Boston High School: John Curran

Recap: Blue Hills 16, Boston Cathedral 14

December, 3, 2011
WALTHAM, Mass. -- For a minute, it appeared Boston Cathedral had won their first Super Bowl in school history.

Then, there was a flag.

Senior quarterback Matt Owens was flagged for lifting his right pointer finger toward the sky during a fourth-quarter sprint on the 24-yard line of Blue Hills. All the momentum immediately shifted to the Warriors, who escaped with a dramatic, 16-14 victory Saturday at Bentley University.

“On the game being played, we won the game, [but] I give Blue Hills a lot of credit. They’re a great football team, [and] we deserved better,” Boston Cathedral head coach Duane Sigsbury said.

As for Blue Hills head coach Ed Catabia, he appeared more relieved and overjoyed that his team was able to walk off the field with a victory.

“I’ve had these kids in class [since] their sophomore year," Catabia said. "They’re undefeated as freshman [and] we knew that they were a good team.”

Warriors’ senior quarterback John Curran jumpstarted his offense on the team’s first drive with a 45-yard strike to senior Isaiah Teixeira before senior running back Vincent Brown trotted past the Panthers defense for a one yard score on the ensuing possession.

Boston Cathedral responded after an unproductive first quarter with two touchdowns before halftime, as senior quarterback Matt Owens connected with senior teammate Carlos Bermudez on a 44-yard pass, and then ran for a three-yard score.

In the second half, Boston Cathedral produced two critical turnovers, an interception and a fumble, which Blue Hills couldn’t capitalize on. Yet, the Warriors offense did win the time of passion battle, as they finished the final two quarters with 29 plays compared to Boston Cathedral, who had 17.

“We took some time off the clock and that was one of our goals is to take some time off the clock [in the second half],” said Catabia.

“We just wanted [to get a few] first downs, [and] that’s all that mattered,” Warriors quarterback John Curran said. “We weren’t worried about milking the clock, as much as just trying to get in the end zone.”

Blue Hills offense produced Boston Cathedral’s only points of the second half, as they snapped the ball high above their quarterback late in the fourth quarter and out of the end zone before they stopped the Panthers on their final drive of the game, which was an incomplete pass from Owens to Bermudez.

Prior to kick-off, both coaches and captains met to discuss the rules for the game and in that particular meeting, the referees reminded the participants that they wouldn’t be allowed to celebrate a touchdown before it was scored.

However, Sigsbury believed that the decision to flag Owens, who did celebrate the potential go-ahead touchdown in the fourth quarter, was the wrong decision, and certainly, it seemed as if he believed the Panthers should have been crowned champions.

“[The game] got taken away from us, and what else can you do,” Sigsbury said. “If you’re going to take away from a kid being excited because he just made the play of his life, shame on you.”

When asked about the touchdown that was revoked, Blue Hills head coach Ed Catabia responded by saying, “We try to play by the rules, and the rule is that there is no celebrating. It was unfortunate for him [and]; it was a great a call. It’s just unfortunate that’s how it turned out.”

Boston Cathedral certainly had chances in the second half to score, but this particular play will certainly be in the back of their minds prior to the start of next years season.

Burton recorded 150 yards on 36 carries, as well as one touchdown, but the biggest offensive series of the game came for the senior running back in the third quarter, as he recorded 13-of-19 plays from the line of scrimmage.

“It was very important [because] we had to keep control of the ball, and let the clock run out, so that we could just eventually win the game,” said Burton, when asked to describe the play call in the third quarter.

When asked to describe the play of Burton, Currant commented by saying, “[He’s] unbelievable player. He’s one of the best backs I’ve ever seen. It’s incredible watching it from after I hand the ball, it’s like watching him make the cuts and hit the defense, and it’s unbelievable.”

What it means to win a championship

After losing last year to Shawsheen Regional Technical High School, both Burton and Curran explained they were overjoyed and happy to end their final season with a championship.

“I [saw] all the hurt in everyone’s eyes when we lost last year,” Burton said. “This year, it meant a lot to us and we knew that I didn’t want to see that feeling in their eyes again, so I know it meant a lot to me to win this game.”

“It’s a dream come true to have another chance to go back to the Super Bowl,” Curran said. “We worked so hard since August [at] captain’s practice, [and] we did everything we could to get back here. We just couldn’t miss the opportunity again. We knew what we had to do.”

