Sports 12-02-2015

Holiday heartbreaker

for Revere football team

The Revere High football team’s bid to stand alone as the second-most successful grid squad in school history fell just short on Thanksgiving Day with a heartbreaking 15-12 loss to archival Winthrop.

One of the biggest crowds in many years for a holiday contest between the two ancient foes — whose rivalry dates back to 1913 — turned out for the battle thanks to a beautiful morning for a schoolboy football game, the allure of Revere’s newly-rebuilt Harry Della Russo football stadium, and the promise of an epic grid battle between two teams who on paper were evenly-matched.

On all scores — save for the final outcome from a Revere point-of-view —  fans on both sides of the field were not disappointed. Revere took an early 6-0 lead after marching the length of the field on their opening possession. The Patriots’ running game tore into the Winthrop defense for gain-after-gain, with the trio of Victor Rivera, Steve Noel, and captain Dan Murphy taking turns moving the ball in chunks of 7-8 yards. Noel provided the capper, bursting 12 yards into the end zone.

However, the early 6-0 Revere advantage (the Pats’ PAT kick went awry) would stand for the rest of the first half, as neither team thereafter was able to mount an offensive surge. The Patriot defense, led by Noel from his linebacker spot, stifled a potent Viking offense that had piled up big numbers on some of Winthrop’s foes throughout the season.

The scoreboard remained stuck at 6-0 until late in the third quarter when both the on-field temperature and the teams’ offenses began to heat up. Winthrop finally put together a complete drive late in the third quarter and kicked the PAT to move out to a 7-6 lead.

However, captain Murphy and his offensive cohorts responded immediately, as they have done so many times throughout the season, taking the ensuing kickoff and driving into the Winthrop end zone in just eight plays to move back into the lead, 12-7 (a two-point conversion attempt failed) with seven minutes left. Rivera applied the finishing touch with a 12-yard run.

Winthrop moved the ball on its ensuing possession, getting as far as just inside the Revere 20, but the Patriot defense rose to the occasion, with Noel making the big play on fourth down with a sack that turned the ball over to Revere on downs.

With the clock showing less than 4:00 to play, the Patriots seemed to be in the driver’s seat. A Revere first down — or two — would leave Winthrop in dire straits, even if the Patriots were forced to punt.

However, that scenario never got to play out. A turnover via a fumble gave Winthrop the ball just inside the Patriot 20. The Vikings took advantage of the golden opportunity to score the winning TD and add the two-point conversion.

Revere had about 1:30 left on the clock after taking the kickoff, but an interception on a desperation throw as time was winding down sealed the Patriots’ fate.

“This was a tough one, no doubt about it,” said RHS head coach Lou Cicatelli. “We knew it was going to be a close game and we had them, but turnovers always are the X-factor in a football game.“

Still, looking back on the Pats’ 7-4 season in which they qualified for the playoffs, Cicatelli and his crew had much to be thankful for.

“When you put the season in perspective, we had a great year and I’m very proud of what our team accomplished,” said the coach, whose squad’s seven victories equals the 1980 and 1981 teams for second-most in RHS grid history, exceeded only by the 1973 Super Bowl squad. “We had the first winning record for Revere football since 1981 and made it to the state playoffs. This was a great group of boys who gave 100 percent every day from the first day of practice.”

Murphy named MVP, five Patriots all-stars

Post-season accolades were plentiful for the Revere High football team at the post-season meeting of the Northeastern Conference coaches Monday.

Revere senior captain and quarterback Dan Murphy, who was a true double-threat both passing and running the ball, was named the NEC’s Most Valuable Offensive player.

Teammates Steve Noel (linebacker), Jake Noftle (linebacker), Pho Tran (defensive line), Victor Rivera (running back), and Oscar Lopez (wide receiver) all were named to the NEC all-star team.

 “It was a great day to be a Patriot,” said Cicatelli of the honors bestowed on his players which was reflective of the total team effort his squad displayed throughout the season.

revere  Sports throught the years

10 years ago

November 30, 2005

A shorthanded Revere High football team came up short by a score of 35-6 on Thanksgiving Day to a 10-1 Winthrop team that is headed to the Division 2 playoffs for a shot at a Super Bowl bid. Revere was playing without the services of star running back Emilio Digitale, who set a single-season RHS rising record of 1447 yards this season, two-way lineman Steve Ferrante, and fullback/linebacker David Cutler. Ed Mahoney scored the lone Revere TD on a 43 yard catch and run from back-up quarterback Steve Ennamorati, who was called into the starting assignment when regular QB Reggie Royster was moved to tailback in place of Digitale. Winthrop now has won 17 of the last 18 games in the series and leads the rivalry, which began in 1913, 48-25-3.

