The Madison Park Cardinals are getting it done again in November, claiming the Boston North title for the second time in three years. And on Friday night at Airport stadium against East Boston, they proved they too can turn on the jets.
With an explosive 62-20 win over rival East Boston (4-5, 2-2), the only team between them and a league title, the Cardinals punched their ticket to the Division 4A postseason.
Riding a three-game winning streak and the momentum of a defense that has pitched six shutouts, the Cardinals (7-2, 5-0) rolled up their highest scoring total of the season.
After a one-year hiatus from the playoffs, the Cardinals unseated the Jets, who went undefeated in the league last season to clinch the crown.
The Cardinals seem unbeatable. They came into the game giving up a Division 4A best 5.3 points per game.
And one glaring difference from last year for the Cardinals is their balance.
They got touchdowns from seven players in the win. They threw for a touchdown (a 43-yarder from Hector Villar to David Stewart), rushed for six, and even their defense got points on the board when Villar peeled off an 80-yard fumble return for a score in the second quarter.
David Stewart also had a fumble recovery for a touchdown in the second quarter but it was called back because of an illegal block in the back. But just five plays later, the Cardinals capitalized on the Eastie turnover with Villar pounding it in from 7 yards. The two scores off turnovers in the final five minutes of the second quarter stretched the Cardinals lead to 32-6 at halftime.
In the second half, the Cardinals’ run game took control. The onslaught included a 51-yard touchdown rush by Kalvin Jones and a 58-yarder by Tevin Regis in the third quarter. The Cardinals rushed for a total of 300 yards, including five runs of 25 yards or longer.
“It wasn’t a grind today for us [in the rushing game],” said Cardinals coach Roosevelt Robinson. “We had some really big, long runs that really changed the game. We had a great week of practice and [the players] were pretty much focused. And boy did it show.”
Robinson pointed to his players, who were celebrating at midfield and said, “They’re feeling good right now and that’s what’s most important to me.”
Madison Park will get primed for the playoffs with games against undefeated Dorchester next week and O’Bryant on Thanksgiving.
When asked if the team was looking forward to playing the only undefeated team in the city, Robinson replied “We’re really looking forward to Dorchester, we have something to prove and they better bring it.”
<Lorenzo Recupero covers Boston Public school football. He can be reached at Lorenzorecupero@gmail.com. Follow him on Twitter @LorenzoRecupero
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