CM ends Xaverian’s run
Knights book trip to D1 final
It’s always our goal, but to get here the first year, it’s extremely gratifying.’ — JOHN DIBIASO On Catholic Memorial’s Division 1 South championship
WESTWOOD — John DiBiaso has plenty of experience leading teams to the Super Bowl.
Until last night, he didn’t necessarily envision taking Catholic Memorial to one in his first year at the helm after leading Everett to 12 Super Bowl titles, but that’s exactly where the Knights are headed.
Catholic Memorial went on the road and ended Xaverian’s five-year reign atop Division 1 South by taking the sectional crown with a 25-14 win to punch their ticket to the Super Bowl.
“It means a lot as always,” DiBiaso said. “It means a lot to the kids. I’ve had experiences so it’s not something necessarily that I needed. They needed it. The school needed it. I’m so proud for them and so happy for them.
“It’s always our goal, but to get here the first year, it’s extremely gratifying.”
Xaverian (7-2) struck first when Mike Berluti tossed a 21-yard touchdown pass to Justin Wenstrom early in the second quarter.
After three punts and a giveaway to start the game, CM (8-2) took over, scoring on four straight drives to take complete control.
The Knights found their groove by attacking Xaverian’s defense on the edge and found the end zone on a oneyard plunge by Darius Leclair. Owen McGowan ran in the two-point conversion to give CM an 8-7 halftime lead.
The Hawks started the second half with a drive deep into CM territory, but the Knights forced a fumble to halt Xaverian’s momentum.
Zach Mitchel (eight carries, 167 yards) took a handoff 59 yards on CM’s first play following the fumble before Brian Stubbs Jr. took a jet sweep 11 yards for a touchdown and a 15-7 lead.
CM added to its lead when Mitchel scored himself on a 52-yard scamper to give the Knights a 22-7 lead with 3:40 left in the third quarter.
Xaverian responded on a 3-yard touchdown run from Mike Masse to make it a one-score game on the first play of the fourth quarter.
But CM chewed up clock with a 13-play drive that ended with a 22-yard field goal from Matt Sokol before the Knights defense sealed the win.
“It’s honestly been a long three years. They’ve always been the one to take us out,” said senior captain Hunter Tully. “We came out on top but we’re not done.”