No matter who wins, no matter what the weather, this one will be a bruiser.
The undefeated Barnstable High Red Raiders - ranked no. 1 in Eastern Massachusetts - face the no. 2-ranked and 11-1 Everett High Crimson Tide at 1:30 pm, Saturday, Dec. 1, at Gillete Stadium.
Barnstable defeated Everett for the first time in school history on September 28 when both teams stood at 3-0 and Everett maintained the number one ranking in the state. In a driving, windblown rain, the Red Raiders defeated the Crimson Tide to take over the top-ranked slot and have not looked back. Barnstable defeated Lincoln-Sudbury Tuesday night to finish at 11-0 and in so doing matched the school's greatest season: the vaunted, unbeaten 1995 campaign that saw the Red & White go 11-0 and finish the top team in Div. 1A as well as Super Bowl victors.
Everett has gone 11-1 - including a 42-14 rout over Masconomet in Tuesday's MIAA Div. 1A playoff - and boasts a 44-4 record over the past four years as well as two state titles, nine overall.
Barnstable hammered Lincoln-Sudbury 28-7 Tuesday night at Taunton High, and finished with 404 points scored on the season, a new school record for most points scored in a season (2010 - 372) since football was established at BHS 120 seasons ago in 1893.
Red Raider senior quarterback and captain Nick Peabody has turned in the second-best season for a QB in school history with 2,422 yards passing and 32 touchdowns thrown. He's also rushed for 342 yards and scored 7 touchdowns. The leading scorer for Barnstable is senior wideout Tedaro France who has 16 touchdowns and 96 points. On the opening play of the season against Durfee, France ran a kickoff return 100 yards to tie the all-time mark set by Art Pacheco in 1970.
But Peabody and France aren't close to being the only offensive threats for the Red & White eleven. Junior running back Hayden Murphy - who ran for 191 yards on 28 carries and three touchdowns against L-S - has accumulated over 900 yards rushing while wide receiver Dylan Morris has amassed over 650 yards receiving and scored 13 touchdowns.
Everett boasts an equally old football program, but it has also won two National High School football championships to go along with 9 Super Bowl titles while Barnstable has won two SUper Bowls - 1995 and 1999 - and has fallen in the postseason playoffs every time its visited since the inception of the current playoff system.
Not this year.
Tuesday, Barnstable erased all doubt that it stands atop of the high school football hill in this state.
And did anyone mention Tedaro France?
He not only has 758 yards receiving this season as well as 16 touchdowns, but he showed a different side altogether when he raced for 106 yards and scored a pair of touchdowns versus Plymouth North earlier in the season. And if it's not enough that France is the leading receiver on the Red & White this year, well, then take a look at junior Hayden Murphy who is averaging 6.63 yards per carry and has a string of four straight 100-yard plus games in the teams's last four games.
But just as Barnstable's stellar offensive line has gone largely unsung this season - Tom Grimmer, Tom Harrington, Allen Buckley, Chris Kennedy, and Owen Murray - Everett's line has achieved numerous accolades. It's star 6'5, 350-lb. left tackle, John Montelus is headed to play for the Notre Dame Fighting Irish next fall.
The captains of both teams went to Gillette Stadium today to meet with Massachusetts Interscholastic Athletic Association (MIAA) officials and New England Patriots owner Bob Kraft. Barnstable's captains are Tom Grimmer, Andrew Ellis, Bryan Hardy, Ryan Litchman and Nick Peabody.
Peabody was made an offer to play football at Princeton next fall, while Ellis was offered a scholarship to play at Division 1 Bryant University. Grimmer will head to Merrimack to play football next fall while Hardy is deciding between offers from Wesleyan and Bentley. Ryan Litchman - who played arguably his best game this season versus L-S - hopes to walk on at Cornell University.
Parking is free at Gillette Stadium for all high school games Saturday. Adult tickets are $15 and students are $12. Tickets will be sold at the stadium.