The event, prior to Saturday’s six MIAA Super Bowls at Gillette, included a breakfast and tour of the stadium. The players also got the chance to listen to Patriots owner Robert Kraft speak during the breakfast portion.
Players and coaches from Everett, Barnstable, Beverly, Natick, Lynnfield, Bishop Feehan, Boston Cathedral, Madison Park, South Hadley, Wahconah, Nashoba, and Shepherd Hill all attended
The biggest game that will be held in Foxborough on Saturday (1:30 p.m.) is the Division 1A rematch between No. 1-ranked Barnstable (11-0) and No. 2 Everett (10-1), which is looking for its third straight Super Bowl title.
Barnstable handed Everett its only loss on Sept. 28, in a rain-soaked, 13-7, double-overtime thriller.
Everett has been waiting for its chance to get “revenge” all season, but Barnstable is ready with motivation of its own.
“It’s tough not to be motivated this time of year,” said Barnstable head coach Chris Whidden. “We’re both playing to win a Super Bowl and our kids are focused and ready just as they are. Whether there’s a revenge factor or not, there’s motivation to play the best and beat the best.”
Everett defensive end Jeff Solouque, who was out with an injury during the first matchup, is excited to get the chance to face Barnstable with his team at full strength.
“This time is new. It’s not gonna rain, there’s no obstacles in the way,” said Solouque. “We took time off and got ready during Thanksgiving, we watched a lot of tape to prepare for this game. Who’s ever more physical wins the game.”
Beverly (12-0) will take on Natick (11-1) in the Division 2A Super Bowl (3:30 p.m.). It will be a matchup between two potent offenses with both the Panthers (36.9) and Redhawks (32.8) - led by quarterback Troy Flutie - averaging over 30 points per game.
Redhawks head coach Mike Mortarelli said his team has to find a way to shut down Beverly’s rushing attack, led by senior Brendan Flaherty.
“They have a great rushing attack,” he said. “So we’re gonna have to be on top of our game tackling. They have a great offense and are well-coached so we’re gonna have to play perfect. They’re undefeated for a reason.”
Flaherty and his teammates are looking to make the most of the opportunity that they have to try and win their second Super Bowl in three years.
“It’s bringing back some memories walking through that tunnel,” said Flaherty. “We just have to make the most of this opportunity. We know they’re good players. We respect their team a lot. We just have to do what we do and everyone do their job and hopefully we make the most of it and play well.
Natick’s senior running back Nick Lee said “Ball-Gate” -- Natick was discovered using an unauthorized ball in the semifinals -- has been a distraction. Natick's victory was upheld because Natick asked a game official for permission to use the ball and received approval.
“But it’s definitely motivation, too, with people saying that we shouldn’t be here. We’re gonna come out fired up,” Lee said.
The one constant storyline at Gillette Stadium on Thursday was how grateful the teams were to be able to take part in the championship breakfast and tour the stadium.
“This is unbelievable,” said Cathedral coach Duane Sigsbury, whose team will take on Madison Park in the Division 4A Super Bowl at 9 a.m. “It’s just a great experience. For the kids to be here at Gillette Stadium is beyond words. We’re looking forward to Saturday.”
Whidden agreed: “It’s fun to be a part of it. I’m proud to be associated with this team. It’s fun for [the players] to have this whole experience and see Bob Kraft come down and talk to them. It’s definitely a privilege and not an opportunity that comes around all the time.”
Following are the proposed alignments for the new state-wide playoff system. Schools can appeal their placement. If approved, it would start in 2013.
Division 1 North
3. St. John’s Prep
4. Acton Boxboro
12. Central Catholic
Division 1 South
2. BC High
3. New Bedford
6. Newton North
10. Bridgewater- Raynham
12. Catholic Memorial
Division 2 North
3. Newton South
4. Westford Academy
6. Lynn English
9. Lynn Classical
10. North Andover
11. Malden Catholic
In response to inquiries regarding Saturday's Division 4A Super Bowl between Cathedral and Blue Hills in which Cathedral quarterback Matthew Owens was flagged for unsportsmanlike conduct for raising his hand during a would-be touchdown run, the MIAA released this statement:
The official involved reported he had determined a violation of NCAA Football Rules and Interpretations of Rule 9, Section 2 covering Unsportsmanlike Conduct Section A. He called the violation and assessed the penalty.
There is no provision in MIAA rules (or rules for any other sport at any other level) to overturn an official’s call after a game has been concluded. Once the final whistle is sounded the game is over. (Reference – MIAA Handbook Rule #17, Page 24) The Cathedral coach chose not to protest the call when it was made.
At the start of the season the MIAA and football officials took comprehensive measures to ensure that everyone understood this rule. In fact, the officials at this game reminded the captains and coaches that there would be zero tolerance for any unsportsmanlike actions. Likewise, this message was communicated in the pre-playoff game administrative meeting, as well as the MIAA’s Super Bowl Breakfast with coaches and captains.
Anyone may parse the language of rules and apply them as they see fit. Contest officials must familiarize themselves with the rules, both the letter and the sprit, and bring their judgment to bear in calling the game. Per the Points of Emphasis in the NCAA Rulebook: “When an official imposes a penalty or makes a decision he is simply doing his duty as he sees it. He is on the field to uphold the integrity of the game of football, and his decisions are final and conclusive and should be accepted by players and coaches.”
The MIAA Philosophy reflects that high school students who participate in educational athletics learn many things from that experience including lessons that will be helpful as they go forward in life. While we hope and wish they would all be from positive experiences, sometimes that is not the case.
Losing a game or having an official’s call go against you or your team are all part of sports. Just like athletes and coaches, officials try hard to do the best job possible. Athletes must learn to put these things behind them and move forward. During their lifetime they will experience similar situations where they feel “wronged” by a superior or authority figure and they must learn to deal with that situation.
