WESTWOOD — Everett and Xaverian combined for seven turnovers — far more than respective coaches John DiBiaso and Charlie Stevenson wanted to see.
But only the Hawks’ miscues proved costly, as second-ranked Everett (5-1) came away with 17 points after two bad snaps on punts and a fumble in a 24-7 victory at the Hawk Bowl.
“We’re just so up and down, and our offense today struggled, but our defense played well,” DiBiaso said. “You just can’t have three turnovers against good teams, but we’re just very fortunate our defense stepped up.”
Late in the first quarter, Xaverian’s Kyle Darrow lined up for a punt at midfield, but the snap sailed over his head and Everett took over at the 29. Five plays later, Jakarrie Washington danced his way to a 2-yard score to put Everett up, 7-0.
On Xaverian’s ensuing possession, the snap again sailed over Darrow’s head, and he was forced to throw a helpless pass that fell incomplete.
The Tide took over on Xaverian’s 31, and again Washington (9 carries, 81 yards) capped the drive, this time with a 10-yard score.
“We just pounded the ball down the middle and had great blocking on the line,” Washington said. “I just believe in my linemen and follow behind them.”
The troubles continued for the Hawks (1-5) as the ensuing kick was fumbled and Everett recovered on the 24-yard line.
That drive ended with a 36-yard field goal by Gilly DeSouza, boosting Everett to a 17-0 lead.
Austin DeCarr hit DJ Pagliuca with a 62-yard touchdown in the third quarter, but Everett responded with an 8-yard Washington scoring run.