Boston High School: Khahleel Alcide

Recap: Leominster 33, Brockton 0

October, 29, 2011

BROCKTON, Mass. -– Leominster head coach David Palazzi really wanted his seniors to set their own history and make their own memories in the Brockton-Leominster annual non-league tilt.

Well, Palazzi’s historical wish was granted, and then some.

The Blue Devils blanked the Boxers 33-0 at Marciano Stadium for their fifth consecutive win on the season, and defeated Brockton for the first time since the 2006 season when Leominster escaped with a 26-15 win. The victory marks only the third time in 27 years that the Blue Devils upended the proud Boxers.

But even worse, the 33-point shutout is the worst shutout loss in Brockton football history dating back to a 53-0 shutdown to Weymouth in 1966.

“33-0, 3-0, 7-6, it doesn’t matter –- a loss is a loss and it got out of hand,” said Boxers head coach Peter Colombo. “I mean, we are still trying to win a game, but that is not the way we play football.”

After the teams exchanged pivotal first series from scrimmage, Leominster (5-3) took control and punched in two scores on the ground from fullback Cortez Ludden and two 20-yard passing touchdowns from the combination of wide out Kyle Sanders and quarterback Garrett DelleChiaie. A 64-yard interception from Geraldo Rivera sealed the deal to give the Blue Devils a comfortable 25-0 lead with just under four minutes left in the third quarter.

Leominster started the game from its own 24-yard line and decided to go for it on fourth-and-one after three short gains. Defensive end Khahleel Alcide filled the gap on the left side, and stuffed the Blue Devils’ Geraldo Rivera for no gain and the Boxers took over on Leominster’s 34-yard line.

“(Brockton) are a great program but obviously in the history of the Leominster-Brockton game -– I’d have to say it is a very big win for the city of Leominster and our program,” said Palazzi, who is also making his own history in his first year at the helm in place of the legendary John Dubzinski. “We’ve been on the short end of the stick here, but I shouldn’t have gone for it on fourth down. But the way our defense has been playing sometimes I get a little carried away.”

The Blue Devils were in a no-huddle, and Alcide’s simple stunt off the left put the Blue Devils on their heels. Brockton marched down to the five-yard line on nine plays but running back Josh Brewster was stopped for a two-yard loss on fourth-and-goal from the three-yard line and it set the tone the rest of the way.

“We held them on fourth down and then we had the drive and we were on the doorstep,” said Colombo. “To me that ended up being the game and (Leominster) come out of that sequence that they can play with Brockton. They played great football tonight and it’s very discouraging.”

This time Leominster broke inside the red zone only to have their own turnover on downs at the Brockton 13-yard line, but a quick three-and-out for the Boxers gave the Blue Devils great field position on the Boxers’ 40-yard line with 7:13 to play in the second quarter.

Ludden finished off the nine-play drive with a one-yard fullback dive to give the Blue Devils all they needed with 2:37 left in the first half.

But Brockton’s first of three turnovers on the night came at an inopportune time as Ludden fell on a fumble from the line of scrimmage and Leominster had the ball back at the Boxers’ 20-yard line with 1:28 left in the second quarter. Two plays later, DelleChiaie synched up with Sanders for the first of their two touchdowns through the air to give the Blue Devils a 13-0 lead at the break.

“Brockton plays a lot of man coverage and we run a lot of routes, yet Garrett throws a lot of balls, our receivers can catch, but it wasn’t easy believe me,” said Palazzi. “The (Brockton) guys were right on (Sanders) and Garrett made the throws. It looks good, it looks easy, but there are a lot of guys blocking up front.”

Said Colombo: “I felt it should have been one score each in the first half. I felt good about getting the ball in the second half even though it was two scores (down) I really felt like we could score twice in the (second) half.

But the Leominster defense, which has been up to the task all year, showed up big in the second half.