Finally, we would hope that in peoples’ reaction to this situation they would consider the students and coaches at Blue Hills Regional Vocational Technical School who feel their properly won championship is being tarnished and discredited.
We're a few days away from Saturday's Super Bowls which capped the end of the high school football season, but there's no better time then now to look back at the games, the season and even look forward a bit.
In the latest episode of The Huddle, we take a look at Cathedral's unsportsmanlike conduct penalty in the Division 4A Super Bowl, go over BC High's Division 1 win, discuss Everett post-Jonathan DiBiaso and take a look at some of the best Super Saturday performances, including Mashpee's Jared Taylor's 306-yard performance.
At issue is a rule used by the Massachusetts Interscholastic Athletic Association that requires an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty to be enforced at the spot of the foul, which in Cathedral's case negated a touchdown. As quarterback Matt Owens ran toward the end zone on an apparent 56-yard touchdown run with a little more than six minutes to play, he raised his left arm in celebration.
He was flagged for unsportsmanlike conduct for taunting, and Cathedral got the ball at the 24-yard line. On the next play, Blue Hills intercepted a pass by Owens. At the time the penalty was called, Blue Hills led 16-12. Cathedral was unable to score on subsequent possessions, although it did add two points on a safety with four minutes left.
The rule and its enforcement has become a hot topic. Some believe it was too harsh a penalty for a singular moment of exuberance by a high school player. Others believe the rules must be enforced, regardless of the circumstance.
The college football officiating guidelines, which are used by the MIAA, state, "If the ball is alive when the player makes a taunting gesture, then the penalty is enforced at the spot of the foul - and the key outcome: no touchdown."
Watch the video above, and cast your vote in our survey:
Lorenzo Recupero contributed to this report
UPDATE: 1:43 p.m. -- Read the rules on unsportsmanlike conduct here.
ARTICLE 1. There shall be no unsportsmanlike conduct or any act that interferes with orderly game administration on the part of players, substitutes, coaches, authorized attendants or any other persons subject to the rules, before the game, during the game or between periods. Infractions for these acts by players are administered as either live-ball or dead-ball fouls depending on when they occur.
a. Specifically prohibited acts and conduct include:
1. No player, substitute, coach or other person subject to the rules shall use abusive, threatening or obscene language or gestures, or engage in such acts that provoke ill will or are demeaning to an opponent, to game officials or to the image of the game, including but not limited to:
(a) Pointing the finger(s), hand(s), arm(s) or ball at an opponent, or imitating the slashing of the throat.
(b) Taunting, baiting or ridiculing an opponent verbally.
(c) Inciting an opponent or spectators in any other way, such as simulating the firing of a weapon or placing a hand by the ear to request recognition.
(d) Any delayed, excessive, prolonged or choreographed act by which a player (or players) attempts to focus attention upon himself (or themselves).
(e) An unopposed ball carrier obviously altering stride as he approaches the opponent’s goal line or diving into the end zone.
(f) Removal of a player’s helmet before he is in the team area (Exceptions: Team, media or injury timeouts; equipment adjustment; through play; between periods; and during a measurement for a first down).
(g) Punching one’s own chest or crossing one’s arms in front of the chest while standing over a prone player.
(h) Going into the stands to interact with spectators, or bowing at the waist after a good play.
The sights and sounds of Super Bowl Saturday at Gillette Stadium, marking the end of the high school football season.
WALTHAM -- Jackarrie Washington’s interception late in the fourth quarter locked up the Division 1A championship for Everett. The Crimson Tide took down their final challenger Lincoln-Sudbury 36-13 at Bentley University last night for their second straight Super Bowl win.
"This year, it's a little harder when you have a bull's-eye on your back," said head coach John DiBiaso. "The expectations were through the roof and the kids met every challenge along the way. Every obstacle we faced, we overcame."
Everett received the ball to open the game but couldn’t go the distance. Lincoln-Sudbury’s defense came ready to play, delivering a sack to quarterback Jonathan DiBiaso (11 of 20 for 96 yards) and forcing the Crimson Tide to punt on their fist drive.
On their second possession, Everett took the ball 98 yards in just 1:15 for their first touchdown. Pinned at their own 2-yard line, DiBiaso found a seam around the left side for a 26-yard run. On the next play, Everett running back Vondell Langston went 62 yards to the 12-yard line. Despite a 5-yard penalty, the Crimson Tide completed the scoring drive on a 1-yard carry up the middle by DiBiaso.
Everett’s defense forced the Warriors to punt again beginning their next scoring drive on their own 44-tard line. Everett covered the 56 yards on nine plays to go up 14-0 in the second quarter. Langston had a 2-yard carry for the touchdown.
Lincoln-Sudbury struck back, scoring on an interception on Everett’s next drive. A low pass, intended for Washington was deflected right into the hands of sophomore Connor Young took it 61 yards for the Warrior’s first touchdown.
Everett’s Jalen Felix blocked the point after attempt then followed it up with a 57-yard kick return to the Warrior’s 26-yard line.
A late hit by the L-S defense on DiBiaso put the Tide at the 12-yard line. Felix added a 5-yard carry and eventually finished what he started with a 1-yard touchdown run to put his team up 21-6 before halftime.
L-S stumped Evertt in the third quarter. They reached the endzone for the seond and last time to close the gap to 21-13. Quarterback Matt Cahill capped a 64-yard drive on a 14-yard pass to tight end Jack Harris as time expired on the clock.
But the fourth quarter was all Crimson. On the third snap, Washington broke 63 yards down the right sideline, dropping defender Henry Guild at the 10-yard line on with a quick stutter step before running it in for the touchdown. Joey White punched in the 2-point conversion and Everett went up 29-13.
