Boston High School: Jack McDonald

Signing Day showcases promise at BC High

February, 7, 2013
2/07/13
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college football signeesScott Barboza/ESPNBoston.comEleven college-bound seniors from BC High football's team gathered for a ceremony Wednesday at the school on National Letter of Intent Signing Day.


BOSTON -- Luke Catarius’ senior season didn’t go as planned. Coming off a Division 1 Eastern Mass. Super Bowl championship season with his BC High teammates as a junior, the Eagles linebacker and fullback held high expectations for 2012.

Yet, his final campaign got off a rough start when he suffered an ankle fracture during a preseason scrimmage against Mansfield. It forced Catarius to miss the Eagles’ first seven games of the season.

“It was tough because every year since freshman year everyone’s like senior year is when everyone’s going to come together,” Catarius said Wednesday at the school’s Morrissey Blvd. campus, “and obviously we had big shoes to fill from [the 2011] team. We wanted to repeat. I got hurt, a couple other guys got banged up, too, and it all went down hill from there.”

BC High had a revolving door of injuries through the first half of the season and they struggled to gain momentum, finishing with a 4-6 record.

But Wednesday was National Letter of Intent signing day and Catarius joined 10 of his football teammates who are going on to play football at the college level for a ceremony held for the families and friends of the Eagles athletes.

While 2012 might have been a season of unrealized potential, the Eagles seniors will leave nothing behind.

“Going to BC High, you understand that an education is what gets you far in life,” said wide receiver Lincoln Collins, who signed to FCS power Villanova. “In looking for colleges, we did the same thing. We’re all setting ourselves up for life outside of football.”

Looking on during the gathering was Eagles head coach Joe Gaff, a longtime Eagles assistant coach who assumed the program’s reigns for the first time in the fall. Gaff held Catarius up as an example to younger athletes. It would’ve been easy for the injured player to pack it for the rest of the season. Instead, Catarius stuck to his strict rehabilitation regiment and made his return to the field while putting in some extra work in the library to work his way into Princeton.

“He took his frustration and turned it into action,” Gaff said of Catarius, who originally committed to Bryant University before switching to Princeton in January. “He knew what he had to do to get into the Ivys. He needed a certain test score, so he went in and studied every day and he got himself mentally prepared.

“He did a tremendous job. It shows what kind of competitor he is.”

On a day that marks a milestone for many families across the nation, Gaff’s class headed the notion that Wednesday was but a transitional day.

Eagles offensive tackle Jack McDonald signed his Letter to Virginia before a large group of family members – most of whom were donning the Cavaliers’ navy blue and orange colors.

“Football’s going to end sometime, whether that’s two years, four years from now, or even if you’re lucky enough to make it to the NFL,” the Eagles captain said. “It’s going to happen sometime. You need that education for when it does end. I think that’s what all of us have found.”

Those BC High seniors pursuing collegiate football careers are:

Jackson Bockhorst - Tufts
Luke Catarius – Princeton
Lincoln Collins – Villanova
Skyler Evans – Mass Maritime Academy
Jaleel Johnson – Merrimack
Tim Johnson – Sacred Heart
Jack McDonald - Virginia
Mark McGuire – Holy Cross
Pat O’Hearne – John Carroll
Brandon Owens – Byrant
Mike Roberts - Colby

Recruiting Notes: Frenzy leading to Signing Day

February, 1, 2013
2/01/13
9:00
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The second half of January featured a flurry of activity with regard to New England players committing to colleges. Some of the notable commitments:

Recruiting Notebook"Everett High School wide receiver/defensive back Jakarrie Washington to Wisconsin: Recruiting writers were scrambling last week when word leaked that Washington would be joining the Badgers, since he was relatively unknown outside of Massachusetts. He had no other scholarship offers at the time of his commitment. What Washington does have is speed. He has reportedly run the 40 in 4.4 seconds. He's also versatile. He caught 33 passes for 439 yards and nine touchdowns last season, when he also carried the ball 75 times for 697 yards and 15 touchdowns.

"St. John's Prep running back Alex Moore to Pennsylvania: Many thought Moore would join teammate Lucas Bavaro at Dartmouth, but he selected Penn – the first school to make him an offer. Moore, perhaps the best two-way player in Massachusetts last season, helped St. John's Prep win the EMass Division I Super Bowl and claimed the third annual ESPN Boston “Mr. Football” award, which is given annually to the best player in the state. Moore, who will likely play on the defensive side of the ball in college, made 67 tackles (five for loss), recorded four interceptions and forced four fumbles during his senior season. He also rushed for 857 yards and 14 touchdowns, and caught 20 passes for 455 yards and five touchdowns.

"Windsor (Conn.) defensive end Cole Ormsby to Connecticut: Ormsby committed to UMass in June, but switched that commitment last week. Ormsby led the state with 17 sacks last season, when Hand defeated Windsor 23-6 in the Class L championship game. He completed his senior season with 85 tackles.

SIGN HERE

Wednesday is National Signing Day, and ESPNU will have 10 hours of coverage beginning at 9 a.m. At least 17 of the nation's top uncommitted recruits are expected to announce their college decision live during the telecast. Rece Davis and Dari Nowkhah will host the coverage from Charlotte, N.C.

ESPNU will have reporters at the following schools: Alabama, Auburn, Clemson, Florida, Florida State, LSU, Michigan, Notre Dame, Ole Miss, Ohio State, Texas, Texas AM and USC. The station will also air a two-hour preview show on Tuesday beginning at 5 p.m.

THESE GUYS ARE COMMITTED

Nine of New England's top 10 recruits (as rated by ESPN) have verbally committed to college programs. Six of the 10 players are from Connecticut, and the four others are from Massachusetts. Here's where those players will be playing next season:

John Montelus, OG (Everett High School): Notre Dame
Maurice Hurst Jr., DT (Xaverian Brothers): Michigan
Tim Boyle, QB (Xavier): Boston College
Noel Thomas, ATH (St. Luke's): Connecticut
John Van Allen, OLB (Avon Old Farms): Harvard
Sadiq Olanrewaju, OT (Salisbury School): Virginia
Cory Jasudowich, ILB (Cheshire Academy): Connecticut
Tevin Montgomery, OT (Tabor Academy): Boston College
Jack McDonald, OG (BC High): Virginia.

Note: Thomas, who played for his father at St. Luke's in New Canaan, Conn., enrolled at UConn for the spring semester. Thomas played wide receiver, quarterback and running back in prep school, and finished his career with 4,888 yards of offense and 53 touchdowns. He is expected to play wide receiver in college.

BULLDOG MENTALITY

Michael Dulac, Vermont's Gatorade Player of the Year for the 2012 season, has committed to play for Division I Bryant University. The Bulldogs compete in the Northeast Conference.

Dulac, a 6-foot-3, 270-pound lineman, led Hartford High School (White River Jct.) to three consecutive Division I championships. He started on each side of the ball in all 43 games of his high school career.

Dulac reportedly had offers from eight schools, and selected Bryant over Dartmouth.

