback on the floor,” said RHS head coach Kim Hudd. “She makes sure everyone is lined up where they should be and is all over the court for us with her hustle and determination.”
The third captain for the 2012 Lady Patriots, Anna Pham, has been doing an outstanding job at her outside hitter position.
Revere has faced some adversity in the injury department. Junior Helen Davis underwent knee surgery this week. Libero Shannon Spillane also has been out of action.
The Lady Patriots, who sport a 5-3 record, host Bedford tomorrow (Thursday) and will play at Swampscott Friday and at Saugus Wednesday.
RHS boys cross country team runs well
Although the Revere High boys cross country team came out on the short end (actually, in cross country, the long end) of a 19-42 decision to Marblehead, RHS head coach Mike Flynn was highly pleased with his team’s performance.
“Almost every boy set a new personal record,” said Flynn. “”Everybody is working hard and improving and that is all you can ask.”
Rawlings Toglon, the second Patriot across the line in fifth place, set a new PR with a clocking of 16:50, 36 seconds better than his previous best on the 2.89 mile Revere home course.
John DelloRusso, who turned in ankle in last week’s meet in the Lynn Woods, found the local pavement more to his liking, running in a time of 17:11, 43 seconds than his previous PR. John was the third RHS finisher and ninth overall.
Karim Sahila, the fourth Patriot, bettered his previous PR by 14 seconds with a time of 17:17, good for 10th position, and William Truong came home in 18:02, 24 seconds better than his previous best.
Kristi Nushi, Revere’s top runner all season, once again was the first Patriot across the line in fourth place with a clocking of 16:40, which was four seconds off his PR. “But Kristi had been sick all week,” noted Flynn, “so for him to run that well took quite a gutsy performance.”
Other Patriots who competed were Derek Fortuna, whose time of 18:46 marked his first sub-19:00 effort; Jay Mistri in 19:42, his first sub-20:00 race; Bou Chea in 20:25; and first time runners John Rondon (23:06), Dominic Giangregorio (23:32), and Carl Bendeck (also 23:32).
Mohamed Bensadok also finished the race despite aggravating a pulled muscle midway around the course. “I give Mohamed a lot of credit for just finishing,” said Flynn.
The Patriots were set to host Lynn Classical yesterday (Tuesday) and will be at Salem next Wednesday.
Close games for RHS boys soccer
The Revere High boys soccer team continues to be just the proverbial “bounce away” from breaking into the winning column after coming out on the short end of three close decisions to Saugus (2-1), Marblehead (2-1), and Lynn English (3-1) this past week.
“We’re playing well, but when we make mistakes it really costs us,” said RHS head coach Nik Tower. “At the other end of the field, we are getting our chances, but we can’t seem to finish them.”
Wilmer Cruz, Fabio Ochoa, and Qais Ghulam reached the back of the enemy nets in the three contests.
“Losing is tough for all of us, but I’m very proud of the way we’re holding it together as a team,” said Tower. “We’re on the verge of breaking out into a winning streak, but we just haven’t gotten there yet.”
Tower and his crew were set to host Saugus yesterday (Tuesday), travel to Gloucester tomorrow, and host Danvers Saturday.
RHS golfers defeat English and Classical
The Revere High golf team turned in a strong performance from the top to bottom of its lineup to earn a 39.5-32.5 win over Lynn English last Monday on the Patriots’ home course at Cedar Glen.
Six of the eight Revere players either won or tied their matches against their English counterparts. Standouts were senior captain and Revere No. 1 player John Cimmaruta, who won his match 6-3 and Brett Duekmejian in the No. 8 spot, who defeated his English rival 6.5-2.5.
The following day coach Matt Nazzaro and his crew took on Lynn Classical and Saugus in a tri-match, also at Cedar Glen. The Patriots split the day’s competition, topping Classical 40.5-31.5, but coming up short against Saugus, 42.5-29.2.
T.J. MacDonald gave his Patriot teammates a huge cushion in the Classical match, overwhelming his counterpart, 8.5-0.5. Jason Seigal and Jeff Kingston also contributed to the win with big victories, 7-2. Cimmaruta was a 6-3 victor and Mark Maloney, playing at No. 2, was a 5.5-3.5 winner.
Maloney defeated his Saugus rival by a similar 5.5-3.5 margin and Gennaro Cataldo also had a winning touch against his Saugus foe by a score of 6-3.
Nazzaro’s squad stands at 4-5 going into this week’s contests with Peabody, Salem and Lynn English.
RHS field hockey team ties Saugus, 1-1
The Revere High field hockey team played one contest this past week, earning a hard fought 1-1 tie with Saugus. Erika Ronga scored the goal for the Lady Patriots, but Saugus rallied afterwards to leave matters in a deadlock.
“I think the girls need to mentally get used to playing when they are up, because I saw their play drop a bit once they scored,” said RHS head coach Erin Parker “We were definitely hoping for a win, but we’re excited to be facing Saugus again later in the season.”
Parker had words of praise for Noelle McDonald, “who has played well in a new position this year. We moved Noelle from a forward to a midfielder. Victoria Guarino has played solid defense all year for us as well,” added the coach.
Parker and her crew will host Swampscott tomorrow (Thursday).
Personal records set by girls cross country
Although the Revere High girls cross country team lost its meet with Marblehead last Thursday, RHS coach Katie Sinnott saw a lot of positives in her team’s performance.