Boston High School: Chip Evangelista

Unfinished business for D-Y's Jack-of-all-trades

August, 21, 2014
Aug 21
SOUTH YARMOUTH, Mass. -– Sure, Michael Dunn has a Super Bowl ring in his trophy case, but that was before he asserted himself as one of the best athletes to come through Dennis-Yarmouth in recent memory.

Dunn was just a freshman standing on the sidelines when the Dolphins captured their first Superbowl in program history in 2011. His older cousin Matt Montalto quarterbacked that charge to a perfect 13-0 season.

Two seasons later, the Dolphins returned to the big stage, reaching the inaugural MIAA Division 4 State Championship, thanks to Dunn’s breakout junior campaign. The lethal duo of quarterback Spencer Tyler and the human Swiss Army knife that is Dunn left defensive coordinators scrambling to the whiteboard. D-Y dished off nine consecutive wins on their way to Gillette, where they fell to Doherty in a heartbreaking 28-26 loss.

With the departure of Tyler, the Dolphins are now under the reigns of Dunn, who is looking to orchestrate another Superbowl run -- but unlike last year, finish the job.

“Winning the Super Bowl is not something as a coaching staff we are hammering in right now,” Dolphins coach Paul Funk said, who is entering his 13th season. “I think the senior leadership we have is talking about that.”

Dunn is no stranger to quarterbacking his team. Throughout youth football Dunn took snaps, leading his junior Dolphins to a Super Bowl in sixth grade and a semifinal appearance in eighth grade.

“I’ve been practicing there throughout my career and I finally get that shot,” Dunn said. “I played quarterback through youth football as well, it’s the same offense and we’ve always been practicing it.”

With Dunn taking snaps under center this season, defenses won’t have to worry as much about where the point of attack is coming from. But that doesn’t mean Dunn and the offense won’t be just as potent.

The Dolphins' patented option attack becomes that much more dangerous with L.K. Metz in the backfield and three returning starters to offensive line (Zack Mancini, Nick Coelho and Chip Evangelista). The moment defenses begin stacking the box for the run, Dunn has the ability to open the field up with his arm, and emerging threat Andrew Jamiel has the hands and speed for the home-run toss.

“We’re feeling pretty good,” Dunn said. “Obviously our goal is to get back to Gillette, we have a good team coming back.”

Despite losing a talented senior class in the offseason, Funk is excited about this season’s offense. Sitting behind Dunn on the depth charts is junior Ian Crosby, which opens the playoff even further.

“It wouldn’t surprise me if there were times Crosby was under center and Dunn lines up in the slot,” Funk explained. “He’s one of those kids who can do it all and him running our triple option from quarterback is definitely something that we like. It changes the dynamic a little but wherever you put him he causes issues for the defense.”

While Dunn steals the headlines for his offensive production, it’s on the defensive side of the ball where he is getting attention from scouts. As a junior, Dunn was one of the best cover-corners in the game but turning to senior year, Dunn looks to figure as a safety, where he is being heavily recruited by a number of Div. 1 schools.
Currently, he holds offers from New Hampshire and Rhode Island and has received interest from UMass, Connecticut, Boston College, Villanova as well as the entire Ivy League.

But for now, that’s just an after thought. Right now the only thing that matters is one last game under the lights of Gillette Stadium.

Top 25 countdown: Nos. 15-11

August, 21, 2014
Aug 21
On Monday, we unveiled our statewide MIAA Top 25 preseason football poll. Today, we continue our annual countdown of the poll with Nos. 15 through 11.

In case you missed our earlier installments: Nos. 25-21; Nos. 20-16.

