Patriots come from behind and stun the Tanners

Three years ago, the Revere High Patriots won an 18-6 game against Peabody Tanners at Veterans Memorial High to end a five-game losing streak and a 16-year drought against the Tanners. Last Friday, the Patriots once again turned their fortunes around at the hands of the Tanners by beating Peabody, 27-25. The football rivalry between the two schools has shifted in favor of Revere High, which has now beaten Peabody three years in a row.

Revere came into this game in the midst of a four-game losing streak and, with five starters missing due to injury, the odds appeared stacked in favor of the Tanners. For the fourth consecutive game, however, the Patriots put the first points on the scoreboard. It happened on the opening kickoff, which was fumbled by the Tanners and picked up and carried into the endzone by Trey Weathers. Revere missed the point-after kick and settled for the an early 6-0 lead.

Minutes later, the Tanners answered back with a 4-yard touchdown run after a 60-yard drive. Fortunately, Peabody had no better luck kicking the point-after-touchdown, and the game remained tied at six. Late in the second quarter, however, Peabody seized the lead with another long scoring drive, and the score stood at 13-6 heading into the half.

It was the first time that Revere had trailed at the half since being routed by Medford in the second game of the season. But seeing how poorly being tied or ahead at the half has worked for Revere in the last few games, perhaps the change of places was a blessing in disguise.

It certainly appeared that way early in the third, when Revere took the opening kickoff and proceeded to go on a 90-yard drive that head coach Lou Cicatelli called his team’s best of the season. Trey Weathers once again did the honors by punching the ball in from nine yards out, but another missed extra point left Revere trailing by a point in what was now a 13-12 game.

After the score, the Peabody offense went right back to work, assembling another long drive that brought them all the way to Revere’s one-yard line. But, just as the Tanners were attempting to cross the final yard into the endzone, David Gil came up the middle and forced a fumble. The ball was recovered in the endzone by Soheal Arachiche, who hauled it across the entire field for a 103-yard touchdown. Chris Adriani caught a pass from Paul Norton on the ensuing play to give Revere the extra two for a 20-13 lead.

Despite the disastrous end to their drive, the Tanners were far from discouraged. Peabody’s offense scored on their very next drive to make it 20-19 heading into the fourth quarter.

Thanks in part to contributions from Will Weathers and Quentin Wesley (six solo tackles each), the Revere defense was finally able to contain the Peabody offense in the fourth quarter. They held the Tanners at bay until the Patriots gathered some insurance on Trey Weathers’s third touchdown run of the game. After the 25-yard rush, Brian Robichaud kicked a clutch extra point to make it 27-19.

The extra cushioning was crucial, in part because of the Patriots themselves. On the ensuing kickoff, the Tanners returned the ball to midfield, and a Revere penalty allowed them to start their drive on the 30-yard line. Peabody scored with two minutes to play in the game, but Revere came up with the big stop when they needed it most, denying Peabody the two-point conversion that would have tied the game. Revere was able to run out the clock on their next drive to seal the victory.

“I’m real proud of the boys,” said Cicatelli. “We were down at the half, but they came back and put it all together for a big win. The important thing is that it let them get some confidence back in themselves and the program. The kids played really well for four quarters. Hopefully, we got the ship pointed in the right direction.”

Weathers’s performance, which included 150 rushing yards to go with his three touchdowns, was enough to earn him Player of the Week honors in the Boston Herald. The Patriots also got a solid outing from Paul Norton, who completed eight of sixteen passes for 100 yards.

The Patriots (2-4) will go for their second straight win on Friday when they play at Lynn English.

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