Tuesday, December 31, 2019

Top 10 MIAA Games Of The Decade

Catholic Memorial senior Jarrett Martin's 45-yard Hail Mary reception to lift the Knights past BC High back in 2017 is one of the more memorable MIAA moments of the decade (Photo from Catholic Memorial, and taken by Marcus Miller).

By Matt Feld (@Mattyfeld612)

Throughout the 2010s, there were hundreds of MIAA High School sporting events filled with excitement, energy, and intensity. Thousands of fans were treated to record-setting performances, game-winning goals, and eyebrow raising finishes.

Over the course of the last 10 years I have been fortunate to witness, report on, and enjoy a number of these games. While there are plenty that come to mind when it comes to thinking back on the top showdowns that I had the pleasure of taking in, these 10 classics standout amongst the rest.

With 2020 right around the corner, here are my top 10 MIAA high school sporting events I had the opportunity to witness.

10. MIAA Football: Central Catholic 49, Andover 41 (2015)

In a wild back and forth Division 1 North Semifinal it was Central Catholic who got the final laugh on the scoreboard, but it was Andover's quarterback that turned in the most memorable performance.

Golden Warriors senior EJ Perry finished the night with an in-state record 634 passing yards while throwing four touchdown passes. Perry also added two more scores on the ground.

9. MIAA Boys Basketball: Franklin 60, Springfield Central 54 (2017)

With under a minute to play, it looked like a lock that Springfield Central was headed to the 2017 MIAA Division 1 state title game. Then, Chris Edgehill and Franklin came to life.

Trailing 51-43 with 40 seconds left, Edgehill went on a one-man 8-0 run knocking down a pair of treys and hitting two at the charity stripe to tie the game at 51. After Edgehill's game-tying three, Springfield Central quickly got the ball up the court and Jashidi Pressley hit a runner in the lane at the buzzer that appeared to give the Golden Eagles the buzzer beating victory. Players, coaches, and fans began to storm the court, but after the officials got together it was determined Pressley did not get the shot off in time sending the game to overtime.

In the extra session, Jalen Samuels and Conor Peterson poured in key baskets to send Franklin to the  Division 1 State Final.

8. MIAA Baseball: St. John's Prep 1, Newton North 0 (2015)

For most of his senior season, Justin Foley seemed untouchable. On this Wednesday afternoon he was truly un-hittable.

In the opening round of the 2015 Division 1A Super Eight Tournament, Foley tossed a no-hitter limiting Newton North to just three walks while allowing only one hard hit ball. Most impressive was that Foley did it while nursing a 1-0 lead.

The game - which lasted just one hour and 31 minutes - featured no errors with the lone running coming on an RBI double by Teddy McNamara.

Foley finished the season with a perfect 11-0 record.

7. MIAA Football: Everett 12, St. John's Prep 7 (2015)

While for years Everett has been known for its prowess within the MIAA High School Football circles, 2015 was shaping up to be an outlier.

After dropping a slew of regular season games including to Billerica and Malden, the Crimson Tide were slotted as the eighth and final seed in the Div. 1 North playoffs leaving them with a trip up to top seeded St. John's Prep. The Eagles throttled Everett during the twos regular season matchup, 35-13, but the postseason meeting told a different story.

Despite being without quarterback Jordan McAfee, Everett came away with a stunning 12-7 victory. Marvens Fedna was the star rushing 27 times for 118 yards and one touchdown in what John DiBiaso called the, "wish and a prayer offense."

6. MIAA Boys Basketball: Brighton 55, Scituate 52 (2013)

With a trip to the Division 2 State Championship on the line, and only one quarter remaining, Malik James took over.

Brighton's standout guard scored 14 of his game-high 21 points over the final four minuets of play to lift the Bengals to a come-from behind, 55-52 win over Scituate in the Div. 2 Eastern Mass Final on the TD Garden floor.

James began the fourth quarter on the bench due to foul trouble allowing Scituate to build a 49-38 lead with just over four minutes remaining. That's when James returned to the court and took control. The junior pulled Brighton within 50-49 with 1:15 remaining before knocking down one at the charity stripe to even the game.

Moments later, with the game tied at 52 and 8.4 seconds left, James completed a three-point play in transition to send Brighton to the state championship.

5. MIAA Boys Basketball: Braintree 66, BC High 62 (2013)

If you're looking for the biggest upset in any MIAA sport during the decade look no further.

Going into the 2013 MIAA Boys Basketball Tournament, BC High was seen was one of the favorites in Division 1 to take home a state championship. Finishing the season 17-3, and winners of their final eight games, the Eagles looked like a shoe-in to make the sectional final. Except unfortunately for BC High 14th-seeded Braintree had other ideas.