After Everett recovered a fumbled punt on the Warrior’s 20-yard line, DiBiaso sealed the win with a 5-yard touchdown run. The books have closed on DiBiaso’s record-breaking season. His 44 touchdown passes broke his own single season record of 43 from last year. He ends his career with a phenomenal 103 career passes.
"I'm very proud of him," said center Nick Stanfield who snapped the ball to DiBiaso all season long. "I've known him since I was seven years old. I've played football with him pretty much all of my life."
The team gathered at midfield after the game for a team prayer. It was an emotional ending to Everett's season.
"I couldn't be prouder and I couldn't be happier for a group of kids than I am of these kids right now," said John DiBiaso.
FOXBOROUGH – After the Needham Rockets opened the game with a successful onside kick and a touchdown, it appeared as if the Bay State conference champions were going to give BC High a battle.
But it was the Eagles’ game from there, as they racked up three straight scores to beat Needham 21-7 and capture the Division 1 Super Bowl title.
Senior running back Deontae Ramey-Doe powered BC High (10-3), rushing for 200 yards and three touchdowns. BC High finished with 360 yards total, 300 of which came from the rushing attack.
“When I first stepped in [to Gillette], it was huge I was really nervous,” Ramey-Doe said. “I’ve never been on a bigger stage. My mindset was to run as hard as I could and trust the linemen, and everything would be there.”
After Ramey-Doe’s third score, the Rockets were forced to play catch-up. But the Eagles defense, which finished the season averaging 13.3 points per game, refused to break.
Needham (9-4) had the ball on its own 43-yard line and trailed BC High 21-7 with 3:20 left in the game, and the Rockets needed to score fast.
Sophomore quarterback Ryan Charter got his team to BC High’s 22-yard line, but he threw his fourth interception of the game at the 8-yard line.
“We thought they were going to throw the ball more today with our run defense,” BC High coach Jon Bartlett said. “Their sophomore quarterback had a good game today, but our defense came up with some big turnovers.”
Needham had another chance to make it a one-possession game after Ramey-Doe fumbled on the 45-yard line with 6:06 remaining in the game, but senior running back Mike Vespa was stuffed on fourth-and-two.
BC High’s defense gave up just 85 yards in the first half, and looked even sharper after the break as they grabbed three interceptions.
“A couple of them could have been caught, but BC High’s defense is one of the best in the state,” Needham coach Dave Duffy said. “We had our opportunities, but give them credit, they’re a great football team and deserve to be Division 1 state football champs.
On the Rockets third play to start the half, BC High senior Yosa Nosamiefan tipped a pass from Charter, and senior Gordon McLeod made a diving catch for the interception.
The Eagles used 13 plays to go 75 yards and erased 6:40 off the clock, as Ramey-Doe finished the drive with a 1-yard score.
In the first half, the Eagles used two runs from Ramey-Doe to take a 14-7 lead on the Rockets at the break.
Vespa capped the Rockets’ opening drive with a 5-yard touchdown reception, but Ramey-Doe answered Needham’s touchdown with a 5-yard score of his own, then in the second quarter he broke loose for a 91-yard score.
The Rockets punted to the Eagles 9-yard line, but Ramey-Doe ran behind the blocking of senior Jameson McShea and got a crushing block from wide receiver John Arens.
“We were just keeping our composure, we knew big plays were going to happen,” Ramey-Doe said. “We knew sometimes we were going to be in holes, but we just had to dig ourselves out of it.”
The win is BC High’s second title in three years, as they beat Brockton in 2008.
“It’s been what I’ve [been] waiting for my whole life,” senior quarterback Bartley Regan said. “Our defense has been phenomenal all year, and Deontae did a great job and stepped in when Preston [Cooper] went down. But you got to give credit to the O-line, they made every hole open and it came down to them.”
FOXBOROUGH -- Behind a career defining rushing day for Jared Taylor, Mashpee routed Cardinal Spellman in the Division 4 Super Bowl 34-8.
"Amazing," said Mashpee's usual primary back Jordan Keli'inui. "I'm a senior, playing my last game, won my last game, which was the Super Bowl, and I'm standing on the 50 yard line at Gillette. Amazing."
Mashpee received the second half kick off and the Cardinal Spellman crowd was introduced to Jarod Taylor who was front and center under the bright lights of Gillette Stadium.
Taylor, who had a productive first half collecting 71 yards on the ground, ran off on the first play of the second half 58 yards and went on to steal the show, finishing with 306 yards and three touchdowns on 26 carries, a school record.
Rush after rush Taylor shredded the Cardinal defense, whether it was up the middle or to the outside.
"He was awesome," Keli'inui said. "I'd like to think I groomed him a little, but he killed it tonight."
Later in the third quarter, Taylor took a hand off 54 yards up the sideline, pushing the score to 28-0 and leaving no doubt who would be the victor. Taylor's third quarter total was nine carries for 209 yards and a pair of touchdowns.
"It was fun blocking for someone that performs like that," said Graham Kilpatrick. "He straight beasted tonight. For the people who don't think there's talent in the Cape, think again."
The Eastern Massachusetts high school football season is over, and Everett, BC High, Mashpee, Duxbury, Dennis-Yarmouth, Concord-Carlisle, Blue Hills, Bourne and Nantucket are the champs of the nine divisions.
Four of the EMass games were played at Gillette Stadium. Details of each EMass game are below, plus the Central and Western Mass. games played at Gillette.
BC High 21, Needham 7
Deontae Ramey-Doe scored three touchdowns as BC High claimed the Division 1 Super Bowl at Gillette Stadium. Ramey-Doe (24 carries, 200 yards) plunged 2 yards for his third touchdown to increase BC High's lead in the third quarter. He also had a 91-yard touchdown run in the second quarter and a 5-yard TD run in the first. A 5-yard TD pass to Mike Vespa put Needham on the board first.