Blue Hills– 16-0-0-0--16
Boston Cathedral – 0-12-0-2 --14

First Quarter
BH – Isaiah Teixeira 45-yard pass from John Curran (Vincent Burton run)
BH – Burton one-yard run (Burton run)

Second Quarter
BC – Carlos Bermudez 44-yard pass from Matt Owens (Owens run unsuccessful)
BC – Owens three-yard run (Pass fails)

Fourth Quarter
BH – Safety

Shawsheen champs for 1st time in 3 decades

December, 4, 2010
MILTON, Mass. -- The Shawsheen Rams put an end to their 32-year drought and finally earned their first Division 4 Super Bowl in school history, as they defeated the Blue Hills Warriors, 20-6, on Curry College’s Walter M. Katz Field on Saturday.

“This means so much to the community, its five sending towns that we represent and its just an honor to represent this community, to represent the families and the school, so it means so much for our school and our communities,” said Shawsheen head coach Al Costabile.

Following a scoreless first quarter, quarterback Ryan Woolaver kept the ball and ran for a 30-yard touchdown inside Warriors territory, but was injured after diving into the end zone for the score. After the touchdown was recorded, Woolaver remained on the ground, but was able to get himself off the field, despite sustaining
an injury.

The Rams missed the point after attempt, but ended the half on a sour note when they watched Woolaver get sacked for a loss and suffer a game ending injury. He was taken to the hospital after the fourth quarter was complete, which allowed back up quarterback Tyler MacInnis to take over the Rams offense for the final 20-minutes
of their season.

“Of course, we had doubts, you can’t replace a guy like Ryan Woolaver. I just knew that I had to get the defense fired up, had to get going and back up quarterback Tyler MacInnis did a great job,” Shawsheen receiver Derek Bent said.

The Rams would begin the second half, attempting to put more points on the board, but Warriors defensive end Brian Onyechefule intercepted backup quarterback MacInnis’s short pass. The Warriors would respond and use 15 plays to earn their only points of the day, as running back Isaiah Teixeira scored on a two-yard run. After the touchdown, they attempted a two-point conversion, which was unsuccessful.

The Rams would respond with an explosive fourth quarter, scoring 14 points, all on account of Steve Reynolds, who scored both touchdowns of the quarter on offense and defense.

Reynolds first scored on a 25-yard run and then intercepted Warriors quarterback John Curran for a 35 yard score.

“I mean we lost momentum, but we just kept on fighting and we got it,” said Bent.

Blue Hills attempted one final drive late in the fourth quarter to possibly come within striking distance of Shawsheen, but were once again, denied a comeback when Reynolds intercepted Curran.

Once the final whistle blew, Costabile addressed his team to say: “We normally don’t give out a game balls, that’s something we don’t do around here because we are all about team, not individuals. I think you are all going to agree with me that the game ball goes to Ryan Woolaver.”

Bent complimented his opponent after the game.

“They played a great game. I was getting worried at the end and when they came down and scored, tied it up, I knew it was going to be a game and our defense had to dig in and offense had to make plays.”

Shawsheen - 0 6 0 14 - 20
Blue Hills - 0 0 6 0 - 6

Second quarter

S- 30 yard run by R. Woolaver (Kick no good)

Third quarter
B - 2 yard run by Isaiah Teixeira (Two Point conversion failed)

Fourth quarter
S - Steve Reynolds 25 yard touchdown run (kick goodDevonn Pratt)
S - Steve Reynolds 35 yard touchdown interception (Kick good Pratt)

Super Saturday breakdown and picks

December, 3, 2010

Yesterday, coaches and captains from each of the teams participating in the six Eastern Mass Super Bowls played at Gillette Stadium toured the field in anticipation of Saturday's games. We caught up with Bridgewater-Raynham quarterback Billy Zolga and Everett wide receiver and defensive back Matt Costello yesterday.

Both players were at Gillette last year when their respective teams lost their Super Bowl bids. Now, the seniors are looking to leave a lasting imprint in their final high school football games.