NEW HAMPSHIRE LANDS LINEBACKER

Proctor Academy fullback/linebacker Odaine Franklyn committed to the University of New Hampshire on Thursday.

Franklin made 48 tackles last season. He also rushed for 178 yards and three touchdowns on 17 carries. Proctor finished the season with an 8-1 record.

Franklyn, who was recruited to play linebacker, was a three-year starter for White Plains (N.Y.) High School before he enrolled at Proctor Academy. He had scholarship offers from Akron and Albany coming out of high school.

Recruiting information regarding high school or prep school players in New England can be sent to Roger Brown at rbrown@nhfootballreport.com.

MHSFCA releases All-State Team

December, 29, 2012
12/29/12
5:17
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The Massachusetts High School Football Coaches Association (MHSFCA) released its "Super 26" All-State Team yesterday. Selections are below as follows:

OFFENSE

Quarterback
Zach Bartak, Greenfield, 6'1" 200
Mackay Lowrie, Roxbury Latin, 6'5" 210
Nick Peabody, Barnstable, 6’4" 225

Running Back
Vincent Burton, Blue Hills, 6’2” 200
Dylan Oxsen, Plymouth South, 5’9” 185
Quron Wright, Holy Name, 5’6” 165

Wide Receiver
Will Heikkinen, Andover, 6’1” 196
Brian O’Malley, St. Sebastian’s, 6’3” 195

Offensive Line
Aaron Dyke, Auburn, 6’4” 305
John Foster, Scituate, 6’5” 260
Rob Kosharek, Duxbury, 6’6” 265
Jack McDonald, B.C. High, 6’5" 275
John Montelus, Everett, 6’5" 325

DEFENSE

Defensive Line
Matt Comerford, Reading, 6’5” 275
Terrel Correia, Nantucket, 6’7” 275
Joe Previte, Brockton, 6’2” 260
Maurice Hurst, Xaverian, 6’2” 290

Linebacker
Cam Hanley, Walpole, 5’11” 210
Sha’ki Holines, Springfield Commerce, 6’4” 240
Zack Hume , Nashoba, 6’2” 235
Bryan Vieira, Thayer Academy, 6’3” 190

Defensive Back
Brendan Flaherty, Beverly, 6’1” 185
Kiivone Howard, Foxborough, 6’1” 185
Dylan Mann, Masconomet, 5’10” 180
Alex Moore, St. John’s Prep, 6’1” 195
Justin Mount, Westford Academy, 6’2” 205

Recap: Xaverian 21, BC High 17

November, 3, 2012
11/03/12
11:59
PM ET


WESTWOOD, Mass. -– Xaverian held the lead for only 1:22 out of 44 minutes, but it was the most crucial minute of the game as the Hawks edged BC High at The Hawk Bowl, 21-17. Hunter Taute capped a theatrical 72-yard drive with a 6 yard bull rush that put the Hawks ahead while the Xaverian defense denied BC High the chance of scoring on the final drive.

“We made some big plays,” said Xaverian coach Charlie Stevenson. “We were balanced. Certainly one of out better drives this year and it was a very opportune time to have it.”

Xaverian (3-6, 2-0 Catholic Conf.) started its final possession of the afternoon from their 28 with 8:00 left on the clock after a BC High punt from the Xaverian 34 went out of bounds. Alternating between Shayne Kaminski (10 carries, 40 yards) and Mike Brennan, the Hawks got two quick first downs on four rushing plays. From midfield, Kaminski kicked down to the 46 of the Eagles (3-5, 1-1 Catholic Conference), where Austin DeCarr found Aiden Desrosiers for a 14-yard gain.

Brennan was stopped on the following play for no gain, and the end around to the right ran by Pagliuca netted only one yard before he was collared by BC High’s Brian Robinson. On third down, Pagliuca caught the ball but the play was blown up by Brandon Owens, who sent Pagluica down to the ground and the ball flying straight back, setting up fourth and 9 from the BC High 31. Joe DeNucci, who had fans in the stands wearing t-shirt replicas of his jersey, made a crucial catch for a ten-yard gain and the first down with 3:35 to go.

Kaminski resumed his tugboat duties and rushed for three, three then eight yards on third and four from the 15, setting up first and goal on the 7 with just over two minutes to go. Brennan rushed for a yard, but another incomplete hookup between Pagliuca and DeCarr brought up third down. DeCarr threw the ball and it sailed out of the end zone, but the head referee called defensive holding, allotting the Eagles a fresh set of downs with under two minutes to go.

Kaminski rushed for two, bringing the ball to the one, and Maurice Hurst ran in his second score, but an illegal motion brought the ball to the six. Hunter Taute (9 carries, 39 yards, TD) ran left and with fire and desire, and crossed the plane at 1:22 with a stretch play to take the lead for Xaverian for the first time on the day. Kyle Darrow’s kick gave Xaverian a four-point lead, necessitating BC High to score a touchdown.

Although the Hawks’ defense missed two in-hand interceptions on BC High’s final drive and got a 15-yard unnecessary roughness penalty on third and long, Xaverian held the Eagles to a one-yard run in the last 1:14, seal a slippery victory.

“Our defense played great during the final possession we had. We did a great job of shutting them down throwing the football.”

Love is Love: Although there were no stories being shared between the first whistle and the last whistle, there was camaraderie after the matchup between the rivals and their players.

“As you can see, [BC High’s] Jack [McDonald] and Mo are down there hugging and kissing, taking pictures for their moms,” Stevenson half-joked after the game. “That’s the kind of game it is when Xaverian plays BC High.”

XAVERIAN 21, BC HIGH 17
BCH (3-5) 7 7 3 0 --- 17
XAV (3-6) 0 7 7 7 --- 21


First Quarter
B – Dan Collins 17 interception return (Jackson Bockhorst kick)

2nd Quarter
X – Maurice Hurst 1 run (Kyle Darrow kick)
B – Collins 11 run (Bockhorst kick)

3rd Quarter
X – D.J. Pagliuca 88 kickoff return (Darrow kick)
B – Bockhorst 34 field goal

4th Quarter
X – Hunter Taute 6 run (Darrow kick)

ESPN Boston Week 9 football picks

November, 2, 2012
11/02/12
2:58
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ACTON-BOXBOROUGH (6-2) AT LINCOLN-SUDBURY (7-1)
The Skinny: Although the Colonials enter this rivalry game after a letdown against Waltham last week, these teams always have a say in the determination of the Dual County League crown. The Warriors have worked toward reclaiming the division title with help from a talented cast of seniors who have two-way success with the football and the lacrosse teams, including Chris Giorgio, Henry Guild and John Sexton. A-B’s wing-T attack is led by a pair of promising juniors in William Tejada (14 TDs) and Tom Saponaro.

Scott Barboza: Bill Maver has the building blocks for a strong group next year, but this senior group from L-S has been primed to make their run during the last two years. The seal the deal for the division, but it’s a rivalry game, so throw the records out. L-S, 20-14.