Everett 36, Lincoln-Sudbury 13
Jonathan DiBiaso scored on touchdown runs of five and one yard to lead Everett as it capped a perfect season at 13-0. Jakarrie Washington, Vondell Langston and Jalen Felix also had TD runs for Everett. Lincoln-Sudbury scored on a 14-yard TD pass from Matt Cahill to Will Twyman as time expired in the third quarter, and on Connor Young's 61-yard interception return following a deflected pass.
Duxbury 35, Tewksbury 0
Matt O'Keefe threw three touchdown passes and Jon Hurvitz ran for two scores as Duxbury won its second straight Super Bowl. James Burke (27 yards), Don Webber (8) Reilly Naton (36) caught touchdown passes. Duxbury ended its season 13-0.
Dennis-Yarmouth 35, Wakefield 0
Matt Montalto scored on a 3-yard run and a 1-yard run and threw touchdown passes to Damion Johnson (19 yards) and Dylan Hodsdon (8 and 20 yards) to win the Division 2A Super Bowl at Manning Field in Lynn. Johnson had five catches 109 yards.
"My dream was to win the game, but it was great to put up a performance like that," Montalto said. "Dreams come true I guess."
Concord-Carlisle 42, Oliver Ames 9
George Craan had 18 carries for 122 yards and three touchdowns, and Henry Bumpus caught a pair of touchdown passes to lift Concord-Carlise to the Division 3 title at Gillette Stadium. Tyquan Culbreath added a 35-yard touchdown run for C-C. Sam Langston scored on a 3-yard TD run for Oliver Ames, and Ryan McGrath kicked a 26-yard field. Full game story
Bourne 16, Hamilton-Wenham 14:
Jason Moriarty's 10-yard touchdown pass to Nick Pereira in the third quarter gave Bourne a victory in the Division 3A Super Bowl at Manning Field in Lynn. Joe Epps scored on a sweep right to put Bourne on the board in the first quarter. Elliott Burr scored for H-W on a 1-yard run in the second quarter, and then, after H-W recovered a fumble, Trevor Lyons threw a 44-yard touchdown pass to Matt Putur to put H-W on top at the time.
Mashpee 34, Cardinal Spellman 8
Jared Taylor ran for 306 yards and three touchdowns as Mashpee turned a close first-half defensive battle into a blowout in the Division 4 Super Bowl at Gillette Stadium. Taylor had TD runs of 10, 54 and 58 yards. Zak Orcutt hit Kyle Murray on a 14-yard touchdown pass, and Orcutt caught a TD pass from Cody Bingham-Hendricks on the final play of the first half to put Mashpee on the board first. Both teams entered the game unbeaten. Mashpee finished 13-0, Spellman 12-1. Pat Hinkley scored Spellman's touchdown on an 18-yard run with 38 seconds left.
Blue Hills 16, Cathedral 14
John Curran threw a 45-yard TD pass to Isaiah Teixera and Vincent Burton ran for a 1-yard TD to lead Blue Hills at Bentley University. Matt Owens threw a 44-yard TD pass to Carlos Bermudez, and Owens added a 4-yard TD rush with 22 seconds left before halftime for Cathedral. Full game story
Nantucket 35, Latin Academy 7
Taylor Hughes rushed for two touchdowns, and Codie Perry, Zachary Moran and Andrew Benson added touchdowns as Nantucket won the Division 5 Super Bowl at Taunton High. Ernest Kellough provided Latin Academy's only points on a two-yard run. It was Nantucket's first Super Bowl title since 1998.
Central Mass. Division 1
Leominster 21, St. John's 6:
Garrett DelleChiaie hit 11 of 16 pass attempts for 156 yards and a touchdown as Leominster won the Central Mass. D1 title at Gillette Stadium. Geraldo Rivera ran 14 yards for a touchdown, Daniel Curley caught a 4-yard TD pass from DelleChiaie on 4th-and-goal with 6 seconds before halftime, and Neil O'Connor caught a 44-yard touchdown pass from his brother, Kevin for Leominster. Efrain Montalvo caught a 17-yard TD pass to put St. John's on the board.
Western Mass. Division 1
Longmeadow 35, Springfield Central 7
Frankie Elder and Terry Norris scored two touchdowns each to give Longmeadow the Western Mass. Division 1 title at Gillette Stadium. Dylan Kelleher scored on a 40-yard pass play early in the second half for Longmeadow. Sacoy Malone's 24-yard TD reception put SC on the board just before halftime.
Second-ranked Duxbury used its potent offense to overpower everyone in its path and roll to its second straight undefeated season. Tewksbury edged its way into the playoffs on what some believe to be a flawed point system.
And even though both teams took the field at Gillette Stadium knowing that their methods of arrival were irrelevant, that their season would be defined in 40 minutes, the Dragons took the opportunity to show Tewksbury firsthand why they have not lost a game since 2009.
Duxbury crushed Tewksbury, 35-0, to take home the Division 2 Super Bowl and extend its winning-streak to 26 games, the longest in the state.
“We’ve worked so hard to get where we’re at, this is no coincidence,” quarterback Matt O’Keefe said. “It’s a dream come true for all of us to do this, I couldn’t be more proud of the boys.”
The Dragons (13-0) exploded for 21 points in the second quarter, while holding Tewksbury (7-6) to just 12 yards of total offense in the first half, and took a 28-0 cushion into the break.
