DANVERS — They simply believed in themselves when no one else did.
It’s the best way to describe how the Danvers High football team, which gave up an early three-touchdown lead and trailed on two separate occasions in the fourth quarter, found a way to come back and upset not only the defending Division 2A Super Bowl champions, but also one of their biggest rivals.
Senior captain Alex Valles rushed for 233 yards and scored four touchdowns, the last of those a 47-yard TD catch off a Nick Andreas pass with 3:18 to play, as Danvers shocked Beverly, 33-28, before a loud crowd at Dr. Deering Stadium last night.
“It was my best game because it was a great team win,” said Valles, who started off the scoring with a scintillating 95-yard touchdown run in the first quarter. “We knew even after (Beverly scored late to go ahead) that we’d come back and win it. Everyone believed.”
The Falcons, who had been shut out and lost to Marblehead by 44 points in their home opener a week ago, did a complete 180 last night by playing with confidence from the first to the last whistle. That was never more evident than in a wild fourth quarter of momentum swings and lead changes.
“We had nothing to lose and played our hearts out,” said captain Mike Favreau. “It was an unbelievable effort from the entire team.”
Trailing by 19 late in the second quarter, Beverly (0-2) roared all the way back to take a 21-19 lead heading into the final stanza thanks in large part to senior captain Isaiah White. In finishing with 162 yards on the ground, the burly back also scored on runs of 19 and 6 yards while quarterback Nick Manthorne snuck in from a yard out following a bad snap on an attempted Danvers punt, giving the visitors 1st-and-goal from the 1.