Brendan Hall: The Warriors take the inside track to their third consecutive postseason berth, but because it’s A-B they do it in knock-down, drag-out fashion. L-S, 17-10.

DIGHTON-REHOBOTH (6-1) AT WAREHAM (7-1)
The Skinny: Both teams sport a perfect South Coast Conference record entering Friday’s tête-à-tête and their only loss came against a common non-league opponent in Somerset-Berkley. Since their opening day loss, the Falcons have run off six straight wins, including a 5-0 record in the SCC. D-R’s ground attack is keyed by 6-foot-7 tackle Chuddy Nwachukwu, but the Falcons have also seen dividends in the passing game behind sophomore quarterback Nathan Kowalski. The Vikings, also undefeated in the SCC, have big-play ability with the electrifying Darien Fernandez in the backfield. Yet, Wareham has also brought the lumber on defense, surrendering just 26 points through five league games.

Barboza: In big SCC games, it’s hard to pick against a Dave Driscoll-led team. D-R, 16-14.

Hall: As usual, our loyal correspondent Corey comes up with some innovative names, this one “The Fernandez Express”. As long as Darien’s legs keep churning, the Vikings will stay ahead. Wareham, 17-13.

STONEHAM (7-1) AT BURLINGTON (7-1)
The Skinny: The Red Devils can sew up the Middlesex League Freedom division title with a win over the upstart Spartans. Stoneham saw its undefeated record blemish last week in a 42-28 loss to Wakefield, but the Spartans are capable of throwing a monkey wrench into the race behind Aaron Louis and Darius McPherson. Meanwhile, Burlington’s backfield tandem of Anthony Cruz and Marcus O’Diah has few equals in Eastern Mass.

Barboza: Cinderella’s ball comes to a halt. Burlington, 33-24.

Hall: Stoneham appears to have a quality foundation for the long haul, but in the short term this Burlington rushing attack will be too much for the Spartans to handle. Burlington, 28-14.

GOVERNOR’S ACADEMY (6-0) AT MILTON ACADEMY (4-2)
The Skinny: The defending ISL champs put their undefeated record on the line in a road game. Gov’s 40-6 win over Brooks last week kept its point-per-game average above 41 points a game as Tate Jozokos and Eli Morrissey continue their assault on opposing defenses. Mustangs junior running back Drew Jacobs continued his breakout season with four touchdowns last week in a throttling of Belmont Hill.

Barboza: Opposing teams better hope they have Jacoby Jones or Ellis Hobbs returning kicks for them because it’s a 108 yards or bust with Justin Yoon kicking off. Still, Gov’s offense takes over. Governor’s, 31-24.

Hall: The Governators haven’t lost a game since Jim O’Leary took over in 2011. How crazy is that? Governor’s, 30-20.

WAYLAND (5-3) AT CONCORD-CARLISLE (4-4) (
The Skinny: Wayland looks for the inside track in the Dual County League’s Small division, entering the game with one of the league’s stingiest defenses (10.6 points allowed), and two versatile targets in senior wideout Mark Bonner and junior tailback Robert Williams. C-C, the defending league and Super Bowl champs, lost Tim Badgley in the preseason, but running backs Evan Boynton and Shayne McCloskey have picked up the slack.

Barboza: Yeah, I went with the Patriots winning a long time ago, in fact before we learned Badgley would be out for the year. It’s political season, so consider me a swing voter here. Wayland, 14-7.

Hall: I have the feeling this game is going to be possession-based. In that case, give me the better defense. Wayland, 10-6.

LOWELL (6-2) AT ANDOVER (8-0)
(The Skinny: Lowell has been on an offensive tear the last four games, going 3-1 and averaging 43 points per game over that span. Cam Latta has spearheaded the surge, but can he outduel Andover’s C.J. Scarpa? The 5-foot-8 senior hasn’t thrown an interception since Oct. 6, meanwhile the Golden Warriors are averaging over 370 yards of offense a game.

Barboza: Calculators ready? Andover, 46-38.

Hall: Remember the 88-80, eight-overtime game between these two in 2010? Let’s do the honorable thing here and move the venue to the Tsongas Center. Andover, 45-40.

NORTHBRIDGE (7-1) AT AUBURN (8-0) (
The Skinny: Auburn, one of the state’s stingiest defenses (5.1 points per game), holds first place in the SWCL A division, and can put a vice grip on it with a win over the Rams. Offensively, the Rockets have rode one of the state’s biggest lines to bull their way to over 2,000 yards rushing and over 2,700 yards of total offense, led by quarterback Drew Goodrich and Tyler Desjardins. But Northbridge quarterback Matt Phelan (1,344 passing yards, 11 TD; 673 rushing yards, 19 TD) will be one of the more slippery athletes the Rockets will have seen all season long. Can they contain him?

Barboza: Again, more than the score, I’m wondering what the line would be set at on these occurrences: how many times the Rockets venture to pass versus the Rams keeping it on the ground. Think it’s a push, but … Auburn, 31-27.

Hall: Classic clash of philosophies here: Jeff Cormier’s power running scheme versus Northbridge guru Ken LaChapelle and his pioneering run-and-shoot. Give me the team with the better line, in a physical battle. Auburn, 20-13.

BC HIGH (3-4) AT XAVERIAN (2-6) (
The Skinny: What would you have said if we told you back in August these two teams would be meeting in November with a combined 10 losses? But that’s what we have here, as the two Catholic Conference foes will fight to stay alive in a conference that St. John’s Prep is favored to take a hold of. If linebacker Luke Catarius is a go for BC High, that should provide an interesting matchup for Xaverian and its talented skill corps of Austin DeCarr, D.J. Pagliuca and Hunter Taute. The key matchup will be in the interior, where two close friends and Division 1 commits will square off – Xaverian defensive tackle Maurice Hurst (Michigan) versus BC High guard Jack McDonald (Virginia).

Barboza: Going with my preseason Catholic Conference pick in this one for whatever that’s worth – though it’s still probably worth more than Facebook stock. BC High, 21-17.

Hall: Give both teams credit here, they’re still fighting hard. But at this point, the Eagles have a little bit more momentum. BC High, 21-10.

BARNSTABLE (7-0) AT BRIDGEWATER-RAYNHAM (5-3)
The Skinny: Once again, these teams engage in a winner-takes-all battle for the Old Colony League crown in this week’s Game of the Week. Some elements to watch entering this one will be to see how the Red Raiders secondary is able to shake off a lackluster performance last week against Billerica. Similarly, B-R had its troubles with La Salle Academy and its spread attack a couple weeks back, so we’ll see how the Trojans’ secondary is able to deal with Barnstable quick and nimble wideouts. Let’s not overlook the running backs in this one, however. Hayden Murphy figured prominently into last year’s win by Barnstable in this game and Trojans sophomore sensation Brandon Gallagher (12 TDs) will be one to watch for years to come.

Barboza: Because it’s what Dan Buron wants us to do anyway, and for the fact I think the Red Raiders repeat. Barnstable, 30-24.

Hall: Any time you have an NFL veteran coaching the secondary, you have to think things will shore up after a bad week. Barnstable, 35-28.

