Boston High School: Nick McDaniels

No. 13 Xaverian throws Pioneers for first loss

October, 30, 2010
10/30/10
6:48
PM ET
SHREWSBURY, Mass. -– No. 2 St. John’s of Shrewsbury came into yesterday’s non-league game with No. 13 Xaverian averaging 41 points per game.

In the second half against the Hawks, though, the Pioneers didn’t manage a single point.

Spurred by that terrific defensive effort, Xaverian ended a two-game losing streak with a 20-16 win over the previously unbeaten Pioneers. The Hawks (6-2) now enter next week’s pivotal showdown with BC High with a little momentum.

"They've been scoring a lot of points, and I wasn't sure we'd be able to contain them as well as we did," Xaverian head coach Charlie Stevenson said.

"They’re a good football team," St. John’s (7-1) coach John Andreoli said. "We want to play these kind of games. They’re going to go down to the wire and they’re going to be the type of game where the littlest thing can have a huge impact."

St. John’s led, 16-13, at the half, before a Nick McDaniels interception set up a 5-yard touchdown run by Xaverian’s Joe Colton (111 yards rushing). Jules Murphy’s extra point completed the scoring, but not before the Hawks twice turned the Pioneers over on downs in Xaverian territory, once in the third and once in the fourth. The second came when Ryan Farrell and Chris Tamasi tackled Cal verbal commit Richard Rodgers (101 yards receiving, but just 17 in the second half) two yards shy of the first. The Pioneers never seriously threatened again.

Chris Calvanese threw for 148 yards and two scores for the Hawks, as he looked in the direction of receiver Mike Muir (96 yards on eight catches) early and often. John Warner and Muir caught first-half touchdowns from Calvanese.

Rodgers kicked a 37-yard field goal and caught a 27-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Dan Light (141 yards passing, 103 rushing). Light’s 1-yard sneak with four minutes left in the first half helped give the Pioneers a 16-7 lead before Calavanese’s toss to Muir made it 16-13 going into the break.

Here are a few quick thoughts from what was a terrific high school football game between two of the best in the state:
  • Stevenson has a lot of confidence in Calvanese, and the junior signal-caller rewarded him with a solid all-around effort on a windy day. Calvanese completed 13-of-21 passes with one interception on a ball that was overthrown. That set up the Rodgers 27-yard touchdown reception, but other than that, Calvanese made smart decisions with the ball and put it in tight spaces when need be. You can’t really coach poise, but Calvanese has it, as the St. John’s defense hurried him into some sticky situations and he didn’t blink.
  • Xaverian just might have the best secondary in the state. The Hawks made two interceptions and allowed just one touchdown through the air to an offense that has been putting up video-game numbers against everyone else on its schedule. The combination of Colton and McDaniels at the corners is superb, and safeties like Farrell, a junior, and Muir, make it so difficult to go over the top against this team. There were several times that Light had all day to throw, and he eventually just escaped the pocket and tried to pick up yards because there was no one open. Against a team with a set of receivers like St. John’s has, that’s quite an accomplishment.
  • Is there a more underrated player in Central Massachusetts than Pioneers’ senior John Vassar? Probably not. Vassar only carried the ball four times for 37 yards, but that’s not where his biggest impact on the game was. Vassar was everywhere on defense, just everywhere. He made two sacks and several other key tackles that prevented what would have been first downs. Listed at 5-feet, 10-inches tall and 200 pounds, Vassar is a thickly-built player who packs a wallop when he arrives at the ballcarrier. He may not be the most highly-recruited player, but wherever he plays at the next level, expect him to be a productive one. He’s just a pure, instinctive athlete who can do a lot of things well on a football field.
Xaverian (6-2) 7 6 7 0 -- 20
St. John's (S) (7-1) 9 7 0 0 -- 16


X - John Warner 9 pass from Chris Calvanese (Jules Murphy kick)

S - Richard Rodgers 27 FG

S - Rodgers 27 pass from Dan Light (kick failed)

S - Light 1 run (Rodgers kick)

X - Mike Muir 2 pass from Calvanese (kick failed)

X - Joe Colton 5 run (Murphy kick)

Everett now has Xaverian's number

October, 16, 2010
10/16/10
8:27
PM ET


WESTWOOD, Mass. – It wasn’t quite revenge. It was the next best thing.

