Boston High School: Zach Maiuri

Recap: No. 4 Xaverian 31, No. 14 Brockton 0

September, 24, 2011
9/24/11
7:27
PM ET
WESTWOOD, Mass. -- Over the years, Xaverian has won many games with field position and defense.

Saturday at the Hawk Bowl, the hosts dominated both facets of the game in the first half then turned on its offense for a 31-0 rout of Brockton.

No. 4 Xaverian started five first-half possessions on the Boxer side of the field and forced four turnovers - two fumble recoveries and two interceptions - to build a 17-0 halftime edge.

The Hawks have now won five straight in the storied series (leading 15-13 all-time), the longest win streak by either side since the Boxers took the first six when the rivalry was renewed in 1988. It also marked the program’s first shutout win over No. 14 Brockton and largest margin of victory.

Senior kicker Jules Murphy consistently pinned the Boxers back inside their own end and the defense took care of the rest. Brockton gained a total of 116 yards against the Xaverian first-team defense and ran a total of eight plays from scrimmage in Hawk territory.

The Xaverian (3-0) offense, which sputtered at times in the first half and struggled to gain 75 yards against an active Boxer front, found its rhythm in the second half and compiled 197 yards in the final 22 minutes. Senior quarterback Chris Calvanese completed 7-of-12 passes for 119 yards and a touchdown and the Hawks marched 93 yards on 17 plays entirely on the ground to finish off the scoring when Hunter Taute plowed in from a yard out with 2:55 to play.

This one wasn’t pretty for the Boxers (1-2), whose offense was shut out for the second time in three games. The last time Brockton has been shut out at least twice in the same season was 1969.

Some quick-hitters on Xaverian’s historical drubbing of the reeling Boxers:

MURPHY’S MUSCLE
The Hawks always seem to have good kickers and Murphy certainly can add his name to the list of scholarship-level boots that includes Jon Barker (Syracuse) and Paul Asack (Duke). You can make the case that Murphy was Xaverian’s MVP, although coach Charlie Stevenson gave the game ball to junior guard Ray Gobbi, who is from Brockton. Every single one of Murphy’s kickoffs either went inside the 5-yard line or the end zone. He had a 57-yard punt that helped set up Xaverian’s first touchdown, a drive that started on the Brockton 32. He was also perfect on four PATs and drilled a 38-yard field goal that may have been good from 50. On Xaverian’s final drive, Murphy kicked a 26-yarder but was roughed by a Brockton player and was groggy coming off the field. The Hawks, clearly enraged by the vicious hit on the defenseless player, sent their offense back on the field and went for the score, Taute’s 1-yard run. Murphy came back out, pounded out the PAT and then boomed the ensuing kickoff to the very back of the end zone, where Brockton’s Jesse Monteiro ran it out to the 15. That kickoff may have drawn the loudest ovation from the Hawk sideline.

DEFENSIVE DOMINANCE
Stevenson said after the game he isn’t quite satisfied with the offense yet, which struggled to move the ball in the first half before breaking out in the second. But he has to be impressed with where his defense is at the moment. Start with the defensive line, where junior tackle Maurice Hurst Jr. pretty much demands a double team and fellow tackle Kevin Painten and ends Matt Stapleton and Colby Enegren are no slouches. He recovered a fumble on one of two bad exchanges that he forces simply because he is so quick off the snap that it creates a panic-snap from the center. Then you have to account for middle linebacker Hunter Taute, a 6-foot-2, 235-pounder with great feet who is as comfortable in coverage as he is sticking running backs up the gut. And then you have an entirely-new secondary that hasn’t missed a beat despite losing UNH-offered safety Ryan Farrell to injury. Calvanese plays back there now and is doing an excellent job, but can you imagine how good this defense - which has given up 12 points in three games - would be if they had him? Scary. Seniors Zach Maiuri and Mike Warren are also playing terrific in that almost completely inexperienced defensive backfield and sophomore outside linebacker Shayne Kaminski already looks comfortable in a varsity uniform, making an interception in the first half.

SELF-INFLICTED WOUNDS
The Boxers looked bad Saturday, but there may be hope for the offense if the Boxers can cut out the turnovers. Ball security as a whole was woeful. An improvement in that area alone will do wonders for a unit that has not shown the big-play ability that the program is known for. The defense actually played well in the first half considering how badly its back was against the wall. Still, the overriding challenge for coach Peter Colombo is to somehow keep the morale on this team from falling apart. If this squad has any senior leadership it needs to step up now and keep this season, filled with so much promise in August, from falling apart before October, as the Boxers travel up to Danvers next week to face a just-as-desperate St. John’s Prep team.

Brockton (1-2) 0 0 0 0 - 0
Xaverian (0-3) 7 10 7 7 - 31




First Quarter
X - Zach Maiuri 4 run (Jules Murphy kick)

Second Quarter
X - Hunter Taute 3 run (Murphy kick)
X - Murphy 38 FG

Third Quarter
X - DJ Pagliuca 47 pass from Chris Calvanese (Murphy kick)

Fourth Quarter
X - Taute 1 run (Murphy kick)

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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