Jon Hurvitz (7 carries, 75 yards) opened the scoring for Duxbury with a 1-yard touchdown run with 4:18 remaining in the first quarter. He added another from 2-yards out in the second, and O’Keefe (8-for-18 passing, 135 yards) connected with Reilly Naton (3 catches, 74 yards) and Don Webber (3 catches, 28 yards) to pull away before the half.
O’Keefe hit James Burke for a 27-yard score in the fourth to provide the final margin.
“I couldn’t be happier right now,” O’Keefe said. “I’m speechless.”
WALTHAM -- Sprinting untouched from 56-yards out -- with nothing but green turf between him and the end zone -- Cathedral quarterback Matthew Owens, with the ball tucked in his left arm, raised his clenched right hand to signify a lead-grabbing touchdown with just minutes to go in the Division 4A Super Bowl.
Excitement or unsportsmanlike conduct?
The call was unsportsmanlike conduct. The consequence was a 56-yard, possible game-winning touchdown negated. Instead of an 18-16 Cathedral lead with a little more than six minutes to play, the Panthers were forced to take the ball from the spot of the foul at Blue Hills' 24-yard line. On the next play, a visibly upset Owens threw an interception which all but sealed the win for Blue Hills.
Blue Hills went on to win 16-14.
"In the game being played, we won the game," said Cathedral coach Duane Sigsbury, who couldn’t believe his teams previously undefeated season came down to that one penalty called against Owens. "Give Blue Hills a lot of credit they are a great football team, but we deserve better. The game got taken away from us. If you're going to take a game away from a kid being excited because he just made the play of his life, shame on you."
Blue Hills's John Curran threw a 45-yard TD pass to Isaiah Teixera and Vincent Burton ran for a 1-yard TD in the win.
FOXBOROUGH – Concord-Carlisle’s loss to Duxbury in last year’s Division 2A Super Bowl was a disappointing end to an otherwise successful season.
This season, the Patriots put an exclamation on a perfect season.
No. 6 Concord-Carlisle defeated Oliver Ames 42-9 in Saturday’s Division 3 Super Bowl at Gillette Stadium, completing a perfect 13-0 season for the Dual County Small champions.
“Today was just a great fulfillment of a long process,” Concord-Carlisle coach Mike Robichaud said.
After the Tigers kicked a field goal to make it 7-3 in the first quarter, the Patriots ran off 35 consecutive points to put the game away. George Craan tallied 122 yards on 18 carries and found the end zone on runs of 4, 9 and 12 yards. The senior was complimented by backfield mates Tyquan Culbreath (10 carries, 81 yards, 1 TD) and Tim Badgley (6 carries, 91 yards) as the Patriots racked up 298 yards on the ground.
Senior Henry Bumpus, a 6-foot-6 target who played through an illness during last season’s defeat to the Green Dragons, caught TD passes of 20 yards and 14 yards and added an interception on defense for good measure.
“Last year was such a bitter loss, it stayed with us,” Bumpus said. “We worked so hard in the offseason to get back here.”
Oliver Ames (7-5) was led by Sam Langston, who ran 14 times for 60 yards, caught a 49 yard pass and scored from 3 yards out in the fourth quarter.
You'd think with a matching record, Needham would come with as much hype as their opponent in Saturday's Division 1 Super Bowl at Gillette Stadium, BC High.
At 9-3, they're not even close.
The Needham Rockets are ranked No. 12 in the Globe Top 20, nine spots behind the BC High Eagles at No. 3. The reasons for which are simple: BC High's losses were to top ranked teams in New Jersey (DePaul Catholic and St. Peter's Prep) and to the state's unanimous No. 1 team, Everett.
Needham, a team that was in Division 1A last season (the Bay State Carey flip flopped with the Greater Boston League, much to Everett's chagrin) lost to Mansfield, Natick and Framingham.
But when it came down to it, the Rockets won big games to get to this point. And they've overcome adversity while doing so, just like BC High. Senior quarterback Drew Burnett went down with an ankle injury against Milton Oct. 15, leaving the team's quarterback duties in the hands of sophomore Ryan Charter. And then running back Ian Riley (10 touchdowns) went down against Natick Oct. 28 with a shoulder injury.
If you didn't know any better, you'd think Needham was decimated. But the Rockets have mobilized around Charter, who has shown poise, and coach Dave Duffy and his staff have found ways to get his team in the end zone with regularity. They've put up 42 points in each of their last two games. The Rockets walloped Wellesley 42-18 with Charter throwing four touchdown passes.
"Getting to this point, we thought we'd get here maybe at the beginning of the year because we were so good and the seniors were so good," Duffy said. "And then we had some injuries. We were worried that the wheels were going to fall off the wagon. But the junior class rallied on the defense and the seniors rallied around the new quarterback. We miss Drew Burnett and Ian Riley greatly but the kids rallied and we had some big wins at the end of the season to put us here."
Charter, Duffy says, is doing a great job after coming in for Burnett.
"He's doing excellent," Duffy said. "He's managing the game very well. His throws are spot on. The receivers are helping him out by getting open. And the line is giving him protection. So everything is working out. And he's been doing a great job. He's very poised. If he makes a mistake it doesn't matter. He just goes back to the next play and does a good job. And he hasn't really made many mistakes, mentally or physically. So he's learning. I think this is his sixth game starting. As much as we miss Drew, Ryan's doing a great job."
Beating BC High, however, will be a complicated task given the talents on the Eagles team and the size of the offensive and defensive lines.
"Our defense is going to have to stop the base running game," Duffy said. "We have an experienced secondary. I know [Bartley Regan] can throw very well, but if we don't stop that base running game we're going to be in for a long afternoon. On offense, if we can get some first downs and keep the ball out of their hands, that'll help us too."
BC High, for its part, is not taking Needham lightly.
