MEDFORD — The Revere football team just refuses to lose. After giving up the go-ahead touchdown with just 21 seconds left in Friday night’s game, the Patriots tied the game on Rayan Riazi’s 44-yard field goal as time expired, then scored the winning touchdown on a Lucas Barbosa run in overtime to beat Medford, 27-21, at Hormel Stadium. The win makes it three in a row for Revere, all of them in dramatic fashion.
“These are the cardiac kids, what can I say,” said Revere coach Lou Cicatelli. “Whenever there’s time left on the clock, we feel like we’re in a position to get the job done. These guys are so resilient, and they always come up big when we need them to.”
Adding to the win was the fact that the Patriots were missing eight starters due to injury, including four who are gone for the season.
“We had young guys step up all over the place tonight,” Cicatelli said. “We had a freshman at defensive end, two sophomore linebackers, a sophomore at defensive tackle. Darius McNeil had to step up for us and play both sides of the ball. And we found a way to win.”
Barbosa rushed for 51 yards and two touchdowns in the win, while Darius McNeil rushed for 117 yards and one touchdown. Quarterback Jonathan Murphy also rushed for a touchdown in the win.
For Medford, quarterback Keith Barrasso rushed for 170 yards and a touchdown in defeat. Dash Exeter rushed for two touchdowns, while Matt Aredes rushed for 74 yards.
It was a close game at halftime, with the Mustangs leading 14-12. Medford got two touchdown runs from Exeter, while McNeil and Murphy had rushing scores for the Patriots.
Revere got off to a hot start in the second half, forcing a turnover on downs on defense and then marching down the field on offense. Barbosa capped off the drive with his first score of the night to give Revere its first lead of the game at 18-14. The Patriots tried to kill the clock from that point on, but eventually the Mustangs got the ball back with 1:30 remaining.
While Revere may have been able to play defense well enough to stop Medford, it didn’t matter. A number of Revere penalties on that final drive, including two personal foul penalties, brought Medford into the red zone with less than a minute left. After a 10-yard touchdown run by Barrasso, the Mustangs stole back the lead 21-18 with 21 seconds left.
“We can’t be that undisciplined, it’s killing us,” said Cicatelli. “We gave them 45 yards in penalties on that final drive, and that’s just unacceptable. We have to clean it up.”
Revere got the ensuing kickoff and took the field with 16 seconds remaining and two timeouts. Murphy proceeded to complete his only two pass attempts of the game, a 23-yarder to Eric Bua and a 12-yarder to Yussuf Ali-Buda, to get Riazi in position to try a 44-yard field goal. The hero of the win over Classical two weeks ago, Riazi came through again by just barely clearing the crossbar to tie the game and force overtime.
“What can you say about him, the kid is ice-cold,” Cicatelli said of Riazi. “To make a kick like that in that kind of situation, that says a lot about him.”
After stopping the Mustangs on four consecutive runs in overtime, the Patriots took two plays before handing the ball to Barbosa for a 7-yard touchdown run to win the game.
Revere (3-2) visits Swampscott next Saturday (2:30).
“I scouted Swampscott last week, and that’s a very good football team,” Cicatelli said. “We’re going to have to be much more disciplined if we’re going to compete in that one. The good news is we should be getting a few guys back, so that will helps us out.”