Miscues prove costly for Patriots in 30-28 loss to Medford in opener
The Revere High football team showed flashes of brilliance Friday evening in their 2016 season-opener at Medford, but a combination of costly mistakes, an abundance of penalties, and some questionable officiating proved too much for the Patriots to overcome and left them on the short end of a 30-28 decision to the Mustangs.
Medford had a size advantage over the Patriots upfront which the Mustangs put to good use in the second half, launching a series of long drives in the fourth quarter that used a lot of the clock in overcoming a 20-16 Revere lead.
“Give Medford a lot of credit,” said RHS head coach Lou Cicatelli. “They executed a good game plan that kept the ball in their possession for most of the game.” Indeed, with the Medford ground game, paced by speedy quarterback Ben Antoine (who rushed for 248 yards on 37 carries and scored three times), grinding out the yardage and eating up the minutes, the Patriots’ got to run only 39 plays from scrimmage on the night .
The Patriots were able to stay in the game and give themselves a chance to win at the end was attributable to the dynamic, big-play duo of first-year quarterback Eddie Sullivan and senior captain Oscar Lopez. The duo connected for four touchdown passes on aerials of 25, 20, 40, and 25 yards in addition to some other nice gains via the air.
“Eddie had a great day and showed lot of poise in his first varsity start,” said Cicatelli. “And Oscar was simply spectacular.”
The Sullivan-to-Lopez explosiveness was most evident in the final minute of the contest. Medford had forged ahead for a 30-20 advantage with about a minute to play, seemingly putting the game on ice. However, Sullivan and Lopez connected for a 50 yard bomb on one play and then connected for a 25 yard TD pass on another to slice the Medford advantage (with the successful two-point conversion) to 30-28 with 13 seconds showing on the clock.
However, an onsides kick attempt by Revere on the ensuing kickoff failed, yielding the ball to Medford to run out the clock in the closing seconds.
When Sullivan and Lopez were not connecting via the airwaves, RHS senior captain tailback Victor Rivera turned in a superb evening in the ball-carrying department with 130 yards rushing and scoring one of Revere’s two-point conversion attempts.
However, the inability of the Revere defense to contain the Medford ground attack, and Antoine in particular, proved the deciding factor. The Mustangs stampeded to well over 300 yards on the ground, which never is a good statistic for your defense.
“Our defense needs a lot of work,” said Cicatelli, who lauded only sophomore defensive tackle Frank Simms for his fine effort on D. “We gave up too many yards and that’s something we will need to address right away.”
The Patriots also hurt themselves, with the refs whistling Revere for 90 yards worth of penalties. “We have a lot of young players, and their inexperience showed,” said the coach.
Revere, which pulled a Bill Belichick move by deferring on the opening kickoff, had a chance to open up the game after receiving the kickoff to start the second half. The Pats took a 14-8 advantage into the locker room and were poised to make it a two-score lead. However, a pair of back-to-back holding calls set Revere back deep in its own territory and ended up with a Medford interception that led to the Mustangs going in for the score and pulling ahead, 16-14.
Although Revere fought back to retake the lead, 20-16, before the end of the third period thanks to the third Sullivan-to-Lopez TD, Medford put together two long drives in the final frame to earn the triumph.
In addition, it must be said that a couple of questionable calls by the zebras had an impact on the final score. The Patriots appeared to have forced a pair of safeties on two separate possessions, but the refs ruled the Medford ballcarrier brought the ball over the line.
On another occasion, Lopez appeared to have intercepted one of the few passes thrown by Medford on the night. The ref closest to the play rule the ball an INT and signaled Revere ball, but another ref, who was further away from the play, came out of nowhere and ruled it an incomplete pass. The call kept the Medford drive alive early in the fourth period and led to the go-ahead Mustang TD.
Cicatelli and his crew will host Masconomet, a traditional North Shore powerhouse, in a non-league encounter Friday evening under the lights on the turf at Harry Della Russo Stadium. Kick-off is set for 7:00.
Girls soccer set
to open season
The Revere High girls soccer team will open its season today (Wednesday) when coach Meg O’Donnell’s squad hosts Danvers.
Leading the Lady Patriots in the 2016 campaign will be a trio of captains, Samantha Harrington, Katherine Ramos, and Luana Santos. Assistant captains are Mackenzie Cunningham, Madison Cunningham, and Gabby Ortez.
Other members of the varsity roster are: Rajaa Belhaouari, Susan DeLeon-Pais,
Mariantonia Gomez, Dooa Halty, Marianna Hincapie, Latifa Khalil, Hanadi Kobilic,
Sabrina Maldonado, Nicole Paddock, Keyte Pereira, Sari Saint-Hiaire, Kati Medrano, Allison Tremino, and Nadia Lerari.
The Lady Patriots host Beverly Friday and travel to Lynn Classical Tuesday.
RhS sports Through the Years
10 years ago
September 13, 2006
Coach Cesar Salazar’s RHS boys soccer team, which is in a rebuilding year, opened the season with a 6-0 loss to Marblehead.
Coach Heidi Cushner’s Lady Patriot soccer team dropped its season-opener, 4-0 to Marblehead.
New golf coach Deb Molle’s RHS golf team opened the season with a 47-25 win over Malden, led by senior captain Matt Leslie’s 8.5-.5 victory at No. 2. Other winners for Revere included Matt Mitchell, Christina Cavagnaro, Andrew Balchunas, Kerri Roach, Matt Robichaud, and Jonathan Chiarelli. Revere’s number one player, Brandon Pezzuto, earned 2.5 points at No. 1.
The RHS football team dropped a 51-14 decision to a powerful Gloucester squad on the latter’s home field at Newell Stadium in the season opener Friday night. Andrew Alves scored a TD on a 75 yard pass from RHS quarterback Stephen Ennamorati and sophomore running back Matt Gasparini scored on a two yard run in the fourth quarter for coach Lou Cicatelli’s Patriots.
30 years ago
September 17, 1986
Coach Dom Lomanno’s Revere High boys soccer team opened its season with a 4-1 win over Quincy and a 3-2 victory over No. Quincy. Matthew Ianello scored two goals in the Quincy contest. Kerrie Coleman scored a goal in both games.
Revere High will be fielding a girls soccer team for the first time this fall. The team, which was put together only last week, will compete at the club level this season under the direction of coach Dave MacDonald. Though only a club sport, girls will be eligible for varsity letters.
The RHS football team will be shooting for its first winning season since 1981 when coach Jon Miller’s Patriots open the season Friday night at Harry Della Russo Stadium against Wakefield.
Coach Pat Kuzdzal’s improved RHS field hockey team, which had 50 girls try out for the varsity and JV squad, dropped its first two games of the season, 5-0 to Malden and 3-0 to Bishop Fenwick.