Haou’s game-winner sends Revere home happy

Lucas Barbosa finds an open running lane during Revere's win. (Item Photo by Owen O'Rourke)

WINTHROP — For the first time in 40 years, the Revere football team can say it’s beaten rival Winthrop in two consecutive seasons after the Patriots took down the Vikings, 17-14, at Miller Field on Thanksgiving morning. The difference in the back-and-forth affair was a 25-yard field goal from junior Badr Haou, which came with only 40 seconds remaining in the game.

“Badr has been huge for us all year, and that’s a play we work on all the time,” said Revere coach Lou Cicatelli. “We’ve had some trouble scoring points at times this year, so having a kicker has been big for us, and it really paid off for us today.”

Darius McNeil was the leading rusher for the Patriots, toting the rock 26 times for 108 yards and two touchdowns. Zach Furlong (seven touches for 70 total yards) and Lucas Barbosa (nine touches for 53 total yards) were the other big offensive performers.

“Those guys have been big for us all year, and they’re all coming back,” said Cicatelli. “This was a great experience for all of these guys to play in this kind of atmosphere, and they all responded well.”

But the real story in this game was the play of Revere’s defense. The Patriots forced four fumbles and recovered three of them, with one of those recoveries leading to a touchdown.

This game was the true definition of a back-and-forth game. Winthrop was the first to break through, taking the ball on the opening drive of the game and orchestrating a 10-play drive that ate up over four minutes of game clock. The drive was capped off with a four-yard touchdown run by quarterback Jake Adamson to put the Vikings up 7-0.

The score remained there for much of the first half, with the two teams exchanging three-and-outs before Revere forced the first of its three turnovers. While the Patriots didn’t capitalize on that first opportunity, they got another chance when they forced a fumble deep in Winthrop territory with 2:23 left in the first half. This time, they didn’t waste the opportunity. After quarterback Calvin Boudreau hit Furlong with a pass for a 20-yard gain, McNeil was able to break free and rush for a 12-yard touchdown to tie the score going into the half.

The second half didn’t start off very well for Revere. They got the ball to start the half, but turned it over on the second play of their drive to give Winthrop the ball at midfield. The Vikings proceeded to put together another long drive, this one nine plays, and retook the lead on another Adamson touchdown run.

But the Patriots didn’t quit. They put together a 10-play drive of their own on the ensuing drive before McNeil scored his second touchdown of the game to tie it at 14-14 going into the final frame.

After a couple of quick, unsuccessful drives for the Revere offense and big stops by the Revere defense, the Patriots got the ball back with 6:10 left in the game and the score still tied. It was at that point that Revere put together its best drive of the game, running 12 plays and taking more than five full minutes off the clock. Then, with just 40 seconds left, the Patriots brought out Haou to kick the game-winning field goal.

“That was the plan all along, we knew we had a guy who could kick that field goal,” said Cicatelli. “The idea was to go down and eat up as much clock as possible, don’t take too many risks, keep the drive alive and put ourselves in a position to get some points.”

All in all, it was a great win for a young Revere team, and Cicatelli is happy to end the year on this kind of note.

“It’s a big win for this team against a quality opponent,” Cicatelli said. “It’s Revere-Winthrop, so you know you can just throw the records out the window when these two teams meet. And to get the win in this way, it feels really good.”

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