“When they beat us 29-0, that was an embarrassing loss,” Everett’s Manny Asprilla said, looking back on last year’s thumping doled out by No. 1 Xaverian in the Eastern Mass Division I Super Bowl at Gillette Stadium.

“That stayed with us through the summer, throughout the offseason lifting, everything. When we came into the game, we wanted to put a lot of points on the board. We wanted to hold them to zero.”

During Saturday’s bout between old rivals at the Hawk Bowl, No. 2 Everett first did it by power, then by sheer athleticism.

A healthy dose of Vondell Langston’s runs, followed by the connection between quarterback Jonathan DiBiaso and receiver Manny Asprilla created an effective balance on offense. The Crimson Tide defense slowed the Hawks’ explosive running game, limiting Xaverian to just 83 yards on the ground.

It wasn’t quite the shutout win that Asprilla was looking for, but Everett’s 28-13 win certainly got the job done. And for the second time this season in the ESPN Boston Top 25 poll, No. 2 took out No. 1.

“I didn't have any worry about them being flat, because they’ve got to walk though that whole student body,” Crimson Tide head coach John DiBiaso described his team’s walk to the field past throngs of Xaverian supporters. “My kids are going crazy. That was the best thing they could’ve done.

DiBiaso continued: “Can they come to all our games and do that? I wasn't worried about them being emotional, again I was more concerned about them keeping focus and keeping poise and composure.”

Jonathan DiBiaso got things started for Everett (5-0) with a 3-yard touchdown run with 1:58 remaining in the first quarter. The swirling wind pushed the point-after try wide left for a 6-0 Crimson Tide lead.

Everett nearly struck again before the end of the first half. Gilly DeSouza’s attempt on what would have been a 33-yard field goal was blocked by Chris Tamasi with no time remaining.

Xaverian (5-1) had a new lease on life, returning to field in the second half as Joe Colton’s 30-yard kickoff return set up the Hawks with positive field position.

Eight plays later, head coach Charlie Stevenson went to the bag of tricks for the old Statue of Liberty play. Xaverian quarterback Chris Calvanese deftly sold the play, handing the ball off to Nick McDaniels on the end around for a 3-yard touchdown run. Jules Murphy knocked home the extra point for a 7-6 Hawks lead with 5:35 remaining in the third quarter.

Then, the floodgates opened in the fourth, led by Asprilla’s efforts on both sides of the ball.

“Manny [Asprilla], he’s a freak,” Langston said of his teammate.

Langston, who registered 13 carries for 47 yards, rumbled into the end zone on a 4-yard run to regain the lead for Everett. DiBiaso (12 of 21, 195 yards, TD) connected with Asprilla on the two-point attempt for a 14-7 lead.

After Ronnie Richard recovered a Xaverian fumble on the ensuing kickoff, DiBiaso hit Asprilla for a 17-yard touchdown pass with seven minutes to go.

When the Hawks got the ball back, Asprilla again proved why he’s headed to Boston College next fall. As Xaverian quarterback Chris Calvanese scrambled right, Asprilla snatched an interception near midfield and sprinted 47 yards for the touchdown, putting the game out of reach.

The Hawks added a touchdown with no time remaining when Calvanese connected with Mike Muir on an 18-yard score.

Everett 6 0 0 22 -- 28
Xaverian 0 0 7 6 -- 13


1st quarter
Everett Jonathan DiBiaso 3-yard run (kick failed)

3rd quarter
Xaverian Nicholas McDaniels 3-yard run (Jules Murphy kick)

4th quarter
Everett Vondell Langston 4-yard run (Manny Asprilla pass from DiBiaso)
Everett Manny Asprilla 17-yard pass from DiBiaso (Gilly DeSouza kick)
Everett Asprilla 47-yard interception return (DeSouza kick)
Xaverian Mike Muir 18-yard pass from Chris Calvanese

Calvanese buckles up, downs No. 1 Brockton

September, 25, 2010
9/25/10
8:05
PM ET


WESTWOOD, Mass. -- Tommy Jenkins had just dropped a golden touchdown opportunity on second down in the first overtime of his No. 2 Xaverian Hawks' battle with No. 1 Brockton. But his quarterback, junior Chris Calvanese, had enough faith to call his number again, rolling right and heaving a -- let's be fair here -- prayer to the back right corner of the end zone as he was being dropped in the FieldTurf.

