REVERE — Through the first five weeks of the season the Revere football team has risen up to every challenge that has come its way. But the Patriots learned first hand Saturday that not every win will come easy in a 32-30 overtime victory at English. Head coach Lou Cicatelli learned a lot about this Patriots team after the hard-earned win.
“You always learn a lot from week to week,” Cicatelli said. “(Saturday) was really a gut-check. We were down for the first time all year and we clawed back into that game. English is a good team. We were able to hang in there and put ourselves in a position to make the plays to win. When you can do things like that it shows you a lot. You learn quite a bit from it.”
Those gut-check games aren’t ending anytime soon. The 5-0 Patriots will face off against another unbeaten Northeastern Conference opponent, Marblehead at Piper Field this week.
The matchup is primed to be a showdown between two offenses firing on all cylinders, starting with the Patriots. Joe Llanos has paced the Patriots running game with 12 rushing touchdowns through five games while quarterback Calvin Boudreau is more than capable of finding receivers Lucas Barbosa and Jonathan Murphy for big plays in the passing game.
But it’s not the offense that Cicatelli and the Patriots are worried about showing up Friday night. Revere’s defense is going against a dynamic Marblehead offense led by running back Tim Cronin and quarterback Joshua Robertson.
“Marblehead is a good football team on both sides of the ball,” Cicatelli said. “But their offense is very sound. They have a good tailback, Cronin is a playmaker. (Robertson) is also an athlete and their wide receivers are all athletes too.
“They run some really good schemes with zone reads,” Cicatelli said. “We really have our work cut out for us. To beat them we have to play better than we did against English and we need a big game on defense.”
Every defender on the field for the Patriots will have to do their part in order to contain the Magicians’ offense. It’s been one of Revere’s biggest points of emphasis at practice this week.
“Bottom line is we have to play smarter,” Cicatelli said. “They run an offense where everyone has to do their job on defense. They can do a lot of different things too so you have to stay in position and stay level headed. We coached them up this week.”
But being in position is just the start for a Revere defense that struggled finishing tackles against the Bulldogs Saturday. The Patriots were able to overcome those mistakes last week but they can’t afford to give Cronin and the Magicians any extra yards.
“We have to tackle a little bit better,” Cicatelli said. “English had some elusive playmakers last week that gave us trouble. Cronin is another playmaker and if we don’t do a good job tackling him he can make us pay.”
In a battle of unbeaten teams even a solid defensive and offensive game won’t be enough to walk away with a win. Cicatelli expects special teams to play a crucial role this week.
“Our kicking game struggled Saturday but (kicker) Rayan Riazi has been magnificent all year,” Cicatelli said. “This could be one of those games that comes back to special teams. It’s two great teams coming together so those points are huge. Leave no stone unturned, that could be the game breaker.
“Overall I’m proud of my kids,” Cicatelli said. “It’s been a magnificent run so far and we just want to keep it going. We can do that if we execute.”
Revere travels to Marblehead Friday (7).