This is for all the marbles, so let's get straight into the action:

Everett (11-0) vs. St. John's Prep (8-4), 6 p.m., Gillette Stadium
Everett players to watch:
ATH Manny Asprilla, WR Matt Costello, QB Jonathan DiBiaso, RB/LB Vondell Langston, LB Buck McCarthy, WR/DB Kenny Calaj, OL/DL Nick Chiarello, DL Shaquille Taylor.
St. John's Prep players to watch: RB Tyler Coppola, OL/DL Nathan Cyr, TE Ryan Delisle, TE/ROV Lucas Bavaro, OL/DL Dan Culkeen.
The skinny: In his third year under center, DiBiaso has exploded to lead one of the state's most prolific offenses (37.5 points per game), and re-write the record book (he threw his state-record 40th touchdown pass of the season in Tuesday's 21-0 win over Andover). But you best believe he is thanking his lucky stars for the exploits of Costello (20 touchdowns) and Asprilla. The Boston College-bound Asprilla, who lines up at both tailback and wide receiver, is one of the state's most dangerous threats in the short passing game, and known to rip off huge gains out of underneath routes. Prep, meanwhile, has rode a powerful ground game (what's new?) to victory, led by Coppola, who has nearly 450 yards on the ground in the last two games. The Eagles are anchored by a powerful line led by Cyr and Culkeen, while Bavaro has emerged as an intimidating presence over the middle on defense.
X-factor: The matchup of the Trinity-boud Cyr, one of the state's best o-linemen, versus Taylor, one of the state's best d-linemen, will be one of the most intriguing battles of the day. Both are built low to the ground, with an explosive first step, and you've got to wonder if one key block will spring either team to victory.

Barboza: A Prep win would be the fitting culmination to an emotional ride, but this has been the Crimson Tide's year. Everett, 27-21

Hall: This has been a remarkable run for the Prep, after all the program has been through these last two seasons, and they're winners in my book either way. I'm going with one of the unsung guys, Gilly DeSouza, to win it late with his feet for the Crimson Tide. Everett, 24-21.

Bridgewater-Raynham (10-2) vs. Gloucester (12-0), 8 p.m. at Gillette Stadium

B-R players to watch: QB/QB Billy Zolga, RB/LB Nick Schlatz, OL/DL Mike Devin, RB/LB Mike Chicoine, RB Brandon Morin.
Gloucester players to watch: TE/DE Chris Unis; RB/LB Gilbert Brown; FB/LB Jordan Shairs; OT/DE Andrew Mizzoni; C/NT Anthony Latassa.
The skinny: Do you like running the football? This game is for you. The Trojans and Fishermen do it better than just about anybody and certainly have the book on each other after facing off in last year’s Super Bowl. You’d be hard pressed to find a more consistent pair of backs than Gilbert Brown and Jordan Shairs of Gloucester. The Trojans ran behind Brandon Morin to a win over Weymouth in the semifinals after starting in place of injured tailback Nick Schlatz. It would give B-R a lift if Schlatz can recover from a shoulder injury sustained in a Thanksgiving Day win over Brockton
X-factor: Really it just comes down to which team blocks its assignments better. It’s simple as that.

Barboza: This might be the most difficult game to forecast, but I’m giving the edge to Gloucester’s experience. Gloucester, 16-14.

Hall: This might be the best matchup of the day. Power versus power, strength versus strength. Gloucester has more playmakers on the defensive side of the ball, but I like the way this B-R team has been running the ball this last month. Against Dan Buron’s wishes, of course, I’m picking the Trojans to avenge 2009 and put an end to the Fish's 25-game win streak. B-R, 17-14.

Mansfield (11-1) vs. Reading (12-0), 3:30 p.m., Gillette Stadium
Mansfield players to watch:
RB Jamel Marshall, QB George Busharis, WR Blayne Taylor, OL/DL Sean Otto, OL/DL Kyle McGuire, OL/DL Anthony Todesco, WR Jeff Hill.
Reading players to watch: QB/DB Brian Bourque, OL/DL Jeff Covitz, OL/DL Anthony Fodera, RB Larry Gilligan, RB Zack Bates, WR Sean Gildea, WR Connor Sheehan.
The skinny: The defending Division 2 Super Bowl champ Rockets come into Saturday on a 25-game win streak, albeit by a thread after some late heroics from Bourque and Covitz allowed them to escape their home turf with a 15-14 thriller over Dracut. With Bourque spearheading a shotgun-oriented rushing attack, the Rockets have amassed 42 rushing touchdowns going into Saturday. The Hornets, meanwhile, are back at Gillette for the second time in three years thanks to a stalwart defense led by McGuire at defensive tackle, and the workhorse carrying load of Marshall. This Mansfield squad, known for its Wing-T, isn't afraid to pass the ball more than in years past, with the arm of Busharis. Taylor and Hill, the latter of whom caught three touchdowns in Tuesday's 28-0 shutout of Walpole, have emerged as downfield threats the last few weeks.
X-factor: Covitz, with his above-average leg strength and low center of gravity, has been the most irreplaceable guy on the offensive line, and is generally been a nuisance for opposing offensive linemen coming off the edge. With that in mind, picking up the blitz will be crucial for the Hornets.

