EVERETT - The Everett Crimson Tide made sure to bring their appetite to Veterans' Memorial Stadium for a clash with Cambridge yesterday. Turkey, it turned out, wasn't the only bird on the menu.
The Tide (11-0, 6-0) gobbled up the Falcons to wrap up their 13th consecutive Greater Boston League title with a 42-6 blowout.
Everett standout and Boston College-bound Isaac Johnson spearheaded a full-throttle, all-around team effort, as he caught one touchdown pass and rushed for two others to complement his ferocious play in the secondary.
Cambridge (7-4, 4-2) surprised Everett by recovering the opening onside kick, then came out gunning with its spread offense, led by Ray Doucette, the Division 1 passing leader. Doucette (10 for 29, 202 yards) took the field with Jesse Sparks (4 catches, 117 yards) and Joshua Adams (one catch, 7 yards). But Cambridge's day could pretty much be summed up by its first drive: Doucette consistently overthrew receivers, Everett's defensive backs consistently attached themselves to his targets, and Cambridge consistently shot itself in the foot with penalty after penalty.
"The fact that we could play man-to-man on those receivers enabled us to blitz the quarterback and get some heat on [Doucette]," said Everett coach John DiBiaso.
Everett's offense proved to be the opposite of Cambridge's, sticking almost exclusively to the strong formation and pitching it to a revolving group of running backs.
It didn't really matter if Johnson (7 carries, 125 yards) carried the ball or his heir to the throne, Nick Brown (12 carries, 86 yards). The reason?
"Our offensive line," said Johnson, when asked what he would be giving thanks for this year.
The party ignited late in the opening quarter, with Joe Conti dropping back and lofting a pass up the left sideline into Johnson's waiting arms. Conti, whose 17 scoring passes are second only to Doucette's 25 in Division 1, needed to complete only 3 of 6 passes for 61 yards.
Johnson and Brown split the next two touchdowns midway through the second quarter, each waltzing into the end zone on 2-yard runs. Before you could say, "Happy Thanksgiving," the rout was on.
Justin Spinelli twisted and turned to make an acrobatic reception in the corner of the end zone with 6:48 left in the second to make Everett's lead 28-0 at intermission.
The Falcons finally got on the board with 5:57 left in the third quarter. Sandwiched between a Johnson 40-yard touchdown dash and a Brown 22-yard scoring sprint, Doucette found his man deep down the right sideline. Sparks was able to show some of the separation speed that has made him the top receiver in Division 1 when he broke away from shutdown corner Jim Noel to haul in a 72-yard strike.
Doucette would overthrow his man on the subsequent 2-point conversion attempt. Noel, who plays even taller than his 6-foot-4-inch frame - which was displayed in his picking off Doucette earlier - didn't make any excuses for his lone mistake.
"[Sparks] was tough," he said.