When we did our interview with Mike Redding this past week to commemorate his induction into the Massachusetts High School Football Coaches Association Hall of Fame, one of the aspects of his tenure we touched on was his willingness to go out and schedule tough out-of-state opponents.
Not every program does this, and for every big OOS matchup that occurs, there are several that fall by the wayside because details like money or location cannot be figured out to the two parties' best interests.
Still, there have been some memorable ones over the years, and we wanted to do a quick recap of some of them here. So, without further ado, in chronological order, here are some of the OOS games that stick out the most over the past 25 years.
Brockton 38, Chaminade (Ohio) 16, 1994: This one goes back to standout Boxer running back Peter Harris' breakout sophomore campaign. Chaminade came in with just one loss, but Harris rushed for 175 yards and four touchdowns in the rout.
DeLand (Fla.) 35, Everett 8, 1994: With coach John DiBiaso just starting to turn the Everett program around, the Crimson Tide went to Florida and fell to an 8-3 DeLand squad. The Crimson Tide trailed, 15-8, but an injury to top running back Sandro Colarusso helped dash Everett's hopes of a comeback.
St. Anthony's (NY) 20, Xaverian 14, 1995: You'll see the Hawks on this list a lot, and that's because they routinely took on some of the best OOS opponents available. In the '95 opener, the Hawks hosted the Long Island opener, fell behind early, and could not complete the rally despite a pair of touchdown passes from quarterback Tim Hasselbeck.
Pinkerton Academy (NH) 26, Brockton 20, 1996: In the first of a long series between these programs, the Astros pulled off the upset during a season where the Boxers went on to win one of the two Division 1 Super Bowls. Pinkerton notched the game-winner with a 33-yard touchdown pass from Kyle Ciano to Adam Jordan with two minutes to play.
Brockton 35, Chaminade (NY) 18, 1996: Yet another matchup between a Massachusetts team and one from New York's CHSAA, one of the toughest leagues in the Northeast. In Peter Harris' senior year, the Boxer back again punished an OOS foe with 130 yards rushing and three touchdowns.
St. John's Prep 32, St. John's Baptist (NY) 0, 1997: The Prep had one of its best teams ever in '97, featuring current head coach Brian St. Pierre at quarterback and a massive line. Running back/linebacker Brian rushed for 105 yards and also made an interception in the win.
St. John's Prep 35, Xaverian (NY) 8, 1999: A young, but talented Prep squad dominated this CHSAA squad in Danvers. Prep quarterback Jake Marsello threw for over 100 yards, and the Eagles blocked a punt and recovered it for a touchdown in the win.
Xaverian 55, Chaminade (NY) 10, 2000: Xaverian opened its season in Westwood with a thrashing of what had become a frequent opponent of Mass. teams. First-year starter at quarterback Joe Bickerstaffe rushed for four touchdowns in the blowout.
Pinkerton (NH) 29, Brockton 22, 2001: Up in Derry, the Boxers fell in a 22-0 hole before making a furious second-half rally that included a reverse pass touchdown from Brandon Hill to Justin Council for an 80-yard score. However, Pinkerton recovered in time to give the Boxers a loss that would eventually help keep them out of the postseason because of the sub-.500 rule at the time.
New Britain (Conn.) 41, Xaverian 6, 2003: The Hawks walked into a buzzing hornet's nest against the best team in Connecticut in early October. The up-tempo Hurricanes jumped out to a 21-6 halftime lead and never looked back, as it was a long bus ride back to Westwood for Xaverian.
Xaverian 49, New Britain (Conn.) 0, 2004: It was a bit of sweet revenge for the Hawks the following year in Westwood. Despite being out-gained by the eventual Class LL champs of the Nutmeg State, Xaverian dominated special teams and the turnover margin in running away with the victory.
St. Joseph Regional (NJ) 31, Xaverian 21, 2006: After the bus ride down to Montvale, the Hawks jumped out to a 14-10 halftime lead. But the Green Knights wore Xaverian down in the second half, and a few key turnovers helped the hosts rally for the win.
Mansfield 35, Cathedral Catholic (Calif.) 0, 2006: Although it was a relatively down year for the San Diego power, Cathedral Catholic never knew what hit it when the Dons visited Mansfield. The Hornets scored all their points in the first half in the rout that served as the most decisive loss Cathedral Catholic suffered that season.
St. Edward (Ohio) 28, Mansfield 17, 2007: The Hornets traveled to Ohio to face one of the power state's perennial giants. Even though St. Ed's wasn't having its best year, the Eagles were still strong enough to hold off a Mansfield team that moved the ball consistently with running backs Powell Simpson and Mike Abany and quarterback Mark Gilson.
