By Pete Legasey
For the Journal
Tom Bradyâ€™s team wasnâ€™t the only group of Patriots to enjoy a dramatic, season-opening win this week. The Revere High varsity football team thrilled its home fans with a 20-14 overtime win over Northeast Metro RVT on Friday night at Della Russo Stadium.
A 1-0 record is always a great way to start a season, but this win was particularly satisfying for the Patriots because of the way it was earned. Head coach Lou Cicatelli said his team plans to diverge from its recent history by employing more of a passing offense this year, but Fridayâ€™s heavy rains forced the Patriots to abandon their comfort zone andwin games the way they used to, with hardfought yardage on the ground.
â€œWhen it started to pour, we knew we werenâ€™t going to be able to throw the ball,â€ Cicatelli said.
Despite the change in offensive game plan, Revere showed early on that it was prepared for the kind of knockdown, drag-out football that it has preferred in years past. The Patriots scored the first points of the game late in the first quarter when senior Scooby Magezca ran the ball in from five yards out. Trey Weathers followed by rushing for a two-point conversion to put Revere ahead, 8-0.
The score would remain the same through the end of the first half, with both teams struggling to move the ball as the weather conditions worsened. Northeast Vocational finally broke through with a touchdown in the third quarter and tied the game by adding an extra two of their own.
The Patriots regained the lead early in the fourth when Trey Weathers broke free for a 75-yard touchdown on a toss play up the left sideline. This time, however, the two-point conversion failed, which opened the door for the Knights to win the game when they busted a long touchdown run with 1:20 on the clock. Northeast Metro needed just one point for the late lead, but opted for the two-point conversion instead (perhaps fearing that the pouring rains would make kicking the extra point an unreasonable gamble). The Patriots got the stop, and the game remained tied at 14 through the end of regulation.
Neither team scored on its first overtime attempt, so the game went into a second extra session with Northeast Metro taking the ball first. Once again, the Patriots were able to stop the Knights from crossing the goal line. After the stuff, Revere took the ball at the Knightsâ€™ 10-yard line and, on a third-and-three play, Trey Weathers punched the ball into the end zone to seal the victory for Revere.
Weathers finished the game with 165 yards (all on the ground), two touchdowns and a pair of two-point conversions, while his brother, senior captain Will Weathers, led the defense with eight tackles. It was he, along with Magezca and Chris Adriani, who halted the Knights on back-to-back plays when Northeast was at the 1-yard line in the first overtime.
â€œWe knew we were in for a battle here,â€ said Cicatelli â€œThey were bigger than us upfront, and with this was the type of weather they wanted to see. The kids rose to the occasion and played tough.â€
Cicatelli also credited his coaching staff – which includes linemen coach Tim Gregorio, offensive coordinator John DeMarco, wide receivers coach Ben Potter, running backs coach Jose Escobar, special teams coach Dan DeCristoforo and team consultant Mike Kearney – for making sure that his players were prepared for Game 1 and beyond in the weeks leading up to the season opener.
For the Patriotsâ€™ coaching staff, Fridayâ€™s game was a competitive but friendly reunion with their former colleague, Don Heres, who is now the head coach of the Knights. Heres was an assistant on the Revere staff for four seasons, first joining the team when Cicatelli was still an assistant.
â€œI canâ€™t praise him enough,â€ Cicatelli said of Heres. â€œHeâ€™s a great guy and a hard worker.â€