Any remaining thoughts that Central Catholicís state semifinals win against No. 1 Everett was a fluke were silenced on Saturday as Central took down Xaverian to win the Div. 1 Super Bowl championship at Gillette Stadium, 34-17.
Running back DíAndre Drummond-Mayrie led the offensive assault for Central, rushing for 119 yards and three touchdowns, helping Central to their first Super Bowl title since winning back-to-back championships in 1997 and 1998. Quarterback Mike Milano threw for 81 yards with a touchdown and an interception.
Xaverian was led by wide receiver Andrew King, who hauled in 71 yards through air with a touchdown. Running back Noah Sorrento also ran for 48 yards and a touchdown.
Central got the scoring started when Milano hit Cam Manning for an 18-yard touchdown pass to give Central the 7-0 lead 5:40 into the first quarter. Blades Shields later blocked a Xaverian punt to set up Central on the Xaverian 24-yard line. Drummond-Mayrie ran in an 8-yard touchdown two plays later to give Central a 13-0 lead.
Xaverian couldnít get anything going offensively in the early goings and Central kept their 13-0 going into the second quarter.
Xaverian finally broke through in the second when Farrell led a long drive that ended in a Noah Sorrento 10-yard touchdown run to cut the deficit to 13-7 with 6:33 to play in the half. However, Central came right back down the field on the next drive, highlighted by a blazing 52-yard touchdown run by Drummond-Mayrie to put Central back up by 13.
Xaverian drove deep into Central territory in the final minute of the half, aided by a 14-yard unnecessary roughness penalty when Centralís Markus Edmonds tackled Farrell after he was out of bounds. Xaverian was able to capitalize with a field goal by Joe Gaziano to make it a 20-10 game heading into halftime.
After a three-and-out by Central to start the third quarter, Xaverian fumbled the ensuing punt, giving Central the ball right at the Xaverian 25-yard line. Central took advantage of the Xaverian miscue, with Drummond-Mayrie scoring his third touchdown of the game on a 13-yard run that put his team up 27-10. Xaverian drove deep into Central territory but could not convert and gave the ball back on downs with 1:44 remaining in the third quarter.
Central had the ball on their own 24 to start the fourth quarter, but Milano was picked off on the first play and Xaverian took over at the Central 22-yard line. Xaverian was able to capitalize on the first play when Farrell hit King with a 22-yard touchdown pass to make it a 27-17 game just 19 seconds into the fourth quarter.
Both offenses stalled for the next few minutes, as the next drive by each team resulted in a three-and-out. Central took over deep in their own territory with just over six minutes to play and used two big runs by Markus Edmunds to get onto Xaverianís side of the field with five minutes to play.
Central converted a 3d and 20 from the 46-yard line to get into the red zone. They ran the clock down to 2:31 remaining Ė forcing Xaverian to use all of their timeouts Ė then went for it on fourth down. Milano all but iced the game with a 20-yard touchdown pass to Cody Demers in which Demers made a sensational over-the-defender grab to give Central a 34-17 lead.
The Central defense made one last stop on the next drive when Michael Balsamo intercepted a pass from Farrell to secure the win.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org. 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 email@example.com. 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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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 email@example.com.