St. Joseph Regional (NJ) 6, Xaverian 3, 2007: For the second year in a row, Xaverian jumped out to a halftime lead, as a Paul Asack field goal put the Hawks in front at the break, 3-0. But the Green Knights again rallied, and turnovers again killed Xaverian, as the hosts committed six on the day, including a lost fumble in the red zone in the fourth quarter.
Everett 50, Manchester West (NH) 21, 2007: This was a mismatch from the beginning, as the Crimson Tide went on to win the Division 1 Super Bowl behind a punishing rushing attack that featured Isaac Johnson.
Brockton 54, Pinkerton Academy (NH) 19, 2007: Pinkerton had a terrific year in the Granite State, but when the Boxers visited, their speed was just too much. Quarterback Vaughn Askew, running back Josh Marsh, and wide receiver Sharrieff Hall all had big days in the rout for Brockton.
Marshfield 23, Beverly Hills (Calif.) 20, 2008: Two years after Beverly Hills came to the Commonwealth and emerged with a 31-20 victory, the Rams earned their revenge on the West Coast. A late goal-line stand by Marshfield helped seal the victory.
Bishop Guertin (NH) 52, Catholic Memorial 13, 2009: In what would serve as motivation for the Knights in the following years against the Cardinals, Guertin used its relentless ground attack to roll to victory over a young Knights squad.
St. John's Prep 42, Mount St. Joseph (Md.) 35, 2010: In a wild game in Danvers, the Eagles rallied from a 21-0 second-quarter deficit behind a monster performance from running back Tyler Coppola. Running chiefly behind pulling lineman Nathan Cyr, Coppola rushed for 339 yards and five touchdowns in the win over the Baltimore school.
Brockton 21, Pinkerton (NH) 14, 2010: In a year where Brockton struggled with a sub-.500 record, sophomore quarterback Austin Roberts saved the Boxers with one big third- and fourth-down conversion after another to give his team the upset win in Derry.
DePaul Catholic (NJ) 49, BC High 35, 2011: Although BC High went on to win the Division 1 Super Bowl that year, the Eagles had their troubles with a pair of Garden State powers. This one was down in Jersey, and a poor first-half effort was too much to overcome for the Eagles.
St. Peter's Prep (NJ) 35, BC High 19: Future Boston College running back Jonathan Hilliman had a big day as a sophomore for the Marauders. The Eagles led briefly on a first-quarter field goal, but the speedy visitors from New Jersey were simply too talented.
Catholic Memorial 42, Bishop Guertin (NH) 0, 2011: After beating the Cardinals back in West Roxbury in 2010, the Knights went back up to New Hampshire to the scene of the crime for their 2009 loss. CM returned the favor in full, as Armani Reeves and Co. dominated from start to finish.
North Attleboro 47, La Salle Academy (RI) 27, 2012: Behind the standout efforts of future Brown star Alex Jette, the Red Rocketeers had no problems with a La Salle team that was the Division 1 runner-up in Rhode Island.
St. Joseph Regional (NJ) 62, Xaverian 0, 2012: Unlike the previous two games against the Green Knights, the Hawks, who finished 4-7 that year, were never in it. St. Joe's went on to finish as a top 10 team in the nation that year.
Pinkerton Academy (NH) 20, Brockton 14, 2012: In the final game of this series that was cut short with the new playoff system in Mass. being implemented in 2013, the Astros slipped past the Boxers at Marciano Stadium. Brockton battled in a close game despite not having starting quarterback Austin Roberts due to injury.
Mansfield 29, Dunbar (Md.) 26, 2013: The Hornets kicked off their season in hostile territory in Baltimore and came away with a last-minute victory. Mansfield went on to win the Division 2 state title and finish No. 1 in all the major statewide and Boston-area polls.
King Philip 20, La Salle Academy (RI) 15, 2014: Yet again, a Hockomock League team took down one of Rhode Island's best, as the Warriors gave the Rams one of their two losses on the season. The other came in that state's Division 1 title game to Bishop Hendricken.
Marshfield 29, Ridgewood (NJ) 7, 2015: Ridgewood was not quite on the level of the Northern New Jersey parochial schools that handled the likes of Xaverian and BC High, but still finished 9-3 in the Garden State. The Rams had one of their best teams in recent memory that year, but fell short in the playoffs against Reading.
Xaverian 42, Archbishop Stepinac (NY) 19, 2018: In the most recent example of Catholic powers from Mass. and New York colliding, the Hawks avenged a loss from the previous year in White Plains with a dominant victory in Westwood. Stepinac picked itself off the mat the rest of the season, however, to win a state title.