In front of a packed house on Morrissey Boulevard, the Wamps pulled off an absolute stunner in the opening round of the tournament prevailing 66-62.

Braintree senior captain Steve Murphy was the story of the evening scoring 26 points. With the game tied at 62 and less than 30 seconds remaining, Keyma Cannon hit the game winner drilling a shot off the glass as the shot clock expired.

4. MIAA Boys Ice Hockey: BC High 2, Pope Francis 1 (4 OT, 2019)

There is very little doubt as to the best MIAA Ice Hockey game to take place this decade. One could make the case that this absolute classic is potentially the greatest MIAA Ice Hockey game ever (I'll let Jim Clark take that one).

In the 2019 MIAA Division 1A Super Eight Final, BC High and Pope Francis battled for a record setting 87 minutes and 22 seconds before freshman Declan Loughnane sent home the game winning goal to give the Eagles a second consecutive title at the TD Garden.

Perhaps most remarkable is that had the fourth overtime period finished with neither side scoring, the MIAA was prepared to declare co-champions after conferring with officials and administrators from both schools.

Pope Franics led 1-0 with under two minutes remaining in regulation, but Joseph Kramer tied the score with a power play goal that sent the game to overtime.

3. MIAA Football: Catholic Memorial 21, BC High 20 (2017)

Where to begin this one.

After trailing top-seeded BC High 20-0 late in the second quarter of the 2017 MIAA Div. 1 South Semifinal, Catholic Memorial came storming back getting within a touchdown midway through the fourth quarter. The Knights got the ball back down 20-14 with two minutes remaining. Then, all mayhem broke loose.

Knights senior quarterback Nick Goffredo completed a fourth down pass to Jarrett Martin to keep the game alive. Three plays later, with the Knights now on the Eagles 37-yard line and less than 10 second reaming, Goffredo appeared to get jostled down in the backfield resulting in a sack to end the game.

The referees, however, ruled that Goffredo got rid of the ball before his knee was down resulting in an incomplete pass and giving one final chance to CM. The Knights took full advantage with Goffredo rolling left and hitting Martin in the end zone for a last second Hail Mary to tie the game at 20-20.

With no time remaining, the Knights lined up to kick the game winning PAT. The initial PAT went wide left, but BC High was ruled offsides. Will Fay converted the retry sending the Knights into celebration on their rival's home field.

2. MIAA Baseball: Braintree 5, Belmont 4 (10i, 2017)

As this 2017 MIAA Division 1A Super Eight elimination game turned to the bottom of the ninth, Braintree's stranglehold on the tournament was on life support.

The two-time defending champions trailed Belmont 4-1 in the bottom of the ninth with two down and a pair aboard. The Wamps, who had developed a reputation for being relentless even when trailing by seemingly insurmountable deficits, came back to life.

Jackson Duffy, Braintree's sophomore star, drilled a two-out, game-tying, three-run home run into the left field bullpen to send the game to extra innings. One frame later, Brennan Quigley sent the Wamps home happy knocking a walk-off single back through the box that scored Alex Kennedy and kept Braintree's hopes of a three-peat alive.

1. MIAA Boys Basketball: Catholic Memorial 96, Mansfield 90 (3OT, 2014)

I've had the opportunity to witness a ton of exciting high school sporting events over the last decade, but this easily takes the cake.

In front of packed house at UMass Boston that saw 3,000 people on the edge of their seat from start to finish and hundreds more pressed up against the locked glass doors, Catholic Memorial and Mansfield battled for 44 minutes in hopes of earning a berth in the 2014 MIAA Division 1 South Final.

The game, which featured a combined 12 future college basketball players, went three overtimes. Mansfield one thousand point scorer Ryan Boulter tied the game with two seconds to go with a corner trey before Aahmahne Santos' half court heave rattled in and out to send the game to overtime.

Knights sophomore Brandon Twitty had a standout performance pouring in 22 points, including coming up with a clutch steal and score to tie the game with 30 seconds to play in the second overtime.

Guilien Smith was the difference maker, scoring nine of his game-high 33 points in the third overtime.

Catholic Memorial coach Denis Tobin said afterwards, "That's the best high school game I've ever been associated with."


Unknown said...

Cmon really division 2A Mansfield 29/26 0ver reading down 26/7 at halftime best ever coach Redding 8/11 in superbowls beat that best football program in eastern mass......🏈

Unknown said...

2010 Mansfield green Hornets superbowl chsmps🏈

Unknown said...

what about barnstable v Everett football from 2012? barnstable wins 13-7

SJP Football Champions said...

Maybe time for Reading to come on up to D1