Barboza: When it's on the line, Marshall is just too explosive. Mansfield, 17-14.

Hall: Stan Andre, the one who kicked off this whole win streak, was in the house Tuesday night to take in the Reading game. I'm sure he said something to them in the ecstatic locker room after the game, and I'm sure it's going to count late in the fourth quarter. Reading, 28-27.

Duxbury (12-0) vs. Concord-Carlisle (10-2), 1:30 p.m. at Gillette Stadium
Duxbury players to watch:
QB Matt O’Keefe, DB/QB Kane Haffey, OL/DL Brett Harasimowicz, TE/DE Don Webber, RB/DB Reilly Naton.
Concord-Carlisle players to watch: RB George Craan; QB Peter George; RB/LB Jabrail Coy; LB Evan Boynton.
The skinny: These are two very stingy defenses with the Green Dragons allowing just 10.8 points per game and the Patriots have surrendered a shade under 13 points per game. Make no mistake, these teams can also move the ball. Duxbury thrives with its complement of Kane Haffey and Matt O’Keefe at quarterback. Concord-Carlisle can always depend on George Craan and his 1,600-plus yards out of the backfield.
X-factor: The Patriots and their fans know what to expect out of Craan, but if sophomore Tim Badgley can repeat his five-carry, 109-yard performance from their semifinal against North Andover, C-C’s chances for victory would greatly improve.

Barboza: One last time, I’ll pull this one out. The “Double Dragons” of O’Keefe and Haffey will lead them to victory. Duxbury, 21-20

Hall: Yes, that’s right, I called Duxbury’s defense “Duxbury Swag District” yesterday on our podcast. I am tragically lame, and slightly out of control. Duxbury, 24-10

Beverly (6-6) vs. Somerset (12-0), 11 a.m. at Gillette Stadium
Somerset players to watch:
RB/LB Seth DeMello; RB/DB Jaron Spear; OT/DT Ian Levesque; RB/LB Alex Estrella; QB Adam Ledoux.
Beverly players to watch: RB/DB Brendan Flaherty, QB/DB Joe Wioncek, OL/DL George Kallas, RB/DB Nick Theriault, LB Mark Giles, OL/DL Andrew Cannata.
The skinny: Somerset’s 28-0 win over Dighton-Rehoboth in the semifinals was a prototypical Blue Raiders game. Both Seth DeMello and Jaron Spear finished with over 100 yards rushing as Somerset bled the clock dry in the second half. Meanwhile, Beverly – the official Cinderella squad of the 2010 playoffs — showed that they truly belonged with a 41-14 thrashing of Scituate. Will the Blue Raiders prevail and finish a perfect season? Or can the Panthers keep the magic alive? It’s the quintessential favorite vs. underdog.
X-factor: The teams’ lines. For Division 3 schools, both of these squads have good sized linemen. Six-foot-five, 315-pound lineman Ian Levesque is a mountain on the Blue Raider line, but is agile as well. George Kallas is an immovable object on the Panther line.

Barboza: Not only is the double wing difficult for any team to run, but the Blue Raiders have all the right elements to run it to its best. Somerset, 28-14

Hall: Clock strikes midnight on Beverly, as two wings are better than one. Somerset, 21-10