"They have real good skill guys, they have a stingy defense," said BC High coach Jon Bartlett. "So we have to get pressure on the [quarterback]. He's been throwing the ball well recently. We need to get pressure on him, don't give him time. And then offensively, we have to establish the run and be able to pass as well."
Said BC High captain and Temple recruit Jameson McShea: "They pull a lot, so our defensive line has to hold on the line of scrimmage. They like to pass a lot so our secondary has to be lock down."
Key for BC High is getting the ball in the hands of senior running back Deontae Ramey-Doe. He's been a catalyst for the Eagles since last year's Catholic Conference offensive player of the year Preston Cooper went down with a broken ankle against Everett Oct. 22.
"Losing Preston was a big loss," Bartlett said. "But as we told the guys, we have some other good players as well. And we rallied. We told the guys we could either feel sorry for ourselves and not play well the rest of the year, or we can rally and play as a team and use that as motivation. The kids have responded really well with the loss of Preston."
Needham, in turn, will try and inject some imagination on offense to matchup. They'll be looking to get the ball to receiver and tight end Mark Riley, who has 15 touchdowns on the year.
"We have some new stuff in for [Riley]," Duffy said. "We'll try to get the ball in the hands of our playmakers as much as we can. The offensive coordinator has been doing a great job doing that. We're probably a little overmatched size wise up front. We have to come up with creative things to try to balance it."
The 6 p.m. matchup at Gillette Stadium will be the marquee Super Bowl in a day full of championships. It's particularly special for Needham, which had never won a playoff game prior to Tuesday.
"We're excited. We won the Bay State league outright for the first time in over 40 years," Duffy said. "We won our first playoff game. Now we're standing here at Gillette. And I think the kids are gonna be excited. We're glad to be here. We've realized how hard we've worked to get here. So we're going to try to make the best of it while we're here. I was telling the kids at the banquet last Sunday, the greatest thing I can say is 'I'll see you tomorrow at practice.' "
The St. John’s Shrewsury football team had one goal as a motivating factor during training camp.
"Our whole motto was 'Get to Gillette,' that was our main goal as a football team, to make that happen," said athletic director Patrick White. "It's a dream come true for our boys, they put in a lot of hard work in the weight room to make that a reality."
Last May, the MIAA Football Committee voted to bump two EMass Super Bowl games from Gillette, and replaced them, for the first time, with the Division 1 CMass title game as well as the Division 1 WMass game. Tomorrow at 11 a.m., the Pioneers (8-4) take on Leominster (9-3) followed at 1:30 by the Western Mass. Super Bowl, featuring Longmeadow (10-2) and Springfield Central (10-2).
White expects the St. John's fans to make the team feel right at home in Foxborough.
"It's great not only for our players, but our school is really fired up," White said. "Right now we've got two fan buses going down, we might even get a third. It's great for the St. John's community."
By now you’ve heard of Jonathan DiBiaso and Matt Montalto. Here are 10 super players you may not know about.
BRENDAN MELANSON, St. John’s (Shrewsbury): The Pioneers play at Gillette Stadium for the first time, and witnesses to this notable event will see plenty of the 6-foot-3, 235-pound Melanson, who never leaves the field. The three-year starter plays center, defensive end, inside linebacker in nickel packages, and is the long-snapper on special teams. He registered 40 solo tackles this season with 2.5 sacks, and has not botched a snap in three seasons.
JOHN MONTELUS, Everett (above): Crimson Tide quarterback Jonthan DiBiaso has enjoyed some of the best pass protection in the state during his record-shattering three-years under center, and Montelus, a 6-4, 290-pound tackle, is a significant layer of the five-man security blanket in front of DiBiaso. Montelus, a junior has scholarship offers from Boston College, Syracuse, Connecticut, North Carolina State, and Virginia.
WILL TWYMAN, Lincoln-Sudbury: The 6-3, 218-pound senior is a three-year starter at linebacker and leads the Warriors with 106 tackles (17 for loss). Twyman is also the kicker, hitting 37 of 40 extra points for the season, and 4 of 5 field goals. He has committed to Brown.
DEREK TARPEY, Tewksbury: His statistics speak volumes (team-high 125 tackles, 12 for loss, three interceptions, four forced fumbles), but when asked to illustrate his game with words coach Brian Ayl- ward describes Tarpey as the ‘‘heart and soul of our defense.’’ The 5-11, 190-pound senior is a three-year starter and, with reps on the offensive line at guard, a big-hitter on both sides of the ball.
TOMMY DAVIS, Bourne: Offensive line- men often get recognized when they make mistakes, which is why you’ve probably never noticed Davis. The 6-1, 190-pound junior is a two-year starter and the leader of the offensive line from the tackle position.
He also leads the team with eight sacks as a defensive end.
MATT McKENNA, Wakefield: McKenna was hit by a car during preseason of his sophomore year. Instead of becoming the team’s starting quarterback as planned that season, he spent the next two years recovering from a severe concussion and injuries that required surgery on his shoulder and knee. He returned this season as a wide receiver to lead the Warriors in touchdown receptions (5), catches (27) and receiving yards (626) with an average of 23.2 yards per catch.
TOMMY KENNEDY, Dennis-Yarmouth: Kennedy is an animal as a tackle on the defensive line. The 5-9, 210-pound senior registered 63 tackles this season (15 for loss), with seven sacks and five forced fumbles (two recovered), despite consistently drawing double teams. In his third year starting on defense he has also taken on a starting role at guard protecting star quarterback Montalto.
SAGE PHILIPPE, Cathedral: The 6-1, 235-pound junior is a starter at middle linebacker and left tackle. He registered an interception and three sacks to go with a team-high 118 tackles this season. Philippe is a physical presence on the field and a vocal leader in the locker room. Coach Duane Sigsbury describes him as fearless. ‘‘He would run through a brick wall,’’ Sigsbury said.
