Sports

Barbosa, Patriots moving forward after slow start

Junior running back/corner back Lucas Barbosa has two rushing touchdowns this season. (Item File Photo)

REVERE — The stakes were high for the Revere football team last week when the Patriots hosted Classical. Revere had already dropped its first two games of the season and the Patriots were hoping to avoid a three-game losing streak.

Lucas Barbosa and his teammates answered the bell.

Barbosa ran for 105 rushing yards and scored a touchdown in Revere’s 19-16 overtime win over the Rams, helping his team earn a much-needed victory for its first win of the season.

“We played as a team,” Barbosa, a junior running back/corner back in his second season on the varsity team, said. “We were down for a good part of the game. We never doubted ourselves. We worked together and grinded it out.

“Coach (Lou Cicatelli) told us our first three games were going to be really hard,” Barbosa added. “He had faith in us and he knew we’re a really good team. We tried to get better and finish those games. (If) a couple more plays went our way, we could’ve won the first two games.”

Barbosa’s touchdown last Friday was a momentum-changing play that helped reel Revere back into the game. Classical took an 8-0 lead on its second drive of the game before the Patriots found the end zone on Barbosa’s 84-yard jet sweep.

“It was a jet sweep to the left,” Barbosa said. “As soon as I got the ball I saw no one coming down. Eric Bua made a huge block so I cut up the sideline. From there, it was off to the races.”

The Patriots haven’t had many breaks during the early portion of the season. Aside from starting its schedule with games against Gloucester, Marblehead and Classical (three teams that qualified for the state tournament last year), Revere lost starting quarterback Calvin Boudreau to injury in Week 2.

The good news for Cicatelli is the Patriots have plenty of reliable running backs to carry the bulk of the touches and add new dimensions to the offense. Barbosa, with speed and good hands, is one of them.

“Lucas is solid as they come,” Cicatelli said. “He’s a great kid, a good team player. He’s one of the fastest kids on the team. He’s very effective inside and outside. He also has great hands so he’s a solid back and a threat to score every time he touches the ball.

“The good news is we have a real good running game,” Cicatelli said. “We have a number of really good backs. Darius McNeil, Zach Furlong and Lucas, we call it a three-headed monster. Lucas is one of the quicker ones for us. Now that Calvin’s hurt, we have to make it a bit easier on (quarterback) Jonathan Murphy. Getting Lucas out in space, where he can do his thing is part of that.”

Barbosa missed the season opener at Gloucester with an arm injury he suffered during the preseason. He returned for Week 2’s loss at Marblehead. In two games this season, Barbosa has tallied 210 rushing yards on 19 carries for two touchdowns and three receptions for 30 yards.

“I feel I’m having a pretty good season,” Barbosa said. “I missed the first game but I made up for it in the past two games. I have two touchdowns, a couple receptions, a bunch of tackles on defense. As long as the team’s getting better, I feel good things are coming.

“I wanted to come in (this season) and really do my part for them team,” Barbosa added. “I wanted to come in and score the ball but the big thing was getting better in route running and perfecting the block. Those are still things I have to work on but I feel I have definitely gotten better in those categories.”

As the season progresses, Cicatelli said the expectations for Barbosa, and the rest of the team, continue to elevate.

“The big thing is keeping Lucas healthy,” Cicatelli said. “We think he can do great things. He’s a big part of what we do. He’s a threat to take it to the house whenever he gets the ball. He’s quite the impact player for us this year.”

Barbosa and Revere visit Peabody Friday night (7).

“It’s going to take another disciplined game from us (to win),” Barbosa said. “We all have to work together and play four quarters. I feel this team can go really far, we just have to work together and stay disciplined.”

FRIDAY’S GAMES

Gloucester at Classical (7): The 2-1 Rams welcome an undefeated Gloucester (3-0) team to Manning Field Friday night. Gloucester struggled with Beverly in Week 2 but handled Revere and Somerville in Weeks 1 and 3, respectively. The Fishermen carry a multitude of running backs, including Marc Smith and Jan Pena Ortiz. Pena Ortiz ran for 233 yards in last week’s win over the Highlanders. Classical suffered its first loss of the young season last week at Revere, a 19-16 OT win for the Patriots. The Rams will look to avoid a two-game slide.

Lynnfield at Winthrop (7): The Pioneers (0-3) continue their early season travels with a trip to Miller Field, still in search of their first win of the 2018 season. Both teams are looking to bounce back after tough losses last Friday when the Vikings (1-2) fell Swampscott and the Pioneers lost to Amesbury.

Arlington Catholic at Fenwick (7): The Crusaders went back to their winning ways last week with a huge 33-7 win over Pentucket at Donaldson Stadium. David Cifuentes carried Fenwick to victory with 187 rushing yards on 10 carries and three touchdowns. Sophomore quarterback Chrys Wilson tossed two touchdown passes. Now it’s time for Fenwick (2-1) to open the Catholic Central League portion of its schedule.

Westford Academy at St. John’s (7): The Eagles fell to 2-1 on the season with last week’s loss at Everett but Prep coach Brian St. Pierre was pleased with his team’s effort in competing against the Crimson Tide. Aise Pream helped propel a second-half Eagles rushing attack. Prep quarterback Matt Crowley ran for a touchdown and threw for another.

Danvers at Malden (7): Danvers has outscored its opponents 99-21 through its first three games of the season, en route to a 3-0 start with big wins over Masconomet, Peabody and Medford. The Golden Tornados (0-3), on the other hand, were blanked by Beverly last Friday and are still searching for their first victory of the season.

SATURDAY’S GAMES

Northeast at Tech (10): The Tigers (3-0) kick-off a Saturday triple-header at Manning Field. In last Saturday’s victory over Minuteman, Giuliani Daniells caught three passes from quarterback David Barrios for 143 yards and scored one touchdown. Chance Buono and Haidar Bdaiwi each ran for two touchdowns. Northeast (2-1) carries a pair of bruising backs in Zach Sanderson and Connor Joseph.

Salem at Swampscott (12): The Witches (2-1) are coming off their first loss of the season. Swampscott (3-0) rolled past Winthrop last Friday with a 40-6 win at Miller Field. Big Blue quarterback Graham Inzana, in his first season as Swampscott’s starter, is quickly coming into his own. Inzana threw for 233 yards in last week’s win and Dylan January ran for three touchdowns.

Marblehead at Beverly (1): Despite last Friday’s win over Peabody, Magicians coach Jim Rudloff felt a bit disappointed with his team’s slow start. Marblehead didn’t earn a first down until late in the first half but remained undefeated (3-0) with the win over the Tanners. Tim Cronin scored two touchdowns and continued his stellar start to the season. After tough losses to English and Gloucester, the Panthers (1-2) earned their first win of the year last Friday at Malden.

Saugus at English (2): Behind 170 rushing yards from Marvens Jean, the Sachems earned their first win last Saturday over Salem. Jean scored on a 75-yard sweep to the end zone and Mason Nickolas connected with Christian Correia for a 55-yard touchdown strike to seal the Sachems’ victory. Saugus (1-2) visits an English (2-1) team looking to bounce back from last Friday’s loss to Malden Catholic. Bulldogs quarterback Matt Severance scored three touchdowns on the ground and threw for another.

Spellman at St. Mary’s (7): The Spartans would like to erase any memory of last Friday’s loss to Catholic Memorial, a game in which the Knights scored on five of their six first-half drives. The Spartans couldn’t do much to contain a balanced Catholic Memorial offense. Patrick Henry and George Freeman each scored a touchdown for St. Mary’s (1-2), who opens CCL play Saturday night.

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