Coach: Jon Bartlett (5th season, 33-12)
Last Season: 6-5, lost in Division 1 South Semifinals
Returning Starters: 9 (6 offense, 3 defense)
Key Returnees: Sean Holleran, Sr. QB, 5-11 185 lbs.; Nick Locken, Sr. OL/MLB, 6-1 240 lbs.; Will Johnson, Jr. WR/DB, 5-8 160lbs; Ryan Black, Sr. OL/DT, 6-2 245 lbs; Scott Gosnell, Sr. DB, 6-2 195 lbs; Christian Dallas, Sr. TE/DE, 6-3 200 lbs.; Shane Libby, Sr. TE/LB, 6-3 240 lbs; Brendan Smith, Sr. RB/OLB, 6-0 195 lbs; Brendan Lynch, Jr. OL/DT, 6-5 270 lbs.
Strengths: Commitment, attitude.
Weaknesses: Inexperience on defense.
Outlook: When Jon Bartlett took over in May for his second stint as head coach for BC High, one of the first things he stressed to his players was how much of a “team” they needed to be. It didn’t take players long to buy into the system, after learning that the man that had been their head coach for the past two seasons (Joe Gaff), would be returning to the staff as an assistant for Bartlett. “For coach Gaff to not only bring coach [Bartlett] back but to also stay with this team, it showed us how committed he is to all of us,” explained senior quarterback Sean Holleran. “That commitment makes us even more excited to play.” The Eagles will look towards Holleran’s leadership to guide the Eagles on offense and also their signature I-formation that will feature senior running back Brendan Smith. With a history of producing talented running backs in recent years, none of this will be possible without the power from the offensive line led by Nick Locken, Ryan Black and Brendan Lynch. On defense, inexperience may be a weakness heading into camp, but coach Bartlett has faith in his younger players to step up when they get their number called. Two returning players to keep an eye are ball-hawking senior defensive back Scott Gosnell and senior linebacker Shane Libby. The Eagles will be challenged like always, having to go through the gauntlet, that is the Catholic Conference, but with plenty of leadership from captains and seniors alike, BC High will be determined and use their loss to conference foe Xaverian in last year’s D1 South Semi-finals as extra motivation.

Coach: Todd Kiley (12th season, 91-33)
2013: 9-2, Division 4 South finalists
Returning starters: 17 (8 offense, 9 defense)
Key Returnees: John DoCarmo, Sr. OL/DL, 5’11, 235 lbs; Nick Athy, Sr., QB/S, 6’, 200 lbs; Zach Elkinson, Sr., WR, 5’9, 175 lbs; Joe Bellomo Sr., RB., 6’, 215 lbs.
Strengths: Experience, athleticism, strength.
Weaknesses: Depth.
Outlook: It’s been an offseason keyed on conditioning for last year’s runner-up in Division 4 south, with many of the returners on Todd Kiley’s Panthers surpassing their personal records in the weight room this summer. Holliston can be expected to be a favorite in the Tri Valley League as well as in Division 4 south this year, a year after falling to Dennis-Yarmouth 26-7 in last year’s D4 south title game. Holliston will also be one of the most experienced teams in Eastern Mass., returning eight starters on each side of the ball to give the athletic squad a veteran presence. “We’re definitely a senior laden team , a lot of experience. Our guys have taken it up on themselves to put themselves in position to get a title. A lot of them have been working since day after Thanksgiving last year,” Kiley said. After averaging nearly 40 points per game last year, the offense will be based around captain quarterback Nick Athy, his favorite target: senior receiver Zach Elkinson, and running back Joe Bellomo – all three of whom made the cut for our pre-season all-state watch list. The Panthers will get things started quickly this week, heading to No. 25 Natick, who reached the D2 south semifinals last year, in a scrimmage on Saturday “I’m good friends with Coach Mortarelli, Kiley said of the Natick coach, “He’s done a great job with those guys. They just put together a solid product every year. A lot of people would have thought they’d take a step back, but they’re just as good as they were last year. That’s gonna be an awesome test on Saturday.” Look for a stingy and experienced Panthers defense to terrorize the TVL this year, led by linebackers Connor Lefevra and Derek Kiley and defensive lineman Michael Chipman. Their toughest test may very well come in just a matter of weeks, when they travel to take on Duxbury on September 5. “This is a hungry group, they’re very focused. It was a great summer, they worked their tails off,” Kiley said, “Getting that close like we did last year gave these guys some experience. That experience is really going to pay off for our guys.”