The RHS Powderpuff football team defeated No. Reading with a shutout victory.

20 years ago

November 29, 1995

The Revere High football team dropped a 12-0 decision to Winthrop Thanksgiving Day. The teams battled to a 0-0 deadlock through the first half, but the Patriots were unable to get into the end zone in the second half despite moving the ball inside the Winthrop 33 yard line on three occasions. Revere tailback Marc Silvestri rushed for 149 yards on 33 carries to conclude the season with 1180 yards.

30 years ago

December 4, 1985

A 2-5-2 RHS football team, which entered the Thanksgiving Day game as a decided underdog to a 4-4-1 Winthrop squad, dropped a hard-fought 14-6 decision to Winthrop on a muddy Miller Field Friday in a contest that had been postponed because of inclement weather. Rich Casoli scored Revere’s lone TD on a 41 yard pass from Joe Galvin with three minutes to play. Revere won last year’s encounter, 12-10, but now has dropped 10 of the last 11 Turkey Day battles with Winthrop and trails in the series 29-23-3.

The RHS Powderpuff team remained winless (0-7-2) in its series with Winthrop after dropping a 28-6 decision. Debbie Merlina scored the Revere touchdown on a 24 yard run with 38 seconds left in the game for coach Bob Graf’s squad.

Tufts sophomore Kristen Collar, who was a member of the 1983 and 1984 Revere High state champion girls tennis teams, has been named the MVP of the Tufts women’s tennis team. Kristen, playing at number six singles, won the Division III New England championship.

40 years ago

December 3, 1975

A 1-8 RHS football team proved unable to extend its three-game winning streak on Thanksgiving against 4-5 Winthrop, falling by a score of 24-0. The contest was held Friday because of bad weather Thanksgiving Day. Revere, which has dominated the rivalry in recent years, entered the contest with a 22-19-3 advantage over their archival.

50 years ago

December 2, 1965


A standing room-only crowd of 5500 fans were treated to a thrilling Thanksgiving Day battle at Miller Field in Winthrop in which a heavily-underdog Winthrop team, which entered the contest at 4-4, shocked a favored 5-1-2 Revere squad, 14-12. Revere drove all the away to the Winthrop three-yard line in the closing seconds, but time ran out before Revere could get off another play. Revere outgained Winthrop by a wide margin, 328 yards to 187, but costly fumbles led to the Winthrop touchdowns. Revere quarterback Ron Ferullo turned in an outstanding performance, throwing for 13 completions and 250 yards, including TD passes to Mike Wayne and Alan Drover.

60 years ago

December 1, 1955

The Revere High football team defeated St. Mary’s of Lynn, 16-13, on Thanksgiving Day before 5000 fans at Paul Revere Stadium. The win was the third of the season for Revere and the third straight over St. Mary’s on Thanksgiving. Paul Forrey tossed passes to Bob Powers for both of Revere’s touchdowns.

Revere’s Leo Zani, a sophomore at Dartmouth College, who presently holds the U.S. record for a distance marathon of 53 miles, will seek to set a new mark of 61 miles when he runs from Kittery, Maine to Revere City Hall next Saturday. Zani, who lives with his family at 135 Washington Ave., is a Revere High grad where he was the Mass. Class B  champ in the half-mile as a senior. Sixteen runners will attempt the distance, but only Zani is expected to complete it.

70 years ago

November 29, 1945

A heavily-favored Revere High football team was stunned by an underdog Winthrop squad, 20-12, on Thanksgiving Day before a crowd of 5000 fans. Although Revere dominated the play, Winthrop’s speedy Milton “Bomber” Neal  scored two touchdowns on a kick-off return and an interception return. Winthrop also scored on a trick play, a lateral that faked a run and turned into a pass play, that covered 75 yards. Jerry Sarno and Mickey Casoli scored the Revere touchdowns. The contest was marred by a brawl that began on the field among the players before the final whistle, with a Winthrop player being taken to the hospital after being kicked in the back. The brouha-ha then spilled over among the fans after the game. Winthrop school officials reportedly are considering canceling the rivalry beginning in the 1947 season. The schools already have contracted to meet in 1946. The Winthrop/Revere rivalry previously was ended after the 1927 contest because of similar circumstances and the schools did not play from 1928-32.

The Immaculate Conception High football team dropped a 6-0 decision to St. Mary’s of Brookline Sunday. Immaculate will take on Cathedral this Sunday in a game that was postponed because of the polio quarantine at the start of the season.

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