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Lackland’s five-touchdown performance helps power past Medford to secure another Tide victory

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After taking on host Malden last night, Everett returns home to prep for Lynn Classical on Oct. 27 

By Joe McConnell

Players from Andover, Natick, Taunton, Weymouth, Lincoln-Sudbury, Westford Academy and Needham were chosen Division 1 Stars of the Week by the Boston Herald this past week, along with Everett High School football senior wide receiver Damien Lackland.

Nominating Lackland to high school football’s honor roll list was easy after his five-touchdown performance against visiting Medford last Friday night, which propelled his teammates to a 41-6 victory. It was the team’s fourth Greater Boston League of the year in as many games, and they are 5-1 overall. As of Oct. 17, the Crimson Tide is ranked 16th in Division 1 with just two regular season games left before the playoffs begin in early November. The Top 16 teams in each division make the postseason.

First-year Crimson Tide head coach Justin Flores didn’t take long to figure out what type of skilled player Lackland is once he was officially named to the position by the school committee in early July, and now the rest of the state is just beginning to catch up.

“Damien is a tremendous running back,” Flores said. “Teams may be fooled by his size, but he runs with a lot of power and heart. He rarely ever goes down on first contact, and is also one of the smartest players on the field.

“The (offensive) line did a good job, along with Damien in executing some schemes that we put into the gameplan to beat the (Medford) defense on the perimeter,” added Flores. “Nothing really changed for us as an offense, and we will continue to be efficient as much as possible, while winning the numbers game at the line of scrimmage.”

Flores credited the offensive line for Lackland’s touchdown scoring barrage that also included 19 carries for 133 yards. To say the 3-3 Mustangs has seen enough of Lackland would be an understatement.

The Everett coach also mentioned the contributions of several other skilled positions on this talented roster that played significant roles in the win against Medford.

“Besides (Jayden) Prophete (2 catches, 23 yards) and (Christian) Zamor (1 catch, 7 yards), Dom Papa has also stepped up, along with (Jaysaun) Coggins (3 catches, 40 yards), which made us more dynamic in both our running and passing games,” said Flores.

Lackland’s memorable offensive game notwithstanding, quarterback Carlos Rodrigues completed eight passes out of 12 attempts for 99 yards, which helped keep the Medford defense off balance. Senior running back Matt Lamonica ran for 21 yards on just two carries. He was credited with the other Everett touchdown that was not scored by Lackland. Lassister caught two passes for 28 yards.

The Tide took on host Malden (2-4) last night (Oct. 19) after press deadline, before returning home to play Lynn Classical on Oct. 27, starting at 6 p.m., the team’s last game before the playoffs get underway the following week.

“We are getting better every week,” Flores said. “The longer we are together, the better we get at understanding the offense and defense. Less thinking for them, and more playing fast is the goal.”

St. John’s Prep (6-0), Xaverian Brothers (4-2), Springfield Central (5-1), Needham (5-1) and Methuen (4-2) are the Top 5 teams in Division 1, according to the latest power rankings as of Oct. 17, while the Tide is also presently in the playoffs as the 16th seed.

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