EVERETT — In a matchup of defending Super Bowl champions, second-ranked Everett took down Springfield Central in an opening-week thriller, 31-23, at Veterans Memorial Stadium.
The Tide were led by senior transfer from Pope John, Joe D’Onofrio (17 rushes, 148 yards, one touchdown), but it was a safety late in the third quarter that was the turning point.
Central, which won the WMass Division 1 Super Bowl last season, had taken a 17-14 lead and senior Ju’an Williams had just intercepted Everett’s Raheem Wingard at the Springfield 6-yard line.
But on the first snap after the interception, Central quarterback Cody Williams was looking to the sideline when the ball was snapped. The ball rolled through the back of the end zone, cutting Everett’s deficit to 17-16. Full story for BostonGlobe.com subscribers.