Archive - Sports Article
November 29th, 2011
NORTH SMITHFIELD â€“ All season long the Central Falls football team has played for Jose Figueroa, a 2011 graduate and dedicated four-year player who lost his life in a drowning accident this past summer.
From high above, he had to enjoy this one.
With their eyes clearly on the prize in Tuesdayâ€™s Division IV semifinal contest with host North Smithfield, the fourth-seeded Warriors jumped out to a 21-point cushion by the third quarter and then held off a spirited rally by the top-seeded Northmen in the second half to hold on to an emotional 25-17 victory.
WOOD RIVER JUNCTION --- Cumberland knew exactly what it was going to get out of Chariho on Tuesday night -- a strong ground game to contain and a tough defense to penetrate offensively.
The Chargers controlled the clock by racking up 260 yards on 58 carries and limited the Clippers to just 151 yards of real estate en route to a 14-0 triumph in their Division II semifinal-round matchup.
PROVIDENCE â€“ Ed Cooley knew exactly when his team lost control. But Providence Collegeâ€™s first-year head coach didnâ€™t seem all hot and bothered after his team held on for dear life in an 82-77 victory Tuesday night against Holy Cross.
NORTH SMITHFIELD â€” There shouldnâ€™t be any tricks left, no alarms and no surprises when Central Falls ventures to North Smithfield for a game that will decide one-half of the Super Bowl field.
The two Division IV schools, less than 13 miles apart, met up a mere 2 Â˝ weeks ago with the host Northmen grounding the high-octane Warriors by a 27-6 score. Tuesdayâ€™s 7 p.m. kickoff will see the sides converge on a much bigger stage, meeting in the semifinals at the Northmen Athletic Complex.
CUMBERLAND â€” If the old adage â€śdefense wins championshipsâ€ť is indeed true, then Cumberland and Chariho should be in prime shape to win their next two playoff games and take home the coveted Division II championship next Sunday.
Both teams finished 1-2 in the 16-team league with the fewest points allowed in division play (the Chargers yielded 73, the Clippers 77), and thanks to their exceptional defenses, either squad hasnâ€™t lost a game since September.
CUMBERLAND â€” The Cumberland High wrestling team opens practice today without returning state runner-up Erik Travers, who has become a key member of the football team this season.
The Cumberland gridders are scheduled to visit Chariho on Tuesday night in a Division II semifinal contest. Travers, a 5-foot-8, 150-pound junior, will start at cornerback on defense and halfback on offense.
Some things I think I think:
Is it possible the spread offense and its numerous variations have run their course at the high school football level?
Sure seemed that way during Wednesday nightâ€™s Tolman-Shea game when neither team looked efficient on offense in a 7-0 Tigers victory. Both teams appeared to be mirror images of one another on offense as they operated out of the shotgun on almost every play, blending in elements of the spread and wildcat formations, sending backs into motion on almost every play.
PAWTUCKET â€” The 1991 Shea High football teamâ€™s story reads like something out of Hoosiers, the movie about a long-shot basketball team that won the Indiana state championship back in the 1950s.
â€śWe had 17 players on the team and they showed up for practice every day,â€ť said Steve Alves Jr., the West Warwick native who began his coaching career at Shea High in 1989. â€śItâ€™s a good thing our coaching staff was a bunch of young guys because we had to get in there and practice with the kids so that we would have enough bodies to hold a full scrimmage.â€ť
CENTRAL FALLS â€“ There was no slippage or signs of letup. For playoff-bound Central Falls, it was simply full speed ahead.
Thursdayâ€™s 34-0 holiday win against Lincoln High was just what C.F. head coach Mo Jackson was looking for. His Warriors raced to a commanding 27-0 halftime lead behind three touchdown passes from quarterback Brandon Canuto, who completed 9-of-11 passes for 247 yards.
WOONOCKET â€“ Chris Skurka had no intention on letting up.
Despite a more important playoff game early next week, the Cumberland High coach planned to have his red-hot squad go full throttle against Woonsocket in their annual Thanksgiving Day contest.
He lied. Well, sort of.
The Clippers scored four times in the first quarter, found the end zone again in the second quarter and the second-stringers get some ample playing time after halftime in cruising to a 35-6 rout of the Villa Novans on Thursday morning.
