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Forward progress, but too many setbacks

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Football Pats seek first win of the season

 

By Dom Nicastro

 

Two straight football possessions in last week’s 14-6 loss to Medford on the road showed the potential of the Revere High School football team. On Revere’s fourth drive of the game, quarterback Carlos Rizzo found a wide-open Ahmed Bellemsiel on the right sideline for a 64-yard touchdown pass. It cut Medford’s lead to 8-6. On Medford’s next possession, the Mustangs moved the ball methodically on Revere’s defense, pushing deep into Revere territory as the half neared a close. However, Revere’s Bellemsiel made perhaps the defensive play of the season for the Patriots – the secondary player dove and knocked down a pass on fourth down in the end zone that would have sent Medford into the locker room ahead by two touchdowns. Instead, Revere got the ball back.

Unfortunately, those two possessions were not a microcosm of the team’s first Greater Boston League matchup of the season. In fact, on the second-to-last summer night last Thursday, the Patriots were anything but hot. Penalties and turnovers put the visiting team in a “one step forward, two steps back” rhythm as their coach, Lou Cicatelli, put it. The Patriots saw way too many costly, back-breaking penalties that stalled an offense poised to break through, mostly on the arm of Rizzo and running of Giovanni Woodard.

But it wasn’t meant to be on this night, and Medford went into the victory while Revere dropped to 0-3 on the young season. “Bottom line is we played really, really sloppy football,” Cicatelli said. “We played better against Plymouth South in that (35-6) blowout. It was just sloppy football, with a number of penalties. And there’s no excuse for that. We’re a young team. No doubt about it. But still some of the penalties that we got were not of a typical Revere football team in my eyes. It was one of the worst games I’ve been involved in coaching – and I hate saying it – in a long time. It was a tough one. With everything said, we still almost had a chance. It just didn’t work out the way we wanted.”

Medford quarterback Jack Lombardo got his second touchdown early in the fourth, a run that put the Mustangs ahead, 14-6. He also threw for an earlier touchdown pass.

Revere turned the ball over on an interception on the next drive, but the Patriots’ defense came up big as they stopped the Mustangs deep in the Revere red zone and forced an errant field goal attempt.

The Patriots, with time winding down in the contest, drove into Medford territory on their final drive of the game. Bellemsiel had a big catch, and Woodard picked up a couple of solid first-down runs on third down. Bellemsiel’s 16-yard run got it all the way to the Medford 29 with 1:40 left, and Woodard had an 8-yard reception, but a penalty negated the catch and put Revere back to the 38. Rizzo found Gabriel Paretsis for a 16-yard pass to the 22-yard line on third and 20, but Revere fell short on a run on fourth down, and that was the ballgame.

“We get a big run, which we didn’t have many of them, but every time we had them, there was a clip, there was a hold,” Cicatelli said. “Couple of times we were offsides on a great punt. I told them that no matter if we did play well, you’re not going to win when you get that many flags, you’re just not. Right now, we’re a young team, and the thing I try to tell the kids is we just gotta get better every day and keep working.”

The Revere coach was again impressed with kicker and punter Felipe Maia. “He flipped the field again, three times in that game,” Cicatelli said. “And he did it against Plymouth South also, so he’s been a weapon. But you know, we’re flipping the field and we’re not doing anything with it. The offense right now is stagnant. We’ve got to find a way to score, so we’re working on a few different things this week, and, hopefully, it’ll pan out.”

Revere hosts Lynn English Friday, Sept. 29, at 6 p.m. Lynn English is also 0-3, losing to Lawrence (27-0), Swampscott (27-12) and Everett (35-0).

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