EVERETT — Missed opportunities.
It’s what ultimately cost the St. John’s Prep football team Saturday in its highly anticipated battle with the state’s top-ranked squad, Everett High. While the visiting Eagles had their chances and battled the Crimson Tide play for play, untimely penalties proved costly in a 19-7 loss before 2,000 fans at Everett Memorial Stadium.
It was a five-point game until just over a minute remaining when the Eagles (2-1) turned the ball over on downs on their own 8-yard line, and Everett’s Jalen Felix iced the win for his team with a touchdown run on the very next play.
“(Everett head coach) John DiBiaso said it would come down to penalties and turnovers; he was right,” said Jim O’Leary, the St. John’s Prep head coach.
St. John’s Prep clung to a 7-6 lead at halftime, but the margin by which they led could have been greater. They went from their own 33 to the Crimson Tide’s 1-yard line after Alex Moore caught a 15-yard pass from captain Jack Sharrio with nine seconds to go before intermission. The Prep was then called for a false start as Sharrio spiked the ball, costing them five yards, and after the field goal unit was called onto the field, then called back, Sharrio’s pass was picked off in the end zone.
Everett (3-0), which has won 28 straight games, scored on the game’s opening drive but missed its 2-point conversion attempt. St. John’s answered right back with a 70-yard scoring drive (aided by two Tide penalties) and two long runs off of QB keepers by Sharrio. He fired an 8-yard TD pass to Moore before Stephen Cammaro’s kick gave the Eagles a 7-6 advantage.
St. John’s had a chance to expand its lead on its next possession, but a fourth down pass from the Everett 22 by Sharrio to Lucas Bavaro went for no gain.