PAWTUCKET â€” Tolman quarterback Luis Rodrigues stood up to a hard-hitting Shea defense on Wednesday night and finally made the play that won the game.
After getting sacked two plays in a row midway through the fourth quarter by Shea defensive tackle Wayne Wambugu, Rodrigues stood tall in the pocket on 3rd-and-14 and lofted a pass into the right flat to a wide-open Andre Gilbert, who romped into the end zone for the only score of the game.
JOHNSTON â€” St. Raphael Academy put together its best defensive effort of the season Wednesday night, resulting in a 10-0 blanking of host Johnston.
The Saints showed contender-level defense for a night, riding a pair of timely interceptions and two second-half sacks that all but killed any hope the host Panthers had in finding the end zone. The end result was a sweet victory for Mike Sassiâ€™s crew, which ends the season with six wins against four defeats.
PAWTUCKET â€” Itâ€™s a common assumption that you canâ€™t have both brains and brawn. Apparently Davon Robertson didnâ€™t get the memo.
Robertson fits the definition of a student-athlete to a tee. Not only is this senior a two-way football contributor for St. Raphael Academy, but heâ€™s also a success story in the classroom. Blend the two attributes together and itâ€™s little wonder that Robertson is being recruited by some of the most prestigious colleges and universities in the area.
PAWTUCKET --- Some Thanksgiving series around this part of New England have usually been predictable, and often lopsided affairs year in and year out, while other series have been ones that you can actually throw out the records and expect competitive games.
The latter has certainly been the case with the Shea-Tolman series, which will celebrate its 10th game Wednesday when the two intracity rivals invade McCoy Stadium for a 7 p.m. showdown.
NORTH SMITHFIELD â€“ His all-out smile that charms in an instant, affable personality and cordial â€śYes, sirâ€ť response allows Paris Correia to fit in at North Smithfield High. His relentless desire to attack the opposition on the football field with impetuous abandon is also a plus, for sure.
Yet is hasnâ€™t always been that simple.
Central Falls and North Smithfield arenâ€™t Thanksgiving football rivals but the two Division IV playoff teams are inextricably linked this week.
They are linked because if North Smithfield defeats Scituate on Thursday morning, it wins No. 1 seed in next weekâ€™s playoffs and would host No. 4 seed Central Falls in the semifinal round scheduled for next Tuesday evening.
â€śI donâ€™t want my guys to overlook Scituate,â€ť North Smithfield coach Wes Pennington said on Sunday when the potential playoff matchup with Central Falls was raised.
LINCOLN â€” It wasnâ€™t much of a surprise for the standing-room-only crowd at the Twin River Event Center to see Pawtucketâ€™s Todd Chattelle capture the inaugural CES Mixed Martial Arts middleweight title.
What was surprising was the manner in which he won the championship belt -- with a submission.
An established standup fighter who recorded all eight of his career knockouts with his punching ability, Chattelle picked up the biggest victory of his career with his first-ever submission by slapping an unexpecting guillotine chokeout on Brett Oteri of Dedham, Mass. 3:18 into their fight.
PROVIDENCE â€“ During a time when school budgets are slashed and teachers are in dire need for resources and incentives for their students, National Grid Foundation scored an assist in providing a $30,000 grant to support the Providence Hoops for the Stars Program.
Hoops for the Stars is a partnership program that provides inner-city students with the opportunity to earn tickets to Providence College menâ€™s basketball games in return for hard work in the classroom and positive behavior in the community.
WOONSOCKET â€” It has been said more than a few times that success in high school sports comes in cycles. Talented players sometimes come in cohesive groups of classmates who win games from middle school on up through high school. And when they graduate, sometimes the cupboard is empty.
That could be the story of Woonsocket Highâ€™s football program, which won the last two Division II Super Bowls before falling back to earth this season, finishing 1-6 in league action.
Only in New England can you be sitting in an audience, watching a great presentation of Hamlet by the Gamm Theatre acting company of Pawtucket, when during intermission a man turns around in his seat and asks: â€śWhoâ€™s going to be the next manager of the Red Sox?â€ť
The interrogator was Bobby Fields, a former Pawtucket West student-athlete. He probably wonâ€™t recognize the rest of this but Shakespeare might.