PAWTUCKET — Actually, Tolman High qualified for its second straight berth in the Division III postseason last week, courtesy of a lopsided 33-point victory at North Providence, but the Tigers wanted more this past Friday night.
Thanks to junior quarterback Jordan Cooper’s ability to throw three touchdown passes and toss for a pair of two-point conversions, they did just that during a 44-13 rout of league foe Smithfield at Pariseau Field.
“We played pretty good,” head coach Jason DeLawrence said after his club improved to 5-2 in D-III and 7-2 overall.
“I wanted to make sure in this one that we cleaned up some things entering the playoffs. I wanted to make sure we executed our blocking assignments properly, that we didn’t have and crazy penalties or turnovers, and I thought we achieved that.
“Jordan has improved from the first game of the season to this last one,” he added.
“He’s making his reads better and more quickly, and he’s putting us in the right situations with his play-calling, decision-making.”
Tolman, the No. 2 seed in the tourney, now will begin preparations to host third-ranked Chariho Regional in a divisional semifinal this Friday night (7 p.m.) at Max Read Field.
DeLawrence indicated his Tigers had bested the Chargers, 26-0, earlier this season.
As for the contest against the Sentinels, senior captain Jeremiah Edwards opened the scoring with a 32-yard TD hustle, and junior Alex Medeiros tacked on the two-point rush.
Classmate L.J. Benton quickly contributed a 40-yard scoring reception from Cooper, followed by another Medeiros jaunt, but Smithfield responded with a touchdown on the ensuing kickoff to slice the deficit to 16-6.
Junior Jamarus Godette finished off the quarter with a 22-yard touchdown run, followed by Cooper’s first two-point conversion pass to sophomore Aaron Carrion, and the signal caller found senior captain Danny Akinsheye on a 15-yard scoring catch-and-run from Cooper early in the second.
Tolman followed that up with senior Isai Prince’s 11-yard TD snag and Godette’s 46-yard TD rush.