The Revere High football team will be shooting to capture at least a share of the Cape Ann League/Northeastern Conference Division 1 championship Friday night under the lights at Masconomet High School in Topsfield.
“This is what it’s all about,” said RHS head coach Lou Cicatelli. “It’s a very exciting prospect for the entire team for us to still be in contention for a league title in November. This is a position that no Revere football team has been in for a very long time.”
Masco is undefeated at 3-0 in the D-1 CAL/NEC, while the Patriots are 2-1, and thus a Revere victory will move the Pats into a tie for first place and a shot at a post-season playoff berth.
Revere will be looking to shake off a two game losing streak. The Pats dropped a 30-18 decision to Lynn Classical last week, Revere’s first loss to a D-1 CAL/NEC opponent.
The contest was a tale of two halves. All 48 of the teams’ combined points came in the first half, as the Ram and Patriot offenses took turns marching up and down the field at will. Conversely, the second half was ruled by the defenses, each holding their counterparts scoreless after the intermission.
Revere found itself in a hole at the outset, as Classical sprinted to a 16-0 advantage on its first two possessions in the first period. The Rams powered 65 yards in the opening drive of the game to make it 8-0 (with the two point conversion) and then, after Revere punted, scored on a reverse play on a third and 12 that went for 60 yards.
“We got behind early and just couldn’t seem to recover,” said Cicatelli. However, his Patriots soon fought back, marching 70 yards on their ensuing possession, the key play coming on a 40 yard jaunt into the end zone by junior Tom Portrait. Jeff Simbert’s PAT closed the gap to 16-7.
But the offensive fireworks had only just begun, as what ensued in the latter half of the second period was a dizzying burst of up-and-down football.
Classical responded to the Revere touchdown with one of its own on what in retrospect was perhaps the key play of the game. A fourth-and-13 Hail Mary pass into the end zone from the Revere 45 yard line appeared to be well-defended by Portrait (who does double-duty in the Revere defensive backfield), but the ball tipped off his fingers and bounded into the waiting arms of a Classical receiver in the endzone.
The Patriots, now trailing 23-7, counter-punched with a drive that took them 60 yards to the Classical eight. However, Revere had to settle for field goal by Simbert on a fourth and goal from the 12, closing the gap to 23-10.
The Rams came right back, thanks to a screen pass on a third and eight that covered 50 yards to the Revere endzone. “On all of their last three touchdowns, we thought we had stopped them,” aid Cicatelli. “On each occasion they had long yardage to go for a first down, but each time they burned us for long scoring plays.”
However, if there is one hallmark of this 2012 Revere team, it is that they never quit. With just over a minute left in the half, RHS quarterback Joe Ritchie expertly directed his team 60 yards for a TD, the capper being a nice 20 yard toss to Portrait with only seconds left on the clock. Another Simbert PAT closed the gap to a very manageable 30-18 deficit as the teams headed into the locker room.
“Considering that we had found ourselves down by 16 points in the opening minutes of the game, that touchdown just before the half that cut the margin to 12 points gave us a lot of momentum and confidence coming out of the locker room,” said Cicatelli.
However, with both defenses making necessary adjustments, the contest turned from a display of offense into a defensive struggle. Although Classical did not score in the final two periods, their running game managed to eat up a lot of the clock.
The Pats had a golden opportunity to close within six points or less when they moved to the Classical 30 in the third period, but a bad snap on first down that went over Ritchie’s head, resulting in a big loss, effectively killed that scoring threat.
“The team played hard and I was very proud of the way we fought back to make a game of it,” said Cicatelli, whose squad has been decimated by injuries to key players along the way all season long. “We have a number of young players who have had to step up and they continued to do a nice job for us.”
Kick off time for Friday evening’s game at Masco is the usual 7:00 p.m.
Nelson wins medal at Coaches Meet
The Revere High girls cross country team trekked to the Wrentham Development Center to compete in the Coach’s Invitational on the Wrentham course Saturday.
“It was chilly, probably the coldest it has been all season,” said RHS head coach Katie Sinnott. “That said, the girls ran better than at the league meet, which was a nice way for many of them to end the season.”
Revere’s ace runner all year, Nikki Nelson, earned a top finisher medal in the 11th and 12th grade race to pace the Lady Patriot contingent.
“Since her freshmen year, Nikki has earned a medal at every level, freshmen, sophomore, and now junior,” said Sinnott. “This is quite an accomplishment as the races typically have 200+ racers in them. Nikki definitely is an asset to our team.”
Revere runners and their times are as follows:
Freshmen race 3K (just under 1.9 miles)
Jaclynne Dion 14:13
Aouli Labeche 15:40
Ghizlane Benzerdjeb 16:29
Jessica Ventura 16:56
Rayana Benzohora 18:14
Catherine Monroy 18:15
Michelle Vargas 19:51
Meloee Nazaire 20:19
Ashley Goodwin 20:21
Dakota DeLuca 20:36
Francesca DeRosa 21:25
Sophomore Race 5K (3.1 miles)
Hayley Mangino 24:25
Junior/Senior Race 5K (3.1 miles)
Nikki Nelson 21:16
Maggie DiPlatzi 25:04
Alessandra Sabella 30:24
Evelyn Bonilla 34:15
A handful of Sinnott’s crew will compete in the Eastern Mass Division I race on Saturday, also in Wrentham to which each school is allowed to bring seven runners.
Cross country boys compete at invitational
A number of members of the Revere High boys cross country team competed in Saturday’s Coach’s Invitational at the Wrentham Development Center.
Although many members of the squad were unable to race because of College Board exams, RHS coach Mike Flynn said he was pleased with the performances of those who did make the trip.
Boun Liang Che ran in the sophomore race, a 5K, and finished in a time of 22:37. In the junior/senior division, also a 5K run, John DelloRusso clocked a fine time of 18:27, which was 1:30 faster than his time last year. William Truong, who came across in 19:50, also was faster than his 2011 mark by 40 seconds.
Jay Mistri also improved over his effort in this race from last year by almost a full two minutes with a time of 20:39.
Flynn and his full contingent of the top seven Revere boys will race this Saturday in the Eastern Mass Division I race on Saturday, which also will be in Wrentham.
Field hockey team wraps up 2012 season
The Revere High field hockey team concluded its 2012 season with contests against Saugus (a 0-0 tie) and Peabody (a 4-1 loss.). Steph Gregorio recorded the goal for Revere in the Peabody encounter on a pass from Erika Ronga.
“The team ended up with no wins but four ties, which is three more ties than last year,” said RHS head coach Erin Parker, who completed her first season at the helm of the Lady Patriot field hockey program. “Our defense and strong understanding of positioning helped keep us competitive, but our lack of skill in the offensive circle kept us from winning games. It will certainly be a focus for next year.
“With 13 juniors returning next season, we will look to continue improving and getting some wins,” added Parker.
The concluding week of the season marked the farewell for Lady Patriot seniors Leanne Rizzo, Sarah Bouitah, and Meiling Theng.
Logan DiCarlo earned the only Revere nod on the Northeastern Conference all star team to which 22 of the league’s top athletes were selected.
“Our goalie, Amanda McCarthy, received some votes, but not enough to get her an all star spot,” noted Parker.
The team had some fun Sunday morning, playing a contest against an alumni squad on the turf field.