Bulldogs, Patriots gear up for a big NEC showdown Saturday

English's Mathias Fowler has been a key threat in the Bulldogs running and passing game. (Spenser R. Hasak)

LYNN — The English football team has had a solid season to this point, starting the year at 3-1 and getting contributions from up and down the roster. But the Bulldogs are likely to face their toughest test yet when they host unbeaten Revere Saturday afternoon (1) at Manning Field. 

“Revere is playing really well on both sides of the ball right now,” said English coach Chris Carroll. “They have a good balanced attack on offense and their defense can make plays. We’re going to have to focus on what we do well if we want to come out with a win.”

One of the main things the Bulldogs do well is spread the ball around offensively. Quarterback Mathias Fowler is always a threat to run or pass when he has the ball in his hands, but there are a number of other weapons Revere will have to watch out for. Receiver Tahj Purter has scored game-breaking touchdowns from all over the field, while running backs Sam Ofurie, Fenix Figueroa Marquez and Joshua Transtamar have gotten the job done on the ground.

“We have a very versatile offense and we have a lot of guys who can make plays for us,” said Carroll. “Our objective is to control the line of scrimmage, follow our assignments and put ourselves in a position to make plays and score.”

“Defending English is a big challenge,” said Revere coach Lou Cicatelli. “They’ve got guys all over the field who can make plays, so the idea for us is to just blow them up at the line and put them on their heels. We can’t let them get loose and break off big runs, because that’s where they can really hurt you.”

Revere is coming into this game as hot as ever. The Patriots stand at 4-0, are averaging over 36 points per game on offense and are allowing just under 12 points per game on defense. Quarterback Calvin Boudreau, running back Joe Llanos and receivers Lucas Barbosa and Jonathan Murphy have all made significant contributions this year. 

“We’ve been playing some really good football so far this year on both sides of the ball,” Cicatelli said. “We’re moving the ball around offensively, making big plays on defense and also getting contributions on special teams. It’s been a complete team effort.”

“Revere has a good, balanced attack,” said Carroll. “Our goal on defense is to just play as a team and make plays when we have the chance. We can’t give them any extra chances, because they’ll take advantage of them.”

At the end of the day, both coaches know that a game of this caliber is going to come down to execution.

“In games like this, you have to play well if you want to win,” said Carroll. “We can’t make silly mistakes and expect to come away with a win, because a good team like Revere doesn’t let you get away with mistakes. We’re going to have to go out and play our game, play solid football and make some plays.”

“Our guys have been improving all year, and we just want to keep that train rolling,” Cicatelli said. “We know that English is going to be a tough opponent, but we’ve had a great week of practice and we’re going to come into this game with a plan to win.”

English will host Revere Saturday afternoon (1) at Manning Field.

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