Head Coach: Jim Rudloff (6th season, 41-17)
2013: 9-2, lost to Tewksbury in Div. 3 Northeast sectional final
Returning starters: 10 (5 offensive; 5 defensive)
Key Players: Brooks Tyrrell, Sr. RB/DB, 6-0, 195 lbs.; Derek Dumais, Sr. OT/DT; 6-5, 315 lbs.; Dan Marino, Sr. OT/DT, 6-3, 245 lbs.; Will Millett, Sr. TE/OLB/LS, 6-4, 220 lbs.; Spencer Craig, Sr. QB, 6-2, 205 lbs.
Strengths: Running game; depth and experience on offensive line; special teams return units.
Weaknesses: Lack of game experience at key positions on defense.
Outlook:One of the most talked about players in the state entering this football season will not be playing a down past December. Marblehead’s Brooks Tyrrell is a game-changing athlete both on the gridiron and the lacrosse field, but will stick to the latter when he matriculates to Notre Dame next year. While he’s with the Magicians, Tyrrell presents a multi-faceted threat, allowing Marblehead to run inside out of a single-back set while also presenting a threat as a receiver out of the backfield and across formations. The Magicians’ running attack is also advantaged by a pair of college-grade tackles in recent UMass commit Derek Dumais and fellow senior Dan Marino. Dumais presents a versatile element to Marblehead’s line, as he can play both tackle positions and kick inside to guard. Look for a breakout season from Will Millett, an adept blocker and pass catcher at tight end, who will also be an integral part of the Magicians’ defense at outside linebacker.

Coach: Paul Funk (13th season, 89-45-1)
Last Season: 11-3 (4-2 ACL), lost in Div. 4 State Final
Returning starters: 11 (6 offense, 5 defense)
Key Returnees: Michael Dunn, Sr. QB/DB, 6-1, 200 lbs; L.K. Metz, HB/LB, 5-11, 180 lbs, Andrew Jamiel, JR, SE/DB, 5-9, 145 lbs; Zack Mancini, SR, G/DT, 5-8, 220 lbs; Nick Coelho, SR, C/DE, 6-1, 215 lbs; Chip Evangelista, SR, G/LB, 5-11, 185 lbs.
Strengths: Speed and athleticism, offensive line, linebackers, secondary.
Weaknesses: Defensive line, depth.
Outlook: The 2014 Dolphins will go as far as senior Michael Dunn can carry them, and don’t be surprised if that is a return trip to the Div. 4 Superbowl. D-Y graduated a talented group of seniors in the offseason including most of their offensive backfield, but D-Y seemingly has the ability to mass-produce undersized, yet athletic and speedy skill players that perfectly fit into their read-option scheme. Dunn is the lone exception to the Dolphins undersized nature, sporting a 6-1, 200-pound frame and was the Dolphins main weapon from every offensive skill position last season. But with the departure of QB Spencer Tyler, Dunn will take the majority of snaps under center. Despite the move to primary signal caller, head coach Paul Funk says Dunn will still be a threat across the field, “It wouldn’t surprise me if there were times where [junior quarterback Ian] Crosby was under center and Dunn lines up in the slot. He’s one of those kids who can do it all and him running in our triple option from quarterback is definitely something that we like.” Flanking Dunn in the backfield is L.K. Metz who will likely see a sizable increase in his workload at tailback and split out wide is Andrew Jamiel after a breakout sophomore campaign. D-Y also returns three starters from the offensive line; center Nick Coelho and guards Zack Mancini and Chip Evangelista. The question mark surrounding the Dolphins this year is their defensive line. Typically undersized, 2014 looks to be the same up front for D-Y, but their strength remains in the second and third levels where Metz and Evangelista return at linebacker and for those unfortunate to reach the secondary, will be welcomed by Dunn. Over the past three seasons, the seniors have amassed a 15-1 record at home, but only once in the opening four weeks of the season will they be in the friendly confines of the Lagoon (week two vs. No. 19 Plymouth North) while traveling No. 23 Barnstable, No. 24 Marshfield and Scituate.

