By Justin McAllister
TOPSFIELD — A lot of people probably thought the season was essentially over for Everett High football the night they were knocked out of the postseason playoffs.
Not so. On Thanksgiving morning Everett showed what Crimson Tide Pride is all about with a 32-0 shutout victory over host Masconomet Regional High School.
With the win, Everett went to 3-0 in the still-new holiday series that began in 2015.
The frigid, near-record low temperatures did nothing to cool off the always-percolating Everett squad. The thermometer might have read 16 degrees at game time (2 degrees wind chill factor), but the Tide came out of the gate hot and never took their feet off the gas pedal in the win.
The game certainly did not start off auspiciously for Masco as the first play of the game was a lost Chieftain fumble, recovered by a trio of Tide defenders. On the second play of the game, Everett was in end zone after a 10-yard burst up the middle by senior standout Mike Sainristil. Abe Betancourt’s kick made it 7-0 just 1:21 into the game.
Everett’s defense blanked the Chieftains for the rest of the quarter and half, forcing a succession of punts.
Meanwhile, Everett added to its lead on its second possession, another short field after Masco mishandled a snap and Everett had a first-and-10 on the Chieftain 20-yard line. On its third play of the game, the Tide had a 13-0 lead when senior Isaac Siede burst through for an 18-yard touchdown run. Betancourt’s PAT made it 14-0 after the first quarter.
The halftime score stayed all Everett’s way when Sainristil scored his second TD of the game, a six-yard run and a 20-0 lead the half.
With a comfortable edge after two quarters, it was readily apparent that the Tide had come to play. Everett first-year head coach Theluxon Pierre said the same afterward in an online report. “After the loss to Central I challenged them. I told them that we could pack it in now or that we could finish the season the way we started.”
After a scoreless (and still bone chilling) third quarter, Everett got two more scores in the fourth quarter to close it out. Siede scored his second of the day on a long, 39-yard TD sprint on the Tide’s first possession of the final quarter, with 10:07 left to play.
Tide sophomore QB Duke Doherty scored his first TD in a month with 5:01 left to play on a six-yard keep to end a long drive.
“That’s the coldest game I’ve ever played in, but it was great to get the win in our last game together as seniors,” Sainristil, who recently committed to #8 nationally-ranked UMichigan, said.
For the game, Seide led all rushers with 83 yards on 10 carries. Saintristil ran for 65 yards on 10 carries, certainly not a passing day with 20 mph winds and the temperatures in the mid-teens.
Everett finished 11-1 overall with the Thanksgiving victory.