Game of the Week: No. 2 Everett at BC High

October, 18, 2012
10/18/12
4:41
PM ET
DORCHESTER, Mass. -- ESPN Boston High Schools editors Scott Barboza and Brendan Hall stopped by practice at Boston College High, site of this week's National Guard Game of the Week, to discuss the Eagles' matchup with visiting No. 2 Everett on Saturday at 1:30 p.m. ET. (Note: This game was originally scheduled for 7 p.m. Friday, but was moved to Saturday.)

We caught up with the Eagles' Brendan Craven, Jack McDonald and Brandon Owens, along with head coach Joe Gaff to get the take from Morrissey Blvd.

Be sure to stop by our ESPN Boston tent at Viola Stadium, as well as that of the National Guard, for giveaways and prizes, and stick around after as we award our Player of the Game.

(Video shot and edited by Greg Story)

Tale of the Tape: BC High v. St. Peter's Prep (N.J.)

September, 27, 2012
9/27/12
12:42
AM ET
Another big inter-state matchup is on tap this weekend, as No. 22 Boston College High heads to the Garden State to take on Jersey City, N.J. powerhouse St. Peter's Prep, at Rutgers Stadium, as part of the 2012 Great American Rivalry Series.

St. Peter's won last year's contest in Dorchester, at Viola Stadium, 35-19. For a refresher of that game, CLICK HERE.

To break down the two matchups, we've collaborated with MSG Varsity senior editor Brian Fitzsimmons to get New Jersey's perspective on this matchup. ESPN Boston High Schools editor Brendan Hall provides the skinny on what to look for from BC High.


WHEN BC HIGH HAS THE BALL

Brendan Hall, ESPN Boston High Schools Editor: Under Jon Bartlett the previous four seasons, the Eagles experienced one of their greatest periods of success, winning Division 1 Eastern Mass. Super Bowls in 2008 and 2011. But a lot has changed since last season, when the Eagles showed some late mettle in an otherwise forgettable 35-19 loss to St. Peter's and used it to kick-start a run to the D1 Super Bowl title.

For starters, Bartlett stepped down as coach last April, but remains on as the school's Athletic Director. Defensive coordinator Joe Gaff was swiftly promoted to head coach status. At quarterback they graduated Bartley Regan (Stonehill), and at running back they graduated one of their best ever in Preston Cooper (cousin of veteran Chargers linebacker Stephen Cooper), who is currently enrolled at Dean Junior College down the road in Franklin, Mass.

And with it, the Eagles have apparently lost some firepower. Most of us were pretty high on BC High heading into the season, starting at No. 2 in ESPN Boston's statewide MIAA Top 25 poll, largely on the hype of its Division 1 talent in offensive lineman Jack McDonald (Virginia), wideout Lincoln Collins (Villanova), and linebackers Brandon Owens (Bryant) and Luke Catarius. The craziest story might be senior quarterback Brendan Craven, who received an offer from Valparaiso University before he even took a snap of varsity football.

But things went south quickly for the Eagles, who were shut out on opening night by Brockton (21-0), then outgained in yardage 445-96 in a 27-7 loss to North Attleborough the following week, to tumble 20 spots in our poll. In the first two games the usually sure-handed Collins, a big target at 6-foot-4, was also held without a catch.

Worst of all, the injury bug hit hard, with seven starters missing in that North Attleborough loss. Craven took a nasty shot to the knee at the end of the Brockton loss, though he's expected back soon, and Catarius -- a returning ESPN Boston All-Stater -- suffered a hairline fracture on his ankle in the preseason and isn't expected back until mid-October.

The Eagles appeared to break out of their funk last Friday, however, with a nice 31-0 win over upstart Dartmouth. McDonald moved from guard to right tackle, a new Collins (Andrew) did enough at quarterback to get the job done, and Lincoln Collins broke through with a monster night -- five catches for 181 yards, including one electrifying play in which he turned a five-yard out into an 85-yard touchdown scamper. Once again, however, the injury bug hit, taking Owens, who is also the feature running back.

Lincoln Collins had a nice day last year against St. Peter's, for those who recall (6 catches, 84 yards). If BC High is to have a chance in this -- and by the sounds of it, it's a puncher's chance -- then they're going to have to find a way to get Collins open. That will likely incorporate a good share of screens, and if there is one positive so far, it's that they have executed those well for big gains in spurts.

Brian Fitzsimmons, MSG Varsity Senior Editor: BC High’s offense will need to be in its finest form if the squad plans on trading punches with its latest opponent – and it starts with Villanova-bound wide receiver Lincoln Collins.

If Collins can explode for at least one or two home runs and catch the Marauders off guard, perhaps the score will be even closer than last season’s matchup.

St. Peter’s defense isn’t one to doubt, though. Senior linebacker Shane Huber leads the team with seven solo tackles and two sacks, while Tre Bell and Brian Githens are quick, agile corners.

BC High is no stranger to the intense pressure of facing talented teams from New Jersey; the Eagles had DePaul Catholic (Wayne, N.J.) on the ropes in a 49-35 loss in Week 2 before falling to St. Peter’s in Week 4.

This past weekend, BC High coach Joe Gaff reflected on what last year’s 35-19 setback to St. Peter’s meant to their Super Bowl season.

“We went down there and we competed against two really good teams with great speed,” Gaff told ESPNBoston.com. “When we came back, we solved things. As a defense, I know it really clicked for us because we saw faster players. So that’s what we’re hoping for.”

An upset victory wouldn’t be so bad, either.

WHEN ST. PETER'S PREP HAS THE BALL

Hall: St. Peter's quarterback and current West Virginia athlete Brandon Napoleon had a field day against BC High in last year's meeting, racking up 145 yards from scrimmage and making some electric returns in the kicking game. By the sounds of it, if this St. Peter's squad is anything like the St. Joseph Regional squad that pasted Xaverian 62-0 in Week 2, then the Eagles are going to have their hands full once again.

And worst of all, they are missing their quarterback of the defense, Catarius. At middle linebacker he is among the state's elite in run support, and makes the calls that orchestrate Gaff's defense. Without him, there have been communication errors and some holes that were exposed often in the first two weeks of the season.

After pitching a shutout last Friday, the Eagles appear to have solved a few of those issues. But with Owens' status unknown, there will be some added pressure on the front four, led by McDonald, Billy Breen, Mark McGuire and Jaleel Johnson. By Massachusetts' standards, they certainly have the size and strength to hold their own, dominating up front on Friday, never letting the Dartmouth running game stretch the field and get out of first gear. How that translates against elite New Jersey parochial talent remains to be seen.

In the secondary, the player to watch is senior Tim Johnson, another one of seemingly a handful of FCS prospects. He first gained recognition for his back-breaking interception in the D1 Super Bowl last December, and has since followed up with some nice performances early on this season. But like every other area, he will be tested thoroughly.

Fitzsimmons: BC High covets a grueling test filled with speed, and there’s no doubt the Eagles will get their wish when taking on St. Peter’s Prep (N.J.) on Saturday.