The high and short ball, with plenty of air under it, somehow landed softly in Jenkins' hands in single-coverage. But not until he heard the roar of the capacity home crowd did Calvanese feel assured.

"That's how I knew it was a touchdown," the junior quarterback said of his throw. "I did not see...I saw one-on-one coverage, and Tommy Jenkins made a great play. I just threw it up there. It's just...unbelievable, just unbelievable."

And so, in his third start under center for the Hawks, Calvanese shook off a series of late cramps and delivered some late-game heroics, enough for his head coach Charlie Stevenson to call this afternoon's 23-20 double-overtime win over Brockton one of the greatest wins in school history.

"There's another kid who, under really difficult playing circumstances (temperatures touched 90 degrees), really sucked it up and played hard," Stevenson said of Calvanese, who finished with 125 yards passing and completed eight of his final nine passes. "He really gave us everything he had, so I can't ask for anything more, and that goes for our players and our team too."

Xaverian (3-0) now leads the all-time series over Brockton (2-1) by a margin of 14-13, dating back to 1988.

The game was far from over following Calvanese's strike. Joe Colton was railroaded square onto his back at the pylon by Miami-bound safety Albert Louis-Jean on the Hawks' failed point-after attempt (teams must go for two in overtime), and the Boxers fired right back with a six-yard scamper from Trevon Offley (19 carries, 117 yards, three touchdowns). But on the point after, Offley was stuffed short of the goal line by Zach Bartlett.

Zach Maiuri then picked off Brockton's Paul Mroz on the next possession, setting up Jules Murphy's game-winning field goal from 19 yards out. The home crowd went into a frenzy, and a handful of Hawks jumped up into the bleachers to join their fans.

And for good reason. The Hawks, defending Division 1 Super Bowl champs, will almost assuredly sit at No. 1 on our rankings come Monday.

"My hat goes off to Brockton, they really took it to us all day long," Stevenson said. "It's just one of those games that will go into Xaverian-Brockton history books as another one of those affairs, you know what I'm saying? Hopefully, we go and do it again in December with them."

With just over two minutes left in the game and Brockton clinging to a 14-7 lead -- not to mention, against a Xaverian defense that was without star linebacker Chris Tamasi (left leg) for all but 30 seconds of the fourth quarter -- Offley burst up the middle and shook three Xaverian defenders en route to a 34-yard scamper that put the Boxers at midfield. But the ensuing snap was fumbled, and Bartlett fell on it to give the Hawks the ball with 1:33 to go at their own 45.

Calvanese connected with Mike Muir -- who, just a few plays earlier, separated his shoulder and popped it back in -- on the first play of the drive for a 29-yard completion, stepping out of bounds at the right sideline. Calvanese went to Muir again on the next play, diving at the right sideline for eight yards, but the Hawks had to use a timeout as their quarterback was slow to get up following another leg cramp.

But the junior got on his feet, delivered a flare pass to Nick McDaniels that stopped the clock again. Following an eight-yard Joe Colton jet sweep that put the ball at the nine, Calvanese rolled right on first and goal, and found Muir just inside the right pylons for the game-tying score.

"He separates his shoulder, then comes into the football game and makes a catch like that to tie it up -- I mean, a separated shoulder, OK? Who says Xaverian guys aren't tough?" Stevenson laughed.

Brockton head coach Peter Colombo was visibly frustrated with his team's production down the final stretch of the fourth quarter -- "It's a fun game to play in, but not fun to lose like that," he said -- but offered nothing but the highest of praises for his workhorse back.

"He was tremendous, tremendous," Colombo said. "I've got to look at the film to see why he didn't get in on the two-point conversion, because I really thought we had them beat there, too. We just didn't put them away when we could have, and that's what's going to haunt me."

No. 2 Xaverian 23, No. 1 Brockton 20

B - 0 14 0 0 6 0 --- 20
X - 7 0 0 7 6 3 --- 23

X - Joe Colton 3 run (Jules Murphy kick)
B - Trevon Offley 12 run (Lucas Depina kick)
B - Offley 14 run (Depina kick)
X - Mike Muir 9 pass from Chris Calvanese (Murphy kick)
X - Tommy Jenkins 9 pass from Calvanese (rush failed)
B - Offley 6 run (rush failed)
X - Murphy 19 field goal

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