PHOTO BY BOB ROCHE
Bishop Fenwick’s Cam Eon makes a leaping interception in front of a Revere receiver in Fenwick’s 7v7 tournament.
By ANNE MARIE TOBIN
PEABODY — If you love high school football, then Bishop Fenwick was the place to be Saturday for the Under Armour Northeast 7v7 East Regional football championship.
The tournament, formerly known as the Swampscott/Lynnfield 7 on 7 Shootout, attracted 40 teams, which not only battled each other, but battled oppressive heat on a day in which the mercury climbed as high as 93 degrees.
By the time the dust settled, Bishop Hendricken (RI) was the last team barely standing, having beaten Bedford 20-6 in the championship game.
Lynnfield, host Fenwick, Winthrop, Revere and Swampscott also competed.
The Pioneers, led by captains Kyle Hawes, Alex Boustris and Louis Ellis, made it to the quarterfinals before being ousted by Milton, 15-7.
They qualified for the elimination round with a 3-1 pool play record, but it wasn’t easy. They got off to a fast 2-0 start with wins over 2015 New England champion Billerica and Malden, but after losing to Watertown, the team rebounded with a 19-6 win over Gloucester to punch its ticket to the 16-team elimination bracket.
The game was a defensive battle through the first 14 minutes. Boustris staked Lynnfield to a 7-0 lead with a 30-yard TD reception. He collected a pass from quarterback Nick Kinnon in traffic across the middle then bolted past everyone into the end zone. He also added the one-point conversion.
Gloucester answered a minute later to close to 7-6, but a stingy Pioneer defense slammed the door shut the rest of the way. Kinnon, Hawes, Cooper Marengi, Jason Ndansi, Tyler Murphy, Jared Lemieux and Zack Huynh came up with big defensive plays on third down plays that turned the ball over on downs to Lynnfield.
Lynnfield’s game-winning drive was executed to perfection by Kinnon, who, on successive plays, hit Ellis, Boustris and Hawes twice, the second one in the end zone making it 13-6.
Junior Jack Razzaboni needed only two plays on Lynnfield’s final drive to find the end zone. He launched a 32-yard bomb to Kinnon to set up a eight-yard touchdown toss to Andy DiPalma to seal a 19-6 win.
“We needed guys to step on defense and they did,” Boustris said. “We lost most if not all of our defense from last year, so it good to see us execute defensively as well as offensively today.”
Lynnfield defeated Pingree 19-6 in the first round of the elimination bracket. The Pioneers jumped out to a 19-0 lead on touchdowns from Marengi, Peter Look (both from Kinnon) and Ellis (from Razzaboni). Look’s grab was highlight reel-worthy as he fought off two defenders and managed to touch down with one foot as he was forced out of bounds. Ndansi broke up two Pingree third down attempts, while Ellis had one interception and DiPalma added a one-point conversion.
Fenwick bowed out of the tournament with a 16-8 loss to Milton in round one of the elimination bracket. Cam Eon scored all eight points with a TD reception 2-point conversion from senior captain Dan Mastromatteo.
The Crusaders beat Triton 20-7 to open pool play, then pulled out back-to-back buzzer-beaters against Edward Little and Revere.
Against Edward Little, Fenwick trailed 12-7 with under a minute to play. On the final play of the game, quarterback Cory Bright found Eon in the end zone as time expired to pull out a 13-7 win.
Bright, who alternated series at quarterback with Mastromatteo throughout the tournament, did it again in game three against Revere. He launched a 40-yard bomb into the end zone to sophomore Sam Mastromatteo, who went up in double coverage and made the reception at the buzzer to clinch a 20-13 win. Eon and Colin Norton also had touchdowns receptions from Dan Mastromatteo.
Winthrop, Revere and Swampscott failed to make it out of pool play.