By Dom Nicastro
Everett’s Everett. And now it’s on to Somerville. That’s pretty much the message from Coach Lou Cicatelli and the Revere High School football team after last week’s 48-6 home loss against the Greater Boston League leaders.
Everett led, 34-0, at halftime and 41-0 before Revere got on the board. The Patriots fell to 0-5. Revere was severely undermanned because of a devastating round of injuries that sidelined many of its starters. Coach Cicatelli said before the game he wanted to get out of there injury-free, and for the most part that went well.
“It wasn’t too bad,” Cicatelli said. “And the good news is we got out of there not too banged up and the bad news is we got pretty beat up. It is what it is. We kind of expected it. We were very shorthanded, and a lot of kids got to play football. So that’s a good thing. And we get a few guys back this week against Somerville, so that’s going to be helpful.”
Captain Abbas Atoui missed three games but will be back for Somerville. Coach Cicatelli said that’s going to shore up the offense and that he likes what he sees out of a well-rested Atoui in practice.
Another captain, two-way offensive and defensive lineman Hakim Malki, is also back. “He’s still got a little something going on, but he’s very strong, tough kid, and he’ll help us, too.”
Wingback Zak Benkirane returns as well, giving the Patriots more depth in the skills position and taking off the pressure of running back Giovanni Woodard and quarterback Carlos Rizzo.
Offensive specialist Danny Hou is still out for the Patriots.
Revere had trouble moving the ball consistently against Everett. A bright spot was quarterback Rizzo’s beautiful pass to Ahmed Bellemsieh for a 55-yard touchdown that made it 41-6 in the fourth quarter.
“There were a couple of good signs,” Cicatelli said. “That was great. I mean, it’s nice to score against Everett when you can. They’re a very good team. And I think the big thing for us is we kind of shut down the kid [Ismael] Zamor. We put a bracket on him. That was one of our goals, and we accomplished that. But like I said, for us going in there, we just wanted to get out of there injury-free and be as competitive as we could be. And I thought the first quarter it was toe-to-toe and then it unraveled a bit. All in all I’m just happy with no more injuries.”
Somerville, despite standing at 0-5 coming into the game Friday, Oct. 13 in Somerville (6 p.m.), is pretty good with a potent running game, according to the Revere coach. “They run single wing, so you don’t know where the ball is going,” Cicatelli said. “It’s kind of like double wing. So toe-to-toe, power football. And they’ve got a good little scheme. So we’re gonna have our work cut out for us. But I do like the fact that this week practices have been great. It’s a big difference with the offense when you get your fullback going north and south. And it also lets Gio and some of these other guys do their thing because they’ve been out of position.”
Coach Cicatelli wants to see his team move the ball better and is confident that will happen with the pieces coming together after injuries. “If we move the ball against Somerville, we’ll be fine,” Cicatelli said. “Our problem this year with all the injuries on offense, the defense has been on the field all the time. So we’ve got to find a way to move the chains. I think we’ll do that this week. I’m pretty confident. And I think if we can do that, I think we can play better defensively where we’re not on the field as much. I think it’s going to be a good game.”