Here's the roundup of yesterday's six Massachusetts high school football Super Bowls from a busy and exciting day at Gillette Stadium:
Division 6 - Mashpee 28, St. Bernard's 8
When divisions align by school size, the Division 6 Super Bowl was going to have a natural attrition. After all, the smallest schools typically have the smallest rosters and as a result wind up with players playing more two-way football than their large school brethren. That means one player truly has the potential to take over a game from start to finish.
Enter DeShaun Dias.
Dias scored on touchdown scampers of 58, 20, and 29 yards in the fourth quarter to lift the Mashpee Falcons to a 28-8 victory over St. Bernard's. He finished with 1,200 yards in the postseason alone and used a 239 yard performance on Saturday to lift his teammates to a state championship.
Division 5 - Northbridge 36, East Bridgewater 34
In each of the last two seasons, the Northbridge Rams went to Gillette Stadium trying to win a state championship. Instead, they walked out with empty hands after receiving blowout beatdowns from Bishop Fenwick and Abington.
This year, they endured a see-saw affair with the East Bridgewater Vikings that went back-and-forth, opening the games with a 9 AM kickoff that set the tone with one of the most exciting finishes in Massachusetts football this season.
Northbridge's offense went for 358 yards, including 251 through the air. But they used the ground attack to pound into the end zone, gaining three touchdowns from Jake Wood (two) and Mike Quinn (one). Quarterback Koby Schofer was 16-for-23 and two touchdowns despite suffering a right ankle sprain early in the game and entering the Super Bowl with a pulled hamstring.
Northbridge opened up an early 13-0 lead but saw EB come right into the game behind the arm of Ryan Graham. Graham led an attack that amassed over 400 yards, but in a bit of irony, Schofer intercepted a pass with just over a minute remaining in the game to seal the victory for the Rams.
The Rams finished the season with a 12-1 record, coming within a Thanksgiving Day loss to rival Uxbridge of sealing a perfect season.
Division 4 - Holliston 27, Chicopee Comp 6
Holliston sealed the first perfect season of 2015 in winning the midday Super Bowl, defeating the visiting Chicopee Comp Colts, 27-6, in the DIvision 4 Super Bowl. It also marked the first repeat champion of the year, as they rolled to their second straight title.
Holliston opened up a 14-0 lead behind touchdown runs by Brady Wells and Sam Ratcliffe, then made it 20-0 with three minutes left in the first half. Chicopee Comp scored before the half, making the score 20-6 at halftime, but the gap was too great to overcome as Holliston used stingy defense to lock down their Super Bowl title.
With the win, Holliston became one of the most successful teams on the state's biggest stage. The game was their 10th trip to the Super Bowl, and the win was their fifth state championship.
Division 3 - Dartmouth 26, Melrose 21
Dartmouth running back Chris Martin ran 34 times for 142 yards as the Indians defeated the Red Raiders, 26-21, for their second straight Super Bowl championship.
Surprisingly enough, though, it was the passing attack that spurred Dartmouth back into the game. Trailing 14-6 in the third quarter, quarter Cole Jacobsen utilized Martin for a 63-yard touchdown pass, then connected with Jack Sullivan for 17 yards to put their team back up to stay.
It was something of an upset for Dartmouth, who barely reached the Super Bowl after defeating Milton, 27-24, in the sectional finals. Prior to the Milton game, they defeated Sharon, Plymouth North, and Dighton-Rehoboth by a combined score of 103-14, then won their last two games by a combined eight points.
Division 2 - Nashoba 27, Reading 13
The Nashoba Chieftains (13-0) completed the second perfect season of 2015 and their first state championship under the updated "all state" playoff format with a two-score victory over the Reading Rockets in the penultimate game of the night.
Quarterback Robert Atwood attempted just six passes for the Chieftains, completing only half of them. But his three completions went for 146 yards, including a touchdown to Nathan Mansour late in the first half. The run-first mentality ground down the Rockets, and running at will allowed to a two-score game to be virtually a runaway as the Chieftains killed the entire clock third quarter.
After Reading punted to start the 10-minute frame, Nashoba ran a 13-play scoring drive that ate up the entire quarter. It ended with a four-yard touchdown run by Nicholas Rodgers. That put the team up 27-6, allowing them to use their defense to cap their state crown.
Division 1 - Xaverian 44, Central Catholic 14
Despite the other perfect seasons and Super Bowl champions crowned at Gillette on Saturday, the eyes of the Massachusetts high school sports universe set itself squarely on the 8 PM kickoff, under the lights, between the Xaverian Hawks and Central Catholic Raiders.
Indeed, it seemed like it was on the road to an instant classic when the Raiders held a 14-13 lead after the first quarter. But the Hawks decided this game wouldn't go the same way as when they lost in the 2013 playoffs to Central, scoring the next 31 points and dominating en route to their second straight state championship.
Xaverian - who hasn't lost since that playoff defeat to the Raiders two years ago - got 199 passing yards out of Michael Pina and three total touchdowns out of star Coby Tippett in the victory. Tippett, one of the state's best receivers, had only one catch, but it was a 48 yard touchdown grab. Pina added another touchdown catch on a fade route to AJ Ryan.
The Hawks finished off their second consecutive perfect season with a victory at Gillette, but it was perhaps sweet revenge given their last loss to Central. Since that loss, Xaverian's won 24 straight, including four games over bitter rival St. John's Prep, in establishing themselves as the best program in Massachusetts.
Game recaps from ESPN Boston were used for summary. Kudos to them for great coverage all season long on the #RoadToGillette. Special recognition to Brendan Hall and Scott Barboza for yeoman's effort week after week.