The most intriguing matchup in Saturday’s MIAA Super Bowls is in Division 1A. No. 1-ranked Barnstable (11-0) plays No. 2 Everett (10-1), which is looking for its third consecutive title.
The Red Raiders handed Everett its lone loss of the season, a thrilling, 13-7, double-overtime decision Sept. 28.
“It’s going to be an exciting matchup between two great teams,” said Everett running back Kenny Calaj. “We just need to play hard and be mentally focused.”
Barnstable coach Chris Whidden said although Everett can use the revenge factor as motivation, a chance at a Super Bowl title has his team just as motivated.
“It’s tough not to be motivated this time of year,” said Whidden. “We’re both playing to win a Super Bowl and our kids are focused and ready, just as they are. Whether there’s a revenge factor or not, there’s motivation to play the best and beat the best.”
The Crimson Tide, who were beset with injuries in the first matchup, are back at full strength, but Everett assistant/offensive line coach Mike Milo doesn’t expect that to make the game any easier.
“This is a tough game,” he said. “They have a great offense, they have a great defense. They have some of the best linebackers I’ve seen since the [Everett] team I coached in 2001. It’s going to be a tough road. We’re going to show up and play as hard as we can.”
In Division 1, No. 4 St. John’s Prep (10-1) takes on No. 11 Brockton (9-3). The Boxers are led by quarterback Austin Roberts (14 TDs), while the Eagles feature running backs Johnathan Thomas (12 TDs) and Gatorade Player of the Year Alex Moore (15 TDs).
The Division 2 Super Bowl pits Mansfield (8-4) — which ended Duxbury’s 37-game winning streak Tuesday — against No. 5 Reading (12-0). The Rockets have the best defense in Eastern Mass., allowing 4.8 points per game.
Sixth-ranked Natick (11-1) and seventh-ranked Beverly (12-0) square off in the Division 2A title game. Senior running back Brendan Flaherty (20 TDs) is leading the Panthers’ charge toward a second title in three seasons. Troy Flutie (29 passing TDs, 13 rushing) steers the Redhawks.
The Division 3 Super Bowl features a surprising Sharon (9-3) team playing Wayland (9-3). This is a battle of defenses, with Sharon allowing 16.9 points per game; Wayland is giving up 9.9.
Lynnfield (9-2) and Bishop Feehan (9-2) will be going at it for the Division 3A crown. Running back Matt Allen (14 TDs) will look to pave the way for the Shamrocks.
Undefeated Abington (12-0) faces off against St. Mary’s of Lynn (11-1) in Division 4. Spartans running back Jordan Collier (20 TDs) is a player to watch.
Cathedral (10-2), making its second straight Super Bowl appearance, and Madison Park (8-4) battle for the Division 4A title.
In the Division 5 title game, Upper Cape (9-1) will try to break through Dorchester (10-0); the Bears defense is allowing 5.8 points per game.
In the Central Mass. Division 2 title game at Gillette Stadium, Nashoba (12-0), looking for its second straight championship, takes on Shepherd Hill (10-2). In the Western Mass. Division 2 Super Bowl, also at Gillette, Wahconah (8-3) battles South Hadley (9-2).