LUKE WENDT, Hamilton-Wenham: A first team all-star for CAL/ NEC Div. 4, the senior defensive end/tight end is a transfer from Masconomet, where he was also a starter. Generals coach Andrew Morency describes Wendt as a terror on defense. He registered five tackles and a sack in last Tuesday’s playoff win over Newburyport. His numbers as a tight end are not an accurate indicator of what an important role he plays in the Generals’ run-first offense, using ferocious blocking to open up space for Elliott Burr and quarterback
GRAHAM KILPATRICK, Mashpee: A dominant defensive end, Kilpatrick has battled injury for the better part of two seasons. He missed his entire junior year with a torn ACL, and has just begun playing at 100 per- cent in the last four weeks. In those four games, he has registered seven sacks, including three in the Falcons’ playoff win over Millis/Hopedale. The 6-3, 250-pound senior also starts at right tackle.
In Part 2 of The Huddle's Super Bowls preview, Bob Holmes and Zuri Berry discuss Lincoln-Sudbury's chances against Everett, Wakefield vs. Dennis-Yarmouth, Hamilton-Wenham vs. Bourne, Cathedral vs. Blue Hills and Latin Academy vs. Nantucket. You can find Part 1 here.
Ahead of Saturday's big games, Globe High Schools sports editor Bob Holmes and Zuri Berry preview the four Eastern Massachusetts Super Bowls at Gillette Stadium, including BC High vs. Needham, Concord-Carlisle vs. Oliver Ames, Tewksbury vs. Duxbury and Cardinal Spellman vs. Mashpee. Part 2 of the Huddle's Super Bowl preview is on its way.
The Patriots have forward some important information for fans attending Saturday's Super Bowls at Gillette Stadium as well as information on other attractions at the stadium. It goes as follows:
Tickets and Gate Information
The Gillette Stadium/MIAA Tournament experience admission is $15 for adults and $12 for students, children and seniors. Tickets will be available at the Gillette Stadium Ticket Office, located outside the Patriot Place Gate, beginning at 8:00 a.m. on Saturday, Dec. 3. All fans will enter the stadium via the Patriot Place Gate, located near The Hall at Patriot Place and CBS Scene.
Parking is included as part of the Gillette Stadium/MIAA Tournament experience. Fans arriving via Route 495 and Route 1 North should enter the stadium parking lots via the P8 entrance. Fans arriving via Route 95 and Route 1 South should enter the stadium parking lots via the P1 entrance. No tailgating will be allowed in the parking lots.
Concessions and Dining
Concessions will be available throughout the day inside Gillette Stadium. In addition, Patriot Place features 17 casual to high-end restaurants for pregame meals or postgame celebrations. Visit www.patriot-place.com for restaurant information.
The Hall at Patriot Place presented by Raytheon
The award-winning Hall at Patriot Place will offer $3 off admission on Saturday with a ticket to the High School Super Bowls. (Regular admission to The Hall is $10 for adults, $7 for seniors and active military, $5 for children 5-12, and children 4 and younger are free.)
On Saturday, the six MIAA Super Bowls held at Gillette Stadium will be televised on local TV stations as well as on the radio. Here's the schedule of those games and what times they will be broadcast:
9 a.m. -- Concord-Carlisle vs. Oliver Ames; TV: Comcast SportsNet; Radio: 98.5-FM The Sports Hub
11 a.m. -- St. John’s (Shrewsbury) vs Leominster; TV: Comcast SportsNet; Radio: 98.5-FM The Sports Hub
1:30 p.m. -- Longmeadow vs. Springfield Central; TV: Comcast SportsNet; Radio: 98.5-FM The Sports Hub
3:30 p.m. -- Tewksbury vs. Duxbury; TV: WSBK TV 38; Radio: 98.5-FM The Sports Hub
6 p.m. -- BC High vs. Needham; TV: WSBK TV 38; Radio: 98.5-FM The Sports Hub**
8 p.m. -- Cardinal Spellman vs. Mashpee; TV: WSBK TV 38; Radio: 98.5-FM The Sports Hub**
All game times are approximate.
** = These games will not be broadcast live on radio due to Bruins hockey, but will be recorded and replayed at a later date to be determined.
The MIAA has set the times and locations for the Eastern Massachusetts Super Bowls. Four of the nine games will be held at Gillette Stadium. The others will be held at Bentley University, Manning Field in Lynn and at Taunton High School. Here is the schedule of the games:
BC High vs. Needham, 6 p.m. at Gillette Stadium
Everett vs. Lincoln-Sudbury, 7 p.m. at Bentley University
Tewksbury vs. Duxbury, 3:30 p.m. at Gillette Stadium
Wakefield vs. Dennis-Yarmouth, 3 p.m. at Manning Field, Lynn
Concord-Carlisle vs. Oliver Ames, 9 a.m. at Gillette Stadium
Hamilton-Wenham vs. Bourne, noon at Manning Field, Lynn
Cardinal Spellman vs. Mashpee, 8 p.m. at Gillette Stadium
Cathedral vs. Blue Hills, 10 a.m. at Bentley University
Latin Academy vs. Nantucket, noon at Taunton High School
In addition, the schedule and locations were set for Central and Western Massachusetts Super Bowls. This will be the first year in which teams from Central and Western Massachusetts play at Gillette Stadium. Here are the schedules for both:
St. John’s(Shrewsbury) vs Leominster, 11 a.m. at Gillette Stadium
Holy Name Central Catholic vs. Nashoba Regional, 2 p.m. at Fitchburg State University
Auburn vs. Hudson, 3 p.m. at Worcester State University
Northbridge vs. Southbridge, 12:30 p.m. at Worcester State University
Clinton vs. Leicester, 10 a.m. at Worcester State University
Assabet Valley vs. Bay Path 11 a.m. Fitchburg State University
Longmeadow vs. Springfield Central, 1:30 p.m. at Gillette Stadium
High School of Commerce vs. Putnam, 12:30 p.m. at Westfield State University
Mt. Greylock vs. Lee Middle/High, 10 a.m. at Westfield State University
Pioneer Valley vs. McCann Technical, 3 p.m. at Westfield State University
Concord-Carlisle's George Craan ran for 222 yards and four touchdowns as his team beat Holliston for a Division 3 Super Bowl berth.