Ludden scored his second rushing touchdown after Brockton was forced to punt to put the Blue Devils up 19-0 with 4:04 left in the third quarter. Rivera made up for the fourth down failure by picking off a tipped ball from a Brockton receiver for a 64-yard interception return to give Leominster a 25-0 lead before the Boxers even blinked in the second half.

“Now we are chasing three, we are throwing it, and they get one popped up in the air and they take it to the house,” said Colombo. “In a typical high school game to come back from four (scores) isn’t going to happen. “

“That was a big interception by Rivera to really put us ahead 25-0 and our offense stepped up we did a lot of different things and a lot of different guys made contributions,” said Palazzi. “ Our o-line, I thought Garrett played a great game -- it was a team effort and it is something I’ve been stressing for the past two weeks and we really needed to put it together –- offense, defense, special teams – and we got it done tonight.”

On the next Brockton possession, Kevin O'Connor followed Rivera's lead and picked off another Boxers' pass in the secondary and crossed midfield to set up Sanders for another 20-yard score from DelleChiaie. O'Connor then got in on the scoring fun and hauled in the two-point conversion on a DelleChiaie toss to finalize the rout.

LEO (5-3) 0 13 20 0 --- 33
BRO (4-4) 0 0 0 0 --- 0

Second Quarter
Cortez Ludden 1 run (Luis Orellana kick)
Kyle Sanders 20 pass from Garrett DelleChaiaie (kick blocked)

Third Quarter
Ludden 6 run (pass failed)
Geraldo Rivera 64 interception return (run failed)
Sanders 20 pass from DelleChaiaie (Kevin O'Connor pass from DelleChaiaie).

Pugilistic Roberts integral to No. 5 Brockton

September, 3, 2011
It’s not often that a Brockton Boxer is literally a boxer.

Austin Roberts, though, a junior Swiss Army knife for the Division 1 powerhouse and No. 5 team in the state, actually puts on gloves and hits people when he’s not doing it in shoulder pads.

Roberts lives in East Bridgewater, but is able to attend Brockton because his father Ralph -- an assistant coach with the Boxers -- is a sophomore English teacher at the high school. He started boxing in his early teens at Eddie Bishop’s Gym in West Bridgewater.

“I’ve definitely became tougher because of boxing,” said the 5-foot-8, 175-pounder, who is 2-1 in three amateur bouts. “It’s an awesome experience sparring with people a lot better than me. It teaches you to remember to stay in the ring no matter how much you’re taking a beating. It made me a better foottball player in that sense.

“I love being an underdog. I’m, you know, a smaller person. I’m only 5-8. Going against taller people bigger people, you have to out-tough them every chance (you) get.”

“He loves it maybe moreso than I thought,” noted Ralph. “He does like getting in the ring with people.”

He got one such chance earlier than expected in 2009, when a suspension to starting quarterback Sam Previte forced the freshman, then only around 5-6 and 150 pounds, into action against Waltham on Thanksgiving and a date with unbeaten Xaverian in the Division 1 semifinals.

Against Waltham, Roberts completed 9-of-16 passes for 148 yards and a touchdown in an 18-11 win.

Facing unbeaten Xaverian the following Tuesday was a different animal. Still, the freshman didn’t go in to the situation intimidated.

“I was just thankful for the opportunity to get the experience as a freshman,” he said. “I was more excited than anything.”

When Xaverian took a 21-6 lead deep into the fourth quarter, the game looked finished.

But Roberts led the Boxers on a two-minute drill that culminated in a 28-yard strike over the middle to Dominique Williams, now a safety at Boston College. Williams ran in the two-point conversion out of the Wildcat and it was 21-14 with 1:28 to play.

The Boxers nearly recovered an onside kick, but Xaverian was able to hold off the comeback bid and eventually win the Super Bowl the following Saturday.

“Yeah, I mean I’ve thought about that (onside kick) over and over thinking what could have happened,” Roberts said.

