After a week which featured many late nights, it brings me great pleasure to finally bring you this week's essay. Reverse the curse! Yankees suck! Cowboy up! Sox are nasty! However, it may be, the fact of the matter is that the Boston Red Sox return to the World Series for the first time since 1986. It seems undeniable to me that after steam-rolling "the greatest dynasty and sports team of all time", the Red Sox will end such mythical curses and spells cast forth by the Babe almost a century ago. As Jeter, Steinbrenner, and Matsui sit at home bawling their eyes out, the hometown boys look to take their first ring since 1918, with undoubtedly many more to come. A team that comes down from 0-3 to win a series 4-3 stands as nothing short of a tremendous show of perseverance, hard-work, and fight. In our own lives, endeavors, and tribulations, we can all take some notes from the Boston Red Sox.
With that having to be said, because I am from Boston and will represent the Sox until I perish, it is now time to move onto football. Last Friday, BC High completed its first utter thrashing of the year to move to 2-4. The victory came over the second largest school (by population) in Massachusetts, Barnstable High School. The last time the two teams squared off was in the 2000 Division 1 state championship. Barnstable, then, knocked off a 12-0 BC High squad to take the title. They had no such luck on this foggy Friday evening in Dorchester, however.
As we took the field for the week's brawl, still ecstatic from a courageous upset over number one Leominster the week before, there was no doubt we would crush this team. In the first quarter, after a fumble, Barnstable ran a misdirection screen which caught the BC High defense off guard. The play broke for 65 yards as the Red Raiders took a 6-0 lead. The extra point was blocked by senior WR/CB Bryan Parnell. Normally known for his many catches and countless tackles, Parnell shined on special teams the entire evening. From there on in, it was all Eagles. Junior QB Mike Pecca, in his third start of the season, proved he would be the one to put on the show. The 6'3" 200-pound Pecca found former starting QB Jack Shields twice over the middle, both for scores. Shields demonstrated that BC High needs him at WR, because at 6'5" 235 lbs he is a nightmare for midget DB's. Pecca showed no sign of stopping their as a few minutes later her found senior TE Joe Sheehan in the corner of the endzone with an absolute missile. Sheehan, also extremely well matched against DB's at 6'4" 195 lbs, established his roll as a dominating blocker and pass catcher all game for the Eagles.
Down 18-6, Barnstable tried to use their shifty QB to get some long gains on the ground. On an option keeper on the last play of the half, I found myself helmet to helmet with him, only this time he wasn't getting up. BC High doled out many bone crushing hits the entire night, but this one left them stunned before the half and forced them to use their starting WR as the new QB.
The Eagles came out just as fired up in the second half, as the defense forced yet another three-and-out. Pecca again carried the offense down the field to find senior WR Ryan Cooney in the flats, where he then ran the next 20 yards in for the score. The 24-6 lead proved to be enough for us to play some of our third and fourth string players, who played well against Barnstable's first team. The junior backfield of FB Dan Capeless and HB Mike Duffy punished their hometown team for a total of 100 yards on the evening. The BC High defense again held a team to under 100 yards in the night, forcing three turnovers (including senior CB Mariano Beecher's fourth interception of the year) and dozens of stunning hits.
Pecca went 12-20 for 175 yards through the air for four touchdowns. On the ground, he scampered three times for 38 yards en route to his second win of the season. The BC High offensive line delivered immaculate pass protection all night, and even proved they were capable of some run blocking too. I finished the night with four tackles in split time on defense.
Look for the Eagles to come up with another win this Friday as we take on the 5-1 Taunton Tigers (a newcomer to Division 1). This victory would leave BC High in a great position going into the last four games of the season: the all important conference schedule. A four-game sweep of the conference serves as a direct ticket to the Division 1 state semifinals, more than likely against nationally ranked Everett High. But more so, look for my boys in red, white, and blue to dance their way to the World Series Title. Can New England sports continue to dominate the rest of the nation?
Chris Marinelli is a 6'7" offensive tackle recruit in the 2005 class who verbally committed to Stanford in July. He is writing a weekly series this fall to deliver Cardinal fans insight into the triumphs and travails of his senior season at Boston College High School.
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