Coach: Barry Greener (6th year, 46-11)
2013: 7-4, lost in Division 3 Southwest Quarterfinals
Returning Starters: 10 (5 offense, 5 defense)
Key Returnees: Steve Cuqua, Jr. RB, 5-10, 185 lbs.; Matt Ordway, Sr. OG, 5-10, 210 lbs.; Andy Papirio, Sr. WR/DB, 5-10, 175 lbs.; Chris Bender, Sr. FB/DE, 6-0, 215 lbs.; Jack Lavanchy, Sr. WR/S, 6-1, 180 lbs.; Lovie Salvant, Jr. RB/ROV, 5-10, 165 lbs.; James Murphy, Sr. LB, 5-10, 185 lbs.; Mike Curran, Jr. LB, 5-6, 175 lbs.
Strengths: Speed, secondary, linebackers.
Weaknesses: Experience at quarterback, depth at running back.
Outlook: After a sophomore season in which he racked up over 1,500 rushing yards –- including his 300-plus yard, six score performance in an overtime epic with rival Natick –- there is a wave of hype beginning to build around Cuqua, who now clocks in the 4.5 range for 40-yard dash and has put on some more muscle in the offseason. “We can run, we’re pretty quick,” Greener said. But the Rebels are thin beyond Cuqua, and are hoping the speedster stays healthy. With the graduation of Will Bolster, the Rebels will have two juniors, Tyler Berkland and Noah Maire, vying for the starting spot under center. Defensively, though, they should be in much better shape after last year's trial by fire. Injuries in the secondary led to a slew of youngsters thrown to the wolves, but what was a deficiency a year ago is arguably now their strongest asset. The Rebels will likely stick to a 4-2-5 to counter many of the spread looks they now see in the Bay State Confernece. Between Lavanchy and Papirio -- the latter considered one of the better man-to-man defenders on Walpole's basketball team -- there is a lot to like. "He's a physical corner -- he'll hit you," Greener said of Papirio. Overall, the Rebels have a solid foundation in the junior and senior classes after enduring injuries to key players a year ago, and look suited make another quality run through the BSC. As usual, October's meeting with Natick could decide the Herget division.

Tale of the Tape: Doherty vs. Dennis-Yarmouth

December, 4, 2013
Ahead of Saturday's six MIAA Football State Championships at Gillette Stadium, today we are bringing back our "Tale of the Tape" series to break down each participating team's matchups headed into the game.

In the Division 4 Final, ESPN Boston High Schools editors Brendan Hall and Scott Barboza take a closer look at Central champ Doherty and South champ Dennis-Yarmouth, respectively.

Division 4 State Championship
at Gillette Stadium, 11:30 a.m.

When Doherty has the ball: Quarterback Luke Brennan, a Franklin Pierce baseball commit, has a live arm. And with Boston College-bound athlete Isaac Yiadom (31 catches, 748 yards, 6 TD), tight end Mitch Celaj (24 catches, 441 yards, 2 TD) and boundary receiver Alfred Adarkwah (27 catches, 513 yards, 11 TD) at his disposal in the passing game, he has put up terrific numbers in his senior season (2,079 yards, 24 TD). Yiadom is averaging 17.7 yards per touch as a factor in both the running and passing games, as dangerous on speed sweeps from the slot (30 carries, 334 yards, 4 TD) as he is receiving.

Package that with Adarkwah on the other side, and that has left many a defense in a bind. Measuring 6-foot-4 with a 6-foot-7 wingspan, Adarkwah has an exceptionally large catching radius – seemingly any ball landing from his knees up above his head is catchable. This is perhaps none more evident than his ridiculous four-game stat line for these playoffs: eight catches, six touchdowns.

The key, however, may lie in the running game. Often deploying a two-back three-receiver set out of a shotgun, Tyler Kmon provides a nice change of pace for their most elusive weapon, junior tailback Jahkari Carpenter. As one of Central Mass.’s rushing leaders (134 carries, 1,287 yards, 8 TD), he has been on a tear through these playoffs, averaging 9.6 yards a carry. Don’t let him get to the edge, because every single week of these playoffs, it seems like he comes up with some ridiculous run where he jukes about 100 defenders. EVERY . . . SINGLE . . . WEEK . . .

When D-Y has the ball: With the Dolphins offense, seemingly any of its talented athletes can break a big play at any given moment.