By the time his sophomore year rolled around, Roberts was first on the depth chart at quarterback before Paul Mroz eventually overtook him. However, that didn’t keep Roberts off the field. His strength as a quarterback to this point in his career has been running the option, so he did that in spots and also held for extra points as well as other various special teams duties.

“Obviously I was a little disappointed that I wasn’t able to get the starting job,” Roberts said. “But I was contributing and I wanted to have a good attitude by just getting better and waiting my chance.”

This season, those chances are abundant. While he still comes in and runs the option, he also starts at outside linebacker and slot receiver and rarely comes off the field.

“Auggie comes in and immediately runs the option as well as any high school quarterback I’ve seen,” said coach Peter Colombo. “That’s good to know we have that. He’s also playing on defense, playing at wide receiver, showing his versatility.

“Guys that play multiple positions are intelligent players and they wouldn’t be able to do that without that and I think it showed on defense; he’s just always around the ball. If the ball hits him in the hands, it’s going to be our football.”

“As a freshman and sophomore game the game was very fast,” Roberts said. “This year we’re able to get to the plays faster. I know the plays a lot better. I also got work last year at the J.V. level and now I can crank it up to the next level to varsity.”

So far, the whole defense has cranked it up to another level in that respect.

“(The defense is) tougher than last year,” Roberts said. “We had to be. We’re smarter, too. We’ve got a lot of smart kids on the field. I don’t know. We’ve got to clean it up before (the BC High) game. I think we know we’ve got work to do.”

Sounds like he’s ready to rumble.

Coach: Peter Colombo (9th season, 72-23-1)
Last year: 8-3
Key returnees: Paul Mroz, QB, 6-2, 195, Sr. (64-of-130 passing for 1,322 yards, 12 TD, 7 INT, 398 yards rushing on 59 carries, 6.75 yards per carry, 8 TD); Josh Brewster, RB, 5-9, 175, Sr. (177 yards on 34 carries, 5.21 ypc); Dino Hyppolite, DT, 6-0, 250, Sr. (30 tackles, 1 sack, 2 fumble recoveries); Jesse Monteiro, WR/CB, 5-8, 170, Sr. (16 catches for 271 yards); Lucas Depina, WR/K/P, 6-2, 180, Sr. (4 catches, 162 yards, 3 TD); Khahleell Alcide, LG, 6-0, 220, Sr.; Jerrod Shelby, WR/TE/OLB, 6-4, 190, Sr.; Devante Cartwright, CB, 5-9, 170, Sr.; D.J. Brown, DB, 6-0, 190, Sr.; Austin Roberts, OLB/QB/WR, 5-8, 175, Jr.; Ryan Kelley, ILB, 6-2, 210, Jr.; Joe Previte, OT/DT, 6-2, 260, Jr.; Anthony Davis, G/DE, 6-0, 250, Jr.; Micah Morel, S/QB, 5-11, 175, Jr.; Moise Eduard, OLB/RB, 5-8, 225, Jr.
Strengths: Quarterback, speed, offense, young talent.
Weaknesses: Inexperience on defense, pass rush.
Outlook: Offensively, the Boxers have the potential to be better than a year ago despite losing speedy wideout Albert Louis-Jean (Boston College) and shifty running back Trevon Offley (Suffield Academy). Mroz, with a year of experience under his belt and a deep group of weapons to spread the ball around to in Brewster, Depina, Monteiro, Depina and Cartwright. Brewster will get to run behind an offensive line that includes three three-year starters in Alcide, Previte and Davis. The defense has strength on the defensive line but has lacks a pure pass rusher off the edge. The linebackers are sure tacklers and the secondary has excellent corners and a safety in Morel that is already drawing FBS interest despite not having started a single varsity game yet. The schedule offers no favors with BC High, Xaverian and St. John’s Prep in the first four weeks. If the Boxers survive that stretch relatively unscathed, there is nothing holding them back from their first appearance at Gillette Stadium since 2008.