The Marauders, ranked fifth among all New Jersey/New York/Connecticut teams in the latest MSG Varsity Tri-State Top 25 poll, are off to a rousing start thanks to their formidable offensive unit.

They won by forfeit over Kearny this past weekend, so coach Rich Hansen and his team will look to recapture the explosiveness displayed in the opening weeks of the season. St. Peter’s opened the campaign with a 31-6 victory over McDonogh (Md.) in Annapolis and then cruised past Memorial by a whopping, 77-7 margin.

Jonathan Hilliman, Trejon Dinkins and Minkah Fitzpatrick anchor the ground game, combining for nearly 600 yards in two contests. Hilliman, a junior who has attracted offers from nearly every big-time Division I program, is the group’s workhorse with 293 yards and four touchdowns.

Quarterback Mike Rabasca is a solid game manager, and he gained valuable experience last season, when starter Brandon Napoleon – now at West Virginia – went down with injury for several weeks. Don’t be surprised to see heralded freshman Brandon Wimbush under center more often as the weeks go by.

As potent as the running backs are, the Marauders’ biggest threat is wide receiver Charlie Callinan. The 6-foot-4, 200-pounder is long, athletic and possesses great hands – all sparkling attributes that make the Boston College-bound senior a true game-changer.

Under the guidance of Hansen, the Marauders have established themselves as the measuring stick for all Hudson County programs. They haven’t lost to a Hudson County opponent since 1999, but joining fellow North Jersey parochial powerhouses Don Bosco Prep, Bergen Catholic and St. Joseph Regional remains the ultimate goal year in and year out.

St. Peter’s Prep hasn’t won a Non-Public Group 4 state championship since 2005, thanks to the remarkable run authored by Don Bosco, which has clinched six straight state titles and two of the last three national crowns.

So naturally, this weekend isn’t so much about defeating an out-of-state foe; this is about excelling during another tune-up for a championship run against the Goliaths of the Garden State.

Recap: No. 22 Brockton 21, No. 2 BC High 0

September, 8, 2012
9/08/12
12:16
AM ET
BROCKTON -- There have not been a lot of recent instances where Brockton was beaten as soundly as it was by BC High in last year's season opener.

The Eagles' 42-0 win was complete in every phase on their way to a Division 1 Super Bowl title. The loss sent Brockton into a tailspin that resulted in a 5-6 season, the program's first losing mark since 2001.

Well, last night at Marciano Stadium, the Boxers delivered a rousing counterpunch with a 21-0 shutout that felt even more decisive than the final score indicated.

"Last year, we couldn't match them, physically," said Brockton coach Peter Colombo. "This year, we obviously did."

And then some. Both lines dominated for the host Boxers, as they rushed for 310 yards and held BC High to 143 total and just 62 in the second half.

[+] EnlargeAustin Roberts
Jon Mahoney for ESPNBoston.comBrockton QB Austin Roberts orchestrated the offense in a vengeful shutout of rival BC High.
Senior quarterback Austin Roberts led the way for Brockton with 139 yards and two touchdowns on 23 carries, while junior tailback Aaron LeClair added 83 yards and a TD on seven attempts and fullback Ricardo Calixte contributed 61 yards on 10 rushes. Brockton only threw two passes (one interception, one incompletion), but didn't need to the way their front was blowing BC High off the ball. The Boxers completely eschewed the passing game in the second half with zero attempts but didn't punt, either. Their four second-half possessions read: touchdown, touchdown, lost fumble, touchdown.

The defense was physical and had its way between the hashes just as much as the offense did. Nowhere was that more apparent than at the end of the first half with the game still scoreless, when BC High marched inside the Brockton 10. On third down, quarterback Dan Collins took off and made a leaping attempt to the goal line but was leveled a yard short by a host of Brockton tacklers. After a timeout, BC High decided to go for it but Collins' sneak was stuffed by backup middle linebacker John Flaherty. The momentum lifted Brockton into the second half and the Boxers never looked back.

"I can't describe it. I'm still speechless, actually," said Brockton defensive back Micah Morel, who made an interception in the second half and played tight man coverage in the first half on Villanova-bound receiver Lincoln Collins. "I mean, I know it was only 21-0, but whenever you pitch a shutout against the No. 2 team in the state, that's saying something. That's saying a lot."

STRENGTH IN SENIORS
Usually, when BC High and Brockton meet up, no matter what the final score says, the ledger of the line play favors BC High. That was not the case Friday night. Not even close. Despite boasting Virginia-bound lineman Jack McDonald, BC High was pushed backwards on both sides of the ball by Brockton's line. The difference? For the first time in at least seven years (maybe longer), Brockton started five seniors on the offensive line. The defensive line is also a veteran unit. Four-year starters Joe Previte and Anthony Davis led the way, as Previte showed off the strength he displayed this offseason in throwing up a 410-pound bench press. On defense, players like Malik Cooley-Walker, Jeff Celestin and Max Castor were in the backfield all night.

LEADING ROLE
Like many teams, the Boxers have taken on the personality of their quarterback and it looks like it will pay big dividends this fall. Roberts is a tough runner who creates extra yards after contact and is simply a natural leader on the field. Many of his runs were just pure sneaks that he turned into 5-yard gains as the line pushed the pile forward. Coach Peter Colombo had the difficult task of retooling an offense that was shut out four times last season and built one around the strengths of his returning talent. The option scheme used most prominently in the college game by the likes of Navy and Georgia Tech can only work with a smart, tough quarterback and Roberts has both of those traits in abundance. He is also bigger, stronger and faster than he was last year, as he simply refused to go down on the first hit.

ROUGHED UP
BC High came into the game missing fullback/linebacker Luke Catarius to injury. The Eagles were also out three other starters on both lines, which needs to be factored in to an extent when taking into account how much Brockton controlled things physically. But at the end of the game, BC High suffered yet another brutal setback when quarterback Brendan Craven was carted off after getting hit low as he released a pass on the final possession of the game. In a scene eerily similar to Preston Cooper's season-ending ankle injury against Everett, Craven's injury looked very serious and left a pall over an already shaken squad.

BROCKTON 21, BC HIGH 0

BC High (0-1) 0 0 0 0 – 0
Brockton (1-0) 0 0 7 14 – 21

Third Quarter
Austin Roberts 1 run (Levon Merian kick)

Fourth Quarter
Aaron LeClair 10 run (Merian kick)
Roberts 23 run (Merian kick)

New faces blend talent for No. 2 BC High

September, 2, 2012
9/02/12
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With a new head coach patrolling the sidelines, some preseason injury concerns and a cast of new faces stepping into crucial roles on the field, an element of change has certainly been in the air around the BC High football program.

Joe Gaff, a 26-year veteran of the Everett police department, was tabbed to replace Jon Bartlett this summer. Gaff served as the Eagles defensive coordinator the last four years and has previous head coaching experience with Chelsea, Matignon, and Malden Catholic.

