READING — Austin Prep coach Bill Maradei offered a quick reminder that his program is still one to look out for after defeating defending Division 4 champion Mashpee, 22-13, in the Cougars’ home opener.
“They’re No. 13 in [the Boston Globe] and we’re a million,” said Maradei. “We were supposed to lose this game, but people can’t forget that we have a good program over here.
“Sure we had a down season last year, but we were a bunch of JVs. Look at those JV kids now.”
One of those JVs, Nick Vitale, put on a varsity performance Saturday. Vitale’s overall numbers were 53 rushing yards, 14 receiving yards, and a pair of touchdowns, and he came up with the big plays when they were needed.
Vitale gave the Cougars a 14-7 third-quarter lead when he took a stretch play 12 yards up the left sideline for a touchdown. It was also Vitale who set up the opening score, leaping over two defenders inside at the 5-yard line to bring down a pass from Jonathan Saurman.
“Nick was big for us today,” said Maradei. “He’s one of our leaders. We like to control the game and the clock and Vitale played a big role in accomplishing that for us.”
For Mashpee, it was sheer disappointment.
“Hopefully we learned our lesson today,” said coach Matt Triveri, whose team traveled from the Cape to the North Shore for an 11 a.m. start. “No excuses here. They executed, they were clean, we weren’t. Bottom line, we need to get better.”