CM ends Xave­rian’s run

Knights book trip to D1 fi­nal

Boston Herald - - SPORTS - By GREG DUDEK Twit­ter: @gdudek10

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.”

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