RHS football defeats North Reading, faces Gloucester in North semifinals
The Revere High football team powered its way to a pulsating 27-20 victory at North Reading Friday evening in a quarterfinal contest of the Division 4 North Sectional of the MIAA state football tournament.
Coach Lou Cicatelli and his Patriots, who entered the tourney as the sixth seed in the D-4 North, now will trek to Gloucester to tackle the second-seeded Fishermen, who cruised into the D-4 North Final Four with a 51-20 romp over Melrose.
“The entire team worked their tails off all game,” said Cicatelli of his team’s victory at North Reading on a perfect night for football ahead of the big nor’easter.
“Everybody who went on the field contributed. It was a total team effort.”
The contest was not as close as the final score might indicate. Revere jumped out to a 13-0 lead thanks to a 15-yard run to paydirt by quarterback Jonathan Murphy in the opening quarter and a three-yard burst by Darius McNeil in the second. RHS placekicker Rayan Riazi converted the PAT on the first of the two touchdowns.
Both Murphy and McNeil played huge roles in the triumph. In addition to his rushing touchdown, Jonathan completed four-of-six passes for 90 yards, including a 25-yard connection to Eric Bua for a TD.
Darius, one of the Patriot captains, had a monster night, gashing the No. Reading defense for 148 yards and adding a second TD in the fourth quarter when he ran from 20 yards out.
Although No. Reading’s defense was geared to take away the jet sweeps of speedy Patriot halfback Lucas Barbosa, Lucas nonetheless broke free for some big gains, including a 40-yard carry that set up one of the Revere scores.
After grabbing a 13-0 advantage in the second quarter, the Patriots yielded a TD to No. Reading before the half ended.
Murphy hit Bua in the third period to make it a two-TD lead (with another successful kick by Riazi) once again. The Hornets hung tough however, and responded with another score to draw within 20-13 before the end of the third period.
North Reading got the ball back midway through the fourth period, but captain Frank Sims, who once again led Revere in tackles from his linebacker spot, picked off a No. Reading pass at the Hornet 30, from where the Pats eventually drove in on McNeil’s second TD to restore the lead to two scores, 27-13.
“Frank played an awesome game and his interception was huge,” said Cicatelli of his senior captain, who once again led Revere with a double-digit number of tackles.
No. Reading added a touchdown with 26 seconds to play, but an onside kick failed when — guess who? — Sims recovered the pigskin for the Pats to seal the win.
“Our entire linebacking corps, Frank, Cal Capozzi, Zach Furlong, and Zack Carifeo were all over the field all game,” noted Cicatelli. “They stepped up their game a notch.”
The Patriots will need to step up their game another notch when they travel to Newell Stadium to meet Gloucester Friday for a 7 p.m. kickoff. Although Gloucester defeated Revere by a 29-6 score when they met in the season-opener, the contest was a hard-fought battle all the way. The Patriots took a 6-0 lead on their first drive and the score was deadlocked at 6-6 at the intermission. The Fishermen led 13-6 after three periods before scoring twice late in the game.
“We know Gloucester is a great team,” said Cicatelli of the 7-1 Fishermen. “But we’re looking forward to having another crack at them”
RHS girls soccer qualifies for state tournament
The Revere High girls soccer team punched their ticket for a Journey to the Tourney with a 1-0 victory at Everett last Wednesday. The Lady Patriot goal was scored by Carolina Bettero late in the second half.
Wissam Benzerdjeb, who made two big blocks, was part of a solid Revere defense.
“It was a major team win, from the players on the bench to the players on the field,” said RHS head coach Megan O’Donnell, who guided the Lady Patriots to their first tourney berth since 2011.
Revere then celebrated Senior Day two days later against Malden with all of the seniors being recognized for their efforts and playing in the starting lineup. The Lady Patriots who were honored for their contributions to the RHS girls soccer program were: senior captain Ghizlane Guiesser, Luisa Gill, Anghie Guevara, Ana Ferro, Salma Bounded, Jackie Chavez, Madeline Lopez, Maria Gomez and Oumayma Chaibi.
“These nine ladies have really helped us succeed this season,” said O’Donnell. “These girls never quit and worked hard all year. Not one senior hung their heads when they didn’t play. They always cheered on their teammates all season. They are all true role models for our underclassmen and will be missed a lot.”
O’Donnell and her squad now will await the announcement, which is expected today (Wednesday) by the MIAA, of their seeding and first round opponent in the state tourney.