By Dom Nicastro
Now that’s how the Revere High School football team can play a little football. The Patriots clicked on all cylinders from start to finish in a 36-0 Greater Boston League victory on the road over Somerville last Friday. It was the team’s first win of the season after five straight losses, the latest a 48-6 setback at the hands of GBL leader Everett.
And this one wasn’t close from the start. Revere raced out to a 22-0 lead and never looked back. There was tremendous passing from Carlos Rizzo, unbelievably stifling defense, an onsides kick recovery and a blocked punt and fumble recovery for a touchdown.
What didn’t Revere do well on this night? Walter Rodriguez and Nicholas Aquirre at defensive ends played outstandingly, as did Bellemsiel and Maia at linebacker. Isaiah Decrosta made some key tackles at safety.
“We just got through watching the film with the kids and I gotta say it was the Wing-T at its best,” Revere football coach Lou Cicatelli said Monday night after the Friday victory. “Everybody did what they’re supposed to do in a lot of those plays in the first quarter, and it looked marvelous, and, hopefully, we can emulate that again and keep this momentum going. And the defense just played out of their minds. We finally had a whole team effort on both sides of the ball. What else could you ask for when you put up 36 points basically all in the first half?”
The game saw the return of Abass Atoui after injuries had sidelined him. And did he ever make his presence known. He had two rushing touchdowns, a two-point conversation reception, two fumble recoveries and blocked a punt. But he not only blocked the punt – he ran to the left sideline, scooped up the loose ball and took it to the house 30 yards for a fumble-recovery touchdown. He also had another fumble recovery that set up his second rushing touchdown that made it 29-0.
“It was nice getting some guys back, and Abass hasn’t played since Peabody and yet he gets us three touchdowns. He was just a beast,” Cicatelli said. “He’s one of our best tailbacks and kind of makes the offense work so we got off to a quick start and never looked back and played very, very well.”
Atoui is a four-year player and three-year starter. He’s missed a lot of time with injuries even stemming back to last season. “He came back though and stronger, and we had projected him to do great things this year,” Cicatelli said. “And he did. He also played linebacker on defense and did a good job, too.”
Atoui had big gains in the first drive, and Rizzo connected with Giovanni Woodard on a 50-yard strike to set up Woodard’s 3-yard TD run. Ahmed Bellemsiel, the holder on the PAT kicks, took a broken play and found Atoui for a 2-point conversion and an 8-0 lead. “Ahmed made a great play,” Cicatelli said. “We practice it every day and he got right up off his position and drove one right to Abass, and it was perfect.”
Atoui’s blocked punt and touchdown run made it 15-0 (thanks to the first of four successful PATs from Felipe Maia). Maia then booted a perfect onsides kick that Revere covered, setting up Rizzo’s perfect 48-yard toss to Bellemsiel that put Revere inside the Somerville five-yard line. Atoui then scored from four yards out for a 22-0 lead.
“I want to mention Felipe again because he did a great job with an onsides kick,” Cicatelli said. “That put the game away. He did a great job placing that ball and that was the third touchdown for us after. And at that point, the game was more or less pretty much in our control.”
Atoui recovered another fumble to give the Patriots the ball back again. And this time Rizzo connected with Woodard for 14 yards on a 4th-and-12. Atoui rushed into the end zone again from five yards out and a 29-0 lead.
Yousef Benhamou finished off the Revere scoring with a 36-yard TD run.
Revere has a challenging next opponent. Lynn Classical is 4-2 and coming off a 48-44 loss to Salem, which is unbeaten and ranked No. 2 in Division 6. That game is at Manning Field in Lynn on Saturday, Oct. 21 at 3 p.m. Lynn Classical quarterback Brian Vaughan threw for more than 400 yards and five touchdowns in that loss against the Witches.
“They can really sling it with the coach’s son at quarterback,” Cicatelli said. “They can run, too. So we’re going to have our work cut out for us in slowing them down. But I’m confident that we can move the ball on them. And I’m looking for a close football game.”