Saturday, October 27, 2018

Xaverian Shows Injuries Not a Problem, Posts Third Straight Shutout

By Matt Feld (@Mattyfeld612)

Westwood, Mass. -- Xaverian may be wounded, but for the five-time defending Div. 1 South champions, it seems to merely be a chink in the armor.

Mike Masse ran for two touchdowns while the Hawks defense posted their third consecutive shutout as top-seeded Xaverian defeated No. 8 BC High, 17-0, on Friday night at Xaverian Brothers High School.

The Hawks (6-1) have now won 16 consecutive south sectional games and not let up a point over their last 15 quarters of play.

Xaverian will take on No. 4 Franklin in the Div. 1 South Sectional Semi-Finals next week.

Despite being without captains Mike Saliba and Trevor Carroll, the Hawks played as their usual dominant selves defensively. They held BC High to just two first downs while defensive back JoJo Marinella had an interception and a fumble recovery.

"In my pregame speech I emphasized that while we love Saliba and Trevor (Carroll), we needed the next guy to step up," said Masse. "We can still win a championship."

Xaverian coach Al Fornaro acknowledged that Masse has also been dealing with injury.

"Masse has also been dinged up" said Fornaro. "He did not take a live snap all
week but he is good enough and he knows what we're doing."

The two sides traded defensive blows in the first quarter combining for just 14 yards of offense.

Xaverian finally broke through in the second quarter. 

After a sack by BC High outside linebacker Stephen Flynn put Xaverian in a third-and-16 hole, Hawks sophomore quarterback Michael Berluti came through with the turning point of the game. Berluti dropped back and connected with Cooper DeVeau on a screen pass that went for 56 yards and brought the Hawks down inside the BC High 10-yard line.

Three plays later, Masse rumbled in from four yards out to give Xaverian a 7-0 lead.

"Whenever they call my number, I just try to run as hard as I can," said Masse.

The Hawks added some breathing room right before the half as a Marinella fumble recovery set the Xaverian up at midfield. Xaverian followed up by going on a 10-play drive, highlighted by a 13 yard scramble by Berluti and capped off by a 21 yard field goal from Justin Wenstrom that gave the Hawks a 10-0 lead.

Xaverian put the game out of reach for good to begin the third quarter.

After a Luke Thorbahn 11 yard run got the drive started, Berluti took off for 41 yards down to the BC High six yard line. One play later, Masse added his second touchdown of the night taking the hand-off and plowing up the middle to give the Hawks a 17-0 lead.

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