The fulcrum is senior quarterback Spencer Tyler. From the Dolphins' spread, Tyler can create with his feet and is well-capable of striking downfield on big-hit plays. Yet, for Tyler's arm strength, D-Y is at its best in the screen game. The Dolphins utilize a plethora screen concepts and funnel the ball through a cadre of athletes set out across the formation -- whether in the backfield or out wide. Michael Dunn, L.K. Metz and Jake Pawlina are among the tide of seemingly interchangeable, yet dynamic athletes D-Y pulls out at every turn. Meanwhile, sophomore Andrew Jamiel has emerged as a downfield threat as the season has progressed.

In its matchup with Doherty, however, D-Y senior running back Cory Desimone should have an increased workload. Desimone is as close to a three-down back that the Dolphins have and they will rely on him to gain tough yards inside the tackle box.

When Doherty is on defense: In short, there's lots of athleticism abound in the back seven here, between Yiadom (100 tackles) at free safety, Adarkwah shuffling in and out of the box, and linebackers Celaj and Peter Franco (84 tackles, 6 sacks, 2 INT) roaming the middle. While Yiadom doesn't have the interception totals of his breakthrough 2012 season, he still covers a ton of ground in the deep field, forcing quarterbacks into second-guessing throws.

Don't overlook the Highlanders' defensive line, which packs both bulk and punch. Senior Matt Smalls (63 tackles, 6 sacks, 1 INT) is a load off the edge at 6-foot-3 and 230 pounds, equipped with an explosive first step and a good rip move to the outside. Keep an eye on promising sophomore Tavian Vassar (56 tackles, 12 sacks), who alternates between middle linebacker and defensive tackle. The 5-foot-11, 220-pounder is built low to the ground and disruptive.

When D-Y is on defense: In the early going of its Division 4 Eastern Mass. final against Bedford, D-Y struggled early to slow down Bedford's Olan Abner. While the Highlanders don't have a back as physical as Abner, the Dolphins will have to contend with Jahkari Carpenter, who could exploit D-Y's difficulty in containing stretch plays. The group tasked with leading the charge will be an underrated Dolphins defensive line, led by tackles Spike Elizondo and Angelo Hardaway.

The strength of D-Y's defense might be its linebacking corps, anchored by Chip Evangelista and Metz. After a strong second-half effort against Bedford, Dolphins head coach Paul Funk praised the efforts of his linebackers, calling Metz the factor that "stirs the drink," defensively. The art of the Dolphins defense is to collapse the interior line and allow for its athletic group of linebackers to step up and make tackles.

Of course, the greatest question entering is how the Dolphins secondary will match up with Doherty's tall, rangy receivers. A player like Metz could be used to shadow Yiadom across the formation, but how does D-Y game plan for Adarkwah on the perimeter?

D4 semifinal: Dennis-Yarmouth 21, Bedford 14

November, 24, 2013

BROCKTON, Mass. – The old adage in football is to be the hammer, not the nail.

In facing North sectional champion Bedford in Saturday’s Division 4 Eastern Mass. final at Marciano Stadium, Dennis-Yarmouth head coach Paul Funk knew his Dolphins had to be the aggressor, not the punching bag. In his postgame remarks, Funk acknowledged his team’s desire to establish a two-score lead. With the Buccaneers’ All-State-caliber running back Olan Abner looming large, it was important the Dolphins play from ahead.

Despite a slow start, D-Y had done just that – taking a two-score lead into the fourth quarter. And the Dolphins defense maintained its part of the bargain, shutting down three of Bedford’s second-half drives with fourth-down stops resulting in turnovers on downs. And, notwithstanding a little fourth-quarter trickeration from deep in Bedford’s playbook, it equated to D-Y’s 21-14 victory, pushing the Dolphins onward to their first championship game appearance since the 2011 Div. 2A Super Bowl.

“We’ve been a team all year that has to stay on schedule,” Bedford head coach Jack Belcher said. “A second-and-fifteen against a state semifinalist team with our team isn’t going to fly – I think we had two or three of those in the second half.”

D-Y (9-2) tightened up defensively in the second half, after allowing Abner to run for 109 yards in the first two quarters. Sixty of those yards came on Bedford’s opening drive along, which Abner (35 carries, 165 yards) capped himself with a 2-yard touchdown plunge.

