We are now halfway through the regular season this fall, giving us a better idea of what our football teams have and where they are as the home stretch approaches.
Here are my halfway thoughts on our teams:
The Hawks do what the Hawks do. They win in the regular season and always seem to find a way to remain among the state’s elite.
Even when starting quarterback Jayden Falcone went down to injury leading up to the game against North Kingstown, the Hawks didn’t blink as backup Dylan Lynch led the team to the victory. The Hawks also rolled to a 31-0 shutout win over Cranston West while also rolling to a 55-7 win over Portsmouth.
It’s always tough to gauge Hendricken early in the season considering they take on out-of-state opponents, but I think it is safe to say the Hawks remain a top-2 team in the state. We’ll have an even clearer picture this time next week as they take on La Salle on Friday night in a state championship rematch.
With so many new faces contributing, the Falcons expected an up and down start to the season. West got a thrilling non-league win over West Warwick, lost a heartbreaker to the defending champion St. Ray’s team, got another epic victory over East Providence, then was shut out by the Hawks. The results have been all over the place.
Quarterback Kelan Cornell deserves a tip of the cap. West has been looking for answers on offense and has found a few, but Cornell has had to stand on his head at times and he along with Jack Majcher have been keeping the Falcons in games.
I believe that West has found the answers they were looking for. Cornell has stepped up to the plate under center, Majcher has taken on the Marcus Chung role as a do-it-all playmaker, David Boscia is their physical runner, the line seems to have settled in.
West’s best football is ahead and the Falcons will be right in the thick of the playoff hunt. With Cumberland this week then Mt. Pleasant after, the next two weeks will be a buzzsaw. The Falcons will wrap things up with East Greenwich, which should be a layup.
The Falcons need to find a way to win one of these next two games. If they can take two of the final three, they should be in good position for the postseason.
As expected, the Bolts have struggled as they continue to rebuild their program.
The team’s best performance came against first-place Barrington a couple weeks ago. The Bolts’ defense was sharp outside of a drive or two and gave the Eagles fits. It wasn’t a situation where Barrington got complacent or took its foot off the gas. East really did a nice job and you could see the frustration build on the Barrington sideline.
As East searches for its first win, there are a few reasons for optimism. The biggest is the emergence of freshman playmaker Armand Northup-Reed, who has been perhaps the team’s most consistent and productive player to this point.
The team needs to focus on the future and use this season as a way to get in touch with its younger pieces. That’s not to shade the upperclassmen, but the goal has to be to build toward the future. Northup-Reed looks like a future award winner, as well as sophomore Angel Figueroa, who has also come on as of late. Junior DionAndre Brown has also come on as a difference maker on defense.
The Pats have been knocking on the door of Division III contention but have not quite taken the step through it.
Pilgrim has been competitive in each game it has played and picked up big wins against Mt. Hope and Narragansett. It fell in a devastating defeat to West Warwick, who looks like a possible championship favorite, then came up short against Ponaganset.
Pilgrim’s offense has been electric this fall with guys like Chace Roberts, Dylan Roberts, Justyn Murphy and Jack Coffey leading the way. The defense has been a little up and down and the team has not found a consistent power back, but there is still time to sort those things out.
Pilgrim has Rogers this week which is a very winnable game, then will take on Johnston the following week and wrap up against Moses Brown.
These three weeks will be fascinating. Johnston (who we will get to) is the hottest team in Division III at the moment and Moses Brown is shorthanded with injuries, but if healthy, should be back as a top contender. Pilgrim can go anywhere from 0-3 to 3-0 these final three weeks.
The Titans finally got back into the win column when they edged Chariho two weeks ago.
This is an important win for this program, which has been in the bottom of the barrel for the past two years. As the Titans continue to rebuild from the ground up, any signs of encouragement are huge, so to get a win should provide a nice boost to this team looking ahead.
To be frank, it is hard to picture Toll Gate getting another win this season as it has both Classical and Lincoln on the horizon. I know it’s not thrilling, but to get one win this season was important and should set the Titans up for a potential breakout season in 2024.
Track standout Mason Tanner has been one of the most dangerous players in Division III this fall and carried the team on his shoulders against Chariho. It’s too bad that he is a senior, because those are the kind of players you win with. Time for some of the younger kids to step up.
The Panthers entered this season with a championship on their minds, and right now, appear to have a real shot at this thing.
The fall couldn’t have gotten off to a worse start as they were blown off the field by Lincoln on opening night. Since then, Johnston has been a wagon and continues to build momentum at the right time.
The offense led by Matt Clements, Neari Vasquez, Michael Carlino and Steven Finegan has been on a tear as Johnston has blown out Mt. Hope and Ponaganset, while also picking up a win over Moses Brown. The defense has also been gaining traction, allowing just 25 points over the past three weeks.
The biggest test to date is this Friday when they take on West Warwick. The Wizards are unbeaten in league play and are very clearly a contender. This will be a true test.
No comments on this item Please log in to comment by clicking here