The Eagles quest to defend the Division 1 Super Bowl title has gotten off to something of an auspicious beginning, most notably because of the loss of All-State linebacker Luke Catarius. Catarius suffered a slight fracture to his right ankle earlier this week in a scrimmage with Mansfield, and will miss five to six weeks according to Gaff.

Standouts Jack McDonald, Billy Breen and Jaleel Johnson all sat out Friday's scrimmage against Lawrence with what Gaff called "nagging injuries", but all three are expected to be ready to go for Friday's season opener in Brockton.

On the field, the Eagles strength looks like it will be on defense, even with Catarius sidelined. Mark McGuire and Johnson are the anchors at defensive tackle while Tim Johnson and Mike McAuley (who had two interceptions in the Lawrence scrimmage) are standout cornerbacks.

At the linebacker spots, replacing Catarius will be difficult but the Eagles will lean on returnees Danny Collins and Brandon Owens. Brian Robinson has had a terrific preseason, Brian Landry is back after taking two years off from football, and Steve Dicienzo will also contribute.

When asked who would be looked to step up to fill the void left by Catarius, Gaff pointed at the group and talked about some changes the defense will have to make.

"I don't think I can pinpoint one guy. It's more of a unit," Gaff explained. "We've been playing a lot of base defense and letting Luke just read and go so we're going to have move our defense a lot more. We're going to have to be a bit more aggressive and make things happen instead of letting Luke clean things up. We have to set the tempo now and move our guys around a lot more than we have in the past."

The kicking game will also be stellar. BC High boasts one of the state's elite kickers in Jackson Bockhorst, who can hit from 50 yards out, and a strong punter in Pat Ahearn.

Offensively, the Eagles are extremely talented but very inexperienced. Virginia commit McDonald (6-5, 270 lbs.) and Breen (6-4, 240 lbs) will anchor the line from the tackle spots, although the versatile McDonald can play all five positions if needed. BC High adds three new starters to the unit, but the expectation is that they will be able to continue a fine tradition of line play at the school.

"We'll be a pretty quick offensive line this year," said Gaff. "We don't have the huge size all the way across but we'll be very athletic up front. We're looking to keep the tradition of solid offensive line play, keep the running game going, and they know that's what we want."

Senior Brendan Craven steps in at quarterback after spending the last couple of years watching former starter Bartley Regan, although Gaff hinted that Danny Collins may be used in spots as a change of pace, running QB in certain situations. Craven's main target should be 6-foot-4 Lincoln Collins, who committed to Villanova over the summer. Tim Johnson and Mike McAuley step into the lineup alongside him.

Brandon Owens will be the main tailback, joined by Skyler Evans. Catarius also served a crucial role as the team's fullback, so look for DiCienzo and Mitch LaFerriere to pick up the slack.

"I think we need some experience in the passing game," Gaff admitted. "We have talent but its been a lack of playing time for those guys. (Craven) is a first year quarterback and we have inexperience at WR. Even with Lincoln as great as he is, our two and three guys haven't got too much experience as receivers. And we have a new running back too, and losing Luke from that means we will have to do some different things."

BC HIGH AT A GLANCE
2011: 10-3, Division 1 Super Bowl champion
Coach: Joe Gaff (1st season)
Key Returnees: Billy Breen, Sr., OT/DL, 6-4, 240 lbs; Jack McDonald, Sr., OT/DT, 6-5, 275 lbs; Jaleel Johnson, Sr., DT, 6-2, 240 lbs, Mark McGuire, Sr. DL, 6-2, 200 lbs.; Tim Johnson, Sr. DB/WR, 5-10, 175 lbs.; Danny Collins, Sr. MLB/QB, 6-2, 185 lbs.; Lincoln Collins, Sr., WR, 6-4, 180 lbs; Brandon Owens, Sr. LB/RB, 6-0, 200 lbs.; Mike McAuley, Sr. DB/WR, 5-11, 170 lbs.; Brendan Craven, Sr. QB, 6-3, 180 lbs.; Skyler Evans, Sr. RB, 5-9, 180 lbs.
Strengths: Defense, kicking game, senior leadership.
Weaknesses: Inexperience on offense, key injuries.
Outlook: The defending Super Bowl champions have a different look and feel from the team that won the title, not just because those seniors are gone but also because those seniors were able to get playing time as juniors and sophomores, something much of this year's senior class hasn't had. "I think this is a different group," Gaff said. "That senior class last year was so good that we have a lot of guys that are seniors now and are stepping on the field for the first time. Last year we had a lot of guys that had played as juniors and I think that's the big difference. This years group is good, just not game experienced." Gaff and his charges will be put to the test early as the Eagles open with games against Brockton, North Attleboro, Dartmouth, St. Peters Prep (N.J.), Marlboro and Everett before finishing with its Catholic Conference slate. A strong defense should give the inexperienced offense time to get its feet wet and allow its talent to shine through. Bockhurst is a weapon that few other teams with his ability to boom field goals from as deep as 50 yards, something that may come into play early and often.

BC High's McDonald: UVA football 'going to take off'

June, 25, 2012
6/25/12
9:36
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A litte over an hour ago, BC High senior offensive lineman Jack McDonald ended his recruiting with a verbal commitment to the University of Virginia, choosing the Cavaliers over a list of several other ACC schools that included Boston College, North Carolina, Maryland and Miami.

[+] EnlargeJack McDonald
Brendan Hall/ESPN.comBC High offensive lineman Jack McDonald, the state's No. 3 overall prospect, committed to Virginia on Monday night.
The 6-foot-5, 285-pound McDonald, a Quincy resident, spoke with ESPNBoston.com a few moments ago to talk more about his commitment.

Deciding factors: "The academics were a factor. I know how good of a school. Coach [Mike] London was a good guy when I met him, he seemed like a guy that is taking the program in the right direction."

"The campus was wicked beautiful, I loved that. Academics have always been important to me. My football career is gonna end at some point, so it's always good to have a good education, and I know UVA provides that."

On where he fits in the program: They told me I could be recruited as a tackle, but that I'm borderline between tackle and guard. I play both of those in high school, they said doing both gives me a good opportunity to play, but we'll see what's the best opportunity for me to fit in when I get down there."

On the semi-pipeline [2006 graduate Jack Shields started 23 games at center for the Cavaliers from 2008-09]: "I think again, the education comes into play right there. I think that's just kind of part of it."

On Mike London: "He's very positive about where he's bringing the program over the next few years, what he's going to do with it, he really believes in them. This progam is going to take off."

What he'll be working on the rest of this summer: "This summer I've been trying to improve my footwork a lot, get quicker feet. I've been moving a lot better, and I've gained a lot of weight, to put on some more strength. But right now my focus is on footwork and being more explosive. I'm up to 285 right now. I've been running this summer and I feel pretty good right now, I'll keep lifting and see what happens."

BC High's McDonald commits to Virginia

June, 25, 2012
6/25/12
8:21
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Boston College High offensive lineman Jack McDonald has verbally committed to the University of Virginia for the 2013 season, he just announced tonight on his Twitter account.

"Just committed to the University of Virginia!" he wrote in a tweet.

