CAMBRIDGE—Everett is back on track — kind of. Its 51-30 win over Cambridge Friday night was not nearly as easy as the score indicates, but the second-ranked Crimson Tide bounced back a week after Barnstable snapped Everett’s 28-game winning streak.
The Tide led, 36-30, in the third quarter, but Cambridge had the ball after an Everett fumble for a potential go-ahead drive after quarterback Raheem Wingard, starting over Gilly DeSouza, coughed it up at the Everett 26.
Threatening to take the lead, was marching towards the end zone, but Brendan LaRosa returned a David Maaghul interception 70 yards for a score, putting the Tide up, 44-30.
“I made a big play,” said LaRosa, who was only in on the play because Jakarrie Washington was out with a cramp. “They put me in to make a play and I made a play. I was in cover-4, just trying to keep everything in front of me and I just saw the ball and just went and got it.”
The Tide added another touchdown after recovering an onside kick on the ensuing kickoff. The touchdown was a 10-yard run from Washington, who scored five times (four rushing, one receiving).
Everett had a 29-6 lead early in the second quarter, but the Falcons, who haven’t beat the Tide since 2001, didn’t back down.
Maaghul (17 for 35, 249 yards, 4 touchdowns) found senior Elijah Scott for a 19-yard score to cut the Everett lead to 29-14 with just over five minutes to go in the first half.
On the subsequent drive, Everett responded. Joey White (14 carries, 116 yards, TD) ran for 37 yards on five carries on the drive and set the Tide up on the Cambridge 6-yard line. Washington finished off the drive with his fourth score of the game, and Everett led, 36-14.
Once again, Cambridge came roaring back. This time, with a 60-yard drive that culminated with Maaghul finding junior Elijah Booker for a 15-yard score. Maaghul then found Rafael Guzman for the 2-point conversion that brought the Falcons within 36-22.
To start the second half, the two teams swapped scoreless possessions before the Falcons pulled off a fake punt from their own 46-yard line for a first down. On the next play, Maaghul tossed a 38-yard bomb to Guzman for a touchdown. It was Maaghul to Guzman, again, for the two-point conversion that brought Cambridge within six, 36-30, and had them believing they could pull off an improbable upset.
They were believing even more on the next drive when White fumbled on the Cambridge 19-yard line. The Falcons recovered but could not score.
After a Cambridge punt, Wingard (8 for 14, 130 yards, TD, 2 INT) fumbled, but LaRosa picked his quarterback up.
Though the Tide came up big on defense when it mattered, they struggled mightily for much of the game.
“Just the opposite of last week,” said Everett coach John DiBiaso. “Last week, our defense played great, our offense didn’t play well. This week our offense played well, our defense didn’t play well. We haven’t put together the full effort yet.
“We took a step backward defensively. We had breakdowns in coverage. (Maaghul) played well. He’s a good quarterback. (Scott) is a great receiver.”
Everett got on the board early in the first quarter when Washington (10 carries, 108 yards; 6 catches 104 yards) ran in his first score of the game from 4 yards out to put the Tide up, 7-0.
After Maaghul found Booker to make it 7-6 (2-point rush failed), Everett came back quickly. On the next drive, White ran an a score from 9 yards out to make it, 14-6.
When Cambridge got the ball back, Maaghul was picked off by Washington, who then ran in an 11-yard score, putting the Tide up, 21-6.
The Tide’s next score came with 7:37 to go in the first half. Wingard found Washington for a 38-yard touchdown pass, extending Everett’s lead to 29-6 after Joey Owuor’s 2-point conversion.