Somerville High School Highlanders football victorious over Peabody

On September 13, 2017, in Latest News, by The Somerville Times

Senior receiver/cornerback Jiovanny Pierre was a big contributor to the Highlanders’ win over the Peabody Tanners on Friday.

By Beckett Bathanti

After an inauspicious start, the Somerville Highlanders rolled over Northeastern Conference opponent Peabody 24-7 at Dilboy Stadium in Somerville Friday night.

Third-year Head Coach Makonnen Fenton preached discipline during practice earlier in the week and was pleased with his team’s showing Friday night.

“They made some mental errors, but it wasn’t from them being undisciplined, it was from them being too hyped up or from jitters,“ he said.

The Tanners owned the first quarter, recovering Somerville’s Wady Santana‘s fumble on the first play from scrimmage.

Peabody rode bruising senior running back Eric DeMayo for a quick touchdown and forced a three and out on the Highlanders’ next possession.

The Highlanders looked like a different team in the second quarter, netting their first first down of the game 15 seconds into the quarter and marching down the field for a touchdown courtesy of sophomore running back Fred Castin.

Senior quarterback Elijah Jeffreys kept the drive alive with his legs.

On 4th and 8 from Peabody’s 24-yard line, Jeffreys dropped back to pass. With the Tanners smothering his receivers and defenders closing in on him, Jeffreys spun away and took off down the right sideline, finally getting gang tackled at the 4.

Castin punched it in two plays later to tie the game at 7.

The rest of the quarter was dominated by Somerville’s swarming defense and special teams, as the Highlanders recovered two fumbles that led to field goals from senior Emerson Klemz to make the score 13-7 at the half.

“We got after them at halftime,” Coach Fenton said. “And they came out and got the job done in the second half.”

The Tanners came out slugging in the second half, as a 38-yard run from DeMayo took them quickly into Highlander territory. Somerville’s defense bowed its back again, stripping DeMayo and derailing Peabody’s momentum.

The rest of the scoreless third quarter was a back and forth affair, as both teams traded punts. Early in the fourth quarter, senior receiver/cornerback Jiovanny Pierre grabbed Somerville’s fourth takeaway of the game, a leaping interception.

The remainder of the fourth quarter was dominated by the Highlanders and senior receiver Lucas Saint-Jean, who slashed through Peabody’s defense for a 68-yard catch and run that led to another field goal from Klemz.

A few minutes later, Jeffreys found Saint-Jean on a slant route for the touchdown that sealed the game with less than four minutes left to play.

Pierre bounced outside and across the goal line for a two-point conversion that made the score 24-7.

Despite Somerville’s plus-3 turnover differential, Fenton was not satisfied with his defense’s performance.

“We want to be the best we can be and that’s not our best,” he said. “We need to start the game the way we finished it.”

Senior linebacker Marcus Thomas made a huge impact for the Highlanders, bringing high energy and finishing with four tackles for loss.

“He’s an animal,” Fenton said with a laugh. “It’s ridiculous.”

Following Peabody’s touchdown, Thomas felt the defense had to step up.

“We knew our offense was going to get the job done. We just had to stay in the game and help win the game with our defense,” he said.

Although DeMayo had his way early, Fenton did not panic and did not alter his game plan.

“We play our defense the way we play our defense. We’ll match our guys up against any other guy in the state,” Fenton said.

Pierre, who made the Boston Herald’s preseason All-Star squad, was pleased after the game, and excited about Somerville’ prospects this year.

“I feel great. We have a great-looking team. We have a bunch of athletes who can play multiple positions. This was a great way to start the year,” Pierre said.

Fenton, already eying next week and beyond, assured that there would be no let-up from the Highlanders.

“They are going to keep practicing hard, and we are going to keep coaching them hard. We are here to compete for a state championship,” Coach Fenton said.

Somerville hosts Lynn English Friday, September 15, at Dilboy Stadium.

 

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