BC High beat Chelmsford 34-13 in the Division 1 high school football playoffs Tuesday at Cawley Stadium in Lowell. See the highlights above.
The Bridgewater-Raynham Trojans felt the full force of Conor Ressel.
Ressel, Gloucester's premiere running back, scorched the Trojans for 189 yards on the ground and three scores. His steady presence and yards after contact gave the Fishermen the edge in the snow-filled Division IA championship at Gillette Stadium, 33-13.
Ressel also had a receiving touchdown, that put the game out of reach in the fourth quarter.
"Last year, I really didn't feel like I performed," Ressel said of his Super Bowl appearance at Gillette in 2008. "It was my last chance this year. I wanted to give it everything I got. I think I did that."
- I posted too soon. Brett Stewart caught a 55-yard touchdown pass from Brett Zolga with 1:39 left in the game (two-point failed) for the B-R Trojans in a last ditch effort to get points on the board. That makes the score 33-13, Gloucester.
- Bridgewater-Raynham is starting to substitute its underclassmen. The game has gotten beyond their control, especially with the weather. It looks like we're going to end the game 33-7 Gloucester with the Division IA EMass championship.
- Conor Ressel took a sweep for 22 yards and a touchdown at the 6:27 mark. The extra point was no good. Gloucester is up 33-7.
Ressel is having a monster day. He has 19 carries for 189 yards and two touchdowns on the ground and 217 total offensive yards.
- 26-yard touchdown pass to Conor Ressel from Gloucester's Brett Cahill. Gloucester is beating B-R 27-7 now after a two-point conversion.
Gloucester is obviously pulling away. But the game was much closer than the score is showing.
- The Fishermen are feeding the beast. Connor Ressel is pounding B-R as he leads the Gloucester team down the field. With the weather as it is and the lead in tow, the Fishermen are in full control. Quarter ends; 19-7 Gloucester.
- This is looking more and more like the Xaverian-Everettt game, where both teams are playing in the middle of the field in the second half. This is a sharp change from the first half, when both quarterbacks were operating at a "normal" level in the snow.
Gloucesters is still leading, halfway through the quarter, 19-7.
Some stats from the half:
Total yards: Gloucester 182, B-R 119
Rushing yards: Gloucester 157, B-R 42
Gloucester's Conor Ressel had nine carries for 97 yards. His teammate Jordan Shairs had six attempts for 60. Both have touchdowns.
B-R's Mike Connolly is 4-for-11 for 79 yards.
- The half ends with Gloucester still up 19-7. The game has taken a different turn than the previous snow game. They're utilizing the passing game effectively on both sides and the it really has become the key to big plays. However, the weather does appear to be getting worse (as if that's not already bad) and that could affect the good fortune Mike Connolly and Brett Cahill have had with their accuracy.
- Questionable call goes against B-R, which was originally had thought it converted on a 28-yard pass play from Mike Connolly to Kyle Reid. From replays, it appeared Reid never had full possession of the ball although it appeared he had caught the ball and fumbled initially. The zebras discussed the call before reversing it.
- Gloucester's Brett Cahill threw a 12-yard touchdown pass to Brandon Cusumano with 50 ticks on the clock. Gloucester is winning 19-7.
- Mike Connolly threw an interception to Gloucester's Jordan Shairs. It was the first bad pass by Connolly in the snowy weather.
- Bridgewater-Raynham's Cam McDonald recovers a fumble by Jordan Shairs of Gloucester. First turnover by the Fishermen in the game.
- Gloucester's showing off its passing game too. Brett Cahill connected with Gilbert Brown on a nice little play across the middle. Too bad the Fishermen's drive was stopped on fourth-and-1 by B-R.
- The quarter ends with Gloucester up 13-7. Both teams appear to be more adept at playing in the snow, and it should help that the weather has been consistent through the evening.
- Bridgewater-Raynham's Neil Harrington caught a 35-yard touchdown pass from Mike Connolly at the 2:24 mark. The extra point was good, putting B-R right back in this game at 13-7.
The Trojans are proving that you can pass in the snow. The vertical game may be the X-factor.
- Gloucester's Conor Ressel ran for a 52-yard touchdown, putting the Fishermen up 13-0 after a failed extra point. 5:32 left in the quarter and the Fishermen look more than ready for the ugly weather.
- Gloucester's Jordan Shairs ran for a 1-yard score at the 8:09 mark (extra point good), giving Gloucester a quick lead in the game. 7-0, Gloucester.
- Bridgewater-Raynham fumbles the snap on their punt in the first quarter giving Gloucester the ball at B-R's own 6-yard line. Not a good start for B-R.FULL ENTRY
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 fall correspondents:
- Anthony Gulizia | @gulizia_a | Div. 1 football
- Eric Russo | @erusso22 | Div. 2 football
- Stephen Sellner | @stephen_sellner | Div. 3 football
- Andrew MacDougall | @Andy_MacDougall | Div. 4 football
- Greg Joyce | @GJoyce9 | Div. 5 football
- Lorenzo Recupero | @LorenzoRecupero | Div. 6 football
- Liz Torres | @etorres446 | Girls volleyball
To reach the high school sports department, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.