McDonald is a three-star prospect ranked as the No. 3 overall player in Massachusetts by Scouts Inc. He chose the Cavaliers over Boston College and North Carolina, but also had offers from Miami, Maryland, UMass, UConn and Duke.

Scouts Inc. has a full evaluation of McDonald that you can find HERE. Below is an excerpt:



McDonald is very efficient when pass blocking; has the size and athleticism for the offensive tackle position at the major level of competition however there is the need to improve explosion and upper body playing strength. His frame appears capable of supporting additional body mass over time. Playing out of a three point stance, we see good flexibility, agility and balance; demonstrates the ability to play on his feet in space while showing he can adjust to handle quick change of direction movement; displays the mobility to operate successfully in a tight box. When run blocking we see a lineman who comes off the ball aggressively but lacks the explosive pop and surge necessary to consistently knock defenders off the line of scrimmage; wins the battles using his foot quickness to establish and maintain an advantage; blocks with a flat back and solid base. This prospect runs well and is quick releasing to linebackers; flashes the ability to reach for leverage while showing the athleticism needed to consistently get a hat on active 1st and 2nd level defenders. This guy is a tough, consistent finisher.


New BC High coach Gaff: 'I am just humbled'

May, 17, 2012
5/17/12
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We caught up tonight with new BC High head football coach Joe Gaff, who was officially elevated from Defensive Coordinator and named successor to Jon Bartlett this afternoon. Over our half-hour conversation, Gaff discussed his new responsibilities, as well as the gameplan going forward and the talent coming up through the program's ranks.

Gaff, a member of the Everett Police Department by day, has served the last four years as Bartlett's defensive coordinator. The two teamed up for Division 1 Super Bowl titles in 2008 and 2011. Prior to that, he had a two-year stint as the head coach at Catholic Conference rival Malden Catholic.

His reaction to being named the new head coach: "I am just humbled. There are so many great people over there, so many great guys already there on the staff that have really pulled a lot of hard work. And to take over one of the elite programs in the state not just on the field, but off the field -- these are such quality kids outside of football -- it's a remarkable feeling."

On the element of continuity with this hire: "It's huge, and I think that's what they saw throughout this whole process. Jon has done such a wonderful job putting together such a great staff together, and we've had hardly any turnover in my four years here. I want to keep that going. It's not just about wins and losses, it's about getting kids into the right schools and playing the right way, that's really what BC High is all about. The whole message we try to preach over there is it's more than just wins and losses at BC High. It's about life."

What working under Bartlett has meant to him, and how those roles will change going forward: "I just think that it's just a friendship that we've bonded these last four short years. We're best friends, and we talk all of the time. Even in the offseason, we spend time together in the offseason. The friendship we've developed is amazing. It's a nice thing that he'll still be in the corner office. It's nice to know I have a friend there, and that the door's always going to be open."

Lessons learned from his last head coaching stint in the Catholic Conference, at Malden Catholic: "I think it's just that kids, no matter where you are, are great kids, and while some situations are different, all kids everywhere I've been at just want you to give them the best chance to win. I think that's going to be the philosophy at BC High. I'll still be coaching varsity swimming at Malden Catholic. I've got great swimmers -- we're not the best program in the world, but we started off with 15 kids and now we've got 43. And it's worked out, I'm going to be able stay in that position over there as well, so I'm ecstatic about that. It's hard going between two schools, but we're all in this business to teach kids right and wrong, and try to give them the right direction in life. I don't care what sport, what school, that will always be my mission."

His coaching style, and the philosophy going forward: "When Jon and I talked four years ago, that's what the whole idea was, our coaching styles were the same, and that's why it's worked so well. His idea of a pro-style offense with multiple formations is what I like. You have to adapt to different players, and we have to go with what best suits us every year, and for that I like the system Jon has put in. You don't want to be one-dimensional. Some years you'll have a great stable of running backs, other years its the wide receivers and quarterback, and I think it helps us to be a multiple-formation team.

"Defensively, we're going to stay very physical and very aggressive. The other thing is you really have to make sure the kids are very disciplined on the field, and these kids do such a good job with being disciplined off the field. They know why they're there -- academics, spiritual life and sports. We did mostly a four-man front, and I think we're going to stay with that. With the manpower we have, we're going to play with some things in the secondary and with the linebackers. We've got a great linebacker in Luke Catarius coming back, he is a heck of a player. We'll be mostly a four-man front though, but with the way teams can be pass-happy now, we'll have a little bit of three-man front. But we'll stay mostly in a four-man front, and adapt to what we need to."

On the coordinators situation: "I'll stay at defensive coordinator. Offense, I'm just getting the job today, we've got some quality guys on the staff, but it's something that I really haven't had a chance to talk about yet. We just have some great guys and friendships on the staff, and that's leads over to the kids' comfort zone. Offensive coordinator is going to be a big thing. Jon was head coach and offensive coordinator, and they averaged quite a few points in his career. It's going to be tough to match that."

On replacing the Class of 2012 talent, and the talent coming up: "We've got a good core of players coming back between Lincoln Collins, [Jack McDonald], Lucas [Catarius], Billy Breen. [Brendan] Craven hopefully will fill in for Bartley Regan at quarterback. It's going to be tough to replace Preston Cooper and Deontae [Ramey-Doe] at running back. Deontae did a tremendous job for Preston after he went down. We're going to have to find a tailback, but I think we've got a few guys that can fill the spot nicely.

"McDonald, he's got a bunch of offers. We haven't gotten into that yet though, we're meeting next week to set up a lot of that stuff. We've got Mark McGuire [senior tight end/defensive end] coming back, he's going to be great. Tim Johnson [senior defensive back], he had a great interception in the Super Bowl [last December], he's back. We do have some good kids coming up. Brandon Owens is another one coming back, we'll use him at outside linebacker some with his speed, and he'll play a little tailback for us too."

The most important thing to take care of between now and August: "Getting everyone comfortable with everything, try to get everyone on the same page. The offensive and defensive terminology might change a little, but as long as we continue to put in hard work in the weight room we'll be OK."

How he will handle college recruiting inquiries: "That's something me and Jon haven't yet worked out. Unfortunately I'm out of the building because I'm a police officer, but it's something we're working on. Jon will help me out with that. They already have a system over there, but we'll try to continue that. We've sent a player to Harvard four years in a row -- that's not too bad. Jon will be a big part, guidance will be a big part, and I think we'll all work together to get these kids into college."

UMass making splash in NE recruiting

March, 16, 2012
3/16/12
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Shortly after University of Massachusetts football coach Charley Molnar secured his first recruiting class in February, he talked about how he wanted New England players to form the foundation of his program. Apparently that was more than just talk.

UMass has clearly made New England –- and Massachusetts in particular –- the focus of much of its recruiting efforts.

BC High offensive lineman Jack McDonald, Everett offensive lineman John Montelus, Xaverian defensive lineman Maurice Hurst Jr., Tabor Academy defensive lineman Tevin Montgomery, BB&N tight end Brendan O'Neil and Catholic Memorial defensive end Peter Ngobidi have each received a scholarship offer from UMass, which held two junior days last month.

