Cranston East last won a Division I Super Bowl in 1987 – which, of course, was well before the players on the current team were born.
But the Thunderbolt have an opportunity to prove they’re a legitimate contender this season when they play at defending Division I Super Bowl champion Hendricken on October12.
Coach Tom Centore’s team set the stage for this matchup of undefeated teams when it waxed East Providence, 42-20, on Oct. 5. Quarterback Alex Corvese threw four touchdown passes to four different receivers – all in the first half – as the ‘Bolt bolted to a 28-7 lead. Covese’s longest strike was a 46-yarder to Marquem Monroe. Nicholas Ferry caught a 28-yard TD pass just before halftime and, in the third quarter, returned a punt 35 yards for a score that broke the game open.
Hendricken (4-0) and La Salle (4-0) are tied for the division lead, but Cranston East (3-0) is only a half-game back and is 5-0 overall.
The Hawks tuned up for the ‘Bolt by blanking Cranston West, 36-0, as quarterback Pat Gill ran for three scores passed for a fourth. In its previous game, the Hawks whipped Tolman, 28-7, converting three turnovers into three touchdowns in the process. Gill scored on a one-yard run and also connected with Marco DelVecchio on a 52-yard scoring bomb.
La Salle remained tied with Hendricken by whipping winless South Kingstown, 39-14, as quarterback Anthony Francis threw touchdown passes of 21 and 63 yards to Keon Wilson.
PANTHERS ON THE PROWL
Johnston maintained its status as the only undefeated team (4-0) in Division II-A by mauling Coventry, 26-6.
The final score was representative of how explosive the Panthers have been this season. In those four league games, they’ve outscored their opponents by a combined margin of 154-18.
Johnston built a 14-0 lead with five minutes left in the first half, thanks to a six-yard run by Brenden Pappas and a two-yard run by Joe Santilli.
WIZARDS DISAPPEAR – TEMPORARILY
West Warwick was knocked from the ranks of the undefeated in Division II-B when it was routed, 42-14, by Shea on September 28. Dennis Lloyd paced the Raiders with three touchdowns while Tyshon Ashe added a pair.
Cumberland, who blitzed North Kingstown 41-6, moved into sole possession of first place with a 4-0 record. Quarterback Brendan Guerin led the Clippers by passing for 132 yards and three scores.
The Wizards (3-1) rebounded the following week as they pasted Pilgrim, 41-6, with Austin Paygal running for four scores – including one that covered 66 yards.
AROUND THE GRIDIRON
Elsewhere, East Greenwich toppled previously-undefeated Moses Brown, 39-21, in Division III action. Carney Crawford paced the Avengers (4-0) with 230 rushing yards and two touchdowns while quarterback Andrew Minor passed for 117 yards and three scores.
Middletown (3-0) remained a half-game behind the Avengers thanks to a 48-20 victory over Tiverton. The Islanders’ Randy Butler had a career game as he carried the ball 12 times for 149 yards and a touchdown and also returned a kickoff 70 yards for another score.
Overall, Middletown amassed 428 yards of total offense against the Tigers. Middletown gave a premonition of things to come when it belted Ponaganset, 48-7, in its previous game. Butler also was a force in that game since he scored on a 31-yard run and caught a 45-yard touchdown pass from Justin Sellers.
In other games of note:
* Mount Hope (2-2) evened its record in Division II-A by beating Woonsocket, 26-7, with Jesse Raiola rushing for 125 yards and three scores.
* Central Falls captured its first Division IV victory of the season by blanking Scituate, 42-0. Quarterback Brandon Canuto threw four touchdown passes – three to Odair Semedo.
* Classical also won its first league game, in Division III, by holding off Burrillville, 16-14. Amilcar Burganza provided what proved to be the winning score when he returned an interception 50 yards in the fourth quarter.
Long-time Portsmouth boys’ soccer coach Mike Stinton recently annexed his 200th career victory as the Patriots blanked South Kingstown, 1-0. Stinton was appointed Portsmouth’s head coach in 1989.
Then, the following week, the Patriots (5-3-0) won their fifth consecutive Division I game, 5-1 over Tolman as Brendan Jumoas scored two goals and assisted on two.
The East Greenwich boys’ cross-country team ventured north and captured the team title in the Woods Trail Run Invitational in Thetford, Vt.
The Avengers amassed 107 points – 29 better than second-place South Burlington (Vt.) High. Ben Fazio (6th), Garrett Scanlon (18th), Scott Kulm (23rd), Nat Waddell (26th) and Tom Sommer (34th) accounted for the Avengers’ scoring.
NO “MIDDLE” GROUND
What had been rumored is on the verge of becoming fact.
East Providence, which had accumulated a $7-million budget deficit and has been operating under a state-appointed Budget Commission, will eliminate middle school sports as part of a proposed plan to help get the city out of the red. Football, basketball and baseball, which have long served as successful feeder programs for East Providence High, would be the primary sports on the chopping block if the overall proposal is approved by November 1.
Mike Scandura has been covering high school sports, college basketball, football and hockey plus minor league baseball in Rhode Island since the early 1970s. A native of Oswego, N.Y, he’s a member of the Words Unlimited Hall of Fame which is the statewide organization of sportswriters, sportscasters and sports publicists.