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Football Patriots fall in first round to Panthers

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  After being overlooked for a tournament spot last season despite going 6-2 in its first eight games and finishing 8-2 overall, this year’s Revere High School football team was awarded the 14th seed in the Div. 3 tournament with a 4-4 mark. The Patriots faced a rematch on the road with the third-seeded and unbeaten Plymouth South Panthers last Friday night.

  Revere lost to the Panthers by 15 points at Harry Della Russo Stadium back in September. But the Patriots played well in the second half of that game, outscoring Plymouth 20-7 over the final two quarters. That factor gave Revere hope for a possible first-round upset on Friday.

  It didn’t materialize, as the Patriots were defeated by a 28-6 margin. As of the early part of the second quarter, however, it appeared as if Revere might have been in position to pull off a surprise win. A short TD run by quarterback Carlos Rizo brought the Patriots within 7-6 at the time. But Plymouth’s Gio Ruberio scored on a one-yard plunge to give the hosts a 14-6 lead at the half.

  The Panthers (9-0) scored the only two TDs of the second half and held off the Patriots to advance to the quarterfinal round against sixth-seeded Wakefield, which advanced by knocking off Masconomet in the opening round.

  Miscues and a bad break impacted the game for the Patriots. A fumbled punt by Revere resulted in the Panthers’ first-quarter touchdown. In the third quarter, an apparent fumble recovery for a touchdown by Chris Cassidy of the Patriots was called back because the Plymouth ball carrier was ruled down by contact.

  Revere Head Coach Lou Cicatelli told the press this week that the ruled non-fumble was a key turning point in the contest but that he was proud of his team hanging in and playing the Panthers tough for four quarters. Cicatelli credited defensive lineman Jason Shosho and defensive end Walter Rodriguez with strong performances. Shosho finished with 10 tackles. On offense, running back Abbas Attoui ran for 75 yards.

  Revere fell to 4-5 overall with the defeat and hosted another tough opponent in Masconomet on Thursday in a non-playoff tilt at Harry Della Russo Stadium (after press deadline). Cicatelli said his team has been hit hard by injuries but is hoping to conclude the season on a high note. Wins over Masco this week and Winthrop in the annual Thanksgiving game would give Revere a winning season.

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