DANVERS -- St. John's Prep couldn't muster much of anything in the way of offense and a young Everett squad did enough to help the 11th-ranked Crimson Tide emerge with a 17-7 triumph at Cronin Stadium.
Manny Asprilla scored his second touchdown of the game -- this one a 4-yard jaunt -- on the first play of the fourth quarter to put the Tide out front by two scores. It seemed like an insurmountable margin for a Prep offense that couldn't get its option game going.
Sure enough, the Prep fumbled the ball away with less than five minutes to play on an errant option toss and Rodman Noel recovered at the Eagles 23.
In a microcosm of the game, the Tide marched to the Prep 3, but couldn't get into the end zone and simply settled for letting the clock run out in a rather anticlimactic nonleague clash.
But a win is a win for a rebuilding Tide squad, particularly after last year's upset win by the Prep in Everett.
We'll have highlights and postgame reaction a little later this afternoon. Stay tuned.
Final: Everett 17, Prep 7.
More to come.
Everett 17, SJP 7 (10:54, 4th)
On the first play of the fourth quarter, Manny Asprilla takes a pitch back for a 4-yard TD.
Playing it a little closer to the vest than previous years' teams, Everett still boasts a 10-7 advantage over a St. John's Prep squad struggling to generate offense at halftime here at Cronin Stadium.
Everett still has its hallmark big-play ability and Manuel Asprilla took the second play of the Tide's second drive (an inside reverse) 65 yards for the game's first score.
But when an Everett signature lengthy trek stalled inside the red zone later in the half, the Tide elected for the boot and freshman Gully DeSouza kicked a 20-yard field goal for a 10-0 advantage midway through the second quarter.
That seemed like it might be enough against a stagnant Prep offense.
St. John's Prep mustered (by our unofficial halftime tally) 71 yards of total offense in the first half, 48 of which came on a touchdown trot by George Sessoms, in which the bowling ball of a back spun through a pack of Everett tacklers en route to the end zone with three minutes to play in the second quarter.
The Prep took over on the Everett 37 with little less than a minute to play in the half after forcing a turnover on downs (a 4th-and-1 stop), but couldn't cash in (despite getting a receiver behind coverage on a wheel play on first down.
More to come in the second half.
HALFTIME: Everett 10, SJP 7
Tide turn the ball over on downs late in their own territory, but Prep can't turn it into points.
Everett 10, SJP 7 (3:00, 2nd)
George Sessons spins his way to through a 48-yard TD run. A jolt of momentum for the Prep, but the Eagles need a stop before the half.
Everett 10, SJP 0 (5:44, 2nd)
Gully DeSouza boots a 20-yard field goal for the Tide. An amazing grab by Matt Costello on the drive. Can't wait to provide the video.
END of 1st QUARTER: Everett 7, SJP 0
Fast-moving first quarter. Not a lot of offense from the Prep.
Everett 7, SJP 0 (0:59, 1st)
Manuel Asprilla takes an inside reverse 65 yards for the game's first score.
We're making the trek north to Danvers for two reasons today: 1) To watch 11th-ranked Everett visit St. John's Prep and 2) We hear the lines at the new Sonic in Peabody have finally calmed down and it's time to (finally) enjoy some chili cheese tater tots.
So stick with us throughout the afternoon for updates from today's nonleague clash (and to see if we wash it all down with an Oreo Sonic Blast).
More to come from Cronin Memorial Stadium around kickoff (1:30 p.m.)
Several reporters and editors contribute updates, news and analysis to the High School Sports Blog.
- Bob Holmes: A Reading resident (Go Rockets!) and Boston College graduate, Holmes is the Boston Globe High School Sports Editor. We remind you now that his weekly picks are often made in jest so everyone just calm down when he picks against Everett for 11 straight weeks. Contact him at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @GlobeHolmes.
- Craig Larson: A native of West Springfield (Leo Durocher anyone? Tim Daggett?) and Curry College graduate (a proud Colonel!), Larson is the sports editor for the Globe's regional sections: South, West and North, as well as a frequent contributor on the college beat. Abington to Xaverian: it all starts with the schools. Have a compelling story idea? Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @GlobeLars.
- Zuri Berry: Berry attended the same high school as sports legends O.J. Simpson and Joe DiMaggio. (Guess which one is his hero.) He's a South Boston resident (formerly of Eastie) and the editor of the High School Sports blog as well as the go-to-guy for everything high school sports on Boston.com. Contact him at email@example.com and follow him on Twitter @GlobeSchools for all of the latest updates.
Then there are our winter correspondents:
- Emily McCarthy | @EmilyMcCahthy | BPS correspondent
- Jake Fischer | @GlobeFischer | Boys basketball
- Michelle Fenelon | @michfenelon | Girls basketball
- Andrew MacDougall | @Andy_MacDougall | Boys hockey
- Liz Torres | @etorres446 | Girls hockey
To reach the high school sports department, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.