EVERETT – Barnstable quarterback Nick Peabody was 0 for 10 with an interception, his team had mustered 19 total yards and gained one first down against the No. 1 team in the state.
It was a cloudy, rainy first half for the Red Raiders in Everett on Friday night. So even with Peabody’s golden arm — he had thrown for 13 touchdowns in three games — Barnstable opted to put the ball on the ground, made two goal-line stands after halftime, and bested the Crimson Tide, 13-7, in an overtime thriller.
The second-ranked Red Raiders ended Everett’s 28-game winning streak.
“We believed [we were the best team in Massachusetts] for a long time,” said Peabody, who finally found his passing touch after halftime, throwing a pair of TDs to Dylan Morris. “Since the summer. But It doesn’t mean anything if you can’t prove it.”
Barnstable hardly moved the ball in the first half, even after senior Tedaro France took the opening kickoff back 55 yards, setting up the Red Raiders at the Everett 34-yard line.
Even with the Tide stacking seven players in the box and leaving one-on-one coverage on the outside, Peabody couldn’t find any open receivers, with the pouring rain only adding more confusion.
“It was very frustrating,” said the 6-foot-4-inch, 225-pound senior. “We had difficult conditions. I think we were forcing it a little bit, trying to throw the ball. You have to persevere through those things.”
Everett came out with the opposite strategy, keeping the ball on the ground and pounding it up the middle with quarterback Gilly DeSouza and the speedy pair of Jakarrie Washington and Jalen Felix. But the Tide struggled to break through the Barnstable defensive front.
Everett’s only score came midway through the first quarter, when it sent 12 players out for a punt return — an infraction missed by the referees — and watched Joey White return the kick 30 yards into Barnstable territory. Felix scored on a 1-yard run.
The Red Raiders finally got the chains moving after junior Hayden Murphy established the running game in the second half, collecting 60 yards compared with negative yardage in the first, and that finally opened up things for Peabody.
He hurled a 37-yard strike to Morris to tie the game in the fourth quarter. Everett had a chance to go ahead minutes later after driving to the Barnstable 1 but Barnstable stopped back-to-back direct snaps to Joey Owuor. And in overtime, the Red Raiders stopped Everett again from the 1.
After Barnstable missed a field goal try in overtime, Peabody delivered on the Red Raiders’ second possession, connecting with Morris for an 8-yard strike for the winner.