Holliston (11-1) vs. Cardinal Spellman (12-0), 9 a.m., Gillette Stadium
Holliston players to watch:
RB/LB Kevin Curry, QB Sean Mayo, TE/DE Ryan Barrett, RB/DB Jake Frechette, WR/DB Christian Baker, OL/LB Ethan Rayner, OL/DL Kevin Lamarcque.
Spellman players to watch: RB/DB Blaise Branch, FB/LB Jared Lordi, RB/DB Jordan Williams, QB Zac Cooney.
The skinny: The 11-1 Panthers come into Saturday averaging just a hair under 40 points a game, with Mayo as the triggerman. Even in limited playing time -- the Panthers often pulled their starters in the third or fourth quarter -- the dual-threat quarterback put up 1,723 yards through the air, with 21 touchdown passes to only five interceptions, and also added 456 yards and nine scores on the ground. Spellman, in its third year under Ron St. George, had a remarkable turnaround, going from 2-9 to undefeated and in its first Super Bowl since 1992. At the forefront of St. George's vaunted Wing-T scheme is the senior Branch, who leads Eastern Mass with 36 rushing touchdowns. But over the last few games, defenses have had to worry more and more about Lordi and Williams.
X-factor: The Bryant-bound Barrett, at 6-foot-5 and 233 pounds, was a matchup problem all year long in the Tri-Valley League. And while he's not putting up the most gaudy numbers at tight end and was used more as a blocking back, his combination of size, speed and athleticism demands airtight coverage from the linebackers and helps open up the Panthers' offense.

Barboza: Panthers' rallying cry: 'We Don't Get Fooled Again". Holliston, 31-24

Hall: The Panthers came to Gillette last December and got manhandled. Guarantee you that's been fresh on their minds this week, and for that I think they avoid the same early mistakes that doomed them in 2009. Holliston, 25-20

Shawsheen (10-1) vs. Blue Hills (10-1), 10 a.m., Curry College
Shawsheen players to watch: OL/DL David Summiel, QB Ryan Woolaver, RB Andrew Dascoli, WR Rob Greenwood.
Blue Hills players to watch: RB Vincent Burton, RB Isaiah Teixeira, OL/DL Jamarr Goff, QB John Curran
The skinny: Shawsheen, on the heels of a 21-0 shutout of Madison Park in Tuesday night’s playoffs, is on a roll defensively. The Rams haven’t allowed a point in 19 quarters, dating back to a 41-6 win over Lynn Tech on October 15. Dascoli is the Rams’ workhorse back, while Greeenwood is their top threat at receiver. The Warriors, rested from a bye on Tuesday night, are led by Vincent Burton and his Division 4-best 30 touchdowns.
X-factor: The 6-foot-5, 310-pound Summiel might be the biggest catalyst for this incredible Shawsheen run. Playing right offensive tackle and left defensive end, Summiel paved the way for 118 rushing yards from leading rusher Dascoli, and also preserved a fourth straight shutout.

Barboza: The week off will certainly benefit Blue Hills, but the Rams defense is stout. Shawsheen, 14-7

Hall: Logic says to go with Blue Hills, as they’ll be well-rested thanks to their bye. But this Shawsheen defense is an absolute wagon by Division 4 standards, and for that I’m giving them another shutout to finish off what’s been a remarkable run over the last six weeks. Shawsheen, 21-0

Brighton (9-2) vs. Northeast (10-2), 1 p.m. at Curry College

Brighton players to watch: RB/LB Andrew Maestre, RB Dwight Kennedy, QB Jonathan Marrero, OL/DL Patrick Jean, WR Olumide Olukoga.
Northeast players to watch: RB/DB Bobby Novello; RB/DB Mike Cross; OL/DE Ryan Adams; FB/DE Ian Bagby; TE/LB A.J. Ortiz.
The skinny: You'd be hard pressed to find a hotter defense in the state than the Golden Knights, who have now pitched six shutouts after a 42-0 blanking of Pope John Tuesday. Their next challenge lies in the Bengals. A Division 4-A Super Bowl participant last year, Brighton’s offense is led by running back Andrew Maestre and quarterback Jonathan Marrerro, each of whom ran for two touchdowns in their 36-13 win over West Bridgewater on Tuesday.
X-factor: Brighton wide receiver Olumide Olukoga is the favorite target of Marrerro, but he’s also dangerous in the return game. Olukoga had a 41-yard kickoff return to set up Maestre’s first touchdown of the game. At this stage, with two talented teams, special teams play always comes to bear.

Barboza: Can’t pick against the Northeast defense, but the Bengals will put some points on the board. Northeast, 23-17

Hall: I used to live in Brighton Centre, and my neighbors were awesome. Go grab a bite at Smoken’ Joe’s when you get a chance, and make sure you get the Kansas City Sticky. Brighton, 21-17.