The Dolphins had trouble getting untracked offensively, with successive three-and-outs to open the game. However, D-Y caught fire in the second quarter, embarking on a 76-yard touchdown drive, culminating in Cory Desimone’s 1-yard run with 8:53 remaining in the half. However, a failed point-after try kept D-Y a point behind.

After serving Bedford (8-2) its first three-and-out of the game, the Dolphins offense was at it again, capitalizing on good field position with a 56-yard drive capped by a 5-yard touchdown run by quarterback Spencer Tyler.

The Buccaneers followed with another three-and-out, allowing D-Y to establish its coveted two-score lead before the half was through. It came in the form of the game’s longest play from scrimmage with Tyler (9 of 16, 129 yards, TD; 10 carries, 55 yards) hitting Michael Dunn in stride on the seam for a 70-yard scoring play.

“We just kept running our offense,” Dunn said of D-Y’s early offensive woes. “We knew we had to stick to our game plan. Just because they hadn’t allowed a passing touchdown doesn’t mean we can’t throw.”

In fact, Dunn’s score was the first passing touchdown the Buccaneers had allowed all season. On a whole, Bedford’s defense hadn’t allowed more than the 14-point total put up by Pentucket in last week’s North sectional final (a 22-14 decision).

Unfortunately, for Bedford, it was precisely one score too many.

Emptying out the playbook: Down a couple scores and with time drawing thin, Belcher was forced to before more creative with his playbook, as the Bucs mounted a late comeback bid.

Bedford made it a one-possession game with 2:24 remaining on a 7-yard touchdown pass from Joe Zampell to Robert McDonald.

The score was set up on the previous play – a 26-yard completion to the D-Y 7. It was a daring double-pass. With Zampell rolling to his right, selling a bootleg run, he then pivoted and threw clear across the field to Daniel Fay, who’d leaked out of the backfield. Fay took a couple steps to his left before planting and putting a spiral downfield toward Tom Sands.

The Dolphins played the progression about as well as could be expected. But, despite double coverage with safety help over the top, Sands was still able to leap above the fray and come down with a momentum-shifting reception.

“A 30-yard sideways throw and a 40-yard throw downfield is a little shaky in a wind like this,” Belcher said of the play call and Saturday’s blustery conditions. “But I decided it was time to empty the basket there.”

The Bucs scored on the next play. However, Bedford’s ensuing onside kick chance was quickly scooped up.

D-Y then milked the clock dry, with a plotting drive, driven home by a 42-yard run on a sweep from Dunn (2 receptions, 71 yards, TD; 4 carries, 65 yards) on third and 1, which effectively sealed Bedford’s fate.

Adjusting on the fly: As some point, somewhere in the middle of the second quarter, D-Y ditched its plan to play a modified 3-4 front, in hopes of slowing down Abner, in favor of its more familiar base 4-3.

“They were getting angles on us, so when we did that, it freed up L.K. [Metz] and Chip Evangelista to be able to run to the ball carrier,” Funk said.

Bedford had run its stretch play to the left side, off of left tackle Ryan Clasby with great success in the first quarter – resulting in three first downs and gains great than 12 yards. That well soon ran dry, as the Dolphins mixed up its approach and began gaining a foothold on the outside contain.

Much of that credit is due to Evangelista and Metz, the linebackers whom Funk credits as the quarterbacks to his defense.

“[Evangelista] and L.K. [Metz] really run that defense,” Funk said. “I always joke with L.K. that Reggie Jackson said that he was the straw that stirred the drink. But, for us, L.K.’s our straw.”

Evangelista finished with three tackles for loss or no gain, including a key fourth-quarter sack. The 5-foot-11, 180-pound linebacker shot up the gap to haul down Zampell for a 5-yard sack on fourth and 10 with about seven minutes remaining. It was the third of Bedford’s forced turnovers on downs in the second half.

“We knew this was our year to step up and make something happen,” Evangelista said.

The Dolphins advance to play Central sectional champion Doherty for the Division 4 state title, Dec. 7, at Gillette Stadium.