In addition, Todd Stafford, a 6-foot-5, 240-pound quarterback from the Brunswick School in Greenwich, Conn., committed to UMass on Thursday. He became UMass' first commitment from the class of 2013.

“I went to the first junior day and [Molnar] said with the move to the MAC they want to start with the local kids,” McDonald said. “He talked about how good the talent is around here, and they want to bring in as many local kids as they can.”

UMass has been competing at the FCS level in the Colonial Athletic Association, but will move up to the FBS level when it begins play in the MAC next season. The Minutemen won't play on campus, but will use Gillette Stadium as their home field.

“It's a little bit of a drive from the campus, but I got to play at Gillette in last year's Super Bowl and it's a once-in-a-lifetime experience,” McDonald said. “They'll have their own locker room there. I think the positives will outweigh the negatives.”

McDonald also has offers from Boston College and Maryland, and has received significant interest from Duke and Temple.

“Right now I'm considering everything,” he said.

Montelus and Hurst each have at least 10 Division 1 scholarship offers. Hurst received his offer from UMass while at one of the junior days last month.

“I'll definitely consider UMass,” Hurst said. “I really like the coaching staff and a lot of Mass. kids seem to be going there.”

There were six players from New England in Molnar's first recruiting class: wide receiver Khary Bailey Smith (Weymouth), tight end Nevin Cyr (Pelham, N.H.), quarterback A.J. Doyle (Lakeville), linebacker Vondell Langston (Everett), linebacker John Robinson (Springfield) and linebacker Jovan Santos-Knox (Middletown, Conn.).

Wide receiver Derek Beck, a New Jersey native who played at Bridgton Academy in North Bridgton, Maine, signed with UMass as well.

Jake Kennedy, who is perhaps the best offensive lineman from New Hampshire in the Class of 2013, also has a UMass offer. Kennedy plays for Souhegan High School in Amherst.

Kennedy received his offer from UMass defensive line coach Dave Sollazzo earlier this week. He's also receiving interest from Boston College, Connecticut, New Hampshire, Brown and Harvard.

Kennedy said UMass is a school he'll strongly consider.

“Most definitely,” he said. “I could see myself there.”

UMass offers O'Neil, Van Allen, McDonald

February, 15, 2012
2/15/12
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ESPN's Roger Brown checks in today on the East Recruiting Blog with BB&N tight end Brendan O'Neil and Avon Old Farms (Conn.) wideout/defensive back John Van Allen, who both received offers over the weekend from UMass.

The offers were made following the program's Junior Day on campus, and are also the first scholarship offer for both players.

Brown writes:



“It was definitely a good feeling to get that first offer in the books,” Van Allen said. “They didn't tell me specifically what position, but I got a strong feeling it was as a safety.

“UMass is an up-and-coming school at the Division I level. They're joining the MAC and it looks like they have a bright future. I can definitely see them as one of my options. They showed interest in me and I appreciate that.”

Van Allen said he plans to take an unofficial visit to Connecticut on Feb. 25 and an unofficial visit to Duke on March 31.

O'Neil said UMass coach Charley Molnar told him the school is committed to landing the best players from Massachusetts.

“He told me they believe the core part of their team can be the top players in Massachusetts,” O'Neil said. “He said he believes there's a great base of talent here in the state.”

Molnar first heard about O'Neil from Shane Waldron, a former assistant coach at BB&N who is now on the UMass staff.

O'Neil said he plans to attend a junior day at Duke next month. He has attended a junior day and a game at Boston College, and a game at Notre Dame.

“The tour of the [UMass] campus was good and the offer was exciting, but it's too early to speculate where I might end up right now,” O'Neil said.


Brown also reports that the Minutemen have also extended an offer to BC High offensive lineman Jack McDonald, while Rutgers becomes the ninth school to extend an offer to Everett offensive tackle John Montelus. In the last week, Montelus has seen offers pour in from Florida, West Virginia and Michigan, in addition to the Scarlet Knights.

Ramey-Doe, O-line deliver for BC High

December, 3, 2011
12/03/11
10:36
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FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – On the strength of Bartley Regan's right arm, BC High earned its berth in the Eastern Mass. Division 1 Super Bowl at Gillette Stadium.

But the passing game was option No. 2 in Saturday's final, thanks largely to an offensive line that fueled a first-rate running game against no-quit underdog Needham.

Deontae Ramey-Doe ran for 200 yards on 24 carries in BC High's 21-7 title-clinching win. But, just as quickly as Ramey-Doe hit the holes, he lauded the unheralded stars up front for ripping open those running lanes.

“They got real nasty,” said the 6-foot 1-inch, 180-pound senior, whose three touchdown runs included a highlight-reel 91-yard breakaway to the end zone, snapping a 7-all tie in the second quarter.

Who were the guys who enabled Ramey-Doe to gash the Rockets?

Left to right, across the line: Left tackle Justin Roberts, left guard Mike Prendeville, center Jake Durkin, right guard Jack McDonald and right tackle Bill Breen. Ends Jameson McShea, a Temple recruit, and Mark McGuire added to BC High's toughness in the trenches.

Make no mistake. Running the football requires attitude. BC High (10-3) certainly had it.

The Eagles averaged a whopping 7.7 yards per carry. Ramey-Doe, Luke Catarius (10 carries for 87 yards), James Moynahan and Regan combined for 39 rushes.

BC High's quartet tallied 300 of the offense's 360 total yards.

“Our game plan coming in was to mix it up (with the run and pass),” said BC High head coach Jon Bartlett, whose team led at halftime, 14-7. “We felt in the second half, we could establish the run more, so that's what we went to.”

Helping the head coach make that decision was the fact BC High lacked rhythm in the passing game.

So, Bartlett sent this message as the Eagles started the second half: Keep pounding the ball on the ground.

Those are words every offensive lineman loves to hear.

“It's the best feeling, just knowing that your running back can hit that hole and has open field in front of him,” said McDonald, a towering 6-foot-4, 270-pound junior. “There's nothing better than that.”

Case in point: Ramey-Doe's dagger 91-yard run.

Backed up at their 9-yard line after Andrew Murowchick's punt temporarily altered field position, the Eagles ran a shotgun draw. Ramey-Doe cut to McDonald's side of the line, where a gaping hole opened.

BC High's burner accelerated through it and raced down the right sideline. Ronnie Rosser nearly made a shoestring tackle 4 yards from the end zone. But Ramey-Doe fell forward across the goal line.

The offensive line continued to help kill clock in the third quarter. The Eagles orchestrated a 13-play drive over a span of six minutes, 40 seconds.

“We were all disappointed last year, not going to the playoffs,” said Breen, a 6-foot-2, 215-pound junior. “I know our whole team spent a lot of time in the weight room.”

It paid off.

Needham (9-4) routinely shifted along the defensive line. Yet, when the ball was snapped, the Eagles were routinely in position to provide a massive push.

“It's all attitude,” Breen said. “You have to want it.”

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